The 1% War

who are the soldiers of the poor?

shouts the activist

silence screams back

who fights for the rich?

the poor fight

and die for them

when the rich go to war

the poor carry the fight

the soldiers of the rich are many

pawns on an endless board

the poor has no army

only an army of ideals

an army of the mind

ideas are peaceful

history is violent


© 2016 Michael D Emmerich

Fuck War!

draft or dodge

conscription or jail

exile or war

hero traitor or coward

choices that define or break

who is the enemy

the just or unjust war

justified by the church

who stands aside

letting death slip quietly by

welcoming death

in gods name it shall be done

who chose this war

justified by the politician

arrogance greed and power

forcing boys to become men

to become killers

for the sake of an ‘ism, as told by an idiot

who has the most to lose

who binds the wounds that bleed

the scars that don’t heal

the wounds you cannot see

none but the fellow beside him

neither the church or politicians

in whose name their blood is discarded

along with their futures

whose life is to be sacrificed

not mine said the politician, suckling on the teat of corporate greed

not mine said the bishop, god made me do it

not mine said the arms dealer, I just sell death

not mine said the general, I’ve done my time

not mine said the wealthy, the poor are the pawns

not mine said the socialite, I’ll read it on page seven

who has the most to gain

At whose cost

At what cost




© 2016 Michael D Emmerich

Trust ?

Trust none of what you hear, and less of what you see

Bruce Springsteen – Magic, 2007

trust openness honesty

who to trust

what to trust

deception deceit

seen through a veil

now hidden




no rainbows

no pots of gold

hollow men

hollow words

blind men

blind followers

fire below

fire above

eyes wired shut

ears grown closed

mouths wide open

no sound

no trust

just white noise


© 2016 Michael D Emmerich

The Forgotten Soldier

history written by the victorious

remembered by the soldier

forgotten by all

battered, bruised, discarded

honour cast aside

no medals for the forgotten warrior

once forgotten

memories now return

new wounds emerge

new scars

new pain and guilt

but still society forgets

wars once popular

now become an anathema

silence abounds

but the memories remain

history written in black

but remembered in blood

history written in scars

survives beyond the fading text

politicians write the history

soldiers carry the weight of that history
© 2016 michael d emmerich
© 2016

The Greatest Escape

what makes one free

the ability to have no cares

carry no baggage

freedom to move

when are we most free

when we have no stress

when we are able to just be

when we have a choice

when can we escape

why do we want to escape

to what are we escaping

the fire or the frying pan

is not the greatest escape

the ability to escape


true freedom

even it be to grass less green

the fire is warmer than the frying pan

maybe some of us take solace in its heat


© 2016 Michael D Emmerich

We Were all Once Aliens

we don’t live her anymore

we have since moved on

the vacant and to let signs are posted

we have no forwarding address

we have moved on to another place to call home

we are following in the footsteps of our ancestors

and yours!

they were welcomed with open arms

we welcomed them with open arms

why do we find the doors closed

and signs saying move along

nothing to see or do here

no place for the refugee, the immigrant

no place for those who look different

no place for a fellow human being

our home becomes the street

the tented shelter

we don’t live anywhere anymore

we have no where to call home

so alone


© 2016 Michael D Emmerich

The Banality of Corporate Deceit

values, ethics, morals are left in tatters

conveniently sacrificed on the alter of economic greed

moral responsibility is abdicated in fiscal matters

bruised and cast aside for their misdeeds

it's not me, just following orders

it's not my department

I was just the warder

its all in separate compartments

careers built on careerism and obedience

orders coming from persons above

no regard for others, expedience

non ideological, and no thought of the actions thereof

as good as saying the devil made me do it

its gods will

the cry of the uncaring hypocrite

is enough to give the victim a chill

as the the chorus beats its drum

and the new song cuts to the core

the new mantra now oft chanted has become

oh for a few dollars more
© 2016 michael d emmerich
© 2019 michael d emmerich
© 2019 mikesnexus

Is Religion the Greatest Threat to World Peace?

With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil;

but for good people to do evil — that takes religion.

Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg

The day we as a global nation choose to live for causes and not support ones that are worth dying for; will truly be a great day. Sadly it is a long way off. It will take tolerance and peace having to become more sacred than dogma and blind unquestioning arrogance for that to occur. When questions can be asked without having to fear for ones life, or risk being shouted down in the name of some religion…as they fear the questions (or maybe it is the answers the fear), that will be a day to treasure.

The religions that dominate our world today are made up of fossilized dogmas, that have been excavated from the mud of our past. They hale from a by-gone era when man created religion in an attempt to better understand his world. We now have science, evidence based research and rational questioning minds, which is the antithesis of many religions. This bygone dogma was forged in a world and culture so foreign to the one we live in today, but yet those beliefs are still held as sacrosanct and untouchable. As a result of this outdated dogma, evil deeds are allowed to breed, not by distorting or changing the teachings of scripture, but by obeying them. There is much material in every religious tradition that teaches violence, intolerance and hatred.

