#micropoetry No. 4

Continuing the challenge to keep writing poems of 144 characters or less. Here are three more #micropoems. Poetry for twitter 🙂

1.

my finger is on the trigger

needle is in the vein

my blood is on my hands

my soul is in disarray



2.

lost is the answer

question remains’ uncertain

all that is certain

is mortality



3.

red mist clears

sun breaks through the clouds

my soul is in my hands

red poppies look beautiful

in the cold morning light

© 2016 Michael D Emmerich

Down to the River

After writing an article; The Art of Silence, and upon further reflection, I penned the following poem. In light of the books and music I have been indulging in of late; this took the poem down a darker path, than initially intended.

everybody should be quiet

near a little stream

where the wild roses grow

and just listen



down to the river we ride

be silent, listen to your heartbeat

take my hand, I'll take yours

to much madness and sorrow

the loudest words are not spoken

living in this age of rage



down to the river we go

walking towards the light

this beautiful place

wearing many guises

sending me down the river tonight

my baby and I



the river runs clear in the night

no words needed to uncover

an ability to let things go

take solace in the silence

an inner absence of preoccupation

masks the hidden messages of compliance



do you know where

the wild roses grow

down by the river

together you may get away

baptised in the river

cleansed

be delivered

© 2016 Michael D Emmerich

The Art of Silence

If I cast my eye over my writings for the past 2 years (poetry and creative), the subject of silence, solitude and solace, weighs heavy over the pages. When I then received an article from tweetspeakpoetryBook Club Announcement: The Art of Stillness which discusses a new book by Pico Iyer:  The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere (TED Books). I had pause to delve back into my writings and cast my net wider, across the subject of being silent in a noisy world, and how we need to learnt to cultivate, this lost art of being silent in a frenetic noisy world.

Thoughts, visions, imagery; evoking pictures of silence
Be silent, listen to your heartbeat, and just be
Silence; sometimes the loudest words are the ones not spoken

The writer of the tweetspeak article, LW Lindquist, speaks of the “space between our thoughts”. The importance of the said versus the unsaid, the importance of what is not said, in the moments of silence, which can carry more weight. It is this quest for the power of silence and the solace of the silence, which has been discussed by the likes of Marcel Proust, Mahatma Gandhi, Emily Dickinson and Josef Pieper (amongst others), who have found richness in stillness. The incredible insight that comes with making time for stillness.

In a TED talk by Pico Iyer: The art of stillness  he speaks about:

Our world of constant movement and distraction,
and he teases out strategies we all can use to take back a few minutes
out of every day, or a few days out of every season.

If you feel overwhelmed by the demands of the constant chase and rush, that our society at times demands of us, then I encourage you to devote 15 minutes of your rushed day, and listen to Pico, and then reflect, in silence.

During Leonard Cohen’s five year stay at a Zen monastery, he wrote the poems for his book: The Book of Longing, and he was also joined for a while by Pico Iyer, who writes in his book the Art of Stillness, that Cohen’s “name in the monastery, Jikan, referred to the silence between two thoughts.” It is worth stopping what you are doing and be invited into his (Cohen’) world of beauty, women, and lonesome hours. It is an emotional journey, honest and direct, still, and sometimes lost.

Decades before the Benedictine monk David Steindl-Rast, sat contemplating on how we came to lose our ability to relax and be, and how it could be reclaimed. The very institutions of learning, were once intended as a mecca of “leisure” and contemplative activity, presently prepare us for a lifetime of industrialized conformity.

Josef Pieper (German Philosopher  May 4, 1904–November 6, 1997) on his model  most of the three types of work: work as activity, work as effort, and work as social contribution, and how against the contrast of each a different core aspect of leisure is revealed.

Against the exclusiveness of the paradigm of work as activity
there is leisure as “non-activity” — an inner absence of preoccupation,
a calm, an ability to let things go, to be quiet.

