My Poem “It Takes One to Know One”

From my experience,
over the course of a life
of being around music lovers,
movie lovers, storytellers,
and those who have had to live
through many things during their life,
I have slowly felt the awakening of a gift –
a gift that I believe became apparent
when I began exploring, experimenting,
and expressing my thoughts, feelings,
hopes, fears, and desires:
the ability to see and to recognise
a particular gift within somebody
who life has steered towards me
so that I may interact with them –
and because I am a poet,
and because I am naturally
a very emotional person
who is regularly emotive about
what is on his mind,
what he believes to be true,
as I quietly but openly question
what something means and whether
there is more to explore
about something, at the same time
that I am dreaming about
what is in store in the future,
and every day I believe that I see
things in people, in places,
and in ways that other people perhaps
may be temporarily incapable
of seeing and believing –
especially within themselves:
natural gifts, skills, talents, voices,
hidden and perhaps undiscovered
powers of persuasion to be able
to make people feel something
and to bring out something
from deep within them,
and in turn continue the miracle
of life that was begun when light
first shined upon the deep darkness
of space and gave rise to the first stars,
planets, and all the other multicolored
phenomena of the universe
that have been inspiring life
and which was inspired into being
once upon a time by an explosion
of creativity that continues
to bloom over and over
again within the soul of every living thing.

One of the greatest gifts someone
can give someone else
is to recognize and to inform them
that they have within them
something that needs to be shared far and wide
and with as many people as possible –
and I believe that it is the duty
of the creatively inclined
to stoke the fire of fellow artists
and to tell them to do the same
whenever they find someone
with hidden talents,
because sometimes the only person
who can recognise someone
as being gifted and special
is someone with a similar love
that beats within them
night and day like a perpetual drum –
and also because, as the old saying goes,
sometimes: “it takes one to know one.”

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My Poem “Pathways”

In life there are many pathways
that we all have to travel down –
paths of space, paths of time,
paths of the mind that are made
by experience, by memory,
by feelings, by emotions –
that can be as solid as stone,
as tumultuous as the waves of an ocean,
as electrifying as the wires of a network,
as vital and as regenerative as the nerves
of central nervous system that
carries messages and signals
at lightning-fast speeds
throughout a human body
in order to maintain a normal
state of autonomy and self-sufficiency.

Every day pathways reveal themselves
to people who have been searching
for a route between darkness and light,
between unconsciousness and life,
between the foggy underworld of dreams
and the clarity of reality,
between adolescence and maturity,
and sometimes the steps that need to be
taken may seem alien, forced, and uncertain –
but, as is the case with most things,
the more progress that you make
the easier that it feels
to traverse the gulf between
one side of a road of choices to the other,
as long as you remember to always
look left and right along the way,
and vice versa.

Not all pathways are easy to walk down…
not all pathways are able to be found…
not all pathways have a definitive end…
not all pathways are as straight as an arrow
and more likely than not they have several
twists, turns, bumps, and bends…
not all people realize that they have
actually been on a journey throughout
their lives until they look back,
until they see, until they remember,
and until they realize that life
is the precious gift that we are all
surrounded by every day –
and that is why I believe
that people should take a greater
interest in what is going on around them,
what everybody can do to effect
the world around them,
and realize why it is necessary
for everybody around the world
to consider themselves a part of a
single ecosystem and organism
of infinite, interlinked, coexisting,
cooperative, and codependent
variables that invariably define
the fate of life on this planet
and where the nexus
and the “finish line” of everything
and everybody will be when
there is the ultimate convergence
of every single one of life’s
matrices of pathways.

My Poem “Run Jesse, run!”

