And Yet…

And Yet…

When faced with a true master,
My words fall flat as stone;
No great deeds they accomplish,
No great sins they atone.

And yet a simple glimpse of truth
Is all a dark place needs
To show the walls are crumbling,
To plant some healthy seeds

That sprout and grow so strong they change
The world in ways profound;
Such as when a shepherd shod
His shoes on holy ground.

So take that little step with me
To truthfulness and light;
Who knows where that tight path will lead,
What otherworldly sight

Will greet us on the noble way
To love beyond our ken,
Where treasured souls we thought were lost
Shall reunite again?

There He who wipes our tears will smile
With arms thrown open wide,
Show us to our special place,
And welcome us with pride.

A Hope That Burns (Finally Recorded)

A Hope That Burns

As I indicated back when I first posted this, I hoped to participate in a local training weekend for musicians and sound engineers in collaboration with Visible Music College in Memphis, Tennessee, that included the professional recording and mixing of songs that we the participants wrote (one each), as well as basic instructions on techniques, tricks and resources for mixing and producing music professionally.

That recording went well (though it very nearly didn’t happen at all*) and in due time I received a mixed and raw multitrack version of the song, so I could practise the mixing techniques I’d been taught. I then had some vocal instruction from the amazing Moira Greyland Peat, who’s strength, grace and generosity of spirit despite a truly harrowing childhood is an inspiration to many, and resung an improved version of the vocals at home, then mixed it together to produce this final version that I hope will be enjoyable and uplifting.

For the rest of this month it will be available via the CD Baby store for the princely sum of 99 cents, (all other outlets are the same price, but the CD Baby store link above gives the best royalty per sale). Clicking on the image below shows all the outlets where you can stream or download the song.

A Hope That Burns

Melody and Lyrics by Ben Zwycky, accompaniment by Tomas Pavlicek

Vocals Ben Zwycky, keyboard Tomas Pavlicek, guitar Michal Petras

(*I completely lost my voice a week and a half before the weekend, only heard its musical accompaniment for the first time about an hour before we were supposed to demonstrate our songs to show that they were worth recording, while my voice was still shaky, and a scheduling conflict meant that we ended up doing our full recording half an hour after the window for recordings was supposed to close.)

Priceless Day/Den nad každý jiný

Today is the day when holy light came into the world to redeem mankind. Here is Priceless Day performed by Zaklog the Great:

On Sunday I appeared on an episode of Zaklog the Great’s Book club to discuss this entire series, the recording of which will go live tomorrow.

Below is the English version, followed by the Czech.

Priceless Day

Beyond all hopes, beyond all dreams,
Beyond all human plots and schemes
To cure the ills that plague mankind,
The bonds that hold the weak unbind,

The wisdom of the world surpass,
To show the lost the way at last.
To shame the mighty and the strong
And show the proud where they went wrong.

To open up the narrow door
That leads to love for evermore;
All this through a baby’s birth
To reclaim corrupted Earth.

The fullness of divinity
Combined with full humanity
To be the Way, the price to pay
With unforeseen humility.

No eye had seen, no ear had heard
The mighty and incarnate Word
That cried our tears, that felt our pain,
So we could all be whole again.

The greatest enemy of all
Saw this would lead to his great fall;
He tried to tempt, to spoil, destroy,
But could not taint our source of joy.

At last That Day had come.

Den nad každý jiný

Nad pouhé splnění snů a nadějí,
Všelikých lidských plánů a idejí,
k nemocí všech lidí vyléčení,
okovů rozbití, odemčení,

aby se moudří poučili,
našli se ti, kteří zabloudili,
silných a mocných k zahabení,
omylů pyšných k vyjevení,

otevřít dveře úzké a těsné,
co k lásce bezpečně dovedou věčné
– to vše se naplní v dítěti malém
a jeho království nebývalém.

Dvojí se spojilo v jediném slově:
naplno Bůh a naplno člověk.
Ukázat cestu a zaplatit cenu,
s pokorou neznámou přichází k tobě.

Nelze se nedivit opět a znova
do lidství vtělení mocného Slova.
Cítil tvé bolesti, plakal mé slzy,
aby nás obnovil cele a brzy.

Nepřítel, ten, co má temnoty vládu,
poznal, že směřuje k velkému pádu.
Svádět se pokoušel, ničil a šálil,
radosti zdroj však nezakalil.

Tak konečně vzešel ten den.

Hard Moon by David Hallquist

This has been a long time coming, and I am happy to finally announce the launch of Hard Moon by David Hallquist.

It was a pleasure to edit this book (as well as the rest of the trilogy), and I’d like to think I made valuable contributions to making it as awesome as it is.

Injected with an alien monster, left for dead, and now hunted by the most powerful men in the solar system.

