Rainbows in Her Eyes

fluttering eye lids in the morning light

cascading hair across her visage

my love lies in a gentle slumber

slowly the gateway to her emotions opens

fluttering eyelids reveal what lies beneath

 unleashing the emotions

lying behind the portal

they spring forth

revealing all the colours of the rainbow

the colours of love, lust, longing

desire, happiness


the rainbow in her eyes

I am privileged to see

and partake in all the colours

© 2016 Michael D Emmerich

Passions Unfurled

 the embryonic morning sun

peeps hesitantly over the mountain

slowly it crawls forth to emerge

escaping from the grasp of night’s pupae

radiant kaleidoscope wings gently emerge

the new day creeps forward

pushing back the night

day emerges, languidly stretching out

offering itself to those in need

who have passions to be sated

new dawn brings new promises

the intended gift of new passions

the impatient subimago fidgets

unable to fully relish the gift

further unfurling wings

expose more of the vivid rainbow

only when the imago finally emerges

can the passions be fully unveiled

totally releasing the new day

mornings passion breaks forth in full colour

imago is now ready, waiting, eager

fully active, totally passionate

unfurling, opened, spread to full imago

releasing new passions, to be desired

the new day can now be fully devoured

let us engorge ourselves

on the alter of unfurled passions


© 2016 Michael D Emmerich

Day Becomes Night

A friend from the twittersphere, @nikkiejanee1972, posted a song lyric with an interesting picture, the image raised many thoughts, ideas and emotions. After a few back and forth tweets, the challenge was laid down, to write a poem about the picture. This is what came out of looking at that photo. I have once again dipped into the music and words of my muses, the image is the one above.

the rollin’ and tumblin’ fog fast approaches

the moon out in space cannot see

as mist drifts over its face

the day becomes night

the night is filled with shadows

the early doom fast approaches

muted misty sounds drift hither, thither and wither

her dress reaches out as she spins round twirling, seeking

twin distant orbs burn holes in the mist

the portal etched into the road becomes visible

a guttural grunt, bark, or cough reaches out and grabs your spine

in the damp chill your hair clings to your neck

Cthulhu roars

 the bloated corpulence of his writhing body

slowly emerges

you are lost in a timeless fog

refusing to be driven insane by gazing on the monstrosity

are you not already dreaming of R'lyeh

how does it feel

to be so alone, with nowhere to roam

any day now the fog will lift and the night will end

truth will be revealed as the fog is clawed back

worldwide insanity and mindless violence

finally displacing humanity forever

or just a dream, within a dream

the landscape slowly claws back the light

gleaming in the golden light of dawn

what does it bring

death and destruction

or coffee


© 2016 Michael D Emmerich


Destination Eden

the black snake stretches languidly across the land

unfurled over hills and vales

craning its head back as it beckons, sans hand

come, faster, faster you must prevail

you reach out to attack the black snake

grasping, clutching, familiar smells of the hunt return

bringing with them the pain and ache

you push, feeling the burn, avoiding deaths urn

those familiar markings on the naked skin

as you flick through the curves at high speed

the evocative colours of the original sin

all happening so fast you battle to read

always playing catch up with that snake

but it keeps unfurling further and further

hoping against hope you can still partake

before your fuel vanishes into the ether

this never ending unfolding black dream

eludes all who demand the chase

its best just to sit by the stream

and be enfolded by the soothing grace

of the snakes coup de grace


© 2016 Michael D Emmerich

That Well Of Creativity

A mix of thoughts, questions and ideas; analysing what and how we troll the depths of our creative wells. What inspires me (or you dear reader, for that matter) to be drawn to pen what I pen. Of late, these thoughts have been spinning through the dark passages of my mind. Then I had an epiphany…. which has lead me to pen this article on where and how I draw from my well of inspiration.

The one thing I do know, that for me to tap my inspiration I need to be on an emotional high or low. I cannot just be bumbling along, on an even keel. I get ideas and thoughts regardless of my emotional state, but I can only act on them when my emotions are out of alignment. Hence I at times have to drag myself into a thoughtful, dark place to take the ideas in my head or notebooks, and then translate them into words on paper. The easiest way for to do this is via music, I have a few artists whose lyrics have the best effect on me, they drag me into a thoughtful emotive state to best translate my thoughts to paper. There are some songs on depressing subjects out of which I have written emotive, and even positive or romantic poems. That will keep some “shrinks”happy for hours or even the subject of an interesting article for “Psychology Today” 🙂 My wife is relieved to hear that I do not have to be physically depressed to draw my thoughts out 🙂

I do know that reading and music are very useful triggers for me to draw deep from the well; both of need to be on the dark side, for me to accurately tap my creative well. Reading the First World War Poets; notably Owen and Sasson, and some of the classical Poets; Milton, Blake, Elliot and Chaucer (although he is more humorous than dark). Musically the lyrics of Dylan and Springsteen are best or the harmonious sounds of Pink Floyd ELP and Ulver – http://www.jester-records.com/ulver/ulver.html (especially there their album: THEMES FROM WILLIAM BLAKE’S THE MARRIAGE OF HEAVEN AND HELL). These are my main sources of flitting on the edges of deep dark thoughtful emotions. My wife has an interesting take on my mindset, she feels I thrive on or need angst in my life… not entirely convinced on that front yet … 🙂 but she does have a point ….

