Happy National Cinema Day!

In celebration of National Cinema Day Mark talks about his life long love of going to the cinema and of the watching films. Mark talks about what it means to him to watch a film at the cinema and also about the different types of experiences that he has had while watching a film at the cinema. Mark talks about his favourite films and his film genres and potentially what he might be watching at the cinema today on National Cinema Day.

My Poem ‘One for the road’

When we are about to set out
and head down a road somewhere,
we all need something to take with us
and drive us forward as we go;
when we are about to make a move
into the wild open air,
we all sometimes need a talisman
that, as our journey evolves,
may become more important to us
than at first we could ever know.

I have always been fascinated
by the sayings and the slogans
of “bumper-stickers” that you sometimes see,
and can read, on the outside of a car, a van, or a truck –
mostly on the roads of the United States of America;
I cannot remember all the insightful things that I have read,
however most of the bumper stickers’ messages
that have adorned the vehicles that I have seen,
to me, are the things that perfectly capture
their drivers, and give a small insight
into who they are.

A favourite book to read along the way;
a memorable album of music to listen to
that always carries you like a wave;
a favourite drink that can keep you wide-eyed
and ready for what awaits you;
the memory of someone, whose face makes you as happy
to see them as a sky of bright-blue.

The road ahead could be anything;
where you are going could be anywhere;
the road ahead could mean anything;
where you are going might be
just the beginning of a story
that you may one day want to share.

One thing can come to mean everything;
one moment can spark into life something amazing;
one word, one phrase, can come to have
profound significance to you,
and can even become your own personal code;
one totem, one symbol, can be all that you need,
when what you want is simply
one for the road.

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My Poem ‘Book Bag’

I am a writer.
I have always been the one to be seen
with his notebook open
and his pen ready to write in his hand.
I am a reader.
I have always been known to carry around with me
everything I could possibly need,
while I am walking and rediscovering the world,
in my constantly changing holdall and bag.

Wherever I go,
the bag that I have hanging from my shoulder
always has a book or two inside –
I carry around both of my own poetry books,
but I also always have the book that I am currently reading
at the moment with me too,
in case I accidentally, or intentionally,
find myself on a deserted island somewhere,
and I need a good story and compelling characters
in order to get by with and pass the time.

Just recently, right now, and usually,
my “book bag” has inside it:
my poetry notebook,
my books ‘Poet of the Sphere’ and ‘The Sound of Mark,
‘The Drawing of the Three’ by Stephen King,
and Ray Bradbury’s amazing ‘Fahrenheit 451’;
I just love the thought that I always have a place
and a world to go to, within my myself,
or within and under the covers of an incredible book.

I am never too far away from books and stories of every kind,
of varying depths of complexity, passion, language, and adventure;
I always have in my mind, if not in my hand,
tales of people and characters who live and breath
in real and fictional worlds in the past, in another life,
in the optimistic reality of an imagined future.

There are people who don’t read books,
who never even think about what they could possibly find
hidden and waiting for them
within the chapters and story of a classic;
there are some people who use exclamations to describe things,
but who have never felt the thrill of reading a true epic.

There are people who love to read and love stories,
and who read many things, in many ways,
and in this day and age they can do so electronically, anywhere:
books filled with romance, thrills, horror, life, mystery;
I, myself, am a purist –
someone who believes that the experience of holding a book in your hand,
feeling the weight of it, and flicking through the pages,
is part of reading a story that every reader should have;
and even though, in my opinion, I think that anywhere
and in any way creativity can be shared is the best thing ever,
and I am not against sharing art by any means,
I would always choose to have a story read
and ingrained in the paper pages of a soft-cover or a hard-back book –
and that is why I will continue to carry stories of my own,
and of other writers around with me, in my “book bag”.