My Poem “The Heart of A Family”

There are some things in this life
that cannot be predicted…
there are moments in our lives
that we never want to see repeated…
there are some things and some people
that we all sometimes take for granted…
there are truly terror-inducing,
fear-filled, horrifying and shocking
things that happen to fathers,
to brothers, to sisters, to mothers –
to members of a family –
that have the power of a lightning-bolt,
the gravity of a star, and the explosive
impact of a bomb being detonated
to bring people to their knees.

When terror and tragedy strike
time is always of the essence…
when there is the fear that
someone could lose their life
every action of every second is precious…
when someone’s heart stops beating
the split-second instincts
of a stranger could mean everything…
when a chaotic event takes place
the present and the future
of a person’s life can depend upon
so many disaparate pieces of a puzzle
coming together, to work together,
to give something to someone else:
to restart a person’s heart,
to breathe life back into the lungs of someone, in my opinion,
is nothing short of a miracle,
because giving the gift of life,
so that someone may carry on
living and breathing once again,
is truly incredible and phenomenal in every way.

So many things run through a person’s mind
when they hear that something
out of their control has happened
to someone that they love…
so many different scenarios
are considered and so many
things are thrown into the air
in order to find out who or what
was to blame for what happened,
and for what mostly could not have been foreseen;
however, ultimately, the truth about every one of us is that
no one is untouchable,
everybody is vulnerable –
and when the life of somebody
who is important to a group of people
is threatened in some way
it becomes greatly apparent
whom it is who stands, sustains,
and is the driving force
at the heart of a family.

Dedicated to my Dad
My Dad

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My Poem ‘Scream!’

Silence is broken…
the quiet is no more…
sound is made to say
what cannot be spoken…
a child that has not yet learned
how to talk is thinking, feeling,
and wanting something so much
that they are throwing everything
that they can reach to the floor.

Why do we scream?
Where does all that energy,
and where does all that deafening noise come from?
To me, there is something primal in a shriek;
to me, there is nothing like a noise
that seems to come out of nowhere
to attract your attention
and implode your concentration.

There are people who openly seek to be
scared out of their skin;
there are some people whose heart’s
race when they are on a beach
and they see in the distance
the unmistakable shape of a shark’s dorsal-fin;
there are some people who love
to take their senses to their outer-limits;
there are some people
who at the prospect of there being a ghost
in a house they are staying in
would be so petrified
that they would be scared beyond their wits.

Ghost-stories; camp-fire tales;
first-hand experiences recanted in great detail;
scary movies; myths of spectres
dressed in period-clothing
whose faces are so devoid of life they are pale;
to some people, to be shown something dark
and other-worldly horrific
is the greatest and the most visceral of thrills.

When the adrenaline surges through your body…
when your appendages spasm
and you literally jump out of your seat…
when you smile and perhaps even laugh out-loud
out of complete and utter shock and surprise,
brought on by the fear brought to life
by the images that you see…
that is when, even as a full-grown adult,
you can become like a child again
who is unsteady on their feet.

It’s cathartic to face your fears;
it’s good to let out what you are feeling
from time to time;
it’s incredible to see things you have never seen;
it’s amazing how a slight scare
can make your thoughts clear;
it’s phenomenal to see evil be defeated
when it crosses the line;
it’s exhilarating, sometimes,
to find yourself lost in a moment of comfort
and then have all that taken away
when something gives rise
to an almighty scream!

My Poem ‘Mourning in Paris’

It’s morning in Paris;
people from all over the world
are in mourning;
the city of love
has a shadow hanging over it;
the free world was rocked during the night
by the actions of the agents of darkness;
and when I close my eyes now,
I listen and I can hear
the sound of Paris’ calling.

There is a golden silence;
the smell of burning
still lingers in the air;
kisses are still being shared
on the bridge of sighs;
people are praying for peace
while standing at the feet of the Eiffel Tower;
all eyes are looking for the answer
to the question: why?
eyes still sting with pain
at the thought of all the innocent people
who last night lost their lives.

All violence is needless;
every loss of life is an open-wound;
taking the life of another makes no sense;
the day when all of humanity
wakes up to the truth
that all life is sacred
is long over-due and cannot come too soon.

Fear can be paralyzing;
hope is a way and the road to healing;
the only answer to anger and hate
is to carry on shining
like a search-light in the dark
and be a constant beacon of peace;
standing together in solidarity
and extending a hand to those who are in need
is the only way to accept
and to get past a tragedy –
and that is why it is important
in the morning to remember
those who we have lost…
and this morning,
I am in mourning
and I stand shoulder to shoulder
and hopeful for peace
for the people of the city of Paris.

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My Poem ‘Don’t stay silent’

Every day, someone is abused by someone else;
every hour, someone is subjected
to a storm of words that cut like a knife;
every minute, someone – a child, a man,
or even just a woman walking her dog –
is made to feel as if they are just a piece of meat,
a punching bag, and attacked like a wild animal,
and beaten both verbally and physically,
and looked upon as someone who is helpless,
and THIS MUST STOP! THIS MUST NOT HAPPEN!
Everyone who just wants to live their life
and walk through life unimpeded and unscarred,
deserves to have that god-given freedom and rite.

I am disgusted to hear that son’s
who have not been taught how to respect a woman,
or any human being, are terrorizing women of all ages
and giving them nightmares of fear;
I am at a loss to understand
what gives anybody the rite to make someone
burst into tears;
I cannot believe that in this day and age
abuse is still happening behind closed doors,
as well as in broad-daylight.

