. Nothing’s had by show of fear, When another way is clear: Courage to pursue the best When one’s met with Nature’s test. Can one sell a good or skill Fighting hard and oft uphill? Does one have the kind of heart To endure a rocky start? Can one shine against the dim, Fading clouds where legions brim? Does one have a brighter spark Than the flames that light the dark? Life is filled with jagged turns; Competition often burns. Each is granted by his birth Purpose here on rugged earth. Can one flourish on the climb By which each must make a dime? Those who steer to books and Art Play a very special part: Taking heart and making song For which aching people long, Courage in the use of tune--- Turning winter into June. May all poets brave the cold By which hearts are bought and sold. Life is more than gold and cash, Markets luring souls to trash. Artists, hear this rolling stave; May thy path be deft and brave. . . Amanda Hall is the author of many self-published volumes in poetry, fiction, theatre and scholarship---among them two epic poems, The Gift of Life: An Epic in Verse, and The Laughing Pen: An Epic Satire in Heroic Meter. She has been a critical journalist, in the past, for The New Individualist, tackling issues of aesthetics. She is a published member of the Society of Classical Poets, and her creative work has appeared in Think Journal and The Orchards Poetry Journal. She currently resides in Charleston, West Virginia.