My Poem “Thankfulness”

Thankfulness… Thoughtfulness… Hopefulness…
At this time of the year
it is everybody’s wish
to usher in a sense of joyfulness
like the feeling of youthfulness
that a happy child
experiences on a daily basis
when they are growing up.
It is good to be thankful…
It is good to think, to help,
and to give back to others…
It is good to marvel at
and share a source of glee
that shines when the clouds above are dull,
and it is good for one and all
to gather together.
So much of life is forgotten…
So much of time is lost…
So much of this world is beautiful…
So many people have
experienced something in their life
that they believe to be a miracle –
and though it can be hard sometimes
to see the good through the bad,
to see optimism through a cloud
of pessimism and scepticism,
each and every one of us
is lucky to have what we have –
because each and every one of us has things
both big and small that make us happy
and for which we are eternally
grateful and thankful for.

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My novelette ‘The Man In Black’ is out now!

Click the link above and get your copy of my new ebook for Amazon Kindle!

“I began writing this short-story in the summer of 2016, following the untimely death of one of our greatest and most gifted artists, icons, musicians, and inspirations, David Bowie – who died on the 10th of January, 2016. After he died I was so shocked to hear of his passing, and like most people I sort-out his music and I listened to everything he had ever made and created – and I also saw countless artists and musicians paying their own personal and heart-felt tributes to “David Bowie” in any way that they could: through music, through art – and I too wanted to contribute something. I wrote a poem dedicated and in honour of David Bowie after he died, called “Always the Starman“, and I shared it for other people to read. However, I was itching to write a new poem or a new short-story that spoke about things that I wanted to say… and that was when the initial idea for my story “The Man in Black” came to life and I began writing it. “David Bowie” walked into this story all by himself, just like the “Man in Black” does, and he naturally made himself at home in it – and in my story he will always be. Throughout my writing of my short-story I listened to David Bowie’s music continuously, and I hope that I have captured a part of his spirit. This is not a story about “David Bowie” per se, but it is a story inspired by him. I hope you enjoy it!” -Mark

My short-story/poem ‘The Trick-or-Treaters’

the-trick-or-treaters
Just before the sun went down
on October 31st,
on the evening of Halloween,
two brothers, Isaac and Reece,
and their little-sister, Hailie,
left their house to go walking up their street
to go knocking on the doors of their neighbours
and to say in one voice the phrase of the hour:
“trick-or treat”.
Every year, on Halloween, these three siblings
loved getting dressed up from head-to-toe
in costumes of their own choosing –
and this year, like every year,
Hailie was a “ghost”, Reece was a “Vampire”,
and Isaac was a “werewolf”,
and every year when they got home from “trick-or-treating”
they always returned with more candy
than they knew what to do with…
going door-to-door with one-another
was a tradition that these three loved reenacting –
come clouds and rain, or under clear sky and moon-shine;
however, they only went up the street and back again,
and since they lived in a cul-de-sac
the sooner that their trick-or-treating began
in no time at all it soon came to a sad end for another year.

Every year it was all treats and no tricks-
but, since this year there was a new neighbour
that had moved into their road,
Reece in particular hoped that maybe this year
they might return home with more
than just a bag full of sweets.

The new neighbours lived in the house
at the end of the road, up a driveway,
where a lady used to live
who had more cats than could ever be counted –
but who had sadly passed-away;
Reece, Isaac, and Hailie, did not know
the late-lady well, only her name:
“Mrs. Leech” – however, word got around
and it was thought that now
her sister had taken on her house
following Mrs. Leech’s passing,
and her name was apparently: “Ms. Beetle” –
“like the car, and not the British band”,
the mailman had recently pointed out.

It was Halloween again,
and Hailie, Reece, and Isaac
had knocked on every door of their street – but one –
and all three were carrying a considerable
amount of treats to return home with;
however, they had not yet visited Ms. Beetle’s house,
which they had left until last on purpose.

The walk up the driveway to Ms. Beetle’s house
at the bottom of the street was done slowly –
and as soon as the trio of siblings walked up
onto the wooden porch of Ms. Beetle’s house,
and they knocked on the front-door,
neither one of them knew what to expect –
however, they certainly didn’t expect
the door to open seemingly on its own,
and they most certainly didn’t expect to see
Ms. Beetle dressed all in black
mixing away at a giant cauldron-shaped
black container with bubbles and gases
jetting up from the green mixture…
and they most certainly, definitely,
did not expect Ms. Beetle to look
at all three of them and say:
“so, what will it be? Trick or treat?”
Ms. Beetle then began to cackle at the top of her lungs –
and that was when all three of the kids screamed,
then turned around, and jumped off
of Ms. Beetle’s porch, and they ran
all the way up the street and all the way home,
leaving behind all their treats
that they had collected from the night.

