My New Book โ€˜Playing Godโ€™

My new book Playing God is out now on Amazon – get your copy below:

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My Poem “The Universe”

All my life I have been obsessed with time…
all my life I have wished that each and every one of us
could have all the time in the world to do
what we want to do, to go where we want to go,
to be with whom we want to be with…
what I have learned throughout my life
is that time and space is infinite,
however our lives are brief
and the moments that we have
to enjoy everything around us come and go far too soon…
all my life I have been inspired by time,
by space, by nature, by people,
by the universe of the seen and the invisible, by love,
and by the theory of everything that everybody has
to explain who we are, what we are,
when we are, where we are, and why we are…
all my life I have had heroes…
all my life I have had happy memories to look back upon
and a bright horizon to look towards…
all my life I have had my mind and my imagination
opened up to the infinite possibilities of existence –
and one of my heroes and inspirations,
since I was given his book ‘A Brief History of Time’
for Christmas back in 1998, has been the astounding genius
Professor Stephen Hawking, who I am afraid to say
has now left this world and who now possesses
the grand unified theory of everything
that he sought all his life…
all my life I have shared my life with hope,
and I have always believed that if we all were
to work together as one world, as one universe,
as one unified creation, then each and every one of us
could reach, dream, and travel among the stars
in an infinite moment of time –
and I believe that if we were to follow
Stephen Hawking’s example then none of us
could ever be bound, as if in a nutshell,
because then we would realize
that we are all capable of doing things
beyond the ever expanding periphery of time,
space, love, and life that is the universe.

Rest In Peace, Stephen Hawking

My Poem “Mum Love”

I love my Mum!
I love my Mum in so many ways…
I have loved my Mum since the instant
that I opened my eyes and I stared longingly
at her beautiful face…
I love my Mum and to me there is no one else like her…
I love my Mum and to me she
is the epitome of the perfect mother…
I love my Mum and she has loved me
since the day I was born…
I love my Mum and every day she gives
the gift of her loving soul to her family
while not expecting anything in return…
I love my Mum and I always will…
I love my Mum to me she will always be beautiful…
I love my Mum like a flower loves the sun…
I love my Mum, and just as my Mum will always love me
I will always love her
and I will always be her loving son.

The Wolf in Me – “One Year Later…”

Hi there! ๐Ÿ™‚

It has been a year to the day since my first novel, The Wolf In Me, was first published – and to mark the occasion, I thought that it would be fun to draw a sketch of my novel’s protagonist, Olivia Hunter, and also to the continue her story, in a way, in the form of a short journal entry that she would have written one year after the events that took place in the story that I wrote about her life and her struggle with finding her identity while also blessed with the gift/the curse of becoming a werewolf. The Wolf In Me is essentially a story about someone going through an extreme existential identity-crisis, you could say? However, it is also a story about survival, about loss, about actions and consequences, about spirit, and about holding on to and using the strength of your mind, your body, and your soul to overcome any and all of the testing situations that we all find ourselves in from time to time.

So, here is Olivia’s short journal entry, “One Year Later…”: *spoilers ahead for The Wolf In Me*

Happy The Wolf In Me Day! ๐Ÿ™‚

-Mark

My Poem “Never Say Die”

Even when it is dark
and all that you see outside your window
is white, cold, and bleak,
never once close your eyes and ever admit defeat…
even when there appears to be nowhere
and no way to take one step forward or one step back
take it slow wherever you have to go,
because as long as you keep moving
the steps that you take and every move that you make
will not be your last…
to keep moving is to keep fighting…
to think of your heart within your chest as a fire
is one of the ways that we all need to stay alive…
every day is a test – however, some days
test us more than others…
every day those who suffer through pain
have to constantly motivate themselves
to step out from under their comfortable bedcovers…
it can be hard to get through things
when we feel that the odds are against us
and the situation that we face is grim –
but when we are faced with such a circumstance
we all need to look within and call upon our inner strength
to get us through the storm that we are confronted by…
whenever the weather is bad and our paths seem impassable,
we all need to be a rebel, we all need to keep calm,
we all need to keep going, and we all need to never say die.

My Poem “The Eighties”

I grew up in the 1980s…
I grew up in the decade when
the world was blessed with the best
and with the most memorable days of their lives…
when I think of the 1980s and the time of my childhood,
I look back with awe and with a nostalgic longing
to return to those days –
even if only for a short time…
I can still remember living, breathing, growing,
and enjoying every one of the gifts of humanity
that were ever-present and essential…
I, like many, still vividly remember what I saw,
what I heard, and what I felt when I was a child –
what I was fortunate to have seen, heard, and felt
for the first time, at the moment that
their star of influence began to rise
and instantly started to impact
and change the world forevermore…
television, movies, music, games, books –
the characters, the vehicles, the fashions,
the songs and the soundtracks
that continue to stand the test of time –
that to this day are still re-watched,
replayed, rediscovered, and renewed
for a brand new generation…
to me, there is nothing like nostalgia…
to me, there is nothing like revisting
the precious memories of your youth…
there is something about certain times
in our collective history that resonates
with some people on an emotional
and on an almost cellular level…
there is something special about remembering
the things we used to watch,
the things we used to listen to,
and in the ways that we used to enjoy them…
there is something wonderful, heart-racing,
exhilarating, and magical about using
our imagination as a vehicle to go back in time,
like the Delorean time-machine
from the Back to the Future movies,
and in a small way reliving decades-old memories –
and even though I am now in my thirties
and my childhood now feels like a life-time ago,
I still love thinking back, I still loving watching back,
and I still love using the songs that I remember from my youth
to take me back and give me a rush of euphoric recollection,
like the feeling of returning home:
the same overwhelming sense of belonging and joy
that I ways feel when I think back to the 1980s.

