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.

My Poem “There is always hope”

When you are a child
there is no more magical
and joyful moment of your life
than around Christmas time
when you get to write a letter
to a man in a red, with a white beard,
who on Christmas day will deliver
all that you have been asking for
for perhaps all of the previous months of the year –
and under normal circumstances
there is no one more popular
than the ever jovial Father Christmas/
Santa Claus/Saint Nicholas himself
who children dream about, write to,
and draw pictures of, as well as his
ever present reindeer and his trusted elves.

Christmas is for everybody…
Christmas is full of positive, possibilities,
and you truly start to get into the Christmas spirit
as soon as you start to hang the decorations
upon your newly bought or perhaps your
perennially rediscovered Christmas tree…
Christmas is a season for hope,
optimism, friendship and family…
Christmas is when people need
other people more than anything –
and the greatest gift that you can
give anybody is your time,
because not only is time precious
but it is also free.

Christmas time can sometimes be hard –
even when their isn’t a dark cloud
hovering over every one in every country –
and so many people do not have
the opportunity to be with somebody
on December the 25th,
which is why everybody young and old
need to remind themselves why it is
important to be there for those
who we are blessed to know
as well as for those who may now know
and who may live on their own…
Christmas time should be hopeful
and without fears and tears…
Christmas time should be about
showing love, as well as about being
happy and merry while listening
to Christmas songs that have endured for years…
Christmas time is a wonderful time
that is capable of making anybody
of any age feel as if they are a child…
Christmas time is a whirlwind
of emotions at the best of times,
however when people are at their most
in need of something and someone
to believe in they can look no further
than to whomever matters the most to them
to give them the gift of a Christmas star
to enlighten and to signal that
even on the darkest of nights
there is always hope.

Merry Christmas! 🙂🥳🎄🎊🎋

The M H Experience – Episode #59: “Playing God – The Man in Red”

Hi everyone!

This Christmas I wanted to do something special. This Christmas, more so than any Christmas, I wanted to share something that might entertain and also inspire people with a feeling of hope – as I always hope to do wherever I write something, whenever I publish something, or whenever I record an episode of my podcast. So, this year, I decided to record a recitation of me reading my short story “The Man in Red” from my 2018 book “Playing God” which is a story set around Christmas time and features the main protagonist of all the stories within: the “Man in Black” performing somewhat of a Christmas miracle for a young man in need.

So, I hope you enjoy this special Christmas themed episode of my podcast The Mark Hastings Experience and I hope everybody has a very Merry Christmas! 😊 🥳🎄🎊🎋

Playing God – “The Man In Red”


Get your copy of my book ‘Playing God’ – featuring the Christmas story “The Man In Red” – online in paperback and as an ebook from Amazon: https://amzn.to/383gsII

Merry Christmas! 😎🎅🎄

My Poem “The Merry Go Around”

Enlivened by the bright blue sky,
enlightened by the sublime sunshine,
entertained by the festive music filling the air,
entranced by the revolutions
of the red and gold merry-go-round,
as I stand with a cup of
hot chocolate in my hand,
as the world around me
feels like I am underneath a clear dome –
like that of an enclosed globe
just waiting to be turned upside down
so that there can be a a flurry of snow –
everything feels like it should be
at this time of the year,
everybody appear to be in good spirits
and enjoying the gift of the season’s greetings,
and there is a palpable calmness
as if everybody is catching their breath…
it is a wonderful sight to see
both adults and children look up
in wonder at the illuminated decorations
and the gleaming baubles
of the many Christmas trees
and to see people young and old
smile for what might have been
the first time in a long time,
because this year has been filled
with so much uncertainty…
there are echoes of the voices
of the lost to be heard,
there are welcome flashes
of hopefulness to be found…
there are whispers of a cure
for what shadows the present
coming within the near future,
as the sounds of hope ring out
in the form of Christmas bells
that inspire meaningful moments
of merriment as people ride
and as people are drawn to
the magical sight of spinning
Christmas Merry-go-around.

My Poem “The Season of Perpetual Hope”

Merry Christmas, everyone!
I hope you have a great Christmas Day!
I hope you get what you want,
I hope you get what you need,
I hope you get what you have always wanted,
and I hope that you enjoy your time
with your nearest and dearest
and I hope that every hour
is full of love, joy, happiness,
music, and limitless festive cheer!

I hope you smile, I hope laugh,
I hope you enjoy the food, the drink,
and the precious gifts of moments in time
that you share with those who know you
and who care for you
and who know you the most!
I hope the sun shines down on you today!
I hope you experience moment after moment
of intoxicating interconnection
that reminds you to cherish
every memory that you make
with everybody who could never be replaced!

I hope that all the people who you love,
who you unfortunately cannot be with physically,
know just how much they mean to you,
that you could never live without them,
and that no matter where in the world
we all are there is nothing that can stop
the power of love and devotion!

This is the day when we all wish
that we could say what we really want to say,
when we wish we could express
to certain people in our lives
what they mean to us –
but most of the time it is the thought
that someone in particular is in your life
and the fact that they tell you
that they want to be there for you
which says more than any words could ever describe!

