A Poem A Day #4: My Poem “Bigger on the Inside”

“Bigger on the Inside” by Mark Hastings was taken from Mark’s poetry collection ‘Poet of the Sphere’ which was published in 2012 by Zeloo Media. Check out more of Mark’s poetry online @ http://MarkThePoet.Me – all poems © Mark Hastings

My Poem “Soapbox”

In any public area there exists an arena
where those who have both the creative spark
and also the drive to perform
can show an audience what
calls out to be heard within their core...
the stage might be a grand bandstand,
or perhaps just upturned used crate -
but no matter who they are, or where they are,
what every performer wants
more than anything is to perform.

Most performers who
perform on street corners,
or in the middle of a town square,
do not do so simply for monetary gain -
because the first love of most performers
who stand with their instrument,
a live microphone, and a speaker by their side,
is that of sharing what they feel
for the music within them
and the magic of music that has
the power to draw everyone.

For most performers a stage
of any kind feels like a second home -
and every time every performer
feels those pre-performance nerves
sometimes they feel as if they have to
put on some kind of metaphorical second skin,
or step back into a psychological
pair of comfortable shoes,
with which they can use to help them
soak up every ounce of attention upon them
so that they can convert
their audience's enthusiasm into a fuel
to turbo-charge their art;
however, for the more reticent of performers,
a spotlight may be the last place
that they want to be -
but even the most introverted artist
can, over time, find a way to create
an alter ego with which, in a sense,
they can become someone else,
and make it possible for them
to climb to heights from where
they can make themselves,
and others, believe that they have
this extraordinary, electrifying,
transcendental and other-worldly power.

In this day and age a stage does not need
to be a physical place at a particular time...
in this day and age, because of the constant
advances in technology that have been made
in the way that we all communicate
with one another, anyone, anywhere,
can do what they love, and they can be
whomever they want to be,
and put on a live performance of their own -
even from the sanctuary of their own bedroom...
in this day and age someone
who is categorized as "unknown artist"
can quickly create something and go "viral",
and for as long as the place
where their performance was shared remains,
archived forever for posterity,
someone, anyone, could become
a constant source of hope and joy for someone  -
especially for those people who, at times, feel lost...
in this day and age you don't need to have
a message written in the sky to get noticed,
because anybody with the tenacity,
the courage, the spark, and the love for performing -
that every performer has within them -
can find the perfect place,
can find their perfect audience,
where, and to whom, they never want
to step off the stage of, or say goodbye to -
because every performer has their soapbox.
 
 

My Poem “The Way of the Artist”

Everything changes...
everything evolves...
everybody doing every thing
has their own process...
new things have naturally arisen
over time to replace other things
and other ways of doing things;
however, some things never change -
and one of the things that will never change
is the way that artists are inspired,
the way that artists seek out
new sources of stimulation,
the way that artists wake up
every morning and want to create art,
the way that artists cannot settle down
to sleep without first either thinking
about or doing something about
the nugget of an idea within them.

There is something inherently human
about art and about attempting to capture
the sometimes incomparable,
about the need to express our inner most
thoughts, feelings, emotions, dreams,
hopes, fears, and our natural insecurities...
there is something primal about
the experience of having this overriding
instinct that we feel compelled to act upon...
there is something almost genetic
about how people young and old
seem to have the same unconscious ability
to be able to go to the same places
that other people are unable to,
because there exists this continuity
of connection that crosses generations
like some kind of universal melody.

All my life I have created art,
I have witnessed art being created,
and I have come to recognize
the look in a fellow artist's eyes
when they are deep within that moment
when the inspiration and the art
within them are in full-flow,
as if it were a sixth sense of mine
that I have slowly but surely
developed over time...
all my life I have looked at
the natural beauty of the world
rise like waves upon an ocean
and literally change the geography
of a well known place or monument...
all my life I have witnessed
something come from something -
and I have come to believe
that "nothing" is in fact a type of
"something" that we have not yet
given a name to, because certain things
are like energy and no matter what
they will always exist.

Looking for an answer to a question
that may have been asked for centuries
and expecting to find what has not occurred
to anyone else before, at least to me,
is not in any way a sign of madness -
in fact, I believe the art of being inquisitive
and never asking the question
"why create art in the first place?"
and just feeling this need to create
some kind of art is the most powerful gift
and the most fulfilling way of every artist.

