by Zack Hemsey

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released November 4, 2016

Digital booklet included with album purchase.

Music, Lyrics, Production, and Vocals by Zack Hemsey
Additional Vocals on Tracks 3, 4, and 6 by Heather Hemsey
Published by Zack Hemsey Publishing (ASCAP)

Album Mixed by Zack Hemsey
Album Mastered by Lou Hemsey
Artwork & Design by Omead Afshari


all rights reserved


Track Name: Lesson From A Nomad
I am icon
I am that pictured in those tales to song
I am that which from the brink responds
I bring unrest when the seas have calmed
I am legend, I am fool
I am one of many, I am under no rule
I am peasant, I am loon
I’m disparaged, I’m consumed
I’m most certainly confused
Am I seeing something real or is it smoke?
Am I on the ground or am I hung without a rope?
And is this fantasy or from the dream have I awoke?
Am I stead on the path or am I clinging onto hope?
Am I?

If you gather all the teachings that the wise have told
Compile every scripture from the books of old
And muse upon the meaning of the truths you’ve sewn
You will germinate the mind but the fields won’t grow
This is the high of low
This is the friend turned foe
This is what the light can’t show
If you stand still don’t expect the Earth will slow
See that every wind up plateaus
If you want a seed to rise up, let go
The greatest tragedy as every breath takes toll
Is to live a life and never witness depth of soul
Snake inside the rocks, your tale you will consume
Liberate the mind but lock the body in a groove
Know that sedentary can be tantamount to tomb
This is why a coma patient must be regularly moved
In the quest for plenty, know the paths are many
But few will lead you past the regions where the past is buried
Giving is the levee that will bound a man’s greed
Prison is the dwelling when you take no leave
Faster than a sparrow flies, trap the cupid by surprise
Grab his bow and arrow and shoot straight into the empty sky
You can spend eternity immersed in what’s inside
But if you’re searching for a purpose then no purpose will you find

I am icon
I am that vision, I am fate transformed
I am that allegiance to the sword you’ve sworn
I am false idol, I am fraud
Ratchet down disaster like a phoenix in decline
Imagined up in rapture, but no miracle am I
If you sing inside a cavern like canaries in a mine
Know indulgence is a hazard so be wary with your time
To mean something, we live and we strive for it
To feel something, we fight and survive for it
To love something, we scream out and cry for it
But tell me now are you willing to die for it?
Take of what may come as you lay on the line for it?
Armored at the core, at the ready and primed for it?
Breach the battleground with the courage to drive for it?
And to know the fundamentals of being alive?
Am I?
Track Name: The Runner
He was living his life in a fog
Oblivion’s welcoming arms
His view of society marred
No perception of forces at large
Quite the misfit and always on guard
In his mind rang a silent alarm
And so lays the ground of a future that waits
When you feel like you ain’t where you are
Out of control his compulsion to flee
Absent of value as best he could see
As from within so without unto thee
Knew he’d strike out on his own eventually
And so it would be
Patience no virtue amid certainty
Fortune unknown but determinedly
On the day when he had turned twenty three
He decided to leave
He was gone

The freedom was like an addiction he soared on a glorious high
Living to him was a mission devoid of objective in mind
He’d move at the drop of a dime with no thinking or questioning why
Never developed attachment to things all would get left behind
This was the method that patterned his ways
Perpetual motion without any reins
No repercussions, no piper to pay
No obligation to come into play
Nothing to weigh
No one to sway
No inhibition or stress to allay
“No benefit to the bonded” he’d say
“So die on the morrow but live for this day”
Lone as the wolf strays he remained one in kind
A habit of force made as he wade far and wide
Now onwards and upwards, no grind
If you don’t seek you can’t find
Devil-may-care, well no devil compared
He was onto one hell of a ride
He was gone

