My Poem ‘Back down to Earth’

I’m back now…
my second home is now
4000 miles away again…
I’m back below the clouds…
I feel like I am a man of two minds:
one, a proud Englishman;
and another, someone who feels at home
in Georgia, in the United States of America,
where there is more opportunity
to do anything, at any time of the day,
and at any given moment
as there are lanes on a highway.

I’m back where everybody drives on the left,
instead of on the right…
I’m back where I was born –
however, there isn’t a moment
when I do not miss the light of my day,
the light of my night,
the light of my life,
back there where you can see
fireflies flying and glowing
against the stars of a twilight sky.

I’m back wearing jeans –
however, only days before
and for two weeks-straight,
I had been wearing shorts
morning, noon, and night,
and getting touched on the skin
by the heat and the light of the sun…
I’m back walking down familiar paths
and sitting in the same chairs
in the same places that I know every inch of –
however, though I am awake and writing
here in England, I am also projecting myself
back to Georgia with Melissa
and dreaming along with her
and surrounded by the scent of a burning candle
that smells like coffee
when its wick burns and its wax melts.

I’m back where there are not as many drive-throughs
as there are in the US;
here in the UK, for example,
if we want to withdraw some money from our bank-account,
or if we want to pick up a prescription from a pharmacy,
we have to actually walk to somewhere –
however, in the US you can get money,
you can pick up your prescription,
as easily and as speedily
as you can order take-out food,
and you don’t even have to leave
the comfort of the driving-seat of your car.

Both the US and the UK share many things in common,
but there are many wonderful differences
that set them apart…
we have different names for the same things:
in the US, people seem to find more time
to celebrate and remember the liberty
and the freedoms that they are
constitutionally entitled to…
both the US and the UK even have
different forms of humour
and things that they find funny,
but both the US and the UK know
the true joy that comes with sharing experiences
together as friends and as a family,
and why it is important to smile and to laugh.

Both the US and the UK have for centuries now
shared a “special-relationship” with one-another,
and from my perspective and from my experience
our commonalities have no limit
to their importance and worth…
to me, both the US and the UK
are two sides of the same coin,
they are two halves of the same heart,
and I feel and I know with all my soul
that the US and the UK are bound to each-other
in more ways than could ever be described –
and when I am away from both the UK and the US
there are things and there are people
that I miss more than others,
but it is my knowledge
of what makes both the US and the UK
so special that always makes me smile
and always brings me back down to Earth.

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My Poem ‘American Birthright’

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“America is stronger
when it works together.
Americans are a people
who believe in fairness for all
and who live in hope.
America is special
and can have an
even brighter future.
Today every American
should let their voice
be heard, get out there,
fulfill their birthright and vote.”

-Mark Hastings, 2016

My Poem ‘The American Precedent’

There is one country on Earth
that everybody looks to…
there is one way of life
that a great many people subscribe to…
there is one constitution
that is like a beacon of light,
hope, and freedom to the world…
there is something very special
that beats within the heart
of every American.

Every country needs a leader…
every country needs a states-person
and an ambassador of what it means
to be a member of a particular society…
every country needs someone
that they can look up to, and be guided by,
who allows their people to be
who they want to be,
and who empowers every kind of person:
from farmers to scientists,
from teachers to dreamers…
every country needs, every country deserves,
someone at the top of their government
who knows what equality for all truly means.

The freedom to express yourself,
the gift to be able to believe in yourself,
the privilege to be able to be an American citizen
is something that all American’s should be proud of…
that which draws eyes from all around the world
to the country of red, white, and blue,
and to their star-spangled banner,
is perhaps only something that can be seen
by an outside-observer looking in
who has been one of the lucky travelers
who have visited America over and over again.

To me, the United States of America
is not just an idea…
it is not just an experiment…
it is a place of unbelievable hope and beauty
whose people should never believe that to trump
fear you must build a wall around you –
in this day and age, in my opinion,
and with all due respect,
America needs a president for all…
for all who know that life
is about more than having the most dollars and cents…
and now is the time for all those who have a voice
that can be used to effect
the course of their country’s future –
because hope, respect, freedom and liberty for all,
are the most important precedents
that should always be championed and upheld
by every American citizen,
and by every American President.

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My Poem ‘El Transformador’

You haven’t lived,
in my opinion,
until you have seen and heard
the movie ‘Transformers’
dubbed in Spanish;
you haven’t lived
until you have traveled
4000 miles to be with
the one whom every day
makes real all that
you have ever wished;
you haven’t seen
true natural-beauty
until you have seen
the Great Smoky Mountains up-close
and you have breathed in
the clear fresh-air
that is in abundance;
you haven’t seen an angel,
in my opinion,
until you have laid your eyes upon
the woman who I adore and love –
because on a scale of perfection
there is no one who looks
and shines with as much
breathtaking and heavenly magnificence.

You haven’t lived
until you have walked the tracks of a rail-road,
under a perfectly-unbroken blue-sky,
that runs alongside the Nickajack Lake in Tennessee;
you haven’t known true-love, in my opinion,
until you have been loved in every way imaginable,
as much as I love Melissa,
as much as Melissa loves me;
you haven’t heard the heart-beat of life
until you have reached out and felt
the source of divine joy and happiness
that resides in the south of North America;
you haven’t heard the voice of your own soul
until you have been kissed and told
“I love you” by the light of your life
who is to you your life-defining shining-star.

You haven’t been given
a sign of the existence of God, in my opinion,
until you have taken a journey with your best-friend
and you have watched the book of life open up
and make sense of every-thing
that you have ever pondered,
and you find out that your best-friend
and your soulmate was put on Earth
to be with you forever;
you haven’t arrived at the true start
of your destined-path
until someone comes into your life
and without even having to try
reveals the true you
that you may at times keep under-cover.

