Carrot me and stick me
In a bucket of manure
Let the roots that feed me thicken
‘Til it’s easy to endure

I aspire to independence
From all manner of restraint
That does not make me an anarchist,
A rebel, nor a saint

I prefer some competition
No one needs to be the best
But maintaining an ambition
Keeps me keen to face each test

Though still slave to small economies
Perspective is the key
As I work my way to building
For the future I would see

Words may one day bring me more
Than solace, vain philosophy
When I rest on crowns of laurel
In exalted company