The Thought That Lingers: Part Twelve

The passionate thought that lingers in my head
The ever lingering  festering thought
Is that of knowing who I truly am
The corporeal me of flesh inhabiting a soul
The thought of why I’m here; and what I’m meant to be; and to become.

Beware ye of your thoughts and how you use them
They are divine gifts scripted to serve humanity and guide it.
Misdirected, they cause injury, harm, deceit; and even warfare.
The choice is always ours how we direct these thoughts
We have the free will and the power to be ethically upright; or to be morally debase.

These thought waves appear to us emotionally
Incorporated in our beings either positively
To serve humanity collectively for common good
Or negatively; to render harm, division, and mistrust.
The one engenders Faith, Hope, Peace and Love.  The other unravels all of that.

Man as actor; and as subject
Is but a ‘choosing’ agent of this energy
Of his thoughts that serve as author
Of the very life he feigns to fashion
Making thoughts as subject; and man as object.

Man is therefore situated; both at the center
And periphery; in Time and Space
Somewhere in the Betwixt
Somewhere in the Between
A fixed star ever on the move.

This is the complex nature of our being
Of liminal man ever hovering; consciously or unconsciously
In the Betwixt and the Between
A man of consciousness; collectively unconscious
A man therefore of two distinct natures.

Man is ethically lofty at his very best
When he subverts the flesh to elevate the spirit
Descending to the bottomless pit
When, bereft of mind, he wallows like a swine
Savoring that which abhors the senses of human justice.

This, then, is man possessed of two natures
Reptilian hindbrain man, equipped also with forebrain
The former holds him prisoner of his desires
The latter enables him to rise above those needs
Man, in deed, is of the Betwixt and the Between.

A being of liminality is what we are
Endeavoring ever to be supra-liminal
To be evolved from our subliminal natures
A being yet remaining in the Betwixt and the Between
This is indeed the pervasive thought that lingers yet.

Strange things — the thoughts that we inhabit
Stranger yet — the thoughts that inhabit us
Corporeal beings in form we are
Corporeal beings called matter
Dark energy in its most elemental nature.

Energy, perceived consciously by us as the animus of human ego
And by the dreaming mind as kinetic quantum particles of infinite state
Rationalized by ‘waking mind’ as ‘altered state’ energy of souls
Who then should we say we manifestly are
Who then; and better yet, what then,  can we potentially become?

An ancient philosopher and sage, inquiring
Once probed his disciples with this burning mystery
Requiring their discernment of the highest caliber
Yet, within the question is a potent clue
Of the Interrogative Subjective ‘Who’ in pursuit of the Knowing Objective ‘I.’

Imagine it! The audacious one of extraversion
In pursuit of the hidden one of introversion
The ‘Das Ich’ ego in reluctant courtship with the advocate servant soul
The composite parts unconsciously seeking to achieve wholeness
The conscious mind reluctantly embracing its unconscious Self.

We all at best inhabit two distinct selves
The pompous outer self called ego
Sustained by its anchoring core of psyche
So, who then must we confess we truly are
That which pretentiously babbles; or that which articulates without need of utterances.

We must assert: Composite beings of dual natures then, we are
Was not this observation made before
By Scottish novelist Robert Louis Stevenson
Pondering “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”
He of two personas; one hidden, the other exposed.

This, then, remains forever the question
This, then, remains forever the thought that lingers
Man is forever an enigma to himself
Made in the image of that which is divine
Man forever bears the stain of that which makes him human.

O liminal man of the Betwixt and the Between
O liminal man of dualities ever seeking unity
Suffer the child within you to emerge, to come forward
For from such gesture can you be healed
This is the passionate thought that lingers in the human breast.

About this poem

This 17-stanza confessional poem, “The Thought That Lingers: Part Twelve,” is Part Twelve of a collection of twelve poems that are laden with interconnecting ideas and with the interweaving central theme of “The Thought That Lingers” (hence the title of the entire of twelve poems), forming altogether an anthology of metaphysical, philosophical, existential poetry that was composed in the year 2000 and later published on

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Written on December 12, 2000

Submitted by karlcfolkes on April 22, 2024

Modified by karlcfolkes on May 19, 2024

3:48 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic heptameter
Characters 4,193
Words 761
Stanzas 17
Stanza Lengths 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5

Karl Constantine FOLKES

Retired educator of Jamaican ancestry with a lifelong interest in composing poetry dealing particularly with the metaphysics of self-reflection; completed a dissertation in Children’s Literature in 1991 at New York University entitled: An Analysis of Wilhelm Grimm’s ‘Liebe Mili’ (translated into English as “Dear Mili”), Employing Von Franzian Methodological Processes of Analytical Psychology. The subject of the dissertation concerned the process of Individuation. more…

All Karl Constantine FOLKES poems | Karl Constantine FOLKES Books

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Discuss the poem The Thought That Lingers: Part Twelve with the community...

  • karlcfolkes
    Talia, This is a follow up. I’ve since observed with great delight and admiration the breath and scope of your poetry with its sweeping multilingual appeal as it embraces and harmonizes its lyrical message in concert with the cornucopia offerings of nature. Such a delightful pleasure! 
    LikeReply1 month ago
  • karlcfolkes
    Thank you Talygarza for your continuous inspiring remarks; most appreciated.
    LikeReply1 month ago
  • talygarza
    Very poignant meditations, more poetry like this truly concerned with human nature. Inspired me good thoughts.
    LikeReply1 month ago
  • karlcfolkes
    An In-depth Reflection of Who We Are as Humans
    LikeReply1 month ago


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"The Thought That Lingers: Part Twelve" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 17 Jun 2024. <>.

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