Per aspera ad astra

Dying world
Mundane regularity

Deep in space we’ll find
Deep meaning for our lives
Dimming distant star shines light on who we are

Terrestrial trap
Dark descent from apogee

Earth-like world
Destiny, light, liberty

Per astra ad aspera

Signs of life
We raise
Greetings in flight

Send songs
Sounds of our lives
Kind thought waves
Warm images, sights

In our civilized world
You will find
Science refined

Our world now eclipsed
It is true
Yet we seek nothing but
Friendship from you

Conceal, lie and hide
Our superstitious minds
We crucify

Our fate:
To control, kill, enslave
To assimilate, to save
Our camouflage is Faith

Don’t resist our constraints
We impose, mold and shape
To propagate ourselves
To replicate

Our urge, but to thrive
On other forms of life
This race of
Starry-eyed parasites

Two-thousand years pass silently
Are we alone?
Or are they strangers to civility
Assuming superiority
Eclipsing the dreams
Of a species stuck in infancy?

© Joshua J. Reynolds, 2017. All rights reserved.

But A Thought

The dreamer awakened
Clear, lucid elation
Vivid intensity fails to break
Deep meaning unquestioned

The deluge of time
Or delusions of mind?

Reflection now weakened
Mere wordless sensation
Limited memory passed its peak
Force faded, forsaken

Slight impression gone
Sadly moving on
Irrevocable validity

Reality, easily lost
Only solace: that it once was

The unseizable moment
A useless thought
Ineffable memory
Dissolved to naught

Life, barely a blink in a lifetime
Wandering forlorn among empty eternities
Foolish fantasy, forever forgotten
Faintly a flash to infinity

© Joshua J. Reynolds, 2017. All rights reserved.


She’s done with the day
Closed door and shades
Leave the world outside
The time away fails to pacify
Seclusion of thought tears her up inside
Fear of herself slowly petrifies

No more alone
Yearning to atone
Abject, bound and prone
Burning she moans as blood pours
Of master and lord

Relieved by his pain
Freed by her own
His grief dominates her whole
Sustains her soul

Bent down and restrained
Purpose to obey
To exchange disquietude of solitude
For the certitude of servitude

Most gracious and loving lord 
I kneel down before you and ask that you lead me in my hour of loneliness
That you allow me to know your power and presence
Direct me in the midst of this storm
I need to feel full of the love you have for me
Lest I forget I am never alone because you are always near
I long to feel your holy spirit fill me with its full force and quiet my fear
All must happen according to your will, my almighty, all-seeing father
While I am but your weak and humble servant
I rejoice in my salvation though the blood, tears, and suffering of your only son

Fantasized to satisfy
Invasively gratified
Subdued but dignified
Sadistically fortified

© Joshua J. Reynolds, 2015. All rights reserved.


Land war

Mass murder

Forced conversion
Group enslavement
Bowing and prostration

Needless guilt
Coerced Confession

Worst crime of religion:
Instill the fear of death

Burn, poke and flagellate

Boil and crush
Slice, stab, rape
Drown or worse fates

Soul is body
No sensation
Death nothing

Soul is body
No affliction
Dreamless sleep

Yet you prepare for what --
Prolonged decay

Why do you care so much
For withered days

Embrace the end
Escape sick stagnation
Fatigued, forsaken
Frozen in frustration

Ventilate, revive
Cancer still thrives
Irradiation culminates your life

A walking corpse avoiding
A withered soul writhing
In isolation

Why delay release
Declining peace
Fearing salvation?
Pain seeks annihilation

No matter how long you inhale life’s fresh sweet air
An eternity of death awaits you and remains just as stale

© Joshua J. Reynolds, 2017. All rights reserved.


In a world of absurdity
Of purposeless uncertainty
There’s always freedom to choose
Bad faith brings bad excuses for inaction

Freedom lies in trouble
Sisyphean struggle
Neither right granted
Nor politically enacted

Free to try if willful
But not to be successful
Hell is other people
Confusing ‘free’ for ‘able’

Hell is others
Hell is you

Free from your guns
Free in prison
Free though a slave
Free not a race
I am my own

Immune to their suspensions
Amendments and exceptions
Liberty’s implanted
Not legally contracted

Hostage situation?
Or lack of motivation?
Lineage, knowledge, suffrage
Provide no real advantage

Hell is others
Hell is you

Free from surroundings, hormones, past decisions, titles, roles and class
Habit, upbringing, cultural conventions, party, club – I, neither citizen nor class

Particular existence precedes nature and essence

Free from all gods
Free from all law
Free from all kinds
Free from all minds
I am mine

© Joshua J. Reynolds, 2017. All rights reserved.


Contrast and oppose

Freely unequal?
Or equal as slaves?

Leaden clouds looming
Desaturate the day
Monolithic tongue diluting
Spitting politer shades of grey

Neutralized wavelengths
Censoring shades

Frequencies of life
Compelling constant strife
Freedom fossilized
Conform and die

Offended spectra feel the red’s too infra
Dusky grey from chroma too pale
Coercive dogma fuels
Linguistic euthanasia

Compliment to curses
Reality remains
Darkened dust dispersed
Declares the dyes of day

© Joshua J. Reynolds, 2015. All rights reserved.

