My Poem “The Illuminations”

For as long as most people can remember,
it has been a vital and necessary
rite of passage for so many
children and families
here in the United Kingdom
to travel to a place “by the seaside” –
a place that so many people have dreamt about,
a place that so many people have sung about,
and a place that so many people
think affectionately about
even after they have first visited –
and a place that has so much
history to it, as well as so many
good and positive memories
and experiences associated with it:
a place, a town called Blackpool
that is located on the West Coast
of England, on the Irish Sea,
that is renowned for so many
wonderful things,
and among all the things
that it is synonymous with –
alongside the iconic
“Blackpool Tower” –
has to be its stunning display
of spectacular illuminations
that can annually be found lining
the Promenade, near
the Blackpool Pleasure Beach,
that the people of Blackpool
always put a great deal of effort into
because they have been among
some of the most important attractions
that has kept attracting visitors
and tourists to this place for generations –
and even as people grow older,
and as new families are formed,
there isn’t a year that goes by
when people in their droves
do not look forward to visiting,
to revisiting, to enjoying,
to remembering, and being awe-inspired
by the sight of the flashing
and vibrant colours and lights
of the “Vegas of the North”, Blackpool,
and it’s stunning illuminations.

My Poem “Raining June”

It’s Summer now…
It’s the month of June…
Usually at this time of the year
when you look up at the sky
all that you can see is bright blue
and there isn’t a cloud to be found –
however, this year, today,
here in the U.K especially,
all that you can see is grey clouds
and all that you can feel
when you are out and about
walking around
is the wet droplets of rain water
assuring all concerned
that this Summer there won’t be a hosepipe ban.

Every year it’s a different story…
In years gone by you could
set your watch to the knowledge
that May to September
the weather was going to be nice
and dry and perfect for all those
activities that you necessarily
could not do while you were
inside your house –
but, like most things,
steadily the climate of the world
has changed and it has become
a lot more unpredictable.

Right now, people should be
wiping their brow of sweat
and complaining about how hot it is –
however, instead, people are
complaining that they are getting
soaked by the deluge of rain
from above and from the splash
of the puddles when cars
race past them at high-speed…
Right now, it should be as hot as hell –
however, at the moment,
there is a constant stream of droplets
from this mass outside shower –
during which the soles of shoes
are slipping,
people are sliding,
and cars are hydroplaning –
and instead of it being flaming
this June looks to be one
when almost every day
it is going to be raining.

My Poem ‘Snow-where to run’

I am not sure if it is just me,
but I’m sure that it used to be,
that more than often than not
it used to snow only at Christmas time?
I’m not sure if it is just my memory
playing tricks on me,
but I’m sure that it used to be the case
that every Christmas when I was a kid
was a white Christmas –
however, now it is as if
the seasons have shifted slightly
and the weather of December
has now moved to the months
of January and February.
As I look around the world,
and I see the photos taken
by people of where they live,
snow appears to have fallen
and countless cities around the world
are now covered in a thick blanket of white.

New York City at the moment
is a winter-wonderland;
Washington, D.C., will soon be waking up
to what fell from the sky the night before;
people who usually wake up every morning
and go out for a run around Central Park
are putting on their winter coats
and knitted hats and scarfs
and instead they are planning to go for a walk;
the Potomac River has a layer of ice over it
so thick that it may take days for it to completely thaw.

From Rossville to Nashville, Tennessee,
a world of white is all that you can see –
perfect conditions for anyone
who likes throwing snowballs,
or perhaps going down to the local store
on a pair of ski’s
all the way up 7th Avenue in New York City;
from Times Square to West 59th St.,
adults and children are walking down roads
frozen in time in every sense of the word –
cars and taxi-cabs still stand
in the same place they stood the day before.

Here in England,
we have been lucky up until now –
three years ago, at this exact time of the year,
I remember walking down lanes
in the countryside of my home
and thinking that the only thing
capable of getting from A to B
with any kind of speed
would have to be a snow-plow;
when snow falls here in the United Kingdom
the entire country almost comes to a stand-still –
the kids love it when it snows though,
because their schools close for the day
and they can run around the streets and have fun.

There are some cities
and some countries around the world
that have a temperature of -20 degrees Celsius,
and where a day without seeing a single snowflake
would be to someone who lived there
just as miraculous as walking
across the surface of the sun;
for most people when it snows
it gives them a reason to stay indoors
and turn the heating up,
catch up with family and friends,
and share their pictures and memories with the world,
and it gives them an opportunity
to look out there window
at the snow that they see
and remind themselves that
where they are is where they are meant to be
and no matter where they look
they have nowhere else to run.

My Poem ‘Countryside’

As I dream about a city across the sea,
there is someone over the ocean
wishing that they were walking
the fields of the English countryside;
as I sit and hear the sounds
and the accents that I remember so well,
there is someone in the very country
where I wish I was now
thinking about what it would be like
to be where I am, doing what I am doing,
completely untroubled and free.

As I write I think about that friend of mine
telling me about their wish,
and I wish that they and I could trade places,
even if it were only for a few minutes,
and even if it was only a momentary
swapping of minds and lives,
so that we two could for moments
walk in each others shoes
and know the taste and the smell of each others air…
if they were here and if I were there.

If my friend were here at this moment
they would cry at the beauty of the sight of my home;
if my friend could see with my eyes,
their entire vision would be met by
all the colours of the rainbow
represented by the colours of the surrounding
and blooming flowers;
if my friend were able to take in the perfection
that I have known my entire life
which never gets old,
they would never be able to describe verbally
what their eyes cannot look away from –
even if they were describing the landscape
to someone on the phone;
if my friend could follow in my footsteps,
they could and they would never stop exploring
and seeing something new and beautiful
everywhere they looked,
even if they kept walking for 24-hours.

Even when it rains,
and the leaves of the trees are speckled
with droplets of cleansing water from above,
the green that is England through and through
only becomes even more striking,
and when the clouds part
and the sunlight comes blazing through
there is no view anywhere
that is more amazing, nor breathtaking,
than the sudden explosion of colour
that is nature accentuated by the golden rays
of the most important star in the sky
that always makes my home
look like a real life landscape of art
that could never be fully explained,
because it is what it is:
a true, heart-breaking, paradise,
that is so beautiful
it will never stop bringing tears to my eyes.

There are people who I have not yet met face to face,
but who I want to meet;
there are places where I have been
that I want to return to some day,
where when I left them I cried;
there are friends of mine in other countries
who I can’t wait to fully introduce myself to
in the flesh when we first meet and greet;
there are places that I see every day
that the sight of makes me smile,
that if I could I would share with the entire world –
where I have done my fair share of walking,
thinking, contemplating and imagining,
in the most heavenly place on Earth
that is the great, glorious, gorgeous
and beautiful English countryside.

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