TMHE – Episode #65: David Bowie – a tribute

In this episode Mark pays tribute to one of the most influential artists, songwriters, and musicians of the 20th Century: the late-great David Bowie – who this year would have celebrated his 75th birthday had he not died from liver cancer at his home in New York in 2016. All throughout his life Mark has been both entertained and inspired by David Bowie, and he been a fan of his acting and music career for many years; however, as a result of David Bowie’s death in 2016, Mark became even more inspired and influenced by the man and the icon – so much so that Mark was inspired to write and publish a collection of short stories, “Playing God”, that featured a mysterious “Man in Black” character who looked remarkably like David Bowie but who was not David Bowie… but who wore David Bowie’s appearance in tribute to him, for some reason. And over the years Mark has also written several poems and has gone on pilgrimages that hopes pays tribute to one of his musical heroes: the one and the only, David Bowie.

My Poem “David Bowie”

Over the course of his life
he excited, he electrified, he entertained,
and he enriched the world through
his gift of creating art and music
that instantly struck and stayed
in the heart and in the mind of people,
like a bolt of lightning from the sky,
that made people feel, think,
and imagine things that they
may never have felt, thought,
nor dreamt of before.

He had a voice, he had a spirit,
he had a charm, a charisma, a presence
that could immediately captivate
crowds of fans and make them want
to sing and dance and lift up
their eyes and their hands,
because he was able to make
people feel as if they
could reach out and touch
the energy of a star
that could inspire them with a purpose
that was able to show just how varied
and full of colour each of us are -
and to this day he and his music
makes us consider a variety of possibilities,
including whether there really is
Life on Mars.

He was a man who was not afraid of change,
nor of changing his identity
and how he was perceived...
he was a man who was not afraid
of experimentation
nor of collaboration with fellow artists
who he jived with and felt as if
they understood him
and also spoke the language of magic,
imagination and inspiration that he did.

He was a hero, and he still is...
he was, he is, and he always will be
an icon and a god of music in the eyes
of millions of people around the world -
and who he was and what he did
was all that he ever wanted to be:
a man who transcended
but who was also connected to the world,
a man who left an indelible legacy,
a man who gave us all a part of his soul
to remember him by,
a man who had he not died would
today have celebrated turning 75,
a man whose face we will forever see,
a man whose songs will be listened to
by generation after generation on repeat:
the man, the legend, the one and the only
David Bowie.

Rest In Peace, David Bowie (a tribute)

On January 10, 2016, I wrote a poem called “Always the Starman” dedicated to the late great David Bowie who died on that very day in 2016 – and I can still remember where I was and what I was doing when I heard of his untimely passing, and I can still remember being immediately inspired to mark the memory of one of the most famous and celebrated music artists of the 20th Century – and two days later I published the poem that I wrote on my blog for all the world to read so that they may get a sense of just how inspirational David Bowie was and still is.

Not long after David Bowie’s death, I remember that I was writing a new short story called “The Man In Black” about this mysterious character – who I didn’t truly know the identity of, nor why they were so mysterious… all I knew at that point was that whoever they were they dressed all in black, they had mysterious and powerful gifts that enabled them to appear one minute and disappear the next, they could bring animals and perhaps people back to life, and they may or may not be some kind of angel or some other supernatural being. And something else that I knew immediately was that whoever this mysterious “man in black” was he also bore an uncanny resemblance to the late great David Bowie, as some sort of tribute to him. But that was it. I originally intended to include my short story “The Man in Black” in my 2016 short story collection “Too Close To The Sun”, however for some reason I held it back… and to this day I still do not know why, what, or who stopped me from doing so – but I am so glad that they did, because from that first story there followed others that featured the same “Man in Black” who at times was known to white also depending upon when you met him. And slowly but surely I wrote more and more, until I finally found myself with seven short stories that explored who the “Man in Black/Man in White” was and why he did what he did. And to this day the stories of my short story collection “Playing God” still remain close to my heart, because within them are characters who I know and who I recognise: characters in need of being saved by a hero, a friend, a rebel, an angel, a god dressed all in black, and sometimes dressed all in white – someone who we would all wish would pay us a visit and heal the world of the present from what we are currently being plagued by.

I wrote my original poem “Always the Starman” and “The Man in Black”, the first story of my book “Playing God”, as a personal tribute to David Bowie – but the more stories that I wrote about this mysterious man who looked and sounded just like David Bowie, I also found myself uncovering many different sources of inspiration – from ancient Greek mythology to the daily torments that some people have to deal with – and I also found myself learning more about why I love writing so much: that thrill of exploration and discovery that I find every time I embark upon a writing challenge that I know will take me to places that I never imagined I would ever venture to. And that is what it is so enthralling and exciting about being a writer and an author of fiction: you never know where it is going to take you.

