The Versatile Blogger Award – Nominations

I had the honour of being nominated by MrAnonymous, for the above award. More about him and his unique blog in his own words:

Stop by, and we hope you’ll become apart of the Project: Heard family. You are the voice, we are the platform. 

TheMrAnonymous

Rules of the Versatile Blogger Award:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and share their link.

2. Nominate at least 10 bloggers for the award and provide links to their blogs. Also, inform them about the nomination.

 3. Reveal 7 facts about yourself that your readers may not know.

Seven Facts About Me

  • I love my cats
  • Travel way to much and spend to much time away from home
  • Enjoy the outdoors – Running and MTB
  • Live on the most exciting continent – Africa
  • Addicted to EMS ♥♥
  • Chocoholic 🙂 … say no more
  • Enjoy Bourbon and Cigars

There we go … some useful (or useless) trivia about me 🙂

My 10 Nominations  – In no particular order – far be it for me to be accused of favouritism 🙂

They are a strange mix of poetry, books, music and writing sites .. a unique eclectic mix, I encourage you to pop in and visit them. They give me many happy hours of distraction.

See you in the blogsphere, next time,
Regards mikesnexus (aka – ME)

Closer

closer to edge

everyday now

any day now

it draws nigh



into the void

how far

how high

dare we go beyond

the realm



dare to dream

possibilities exist

its there

within our grasp



closer and closer every day …

© 2017 michael d emmerich

Ode to My Beloved

you lift me up

and set me down

with you

life is rich

without you

its not life



this life

an another

can we expect more

stars are raining down

as your hair

brushes the sky



close your eyes

and dream

if you dare

this life

and then the next.

into the sunset

© 2017 michael d emmerich

The Bard of New Jersey

This is not a definitive article on The Boss, but an introspective look at 3 albums which have resonated with me over time (I do need to revisit these 3 albums with a more weighty article). Springsteen is an artist I greatly admire and respect, for so many reasons; 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 sees 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 a 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, that we are at times, to blind to see, or refuse 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, (Steinbeck fans will remember this character from The Grapes of Wrath, which Springsteen reread before doing this album)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 towns and those lost in our 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 a 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 and he is 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 🙂

For more on Bruce – head over to, my article on his recently released autobiography Rreview-Born to Run – Autobiography

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

 

The Wall of Time

that wall of time

over the years

it just gets higher

the great separator



that great divide

shuffling out the old

ushering in the new

breaking bridges along the way



conformity

that builder of walls

destroyer of bridges

ensuring, at best

only memories remain



bridges built across time

memoirs adsorb the unwanted

safely travelling back

allowing

old to become

…..

the new, new

© 2017 michael d emmerich

Writers/Creative Block (Partial)

The ideas are there, still flowing, my ideas journal is being topped up, writing is taking place; but I am just battling to fully translate the ideas into a completed poem – that is ripe and ready to enjoy – in my opinion. The branches are thick with fruit, they look tempting, ready to pick, but no; they are still to green, so there they must hang and just be viewed by me and not enjoyed by others. Each day I return to see if they can be picked and posted, but no, so I just have to sit and stare at them, hoping they ripen, so frustrating. At present, I am writing, but all the poems are either incomplete or unsatisfactory – just missing that something.

My usual tricks of the trade are not working:

  • Longs walk (done)
  • Inspirational playlist via headphones (done)
  • Required reading (done)
  • Teapot full and ready (done)
  • Dream Inspiration (incomplete)
  • Vent/Rant writing (Incomplete)
  • Faking it till I make it (battling there)

They say that writer’s block, is often caused by conflicted emotions, outside pressures and distractions outside the norm. Most of us who write are marginally OCD, (or maybe I should only speak for myself) when it comes to our writing and the finished product. We can see the finished product, but just battle to map the route or are confused by the multiple routes available, or as in my case; I am at point A and can see that I need to be at B or whatever! but have no clue as to where the path lies. I have a few finished poems, but am afraid to post them, afraid that they will not measure up to the readers expectations, which is really bullshit, as how can I presume to know what the reader will read or interpret. As they say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

My writing is at times cathartic and I write even in the deepest and darkest moments, but not today, (or yesterday or the day before that). Is it possible that to much angst, can be a bad thing?

“A great deal of poetic work has arisen from various despairs.”

