Synchronized Chaos March 2016: Life Energy

Welcome, readers, to March’s issue of Synchronized Chaos Magazine! This issue seems to center on energy in various forms, both literally as a power source and poetically as a metaphor for people finding the inner strength needed to spur them on to greater insights.

Jaylan Salah writes about finding solace and creative energy through the Finnish rock band Poets of the Fall. As a writer and artist and a young person, Jaylan found welcome, affirmation, and thought-provoking ideas in the lyrics and beauty in the voices of her favorite band.

Since ancient times music has punctuated our life journeys and lubricated our experiences, from early hide drums and wooden dulcimers and lyres and chants to modern sounds produced through technology.

Michael Robinson also writes of his poetic inspirations in taut, restrained free verse, using birds and nature as a motif. Seagulls and peacocks have been present during various seasons of his life and thus evoke various emotions.

Joan Beebe celebrates nature’s renewal and beauty during spring. Her work, written with joy and full sincerity, heralds the coming of warmer weather. She also encourages readers to keep track of their pleasant memories by holding onto mementos.

Peter Jacob Streitz contributes a short story on the loss of innocence and natural human life-energy due to repression and fear from people who moved too fast to control what they did not understand. Elizabeth Hughes, in her monthly Book Periscope literary review column, reviews novels from Hazel Boyd which describe how a group of people, friends and lovers, work to maintain the caring and energy in their relationships over time despite the complications and challenges they face.

And, finally, in a writeup from museum docent Cristina Deptula, there’s a discussion of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researcher Dr.Adam Weber’s research into improving the efficiency of hydrogen fuel cells. While Weber affirms the promise of this form of energy storage within the next 50 years, the technology will require much thought and effort to bring it to the point where it can become commercially useful. He outlines some challenges researchers are facing and methods they are using to work around these issues.

We hope this issue serves as a kind of ‘muse’ for readers as they continue their own creative and personal journeys.



Egyptian writer and critic Jaylan Salah interviews Finnish rock band Poets of the Fall

Poets of the Fall: Belated Interview and Self-Discovery


Poets of the Fall in a 2008 live performance By wlodi -, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Poets of the Fall in a 2008 live performance By wlodi –, CC BY-SA 2.0,

I first listened to the Finnish band “Poets of the Fall” in 2006. I was just starting college and they had just released “Carnival of Rust”; their second album. The first song that I listened to was “King of Fools”. I was awe-struck. It felt like I’ve been chosen to guard an ancient god that only whispered its secrets to me.
The guitar solo was great. The vocals were raw and emotional. Every single aspect of the song suddenly made sense. To a lonely, angry teenager, “Carnival of Rust” wasn’t just an album, but more of a way to adapt to the 2000s while carrying a hormonal hurricane deep inside you. Mark Saaresto’s –lead vocal- voice was more of a Jiminy Cricket to the wild, troubled writer who lived within me.

As he gently whispered lyrics from their song “Illusion and Dream”:
Hear them sing their songs off key
N’ nod like they agree
Buying the need to be discreet
Poof, my weariness would magically disappear. I would find courage and strength within to go on.
Okay, first things first.
Proper introduction: These guys are technically salt of the earth. Singer Marko Saaresto, guitarist Olli Tukiainen and keyboardist Markus “Captain” Kaarlonen started from scratch throwing everything away to seek the yellow brick road to art. Their songs tackled various subjects from life to sex, death to joy, and despair to empowerment. Their most recent album “Jealous Gods” reached the #1 spot on the Finnish album chart and the #1 spot in my heart as well. A collection of instrumental versions of five of the band’s songs will be released February 16th in an album under the title “Instrumental Collection Vol.1”.
They say every critic is a failed artist. That’s true to a point. I’ve always dreamed of being a rock star. As I juggled failed auditions to be a female lead vocal from one contraband to the other, I realized that writing about music could be easier than actually pursuing a musical career.
I had the privilege of representing Synchronized Chaos magazine in interviewing the “Old Gods of Asgard” via email and the result was a sincere and thought-provoking insight into the kitchen where the Poets shed their skin and become dragons, monsters, demigods and superheroes. One of the best things about “Poets of the Fall” is that their darkest melody never gives in to despair. Poets of the Fall’s lead vocalist Marko Saaresto described the musical process as an “inner need to write music” or else it would be “a short-lived love affair”.
Isn’t that just spectacular?

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Poetry from Joan Beebe


Shoeboxes are meant for shoes

Or pictures you don’t want to lose.

My shoebox is filled with stories of old

The pictures are warm with memories untold.

When I look at those days of youth and fun

The memories for us have just begun.

The years fly by and we don’t think of time

Until we find that shoebox of mine.