The next day, their was a knock at the door
of Hailie, Reece, and Isaac’s house –
and when their Mom answered the door
Ms. Beetle was standing there on the other side
and smiling from ear-to-ear
and holding out in front of her
the three bags of candy that the kids had left behind.
Ms. Beetle apologized for the night before,
and she gave the kids their bags of candy
and she told them that she was pleased to meet them,
and that this year she gave them both a trick and a treat –
but she also said that there was no telling
what she was going to do next year,
and the only way they will know
would be if they were brave enough
to come knocking on her door again,
and all ask her: “trick-or-treat”?

My Poem ’50 year-old Revolver’

I’m sitting here in my kitchen,
at the kitchen table,
with The Beatles’ “Revolver”
playing on my record-player
and a Smith&Wesson
lying next to my still cold bottle of beer…
the house is quiet…
I am sitting almost in complete darkness,
but for the light of the fluorescent-light above my head…
I am thinking about my life –
what happened to screw-up my world so bad…
I am planning by the end of the night
to end it all – and by that I mean
I plan to be dead…
I just can’t take the pain of the heart-break any longer –
I don’t have any-more fight left in me…
this isn’t the first night that I have sat like this
in the dark with a gun in front of me,
but tonight I know is the night
when the stetson of death
that I have been trying on now for a while just feels right.

I am a washed-cowboy…
I am a man planning to ride off
into the sunset and never come back…
I have seen sights and I have been through a lot
since I was a boy –
living without a daddy since I was five,
dropping our of school, making a living
doing what other people wanted me to do,
drinking myself under more tables than I can remember
in bars in each-and-every-one of the fifty states,
surviving a heart-attack…
loving, hurting, pretty-much earning a living
doing things that even I can’t find the words
capable of describing what has slowly but surely
earned me a one-way ticket to hell…
if my life has been a dream this entire time
it has been a nightmare from beginning to end…
my fate was already signed, sealed,
and delivered a long time ago –
there was never any question of how,
just the ultimate question of when?

I always loved The Beatles,
and I have done since I saw them
on Ed Sullivan in ’65 –
I used to wake up every morning for a year
with the words to “Good Day Sunshine”
echoing in my ears…
any-time that I was feeling low,
I would recite the lyrics to “Eleanor Rigby” in my head
and instantly I would smile and feel more alive…
I haven’t listened to a vinyl-copy
of a Beatles record since 1985 –
but over the years I have heard and listened
to The Beatles’ music wherever,
and in whichever town I came to rest,
and every time I did I would throwback
a glass of J.D. and relive the brief happy times
that I remember from my life.

Death is like the Taxman
that you spend your entire life
trying to hide and run from;
I have been seeing the signs leading me
to where I now sit all my life –
Here, There, and Everywhere –
and when the moment of me sitting here
with my Pa’s Revolver that he left for me,
and The Beatles album that I remember the most of all
playing and it’s songs echoing all around me,
now feels like the moment when I am
going to do no more For No One else but me –
and I Want To Tell You that at this moment
I know that nothing and no one
this time is going to stop me.

And then, I wake up…
And as I lift up my head,
and as I open my eyes again,
I look out my window and I see the sun rise…
and I feel a hand upon my shoulder,
and I hear a voice telling me that
Tomorrow Never Knows who any of us will be,
but God did not ever do anything for no reason
and that if I just hold on a little longer
I would one day be saved and find true peace.

I had always been a believer –
I even remember sitting across a table
and sharing a beer with the Devil-himself
in Vegas in September of 2001…
I have seen and I have heard people pray for their lives –
but God never once spoke to me directly:
but maybe he is now?
I have spent my entire life
running the roads and seeing every wonder
of color to be found in the United States of America –
but it wasn’t until the moment when I was woken up
and saved by the light that greeted me this morning,
after the life that I had been living ended,
and I decided to take my life into my own hands
and walk away from all that I had ever known –
leaving behind what I knew
had been holding me back like an anchor:
my old house, my record-player, my life,
and my daddy’s fully-loaded
50 year-old revolver.

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