My Poem “Star Wars ’77”

I will never forget the epic music
and the iconic yellow text of the opening crawl
that first introduced me to the story
of these out of this world characters
who lived a long time in a galaxy far, far away…
I will never forget seeing the sight
of that Imperial Star-Destroyer
chasing down and firing at that
Rebel Alliance ship carrying Princess Leia…
I will never forget the fear that I felt
when I first saw the imposing Darth Vader…
I will never forget seeing the droids
R2-D2 and C3PO being jettisoned into space
and finding themselves on
the desert planet of Tatooine with
the blueprints of the "Death Star" super-weapon,
as well as a message for the "only hope"
of the Rebel Alliance - someone called "Obi-wan Kenobi"…
I will never forget seeing the iconic image
of Luke Skywalker looking to the horizon as the twin suns of his planet began to set…
I will never forget Luke Skywalker and C3PO
following R2-D2 into the desert
and being attacked by "Sand People"
and Obi-wan Kenobi having to come to their rescue…
I will never forget Luke Skywalker
first igniting his father's blue Lightsaber -
however unaware that his father, Anakin Skywalker,
who he thought was now dead
was still alive and was now
none other than the evil Darth Vader…
I will never forget Obi-wan Kenobi
explaining the nature of The Force to Luke Skywalker…
I will never forget seeing Obi-wan Kenobi
and Luke Skywalker arrive at the city of Mos Eisley
and be introduced to Han Solo and Chewbacca -
and then watch Han Solo shoot first
in a stand-off against a green alien named Greedo…
I will never forget the first time I saw
the Millennium Falcon freighter take off
and then be taken aboard the Death Star
not long after the super-weapon had destroyed
Princess Leia's homeworld of Alderaan…
I will never forget seeing Luke, Han,
and Chewbacca break Leia free of her cell
and then dive head-first into the Death Star's trash-compactor…
I will never forget seeing
the former master and the apprentice,
Jedi Master Obi-wan Kenobi
and Sith Dark Lord Darth Vader,
reunite and face-off against one another...
I will never forget being entranced
by Obi-wan and Darth Vader dueling
one another with their blue and red lightsabers…
I will never forget Luke Skywalker watching
Darth Vader strike down Obi-wan Kenobi -
not knowing that Obi-wan had learned how
to live on after death and become a "Force ghost"…
I will never forget seeing the Millennium Falcon
surrounded by Imperial Tie Fighters
and then jump into hyperspace
and eventually deliver the stolen plans for
the Death Star to the Rebel Alliance…
I will never forget Luke Skywalker
participating in the attack on the Death Star
and being assured by the voice of Obi-wan
that "The Force will be with you, always" -
just before Luke Skywalker delivers
the one in a million shot into the exhaust port
of the Death Star leading to its destruction...
I will never forget the ceremony
when Luke Skywalker, Han Solo -
but unfortunately not Chewbacca -
were given a medal by Princess Leia
for all that they did to destroy the Death Star…
Oh yes, I will never forget the first time
that I ever saw every moment
of George Lucas' revolutionary space-opera film
that changed cinema and the world forever:
I will never forget the first time I saw
the 1977 film that simply used to be called
"Star Wars".

My Poem “Grieve for Them”

What can be said… what can be done…
what can be read… what can be known
about how somebody is going to act,
how somebody is going to think,
how powerless somebody is going
to feel after they lose someone
who they have known all their life –
someone who they may not have seen every day,
someone who they may not have talked
to on a regular basis,
but someone who was always there
as a source of stability and faith,
and someone who they always loved.

Words can’t describe what certain
people go through after someone
they cared for unexpectedly dies…
some people feel numb, some people feel lost,
some people feel like they have misplaced
a part of themselves immediately after
they hear the tragic news that they
will never see someone again –
and sometimes the pain that is felt is so extreme
that it overpowers a person’s
natural ability to show their sorrow
with the tears of a cry.

It’s so sad to see people suffering
from profound grief to the degree
that they recede within themselves
both physically and psychologically –
not even wanting to leave
the coccoon of their bed to eat, to drink,
to wash their face, to dress themselves
how they normally would,
nor unable to convey the hurt
that they constantly feel in their chest
as their heart attempts to heal itself
after seemingly breaking into a million pieces.