Brick by brick, stone by stone
Block by block, home by home
Bridge by bridge, zone by zone
Piece by piece, forged his own path
Years come and gone
Sites come upon
Miles drifted on
Wounds licked and gnawed
Fate hemmed and hawed
Yet this single flaw
Fulfillment he never saw
Running from guilt and from sorrow disguised and from things insecurity hides
Running from doubt and the pressure to cope with no semblance of hope on the rise
Running from heartbreak and love
Running from who he had failed to become
Running from fear he soon came to realize
He was left all alone with but words of the wise
And so on the day when our passage entwined
Now long in the tooth at the end of his line
He said “friend, go yonder, but bear this in mind
In this world, know one truth: you can’t run from time”
Track Name: Lost And Found
I used to hear them say of bad news, when it rains then it pours
Fitting for a generation yearning out for more
A story of the ancients etched in relics from before
Faded echoes that survive this vicious cycle that we mourn
No telling how much pain a people can ignore
How much heartache can communities endure?
How much of the problem is systemic and ensured?
How much profit over people can executives procure?
Tension on my conscience, feel it wrenching at the core
The walls are closing in, I need an exit to explore
When precious opportunity comes knocking at the door
Will you dive into the waters or keep standing at the shore?

Long lost but I have found
The bright of day, the here and now
The ways of old are out of view
Before I go, I’m waiting for you

This is child’s play indeed
Realization of wants, hopes, and dreams
Good intentions tangled with vines, thorns, and weeds
Racing through a thicket that blinds, rakes, bleeds
Anxious in our slumber, we moan, beg, and plead
The cart’s before the horse but the eyes don’t perceive
Monster in the flesh that the mind won’t believe
And few among us left with the courage to come clean
I know the sigh of subsisting without the means
Aim that’s off the mark when you drifted by mere degrees
The hunt for explanations and answers we all need
I’ve come to find the truth is much stranger than what it seems

Long lost but I have found
The bright of day, the here and now
The ways of old are out of view
Before I go, I’m waiting for you

Lost but not forgotten
In our struggle no stopping until it’s found
Till dawn has cleared the haze and the bright of the day surrounds
No death before dishonor, no reason for guilt to shroud
No need to check the records, my signature’s in the sound
To capture that potential one seizes the pain
Conquers the doubt and remains up though the weight of it hangs down
You’re thinking on the stage but you’re standing inside the crowd
Leap off the precipice of change for the moment that’s right now
Track Name: Into The Valley
Monuments atop the summit of the mind
But stone pillars turn to dust when attention shines
That granite chips when the point of observation pries
Them cornerstones are prone to crumble right before our eyes
Now that’s the truth in lies
Grave deceptions are but servants of the wise
Deluded in our grandeur like a fool that’s in disguise
But strip away the surface and reveal the great divide
Between the ornaments of culture and the meaning of our lives

Before we lay in ash
I feel ascension giving way at last
Into the valley once more now we go
Into the gray, into the ground down below

You can search the afterlife for pearly gates
But only manner of the earth can serve to wipe the slate
Reject what’s given or accept it, that’s the choice you make
But destinations are determined by the steps we take
So make that great escape
That fixed belief it will fracture before it changes shape
That chain holds firm up until it shatters amidst the ties you break
Don’t root your feet or you’ll never manage to slide and shift your weight
Turn about face and imagine what can happen, see that’s the twist of fate
They found the treasure but their pockets are full of toys
And their victors of status but of true spoils they can’t enjoy
Although no man’s an island within many of them exists a void
And they will forever forfeit passage across the bridge that they’ve destroyed

In the hollow of our hands we survive
Drifting through the meadow next to mountains in the sky
No method to the madness but in madness they will climb
Why settle in the heavens when the river’s in decline
To arrive is to wither and erode
To rest upon your laurels is to shrivel to the bone
To catch the unexpected ditch the devil that you know
And if you get to where you’re going then there’s nowhere left to go

Before we lay in ash
I feel ascension giving way at last
Into the valley once more now we go
Into the gray, into the ground down below
Track Name: Soothsayer
Soothsayer, can you save them?
Can you see the streets in blood?
The remnants of your name?
Soothsayer, can you save them?

I had heard of her gift
Off the road from nowhere
Divine in her sight
Of hereafter aware
A child of no tricks
So the ravings declared
This patron looked right
“Beyond that far hill in a house she lives there”
So there I’ll go
There I go

A crowd was in form, believers in prayer
Shouts of “die witch” amidst the fanfare
A mere 14, her look was of despair
This gift seemed more of a curse that she bears
And she spoke of how there is much that’s unknown
That she sees but part of a future unfold
She speaks of only the things that she’s shown
With what becomes of it she’s not in control
But one by one they told her of their plight
They begged her to give of her knowledge and insight
With poise she imparted her visions of foresight
But more fickle is the finger of fate than she’d like

Soothsayer, can you see the way?

