My Poem “Naturally Reflective”

I am so reflective
that I might as well be a mirror…
my emotions flow so easily
I might as well be a river…
I am sometimes so transparent
I might as well be a window…
I am so easy to read
that I might as well be a book
because most of the time the expression
is one easy that accurately conveys
my feelings and my thoughts…
I am like a dark moonlit ocean…
I am like the spinning chrome rim
of a car wheel that is constantly in motion…
I am like a light-bulb whose face
brightens or dims depending upon
what I am talking about and who I am with…
I am like a stream of sunlight
after it passes through a prism of glass –
because when all of the individual
collective components that make me
who I am spill out of me
like water through a sive
all of the droplets of inspiration that
I have accumulated within me
share themselves so effortlessly,
because for better or for worse
I am and I have always been
someone who is naturally reflective.

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 “It’s a Boy!”

On the 21st of January, 2021,
my sister Clare and my brother-in-law Ben
were blessed by the birth of their baby son –
and I just wanted to write something
to welcome this brand new gift of hope
to the world and reassure him that
for all the days of his life
he will always be blessed by love.

Last night there was storm of rain,
but at the moment that my sister Clare’s
baby boy was born the clouds literally parted
and the sun shone upon everyone
brighter than it had done so for months –
and as soon as I was told that my new nephew
had arrived safe and sound
and was in his mother’s arms
I immediately felt this overwhelming
feeling of pride for what my sister had done
and I quietly conveyed my belief
that no matter what happened
my new nephew could rest assured
that he would never knowingly
come to any harm.

The ability to create new life
is one of the greatest gifts in the universe…
the phenomenon that someone
who you have known all your life
can still find ways to surprise you
in rising to the occasion of becoming
something bigger than themselves
is truly an awe-inspiring and a breathtaking
superpower that to me has always
been beyond any words.

I have never been prouder
of my sister Clare than I am today…
I have never been happier for anyone
than I am for my sister Clare
and for my brother-in-law Ben right now
because of the arrival of their new
buddle of love and joy…
I have never wanted to meet anyone
like I am looking forward to meeting
my new nephew…
I have never been more overjoyed
to share any news with anybody
than I am to say that my family now has
a brand new beacon of hope in our lives
in the form of a beautiful baby boy: Milo!

🥳🎊🎉🧑‍🍼🤱👶😍

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.





My Poem “The Blackout”

One second there was light
and the next there was darkness…
One second all was bright
and the next I couldn’t see
my hand in front of my face…
One second I was looking at
my phones illuminated screen
and the next I was using the torch
of my phone to guide my way…
One second the sun was shining
and the next it had completely
disappeared below the horizon
heralding the end of the day.

I still remember those days
and those nights when I was a child
when the power used to go out
every now and again –
but whenever it happens now
it is always a complete and utter surprise
to the degree that some people
still attempt to flick light-switches
on and off multiple times
perhaps believing that they can cause
somekind of electrical reset.

It’s strange looking out of the window
at night and seeing all the streetlights off…
it’s odd having no power, no light,
and no heat for a short amount of time –
but such an experience does make you truly appreciate how much we all
do sometimes take for granted
the gift of instant electricity,
and how much when we do not have it
at out disposal some of us feel immediately lost.

When the lights come on again,
when the TV screens flicker back to life,
and when we no longer have any further need
for the torches and the candles that we
had lit as temporary sources of light,
we all feel thankful to be able
to see clearly and to feel comfortable
once again in our world of modern enlightenment
that for a time had been taken away from us
by the inconvenience of a brief
but significant neigbourhood blackout.

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 “Missing Time”

Since the start of this
world-shattering pandemic
I know deep in my soul
that I have missed the sound
of a particular source of music -
a soundtrack, a beat,
a rhythm of life that can be heard,
felt, and seen within your minds eye,
whether it be morning, noon, or night:
the same pulse of inspiration
that first surged within me
at the very moment when
I knew that I was born to be a poet.

What I love about writing
and what keeps me coming back
to the blank page time and again
is the same thing that I miss
about sitting in a café
surrounded by people,
before the days of mandatory masks
and before compulsory social distancing.

The thrill of the unknown,
the magic of the instantaneous,
the order and the chaos that to me
always made sense and which I could
always easily pull into focus:
all that being an artist is all about...
you can't plan for it, you can only create it
when you feel it within you boiling away
with such ferocity that you know
it is about to explode -
which is why artists need to capture
what occurs to them before
whatever idea forms combusts into dust
and becomes as spectral as a ghost.

I yearn to go back in time...
I wish that I could return to a place
at a point in the past where and when
I truly believed every moment
would always last...
I still cannot believe that we are all
living in the world that greets my senses
and compels my thoughts
and my emotions so overwhelmingly...
I wish that I could do something,
I wish that I could write something,
I wish that I could imagine something
that might serve to transport
everybody away from our current stark reality -
perhaps to a moment of peace, joy, and love
that the world once enjoyed,
or to a time in the future when I know
the memory of our current present
will not be as potent.

I have personal places
and I have particular times
where and when I return to within
my thoughts and within my dreams
that mean the world to me
that feel so close to me that I could
reach out and grasp them:
perfect moments the like of which
everybody has, which we all would do
anything to get back to,
which we never stop missing
and which are among life's
most precious of blessings.

My Poem “All will never be lost”

A new burst of sunlight
enlightens my view…
a new year has arrived
that will herald the arrival
of something that will enable
the world to slowly become renewed…
a new wave of possibility is beginning
to drift over and upon humanity
that will hopefully lead to us all
once again looking to an optimistic future
beyond the here and the now.

New additions to already established families
all around the world are being
welcomed with open arms
as symbols of hope of a new generation
who will be the beneficiaries of
what previous generations have
had to overcome, have had to adapt to,
and have had to discover along the way,
and a new constellation of distant
beacons of light will be what everybody
needs to fuel all the new ideas
and the new inventions that will
revolutionise how everybody
will stay connected to one another
as well as on another level of consciousness
with who and what once was.

A new dawn is the start of new verse
within the constantly evolving poem
and chronological story that is life –
so even though there may not have been
as many fireworks set off to end one year
and welcome in a brand new one this year
as there might have been in years gone by
there is always a reason to stay hopeful,
to look up, and to believe
that if everybody does their part
and continues to work hard at being
inspirational in their own way
all will never be lost.

Happy New Year! 😊

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.