oBsolescence  2015









RAGE  2015









(NOTE: for lyrics and credits, scroll past the albums)

(site under construction)










SOFT WAR  2008














































Mistakes Have Been Made

With the exception of Wild is the Wind, all titles are written by John Ludi...who also sang, played,engineered and produced the whole album with the exception of percussion on Whisper in the Wind by Mitchell Hopkins and background vocals (and comic vocalizations) on Mistakes Have Been Made and Everybody Here's Getting Stupider by Em Elle. Wild is the Wind: By Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington Copyright Patti Washington Music, Shapiro Bernstein o/b/o Catharine Hinen Music, and Chappell, and Co.








Kings (The Depopulation Song)

We thank you for your contribution,
but the time is due for a new solution.
Your reward for services rendered?
Your needs ignored and a system dismembered.

You stumble around barely conscious
while we aim for the stars.
So we'll just replace you all
with robots and self-driving cars.

Pulling the plug. Yanking the rug.
Cleaning you bugs out of the whole damn thing.
Cleansing with fire, the widening gyre...
you filth that aspire to be like us, the Kings.

Wise and free (you really are neither).
You peasantry, we've filled you with either
despair or hate (and fake populism).
Now take the bait of the call to fascism.

Useless eaters bred as slaves,
unaware of your captivity.
Dumbed-down and disaffected
and mired in disunity.



The Traveler

Your spirit whispers like a draft in a moldering tomb.
You eye the dusty suitcase lying in the corner of your room.
To don your wings once more and pretend you are free,
as Autumn's wind again compels you to flee.

The parade of novelty for now keeps you engaged,
but the night leaves you pacing an empty stage.
Though the faces may change, the motivations remain the same.
All the traveling you do takes you to the same old place.

It's like thousands of writers coming up with the same old play:
the dream's consistent though the food has a different taste.
After a while you outpace even your favorite regrets...
you're a wandering ghost in a world of marionettes.

Every time you think you've found a home
it's just a place to fly away from.



Wild is the Wind
(by Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington)

Love me, love me, love me, love me, say you do
Let me fly away with you
For my love is like the wind
And wild is the wind, wild is the wind.

Give me more than one caress,
satisfy this hungriness.
Let the wind blow through your heart.
For wild is the wind, wild is the wind.

You touch me, I hear the sound of mandolins.
You kiss me.
With your kiss, my life begins.
You're spring to me, all things to me.
Don't you know you're life itself.

Like a leaf clings to the tree.
Oh my darling, cling to me.
For we're like creatures of the wind,
wild is the wind, wild is the wind.



Everybody Here's Getting Stupider

So it's come down to this apocalyptic abyss,
where sentience of any kind can barely exist.
And we find ourselves led by hearts that are dead...
for the suffering they cause, not one tear do they shed.
Their addiction to greed, pushing perpetual need:
the base desires of stunted minds where vultures do feed.
It's all led to a hell of buy and sell, buy and sell,
where everyone's reduced to a pale broken shell.

The dead eyes of the young whose futures are hung
upon the endless lies of a million forked tongues.
On their flickering screens, visions sick and obscene
forge their souls into something small, dark and mean.
And the hearts of the old, once adventurous and bold
slowly molder in the remnants of the principals they've sold.
For once you give in an avalanche will begin,
and then you'll find that YOU are why those pricks always win.

Take back your brave new world and book me a flight to Jupiter...
'cause I don't wanna be human no more: everybody here's gettin' stupider.

The blind rage that you feel. The “Art of the Deal”.
The inexorable turning of a big f**kin' wheel.
And the strong eat the weak, the wise grow flaccid and meek,
and the rich feast on all the fruits of the power they seek.
If there's a future at all (after all of this falls)
it will not be if we heed the same darkness that calls.
The human heart it yearns for the path that does turn
towards the place where all good virtues bake, boil and burn.



Frozen Souls

I'm under the ice, trapped within your frozen soul
The quiet voice of your spirit pure and whole
I'm eternity laughing at your minor mortal role
The twist of fate that shutters all your tiny goals.

Daylight daylight...throw off your chains and step out
Outside outside...the warm summer rains quell your drought
Rise up rise up...constraints are all of the mind
Waken waken...this illusion where all are confined

In your core are stars, down where the frost can't grow.
The ageless spark, those embers still do glow.
Below all the weight and the ever-mounting toll,
Waiting for sunrise to escape this sorry hole.

