In fury’s grasp
or throes of pain,
when nightmares stalk
the waking brain,
and monsters wear
the masks of men—

still the mind,
move the pen.

Beneath the heel
of tyrants’ wrath,
when robber-barons
plot your path,
to journey through
the vipers’ den—

steel the soul,
move the pen.

And when the
final die is cast,
each breath connected
to your last,
a matter of
not if, but when—

steal the night,
move the pen.

This poem originally appeared in the 2009 collection Sixty-Six.