It is the hallmark of a great film,
a great television show,
a great play, a great writer,
a great cast, a great production staff,
a great actor portraying
a great and complex protagonist,
who by the great gift of their craft
is able to make us –
the viewer, the audience –
care for them, accept them,
and become emotional invested and involved
in the story and in the journey
of the characters that we follow
from the second that we first see them
all the way to the last moments
of the last chapter and finale
that will ultimately – hopefully –
deliver a satisfying conclusion
that makes the journey that you
have taken with these familiar
characters worth all the time,
all the energy, and all the thought
that you committed to them
over the hours, the days,
the months, perhaps even the years
that it has taken to reach the end credits.

It can sometimes be hard to find
an ending that ticks all the boxes,
that answers all the questions,
that wraps up all the dangling threads
that remain to be addressed
and given a reason for why
they were not connected to the
greater narrative that underpins
everything that is a part
of the ultimate story being told…
in any given story it is always
out of the hands of the writer
and the author which part of an ongoing
story people will respond to and why –
sometimes it is the simplest
and the smallest of plot points
that resonate the most
and which over time become
what people remember the most,
as if what they saw shined like gold.

It is always a test for an audience
when an author creates
a character and they put them
through things that push them to their limits
and they change them in ways
that are hard to watch,
and it can sometimes be hard for people
to continue to empathize with
a certain character when they
start to behave in morally
questionable ways of being…
quite frequently, in some of the best
stories ever told, an audience gets
to watch the evolution of
a protagonist into an antagonist,
the hunter into the hunted,
the wronged into the redeemed –
and vice versa –
and the once imprisoned against
their will make their getaway
and run for the hills and away
from all that they are leaving behind –
like the character of Jesse Pinkman
driving like a bat out of hell
in his black and red ‘El Camino’
away from his past and towards
a future that not even he knows.

“The average person looking at someone doing evil or wrong wants the person to get away with it. I think it’s the most amazing instinct. The audience can’t bear the suspense of the person being discovered. “Hurry up! Quick! You’re going to be caught!” – Alfred Hitchcock

My Poem “Walter White (A Breaking Bad poem)”

What would a man do for his family?
What would a man do in order
to secure a future for his family
after he passed on –
perhaps even after this same man
had to witness the crystal empire
that he had built crumble
into shards of glass and then into dust –
like King Ozymandias –
after which having to live
with the consequences
of the actions that he took
to bolster and to reaffirm
his damaged ego?
What would a man do to feel alive again
after being given a short time to live?
How would the power to be someone else
change someone, and who or what
might they become?
What if someone were to become a cook
of a dangerous product
capable of destroying the lives
of those that imbibe in
what this maestro of chemistry
cooked better than anybody –
who slowly went from being someone
whiter than white, law-abiding,
and a model father and teacher,
to a black hat wearing,
gun-wielding, criminal
called “Heisenberg” who
pulled the wool over the eyes
of his family for over a year,
who broke bad with a former student of his,
called Jesse Pinkham –
in the City of Albuquerque,
in “The Land of Enchantment”
that is the State of New Mexico –
and who in the end lost everything that
he had ever worked for
and sacrificed so much for,
and that is the story of the main protagonist
of one of my favourite TV shows,
‘Breaking Bad’, and the legacy
that it has left since its final episode
“Felina” aired continues
to draw many new people
to seek out, to watch, to enjoy, to live,
and to endure the highs and the lows
that were played out from beginning
to end by the character and “cook”
Walter White and the blue crystal
that was his signature dish.

My Poem “The Quintessential Joker”

I have always been someone
who likes to smile, to laugh,
to entertain, and to share my
overflowing enthusiasm
and enjoyment of something…
I have always been someone
who was drawn to moments of time
which revolved around happiness,
hopefulness, and the beauty of life
and the depths of feeling
that the human spirit is prevalent with.