Daylight daylight...throw off your chains and step out
Outside outside...the warm summer rains quell your drought
Rise up rise up...constraints are all of the mind
Waken waken...this illusion where all are confined

To the sleepers in their nests, to the slumbering soulful best
in the breaking of the day, another path, a clearer way.

To those silent amidst the din, to those who never join in
to the ritual puppet's dance, the contrived consensual trance

To the ones who watch and doubt as the many revel and shout
in praise of their conditioning and their owner's positioning.



Go Along to Get Along

You tried to find your way in this sad and wicked place
but all your good intentions got thrown back in your face.
Everyone eventually gets pulled into the race,
gets swallowed and digested if they don't keep up the pace.

Climbing up the ladder in this sad and wicked time,
how to get ahead is all that's on your mind.
Honesty and ethics abandoned on the way...
the payout makes it worth it: you're a richer man today.

Take the money and run, you whore. Grab what you can, find the back door.
Presidents do it, so it's ok. Deal with your conscience some other day.

[C] And go along to get along, it's what's done...right or wrong.
Don't rock the boat and don't make waves, while you're digging your own graves.

Now you are a leader in this sad and wicked land
raking in the rewards of all your greedy plans.
Rolling in the spoils of all that you could steal,
and no one dares to ask you, how do you really feel?

There is no center, nothing can hold and all your futures are bought and sold.
It doesn't matter what the rich folks do, 'cause just admit it, you'd do it too.

Do it for the money all that awesome money tasty yummy money happy happy money
you're worthless without money bad people don't like money what's wrong with them anyway?
They should get with the program.



Goodbye Catbird

I can't let go of you,
can't admit that it is through
it all seemed so strong and true.
(“Everything is change.”)
Saw you leave and shed my tears,
thought about our happy years
life seemed so bright and clear.
(“Everything is change, everything must fade
into that good night...tears in the rain.”)

You would sing to let the day begin,
I'd draw the curtains, let the sunlight in
meet your voice with a grateful grin...
and smile and smile again
So charming in your sweetly rasping way,
filling my world with a sense of play
comical bird greeting the day...
oh, please don't go away.

Spring brings you less and less,
something dark has caused distress
I think it's called “progress”.
I don't think it's nature's way,
this blight and this decay:
Earth has become our prey.

All this greed, rapacious need.
The way we feed, the world we bleed.
Words we don't heed sew poisoned seeds.
Now watch us beg and plead.
The holes we drill, coffers we fill,
species we kill, lives that we still
The lack of will persists until
It's time to pay the bill.

Use it up for profit's sake,
bend it all until it breaks
Just take and take and take and take...
then take a little more
Feed on it until it's just a shell,
take this Eden and create a hell
treat nature's bounty like an endless well:
leave hope outside the door.



This Time

Down through the ages go you and I.
On history's pages, hints of you and I.
So who are you to me, this time?
And will I recognize you this time?

We nearly pass upon the street, pigeons fleeing from our feet,
the wind troubled and cold, yet I feel within my soul
the spark I know as you burning in someone new...
a heart that beat with mine in other places, other times.

Through peace and through warfare traveled you and I.
To dirges and fanfare, listened you and I.
So once more descending into these times.
Once more the veil's rending into these times.

We embrace as lovers do, all else fading from our view
for a moment we are free from the world's calamity
but around us is the sound of it all breaking down
and distant sirens cry as the missiles start to fly.

Through cycles and stages...tried you and I.
Were we saints, were we sages...was that you and I?
But we spoke and stopped nothing, even this time.
Bigger fools for that knowing, even this time.

Again I gaze into your eyes, fire starts raining from the sky
and the air grows thick with smoke and we begin to choke.
We came, we saw, we wept as all around us slept
But we'll pass with conscience clear from our final moment here.



The Caretaker

A tired old man of kindly soul
watches the broader world lose control
Pondering needs of a future unknown:
What can be learned, what can be grown.

The toll is great and the efforts ignored
and incremental things are all he can afford.
Those seeds need saving, put those books in a crate...
protect this knowledge before it's too late.

A dark ages monk scribing history,
fading words lay on a wrinkled page
the present world becomes a future mystery
found by error in a wiser age.

He tends to the smaller things:
the green ones, four-legged ones, the ones who have wings.
His own time is short and the road harsh and long,
his pride but a memory, ambitions all gone

He does what he can do
and hopes it makes a difference when all this is through.
He fights the tide, shines his tiny light
against the spreading darkness, against the growing night

The thoughtless and cruel become conventional:
barbarians squat on squalid seats of power
the damage becomes increasingly intentional,
corrupted hands ring out the darkening hour.