You haven’t known a place of true-salvation,
in my opinion, until you have been
where I have been, and until you have heard
the song of your heart and spirit being performed;
you haven’t felt like
you have been to the moon and back
until you are alone with your one-and-only,
and every second feels like a life-time,
and every moment that you touch and are touched
you feel blessed and transformed.

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My Poem ‘Morning in America’

Morning light; morning silence;
morning life; morning peace;
morning in Tennessee and Georgia,
there is a calmness, a stillness,
a chance to breath in
the new day’s fresh air;
morning in my favourite states of America
is like waking up in a dream-world
that hypnotizes you
with its beauty with every second that you stare.

Star-spangled banners gently flutter and wave;
raindrops fall from the branches of trees
and from the roofs of porches
from the remnants of the storm
of the night before,
people go out in their cars
and carry out their daily routines;
every morning I look out of a window
and I see a red cardinal pass my way;
when I step outside for the first time
every morning I look around
and I am completely in-awe:
I see so much perfection,
and I feel so happy and so content
that it takes me a while to realize
that what and whom I see
is not in fact the stuff of dreams.

Birds sing; wind-chimes ring;
flowers open; morning has truly broken;
the sky is white, bright, blue, and pretty;
I feel so lucky to be here
with an intoxicating warmth of energy
surrounding me.

To me, this place is sacred
as much as it is blessed;
to me, the America that I know
and the America that I see
is like a country of heaven on Earth;
to me, I cannot wait to open my eyes
as the sun rises,
just after I put on my clothes and get dressed,
and reach out and hold the hand
of the most beautiful angel of Earth
who I have been destined to be with
since the day of my birth.

I love all that greets me
and all who speak to me
as my senses awaken;
I love driving to places
with my soulmate in our car;
I love how I feel like
every morning I have been saved
as well as taken;
I love every day when I wake up
and it is morning in America.

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My Poem ‘GA 30741’

Upon first awakening, all is dark
while the air is still warm;
when drifting off to sleep
during the summer-time
is when the lightning bugs glow
in the twilight as they swarm;
when the sun is shining
and the blue sky comes alive,
when you can sit back and take your ease
somewhere peaceful and special,
you feel the most lucky to be where you are,
having the time of your life.

When you see something everyday,
when you live somewhere all your life,
you can easily take something
or somewhere for granted,
when you are happy and content,
the minutes and the hours
can seem to fly away –
however, just as moments come
and they go like a flash of light,
when we all learn to harness
the energy and the feeling of our surroundings
it is then that we can make moments
and memories last forever,
and just like our genetic memory
be forever imprinted.

I have Georgia on my mind;
I have Tennessee in my heart;
I have a pocket of dollars and dimes;
I have the light of an American angel
shining on me like a star;
I have the accents and the voices
that I know so well
echoing through my consciousness
like a choir singing in a church;
I have the distant sight of Lookout Mountain
still fascinating me from afar.

I have walked over old battlefields,
and paid my respects to the lost
at memorials erected to remember the fallen –
those who gave their lives
to preserve the right of everyone
to enjoy the gift of true freedom.

The United States of America
is one country made up of fifty
wonderfully diverse states;
the heart of every American
beats proud and strong;
the United States of America
is a symbol of hope and prosperity
in so many ways;
every state of America
is a piece of an epic
and breathtaking unfinished puzzle –
and, to me, the states of Georgia and Tennessee
symbolize what makes
the United States of America truly great,
and there isn’t a minute that goes by
when I do not think of my home in 30741.

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My Poem ‘9/11’

The die was cast far and wide,
the pain was felt deeply and irrevocably
on that sunny Tuesday morning,
on the Eleventh of September, 2001;
terrorists to all mankind
came out of the shadows
from where they had been hiding
and made an attack
and left a lasting scar
on all of humanity,
that to this day still pains me
even now, 14 years on.

How could anyone do such a thing?
Why? Oh my god, why?
Who would think to do such a thing?
The innocent do not deserve to die!

I mourn the lost;
I am mindful of the loved ones
and the family members
who were left behind
and who still struggle
to live and to move on,
as if nothing happened;
I still believe that the entire world
is still understandably shell-shocked;
I have been to Ground Zero,
I have stood in the place
where the shadows of
the World Trade Center still remain,
and I can honestly say that being there
where so many people lost their lives
had a profound effect on me:
the new Freedom Tower
and the pools of remembrance
that are now in place of what was once there,
in memory of the indescribable tragedy
and the massacre that took place,
will always be to me
sacred and holy ground.

I have flashed back to that day
every year since 2001;
I have imagined myself where I was,
sitting in front of my TV,
watching the news reports
of the true American horror story unfold;
I have wished many times
that what happened on that day
could somehow have been prevented
by some miracle of heaven;
I have watched the echoes
and the repercussions of what happened
on that day spread and effect
everyone and every country around the world.

I am a man of many words,
but even I struggle to put into words
the sadness that I still feel
about all the people who died
in New York City,
at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.,
in Virginia, in Pennsylvania,
and everybody who has lost their life since;
I am a man who believes
that things happen for a reason,
but I cannot, nor could I ever,
nor could anyone for that matter,
give me an acceptable justification
that would make my confusion
about the murders that were carried out
on that day in any way lessen;
no deplorable and horrific act of terrorism
like that which played out
in front of everybody
on the 11th of September, 2001,
to me could ever make sense;
I will never forget;
I will never allow the fallen to be forgotten;
I will always hold on to the memory
of my unforgettable brothers and sisters,
as I hold up my hand
and feel my heart beating in my chest;
I will always remember
the day that will always be known as 9/11.

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