Plato's Play-Doh

Play-Doh for the Mind

Month: July, 2014

A Recently Discovered Account of a Certain Species

Ant Short Story Pic

The following brief account will, by choice of my own, take place in 1872. Forgive me for my writing skills, for I am not, by any means, a writer.

This description will include the sights seen and the actions taken by a certain living being. Let me first, however, describe to you the attributes of this being. It is a male being of normal body type (of course this all depends on what one constitutes as “normal”) and of average size for its kind. He ventures through towns and forests alike, and is of high esteem to his fellow peers. He is also very determined and extremely pertinacious, never letting anything get in the way of the task that is at hand. He could be called a hard worker, but that would be an understatement. He is one of the strongest beings on earth, yet every second of every day he must look askance at his surroundings and be keenly aware of his presence. He is a carnivore, and devours the most unusual creatures. Furthermore, his speed and quickness is almost incomparable to any other being. He has the ability to cover over fifteen body lengths in under a second, and that is just at the beginning of such a sprint (for we all know that the start of a sprint is the slowest).

Let me now describe to you a day in the life of this being. He hunts in the early morning and is almost always successful in bringing down his prey. His peers may join in on the hunt, which usually brings about teamwork and not scuffles. Although of high intellect, he may stray off his turf unintentionally at times, which can be extremely dangerous. During such times, he may encounter perceived predators that have the ability to kill him without the least bit of effort. When times like these arise, he must use his quickness and intelligence to lead himself out of danger. Usually his peers will help him escape in such circumstances and assist him in returning to his rightful habitat. His peers are invaluable, for not only do they look out for each other, they collaborate when work needs to be done. If an area this being would like to venture to is out of his reach, his peers will build him a ladder in which he can use to access the aforementioned area. I could go on and on, but these are the vital facts that I feel you should know.

This account describes a being of exceptional merit. Although overlooked by many others, he has the abilities that almost no other living thing can measure up to. I am of course talking about Solenopsis Queritor, or the gripper ant. I am the sole discover and cataloguer of this remarkable being, having found him back in 1869 on the banks of the Amazon near the city of Iquitos, Peru.

I felt in necessary to acquaint you with such a remarkable being, and in relaying this brief account of its physical description, traits and skills, I hope that you yourself will be just as amazed as I am with its inhabitation here on earth.


-John Myers Philmore

Entomologist and Professor

University of London, 1883


©Russell Lehmann 2014

My Demons

 My Demons pic

The imps, the demons, they all live in Hell!

Alas! I live there too; their presence I seek to quell

Their actions exhaust me mentally; they exploit all my vulnerabilities

When they are unmindful, I step on coals to reach their nests

I tread so very vigilantly, for one sound could disturb their rest

I must strive to conquer every last one, for to my happiness they hold the key


Straight from The Inferno, they haunt me in my sleep

They intrude upon my only thoughts that I deem fit to keep

Help me Lord! For I am in frantic need of guidance from your heart!

These creatures live to prey on me

They deprive me of my solemn liberties

Help me Lord! For they are on the doorstep of tearing my life apart!


They pierce my soul with tridents

The pain leaves me seeking guidance

Yet I am in this fight alone; Hell is nothing more than a void of anguish

How to win this fight I do not know

I try and try, but all is woe

Still I will fight with all my heart, until death becomes my only wish


When in doubt, I try to run

The imps and demons think it fun

They chase me until I fall into the cavernous pits of fire

I start to melt

I cry for help

As the wicked fiends laugh and play their lyres


Hell is becoming hotter

My self-assurance has been slaughtered

I search within myself to find that I’m too weak to carry on

My mind has been in so much pain

I ponder stopping this fight, for it has been in vain

I pray to the Lord to help me endure, and for these evil beings to be gone


I will always reside in this cavern of flames

Yet I have no complaints, there is no one to blame

I hope soon that my failures will help me brew a potent vigor

That will defeat these doers of iniquity

That will crush their actions of pure immorality

And help me to live a life in which I defend my thoughts with forceful rigor


©Russell Lehmann 2014


Aokigahara Pic

The dense forest lets little light in

Branches are chafed and scarred from ropes

The Sea of Trees drowns the people within

People who have lost everything; hope


Many who travel here will not travel home

Unless home to them is the shadow of death

Bodies hanging here, and over there lay the bones

Of those who came to draw their last breath


The forest of Aokigahara is destitute of brightness

For the trees do their best to block out the sun

One could say that these trees are full of shyness

Or perhaps they’re ashamed of what their branches have done


These woods of bereavement will continue to house

Lifeless bodies that were once filled with pride

The doomed entrants will continue to allow

This once beautiful forest to be chided and despised


*Aokigahara is a 14-square-mile forest that lies at the northwest base of Mount Fuji in Japan. The forest contains a number of rocky, icy caverns, a few of which are popular tourist destinations. Due to the wind-blocking density of the trees and an absence of wildlife, the forest is known for being exceptionally quiet. The forest has a historic association with demons in Japanese mythology and is a popular place for suicides.

©Russell Lehmann 2014

Corvus Frugilegus

Corvus Frugilegus Pic

I have always loved animals

And they’ve loved me back

My tender caresses

Make them instantly attached


The finest of animals

Would have to be birds

Wild birds, in fact,

For their beauty need not words


For several years I have observed

All types of avian

Enthusiastically watching them

Glide with the wind


I even feed the pests

Crows, rooks and pigeons

Tossing bread left and right

As they follow me in legions


But one day occurred

Such an unfortunate deed

When a rook nipped my finger

While I was feeding it seed


How mad I became!

I wondered just why

I wanted to strike the bird

And watch it drop before my eyes!


An urge of such hatred!

To see it writhe would be nice,

To hear it caw with such pain

As it gives up its fight


Sagacious I was

For I clenched the rooks throat

This brought me the joy

That I had such eagerly hoped!


As the rook grew weaker

He cawed one last cry

I felt such a release

As it finally died


After such an utter rush,

My vision soon left

My sense went numb

As I started to sweat


I soon found myself

Jumping out of my bed

Disgusted by my dream

Until I remembered what I had read


Just before I drifted off,

I read a short story by Poe

Which must have induced a phantasm

For it indeed induced woe


A story of such evil

And of delirious acts

For I feel you must be informed

If you are to read “The Black Cat”


©Russell Lehmann 2014