It’s a long road back to normality
after you lose someone who always made
you feel special passes away –
there isn’t anything that anybody can do for you
other than to give you the time that you need
to come to terms with the hard reality
that death is the part of life
which nobody can do anything about,
but what each and every one of us can do
is to never forget all those people
who may have left us physically
but who will always be with us in spirit,
who may have seen something in us
that we may never have seen
and who may have known us
better than we could ever truly know ourselves
and who every day we will think of,
who will love always, who we will always honour,
who we will always remember,
who we will always be grateful for the gift of,
and who not a day will go by
when we will not grieve for them.

My Poem “Escapism”

Reality is tangible, and yet there are times
when reality can feel absolutely unbelievable…
the real world is sometimes managible,
the real world is sometimes even palatable –
but occasionally the “real world” can
at times feel too much to handle.

Reality is physical and undoubtedly
it can at times feel painful…
the real world, the outside world,
is where things get done,
where progress is made,
where we get to look people in the eye,
where we get to share a smile,
where we get to experience things
that are grounded in nature –
but the real world is also where
the weight of certain things
upon our emotions and upon
our thoughts and upon our dreams
can sometimes make us all feel fragile.

Reality is life – but every so often
everybody needs a dose of something
that they have never seen before,
or perhaps something that they
may have seen over and over again…
everybody needs a vision of a life
and of a world unlike the one
that they are daily familiar with…
everybody needs to have this place,
this time, those moments,
those out of body experiences
when they get let their imagination
run wild so that it can play along with all
of the fantastic possibilities of creativity
that they see – which may not be
a true reflection of the everyday world,
but which are always considered to be
a source of hope to help people cope
and to get some much needed escapism.

Mark The Poet – The Podcast: Episode #70: “Preciousness”

In this episode Mark recites three of the most recent poems that he has written: “Naturally Reflective”, “Every New Someone”, “Loyal Companion”, and he reflects upon who he is, what he misses, and why life and the time that we all have is so precious and should not be wasted.

Mark The Poet – Episode #69: “Life As We Know It”

In this episode Mark reads three of his most recent poems: “It’s A Boy!”, “Frozen Tears”, and “Always”. Mark also attempts to share a message of hope for those who like most of the world are struggling with living their life as best as they can during the challenging times the people of the world are currently facing.

My Poem “Frozen Tears”

The snow fell slowly…
the snow fell deep…
the snow fell quietly…
the snow fell so peacefully
that while I was watching it
I drifted off to sleep.

In the morning, as I looked out
at the blue sky above
and at the white snow below,
I felt like I was a child
and I wanted to go outside
and walk in the snow –
and that is exactly what I did:
I put on my walking boots,
my coat, my scarf, and I threw
my rucksack on to my back
and I set out, one step at a time,
to explore the frozen beauty of nature
and the wonderful sights
that most of the time remain hid
before it was too late –
because even in nature things
are not always meant to last.

The sound of the snow cracking beneath
the soles of my boots was invigorating –
most likely because the sound of my own
footsteps was all that I could hear…
the way that the crystallised snow
sparkled and glistened as the sun
shined upon the pure white path
before me was dreamlike –
untouched, vast, like being within
a moment of time in which
there was no beginning and no end:
like staring at an eternal representation
of life and nature and feeling so moved
by this overwhelming and profound landscape;
and yet, even though I wanted to cry,
I was unable to conjure any tears –
I instead choose to close my eyes,
to breathe in and to breathe out,
to smile from ear to ear,
and to feel more blessed
that I had felt for years.

My Poem “Always”

My heart goes out to everybody
who is having to adapt to doing things
and to living their life as best as they can
in a vastly different way than they had
previously known how to
since all of the restrictions put upon
their interactions, the way that they shop,
how they work, and how they learn
were introduced in order
to combat against an unseen
and an easily transmissible enemy
that has seemingly brought
the modern world to a stand still.

My heart goes out to parents,
because most of them have had
to adapt to becoming not only
their child’s guardian and around
the clock source of entertainment,
but they have also had to become
their child’s tutor and home school teacher –
and in most cases parents are struggling
to be all the things that their child
needs them to be all of the time,
while perhaps also simultaneously
having to juggle the responsibility
of being a supportive partner.

My heart goes out to the children
of this generation who want to learn
and who dream of becoming something
and someone with a calling
and a purpose in life to be fulfilled…
my heart goes out to those families
who are having to share their one
and only means of accessing the Internet
and those who are having to take it in turns
to seek out some kind of escapism
from the stark reality of world events
in any way that they can.

