He couldn’t bear people whose greatness endured even in solitude, poverty and impotence, people who were able to remain strong even in a dark cellar or attic.
That by embarking on some outsized project
Forces arrayed against him might be dealt
A death blow, or repelled their constant pelt
Which fell in harmony like something logicked.
He never had been tested, having been
Born into wealth and comfort, never having
To face adversity: just “win! win! win!”
Bolstered by resources of kith and kin
Was all that he had known and all his craving.
Having lacked challenge born of circumstance,
Self-confidence abounded in his person,
And masked—despite precipitous advance—
His mediocrity like any man’s;
As, thus unchecked, even good instincts coarsen.
Not having to depend on any man
As equal, he learned not to tell the truth—
Bluster and bullying provided an
Easy means to demolish any ban:
What did it matter to be called uncouth?
Inspired by his insolence and gruff
Manner of speaking—also the allure
To come from money’s seeming well enough
To handle any situation rough—
Followers clamored to him seeking cure.
Diverse their maladies and without hope,
Stemming from a discordancy in soul,
They idolized him, echoing trope for trope
Mantras he taught them, meant to help them cope
With life’s complexities beyond control.
“Lock her up!” they spewed at an apparition
He had created, sum of all their fears,
Because they feared the power of cognition
When they believed in spells and superstition,
Accusing it of crocodile tears.
The high priests of religion, in support,
Offered his acolytes an absolution,
Not minding when their prophet came up short,
This simple-minded huckster keeping court,
And, like a king, he praised their contribution.
Indeed, he loved his followers as much
As any sovereign might, but loving more
His own cabal, however out of touch
The lot of them appeared to handle such
Adversity in its constant downpour.
He stood upon the precipice, poised to act,
His followers, like lemmings, at his heel,
But years of lying made him doubt all fact,
Of harmful actions, always feel attacked.
Somehow, midst chaos, his thoughts must congeal!