Happy International Literacy Day!

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My Poem “The Dark Tower”

I once spent an entire summer
with Roland Deschain,
“The Gunslinger”,
as we followed
the “Man in Black”
as he fled across the desert
of a world that had “moved on”,
in the pages of the books
of Stephen King’s epic
multi-novel adventure
“The Dark Tower” –
and it was as we journeyed
and followed the path
of the beams that led
to the tower that stands
and binds the worlds
of Stephen King’s stories together
that I discovered along the way
that the best stories
are like the most memorable dreams,
and that to find something
you may have been looking for
for as long as you can remember
sometimes the doorways
that we must walk through
we can only find
when we explore the world’s
that reveal themselves
under the covers –
and now I am preparing to enter
a movie-theatre so that I may return
to the world of Stephen King
and journey again across a desert
and through magical doors
with “The Gunslinger”
and return again to “The Dark Tower”.

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My Poem ‘One Giant Leap’

Small steps… few words…
giant leaps… new worlds…
sometimes to do the extraordinary
we have to go to places
we have never been…
sometimes to see things
we have never seen
we have to rocket away
from what we know
until we feel the pull
of a new source of gravity…
writing and telling stories
is a gift that has always been me…
writing a poem is like expressing a daydream,
writing a story and inventing a brand new world
of unique characters and situations
is like nothing else:
to me it is like letting the inspiration wolf
inside me out so that it can howl loud and run free.

Things grow… things begin as one thing,
and when they are fully-formed
they are something else…
at first, when something or someone
is first learning to find their feet
and walk tall most of the time
they take things slow…
when something or someone looks
at their own reflection
and they recognize themselves for the first time
for what they are that is when
they know what they must do,
and they begin to feel things
that they have never felt about themselves.

An idea can start as a single sentence,
and then that sentence can grow into a poem,
and then that poem can grow
into being a short-story, a novella…
and then, before you know it,
that same single idea has become
a fully-fledged story of its own
of people, places, and experiences,
that are so potent and are so powerful
that they can fill an entire book…
it cannot be quantified,
there is no equation that you can follow…
a poem, a story, an idea can grow steadily
over time into being
a force of nature in and of itself
with its own ideas and voice
about where it should go…
when writing any kind of story
you need to allow whomever your story is about
to find their own heart, their own soul,
their own spirit…
every story has a beginning, and an end –
but, sometimes, there is no way of knowing
how, when, and where, until you take
a step back from it and you allow it
to talk to you from far away
as well as up-close and personal.

I have written a story…
I have written a book…
I have spent hours, days, months,
writing, reading, editing, understanding,
and learning about what who my characters are
and going on a journey of discovery and identity
exploring a different, but familiar, world –
and, most importantly, I have not been afraid
to take risks into a sometimes dark
ocean of imagination and wading deep…
some times you have to learn to not think
too much about what you don’t know
and stop worrying about what you might find
when the time comes for you
to let your mind, your pen, your fingers,
and your words do the talking
when you decide to take your life’s small steps
and turn them into one giant leap.

Happy World Book Day!

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Happy World Book Day! Get a copy of one and all my books, Poet of the Sphere, The Sound of Mark, The Eternal Boy, The Dreamer and The Dream, Truly Madly Deeply, Too Close To The Sun, online from Amazon, Barnes&Noble, The Book Depository, and many other places! Search “Mark Hastings Poet”! I hope you enjoy reading my poetry and my short-stories! P.s. New book on the way! πŸ‘πŸ˜ŠπŸ“š

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My Poem ‘You’re going to need a bigger bookcase’

It all starts when you are a kid:
a book here, a book there…
a book for Christmas?
a book for your birthday?
a book that you borrow
from your local library?
and then, before you know it
you are reading a book a week,
you are day-dreaming
and imagining stories of your own…
and then every afternoon
after you get home from school
you are writing short-stories
inspired by who and what you have read…
and every night you embark
on new adventures of every kind
from the comfort of your bed.