This is the season when some people
realise what brings true joy into their lives,
and when they understand
what the true message of the season is:
because Christmas time, to me at least,
is the season of unconditional love,
it is the season of unlimited joy,
it is the season of unfathomable beauty –
and in my opinion every moment of every day
should be one unending and timeless season
when everyone can experience miracles
of happiness and perpetual hope
when and where they least expect them.

My Poem “More than we might know”

Christmas Day is but once a year,
however the way that some people
make us feel every day
is enough to make us what to cry
tears of love and joy
because we know how lucky we are to
have them close and near.

Christmas time is when people tend
to think about others more than usual,
and Christmas time is also
when people often also
tend to reflect back upon
everything that life has tested them with,
especially as we all grow older
and we remember things in the past
that we may have accidentally taken for granted.

Everybody is this life needs somebody
to hear them, to think about them,
to give them the gift of their time –
even is it is only in the form of
a greetings card that tells someone
that you were thinking about them,
because no one who has done so much
good for other people ever deserves
to be forgotten or left behind.

Time is precious…
people are vulnerable…
there are people in this world
who have lost everything
because of a natural disaster,
because of homelessness,
because life has not been kind to them –
and this time of the year is when
a large population of the world
considers what means the most to them,
and the greatest gift
that we can all give one another –
as members of the collective
human family of this planet –
is respect, peace, and an opportunity
for everybody to find happiness
while doing something
that gives their life meaning.

We can all be better people sometimes…
we can all be better at communicating
our feelings – however, there are times
when talking is the hardest thing to do,
especially when you feel like nobody
could ever understand
what you are going through…
we can all be better listeners –
however, the ability to fully listen
and to hear what someone is trying
to tell you is harder than you think.

We can all be there for somebody
in particular when they need
the gift of someone to be there for them,
to make time for them,
to embody the spirit of the season,
and to get them through the sometimes
harsh Winter of the Northern Hemisphere
and the sometimes uncomfortable Summer
of the Southern Hemisphere –
because no one is immune to life,
because everybody is human,
and it is important that we all
remember, as often as possible,
who we are, what we are,
how short our time to shine is,
and that it takes almost no effort at all
to be present in the life
of somebody who may needs us
more than we might know.

My Poem “Beacons of the Season”

The season of Christmas
doesn’t truly begin for me
until I am decorating
and turning on the lights
of our family Christmas tree…
it has been a tradition
for as long as I can remember
for me to be the one
who retrieves the Christmas tree
from the attic and hangs
all the tinsel and the baubles
in an always unique and random fashion,
and I enjoy every moment
because I love the thought
of creating a brand new piece
of festive art that makes people smile
and draws the attention of everybody
and fills them with a sense of awe.

My family has had a couple
of Christmas trees throughout my life;
however, we never had a real pine tree –
so I have never had the experience
of having to periodically clean up
fallen pine needles from the floor,
but I have been fortunate
on many occasions
to have taken a walk through
a forest of still growing pine trees
so I am fully aware of the intoxicating
and calming fragrance of their aroma –
and every time I get to inhale
that distinctive smell of pine
I find that it always
opens a door within my mind
to tastes, to sounds, to feelings,
and to experiences that to me define
what is so special about
Christmas time.

I believe that there is nothing else
that symbolizes the hope
that everybody wishes to find
at this time of the year
than the multicolored lights
of a Christmas tree
shining in the darkness of twilight
and reminding everyone
who gaze upon them
that all is never lost –
because I believe that every source of light
is a beacon of optimism
that anyone can use
to find their way back to a place
that can call home at any hour
of the day or the night.

My Poem “Be Thrifty”

There are times of the year,
especially around Christmas time,
when you have got to think about
the likes, the needs, the wishes,
and the feelings of
more than one person simultaneously,
when you have to think about
what would be the perfect gift
to buy somebody in order to demonstrate
how much someone means to you,
when you have got to take advantage
of every given situation and offer
in order to be shrewd with what you
have to spend –
which is why so many people
flock out the door on days
like “Black Friday” and they go
from store to store in order
to find something that is being
advertised at being sold
at a fraction of the price
that they normally are.

The stores around Christmas time
are always full of people trying
to see, to pick up, and to purchase
what they have in mind,
what is on the list that they may have made,
or what they subliminally feel
compelled to buy in some way.

Christmas shopping is never easy –
in fact it gets harder to do every year;
however, I personally have always
enjoyed the process of putting
a great deal of thought
into who I am going to buy a gift for,
but sometimes I find new things
that I have not seen before
and when I do I have learned
the hard way that if you see something
that you have never seen before
which fits perfectly into
the mold in your mind
that pertains to someone that you know
you need to get it while you can
because their is always someone
right behind you who will
not hesitate to make the most
of the opportunity to walk away
with your original find and thought.

When Christmas shopping
you really do need to start early,
you need to take your time,
and you steadily need to
build up an instinct and a biography
about what a particular person
whom you know may have mentioned
in passing, subconsciously hoping
that someone would take note –
so my advice for anybody like me
who is currently in the process
of buying presents for family members,
less than a month before Christmas,
is to start now, to make a physical
or a mental lists before hand
that you can refer back to,
and of course to be quick,
to be thoughtful, to be calm,
and when possible to be thrifty.