Creative Fear


To Finish a Painting

~    after “Starting a Poem” by Robert Bly


You think you’re alone.
Until you hear a voice.
It’s a brush stroke calling out
“STOP! Look at me.”

You step back as the
voice grows stronger and
you begin to hear it with
your eyes “THIS matters.”

And soon enough your
heart quickens your hands
twitch sweat beads and you
realize THIS changes everything.

You’ve been waiting
for it, prepared and
practiced over and over,
but now that it’s

here with its own arms
and legs your courage weeps
your identity leaves the room
and you understand.

You are alone
with the voice
with the choice. One more
stroke could be all

the difference
between a flash of
brilliance or sudden death.
To finish a painting.


“Brooklyn Blue” ~ Andrea Grillo ~ Pastel and tissue collage ~ 2016



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