The whole subject of creativity and depression is well documented over the years, with many interesting articles written on the great painters, composers and writers. So far be it from me to expound to much further or bore you with details of the great ones. I do want to share a few very interesting articles I found on one of my favourite websites; if you have not visited Maria’s site please pop over to: https://www.brainpickings.org/ and follow her on twitter:

Lou Andreas-Salomé, the First Woman Psychoanalyst, on Depression and Creativity in Letters to Rilke
“A great deal of poetic work has arisen from various despairs.”

Alison Bechdel on Writing, Therapy, Self-Doubt, and How the Messiness of Life Feeds the Creative Conscience
“It’s by writing… by stepping back a bit from the real thing to look at it, that we are most present.”

Probability Theory Pioneer Mark Kac on the Duality of the Creative Life, the Singular Enchantment of Mathematics, and the Two Types of Geniuses
“Creative people live in two worlds. One is the ordinary world which they share with others and in which they are not in any special way set apart from their fellow men. The other is private and it is in this world that the creative acts take place.”

My Poetry Journey

My goal is to have about 50 poems by year end and then publish the best in an anthology with a short back story to the history/journey it took me to write the poem, and what/where or how I was inspired. Some of them are deeply personal, others are from my past and some are just diatribes about life, the world and all the shit going down . It is amazing how writing in different styles stretches my mind and also how some poems just fly out in machine gun staccato burst and others have to be dragged out over a day or two. Thanks for the feedback and I do hope you are enjoying taking this journey with me, I cant say its always fun, but the thoughts and inspiration sometimes take on their own life and just have to be written.

The Fading of the Day

Inspired by the song On the Turning Away by Pink Floyd; I paused to write this poem

Light is changing to shadow

And casting it’s shroud

as the day fades to gray

and then shifts from gray to dark

before we long for the promise of a new day

we need to cling to the dark

even when it is dark, it's not dark yet

as it is always darkest, just before the dawn

as a new day beckons with promise, on the morn

the shadow shroud enfolds the world in gray

and teases with a promise, as the gray flickers to dark

with the dark is a promise of a new day

when the morning slivers slice back the dark

that sense of expectation, that it is never dark

there is always a new beginning

no matter how dark yesterday felt

today can be the brightest day yet

as we continually move through the cycle of life

light dark light dark …. light

© 2015 Michael D Emmerich

The Sonnet of Silent Conversations

I’m there, you’re there

We are silent in each others presence

A comment made to my wife, Tania, when we were sitting on the sofa at home each engaged in our own thoughts/activities, but still at one; it inspired me to pen the following poem.

the beautiful silence between lovers

the solace in the silence

where words are not needed to uncover 

the hidden messages of compliance

the beauty of the silent bonds

that tie two stars into the same orbit

an orbit that does not require one to respond

other than in a soft touch or knowing look

as a means of expressing ones love

intimate hushed companionship, as such

reinforces the strength of silent conversation

the intimacy of conversing by touch

heightens the silent smiles and wink of flirtation

unity in our silent separateness leads to stronger ties that bind

© 2015 Michael D Emmerich

Bob Dylan and His Many Muses

In Paul Zollo’s book “Song Writers on Song Writing”, the expanded 4th edition, in teh interview he held with Bob Dylan; Dylan makes an interesting comment, in how often songs “come to him”. That’s how he could write “Blowing in the Wind” in 10 minutes, which he says came right out of that well spring of creativity.

Does Dylan think he can do it again today? No, says Dylan. “You can’t do something forever,” he says. “I did it once, and I can do other things now. But, I can’t do that.” when speaking to Ed Bradley on 60 minutes in 2004. he also goes onto to say: “I don’t know how I got to write those songs. Those early songs were almost magically written,”

Dylan seems to be saying that his muse, that wellspring of creativity he so magnificently tapped in that golden era of the early sixties, is gone and he is not able to access it anymore. Thom Hickey in his article You really should have been there says:

“Over the next 47 years he would never again attain the heights of inspiration achieved through to 1966 (neither would anyone else!)”

