Plato’s Chariot

This is a 1/2/3/4/5/6/7 form poem about Plato’s model of the mind, a chariot drawn by two horses Epithumia and Thumos, guided by the charioteer, Logos. It’s clear who Plato thought should be in charge…

And Spirit
One steed unruly
The other one stalwart
Reason with the Charioteer’s crop
Giving direction to Passions and Spirit
But going nowhere at all without them.

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The Testament of Wolfgang Orcrates

For this little piece, I created a fictional character from a fantasy RPG, a supergenius member of a species known as Orcs in the popular culture… Yes, the same sort of brutal creatures in the Lord of the Rings books and movies, only this character is one of the smart ones, both Socrates and Mozart in one annoying, pedantic, but brilliant, funny, and very easygoing individual. ~ Troythulu

My name is Wolfgang Orcrates,

An urbane Orc, if you so please.

Though even choosing to please not,

It shall not stymie plan nor plot.

My brow, though furrowed, be it must,

Reflects control of combat lust.

A different sort of thinker, I,

So to myself I must not lie.

I sit upon this largish rock,

To count the ships moored at the dock.

A symphonic masterpiece I make,

Music composed at edge of lake.

This opportunity I take,

To be just Wolfie, as I spake.


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Why I’m not “Staunch”

I cannot intuitively understand why staunch adherence to ideology and partisanship should be considered virtues. “Staunch” to me equates to a tendency for stubbornly dogmatic, inflexible, and often dangerously reactionary thinking.

That’s the impression I get from people who defensively boast of just how staunch they are when they talk politics among those who already agree with them, trying to score tribal recognition points. It’s funny that more and more public political talk involves preaching to the choir, no real discourse at all, just sounding in an echo chamber.

I suppose that I could formulate reasons why staunchness might be considered virtuous, and comprehend those reasons intellectually, but it seems innately senseless to me, and any arguments I might use to justify it would be pretty poor given my understanding of our collective human experience with ideological extremism.

My own view is that, no, partisan loyalty and staunch devotion to ideology are not virtues, cannot remake reality, and are one of our most dangerous tendencies, one that may very well bring about our extinction as a species.

At the very least, to me, extreme devotion to any set of ideas is nothing to brag about. An attitude that demands inflexibility of mind in the face of new argument and evidence is not something to be particularly proud of.

Gamers’ Lament

Polyhedral dice appear,
giving gamers much to fear.

Players show up unannounced,
and promptly characters get trounced.

Fighter, Rogue, Cleric, Mage,
stoke the Dungeon Master’s rage.

Defeating all his NPCs,
racking up those EXPs.

Lich’s plot, and dragon’s scheme,
foiled by door, illusion’s dream.

Mayhem-bringers at the table,
their characters least likely fabled.

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Pirouette of Worlds

North America and Pelican Nebulae (narrowband)

North America and Pelican Nebulae (narrowband) (Photo credit: DJMcCrady)

A shifting pattern on the walls,
that I see as the sun falls,
leading way to fall of night,
and the shine of distant light.

Mighty stars, all far away,
to their worlds give light of day.

When each sphere turns ‘round its sun,
and on its axis it is spun,
each tiny world shines like a spark,
in the endless, silent dark.

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