Lou Andreas-Salomé, the First Woman Psychoanalyst, on Depression and Creativity in Letters to Rilke

What do you, dear gentle reader, do if you are a writer and/or artist?

© 2017 michael d emmerich

Self Publishing My Anthology

To all of my followers and gentle readers, I am busy preparing my anthology of poetry for publication later this year. To this end I have started a crowd funding campaign, donors are also eligible for a personal signed copy, shipped to them once published.

help-me-to-publish-my-first-poetry-anthology

The introduction has been drafted, cover has been designed, back stories for some of the poems penned and possibly a few interesting photos of my working notes have been taken to (hopefully) insert into the anthology. This is where you dear gentle reader come into the picture,  by helping me to select 30 to 35 poems, some of which are listed on my site:

Michael’s Poems

The working title of the anthology is yet to be decided, but I am dabbling with; Shadow Chasers or Chasing Shadows .. as many of my poems delve and dive into the gray, darker parts of my mind

Thanks again for all the likes and follows, and hopefully some of you, by year end, be a proud owner of a signed and inscribed copy of Chasing Shadows.

see you in the web world 🙂

My Top 10 Bob Dylan Songs

I have set myself an impossible task – choosing my 10 best Dylan songs – I still feel guilty for the 100 or so I have left off the list 🙂  They are in no particular order, as that would be nigh on impossible! My favourite album happens to be Nashville Skyline or is it Modern Times, or wait maybe Tempest, but wait there’s also Another Side of  …. so I have omitted songs from Nashville Skyline from this list. The songs that do not have a specific reference or reason are just here coz, they mean so many things to me… in so many situations. I have used many of these songs for inspiration, solace or just contemplation. Those who follow my poetry might pick up some hints of Dylan and others in my writings … 🙂

In alphabetical order:

Girl From the North Country – The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963) – I know this is also on Nashville Skyline, but it was played here first, so there …

I Feel a Change Comin’ on – Together Through Life (2009) – just listen to the lyrics, and I dare you not be moved to contemplate life ….

I Want You – Blonde on Blonde (1966) – was on my wedding playlist, so it just has to be here 🙂

Knockin’ on Heavens Door – Pat Garret and Billy the Kid (1973) – A powerful poignant song, about life coming to an end …. such simple but gut wrenching lyrics.

Make you Feel My Love – Time out of Mine (1997) – this song is very close to me, has been for many years. I was listening to this song (and 2 others) when I wrote my last poem – Feel Our Love

Masters of War –  The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963). For me this is his greatest and angriest protest song of all time, second only to Pay in Blood, Tempest.

Mississippi – Love and Theft  (2001) – an underrated classic drifters Dylan song … just take a listen and ramble along with our man Bobby

Not Dark Yet – Time out of Mine (1997) – these lyrics .. man they just get to me, sad, dark, but with a sliver of hope

One More Cup of Coffee – Desire (1976) – a special sentimental favourite of mine and my wife. Its off (one of) her favourite Dylan albums, and she always asks me before I leave home … One more cup of Coffee?

Tempest – Tempest (2014) – This song all of 15 minutes, and still gives me goosebumps and brings a tear to my ear, so powerful, visual, visceral … and sad.

Thunder on the Mountain – Modern Times (2006) – I love the feel and vibe of Modern Times, and Thunder on the Mountain for me encapsulates the feel (Spirit on the Water was a close second)

When the Night Comes Falling From the Sky – Empire Burlesque (1985) – from an underrated album but with a few hidden gems, this being one of them.

Okay for those who counted there are 12 … not 10 .. lets call it a Dylan dozen 🙂

If you enjoyed this post pop over and read:

Learning from Creative People – Bob Dylan and Bob Dylan and His Many Muses

Feel Our Love

I’ve been hit hard

seen too much

I need your touch

to be healed now

falling in love with you

‘twas the right thing to do



as the evening shadows lengthen

and the stars appear

you are there

to dry my tears

and

offer me a warm embrace

as I feel your love



tomorrow night when the sun dips

I know what I’m gonna do

hold you for a million years

to feel your love

dreams come true

in the enfolding



love

blows away

all the pain that I'm living

you believe in me

bleed for me

I know what I’m gonna do

……

feel our love

 

© 2017 michael d emmerich