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Posts Tagged ‘stoicism’

Stoic Threads

            after Ruth Stone, “Train Ride”

The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.   

     —Marcus Aurelius

The soul is stained,

is stained with red

from wishing things were different—

dark plum of longing,

burnt umber of craving,

the rubicund ache of desire.

Is it true, the soul is dyed

by the color of its thoughts?

Or perhaps the hues

are shed like veils,

shed like flimsy gossamer shifts,

and the moment we see

that they are thoughts,

they drop away

like robes that have lost

their clasps, yes, drop away

like silken shawls

that slip from naked shoulders.

But of course it’s true

the soul is dyed with the color

of its thoughts—takes on the blue

of avarice, the sticky green

of fear. Becomes the shining

golds of bliss or the navy folds

of loss. Or is it this—

the soul just seems

to don a colored dress,

like the pale rose wrap at dawn

that’s here then gone,

and the sky itself is clear.

Sometimes I feel soul stained

through and through.

Sometimes I shed even

the darkest hues,

like veils, like gossamer shifts.

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