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The Thinking Poet - II. I Wandered Through Fog 

II. I Wandered Through Fog

I wandered through fog today, thick-headed, 
Drooping, an unwatered plant,
Weary from having been shaken awake
By a fictitious riot that culminated
In a vicious murder by a rabid crowd,
Egged on by a soulless leader,
Also fictional, as far as I know,
Invented over one hundred fifty years ago,
But all too real, all too much like
Current rabid crowds, real ones,
Egged on to recent vicious murders, actual ones,
By soulless leaders, one in particular.
The resemblance was striking
Between these events and their perpetrators,
Unrelated by ideologies,
But identical in their darkness,
Historical twins, along with their hideous brethren
From uncountable other ages and places.
Their demon howl echoes down the centuries, 
The bloody legacy of a species
That dreams of heaven
With both feet planted in hell.

1.Think of a time when you felt rage about some wrong in the world. 
2.If you have not felt rage about the wrongs of others, what has kept you from feeling that?
3.What, if anything, did you do in response to the wrong? If you didn’t do anything, what could you do?

The Thinking Poet - The Lion 

The Lion

I see the lion over the dome,
Flexed, crouched, ready to spring,
Jagged teeth and claws
Able to rip flesh from bone.
You, in your factless fantasy,
Thought he was there to destroy,
When he was actually there to protect
The defeat of evil, your evil, by good,
The vanquishing of falsehood, your falsehood, by truth,
The overcoming of violence, your violence, by justice.
You now have an opportunity
To attack or join the lion,
Though it will cost you your illusions
And require of you a humility
That you once banished.
A turning is called for,
But it is entirely 

1. In your life what is the guardian agains evil, falsehood, violence, and injustice? Is it effective, or is it failing?
2. How would you know if you were on the wrong side of that conflict, and what would you do, if you realized that you were?
3. What illusions do you need to abandon? What humility do you need to return to, and what do you need to turn from or toward?

The Thinking Poet - Napoleon 


Napoleon crossed the Nieper
And claimed innocence.
He took city after Russian city,
Protesting that Alexander started it all.
His gargantuan need to be right,
To be unanswered, unopposed,
Placed his picture in the hall of shame
Where dictators, despots, and petty bullies
Strut their short, fat egos,
Too deluded to fathom the great contempt 
They have earned in the tomes of history,
Still believing the fundamental lie
They told the world and themselves,
That they are great and must be so
In order to be of any human worth whatsoever.
He reappears from time to time
Throughout the pages of humanity
To remind us all of the virus inside
Which, given too much power,
Like water germinating an evil seed,
Can turn any one of us
Into a monstrous, murderous wretch.
We, the armies of Russia, must drive him back 
Again and again, vigilant and humble,
For the battle on the western steppe 
Also rages inside us.

1. What do you have to do to prove your worth? How does that urge affect others?
2. Like Napoleon, what urge to power lurks inside you, and what does it take to bring it to life? 
3. How do you fight against that “evil seed”? What causes you to win or lose that fight?