The Mark Hastings Experience: My Christmas Message

My Poem “Jingles”

There is a reason
why those jingles that we first hear
as a child stay with us for so long...
there is a reason
why those Christmas songs
that are replayed on the radio
get stuck in our head
and then get repeated by us just for fun...
there is a reason
why a Number One song
catches the attention of someone,
gets shared, and then goes viral
simultaneously all around the world...
there is a reason
why a certain song sticks out
among the crowd of infinite streams
that there are and does not fade
out of the public consciousness
no matter what...
there is a reason
why we get attached to songs,
to artists, to music, to the words of lyrics
that seem to say everything
that we openly want to convey...
there is a reason
why when we need to remember
something, someone, somewhere,
at some time in our life,
we fall back upon that spark of magic
that can only be experienced by
hearing it with your ears
as well as feeling it with your heart -
that can make you close your eyes,
that can take your breath away,
and can sometimes give you goose pimples...
there is a reason
why we hold on to memories
of childhood experiences
that can easily return to our thoughts
after hearing the slightest of jingles.

Still The Dreamer, Still living The Dream

I realised today that it has been six years since the publication of my poetry collection “The Dreamer and The Dream”, so as an homage to the cover of my book I thought that I would recreate it by taking another picture wearing the same t-shirt as I was wearing when I posed for the original photo. It has been six years, and although some things have changed and some things remain the same, one thing that has never changed and hopefully will never change is that I am still The Dreamer and I am lucky enough to still be living The Dream of being a poet, a writer and an author. And I can still fit in the same 蟺 themed t-shirt too! 馃檪馃枊馃摑馃摉馃摎馃憰

My Poem “The Mark of New York”

Every time I am asked about where
my favourite place in the world might be,
I close my eyes, I smile, and I am instantly
transported back to the metropolis of my dreams:
the one and the only, New York City...
no other city compares,
no other place is more special in my heart,
no other city do I remember every second of
and every experience that I had while being there,
no other place shines brighter -
because to me it will always be
an inspiring constellation of 8 million stars
each with their own individual story to tell
about how they choose to leave their mark.

It's been 8 years since I was last
in the city that never sleeps,
but there isn't a day that goes by
when I do not think about
all that I saw and all that felt while I was
visiting the city filled with so many
buildings literally capable of scraping the sky...
it's been a long time since I was
walking down the various avenues and streets
from one side of the island of Manhattan to the other,
but I always find comfort in the fact that,
though I am far away, I can return to
New York City any time I want, in my mind -
and when I am there I see things,
I remember things, I see details,
I remember people who make
the "Big Apple" the place that it is:
like no other, special, powerful,
and one of a kind.

I would love to go back to New York City one day...
I would love nothing more than to wake up,
to get dressed, to head to my favourite
Starbucks cafe on Fifth Avenue -
where I used to eat breakfast, lunch,
and enjoy a late night caramel latte
or a machiatto on a regular basis,
and during the daytime, as well after dark -
and also revisit the places that I love
and feel like I know so well,
which got under my skin
from the instant that I saw them
and I immediately found myself in awe.

I would love to go back in time...
I would to get back in that yellow taxi
and once again return to the pools of rememberance
that lie in the shadow of the Freedom Tower,
and once again pay my respects to those
who lost their lives on 9/11...
I would love to go back to the place
that I could never get enough of
and rediscover and explore the things,
the places, and the feeling of unbridled
kinetic energy and electricity
that New York City has that has the ability
to gift to those who are lucky enough
to be able to visit it, or call it home -
because, take it from me, no other city
on Earth leaves its mark upon you
after you have been there like New York.

The Mark The Poet Experience – Special Episode: “Ten Years in the Life of a Poet”

To celebrate the one year anniversary of the first episode of “Mark The Poet – The Podcast”, in this episode Mark takes a poetic trip down memory lane and recites eight poems from seven of his books, including his poems: “Back to the Spark”, “The Journey”, “Through Your Fingers”, “Heart to Heart”, “Balloons”, “Light of your life”, “Words Enough and Time”, “Memento Vitae”. And Mark also reminisces about the last ten years of his journey as a writer/poet/author. You can check out hundreds of Mark’s poems, both published and unpublished, on his website: http://MarkThePoet.Me

My Poem “Gone”

No matter how much
you try to hold on to something
sometimes you lose things,
sometimes you lose people,
sometimes you lose time;
however, one day you unearth
a piece of your past
and you look at it for the first time in years,
and, to your amazement,
it does not not mean to you
what it once meant -
where before you would have
done anything to not be parted
from a particular thing,
now, all the feelings that you
once felt for something, you discover,
seem to have evaporated,
seem to have become lost,
seem to have left without you knowing -
and though, before, you might have
told yourself that you could
never live without that
particular thing in your life,
you come to find that time appears to have
helped you more than you realize
to get passed what might
have been holding you back,
because now you find it easy
to walk away from what was never meant to be,
because what once was is now gone.

The Mark Hastings Experience – Episode #6: “Cool Runnings” (1993 film)

In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 1993 American comedy sports drama “Cool Runnings” directed by Jon Turteltaub and starring John Candy, Leon Robinson, Doug E. Doug, Rawle D. Lewis, and Malik Yoba. The story of the film is loosely based on the true story of the first Jamaican Bobsled Team’s debut debut at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

My Poem “Soak it up”

Moments of contentment -
a time to breathe, a time to be...
moments of reverence -
a time to look, a time to listen,
a time to think and not to speak...
moments of openess, moments of exposure -
a time to dream, a time to imagine...
moments of both stillness and complexity -
a time without a worry in the world,
a time without four walls around you
that can at times feel like those of a prison...
moments of me, myself, and I -
a time to close to my eyes,
a time to find a treasure within my mind
that I know will transform the more
that I give it my time and my attention...
moments of heart pounding exhilaration -
a time that feels infinite,
a time that feels enough
to see all that I need to see,
to hear all that I need to hear,
to do all that I need to do
to fulfill my heart and my soul
before my last day on Earth is through -
and it is because I feel such energy
in every moment of time
that I always choose, whenever I can,
to take the time gifted to me to smile
at the light of the shining sun,
to open my arms high and wide,
and soak it up.

The Mark Hastings – Episode #5: “First Thoughts”

In this episode Mark talks about “first thoughts” – meaning the first thing that instantly comes to mind when we are asked a particular question, such as: what is your favourite film? What is your favourite book? And Mark talks about why it is also important to sometimes revisit certain things because as we live our lives our perspective on certain things can change in unforeseen ways.

The Mark Hastings Experience – Season 3, Episode #4: “Life + Death”

In this episode Mark talks about about life, death, meaning, and why it is important to talk to people – because nobody lives in a vacuum and sometimes everybody needs someone to give them a reason to carry on, especially when things can come to seem unbearable. There is always hope. No one is ever truly alone.