Blurred Lines

truth at the flip of a coin

heads or tails

you still lose

do not adjust your set

even if it is

out of focus



blurred lines

merging into a gray morass

indecipherable enigma's

everything

and next to nothing

reality is transformed



fact becomes fiction

life becomes reality

alternate is the new the norm

art is no more

drink and feast

for tomorrow you die

© 2017 michael d emmerich

Over the Horizon

what lies over the horizon

what is at the end of the road

a light?

an escape?

a void?



a sigh

of relief

or an expectation

overcome with emotion



weak at the knees

weak

must be strong

stand tall



breath deep

savour the end

the light rapidly advances

emerging into.....

© 2017 michael d emmerich

At What Cost

Been thinking a lot of late about the cost of service, the sacrifice, be it medical, fire, police and military. Read a few clinical articles in the week in JEMS, on PTSD and how services don’t deal with it, and reread an article I wrote awhile back and the article I quoted.


the price you pay

come so far

waited so long

worked so hard

only to be in a dream

heaven or hell

it always changes



dark holds the light at bay

the more you give

the more they take

the more they live

the more you die

stand firm

fight for the price you've paid



pay in blood

sometimes your own

some cease feeling

for themselves or others

teases and the doubts

solved by being

uncomfortably numb

made it back home

but how?



checking out is possible

but you can never leave

you can't walk away

from the price you pay

nothing more wretched

than what must be endured

been through hell

is it all worth it?

© 2017 michael d emmerich

Image © 2011-2017 DanSun PhotoArt – www.dansunphotos.com

Into the Woods

hay little sister

do you understand

no red cape in the woods

will save you



hearts of darkness

bleed on the dark side

all the way

to the golden gate



be warned

scary things lurk in the woods

they said in hushed whispers

as I entered



looking back over my shoulder

with a faint smile

I said

I know....

© 2017 michael d emmerich

 

The Bard of New Jersey

This is not a definitive article on The Boss, rather it is just my ramblings of an artist I greatly admire and respect, for so many reasons; mainly for his strong social consciousness and the way he juxtaposes darkness and light, despair and hope, life and death; all the while documenting life as he see the world.

Most of his songs focus on the marginalized, the working-class, people making their way in the world, getting through the daily grind. He has spent most of his musical career documenting the daily struggle of people who live in an country (America) where the status quo is:

enforced by a corpocratic government that allows only the rich to get richer

His songs offer glimpses of loss, confusion, hope, faith, resolve, death and destruction; caused by life, politics and government mismanagement. He continually offers hope, at times only glimpses, but it is there for those who are looking, as they are tested by the fire. Emerging from the furnace of life scarred but whole.
I sink beneath the river cool and clear
Drifting down I disappear
I see you on the other side
I search for the peace in your eyes
I break above the waves
I feel the sun upon my face
Paradise – from the Rising 2002
Springsteen is not scared to ask the hard questions that confront the working man. In the above quoted album The Rising; there are tales of great suffering, but there is joy, hope, and a possibility of new tomorrow, without an empty sky. Springsteen says, he was “concerned with those [relationship] ideas: that if you don’t connect yourself with your family and to the world, you feel like you’re disappearing, fading away”.
He has the ability to bring beauty to tragedy, and shine light where it should not exist. Some of his greatest work, in my opinion, are his three acoustic albums, they are stark, dark and raw. They claw at the very fabric of society, lifting the covers and showing the dark underbelly, that exists right in front of us, but we are at times, to blind to see.
It’s songwriting, you know, but in the sense that there’s a geography to it, there’s a landscape, both a physical landscape and an emotional landscape, where I’m trying to capture the essence of an individual’s life in some sense. What’s he striving for? What’s he struggling with? Where is he?
Bruce Springsteen in conversation with Adam Sweeting 2010
The three acoustic albums are Nebraska (1982), The Ghost of Tom Joad (1995) and Devils and Dust (2005). I would say this triptych is essential listening – in one sitting – for all those hardcore Springsteen fans, during which you would be hard pressed to survive with dry eyes.
The stark, dark acoustic masterpiece, The Ghost Of Tom Joad, which celebrates its 21st  anniversary this November, is considered by many to be a sequel to Nebraska (1982) due to its tone, mood and context. It skirts the darkness at the edges of our towns and peripheral vision. Its as real and relevant today as it was then, whether you live in the USA, Europe or South Africa. The austere guitar plays out against a dark post apocalypse economic wasteland visited upon us by powers (governments) beyond our control. The opening and title track – The Ghost of Tom Joad – reminds us that there are still plenty of people living in the margins who need somebody to fight on their behalf. Be it refugees at sea in the Mediterranean, Mexicans been sent back across the border, Syrians walking across Europe, Somalians been killed by warlords or Zimbabwean fleeing a tyrant.
Wherever a hungry newborn baby cries
Where there’s a fight ‘gainst the blood and hatred in the air
Look for me Mom I’ll be there
Wherever there’s somebody fightin’ for a place to stand
Or decent job or a helpin’ hand
Wherever somebody’s strugglin’ to be free
Look in their eyes Mom you’ll see me.”
Bruce Springsteen – The Ghost of Tom Joad – 1995