My Poem “Eternally Illusive”

Some of the most influential artists
are the most illusive…
some of the most prolific artists
are the those who most people
will never be lucky enough to meet…
some of the most powerful artists
have worn masks all of their careers…
some of the most emotional artists
are those who never publicly shed a tear…
some of the most acclaimed artists
are those who want to be judged
upon the quality of their art
and not by how they look…
some of the most accomplished artists
are those who draw people to them
because they speak a language
that is universally understood…
some of the most loved artists
are those who respect their audience
and layer their work with insights about
them that reflect who they are within…
some of the most iconic artists,
who are worshipped as if they were a deities,
live on after they have ascended this world
and leave words, sounds, messages,
music, and sustenance for the mind,
the heart, the soul, and everything in between…
some of the most poetic artists
infuse their masterpieces with
so much of themselves that they illicit
memories, feelings, and emotions in others
capable of being retroactively reciprocated…
some of the most intriguing artists
will always be considered as such because of the way that they can cause somekind of surge of energy in the imagination
of people near and far, old and young –
while continuing their enduring legacy of remaining eternally illusive.

Dedicated to Daft Punk

My Poem “Perseverance”

The perseverance of imagination
is what gives an artist their muse…
the perseverance of an extraordinary idea
is what inspired the first philosophers,
the first explorers, the first inventors,
the first daredevils, the first pilots,
the first men to set foot on the moon…
the perseverance of a team of dreamers
is what has propelled all the man-made
exploratory robots launched into space
to get close up eye-views of the planets
of our solar system and has led to trails
of human built wheels to leave their mark
upon the dusty copper coloured
surface of the planet Mars.

Perseverance is having the strength
of mind to decide to not give up
no matter the distance that has to be crossed…
perseverance is moving forwards despite
others having reservations about your plan
because you know with all that you are
that not following your heart
would be a sacrifice with too high of a cost…
perseverance is finding answers to questions
that were once thought to be irrevocably lost…
perseverance is thinking about the potential
future of everyone on Earth instead of anchoring
yourself to the ideals of the distant past.

The perseverance of life is why there
is so much diversity of species
that is unique to this beautiful planet…
the perseverance of light is why
stars continue to shine long after
their life-span has come to an end…
the perseverance of spirit is why
singers continue to sing,
why painters continue to paint,
why actors continue to act,
why dancers continue to dance,
why people listen to music, fall in love,
and often find themselves living in a trance.

The secret source of success
is not achieving more of something
than somebody else –
the secret of true success is realising
what it takes to do what has to be done,
what it takes to make it through the hard times,
why it is important to believe in yourself,
why it is important to believe in others:
because it is remarkable what extraordinary
feats can be achieved by people
when they are inspired and they are compelled
by the power of perseverance.

My Poem “Start Early”

Some of the most profound
and prolific artists started
creating art early…
some of the most revered
and remembered artists
all began their artistic journey
by being a day-dreamer…
some of the most insightful
and incredible artists
started every new day with
questions about the universe
and their place within it…
some of the most powerful
and poetic artists begin
with a blank canvas
and with an impulse to
to describe something with
descriptive and definitive words
if they are a writer,
or with colour and texture
like that of the brush-strokes of a painter…
some of the most amazing
and astonishing artists
start out doing what they love
to do simply for fun…
some of the most inspiring
artists were inspired and
can inspire others simply…
some of the artists who
have the most unique of voices
speak with their art as
if they were standing within
a forest of trees basking
in the afternoon light of the sun…
some people discover their
secret identity as an artist later in life,
and some people hear the call
of creativity when they are still a child
and forever afterwards as a adult
whatever path they proceed upon
they always start early.

My Poem “Vincent”

I have just walked out
of a profound experience…
I have just walked out into the sunshine,
after living and breathing
a breathtaking love letter to
and from my favourite artist:
the one and the only,
Vincent van Gogh.

Once again I have been captivated
and I have been inspired deeply
by the art of one of the most powerful,
evocative, poetic, renowned,
and also one of the most troubled
artists the world has ever known –
who time and again never fails
to touch me on an deeply emotional level
every time I am blessed to look
at a painting of his landscapes,
at a painting of his sunflowers,
at a painting of the cafe that he
regularly frequented in Arles,
and into the eyes of the artist himself
as captured in one of the many
self-portraits that he painted.

After every experience that I have
of either being near a real life
painting by Vincent van Gogh –
as I did in a London art gallery
a few year ago;
watching a film; reading a book;
or immersing myself in a documentary
about Vincent van Gogh’s life;
reading his immortal words;
hearing his indomitable voice;
or seeing his paintings projected
high and wide, like never before,
so that people can enjoy
the incredible gift of his art,
and learn more about
the trials and the tribulations of his life,
in an experience the like of which
I have just enjoyed with so many other people,
and during which I felt as if
Vincent van Gogh was in the room
with us and his spirit had come alive
so that he may connect with everybody
who had attended this celebration
of the life, the gift, and the art
of the incredible Vincent van Gogh.