I have always been someone
who understood how precious,
how amazing, what an opportunity,
and what a gift it is to be among
those who live in the world of the living –
and it has been revealed to people
many times over that it is
in those moments in our lives
when our emotions are at their most heightened,
that our minds are open to the possibilities
that surround each and every one of us
but which sometimes have
their secrets and truths
hidden from view because
people are not always in the right
frame of mind to understand
what they mean nor why they are so important…
often times the funniest forms
of comedy come out of the darkest
of situations that we find ourselves in…
some of the greatest writers, storytellers,
and performers the world has ever known
once knew and went through
times of pain, anguish, and fear
that they had to go through and overcome –
because everybody has different ways
of coping with everything
that they have to endure,
and everybody has different
levels of resilience and tolerance –
and there are times when some people
do the wrong thing at the wrong time
but they do not come to their senses
until much later in their life.

Everybody needs some kind
of outlet to return to…
everybody needs some kind
of way to express themselves…
everybody needs some kind
of flickering flame to get them
through the most trying of nights…
everybody knows what is funny to them
and what makes them explode
into a fit of laughter,
and everybody knows someone
who can lighten their mood
and without even having to try
can turn on their charm
and become the quintessential joker.

My Poem “The Wolf Within Me”

It was about three years ago,
around this exact same day
and month of the year,
when I decided to write a poem
for Halloween called “The Wolf In Me”;
however, to my amazement, what was
supposed to be a poem slowly but surely
grew into becoming a short story,
a novella, and then ultimately
a short novel capable of standing
on its own and filling an entire book –
and this story was the first chapter
in the tale of Olivia Hunter:
a young woman burdened with a curse,
a secret, a gift, a spirit within her
capable of transforming her into a Wolf,
because the secret that she lived with,
alone, was that she was a werewolf.

When I first began writing “The Wolf In Me”
I had no idea that it would ultimately be what it became…
when I first began Olivia Hunter‘s journey
with her I was just as in the dark about
where her story would take her,
because there was no plan as to the direction
of every twist and turn…
when I first began writing, imagining,
and bringing to life the world,
the characters, and the story of
“The Wolf In Me” I felt myself
be carried away and compelled
to write more, to know more,
and to find out more about
what was going to happen
and where Olivia’s story felt like
it was telling me – the writer – to take it…
when I first began writing “The Wolf In Me”
I began to feel more and more –
the more that I wrote –
that I could be a writer
who explored and exposed different worlds
and different depths of life, of people,
and fully investigate subjects like
identity, change, life, loss,
and those things that are important
to everybody’s daily lives
and their state of mind.

Since I finished writing “The Wolf In Me”
I have written many other things –
short stories, poems – and I even wrote
and published a sequel to “The Wolf In Me”
called “The Wolf In You”;
however, for some reason, from time to time,
in my mind I am drawn back to the thought
of the character whom I imagined,
thought about, lived, breathed,
and wrote about, every day until
I had to say goodbye to her
and let her story speak for itself –
and I silently wonder how she is,
where she is, what she is doing,
and if one day Olivia Hunter may choose
to inspire another story about her
that speaks to the spirit of The Wolf
who I believe resides within me.

My books “The Wolf In Me” and “The Wolf In You”,
as well as all my other books of poetry and stories
are available to buy online from Amazon,
Barnes & Noble, and The Book Depository
in Paperback and as an eBook.

Happy National Storyteller Day!

My Poem “Baba Yaga”

There have been times
in everybody’s life
when they have been wide away
at an hour of twilight –
when the moon was shining
its white halo of reflected light
back at those looking
at it from below –
when people have felt,
even though they were alone,
as if an invisible presence was
sitting next to them, staring at them,
and communicating to them a choice
that they needed to make –
for some this spirit may have been
personified as being an angel,
a ghost, a reflection in the mirror,
a face in the flames of a fire,
a rebel devil, a man in black,
a bright light, a dark shadow,
a messenger of heaven, a hellion of hell,
a pale rider, an emissary of purgatory,
a crossroads guide, a Boogeyman,
or perhaps a scary witch who
goes by the name of “Baba Yaga”,
who tests everybody whom they find
or who finds them, in order
to discover who a person is
deep within their soul.