My Poem “Connecting…”

So much of life is about finding connections…
so much of life involves beginning from somewhere new…
so much of life is about making choices and decisions…
so much of life involves everybody having to dig deeper
and further discover more about something that they never knew…
so much awaits those who do not listen too intently
to the voices who vehemently proclaim
that something cannot be done…
so much can be attained by those who choose
to look beyond the horizon for the answers that they seek…
so much music becomes un-muted to our ears
when we listen to the hopes and the dreams
of those who love what they do
because they do what they love…
so much can be expressed when we no longer surround
ourselves with the walls and the barriers
that can sometimes make us feel claustrophobic
and like a Goldfish in a fish-bowl…
so much needs to be seen… so much needs to be said…
so much happens instantaneously and beyond our control…
so much comes easy to us when we put our faith and our trust
into that which calls out from within us to be allowed to shine…
so many people do not have the confidence in their own voice
and they shy away from any and all opportunities
when and where they can open up their soul
like a flower that becomes their most alive when they are blooming…
everyone in this world is a work of art in the making –
and like the sometimes hidden meaning of a piece of art,
the only way to see what is ever-present
is to reach out with all of your senses
and embrace every moment with which you are connecting…

My Poem “Loving You”

I can’t stop thinking about
the one who saved me…
I can’t stop seeing in my mind
the one who completes me…
I can’t stop remembering
the one million and more memories
that I and the love of my life have shared…
I can’t stop wishing once every second
that I were back there where my angel of inspiration
every day shines and hypnotizes me
with the gorgeous glare of her beautiful stare…
I can’t stop thinking about where we have been
and what we have both seen…
I can’t stop reliving those moments
and the best times of my life,
because what we have experienced together felt so incredible,
amazing and heavenly to me they could easily have been a dream –
but they were not merely a dream… they were real…
everything that I still remember so vividly happened
and the stories that we both can retell word for word
in perfect symmetry and synchronicity are all true…
I can’t stop believing that no matter the time
and the distance between us that we are always going to be
two halves of the same heart and soul,
and when I look into the eyes of my muse
that mesmerize me every time I see them
because they are so vibrant and strikingly blue,
even if I cannot always be heard saying a single word
I am always saying to you, Melissa,
my fiance, that I love you!
I can’t stop the fountain of love that I feel for you
from flooding the world and showing anybody and everybody
how, what, and why I love you the way that I do…
I can’t stop and I will never stop loving you and only you.

My Poem “Five years ago today”

5 years ago today… I was a poet then and I am still a poet to this day… there was snow to be seen everywhere I looked, but I was not cold… I held up a window and a mirror for others to see into my soul… some things never change, and some things always do… I remember where I was and what I was doing five years ago, but do you? When I think back, I have not changed that much… When I look around at the world as it is now I can see and I can still remember all the things that I have seen and all the things that I have experienced that continue to mean so much. Five years goes by so fast. This is not my first retrospective flash from the past – and I know for a fact that it won't be my last. #improv #poetry #poem #onthefly #me #fiveyears #today

A post shared by Mark Hastings (@markthepoethastings) on

A little improvised poem I just wrote on the fly after looking at this picture of myself from five years ago.

My Poem “The Safe Place”

Everybody has that where,
everybody has that when,
everybody has that place
and that time which matters to them…
everybody has that bubble,
everybody has that parallel world,
everybody has that mirror to step through
when they want to retreat into themselves
and create a space away from the outside world…
everybody from a young age chooses somewhere –
whether it be in front of a screen,
or in between the ear-buds of a pair of headphones,
or within the pages of a book,
or interacting and sharing with others socially
over an interconnected world wide network –
that always makes them feel comfortable and at home,
and when they are there the magic that they find
is sometimes impossible to put into words…
everybody needs a refuge, everybody needs a paradise,
everybody needs a universe within themselves
where they can dream, imagine, and play-out
things that need to be explored
that could one day be brought out
and manifested into the real world
and be transformed from meta-physical
into a physical and solid totem of peace…
everybody has the key to their own place within
where they go to to feel for a short time
that feeling of euphoria that awaits us all
when we return to our own private safe place.