When you first fall in love with stories,
literature, tales, myths, books,
characters and journeys…
when you first fall down the rabbit-hole
with Alice all the way to Wonderland,
or when you first get carried away
by the tornado with Dorothy all the way to Oz,
or perhaps when you first follow
the adventures of Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring
and you feel with each and every-one of them
and you come to understand what it is like
to carry a heavy burden,
or perhaps when you travel
to a magical-land and you encounter
heroes, lords, witches, and a beautiful girl
who is also a fallen-star
which you find in the Neil Gaiman’s world of Stardust…
there is no telling what will happen to you,
what you will imagine, and where you will go next –
going on a roller-coaster of emotions while reading a book
that you just can’t put down is the best!

Some people simply do not have the time
or the inclination to pick up a book
and let it begin to build bridges
within their mind and imagination
to places that are simply inaccessible
unless you follow the words,
the sentences, the chapters,
the pages, and the characters of a book
from one cover to another…
some people read fast, some people read slow –
however, I have always thought
that the best kind of books
require time and patience to be given to them
so that they can truly reveal their secrets.

Some people are just not ‘book-people’,
and then again their are some people
who truly marvel at everything about books:
the way their printed,
the language that they are written in,
and even the beautiful artwork of the cover…
some people only own one book…
some people own physical books,
some people own ebooks –
I might be biased, but I don’t think anything
could ever compare to the feeling,
the pages, and even the smell
of a real and physical book.

I would advise anyone to start with one book
and to fall in love with it slowly –
because reading should always be
a pleasure and not a race;
however, in no time at all,
that one book may turn into one of many…
and then you may be enviably forced
to consider an apparent and glaring possibility:
you’re going to need a bigger bookcase.

My Poem ‘Limited Edition’

Everything ends; seasons change;
wounds need time so that they can mend;
the sun is always shining –
whether it is day or night,
whether there is Summer heat or April rain.

Life is a precious treasure not to be wasted;
you can live the happiest of lives
without having all of your five senses;
making the most of what you have while you have it
is at the heart of every ancient or modern myth;
when you look around… when you look back…
when you look forward… there is a fundamental reason
why all that we see and all that we imagine
is a mixture of the familiar and the different –
and when you put all the pieces of life together in your head
it is then that so much starts to make sense.

Books sometimes go out of print;
a song, just like a person, has a life-span;
a story can help us and give us strength to never give in;
the best that anybody can find
will always be that which is one of a kind –
just like the one whom we love more than anything,
there is no better than to have of something
that is a Limited Edition of one.

My Poem ‘Balloons’

Where we have been
and where we are going
are tied together
by the threads of our lives;
while we are enjoying a good story
we never want it to come to an end;
darkness and light ties night to day
and day to night;
sometimes when we know
we are approaching the end of a great book
we will put it down and bookmark our place
so that we can pick up one day where we left off;
however, just as every writer
must finish writing their story,
every reader must follow a tale
to its conclusion,
and when they reach the last word of the last page
promise to return to the same story again and again –
the same, but different –
like periodically catching up with an old friend.

We all sometimes look at our own reflection
and do not immediately like the face that we see –
though someone else may look at the same face
and see the face of unparalleled infinite beauty;
we all should remember that a mirror
can only show us a distorted image of how we appear,
and the only true way of knowing
who the world sees when they look at us
is to go to the one person who knows us best
to describe us and tell us who they see
and what about us they most revere.

We all have reasons for what we do;
certain things and special people
have an indefinable gravity about them;
we all love people in our lives
in ways that we show every day,
but we sometimes feel a need to prove;
we all leave many clues;
I, myself, could never deny
an unbreakable connection –
once made, never severed –
because, just like the bound pages in a book,
bound people are linked forever
because that is what was always meant to happen.

Some people rise and fall by the resonance of a voice;
some hearts beat in perfect-time with other hearts,
and even when they are far-apart from one-another
they constantly sing “see you soon”;
falling in love is uncontrollable
and it is a fundamental instinct without choice;
all stories have chapters and twists,
beginnings and endings,
and some have a pace and a depth to them
that is as vast as space;
and though its true meaning and message
may not be as blatant as a telephone ringing,
the best thing about any story
under any cover is one that you can hold,
walk with, and even tie to something,
and is that which you should never let go of –
because once a story rises too high out of reach
it will become someone else’s,
and slowly drift away like the wind
carrying away a balloon of your own making.