The Great Pacific Northwest

by Ben Hermanski

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1.
02:39
Some remaining winter clouds on Gothenburg’s skyline a mass of people walking out of Oscar Fredrick church. Things like this do happen in the broadest of daylight nobody takes notice of the absence of the birds. A lonely bride is weeping in the shadow of the steeple she weeps about the pious life that she has never led. She should be the happiest of all the gathered people but rumour has it all the birds have suddenly dropped dead. When they come and go out all alone how did they even become friends? When the snow is so ephemeral it doesn’t matter in the end. It’s true that birds will fly away to escape the Northern winter but all the birds in Gothenburg will never sing again. All the hearts and all the beaks in tiny bits did splinter and that is due to charities of just a single man.
2.
See the woods are glowing embers, waiting here to shine See the autumn shakes the trees and frees the Maritimes See the moss is making way for rocks, and stones, and gravel And the elements are calling, are calling Mile after mile, and day after day The sea, it calls my name My life at home is not the same So I’m coming, I’m coming back again Hear the sound of seabirds, coming from September skies Hear the sound of waves arriving at the Maritimes Hear the sound of mighty rivers, heading to the sea And the elements are calling, are calling I feel love for some things that I cannot own I feel love for some ways that the people go I fear all the reasons coming from the sky And all we do is waiting, is waiting
3.
03:17
It’s hard to be creative with people around. It’s hard to stay focused when it’s all much too loud. So I put on my shoes. No specific goal. I tighten the laces. I’m ready to go. Olivia writes something. “Do you like these ideas?” I like to go places. She likes to stay here. My name is John Wilson, and I’m an architect. I’d like to go places, but I stay home instead. It’s hard to stay sober with all these drinks around. It’s hard to build friendships in this part of town. So I put on my shoes. No specific goal. I tighten the laces. I’m ready to go. I go. Sometimes.
4.
The calluses on the trees around you It’s frightening and intimate as well The quiet and the fir trees they have found you You’re shivering behind me I can tell And you Spent the night In the forest For the first time The coffee in your hand is getting colder This forest is the fountain of my youth While I’m waiting for some trees to grow older The waiting it has never been for you It has never been for you and I To sleep beneath the stars under this sky So come and look for me another time And gather all the branches you can find And gather all the branches you can find.
5.
Girl, you’re not a lion tamer so leave the lions well alone. When you realize the danger a lion poses kept at home… …you will hit the ground running while I put on my running shoes I might not be faster than a lion but I am faster than you. Girl, we are not lion tamers but we face lions now and then. Although I do not try to tame one girl, our future will depend I might not be a lion tamer, but I’ve got time on my side. Where you are now I’ve once been myself now it’s your turn to decide.
6.
04:15
He was a gentle and a careless happy kid. Fell in love with comic books. Looking for the hero that he never was and never will be. He was craving for that look. He met her on the street in Belfast in the spring. Looking for words in her eyes. Don’t know how he got her to love him, but she did until she broke him and she broke him many times. He said “I’m Batman and I cannot be your lover, for the secrets and the burdens that I bear. You can’t love, nor can I love another, for the spiked ears and the black cape that I wear.” Now every time he meets a woman, he thinks too much and loves too less. He’s not the hero that reads about in all these comic books and so he does what he thinks best. He says “You are my Gotham City. Just light a sign for me to see. I will be there when you need me but right now I cannot stay. Let go my hand and let me free. There are some people in your life who change you for the better. There are some people in your life who make you worse.
7.
03:10
I slept in the train on the day I left home I slept on the couch at her place all alone We took silly pictures with unselfish smiles; embraced for too long and then muttered “Good Night” A lot to confess, even more to leave out; there are lots of silence in doubt I’m too scared to be with a studied psychologist For fear of transparency I’m too scared to be. When she went down under to study abroad we barely bowed out, but that wasn’t her fault. A talk in the kitchen, we later dragged out in bits and in pieces when her mum left the house. An autograph left in her autograph book for all the belongings I took. And we all confess sometimes for the soothing of the talk I’m afraid of the reply but to be honest, aren’t we all?
8.
02:17
Dear driver, I wanna thank you for the hours we spent on the road. For your patience, you waited on me when the train wasn’t ready to go. They say “Good things come to those who do good things.” – so I think you will be fine. Like when you gave me ten minutes of your time, to save me an hour of mine. Take this kindness with you as you go and forever be safe on the road. Forever be safe on the road. In your red and blue car.
9.
02:11
Make it shorter and make it tight In the ambiance by the fire Should you ever come to ruin a hem, just take your time and try to make it whole again. Look for anything that seems nice In these fallible neon lights And the scissors are over there, for you to find and to cut this shirt of mine. I always wondered what it’d be like To be a tailor of the loving kind And if the scissors are untraceable, just take a knife and try to cut along the lines. Dressmaker do you feel alright In the ambiance by the fire? Should you ever come to ruin a hem, just take your time and try to make it whole again.
10.
04:27
I dreamed I spoke to a whale and she sang, and she sang to me. And I kissed a long time friend and she swam, and she swam to me. As I was a lonely diver in the middle of a cold, cold sea. So I sang with my dear whale, and the bull sharks were staring at me. As I rose, I was missing a finger and the coast was so far, far away. I followed the smell of the ocean and penguins they guided my way. I raised a hand with four fingers and I pointed to that heartless grey sea. And I sang for my dear whale while the ice sheets were staring at me. I slept on that whale’s back and the wind sang a lullaby to me. And I fell from the back of that whale and she circled, and circled ‘round me. And I was a lonely diver in the middle of a cold, cold sea. So I sank with my dear whale while someone was dreaming of me.

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released April 25, 2015

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Ben Hermanski Bochum, Germany

Ben likes to hold on to moments and give them away on stage. To you.
In his songs and the stories that he tells.

Ben Hermanski is an observer, a sensitive writer. A finder of melodies both engaging, catchy and familiar; a teller of stories both true and remote at the same time.

He keeps his eyes closed on stage, because these moments are for giving. To you.
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