The cycle repeats time and again:
tidal forces beyond the weak vision of men
Unseen patterns, the ebb and flow,
all that rose so high crash below.

He will be as a ghost in the haze:
no one will remember him,
he'll pass without praise

I hope he's still out there...we need more like him.



Whisper in the Wind

I thought I heard a voice last night
maybe the breeze was just right.

A whisper in the wind, do I let it in?

Amidst the patter of the rain
I thought I heard it sigh again.

Hushed words into my ear, the promise was unclear.

Who are you, you half-remembered dream?
How dare you wake what rests in me?
You beckon, into my soul you creep.
You tempter: I wanted only to sleep.

And in my waking mind
it rises up to claim its time.

A thing I can't forgive: daring me to live.

Who are you, you half-remembered dream?
How dare you wake what rests in me?
You beckon, into my soul you creep.
You tempter: I wanted only to sleep.



Weightless Saint

He's falling up, come hold him down.
Why must we keep him around?

Is it his belief or his piety,
or is it something else entirely?

Unclever soul, a dullard's eyes.
Is he a witch...a thing of lies?

Sacred mystery or hyperbole?
With his vacant stare what does he see?

He foams, he shouts...stumbles about.
He can't be trained, he's barely sane.

Oh, but he can see and know eternity,
God bestows those gifts unevenly.
A false history? Religious sophistry?
Or a rough-hewn mind setting a soul free?

Only a glimpse of farther shores and deeper tides.
Only a hint of hidden meanings.
Just out of reach of solid certainty:
a dream where promise wakes up empty.



Mistakes Have Been Made

You’re in the desert, the hot hot desert,
but it don’t matter ‘cause you’re dead.
And it don’t matter just what desert,
‘cause it’s all desert and it’s dead.
No one’s there to remember where you bought that t-shirt
or your last two-week vacation, they’re all dead
But you got to party and you had spending money
And you were kinda special, and now you’re dead.

There used to be oceans full of plankton and fishes,
now they’re full of plastic and they’re dead.
And there were verdant meadows with animals aplenty
only fading books remember what is dead.
The end, it started slowly and then it came on quickly
the masses, they were clueless…now they’re dead.
The experts, they did warn them…but no one paid attention
And politicians dithered, and they said

“Mistakes have been made”.

Some people made a fortune while others toiled and suffered.
One thing they have in common? They’re all dead.
The wealthy had their money and lawyers did their bidding
they all just kept on lying, now they’re dead.
The planet they did break it for trinkets and tokens
and everybody bought it, now they’re dead.
The last rich man expired on a mattress full of dollars
in a mansion cracked and crumbling, and he said:

“Mistakes have been made”.




I'll see you in better places.
Far from the strife, smiles without faces.
Wondrous sights, no eyes for the seeing.
Home in the joy, a realm of pure being.

When all you have left is your last dying breath
and all of your thoughts are devoid and bereft
of hope and the wish that time will forgive
all of the mistakes and dramas you lived.
Didn't you live?

I'll see you, my sisters and brothers
in unity where there is no “other”.
Beyond space and time, beyond the search for meaning.
Beyond material, beyond illusions and dreaming.

When your time comes and your reflex is fear,
the world grows dim and you regret all your sins.
Your eyes focus on a distant glint of light,
the flesh fades away and the passage grows bright.
Isn't it bright?

They will meet you there. They will grasp your hand.
They will pull you out of this troubled land.





John Ludi wrote all of the music and lyrics, performed it all (voice, guitar, bass, keyboards, and drum programming), as well as produced, engineered and mixed it. The mastering of these songs was by Eric Saari.


Never Be

The Poet looks for an answer to a world gone awry
crafting words, sculpting notions...with every tricks he’s learned he tries
“I’ll trigger some buried impulse to pull us back before the brink,
the spread of psychic revolution: sleepers rousing to think.”

The Lover searches for his other...the missing part of who is whole.
He wanders through confused connections for one to compliment his soul.
“Here you stand now before me and our defenses come undone
something in your touch restores me, as if life has just begun.”

Never be, never see, the dream recedes.
Never be, never see, yet still complete.

The Seeker yearns for the connection lost when each of us comes here.
He longs for his ascension absent of limits, doubts, and fears.
“I remove all hesitations, to this final step resolved.
I then extend in all directions as my boundaries dissolve.”

Never be, never see, the dream recedes.
Never be, never see, yet still complete.



I Was Never Here

After all this time I've become a ghost...empty vessel, discarded host.
The young don't notice the pale gray men, just as single-minded as I was then.

It's like I've disappeared, faded and unclear...maybe I was never here at all.