Rape, or even the threat of rape, is intolerable;
abusers in all shapes and forms
must be held accountable;
we must all do all that we can
to educate children to respect
their fellow man and woman;
and our animals also need protecting –
we must all do all that we can
to stop all despicable acts of abuse of every kind,
and it should be one of society’s most important pledges.

People’s stories of abuse deserve to be told
and brought into the light,
and they should not be quietened.
Abuse needs to be spoken about and eradicated,
and the victims of abuse,
for the sake of those who are too afraid to speak out,
must not continue to stay silent.

My Poem ‘Memory Box’

I thought about giving up writing once,
I even put all my books and notebooks together
and packed them away in a cardboard box;
I thought about giving up what I loved
and what had always given me profound happiness,
and I even thought I could change who I was
and forget about everyone I had met,
and everything I had written –
but that thought honestly only lasted for a day,
and in no time at all, I was seeing things,
being inspired by things, hearing things,
and wanting desperately to write in my notebook
a poem about them;
I didn’t lose my love for writing,
but I did have my writer’s identity taken away from me
and stripped from me, you could say;
and it broke my heart putting all my cherished poems
and memories away, and putting them under my bed,
and I thought that the only time
that they would see the light of day
would be when I was reminiscing to a friend
that I used to be a poet, at some time in the future
when I was old and grey.
However, do you know what happened?
Do you know what I did?
I did something, that at the time was not planned:
I started again, I allowed myself to feel shame and pain,
and then I took my notebooks
from the box I had packed them away in,
I went to the next blank page of my latest notebook,
and I started to write a new poem
with my favourite silver pen –
I wrote one of my favourite poems, “The Phoenix”,
and I kept writing and writing and writing,
and only occasionally stopping to look back
before carrying on in the direction I had been walking,
I took pride in my gift again,
and I felt like myself again,
because I was writing again.
The moral of my story, if any,
is that if you love something so much
do not run away from it,
do not put it in a box and say “Fine, forget it!”,
because by doing so you are hurting yourself,
you are committing a mistake,
you are doing something that is hard to come back from
before it is too late;
take it from me:
nobody is perfect,
everybody makes mistakes,
the people who try to bring you to your knees
can only do so if you allow your entire world
to descend into a flux;
so, if you ever doubt yourself,
if you ever question what you are doing,
if you ever think that you would be better off
without the one thing that you most adore and love,
put that thought out of your mind
the second that your fear delivers it to you.
If you are an artist, keep making art;
if you are a singer or a musician,
keep making you music;
and if you are a writer, keep writing
and don’t ever believe that all of what makes you so special
could ever easily just be put away,
and forgotten about for a rainy day,
in any kind of memory box.

My Poem ‘The Lost Notebook’

Something just doesn’t feel right;
something about me feels missing;
I have an idea for a poem that I want to write,
but something strange and unlike me has happened:
I don’t have my poetry notebook,
I do not have my pen –
I can feel the creation and formation of a piece of art
beginning to play, inspired by the world around me,
to which I am listening,
but I have no way to make my thoughts real
so that that can be written and read on a page.
I feel like I am in a daze, and I cannot concentrate, or settle down;
I feel like I am without my heart and soul –
a blank page and a lost poet,
wishing more than anything
that he had a blank page in front of him to write upon,
as is always, usually, the way.

I feel like a conductor without an orchestra;
I feel like a driver trying to drive a car
without a steering-wheel;
I feel like a soldier trying to climb an insurmountable wall;
I feel like the landlord of an empty bar;
I feel like the world is a dream and cannot be real;
I feel like I can hear a phone ringing loudly,
but I cannot reach for it to answer its call.

My notebook is special to me.
My notebook is my silent microphone, my inner-megaphone –
the closest thing that I have to a diary;
my notebook is one of many, but it is unique;
my notebook, and my notebooks, have been with me,
and I have lived and experienced things in life,
and I have written on every page of every one
of them every day of every week.

Fear strikes me deep:
‘where is my notebook?’,
‘what has happened to it?’, I ask;
‘did I leave it somewhere?,
‘did someone take it?’ –
I’m sure I brought it with me in my bag?
However, then it hits me,
then I realize and I remember what I did,
what has happened, and where my notebook is:
my notebook is sitting on my bed, in my bedroom,
with my pen on top of it,
waiting for me to open it up to the next blank page
and write some new poetry.

I feel stupid;
I feel foolish;
I feel like an idiot;
I feel like a gasping fish.
I feel like I am in a boat, on a river,
without a paddle, because I left it on the shore behind me;
I feel like I am showing how different I am to everyone
for the first time, and everybody knows that I am not myself,
and as if everyone is all at-once looking at me.

When I finally returned home,
and I opened the door of my bedroom,
I immediately caught a glimpse of my notebook,
and I saw that a ray of light from the sun
was shining through my bedroom window
directly on to the cover;
as soon as I saw it, the frown that I had been wearing
immediately turned into a smile,
and I picked up my notebook with both hands
and I held it as if I were holding in my hands
the face of a lover.

It might sound irrational;
it might sound strange to miss, and to fear losing,
something that to a lot of other people
is just a replaceable book –
but, to me, losing something that is connected to me,
and which I feel like is a part of me, I take incredibly personal.
To me, my poetry is like my child –
and that is why I never want to lose any notebook;
but this is the story of how and when,
I, one day, for a short time, had to live the life of a poet,
with a lost notebook, and no pen.

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