Black Mist

rollin’ and a tumblin’ it draws nigh

no warning bell tolls

this boiling tempestuous darkness

a mist of uncertainty

splashed with crimson



wrapping you in its threadbare

torn black shroud

black as the coal driven snow

no protection afforded

from the shards of blackness

…..

releasing, enveloping

or entombing?

© 2018 michael d emmerich

The Mark of Cain

cain’s mark, an unstable man

groaning and shaking on the earth

unable to release his grasp

or be the man he could be



stains of the past

scar for life

as the past passes one by

if not for you, then who?



healing eases the pain

but memories remain

leaving scars

and crosses to bear



healing, forgiveness

remembrance or a warning

that mark comes with a great burden

and a sacrificial cost?

© 2018 michael d emmerich

Thoughts on Blake’s “Marriage of Heaven & Hell”

“evil is the active springing from energy”

William Blake (28 Nov 1757 – 12 Aug 1827) English poet, painter, and printmaker

For those who have not dived into the 27 pages of William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, a composition of brief texts and accompanying engravings (done by Blake himself). I would highly recommend that you embark on this very interesting journey as Blake takes the reader on a guided tour of Hell, in which he sets out to correct some of our incorrect notions. Blake was considered mad by contemporaries for his idiosyncratic and at times iconoclastic views on religion and politics, in as much he drew inspiration from the French and American revolutions. A more recent (and very short) study, William Blake: Visionary Anarchist by Peter Marshall (1988), classified Blake and his contemporary William Godwin as forerunners of modern anarchism. In later years after his death he was/is held in high regard for his expressiveness and creativity.

Heaven is good, and Hell is bad. We have had this trite observation told to us since we were old enough to comprehend “right and wrong” – or were told we had an angel on our one shoulder and the devil on the other, each trying to pull us towards right and wrong, good and evil. We have, and still are exposed to countless stories, books, movies and fables equating Heaven with all that is good and Hell with all that is evil. Which one are we always supposed to listen to?

 ‘Attraction and Repulsion, Reason and Energy, Love and Hate, are necessary to Human existence.’

Life isn’t such cut and dried, neatly separated into such clear polarities. Does it actually make sense to see everything in terms of clear distinct opposites: good and bad, right and wrong, true and false? “What if life is more like a giant pulsing mass of energy, which not only includes but actually needs the darker impulses we normally try to avoid?”

Without contraries is no progression. Attraction and repulsion, reason and energy, love and hate, are necessary to human existence.

Each person reflects the contrary (opposite) nature of God, and that progression in life is impossible without contraries, almost as if in the extremes one finds balance. The push and pull of good and evil, this dynamic relationship is what makes us complete. We need them both to exist. Furthermore Blake explores the opposing nature of reason and of energy, believing that two types of people existed: the “energetic creators” and the “rational organizers”, or, as he calls them in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, the “devils” and “angels”. It is this vision of the dynamic relationship between a stable “Heaven” and an energized (chaotic) “Hell” that has fascinated readers of this polemic (poem) since it was composed between 1790 and 1793.

In the most famous part of the book, Blake reveals the Proverbs of Hell. These display a very different kind of wisdom from the Book of Proverbs found in the Bible. Biblical. The diabolical proverbs are provocative and paradoxical. Several of Blake’s proverbs have become famous:

“The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.”

“The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.”

 

These are the questions Blake grapples with in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, as he feels that both good and bad are necessary, interwoven parts of (our) existence. If we shut ourselves off from the bad, we’re also denying ourselves the good.

The book ends with the Song of Liberty, a prose poem where Blake uses apocalyptic imagery to incite his readers to embrace change.

Let the Priests of the Raven of Dawn, no longer in deadly black, with hoarse note curse the Sons of Joy. Nor his accepted brethren whom, tyrant, he calls free, lay the bound or build the roof. Nor pale religious lechery call that virginity that wishes, but acts not !

For everything that lives is holy

Closing Notes:

 

220px-Nebuchadnezzar_in_MoHaH

Plate from Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Too Much Blood for Words

(Bleeding Words Part 2)

Additional thoughts on this poem I wrote on 27 Feb, 2018 – Bleeding Words – my journal is littered with half finished poems and new ideas/concepts/memories; keep falling onto the pages. Just battling to put many of the ideas to bed, as finished poems, the final close out of many of the poems just escapes me at present ….

 

red stained pages

drenched, dripping

cannot see the words for blood

draining from my pen

onto the floor

pooling

coagulating

words escaping

frozen and timeless

in blood

© 2018 michael d emmerich

Colours of the Congo – 2

Autumn Moon and Sun sets  …. All in days work …  🙂

In Memoriam

My father would have been 84 today, sadly he passed away 5 years ago. I still miss him, and have been thinking about him a lot of late. The loss of a parent who was dearly loved leaves a pain that always lingers. I wrote this poem 2 years ago in 2016, and the absence is still there …

fathers are refuge from the storms of life

when that safe port passes on

when the lighthouse fades

all that is left are the memories



memories never fade

they are never forgotten or passed over

they remain



memories shine through the mists of time

even when the lights fade and no one lives there

they remain constant, eternal not ethereal

these remain, never forgotten



what was once real is now no longer

the reminders of your love do not fade

they remain



through the years we walked different paths

they diverged and merged over the years

at the end they had become one

constant reminders of our togetherness



unconditional love learnt

remains

© 2016 michael d emmerich

Mist of War

Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think hard before starting a war – Otto van Bismarck

 With all the craziness in the world at present, and ongoing conflicts and aggressive rhetoric from certain leaders …. maybe just maybe there will be less conflicts, if they themselves had to do the fighting….

the red mist descends overall

it’s to dark to see

as the eyes glaze over

into that 1000 yard stare

as the raging red rivers flow



darkness draws nigh

the veil is torn

the pathway opens on high

yes, I have seen the world

not sure which one awaits



I am coming, screams death

not a second to soon

for we have learnt nothing

from the tragic cycle of history

which is oft repeated

© 2018 michael d emmerich

Free Fall

into the distance I gaze

a flight of fancy awaits

with wings spread

soaring towards the sun



like Icarus and Lucifer

I thought, I thought of everything

warning lights ignored

navigator long since departed



on a wing and a prayer

flying to close to the sun

flew to high and to soon

it’s all melting away



I’m now freefallin’

like those before me

hell to heaven

a fall from grace



an angel awaits

enfolded by ruffled feathered wings

healing my wounds

with time

© 2018 michael d emmerich

A Shooting Star

 

Dedicated to my gorgeous, patient, long suffering, beautiful .. wife

stars-and-comets

saw your shooting star tonight

shattering the black of the night

flying across an amber palette

burning bright for all to see


that’s your mystique

slicing that veil of darkness

let your light shine through

my darlin’



you shine best

on the darkest of nights

burning brightly

chasing my dark away



that’s what you do best

dragging me to the light

my darlin’

© 2016 michael d emmerich

goodreads Review

I don’t often post reviews of books that I read, but I have to post this link to my goodreads site, as this book will be placed alongside a few other books that will never leave my desk.

I am still flicking through the pages to read sections I have flagged … I find it such an inspiring read … cannot recommend it enough.

I need to state my conflict of interest upfront – I am a HUGE Springsteen fan 🙂

Michael’s Review – Born to Run

I have been forced to place the iconic album image from the Born in the USA album … by you know who …. 😉

bruce shrugs