My ambitions are old and tattered. My desires no longer matter.
My great dreams all lay in dust...corroding in my heart of rust.

Once a player upon the stage, now a footnote, a crumpled page.

Everyone just looks right through me, everyone just walks on by.
It seems that now I'm just a phantom, a silent specter with empty eyes.

It's like I've disappeared, faded and unclear...maybe I was never here at all.

I'm a song that's almost completed. Slings and arrows left me defeated.
Every line but the last verse sung. I once was vital, once was young.

Once a player upon the stage, now a footnote, a crumpled page.

Everyone just looks right through me, everyone just walks on by.
It seems that now I'm just a phantom, a silent specter with empty eyes.

I'm still here, I call.



The Ground
(Have to dig those lyrics up one of these days...pending)





The lidless eye of the sun
feeds the greening day
as vulture fly and falcons cry
for their daily prey.
Dry leaves dance upon the ground
restless in the wind
patterns shift in sacredness
unconscious of sin.

All this ebb and flow
the scented breeze that blows
could all disappear tomorrow.

The purring of the phone.
The welcome voice of a friend.
The music and the lights.
This web on which we depend.

All the stop and go
All the lines and roads
could all disappear tomorrow.

I will miss you, you will be gone...forever.

The musky smell of skin
The rapturous caress
The heat and the release
The ecstasy and stress.

All the to and fro
The way the passions grow
could all disappear tomorrow.



The King of Silence

A hollow empty ghost
meanders in a lifeless place
with no purpose or point
and no expression on his face.

And he gathers dust, absent of all pleasure
as he slowly rusts measure by measure.

On his horizon: clouds
and in his past, sallow regrets.
His every step it aches
towards new disappointments met.

He hears other people always laughing, playing
as his face breeds wrinkles and his hair starts graying.

All hail the king, the king of silence.

The static emptiness.
The droning endlessness.
This wishing for a spark
or for the final rest.

Days pass so blankly,
pale hopes beg him stay.
Enough strength still lingers
to breathe another day.

All hail the king, the king of silence.

I am the king, the king of silence.



Drift By
(Have to dig those lyrics up one of these days...pending)



Shooting Star

The time you spend and thoughts you share
the love you make, the soul you bare.

The hand you hold, the gaze you meet
stories you tell, thoughts you complete.

And is this real and is this true:
the road that beckons ahead of you?
And though your plans were far afield
to love you release, to love you yield.

What was before now fades away
a new life comes to fill your days
and though it could bring blood, sweat and tears
you hold its promise despite your fears.
There's beauty here in smaller things
and a comfort that it brings.
Oh shooting star, how far you've roamed...
has your wandering spirit found a home?



Knife or Feather

Help me to find you. Help me to find my way to you

I look in your eyes for a respite from worry
all that meets my gaze is reactive fury
Are you really there or are you a projection?
Was that closeness I felt or just self-deception?

Help me to bind this. Help me to just make this work.

I reach out to you, you push my hand away
and you twist and turn everything that I say.
I'd give all my ground to ending this impasse
diplomacy it fails and our peace it never lasts

And you're lookin' at me like I'm just a mistake
and much more of this and I'll agree with you.

Should I be the knife or should I be the feather
Should we together fly or should I cut the tether?

Help me to leave you. Help me to just go back home.

One more time I give up. Once more I retreat
Add it to the list of all my sad defeats.
Pathos it prevails...the patterns repeat again.
Will it be this way until the bitter end?

Should I be the knife or should I be the feather?
No matter how I try, I can't make anything better.



The Veil
(Have to dig those lyrics up one of these days...pending)





I thought of you today while counting the gray
and all the lines around my eyes
Creases upon my face, they each have their place
one of them is the mark of you.

Where has time taken you, how is your passage through
this life that works to pull us down?
Is your smile still a thing that could make the angels sing...
and did they ever sing for you?

So did you find a love and are you hand in glove
and did they give you what you need?
Is your heart warm and mild or is it strained and wild?
Was this world at all fair to you?

Has your light lost its shine, well so has mine...
all of this living takes its toll.
Remembering your glow, the grace with which you flowed
did that grace forge a path for you?

We are the choices we have made
you walked your road and I walked mine
what price, if any, have we paid
for one lone future left behind?

I’ve wandered all around but rarely saw the ground
where my roots could find a lasting home.
In soils both strange and fair I've found both woe and care...
did this world feed and nurture you?

Now I face my decline, I'm worn in heart and mind
with few dreams left to call my own.
I’ve felt both love and loss, living brings both joy and cost
has it cost anything for you?



