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 “Finale”

Not every story
that you find yourself drawn into
ends in the way that you want it to…
Not every story can have that
happy ending that people wants…
Not every story can be the version
that the reader or the viewer
of a story has in their head –
because stories are both a creator’s
and audience’s medium,
and one in which there is not always
a shared instinct into how a particular story
should begin, progress, unveil itself,
and ultimately end.

Every story naturally must have a beginning
and every story naturally must have an end –
and while a writer is writing a story
the world in which they are building
and the characters they are choosing
to include within their story
can change in direction, shape,
and intention from
how they were initially envisioned…
readers and viewers of a story
usually only get to read, or to see,
the finished, polished,
and final version of a story
and they are oblivious to all
the various choices, changes,
and minutiae that had to be
considered by the stories’ author
in order to make a story, their story,
as perfect as can be.

Every story is a challenge…
every story is a journey…
every creator of every story
thinks, feels, considers,
and lives every word and every line
of the story that they set out to
make a reality and one which
people might choose to invest their time into…
every author does not take the death
of a character in one of their stories lightly
and they are fully aware of how
their story can change
and be internalized differently
depending on who is enjoying them.

Writing can sometimes be hard –
however, at the same time,
writing can be one of the best
and one of the most life-changing things
you can ever commit yourself to…
when a writer first begins building a world,
a reality, a universe, the farthest thought
from their mind is that of having to finish
what they started –
so when they arrive at the moment of having
to wrap-up a story and a journey
that has meant so much to them,
take it from me, there is never an
easy way to write a perfect
and truly satisfying finale.

Happy World Book Day!

Happy World Book Day, everybody! From me and my books – at least the books I have written – I just want to say thank you… thank you to anyone who has ever picked up a book, bought a book, read a book, read a story, read a poem – especially if you have read one of mine! I’m a writer, and I love to write both poetry and stories, because I am a dreamer – and just like John Lennon once said: “They say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one” – and, like John, I too believe that dreams, stories, poetry, art, music, can, and has, changed the world many times over… and one of the most enjoyable ways to go on a journey of imagination, and one of the most magical experiences you can ever partake in, you can find morning, noon, and night within a book. I believe that books are doorways to other worlds that we as a species need to read about, imagine, and dream about for our very survival on this planet. So, this World Book Day, and in the future, I would like everybody to occasionally put down their phones, their tablets, and pick up a book they have never read before, and discover a new world that is waiting to be found. Some of my favourite authors are Neil Gaiman (who I met in the 2014, and who I gave a copy of my first book ‘Poet of the Sphere’ to), Stephen king, Douglas Adams, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Lewis Carroll, C.S Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Ernest Cline, Stan Lee, and many many others – but I know that there are still an infinite number of writers and authors out there that I still need to discover. Anyway, have fun reading! And have a very Happy World Book Day! 😊 📖 📚

-Mark

My Poem ‘Burning Bright’

‘Poet of the Sphere’,
‘The Sound of Mark’,
‘The Eternal Boy’
I am my books, and my books are me;
just as Ray Bradbury is ‘Fahrenheit 451’,
‘The Martian Chronicles’, ‘The Illustrated Man’
just as those books will forever be
Ray Bradbury.

An author has a connection to their books,
to their stories,
that is even beyond the words that they have written;
a published writer is a part
of each and every one of their books –
deeper than the cover, the ink, the paper, the ideas;
a storyteller knows what it is
to have true unburdened and unbounded imagination;
a wordsmith embodies their words and their works,
and their power cannot be taken away from them,
not even by fire.

To me, there is no greater sin in this life
than to burn a book, to try and destroy a story,
to undo what was done and written;
to me, there is no greater crime
than ignorance of the truth;
to me, everyone of Earth with a story to tell
deserves to speak aloud and stand under a hot sun;
to me, and to a lot of writers,
the knowledge of life that each and every one
of us possesses is what keeps us Human,
and it is what makes us unique –
magic is real,
and language and stories are the proof.

J.M. Barrie is Peter Pan;
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is Sherlock Holmes;
Terry Prachett is every character
that lives on the ‘Disk World’;
William Shakespeare is every character
that he wrote and gave life to in his plays;
Stephen King is Roland Deschain
from his epic ‘Dark Tower’ series of books;
Neil Gaiman is ‘Shadow’ from ‘American Gods’;
Douglas Adams is Arthur Dent;
J.K. Rowling is Harry Potter;
J.R.R. Tolkien is Bilbo Baggins;
and I am every one of my poems,
that to me are like rhyming short-stories.

Every writer of every book,
is each and every one of the characters that they write;
every myth, tale, and story, is an inspiring light;
every author deserves to have their books
remembered and embodied until the end of time –
from the sunrise of every morning,
until the moon fades away again
at the end of another night;
every story can live forever and be retold,
if people take them into their minds
and into their hearts,
and allow them to never stop
burning bright.

In memory of Ray Bradbury;
and all authors, all books;
and all myths, tales,
characters, and stories.