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.

My Poem “The Way of the Artist”

Everything changes...
everything evolves...
everybody doing every thing
has their own process...
new things have naturally arisen
over time to replace other things
and other ways of doing things;
however, some things never change -
and one of the things that will never change
is the way that artists are inspired,
the way that artists seek out
new sources of stimulation,
the way that artists wake up
every morning and want to create art,
the way that artists cannot settle down
to sleep without first either thinking
about or doing something about
the nugget of an idea within them.

There is something inherently human
about art and about attempting to capture
the sometimes incomparable,
about the need to express our inner most
thoughts, feelings, emotions, dreams,
hopes, fears, and our natural insecurities...
there is something primal about
the experience of having this overriding
instinct that we feel compelled to act upon...
there is something almost genetic
about how people young and old
seem to have the same unconscious ability
to be able to go to the same places
that other people are unable to,
because there exists this continuity
of connection that crosses generations
like some kind of universal melody.

All my life I have created art,
I have witnessed art being created,
and I have come to recognize
the look in a fellow artist's eyes
when they are deep within that moment
when the inspiration and the art
within them are in full-flow,
as if it were a sixth sense of mine
that I have slowly but surely
developed over time...
all my life I have looked at
the natural beauty of the world
rise like waves upon an ocean
and literally change the geography
of a well known place or monument...
all my life I have witnessed
something come from something -
and I have come to believe
that "nothing" is in fact a type of
"something" that we have not yet
given a name to, because certain things
are like energy and no matter what
they will always exist.

Looking for an answer to a question
that may have been asked for centuries
and expecting to find what has not occurred
to anyone else before, at least to me,
is not in any way a sign of madness -
in fact, I believe the art of being inquisitive
and never asking the question
"why create art in the first place?"
and just feeling this need to create
some kind of art is the most powerful gift
and the most fulfilling way of every artist.

My Poem “Over too soon”





One of the most beautiful
and truly breathtaking sights
that we mere mortals get to see
is the last glimpse of daylight
when the sun slowly disappears
below the horizon at sunset,
when day becomes night;
and to me, for some reason, a sunset
sometimes has even more of an impact
upon me than witnessing a sunrise -
because, for so many reasons,
seeing the sun set reminds us all
of how precious time is, how short life is,
and how one day we will all see a last day
when we will all close our eyes for the last time
and day will forever become an eternal night.

Sunsets happen too early for some people -
however, everybody has at least once in their life
enjoyed the experience of sitting,
or standing, like a statue or a monument,
as the last rays of the sole star
at the centre of our solar system
touches us and allows our shadow self
to be caste upon the ground behind us...
there is no more astounding moment
like sitting upon the infinite grains of sand
of a beach as the bright sunlight retreats
to its source, as the temperature drops,
as the air grows cold, and as the song
of the sun is replaced by the crashing chorus
of the waves of the sea, as the ocean tide
recreates the shoreline, as above the clouds
the stars of the cosmos sprinkle down
a healthy dose of stardust to inspire
the dreams of countless.

Sunrises remind us all of new life...
sunsets remind us all of how far
we have all come and what we have done -
and, in my experience, there is no more perfect time
to sit and reflect upon life and our place in nature
than on a summer's evening in June...
sunrises remind us all of how
amazing it is to be alive...
sunsets remind us all that sometimes
when something is over it is over
though an echo of what was 
might in some form remain -
however, I am sure that we can all agree
that the journey of some things
and the journey of some people
are sometimes over way too soon.

My Poem “Embraced”

Everybody wants to live in hope
when they are awake...
everybody wants to dream
of infinite possibilities when they asleep...
everybody sees things that for some reason
they instantly take to their heart and love...
everybody - whether they remember or not -
experiences internal moments of freedom
during which they may have imagined
that they had the gift to be able to fly,
or perhaps talk to someone living or dead -
someone who they may know, or someone
who they may have always wanted to meet.

Everybody is sometimes their own worst critic...
everybody, most of the time,
wants themselves to be a winner...
everybody has something that they
are meant to receive and to give...
everyday everybody comes up with multiple ideas,
but to be able self-actualize an idea
and see it jump from someone's mind onto a page,
and then perhaps become tangible
and seemingly "more real",
sometimes creators need to risk a part of themselves
if they truly want to see their dreams delivered.

Everybody will succeed, and everybody will fail...
everybody will find themselves throughout
their life in need of something or someone,
and everybody will sometimes find themselves
inextricably walking in circles and figuratively
chasing their own tails...
everybody has to eat... everybody has to drink...
everybody has to breathe... everybody has to sleep...
everybody sometimes has to be the chaser
and everybody sometimes has to be the chased...
everybody sometimes has to be the embracer
and sometimes everybody needs to be the embraced.