A few years back when I was sitting relaxing with my wife one Sunday afternoon, she commented:

I’m there, you’re there
We are silent in each other’s presence

Each engaged in our own thoughts/activities, but still at one; it inspired me to pen a sonnet: The Sonnet of Silent Conversations

the solace in the silence
where words are not needed to uncover
the hidden messages of compliance

The silence echoes around the enclosed walls of our minds, encouraging us to break down the alienation and find solace in the silence, and learn the importance of being silent, quiet, amongst those we feel close to, and then taking this silence out into the rushed and frenetic world in which we live. This can help us to slow down in this age of constant movement and immediate gratification. When speed is king, anyone or anything that gets its way, slows the pace down, becomes the enemy. Thanks to speed, we are living in the age of rage. That too is ironic, the fast pace of life alienates more than the comfort we can find in silence.

By opting out we do not have to drop out.

The Solace in the Silence

the Zen of not F#%king Up

Being reading “War” by Sebastian Junger, and he writes about “the Zen of not fucking up” and the consequences thereof. On an aside, it’s an excellent read of modern day warfare. Highly recommended. That comment got me thinking, reading, writing and then thinking some more.  This poem grew out of Zen, War, Dylan and Junger! If you have an aversion to swearing please don’t read this 🙂

down in the valley

going to the mountaintop

find your Zen in the valley

take it with you on your way on high

no Zen up there my brother

its all down here below



deal with the concrete, the grit

take wisdom from the now

not invisible stuff from ancient books

shame on your greed, your wicked schemes

modern times thunders in the alley

causing a ruckus in the valley



everything has potential consequences

push for the high mindfulness

of not fucking up

don’t worry about being worried

care about what you care about

don’t give a fuck about the rest



learn how not to worry about being worried

be more joyful, kinder to others

plant and see what the earth brings forth

follow the zen art

of not fucking up



enlighten up

don’t take yourself to seriously

you don't need any guide

you already know the way

if things don’t work for you

then just say, fuck it!

© 2016 Michael D Emmerich

#micropoetry No. 3

Continuing the challenge to keep writing poems of 144 characters or less. Here are three more #micropoems. Poetry for twitter 🙂

 

1.

a moment in time

when worlds collide

when lovers unite

chaos and disorder

we gaze into this abyss

we see life, love

lust and eternity

 

2.

the beat of your heart

touch of your tongue

heat of your skin

silk of your hair

welcome to the seduction arcade

 

3.

dew glistens across the valley

casting fast disappearing rainbows

chased by bleeding colours across the sky

a new palette of shades awaits

this ephemeral beauty

must not escape

 

© 2016 Michael D Emmerich

On the Celebration of Creativity

I am sure many of you out there seek for ways to tap into your creativity and seek inspiration from various sources. Music and reading are two of my main sources, I have previously written extensively on the music and poetry, that I use to tap into my well of creativity. Thus far, I have not delved into the books that I read on writing styles, creative input and how to manage the day to day challenge of sitting at ones desk, and hopefully write. Here are a few of the books that I keep going back to, again and again; they are well thumbed and travelled (with my journal and colour coded notebooks) and remain close to my desk, most are littered with tabs and post it notes.

A most intriguing read is Paul Zollo’s book of interviews with songwriters (62 to be exact) on how they create their magic, how they have succeed in creating timeless memoires for the listener: Songwriters On Songwriting  – Many of my favourite musicians that I listen to (or whose lyrics I read – have most of Dylan and Springsteen’s lyrics in book form), are thumb indexed so I easily can dive back to reread their creative processes. I wrote a more in-depth article, on the section in the book, about Bob Dylan Learning from Creative People – Bob Dylan  –  who Van Morrison has called the worlds greatest Poet – cue Nobel literature signature tune here 🙂

A small gem of a book is written by Steven Pressfield –  The War of Art – it runs us through the psychology of the creative process. See my post The War of Art for a more detailed review of the book.