25th ANNIVERSARY ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME CONCERT
Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band with Tom Morello – Ghost of Tom Joad – Madison Square Garden, NYC – 2009/10/29&3

What draws me to Springsteen? It’s a combination of his gripping raw lyrics, social consciousness, not afraid to have an opinion even if it means losing fans, and then there is his rollicking rock sound when he rips loose with the E-Street Band. I love it when he tackles the powers that be head on, with a hungry heart for the the downtrodden. Springsteen is not scared to tilt at windmills he even called out Trump as a “con man” on “That’s What Makes Us Great,” his new protest song with longtime collaborator Joe Grushecky.

Don’t tell me a lie
And sell it as a fact
I’ve been down that road before
And I ain’t going back
As long as Springsteen keeps churning them out I will keep listening and loving his music, long may the magic last . Here are a few of my favourite Springsteen Albums and Songs … was tough as always to keep the selection concise, especially the songs. Would love to hear your favourite songs and albums.
Peace and love to you all, know matter where you are born or roam
My Favourite Bruce Albums (in date order)
Darkness on the Edge of Town – 1978
The River – 1980
Nebraska – 1982
Ghost of Tom Joad – 1995
The Rising – 2002
Devils and Dust – 2005
Magic – 2007

My Favourite Bruce Songs (in no particular order) – some still bring a tear to my eye

Keeping it to 12 as I did with my Dylan listing 🙂
American Skins
Seeds – Live 75 – 85 version
Ghost of Tom Joad
Paradise
Missing – included on the soundtrack to the 1995 Sean Penn film The Crossing Guard
Blood Brothers
My Fathers House
Secret Garden
Trapped
Lift Me Up – A must listen, you will not believe how beautiful his voice is on this acoustic number
Countin’ on a Miracle – Acoustic version – Originally on The Rising
Devils and Dust
The last word from Bruce: “I open the door, I climb the stairs…,”  completes this post Thanks 🙂

Self Portrait

life is a mystery

my tournament's begun

a pickled piper plays his piccolo

the choir softly sings

my game commences

including expenses



confidential information?

no its my life

not a public inquiry

the greatest work of art commences

my life



the pen is poised

ink-pot awaits

the brushes are ready

rainbow colours mixed

clean pages await

orchestra warms up

slowly the grinding wheel turns



what will be my epitaphI don't know”

who sets the rules



attempt what is not certain

when will certainty arrive

divining signs mislead

my valuable delusion



knowledge is a deadly friend

inspiration emerges from the womb

confusion, questions, not knowing

swarms of questions always emerge

small questions

flying on mighty wings



the rainbow fades

the ink runs dry

dry nibs scar the once clean slate

leaving to never return

confusion will be my epitaph

© 2017 michael d emmerich

 

Paranoid, but Alive

a natural state of perception

acknowledging

that possible

negative truth

of our universe



behind its mask

lies that face of decay

hiding

always ready



paranoia declares

the end result

of all eventuality

is death



intimacy with death

the essence of creative thinking

fuels our passion

tending not to be life-affirming

rather, a

negative potential



taking to its logical conclusion

life in its abundance

that’s the secret

to life eternal

paranoia

that’s how we do it

© 2017 michael d emmerich

 

Silent Rage

in the still of the night

silence reigns

until

it is rent asunder.. by that 

chilling sound.......

the silent scream...

it rips across

the valley floor

for all who do not hearto hear

condemning them

to a sleepless night.....

filed with dreams..

just another night

of the waking dead

© 2017 michael d emmerich

 

A Matter of Life

air goes in and out

blood goes round and round

that says the medic

keeps you alive



in sickness and death

illness and injury

not all goes as it should

this is well noted



blood and guts

sickness and death

that last …..

potential breath

affirms our quest



intimacy with death

fuels our passion

in life in its abundance

ours

and yours …

the next patient

© 2017 michael d emmerich