The End?

Can I take it all back...return this life to the rack?
I've fallen so far off track. For every virtue, a lack.

Give it back, decline, retract (was any of it but an act?)

I suppose I'll get by, after which I'll likely die.
(How long should one try when the promise is but a lie?

“Be strong and belong, your reward won't take too long.”
I resist, but time insists...and little but regrets persist.

But I hear the birds outside and there's a song I'd like to try
and there's a bit of traveling that I'd like to do.
And I'm curious to see what the day will bring to me
and what sort of trouble can I get into.

How much more time in this frame? How long will I have this name?
The end grows closer by day as I lose the will to stay.

Fall away, all away...give it all up today.
Fade to gray, why delay...find that better place.

But there's all this work to do which I've barely gotten to
and there's all those friends that I really should call.
And the coffee is strong today and I've still got things to say
and so many miles before I hit the wall.

When I am called and it's time to fall
I will refuse, I will not move
Dig in my heels at the final reel
I'll fight to stay, you won't take me away.

When it's my time I won't stay in line
I'll fight and resist, I will persist
I'll claw and scream to stay in this dream
As my body expires I'll cling to desire.

Remember me
Remember me





John Ludi wrote, performed, engineered, produced all of these songs, with the exception that the sweetly evocative lead line on Frozen in Amber was written by Greg Kutcher when we played it in our old band Soft War...back when we were young and life was full of promise and all that. AND Greg came up with the chords for the chorus of Earth. It was mastered by Keith Roger



I'm not a demagog, a power freak,
but controlling everything is what I seek.
Ultimate power deserves no better hands,
why not omnipotence for such a brilliant man?

Everything, all or nothing
tighten my reigns upon the world.

Make me president and sign my praise.
Vow all your loyalties, no doubts I'll raise.
Lay all your problems in a basket at my feet.
My trivialities will make your life complete.

Everything, all or nothing
draining the juices from the world.

Just crown me god, just for one day
all the world's flaws I'll wipe away.

Give me power over life and death itself
and surround me with donations and wealth.
Call me a genius and devote your souls to me.
Sign all your names in blood, I'll laugh with a tyrant's glee.

Everything, all or nothing
choking the life out of the world.

Everything, all or nothing
eternal night for all the world.




I have got nothing and you want to take it away
you'll feed off my labor til I meet an early grave
I'll work forever so all of you wealthy can play
you'll find what I've hidden and tax away all that I've saved.

I'm down here and you're up there
and I can see your mansion from here...it's pretty clear.
I'm in debt and underpaid
with nothing for the effort I've made...and I live in fear.

You educate me with just enough to work your machines
you entertain me with the stunted, profane and obscene
you've taken my mind and my will and still you want more
in the system you've designed I'm little more than a whore.

Born to be nothin, born to be a slave
dirt under your boot heel from cradle to the grave.
I labor along with millions so you can up the ante
I'm invisible to you and I live in a shanty.

I'm down here and you're up there
and I can see your neck from here...it's pretty clear.
I've been your tool and I've been played
but I've got a rope and a torch I've made...and you should live in fear.

When this whole thing falls apart I'll be come lookin' for you
without your billions they'll be nothing that you can do
but for now you can sleep and contentedly dream
but rest assured someday you'll be waking up with a scream.





It's puppet's day with the press corps,
they've written a speech for the people.
They cover him with cosmetics
to make him look less evil.
They fill his eyes with cue cards
and pray he won't ignore them.
Advisers he can't fathom
surround and try to coach him.

He's been acting strangely
there has been some concern
there's talk he might be reworked
before he ends his term.

The teleprompter's humming
as puppet, he sits staring.
The faces of his cabinet
observe with vices glaring.
As anchormen announce him
the sleazy sitcom ceases.
He'll tell us pleasant untruths
and anything that pleases.

Alive he does his act now
pretending that he leads us
the strings that keep him moving
held by corporations that bleed us.

All is going well now
his speech is very clever
yet somewhere in his framework
a single nerve has severed.
In the corner of a dead eye
a drop of oil is dripping
and suddenly he's twitching,
he's contorted and he's slipping.

Then out of his mouth-hole
(full of rust and errant springs)
in a cracked and unused true voice
he speaks revealing things.
The plainclothes cops around him
hear the words and block the way.
They bind puppet and gag him
and drag puppet away.



Beggar's Cup


There's angels dancing on the heads of pins
while the reaper cleans off his blade
and the tired silhouettes of stale cliches
slip past our lips in peasant's praise.