I will always be eternally grateful to the late great David Bowie for his music, for his creativity, and for the gift of inspiration that he gave to me – which coalesced over time into becoming a book of stories written in tribute to him, but also a tribute to hope, optimism and the gift of life that we are all blessed with which we all sometimes take for granted.

Rest in peace, David Bowie

“David Bowie” by Derren Brown

8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016

“We Can Be Heroes”

“The Man In Black” from my book ‘Playing God’ just dropped me a line and wanted me to tell everybody what he always says to me and what he always reminds me: Stay safe! Stay positive! Stay hopeful! And, of course, always be like David Bowie and remember “We can be heroes”… and I really do hope and pray that with the help and the support of everyone – both medical professionals and everybody on Earth – we can all get through this crisis and all help to beat the Coronavirus by working together and by supporting one another. Take care, my friends! Be a hero in any way that you can! 😊🌠

Happy Birthday, Bowie!

It’s been 4 years since we lost David Bowie – on January 10th, 2016 – and today – January 8th, 2020 – would have been David Bowie’s 73rd birthday, and I wanted to write a post to wish one of the most interesting, inspirational, and influential artists the world has ever known a very Happy Birthday – who is hopefully looking down upon us all right now.

To celebrate David Bowie’s birthday today I wanted repost the poem that I wrote for him following his untimely death in 2016, called:

“Always the Starman”

Now it is you
who is the Starman in the sky;
now you know the answer
to the question “is there life of Mars?”;
now you can see just how much
you made us all smile
and how much you made us all dance;
now it will be the stardust of you
that will fall to Earth
and makes our minds sparkle
like the stars at night;
now and forever you will be a hero
for many and not just for one day;
now you can embark
on your own space-oddity;
now and forever through sound and vision
you will speak to us
and you will sing to us all from afar;
now that you have reached
the centre of life’s labyrinth,
and as you now look back
and touch Earth from heaven
with an outstretched hand –
from one poet to another,
this is my tribute to you,
the Starman of Magic in the sky,
who will always be the eternal
and the immortal artist of life David Bowie.

And I also wanted to repost my poem that I wrote last year which was inspired by a brand new piece of street art inspired by David Bowie, called:

“Bowie and Me”

Every day of the week
I head down to Dudley Street
to meet, to greet, and to speak
with the one and the only
David Bowie,
and every time I see him
he talks to me and
he communicates so much to me
without even having to say a word
how lucky we all are to be alive
and walking the streets and the paths
of this world –
and every time I see him
I get this instant flash
of inspiration,
like a bolt of lightning,
that I try to imbue
into the art that I create
which always follows
my divine-like encounter with “Bowie”
who waits tirelessly for me
against a wall of blue
on Dudley Street like a gate-keeper
and a guide to a world of
wonder, imagination, and self-discovery.


“Bowie” by Annatomix – Dudley Street, Birmingham, United Kingdom

And I also wanted to honour David Bowie once again by taking inspiration from his album Aladdin Sane and paying tribute to its iconic artwork by adorning the “Man in Black” who is the central character and who is on the cover of my book Playing God – which includes stories featuring a powerful hero who was also inspired by David Bowie and his timeless legacy of inspiring and motivating people to do unbelievably things… just as I was! Take a look at the Aladdin Sane-inspired cover of my book Playing God below:

And today is also the day when I have decided to start using my Collectors Edition David Bowie themed Moleskine notebook to begin writing who knows what? We shall see:

So, once again, I would like to wish the late great David Bowie a very happy birthday and I would like to thank him for all the inspiration that he has given me over the years!

Rest in peace, David!


1947-2016

-Mark

My Poem “Bowie and Me”

Every day of the week
I head down to Dudley Street
to meet, to greet, and to speak
with the one and the only
David Bowie,
and every time I see him
he talks to me and
he communicates so much to me
without even having to say a word
how lucky we all are to be alive
and walking the streets and the paths
of this world –
and every time I see him
I get this instant flash
of inspiration,
like a bolt of lightning,
that I try to imbue
into the art that I create
which always follows
my divine-like encounter with “Bowie”
who waits tirelessly for me
against a wall of blue
on Dudley Street like a gate-keeper
and a guide to a world of
wonder, imagination, and self-discovery.


“Bowie” by Annatomix – Dudley Street, Birmingham, United Kingdom