One thing that is undeniable
is that life is hard for people right now,
and the world, unfortunately,
seems more fragmented than ever;
however, whenever I see new art being created,
whenever I hear of new music being shared,
whenever I find out about new
innovations that are being made,
whenever I look beyond the shores
of my island home,
I am reminded of how resilient the human spirit is –
which is why I do not stop myself
from believing that with a little time,
patience, and perseverance
the human race will one day
collectively come out from
the shadow of this dark era
more resolute than ever,
stronger than ever,
consistently riding the waves of change,
because we have always been a species
who no matter what has always found a way.





Rest In Peace, David Bowie (a tribute)

On January 10, 2016, I wrote a poem called “Always the Starman” dedicated to the late great David Bowie who died on that very day in 2016 – and I can still remember where I was and what I was doing when I heard of his untimely passing, and I can still remember being immediately inspired to mark the memory of one of the most famous and celebrated music artists of the 20th Century – and two days later I published the poem that I wrote on my blog for all the world to read so that they may get a sense of just how inspirational David Bowie was and still is.

Not long after David Bowie’s death, I remember that I was writing a new short story called “The Man In Black” about this mysterious character – who I didn’t truly know the identity of, nor why they were so mysterious… all I knew at that point was that whoever they were they dressed all in black, they had mysterious and powerful gifts that enabled them to appear one minute and disappear the next, they could bring animals and perhaps people back to life, and they may or may not be some kind of angel or some other supernatural being. And something else that I knew immediately was that whoever this mysterious “man in black” was he also bore an uncanny resemblance to the late great David Bowie, as some sort of tribute to him. But that was it. I originally intended to include my short story “The Man in Black” in my 2016 short story collection “Too Close To The Sun”, however for some reason I held it back… and to this day I still do not know why, what, or who stopped me from doing so – but I am so glad that they did, because from that first story there followed others that featured the same “Man in Black” who at times was known to white also depending upon when you met him. And slowly but surely I wrote more and more, until I finally found myself with seven short stories that explored who the “Man in Black/Man in White” was and why he did what he did. And to this day the stories of my short story collection “Playing God” still remain close to my heart, because within them are characters who I know and who I recognise: characters in need of being saved by a hero, a friend, a rebel, an angel, a god dressed all in black, and sometimes dressed all in white – someone who we would all wish would pay us a visit and heal the world of the present from what we are currently being plagued by.

I wrote my original poem “Always the Starman” and “The Man in Black”, the first story of my book “Playing God”, as a personal tribute to David Bowie – but the more stories that I wrote about this mysterious man who looked and sounded just like David Bowie, I also found myself uncovering many different sources of inspiration – from ancient Greek mythology to the daily torments that some people have to deal with – and I also found myself learning more about why I love writing so much: that thrill of exploration and discovery that I find every time I embark upon a writing challenge that I know will take me to places that I never imagined I would ever venture to. And that is what it is so enthralling and exciting about being a writer and an author of fiction: you never know where it is going to take you.

I will always be eternally grateful to the late great David Bowie for his music, for his creativity, and for the gift of inspiration that he gave to me – which coalesced over time into becoming a book of stories written in tribute to him, but also a tribute to hope, optimism and the gift of life that we are all blessed with which we all sometimes take for granted.

Rest in peace, David Bowie

“David Bowie” by Derren Brown

8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016

My Poem “Unbreakable Bond”

On Christmas evening,
as my family and I gathered together
around the hearth of our burning fire,
while enjoying some family time with one another,
I knew that after this day
nothing would ever be the same again
and we would never again
be able do this in the same way:
enjoy a Christmas meal together,
pull crackers with one another,
sit watching a favourite Christmas film of ours –
because what is going to happen next
will be unlike anything that either of us
have felt, heard, or seen before.

Every moment is unique,
every family has their own story,
every new day is a new dawn,
every time you wake up every day
we all have to reset the clock –
just as every player has to do the same
after they move a piece on a chessboard –
and adapt to whatever life has in store:
all the twists, the turns, the corners,
and the constant lessons that we
have to learn from like the constant
students of life’s school that we are.

Next year will be both the end
of one long chapter as well as
the beginning of another stage in life
that will impact so many peoples’ fate…
very soon there will be a sea change
and all predictions of the future
that have been shared will have to be remade;
however, even though I know
some things will be different,
I know now more than ever
that my family and I will always
have an unbreakable bond between us
that is unlike any other in so many
phenomenal and wonderful ways.