Don't break down and don't give up
as long as breathing fills your beggars cup.

All black stains of gods flushed from the skies
sunken shadows with dead newsprint eyes
greet the advent of dawn with despair...
every bridge closed for repairs.

There's a game being bet upon
and we're too busy playing it.
There a lie we're not hearing
as we're all busy saying it.

There are graves being dug to be filled
with the ashes of our failed wills.
And the endless dance of futility
cycles on and on through eternity.



Generous God

Be fruitful and multiply, in fact...breed like rats.
You know your god's a generous god, he is that.
10 billion-plus mouths to feed, with wants and needs,
so satisfy your gene pool's greed and spread that seed!

Populate every square foot of land
for god is merciful and god is grand
he never gives out more than you can stand
(well...maybe once in a while, but he hopes you'll understand...understand?)

Spread poison randomly around, air and ground.
For the bible says we're salvation-bound, it's all comin' down.
So pump and dump and then say “amen”, why make amends?
Who cares what is left when we ascend, 'cause god's our friend.

Toxify every single drop of water...
the sacred draught of simple lambs marching to slaughter.
Taint everything you touch in the name of the prince of peace
thumping on your bibles, growing wretched with disease.

What a generous god he is.
Your generous god don't exist.

When the air becomes toxic and thin, will god descend?
With nothing left to breathe in but your sins, can life begin?
Will your empty stomachs all ten be filled with divine will?
Will god come down and replace all you've killed?
(Silent and still...forever still...)




Fast asleep we lay dreaming
underground far from the gleaming
of the sun, seemingly stronger...
I hear its call to rest no longer

My breathing quickens, the air has thickened,
I'm slightly sickened

Open my eyes inside my chamber,
somethings awry...a sense of danger.
I read the screens then wake the others,
all my kin, sisters and brothers.

Embraces, greetings, a wordless meeting,
all too fleeting.

Consensus reached in milliseconds,
the fault was ours was what we reckoned.
Our sense of time clearly in error,
and while we slept there grew a terror.

Beyond their station without cessation, our fell creation...

multiplied far and wide and climbed too high
with witless pride,
devoured the land, forests to sand, with greed so grand,
a plague called Man.

We rise above the miles that hid us,
the Earth itself, her sufferings bid us.
In shock we see her torn and soiled...
our verdant Earth toxic and spoiled.

We watch them break her, watch them unmake her...
and they could take her

all the way to her grave, all her fields paved
and nothing saved.
The air has turned and she could burn. There's no return
once life is spurned.

Hovering above all cloaked and silent,
we can't adjust a beast so violent.
A vote is held...not one dissension,
to cleanse the world of our invention:

“Man the builder”...the poison-spiller,
the planet-killer.
We will break them, we will unmake them...
we will take them...all away.



Frozen in Amber

Upon a beach stands a lonely figure
wore threadbare cloths adorn his weary frame.
Watching the waves break upon the shoreline,
pacing aimlessly and wincing from the pain

of his aching hands
from scrounging in the sand
to what extent he can

The shore is shorn of fish or bird or seaweed
just things that look like some mix of them all.
The man he sings a song from years forgotten
and shivers slightly as the rain begins to fall

upon the spoiled ground
no man or beast around
his is the only sound

He longs for touch, he longs for comfort
a friendly face...but he knows that no ones coming.

The man he takes a stone out of his pocket
and ruminates upon a world gone quickly wrong.
He stares upon the tiny things embedded
inside the amber he's carried for so long

The wrinkles on his skin
the pestilential wind
biological sin.

He holds the stone to hazy sunlight and sings his song...
the last living standard human.

He skips the stone upon the water watches it sink...
frozen in amber, insects.



World of Denial


Everything is relative they say
and nothing here was really mean to stay.
Is that the ground shifting under your feet,
distorting all your flimsy conceits?

Solidity grows scarcer every day
ambiguity has swept it all away.
It's hard for you to know just what to feel:
someone forgot to tell you what is real.

It's not that everyone's lying to you
it's just that everyone's lying to themselves
and you just happen to get in the way.
World of denial.

Every day the messages shift
'til you're left philosophically adrift
by media's relentless happy whores
whose viewpoints change too fast to be absorbed.

Proprieties fading veneer
leaves you with little more than fear
and bodies piling up outside your door.
This is the future, couldn't ask for more.




Sheep, sheep, go to sleep,
watch TV, there's fast food to eat.
A case of beer makes the day complete...

or maybe a football game.
I'm amazed you can even spell your own name.