Those precious memories are like gold

And bring smiles and tears from those days of old

So don’t throw away that shoebox of yours,

It may bring you comfort from days gone by

Because that shoebox is where those stories lie.



Winter days are usually long and dreary

Depression can overcome us

We don’t seem to have the energy

Or a spirit that is positive

We look longingly for sunshine and warmth

But soon we find we are just a heartbeat away from spring

Trees budding forth with their new shiny leaves

The green shoots of flowers are poking their tiny

Heads up above the ground.

There is a sweet freshness in the air around us

Our senses have come alive and we

Drink in the breath of renewal in nature and ourselves.

Lawrence Berkeley Labs’ staff scientist Dr. Adam Weber discusses current state of hydrogen fuel cell technology in Oakland, CA talk reviewed by Cristina Deptula


Adam Weber, photo from

Adam Weber, photo from

Hydrogen fuel cells power city buses all over Oakland, CA, surrounding the Chabot Space and Science Center and transporting visitors around town. Guest speaker Adam Weber, staff scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s fuel cell program manager, spoke at Chabot on future prospects of this technology during February’s enrichment lecture.

According to Weber, hydrogen fuel as a workable, commercial scale technology in the U.S. is at least 10-20 years in the future, as a minimum. However, he supports continued research and development into the area as the technology represents the promise of a 45 percent reduction in our country’s carbon emissions by 2050.

Hydrogen differs from other fuels as it cannot be mined or harvested directly, but must be produced on a large scale, usually by splitting water molecules through electrolysis. The energy to power the electrolysis can come from natural gas, coal, nuclear energy, or, as he hopes, ultimately from renewable sources.

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Short fiction from Peter Jacob Streitz

MEN AND WOMEN—there’s a difference. At least that’s what Shields’ mom formerly decreed. It’s history. It’s science. It’s nature. It’s everything to do with equality and ONLY ONE HAPPINESS. And along with the laws of only one happiness, Shields also knew, by heart, all the other rules in Mom’s house. That’s why he waited a year after his 13th birthday to ask her about the man he’d met the previous Christmas, in his Grandma’s cellar. This was a terrible mistake. When Shields simply asked if the man she called “husband” loved him, his Ma threw a fit! The word LOVE was strictly verboten in or out of their home.

For it was his Mom’s belief that love, as a word, was worthless. “Gens de peu (the meaner class of people),” she’d crow with characteristic fervor. “Love everything from inanimate objects to gods, celebrities, and prime-time TV.” She’d quiz Shields: “And how can love describe the affections of men and women when we incessantly jabber, ‘I LOVE THE FLAG! I LOVE COKE! I LOVE NEW YORK! I LOVE JESUS! Have you ever seen a bumper sticker that says: I LOVE HUMAN BEINGS?'”

When Shields admitted to never seeing such a bumper sticker, or knowing what it actually meant to love, mom told him a story about a long forgotten, magical time when men and women were equally capable of love, because they both possessed The Lobe. God’s Lobe. The Lobe almighty.

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Poetry from Michael Robinson

The Seagulls
Their wings spread above the ocean.
Their voices echo off the water,
Their white bodies full the morning sky,
I remember my mother when I see them,
For she was always gentle with me;
I was her only son.
She did not cry when I told her I was leaving for the war.
She simply said “come back to me.”

Sleep II

I cannot sleep in the wee hours of the morning when the muses come,
I cannot sleep when the dream is of colors —
When the moon is bright and the stars float above the water,
It is not easy to forget the goddess of poetry.
But I cannot rest in the wee hours of the morning when I hear the birds sing.

Another Day of Life

When the words appear on the screen,
Nothing else matters to me.
Hearing your voice,
Having you smile and that laugh of yours.
I’m happy when I look out at the mountains,
When the peacocks’ feathers bloom,
And the seagulls fly over the ocean,
I’m happy when the muses call on me to write.
A poem they understand,
That there’s more to life than death.

Elizabeth Hughes’ Book Periscope

Wanted You More by Hazel Boyd

wantedyoumorecover wantedyoumorecover1
Wanted You More is a wonderful book about how the lives of people intertwine. It is about friends, lovers, caring, compassion and heartbreak. It is a wonderful story of how when two people break up they can still be loving and caring friends. This book reminds us of how love and compassion really can conquer many things that life can throw our way.

Enough to Keep You, also by Hazel Boyd

Enough To Keep You is a very good book following the relationships of several women. It explores the highs, lows, happiness and heartbreak of each one. It is about how good friends stick by each other and care for each other through happy times and most of all when one is hurting. It is a very deep and meaningful novel. I loved this one as much as I loved the sequel, Wanted you More. This is a must have for your home library. Don’t forget to get the second one along with this one.