to consider destiny, who sweats and who relaxes,
to mull whether character-building scutwork taxes
or feeds creativity. Should I concede the boast:
I devote my waking hours to my muse, coast
from metaphor to metaphor? Or is the better praxis:
By sweat of honest labor, I wrestle access
to imagery? Sponge and mop-slinger, I toast
the latter. Melpomene, Calliope, Erato wait
while I earn a wage, inspiration stalls mid-birth,
not always delivered at day’s end, yet still
I’m glad to struggle, share the common fate,
to glean and pocket moments, know their worth,
poems sprung not from privilege, but through will.
Devon Balwit is a writer and teacher from Portland, Oregon. She gauges her fortunes each morning by how well her dog catches the Frisbee. When he's fired up, she might find her work in places like Rattle, The Cincinatti Review, or dozens of other journals with names like poems. When she misses, she stacks up rejections. Either way, she writes poetry because she loves the process, finding inspiration in art, the natural world, the work of other poets, the news, her teaching, and her relationships. She plays with all styles of poetry, rhymed and free. She welcomes contact from her readers.