My Poem “Thirty Seven”

There are days when time goes fast,
there are days when time goes slow…
there are things that I see, hear, and taste
that instantly remind me of the past…
there are moments in every hour of every day
when I dream, when I hold on to hope,
and when I smile to myself
and I know beyond doubt why I am here,
why I do what I do, and what life is all about…
there are faces that I stare at every day
of people who define me and who make me feel
like the luckiest and the happiest
man in the entire world…
there is, and there always will be, within me
an infinite world of hopes and dreams
that will repeatedly coalesce and come together
in the form of a poem that must be written,
and for my part I always want to be a poet
with an open heart who understands
and loves the power and the magic of words…
as I write this I am on the cusp
of turning thirty seven years old,
and like every year around my birthday
I sit down and describe who I am
and what reflection I see when I look at myself
in the mirror of my mind –
and who I see is who I have always been
and who I will always be,
on Earth as well as who I will be
if and when I hopefully rise up to heaven…
there is a brand new summer enlightening
and reinvigorating me as I look down
at this page of my life
and as I look up to the bright blue sky –
and though I know that I could be
a better man than I sometimes am,
I remain eternally and constantly hopeful
and now at the ripe old age of thirty seven.

My Poem “Love is Everything”

Love is the beginning… Love is the end…
Love is the reason the stars keep shining…
Love is the gift that can do anything…
Love is that indefinable feeling
when your heart skips a beat,
or when you feel that indescribable
flutter of joy in your stomach
that makes it hard to speak…
Love is what completes you…
Love is what makes you who you are…
Love is what radiates from you
like the light of a constant star…
Love is divine… Love is complex…
Love is what defies the passage of time…
Love is the spirit that knows no rest…
Love is life… Love is rebirth…
Love is the greatest power in the universe…
Love is the reason that you keep going…
Love is the reason that you keep breathing…
Love is the reason that you keep dreaming…
Love is the reason to keep living –
because Love is… Love is Everything.

My Poem “Extraordinary Love”

I can’t get enough of our extraordinary love…
I can’t stop the thoughts that I am always thinking…
I can’t stop my heart that is constantly beating…
I can’t stop dreaming night and day
about the love that I am always feeling…
I can’t stop looking at your breathtaking face
and telling you that you are so beautiful…
no one in my life had given me
all I had ever wanted before I met you, Melissa…
when I first saw you I was instantly changed
in so many ways because I instantly felt
a love like I had never known before…
all I ever want is to make you as happy as you make me
and I would do anything to give you
what I know your heart beats for…
every day I just want to show you
and to tell you how much you mean to me,
and how truly, madly, and deeply in love with you I am
and how much you complete me –
because I believe that I am meant for you
and that you are meant for me…
you and I are always going to be one and the same,
every day blessing one another
like a guardian angel sent from heaven above –
because you and I have got an extraordinary love.

My Poem “The Deep Blue”

We are free…
finally we have left the world of ice,
cold, and snow behind, and we can now feel
and we can now see the warmth of the sun
upon our skin and the sight of the flowers
of spring starting to bloom with colour and perfume,
and even the air feels easier to breathe…
the season of the sun has arrived…
the season of awakening has begun…
the season of the new is reacquainting us
with the magical symphony that plays without end
for those who want to hear it
and for those who know what a miracle it is
to be alive when you share your life
with the one you love…
winter has finally lifted…
blue sky, sunshine, early rises,
late nights, good times, new waves of energy
in all its infinite forms,
just beginning to wash over us, bless us,
and take away our worries,
as if ascending to the sky above…
this time is the best time to start something new…
this time is the best time to learn something
about a place, a person, a subject,
and allow that brand new knowledge
to change your thoughts and influence your mood…
now is the best time and the most perfect season of all
to explore the great outdoors of our beautiful world,
to open your heart like the petals of a flower,
to make your dreams come true –
because each and every one of us
only has one life to do what we are all born to do,
so what better time to be the best that you can be
than within the time when your soul wants to take
leaps into the deep blue above and below
where we can all bask in the wonder of life
and nature’s most awe-inspiring of tunes.

My Poem “The Osmosis Oasis”

Time does not always go in one direction…
memory is always fluid…
every moment of every day –
on the screens, on the pages, on the minds,
that everybody sees, reads, and takes in –
everybody learns something new…
those who can see, see more than they realize…
those who can hear, hear more than they know…
those who willingly immerse and intoxicate themselves
with something are changed in more ways
than can be seen by looking into a personโ€™s eyes…
those who leap and escape into a world of their own making
are really living within a reality of influences,
of nostalgia, of dreams, of memories,
of feelings that they can return to
at any time of the day and wherever they go…
our world is constantly changing;
however, like an ocean, or like an Easter Egg
at the center of a game, there always lies
things that were believed lost and impossible to find –
but over time everything rises
to the surface and is found again…
messengers and messages surround us always…
nothing and no one is ever truly forgotten…
every day the world reconfigure’s itself,
and with every new birth nothing, no one,
no world can ever remain the same…
life can sometimes feel like an ocean…
life can sometimes feel like a maze…
life can sometimes feel like a dream
born of the mind and of the imagination
of someone with an often quirky, varied,
imaginative, artistic, poetic, nostalgic,
mind who has the power to allow their dreams
and their wishes to run away with themselves,
inspiring others to create, to build,
and to keep alive their own private oases of osmosis.

Happy World Poetry Day!