May these words bring you peace
And now, go behold of what will come to be

Soothsayer, can you change this?
Can you see the coming flood?
The warring in your name?
Soothsayer, can you change this?

By week’s end her legend was tenfold
The news of the heavenly oracle took hold
I stood in her audience, now at the crossroads
As swarms had developed surrounding her small home
Then I spoke, not of to be, but what’s been
And warned of the slippery slope that she slid
That I see an era of violence that brims
And implored she consider this choice that I give

Soothsayer, all that will, let it be
Soothsayer, all that is, none can see
Soothsayer, let these words set you free
And now, give this leave and come away with me

Soothsayer, can you save them?
Soothsayer, can you save us?
Track Name: Road Of Riches
Road to riches

The motive was to work till a fortune of size grew
With which a life of leisure by reason would ensue
From which no turn of hardship would threaten to undo
To sacrifice the short to invest in the long view
And so it went, the hours and weekends they pushed through
A family full of ghosts but the payoff would yield huge
Till decades down the line this epiphany stung true
They’d raised their worth along with a son that they never knew

They ride, they ride
They chasing crescents in the sky but they hold only a vision
They ride
They riding toward the sheen of an image
They ride that road to riches
Right past a road of riches

Road to riches

They’d gather at the park always after class
Where troubles of the youth never seem to last
And fantasize of things that they hoped to have
How they would all be famous signing autographs
They’d let out a laugh
But one boy among ‘em, this meant more than he showed
Cuz absentee parents always left him alone
So love and adoration wasn’t something he’d known
And he was adamant that someday he would have it in droves
And so it was, celebrity life came to pass
With followers and all the acclaim that you could ask
But something was amiss, it still eluded his grasp
He missed belonging like those days at the park that he’d had

They ride, they ride
They chasing crescents in the sky but they grasp only the vision
They ride
They riding toward the sheen of an image
They ride their road to riches
Right past this road of riches

They ride
Only they hold a vision
Just an image
They ride, they ride
Riding the road to riches
They ride, they ride
Just an image
Chasing crescents in the sky
They’re riding a road to riches
I ride, I ride
I’m riding that road of riches

They ride for that pot of gold
As they’re blinded by their obsession
Racing toward a rainbow engaged in a fool’s errand
Dogged in pursuit there’s no altering their perception
Till they spin out at the bend and they wake up inside the trenches
And this the moral them fables had failed to mention
Many fall to ruin succeeding in their objectives
Realized opportunities flourish among the wreckage
When goals are selected, but methods are ignored
When misaligned incentives undermine a greater cause
When shadows of perspective cloak the end you’re working towards
Like movements of the heavens that the senses don’t regard
These moments pass ‘em by, their own precession of the stars
So put to work all the lessons that you can draw
To reach out for the moon let it capture you from afar
As seams of perfection are sewn with the silk of flaws
The riches that you seek are existent right where you are
Track Name: Beyond The Throne
Law hangs by a thread
Hate grows when it’s fed
Though blue skies overhead
The sun shines on the dead
And blight creeps up through the beds
On calm winds plague can descend
And paradise turns on its head
When brutality looms and upends
We’re always but steps from that edge
Tottering steps off that ledge
You can stare off, deny and pretend
But reality snaps when you’ve bled

The seat of true power holds, beyond the throne
The seed that in man corrodes, beyond the throne
The crown of supreme control, beyond the throne
Commands and consumes you whole, beyond the throne

Too eager to be bossed
Too eager with no thought
Too willing to be bought
We’re too willing to ease off
These are the lines that we cross
Open your eyes or you’ll lose what you’ve caught
Many a man who have gone where we walk
Ended up winding through the killing fields lost

The seat of true power holds, beyond the throne
The seed that in man corrodes, beyond the throne
The crown of supreme control, beyond the throne
Commands and consumes you whole, beyond the throne

