THE TEMPERING OF THE SOUL

Written by: len carber

I have lived a thousand lives, 
died a thousand deaths.
I have loved women unbounded
and fathered an army of children.
I have killed and healed,
stolen and blessed,
fought and fled.

Jew, Christian, Muslim
I have been-- Buddhist,
Hindu and Jain, too.
I worshiped the sun and Thor, 
pagan gods galore.
I was atheist, agnostic, Marxist,
and often, just indifferent. 

I was cruel, I was kind,
hateful and forgiving.
I laid waste to cities
and wrote operas and
symphonies and little songs
to dance forever in your head.

I was poet and philanderer,
philosopher and philanthropist,
theologian and scientist-- also
guard and prisoner,
lover and betrayed.

All my lives were dreams,
each slipping away forgotten
early in dawn of the next life,
none to be recalled 
until I awaken 
in the time beyond time.