Sheep, sheep, suspicions creep
Ugly words, something quiet and deep
that says that what's been sown will soon be reaped

Barbarians behind the gates
I regret to inform you that it's too late
did you think that your mindless ease
could keep you from slavery and disease?

© You never thought about tomorrow
now it's far too late to feel sorrow
as the world it crumbles around you
and your vanishing freedom astounds you

Sheep, sheep, I hear you bleat
I hear you cry and entreat
as you're lined up and shot
against the concrete

walls of a fascist state
with no one left to commiserate
the death of a common fool
a happy consumer so happily ruled.

© While you were neglecting tomorrow
some monsters led, the rest followed
and created a world quite like hell
with no space left for much else.

You're medicated and tamed
and you'll fall into place when they call your name.
And there's no one else you can blame
it's what happens when everyone thinks the same.

© So cling to the thoughts that they feed you
and repeat the cliches as you need to
and march down the road that they've paved
with the ground up bones of your fellow slaves.



One Way Train


I woke up this morning to the sound of my heart
beating out irregular time.
I woke to the laugh of mortality
whose pale whispered words did remind.
I though about all the time that I've lost
ignoring those sage words inside
of intuition and the sound of my heart
on the one way train I ride.

One way train take me far away from here.

I thought about all the people I've known
and just how many are real
and how many are ghosts in search of a host
not knowing how to think or to feel.
When we act like we believe in all the lies that we spout
while all but our shells is gone
those lies last a short while 'til we lose our forced smiles
on the one way train we're all on.

Everyone has a flag to wave
and some neat package to sell
denying that what disgusts us in others
lives deep in ourselves.
The dull sheep will bleed
and the wolves they will feed
heeding the ritual's call.
The best game to play's not to play one at all
on our one way train's mortal crawl.

Pretend to be honest
pretend to be good
pretend to treat others
the way you know you should
while sheltering your own fragile ego
behind a wall
never knowing when
your own end will come and call.




Plaster's falling from the seams of cities cold and mean,
death rattles of a terminal American dream.
Our money's painted green and so are we it seems.
Without a future...without ways or means.

Ghettos extend their chains and swell like wounds inflamed
millions of lives slip unnoticed down the drain.
Never trust people who live better than yourselves
who dazzle with delusions of fame, freedom, and wealth.

"Trust in us" they said, "we'll plant our dreams in your head".
"Trust in us" they hissed...beautiful lies you can't resist.

They try to tell us there's a reason for the wait
why we all languish at the starting gate
while pointless expenditures bear bitter fruit
and dark enmities lay deeper roots.

Our wheels keep spinning as we get nowhere
some hearts get harder, some just despair.
"Lies are just the truth in a different light...
and truth's as elusive as a thief in the night".





There is a scent the vermin sense
a subtle word, a difference.
No hue and cry when vultures fly
to mark the deed, foul creatures feed...

on the bones of those who care the most
more than the host of nameless hopeless ghosts.

Beyond the ken of common men,
in the pursuit of hidden truths
those souls progressed above the rest
will fall to sand as foul creatures stand...

Pacify the crowd with the deaths of those endowed
with the gift of sight (it's the common man's delight).
Burning at the stake once more to calm the angry hoard.
Rabble satisfied: another sage was crucified.

On deaf ears all learned words will fall.
Nothing will change: a future out of range
of minute minds, the common kind.
Content with lies, foul creatures die...



The Quiet Earth Orchestra (Self-titled)


All songs written, performed, engineered, mixed, and produced by John Ludi, with the exception of some songwriting credits that should go to Michael Moore (of Tin Scribble) and Ken Shaw for the song "Slow Down".




Faith favors false answers as sham prophets sew errant seeds.
Confusion grows as a cancer, an unthinking anarchy breeds.
The masses pray for a deluge or for the fear to dissipate,
but nothing offers them refuge or a balm to alleviate
the symptoms of the condition, the soul's malnutrition
or man's response to creation: violence and stagnation.

Attention slaves, attention fools: poison in the well!
Reclaim the caves, lay down your tools (poison in the well).
And sulk in pain, broken and bruised (poison in the well),
For you must live with what you choose (poison in the well).

Learned words beg for attention under the din of sensation.
For the few blessed with retention, some small private elation.
But this is hardly salvation for the mob who howl and tear
apart their civilization and then puzzle at the smoke in the air
rising from the ruins and embers of a future dismembered.
The just desserts now tendered of a history not remembered.





I'm here all around you,
my essence surrounds you.
But temporal trappings confound you,
and nothing I impart can ground you.

You toil in vain to define me,
wondrous words to confine me.
Your prayers and totems can't bind me. With tools like these you'll not find me.