Two of the earliest books I read on writing and creativity are written by, in my opinion, the legends/gods of writing; Stephen King and Ray Bradbury. King’s Danse Macabre  is a well thumbed gem, written in the early 1980’s, I received my copy from my brother in 1988 as a Christmas present. It is a ranging wild trip through the history of horror, how it works and how he brings this process to bear in his own inimitable way through hi many novels. Bradury’s Zen in the Art of Writing – is a fascinating trip, 11 essays on the pleasures of writing, by one of the most entertaining writers (sci-fi, horror, screen plays, essays, poems and much more). His central premise throughout the book (and his life) is that writing must be a celebration, not a chore. I highly recommend this book for a unique perspective by a most amazing man, on his greatest passion – writing.

Lastly two books, I keep close at hand, which some would find unusual or different 🙂 one to aid me in pushing my creative boundaries, and the other for a unique perspective on words and their meaning (true or intended) when I am grasping for a different view of the creative road.

The one to push my creative boundaries, is an amazing thick, huge hard cover book by Guillermo Del ToroCabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions – in which he reveals the inspirations behind his signature artistic motifs, horror creations, writings and much more. It contains amazing photos of his creations, items from his collection and pages from his notebooks. It is a unique opportunity to see into his creative mind and process. I find that aspect of an artists creative process interesting; how do they get from A to B or Z?

The other well thumbed book is – The Devils Dictionary – by Ambrose Bierce, a satirical dictionary written by American journalist and author Ambrose Bierce. Originally published in 1906 as The Cynic’s Word Book. If you are looking for a unique spin on words, with a rich sense of irony then its a keeper. Here are a few timeless examples:

  • Egotist: (n.) A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me.
  • Faith: (n.) Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.
  • Lawyer: (n.) One skilled in circumvention of the law.
  • Marriage: (n.) A household consisting of a master, a mistress, and two slaves, making in all, two.
  • Religion: (n.) A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.

I trust dear gentle reader (and writer), that you have enjoyed this creative jaunt with me, finding it both entertaining and helpful. I would love your comments; with respect to what inspires you, what you read, listen to, or delve into? When you need to troll the depths of your creative well, to discover the hidden gems that lie below.

May we always lust and thirst to celebrate our creativity.

Michael D Emmerich

#micropoetry No. 2

Continuing the challenge to keep writing poems of 144 words or less. Here are two more #micropoems.

1.

sun breaks through

red mist parts

your breath across my cheek

river runs through life

rubicon, styx

which ferry to take

 

2.

the comfort of new skin

we gaze at discarded masques

the face in the mirror is more loved

by the ego & the beloved

 

© 2016 Michael D Emmerich

Dying to Live

days spent around death

encourages one to live

day by day we die

until we choose to live

life is not lost by dying

life is lost by not living



time never runs out

challenge each day to live

choose to live

with intent

facing life with hope

each day is a new life



each day the butterfly emerges

allow it to flap its wings

to create change

changing the smallest details

completely changes the outcome



grasp the live by the throat

demand to live

live each day to the fullest

until we are absolutely assured

that life will escape us



demand that your life

demonstrates this principle

understanding our limited existence

shout out that each day must be taken

living every day as if it were your last

for one day you're sure to be right

 

© 2016 Michael D Emmerich

#micropoetry No. 1

Taking up the challenge to write poems of 144 words or less, more to follow, having fun, hope you enjoy reading these 3  🙂 Poetry for twitter 🙂

intimate, hushed
solace in the silence
conversing by delicious touch
seduced by a smile
& flirtatious wink
the beauty of the silent bond
that ties two stars into orbit
requiring no response
other than a soft touch
or knowing look
the day fades to grey
shifting from grey to dark
before we long for the promise of a new day
we cling to the dark

© 2015 Michael D Emmerich

Cogito Ergo Sum (Rise Up – Part 3)

we are on a journey

on a quest

into the darkened heart

that of life, doubts and dreams

the search for proof of life



strength in life, rests on doubt

accept that which you know to be true

are dream states virtual reality

is life one constant dream

what is real?



let knowledge be your secure foundation

not the imagination thereof

but the doubt thereof

let the doubt be our proof of life

doubt creates sanity



life is stronger than anything the mind can invent

what is real are our thoughts

doubt your senses

doubt your existence

rise up and claim your reality

think,

therefore, you live

 

© 2016 Michael D Emmerich