Misanthrophile (from the album “Depths of Distrust”)


Lord is my shepherd
My holy father
Ancient metaphors
Fitting masochistic whores
Kingdom of my master

Slavish brood
Programmed to praise selfless servitude

Serve your God
Serve your country
Serve community
Downplay your salvation
Coercive use

Bless our dear leaders
Government keepers
Fascist overlords
Lavish lifestyles tax the poor
Render unto Caesar

My blood flows for you

Slavish brood
Programmed to praise selfless servitude

(Serve) the public
(Bow) the company
(Kneel) the patron
Downplay your promotion
The taboo truth

Celebrity idols
Reverend role models
Empty impostors
Worthless lives to be ignored
Bind my mind to symbols

© Joshua Reynolds, 2014. All rights reserved.

Servitude dialogue

Shrink: Do you want to explain that?  Why do you say humankind is a slave race?

Misanthrope: Well, the vast majority of people are like prisoners chained to a rock, watching empty shadows flicker on a wall, confusing them for reality ‘cause it’s all they’ve ever known.

Shrink: Go on.

Misanthrope: People identify with these shadows.  They can even take pride in familiarity with them.  But they’re not real.  They’re symbols, or images, even though they command thought and reaction.  So people ridicule, outcast, harm or kill anyone who rejects the shadows.

Shrink: But don’t people desire freedom?

Misanthrope: Not really.  They idealize freedom.  Fear forces them to embrace promises of security just as long as the label ‘freedom’ is slapped on, like a bumper sticker.  Look at the herd of willing sheep at airports.  Imposed structure makes them feel safe — salvation through bonds.  Symbol-worshiping slaves need a master, their shepherd.

Shrink: Tell me more about how you see human beings.

Misanthrope: We’ve been over this before.  Most are irrational, symbol-minded sheep who get off on serving others and self-sacrifice.

Shrink: I see.  Why do you think that?

Misanthrope: It’s the bumper sticker mentality.  No need for thought.  Just flash a logo, badge or some other image and get an automatic response, like giving orders or cracking a whip.  Haven’t you ever seen a crowd at a ball game?  Puppets.

Shrink: But solidarity creates meaning.  Distance yourself, and miss out on a sense of participation and purpose.  Everything will seem foreign – thus the self-destructive behavior associated with your disorder.

Misanthrope: My disorder?

Shrink: Bitterness prevents you from fully functioning in the community.

Misanthrope: Fully functioning?

Shrink: Yes.  But fortunately we now know that distrust is a mental illness that can be treated with proper therapy.  Now, I’m going to write you a prescription for….

© Joshua J. Reynolds, 2014. All rights reserved.

Windowless I

They all lie

Freak show media
Consciousness machine
Tribal game hurls out
Reflexive conditioning

“Thou shalt not alter the consciousness of thy fellow man”
“Thou shalt not prevent thy fellow man from altering his own consciousness”

Freed from my filter
Panoramic sea
World of white light whirls
Into backwards memories

Mind betrayed by space and time
The three collide
Raw sensations amplified
Conscious state clarified

Gauge explain
Weigh narrate

Eyes portray a frame unseen
No boundaries
Sympathetic unity
Synchronous harmonies

Insignificance is my significance
My significance is insignificant

Arrogance a place inside
Some grand design
My separation justified

Windowless I

© Joshua Reynolds, 2014. All rights reserved.

At Bay

Submerged amongst the waves again
Endless downpour drowns my breath within
Delusion deepens my dread
Hope looming in a light ahead

Sun dries solid ground
My breath unbound
Soothing welcome breeze
Not what it seems

Lost amongst the sand
Nothing but waves on land
Trust and faith in man
Slipping through my hands

Drifting awry
On the open sea
Deception justifies
Disordered being

Forces submission
Is oblivion
Sunlight all around
My refuge found
Living life at ease
Nothing’s what it seems

Lost upon the land
Back to where I began
Trust and faith in man
Shifting as the sands

© Joshua Reynolds, 2014. All rights reserved.

Our Father

(with hyperlinks to sacred text)

Destroy life on earth
Drown the innocent
Sick and elderly
Defenseless infants

Dash some kids to death
Before parents’ eyes
Loot the homes of foes
Thrash and rape their wives

It’s in the book
It’s in your heart

Kill all male children
Kill their mothers too
Keep the virgin girls
For your sexual use

Curse the children who
Scorn a hairless man
Watch while savage bears
Shred them where they stand

He so loved the world

Stone the thief, his kids, and more
Stone his cattle too
Stone to death those you deplore
For opposing you

Force your enemy to eat the flesh of their own sons and daughters
Kill the man who refused to impregnate the wife of his brother

In his own image

Raining fire down on towns
Torch thousands of men
Grind to salt those you allow
To see your sins

Burn and sacrifice
Your young girl to me
I shall grant you bloody victory

Bash brains to bits against stones
Toss bodies out to rot alone

Give virgin daughter to mob for rape
Slay this one, slay that one

Drive sword right through
Pregnant woman’s guts
Slice her open
Tear and rip her up

Starve and torture
Carve the corpses
Infect the genitals
Hamstring the horses

Spread disease
Leave nothing to breathe
Mercilessly taunt and slaughter

Strike the slaves
Send a plague
For I am the Lord, thy Father

On and on
The list goes on
Of beneficence flawed
Fear and fright don’t qualify
As love for your god

© Joshua Reynolds, 2014. All rights reserved.