Surprised to find himself alive in a freezing medical waste dump on Luna, and with an alien creature trying to devour his body and mind from the inside, Brandt Wills slowly remembers who he was and how he got in this mess. He discovers he is not the only victim of a hellish secret laboratory performing vile experiments on humans. His only way forward is to fight for his life, his sanity, and his soul against the most powerful forces in the solar system.

Enjoy David Hallquist’s thrilling debut novel and book one of the outstanding Singularity Crisis trilogy

Books 2 and 3 are available for preorder, and will go on sale on the 13th of January and of February.

http://bit.ly/GoddessGambit

 

http://bit.ly/GoddessGambit


Lyrics, melody and vocals by Ben Zwycky, musical accompaniment by Sean McCleery

Cover art by Corey McCleery

Selected images and colliding planets animation from pixabay

Stock effects from footagecrate.com

Jupiter image from NASA Juno Mission

Balcony figures by Lee Madison

3d modelling and animation in Daz Studio, audio editing in audacity, and video editing, animation, additional effects and post production in Hit Film Pro by Ben Zwycky.


Lyrics to the song:

There is No War That Can be Harder Fought

There is no prize more worthy to be sought,
There is no war that can be harder fought,
Than for the fate of your own very soul,
For eternal are the stakes and goals.

There is a beast that grows inside of me;
One of great strength and raw hostility.
I do not dare let it take full control,
For each time it takes an awful toll.

Its powers have saved my life so many times,
Down in these dank and deadly lunar mines.
The ones who forced this beast into my veins
Shall reap a vast and wrathful hurricane.

I must survive and tell of what I know,
And put an end to this great horror show;
To think that with this monstrous form they can
Improve upon a mortal man?

This is my goal, for now at least I live,
This is the sacrifice that I must give,
To fight for justice, stop those evil men,
And perchance, to find true life again?

So endure! And persist!
Against all expectations inhumanity resist!
Take control! Reach that goal!
Against all expectations work to purify your soul!
Win this war! Beat the odds!
Bring down those men who see themselves as mighty demigods!

Then at last, I’ll know who I am.

A Hope That Burns

This is a song that I hope to record one day, perhaps there will be an opportunity to do at a meeting of musicians in February of next year.

A Hope That Burns

There is a hope that burns
Right through the strongest walls,
Freeing your heart and soul
To truly fly, beyond the sky;

There is a truth so deep
It helps you see the light
That floods the world right through
In every place and every time,

You just need to reflect it,
And redirect it
To make the shadows flee
And help the blind to see

That you are loved, that you are treasured
By Him above, who gives without measure;
There’s nothing that He can’t do, He has good plans for you.

There is a love so pure
It shames the proud to bow,
It fills the poor with joy,
That they’re so much more than a toy.

He’s calling you home, there’s no need to roam;
He’s prepared a place for you under a sky so blue,
Lit by His glory, that’s the point of the story
He’s been telling through every life,
There you can truly thrive,

So come on home, there’s no need to roam;
He’s prepared a place for you under a sky so blue,
Lit by His glory, that’s the point of the story
He’s been telling through every life,
There you can truly thrive,
So come on home.


Image by Johannes Plenio from Pixabay

The Angels Roar

(to the tune of “You Raise Me Up” by Rolf Løvland/Brendan Graham)

The Angels Roar

The angels roar in triumph at Your victory,
They stand astounded at Your wondrous plan;
Your glory far outweighs all our sufferings,
Your beauty lifts our hearts with hope again.

Your promises are surer than the mountains,
The path to you is hard but worth each step;
You give us strength to walk on through the deepest pain
Your gift of life is mightier than death.

So when our days are full of heavy burdens,
When it seems the darkness never ends,
There’s one thing of which we can be certain:
We have in You the greatest of all friends.

The world is lost and drowning in its hubris,
Devoid of kindness, bitter to its core,
So deserving of consignment to the abyss,
And yet you came to offer so much more.

The angels roar in triumph at Your victory,
They stand astounded at Your wondrous plan;
Your glory far outweighs all our sufferings,
Your beauty lifts our hearts with hope again.


Image by <a href=”https://pixabay.com/users/Lancios-7858119/?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=4361856″>Maurizio Lanciotti</a> from <a href=”https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=4361856″>Pixabay</a&gt;

The Light Beyond the Window

I came up with this one during my many recent visits to doctor’s waiting rooms.

The Light Beyond the Window

The light beyond the window shines
Into this murky room
Sparing me the horror
Of life in utter gloom

It dances on the floorboards
And sparkles on the tiles
Lifting me onto my feet
To go that extra mile

Without it I could never see
The beauty on display
In flowers, trees, in birds and beasts,
In life that finds a way.

I press against the window
And shield my eyes to view
The source of this great radiance:
So pure, so bright, so true.

