My Poem ‘Back down to Earth’

I’m back now…
my second home is now
4000 miles away again…
I’m back below the clouds…
I feel like I am a man of two minds:
one, a proud Englishman;
and another, someone who feels at home
in Georgia, in the United States of America,
where there is more opportunity
to do anything, at any time of the day,
and at any given moment
as there are lanes on a highway.

I’m back where everybody drives on the left,
instead of on the right…
I’m back where I was born –
however, there isn’t a moment
when I do not miss the light of my day,
the light of my night,
the light of my life,
back there where you can see
fireflies flying and glowing
against the stars of a twilight sky.

I’m back wearing jeans –
however, only days before
and for two weeks-straight,
I had been wearing shorts
morning, noon, and night,
and getting touched on the skin
by the heat and the light of the sun…
I’m back walking down familiar paths
and sitting in the same chairs
in the same places that I know every inch of –
however, though I am awake and writing
here in England, I am also projecting myself
back to Georgia with Melissa
and dreaming along with her
and surrounded by the scent of a burning candle
that smells like coffee
when its wick burns and its wax melts.

I’m back where there are not as many drive-throughs
as there are in the US;
here in the UK, for example,
if we want to withdraw some money from our bank-account,
or if we want to pick up a prescription from a pharmacy,
we have to actually walk to somewhere –
however, in the US you can get money,
you can pick up your prescription,
as easily and as speedily
as you can order take-out food,
and you don’t even have to leave
the comfort of the driving-seat of your car.

Both the US and the UK share many things in common,
but there are many wonderful differences
that set them apart…
we have different names for the same things:
in the US, people seem to find more time
to celebrate and remember the liberty
and the freedoms that they are
constitutionally entitled to…
both the US and the UK even have
different forms of humour
and things that they find funny,
but both the US and the UK know
the true joy that comes with sharing experiences
together as friends and as a family,
and why it is important to smile and to laugh.

Both the US and the UK have for centuries now
shared a “special-relationship” with one-another,
and from my perspective and from my experience
our commonalities have no limit
to their importance and worth…
to me, both the US and the UK
are two sides of the same coin,
they are two halves of the same heart,
and I feel and I know with all my soul
that the US and the UK are bound to each-other
in more ways than could ever be described –
and when I am away from both the UK and the US
there are things and there are people
that I miss more than others,
but it is my knowledge
of what makes both the US and the UK
so special that always makes me smile
and always brings me back down to Earth.

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My Poem ‘Correspondant’

When I was 12 years-old
I had a pen-pal from France;
when I was in school,
I and the rest of my french-class
were asked to write a letter in french
to someone who had written a letter in English
to the person with the name
whom they had randomly picked out of a hat…
I was picked by a boy called “Sebastian” –
who I believe went to school in a town in Normandy –
and over the next few months
I would write in my best french to Sebastian,
and Sebastian in-turn would write
in his best English to me.
Sebastian would tell me about where he lived,
about his family, and about his love of the English-language.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Sebastian’s letters to me –
however, my competence in replying to Sebastian in french
left a lot to be desired, and after a while
I did not reply to Sebastian in the same frequency
as he was writing to me.

Sebastian sent letter after letter
about a myriad of different things that were happening to him –
but, unfortunately, my letter-writing to Sebastian
had gone from once a month to none-at-all,
which to this day still makes me feel horrible
and it is one of the many things that I regret
and which still picks away at my conscience.

When I was 12, I was not the writer that I am today.
When I was 12, “social-media” had not been invented,
neither had what we call today the “internet”,
and talking to someone in another country –
even as geographically close as France is to England –
felt as hard as talking to an alien a far-away galaxy.
When I was 12, school felt like a place
where I was forced to attend.
When I was 12, I did not understand
what in life is the most important.

I am in my thirties now,
and high-school, or secondary-school
as we call it here in England,
feels like it was many moons ago
than I can remember with as much clarity
as I have for yesterday –
however, as with many moments from my childhood,
there are things that still stand-out
and there are some moments
that rise to the surface of my mind randomly
when I least expect them to…
and today, on a rainy Saturday afternoon,
here in England, as I sit behind my desk,
in my bedroom, writing in my notebook,
is one of those times when something
and someone that I haven’t thought about in years
has flashed back to me and made me ask
with genuine fascination:
I wonder whatever happened to “Sebastian”,
my life-time ago pen-pal from France.

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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