Before he even attained those great heights in the of the mid-60’s he was already writing lyrics that would never be matched. My favourite Dylan protest song “Masters of War” was written when he was just 22! Released in 1963 on his Freewheelin’ album, the message is timeless and still relevant to all the current ongoing conflicts across the globe.

Dragging the conversation back to its original question, has Dylan lost his muse and can one just lose your muse? Webster’s dictionary defines a “muse” as any of the nine sister goddesses presiding over song, poetry, the arts and sciences. Greek mythology aside, writers think of a muse as a source of inspiration, a guiding genius rife with ideas. Writing teachers say one way to not lose your muse is  “Just keep your hand moving and write!”- be your own muse.

Dylan has most certainly done that, he has published six books of drawings and paintings, released 36 albums (excluding live albums and bootlegs) and written well over 500 songs …and counting…

That wellspring of creativity, has sustained Dylan for more than 50 years, and it keeps on giving, and he keeps telling his tales in a different way, with each telling. People who attend his concerts say, that they do not even recognise some of his songs as being their favourite, until halfway through, he keeps experimenting, reinventing himself and his music. I think his muse has changed, if we track his career/life and all the transitions/phases he has gone through, he certainly does not have that 60’s muse anymore, but has proven he still has the craft and the gift. Although Dylan might disagree:

“I’m a ’60s troubadour, a folk-rock relic. A wordsmith from bygone days. I’m in the bottomless pit of cultural oblivion.” – 2004

His last album, Tempest, still proves he can tell a great story, despite his voice being a bit more gravelly. The title track still gives me goosebumps when I listen to it…all 15 minutes of it!

Tempest is fantastic, but being impressed by Dylan is old hat. That he still finds ways to surprise us is an achievement beyond all comprehension. -American Songwriter 2012

His angry protest song Pay in Blood, from the same album – Tempest – brings back memories of his 60’s anger. You can hear his anger, his sneering voice as he growls and rasps over cutting and biting lyrics.

“Another politician pumping out the piss,” he sings later, the microphone audibly struggling to cope with the ferocity of his delivery. “You bastard, I’m supposed to respect you? I’ll give you justice.”

Dylan does not soften the blow here, as he does on Like a Rolling Stone, he vents his anger fully, proving that he can still be angry and anti-establishment in his 70’s 🙂

Possibly one of Dylan’s muses is/was his first wife Sara. She is definitely a key player in Dylan’s history and worthy of remembrance as the inspiration for some of his most incredible songs. Notably Sara and Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands. Sara is possibly Dylan’s most public display of his own personal life, and an ambitious tribute to his wife, Sara. The song also gives us a rare glimpse into the intensely personal and closed life Dylan leads. Rarely does he address a real person in his music, here he does and it is very autobiographical.

Bob Dylan – Sara from the album “Desire”

This was released in 1976 on the album Desire, Sara and Dylan were divorced the next year in 1977. They have apparently remained close (despite the acrimonious divorce) and they have still travel/holiday together. In fact his son Jakob said:

“My father said it himself in an interview many years ago: ‘Husband and wife failed, but mother and father didn’t.’ My ethics are high because my parents did a great job.” Jakob Dylan – 2005

Well we wish Dylan and his many Muse’s well, he has provided us with many thought provoking and entertaining albums through the years and I believe he still has songs left in his well, its not dry yet, or dark.

The War of Art

I just finished reading this fascinating book by Steven Pressfield yesterday and want to share some of what I learnt/discovered during the process.

The book subtitles itself as:
“Break through the blocks and win your inner creative battles”

I highly recommend this read, I found it both inspiring and thought provoking it also has pushed me to think deeper about what it means to be a writer and the responsibility that the tag carries.

Here are a few extracts which have got my mind buzzing: (I have paraphrased or changed some of the sentence layouts to make sense to me), but they are still Steven’s words.

The professional seeks order and eliminates chaos from his world and he wants the threshold swept and kept clean, so that the Muse may enter and not soil her gown – page 77

We must not become distracted by our own nonsense – page 123

The instinct that pulls us toward art is the impulse to evolve, to learn, to heighten and evaluate our consciousness. The Ego hates this. Because the more awake we become, the less we need the Ego. – page 140
This is a form particular interesting few chapters that delve into Jungian psychology. It explains the difference between the Self and the Ego and how having an understanding of this can nudge us towards our goal of being a writer/artist.

Our biggest fear holding us back, might be the fear that we will succeed, that we will become the person that we sense in our hearts we truly are; the artist/writer. – page 143

And his closing sentence at the end of the book (spoiler alert) 🙂

Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got!

This is so true, let just do it .. and write, paint, create, lets achieve our own greatness.

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic and power in it. Begin it now.”  – WH Murray