No mercy is laid
When cancer invades
When trust that you gave
Returns and betrays
This is the bed that they made
This the result when grit wanes
This the effect when nerve fades
If you lay down your sword then be slain
And I see the desire in your veins
I share the resolve you maintain
I feel the dominion you crave
But I refuse the kingdom you claim
As wars wage and lives are disposed
Beware of the frame of mind you impose
Cuz I’ve seen the face ascendancy shows
And none can assuage the hunger that grows
Insidious as it unfolds
Drunk in a poisonous hold
This is the trade when you take to that throne
The power commands but it’s you it controls

The seat of true power holds, beyond the throne
The seed that in man corrodes, beyond the throne
The crown of supreme control, beyond the throne
Commands and consumes you whole, beyond the throne
The seat of true power holds
The seed that in man corrodes
The crown of supreme control
Commands and consumes you whole
That absolute rule forbodes
That trap that entombs the soul
Have mind to forsake what’s shown
Have will to disown
Go beyond the throne

Beyond the throne

The more you feed the black hole
The more it takes to control
The more you feed the black hole
The more it takes and controls
Track Name: The Pursuit Of Knowledge
The sun was scattered through the colored glass
The floor was stained as light enveloped in a bath
And shadows on the wall from piles of books were cast
With rows that formed an aisle in through which I passed
These the quarters of a recluse whom I’d come to ask
About the origin of wisdom he was said to have
To get the story of “the man who knows more than any”, or so I read
He welcomed me to sit with affection and then he said:
“Since I was seven I’ve traveled the globe through words
Set on a mission to devour all I could learn
I’ve studied the writings of the greatest minds you’ve heard
Discovered the tenets that the finest thinkers observed
The more I gained, the more that I sought to earn
The more I attained, the hotter the fire burned
With every book I finished another was there to serve
For every text I read there were pages still left to turn
I’ve learned from all the migrants and drifters to whom I’d listen
Philosophers and soldiers whose knowledge I would solicit
I know histories of nations I’ll never have chance to visit
Complexities of science and language with great precision
But in the end I’ve seen nothing of what’s been given
This life that I’ve employed, while I love it, it has its limits
The failing I regret, though it’s painful, I must admit it
For everything I know of this world, I never lived it”

A silence hung for a moment’s thought
As echoes from the room decayed and tapered off
And there we sat reflecting, was it all for naught?
Until I spoke in earnest with this brief remark
I said that “while it’s evident your knowledge is rivaled by much shrewdness
I’ve never met a man with such wisdom who’s so foolish”
Then he grinned and he chuckled and asked if I
Would speak on what I’d seen through my travels, so I replied:
“I’ve seen the treasure that waits for a man to find
I’ve seen the consequence when the sun and the moon combine
I’ve seen the peaks of mountains that reach out and touch the sky
The struggle to survive and the desert where dreams have died
I’ve seen the best and the worst that we try to hide
The salt of the earth and the evil of humankind
I’ve seen the wrecked and ravaged and scavengers rummage through debris
And those that searched in hope, finding meaning where none once used to be
And some that stormed the beaches
Some that pledged allegiance
Some that scorched the earth for motives that they don’t agree with
Seen some get lost among the current of their grievance
While the tide of death and birth left some speechless
I’ve seen love bring some to their knees
And some lift hearts when they smile for no reason
I’ve seen fairytale endings to believe in
And now I see a man who’d see the same if he’d but seize it”
Track Name: No Man's Land
No man alive this planet can illuminate your path
No guide that came before can show the way beyond the pass
No footprints on the trail for you to follow in the tracks
For you to make it there you have to leave without the map
And no amount of pleading can release you from the trap
There’s no degree of toil that can serve to bridge the gap
You can trek across the plains without much weight upon your back
But if you’re tortured in your mind, you will crumble from the facts
So flee the shelter for the storm before the caves collapse
I’ve stood among them like a ghost they fail to recognize
Amidst the cattle and the wolves that roam the countryside
Stood between the trenches where the sound of battle cried
Where reason went to die along the ground where Hell and Earth collide
And now I stand where fortune shifts and channels open wide
Where essence flows within these rivers under open sky
I’m in that place where few have been though many tried
So if you stand for something, stand for something more than simply standing by
This that gem to find
This that certain kind
This the truth that hides
This is that great divide
Break out from that tomb
That empty room I’ve been inside
No method, no plans
No direction to advance
Just step across that line that’s in the sand
This is the land of no man