(for Bernie Gurley)
Even in a palace, life may be lived well.
So spake the Imperial Sage, wisest of men,
The heavens raged. The ruler’s soul stayed still—
For what was sanity but peace of mind?
Against this peace vast forces stood aligned.
Effect upon the Emperor was nil.
He knew that only movements of the will
And judgments rashly made, to reason blind,
Could matter. Caesar was the role assigned—
But ἄνθρωπος the purpose to fulfill.
Deep in her cave, the Pythoness cried out.
Such madness was an unrepentant sign
That even gods will stomp their feet and shout,
That even gods get drunk on more than wine.
On his path, Marcus never had a doubt—
Though madness, well he knew, could be divine.