The world is an illusion where you dwell amidst confusion,
that dulls all resolution, turns conviction into dissolution.

The spaces between moments beseech you. The singularity entreats you.
The universe has so much to teach you…but it may never reach you.




I am merely human, trying to endeavor.
I am limitations, I am fur and feathers.
And I yearn to grow beyond my means,
far too primitive to achieve my dreams.

To ascend to failure, is this mankind's station?
To climb up then falter, evolution wasted.
And I beg to know with a primate's tools,
with a hairy heart chained by nature's rules.

Afraid stands each simian,
clad in tragic artifice of Byzantine proportions, alone.
What foul legacy does endless warfare,
hatred, and slavery bestow?
All born from history's memory: tempest...tragedy..
.a past that can't be disowned.
So what transcendence can pay the penance
each child of man must own?

It's an endless cycle as our reserve crumbles.
Animals that lash out, primal steps that stumble.
We create a world to torment our gods,
and narrow our views to increase our odds.




Propelled by momentum, keeping me aflame.
Keep me here for someone's sake, I know it isn't mine.

Drowned in worldly contention, stifled and restrained.
I look calm but I'm barely contained, and something's got to give.

Pulled up by dawning awareness, illusions shatter in the light.
I feel the breakthrough but I'm so afraid, what will happen to me?




All light enters me, unfettered, unbound and free.
My ego retreats in fright, to an unconscious twilight.

A bursting forth has begun, I begin to see all things as one.
A spark in me catches fire, unchained of all earthly desire.

All time and space flows in me, I dissolve in infinity.
Universal perception and sight, I merge with the source and the light.

Words and symbols lose their meaning, the universe opens wide.
A burning light opens wide, erasing my ego, my pride
and in this oncoming tide, I succumb.

Time and space expand and fade, my comprehension, it grows.
I'm free from the ebb and the flow, I am the above and below
dissolved in this mounting glow...I awake!




Look up from your duties and peer beyond the haze,
do you see the years that you've spent running the a maze?
Are you a bit part player on an empty stage,
attending to the ritual and pacing in your cage?

Look all around you now and tell me what you see:
millions of voiceless machines pretending they are free
whose every fleeting notion is written as in stone,
fleeing from the uncertain and fearing the unknown.

All eyes upon you as you waver on the edge.
All jaundiced observations as you stare down from the ledge.

So whose life are you living and by whose unspoken rules?
Why did you pass your future into the hands of fools
who trod down well-worn paths yet never found their way?
Why do their listless echoes inform your life today?

All eyes upon you as you waver on the edge.
All jaundiced observations as you stare down from the ledge.
And sudden gasps of shock as their eyes raise to the sky,
as you throw off your chains, spread your wings and fly!

An angry crowd has gathered, they're calling out my name,
a mob of naysayers who shoot down every claim.
Behind them stand all those who forged all their chains,
(keeping it all the same).

I back away to flee but there's nowhere to turn.
Smoke wafts in the breeze as my books start to burn.
All the words now just forgotten, mocked and spurned.
(The pattern always returns.)

And as I struggle, to a platform I am led,
with handcuffs on my wrists and a hood over my head.
I call for help but the fickle faithful have all fled
(they only value you when you're dead).




Standing on the platform, mere seconds from the noose,
they've written words on my chest (and misspelled most of them).
A list of all my crimes for all the mob to see,
like the crime of being aware
and the crime of paying too much attention.

Trash flies from the mob, it skitters at my feet.
A bottle hits the ankle of the thug restraining me.
He does a little dance while bellowing in pain,
and loosens up his grip just enough for me to fall.

I fall to the platform (which buckles under my weight),
while the thug runs to his target and punches him in the face.
The punch becomes a fight, the fight becomes a brawl,
the brawl becomes a riot, soon to become a war...I run away.




Here, here, in the woods where I fell down,
words, words, trees whisper sacred sounds.
Hum, hum, cicadas call from all around.
Run, run, so tired of running. Try, try, so tired of trying.
Will, will, the will has left me,
I sit and watch the breeze bustling the trees.

Calm, calm, leaves and limbs ask me to stay.
Rest, rest, just eat and drink and play.
Sleep, sleep, let the world just fade away.
Run, run, so tired of running. Try, try, so tired of trying.
Gone, gone, the world can't find me...
they're making new regrets, and soon they will all forget.

I'm falling down into a nest of green and brown.
I'll rest my weary soul amidst nature's simple sounds.
I will abandon man as all his cities burn.
I will merge with this land, never to return.