My Poem “Subculture”

It has always fascinated me
how no matter what century it is
the various ages of culture
ultimately give rise to subcultures
of people who all walk to
the same beat of the same drum...
it has always been a source of inspiration
for me how on some level
everybody is always looking for a group
of like-minded individuals
who talk the same way,
who dress the same way,
and who feel the same way about things,
about the world, about how they have
for so long been misunderstood -
and what brings them the most joy
in the world most likely does not
fit into the same mould of what is
considered to be mainstream or "normal".

It has always interested me
how easily people feel as if they
can be themselves when they are
given the opportunity to visit a place
which is sacred to them and safe for them
to indulge themselves in the conventions
of the subculture that they are
a practicing member of,
that are so iconic and expected
they have over time become a stereotype...
it has always given me a sense of acceptance
every time I have looked around the world
and without even having to try
I have been able to recognize
the unmistakable signs that point towards
someone who I might not know,
and who does not know me,
but who I may share similar sensibilities with,
who do not spend any effort or time
in disguising the fact that when it comes
to the road of life they are constantly
walking a thin line.

It is has always been a way of life
for the young of a society
to rebel against the rules of their parents
and thumb their nose at authority figures
so as to test the limits of what they can do,
in order to make their voice be heard;
however, sometimes when a certain
group of people feel as if they are being
unduly silenced then speech can slowly
transform into acts of delinquency,
disrespect, and disorder.

It will always be the case
that some people will want to believe
certain individual beliefs...
some people will always want
to live a certain way of life...
some people will always want
to act upon their instincts
and express what is meaningful to them -
because some things, to some people,
feel so indelible they are indistinguishable
from their nature...
it goes without saying that normality
is a matter of opinion and perspective -
and where some may look at a group
of people and consider them to
have nothing constructive to offer
others might look at those same people
in the same way that they would look
at a family member,
because to them they are an example
of how an idea can grow and endure
under the radar as a subculture.

My Poem “The Eighties”

I grew up in the 1980s…
I grew up in the decade when
the world was blessed with the best
and with the most memorable days of their lives…
when I think of the 1980s and the time of my childhood,
I look back with awe and with a nostalgic longing
to return to those days –
even if only for a short time…
I can still remember living, breathing, growing,
and enjoying every one of the gifts of humanity
that were ever-present and essential…
I, like many, still vividly remember what I saw,
what I heard, and what I felt when I was a child –
what I was fortunate to have seen, heard, and felt
for the first time, at the moment that
their star of influence began to rise
and instantly started to impact
and change the world forevermore…
television, movies, music, games, books –
the characters, the vehicles, the fashions,
the songs and the soundtracks
that continue to stand the test of time –
that to this day are still re-watched,
replayed, rediscovered, and renewed
for a brand new generation…
to me, there is nothing like nostalgia…
to me, there is nothing like revisting
the precious memories of your youth…
there is something about certain times
in our collective history that resonates
with some people on an emotional
and on an almost cellular level…
there is something special about remembering
the things we used to watch,
the things we used to listen to,
and in the ways that we used to enjoy them…
there is something wonderful, heart-racing,
exhilarating, and magical about using
our imagination as a vehicle to go back in time,
like the Delorean time-machine
from the Back to the Future movies,
and in a small way reliving decades-old memories –
and even though I am now in my thirties
and my childhood now feels like a life-time ago,
I still love thinking back, I still loving watching back,
and I still love using the songs that I remember from my youth
to take me back and give me a rush of euphoric recollection,
like the feeling of returning home:
the same overwhelming sense of belonging and joy
that I ways feel when I think back to the 1980s.

My Poem ‘Sights to see in Birmingham City’

Even from far-away
you can see the towers of the city on the horizon;
as you get closer to the centre of the city
the buildings both old and new glisten;
when you catch a glimpse of the spires
of Saint Martin’s church,
and of the shining disks that cover
the imposing Selfridges store,
you cannot help but be taken-aback by what you see;
when you climb the steps that lead
to the entrance to the Bullring,
that is but the start of a path
to things that always attract my attention
and capture my fascination
every time I see them
as I walk around the city.

I love walking up New Street,
from the famous bronze Birmingham bull
to the statue of Queen Victoria
that stands tall atop their plinth
at Victoria Square –
there are always musicians and street-performers
playing and performing hoping to draw people to them
so that they can bedazzle with the talent;
I love going into my favourite restaurants and stores –
in particular Starbucks, Waterstones,
and also my favourite bookstore ‘Foyles’
which to me is the jewel in the crown
of the newly-refurbished New Street Station –
and simply looking, perusing,
people-watching, and listening;
one of my favourite places to go in all the city
is the amazing and inspiring
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery –
the exhibitions and the art to be found within
to me is always a treat to behold…
and another place I love to revisit is of course
the phenomenal new Birmingham library –
somewhere I have spent many an hour
enjoying every moment of walking through
the near-infinite number of books on their shelves,
and also sitting outside almost on the library’s roof
looking far and wide and also below
at the beautiful city beneath me.

I love walking the towpaths
of the canal-side near The Mailbox;
I love walking from one end of Broad Street
to the other and marveling
at the number of restaurants and bars
that can be seen as you follow the stars
and in the footsteps of the famous and the renowned;
I love how no matter if it is a sunny day or a rainy day
that I cannot deny that this city
constantly speaks to me and to my sensibilities;
I love those times when I can walk around,
or just sit down on a bench near St. Philips Cathedral
that stands at the heart of the city,
and allow my thoughts to runaway in my mind;
I love the many cultures, accents, colours,
and sounds that echo wherever you find yourself in town;
I love every time that I get to see the sights
that always inspire me in Birmingham City.

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