It’s a useless waste of time
Useless waste of time
Forms imposed change nothing
Why fool yourself with lies
To believe in something?
Useless waste of time
Why try?

The blind bind
To ritual games
Their fears pacified
In false security
You hide in your mind
Narcotic states of faith
Ordained thoughts to mirror

Paint, pierce, remove, resize
Mindlessly mutilate and mime
Replay the paradigm
Paint, pierce, remove, resize, baptize

The grind designed
To stifle change
The years pass you by
In mock stability
You follow your tribe
Flaunting the flesh with marks of paint
Mindless masses grapple
With eternity

Right hand raised
Left on this book
So help me, God
An oath I took

Paint, pierce, remove, resize
Mindlessly mutilate and mime
Replay the paradigm
Paint, pierce, remove, resize, baptize

Don’t ask why
Reason denied
Why pray?
‘Cause it’s our way

Should I
Even reply?
Why pray
When it’s all the same?!

© Joshua Reynolds, 2014. All rights reserved.

Reality Constrained

Desperate and drowning again
Constant turns
Wandering waters
Of vague variation
My mind abides
The absurd

I flee
Yet I am frozen
Eyes darkened despite the day
Familiar foreign faces ahead
Facing the dead

Record to preserve the frame
Repeat the pattern
And fabricate
Routine a random interruption
Reality addiction
Lucid but lost
Impose illusion
Ignore the cost

Habitual act
A gridded map
Trust the tool
Filter the facts
(Same shape retained)
Remold recast
And feign

Unbound and boundless again
Nothing learned
Wasting through a world
Of disintegration
My mind denies
What’s occurred

I gain
Yet I can’t grasp it
No distance remains the same
Substantial dissolves into mist
Change persists

Submit to suffice as sane
Numbing narcotic
Construct compelling constellations
The real is artificial
Useful but wrong
Supplant thought with groundless gods

Home to heal
A sacred seal
The wanderer saved
(Shelter attained)
Ingrain the real
And gain

Narcissistic games
Freeze, sedate

Arranged and deranged again
Freedom yearned
Confusing whirl
Of high definition
My mind derides

I join
Yet I’m unwelcome
I follow formality
Strange symbols whose sense I resist
On ritual bliss

Connect and joined the enslaved
Chronic enchainment
Program to avoid apprehension
Order, a nurturing drug
Convenience lies
Decline the digitized anodyne

An artifact
A molded mask
Censor, redact
Sculpture strained
(It can’t contain)
It won’t surpass
Disordered motion

Life won’t slip away
Life can’t slip away
Life won’t slip away
Life has slipped away
Life will slip away
Life must slip away
Life will slip away
Life should slip away

© Joshua Reynolds, 2014. All rights reserved.

The Source

From Chaos waters Time first nods
From Night born the light of Day
Mother Earth, raped by Sky, bares Titan gods
Bound and locked away

Mutilated by his son
Raining blood, utters a curse
Child devoured, prophecy is done
Father burns, lightning is hurled

For ten years storm-god rages on
Forests burned, seas boiled away
Final threat, flaming roar, eyes hundreds strong
Crushed by mountain, slain

All birth grows from what it is not
Fated in cycles of war
Aggression devastates
But fails to dominate
Destined return to the source

By cosmic planning Time moves on
Four seasons, fixed stars and Fate
Warming sun up at dawn, the moon’s motion
Gods give Nature her rightful place

Uncompleted world undone
Divine image, a creature to serve
Fruit of truth, tree of life, temptation
Fire burns as man yearns to learn

Innocence, a place of peace
(Painless bliss, joyous feasts)
Prosperous, a life of awe
(Peaceful deaths to live with gods)

But imbalance must be righted
Your delight can’t last for long
Opened eyes, mind enlightened
Happiness, an illusion

Curses, anger
Race doomed to failure
Forever toil
Until blood turns to soil

Time of Iron, man’s decline
Faithless children born with hairs of grey
Cities sacked, parents slain, jealousy and lies
God’s image proves its own hate

Inundated by the flood
Helpless cries damned to drown at birth
Love divine buries life deep within the mud
Will Father learn when taking his turn?

All birth grows from what is not
(Force from flaw, sick from sane)
Fated in cycles of war
(Win needs fail, frail needs strength)

Transgression throws its weight
But scales fluctuate
Destined return to the source
(Death the price for our gain)

© Joshua Reynolds, 2014. All rights reserved.