When a person believes, truly believes, that they know God’s will, they become almost impossible to reason with. Scientific research and evidence is thrown out along with rational thinking and the bath water. This is because most religions teach that faith – belief not supported by evidence – is not just acceptable but commendable, and is the sign of a virtuous person. Reasoning with a person in the light of the above becomes nigh impossible, as religious morality is not grounded in humans needs and desires, but in the will of god. Beliefs that weren’t based on evidence to begin with usually can’t be changed by evidence. Hence religious faith becomes very dangerous; when a religious believer chooses a course of action that’s evil or harmful, efforts to persuade them to stop will be futile. After all, if God has told them to follow a certain path, any opinion to the contrary is the devils work, and must be resisted, forcefully if needs be.

Religious leaders (and many of their followers), from all religions; oppose abortion, birth control, gay adoption, same-sex marriage, woman’s rights, euthanasia, to mention but a few — they want to control how people are born, marry, raise families, how they die, who they vote for, what to eat/not eat and which wars to fight. They want to barge into ones life during our most private moments and impose neigh, force and demand an adherence to their rigid, paternalistic creed. They know best how life should be lived, they have no qualms in seeking to intrude upon the lives of others at the most important and personal of moments.

Differentiating the evil that religion can perpetuate and the goodness in some people who practice religion seems fair up to a point, but how can one, for example, be both Catholic and good given the Vatican’s hundreds of years of torturing and murder, and currently, its favoring image over children? It is akin to being a good Nazi, which is exactly what its pope believes himself to be. When you base your “faith” in books that brim with divine violence, like the Old Testament, doesn’t that lead to more violence, at least in the defense of your “faith”

Sadly religion is never about what humans really need, but about what “god” supposedly needs humans to believe and do. The fact that religion is not about human needs is exactly what makes religion so pernicious. In other words, no matter what you believe, you do not have the right to hurt or curtail the rights of others, or to disproportionately benefit yourself at the expense of others.

It’s a far nobler a pursuit to wrestle with questions of ethics than to evade our responsibility and just parrot edicts that were written down thousands of years ago. It’s too easy to not have to really think about the consequences of our actions when we can just point to a book and say “but God said so.” We don’t understand maths because we take it on faith, in all other realms of our universe, we do not use faith as means of understanding its inner workings. Leaving it to faith is coping out, and it is the same as throwing up our hands and saying I don’t need to know, and deciding that some higher power will reveal all to us in good time. In my opinion, that stance does not get us any further as a species. It only leaves us standing still; unable to progress and make life better for everyone.

In closing let me end with a philosophical statement… which turned into a religious statement … and then totally ignored by religions…

‘Do unto others what you want done unto you.’


557 BC, From the Analects 15:23

“One should always treat others as they themselves wish to be treated.”

3200 BC, From the Hitopadesa

An Idiot Wind Blows

a wind is sweeping the land
no wait, across our planet
the wind blows through the halls of power
no country is sacrosanct

mediocrity our new political watchword
on a good day!
on every other day
we would be considered blessed
to have mediocre leaders

the wind of the bigot
the ignorant
the illiterate autocrat
blows with vigour
no stone left unturned
all that stand in the way 
bashed, broken, ripped apart

theocracy takes flight
the hot air of idiocy
blows with venom
from the open gaping
vacuous mouths
of our elected leaders

even when they are eloquently
hoisted on their own petard
their praise singers and chorus lines
run to the fore
like court jesters of old

the halls are silent
laughter is absent
intentions are real, deceitful
wrestling power and control
from the blind electorate
who have realised to late
the error of their ballot cross
has now become a cross they cannot bear

© 2015 michael d emmerich

The Red Light Train

rain falling, mist rising, darkness beckons.

I clamber out of bed to join the red light train

bare feet on a cold concrete floor

soon shod feet on a metal pedal

as you push down, to join the red light train

cresting the dark hill the train stretches out before you

you latch onto the back 

sometimes with care other times with annoyance

so begins your day, for most, so begins everyday

the train has life and pace of its own

each day is a new train, always dynamic, ever-changing

it moves at its own unique pace

like a slinky, up and over the rolling hills

expanding and contracting 

moving at the pace of the slowest

Like life...

the train does not encourage one to look beyond the red lights

getting on and off causes frustration, 

it takes time, patience and determination

once you commit, you're hooked

that's why it's refreshing

to not ride the train everyday

Like life.....

one needs change, new challenges, new trains

a chance to ride the rails alone, breaking new ground

create your own red light train

trail-blaze your own path

create new uncharted rails

be your own red light train

driving into a new sunrise


© 2015 Michael D Emmerich