Defining and uplifting all
To be their greatest selves,
With courage to keep going
And eagerness to delve

Into the noblest mysteries
Of being, thought and deed;
Not shirking from the questions
Of our lives’ deepest need

For meaning, purpose, value, hope,
When all arounds seems lost;
What core thing we should cling to
When all else must be tossed

The fortitude to see it through
And keep our solemn vow
Ensnaring vanities avoid
Until we humbly bow

Before the throne of judgment
When our works show their worth,
And our heads will lift to see
New heaven and new earth.

A Young Man’s Soul


A Young Man’s Soul

When unseen forces press upon a young man’s soul to find his place
In something so much grander than his daily wants and woes,
What foolish quests and sophistries will the world place in his way,
And how can we direct him to a far more worthy goal?

With stories and examples that inflame his spirit’s noblest fires
Of faithfulness and prudence, vitality and craft,
Courage and discernment, love that wades through mire,
Of fortitude in service with purity of heart

To the One who loves us more than we can ever know
Who invites our souls to soar above the vile flow
Of sewage that this world pretends is culture, virtue, truth;
But really serves the foulest ends and drains away their youth.

He heals our deepest scars of shame and cleanses us of sin
Burns off our dross, shares in our pain, and asks to be let in
That we may tread the narrow way and scale the holy hill;
To bask in bright refreshing day and find our rest until

We’re called to fight beside Him and destroy the Devil’s hordes
Renew what does delight Him and find our great reward,
That all might see true justice done, infused with mercy grand;
The cruellest tyrants are cast down, the humble asked to stand

And look upon the One who gave himself for one and all
Hung upon a brutal cross and given bitter gall
That we might know the joy that He gave up for our own sake
And share in the great glory that was His alone to take.

He knows us, yet still fills these jars of clay with treasure lavishly
And has prepared above the stars a place in His great family.
Where all our virtues are perfected, our flaws are washed away,
All is seen with new perspective, and we are here to stay.

Priceless Day Redux

Priceless Day

Beyond all hopes, beyond all dreams,
Beyond all human plots and schemes
To cure the ills that plague mankind,
The bonds that hold the weak unbind,

The wisdom of the world surpass,
To show the lost the way at last.
To shame the mighty and the strong
And show the proud where they went wrong.

To open up the narrow door
That leads to love for evermore;
All this through a baby’s birth
To reclaim corrupted Earth.

The fullness of divinity
Combined with full humanity
To be the Way, the price to pay
With unforeseen humility.

No eye had seen, no ear had heard
The mighty and incarnate Word
That cried our tears, that felt our pain,
So we could all be whole again.

The greatest enemy of all
Saw this would lead to his great fall;
He tried to tempt, to spoil, destroy,
But could not taint our source of joy.

At last That Day had come.

Den nad každý jiný

Nad pouhé splnění snů a nadějí,
Všelikých lidských plánů a idejí,
k nemocí všech lidí vyléčení,
okovů rozbití, odemčení,

aby se moudří poučili,
našli se ti, kteří zabloudili,
silných a mocných k zahabení,
omylů pyšných k vyjevení,

otevřít dveře úzké a těsné,
co k lásce bezpečně dovedou věčné
– to vše se naplní v dítěti malém
a jeho království nebývalém.

Dvojí se spojilo v jediném slově:
naplno Bůh a naplno člověk.
Ukázat cestu a zaplatit cenu,
s pokorou neznámou přichází k tobě.

Nelze se nedivit opět a znova
do lidství vtělení mocného Slova.
Cítil tvé bolesti, plakal mé slzy,
aby nás obnovil cele a brzy.

Nepřítel, ten, co má temnoty vládu,
poznal, že směřuje k velkému pádu.
Svádět se pokoušel, ničil a šálil,
radosti zdroj však nezakalil.

Tak konečně vzešel ten den.

Bronze Sunday Redux

Today is the second Sunday of Advent, here is the English and Czech of the Second Sunday poem

Bronze Sunday

Bronze shields and spears arranged in ranks
To form the fearsome Greek phalanx
Conquered nations far and wide;
Now there’s a new source of Greek pride:

Bold theories and insightful thoughts
That they debate in marble courts.
“Whose wisdom can outshine our own
Or that of our great pantheon?”

Twixt oracles and temples grand
In Athens a small altar stands
Placed there as a reverent nod
To an as yet unknown god.

But soon That Day will come.


Bronzová neděle

Bronzové štíty a v zákrytu kopí
falangy Řeků když moci se chopí.
Kdo může odolat moci a síle,
přichází Řekové a jejich chvíle.

Nádvoří dlážděné mramorem skvělým
debatám naslouchá, myšlenkám smělým.
“Před naší moudrostí každý se sklání,
vznešený pantheon – bez srovnání!”

V zajetí chrámů, kde lid bohy vzývá,
v Aténách oltář prostý se skrývá
Prostý a vážný uprostřed všeho
k uctění boha neznámého.

Však brzy již vzejde ten den.