My Poem ‘The Corsage’

It’s a beautiful thing…
it’s a beautiful time…
it’s a beautiful symbol
of eternal friendship
and of companionship…
it’s a beautiful gift…
it’s a beautiful memory
and a beautiful sign
of how much someone means to you…
I truly love the act
and the meaning of giving
the gift of a flower to somebody –
and it is at this time of the year,
in some places, when love blossoms
and shows itself between two people
and forever forges an unbreakable link.

Soon, teenagers from all over America
will be getting dressed-up
and going out with their dates…
soon, an afternoon of anticipation
will turn into an evening
of dreams coming true…
soon, the stars of night will come out
and young couples will dance and party
till the hour turns late…
soon, young men and young women
will return home after a night of magic
and reveling below the shine of the moon.

Everybody blossoms from a single seed of life
and of infinite potential and possibilities…
every child becomes the adult
that they will one day be slowly,
as they grow and as they are influenced
by everything that they feel, hear, touch, and see…
to their parents, children grow up before their eyes
and in their eyes too quickly –
every day as we all get older
we are reminded that the time
that we have on Earth is short,
however there lies its true-beauty…
we can do much, we can go far –
but the meaning of life is to love
and there is no better way to love
than to give the gift of a flower,
especially when it is prom-night
and somebody gives their prom-date
the most beautiful of all corsage.

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My novelette ‘The Man In Black’ is out now!

Click the link above and get your copy of my new ebook for Amazon Kindle!

“I began writing this short-story in the summer of 2016, following the untimely death of one of our greatest and most gifted artists, icons, musicians, and inspirations, David Bowie – who died on the 10th of January, 2016. After he died I was so shocked to hear of his passing, and like most people I sort-out his music and I listened to everything he had ever made and created – and I also saw countless artists and musicians paying their own personal and heart-felt tributes to “David Bowie” in any way that they could: through music, through art – and I too wanted to contribute something. I wrote a poem dedicated and in honour of David Bowie after he died, called “Always the Starman“, and I shared it for other people to read. However, I was itching to write a new poem or a new short-story that spoke about things that I wanted to say… and that was when the initial idea for my story “The Man in Black” came to life and I began writing it. “David Bowie” walked into this story all by himself, just like the “Man in Black” does, and he naturally made himself at home in it – and in my story he will always be. Throughout my writing of my short-story I listened to David Bowie’s music continuously, and I hope that I have captured a part of his spirit. This is not a story about “David Bowie” per se, but it is a story inspired by him. I hope you enjoy it!” -Mark

My Poem ‘Scales & George’

George was brave…
George was strong…
George was a knight
who was always looking
for someone to save…
George was the one
everybody called out to for help,
and he could do no wrong.

“Scales” was your common mountain dragon,
living in his cavernous cave
underneath the Earth –
when one day, after returning from a bit of fun
that involved flying, fire-breathing,
and accidentally scaring half-to-death
the local town-folk that lived nearby,
Scales was payed a visit by a “knight”
who called himself “George” –
who had the smallest of swords
that Scales had ever seen –
and who was as full of heart
as he was overflowing with words.

It was not any every occurrence
for Scales to be visited by anyone –
not even an another dragon;
it was rare that a human
voluntarily came looking for Scales –
however, even from his first glance
at the young warrior-wannabee,
Scales could tell that George
was not just anyone.

“I am George – knight of the night,
defender of the weak,
the hero of the people of Mountain Shadow –
and I, dragon, am here to slay you!”
Said George while holding his sword
out in front of him
as he walked into Scales’ cave
and came face to face with the dragon.

To which, Scales laughed uncontrollably
and even exhaled a few flames of fire
he was so amused by what he had just heard.
Scales, however, was impressed by George’s
pronunciation and his ability to speak
“dragonese” – a gift that he did not know
that any human could utter,
well no human before George
that he had ever encountered.

“Well, George, hero of Mountain Shadow,
I am Scales – nice to meet you!”
Scales replied with a smile
as he looked into George’s eyes
and hoped to put a smile
on George’s glum-looking face;
however, George looked angry
to Scales for some reason,
and he did not appear to be
taking a breath –
which was probably why his face
looked like it was changing colour
and why he was shaking so intensely.

“Did you not hear me, dragon?
I am here to slay you!”
Shouted George as he could feel
his helmet begin to slip
even further down his face.

“I heard you just fine, George!
Would you care to take off you helmet
and your armour, maybe?
You have come a long way from your town –
you must be tired?” Scales replied –
fearing that George might soon faint.

“I cannot do that! I must slay you
so that you may stop terrorizing my people!
Every time we see you in the sky above
our children scream, our women cry,
and our men drink themselves into a stupor.
And I have been sent here to face you
and to slay you, because among our people
there is no one braver than I!”
Said George as he shook from helmet to his boots.

“Really, dear George?
I mean George, defender of the weak?
I am truly sorry to hear that!
I did not mean to cause so much panic!
Please forgive me?”
Said Scales with a genuine expression of regret –
to Scales he was only just having a bit of fun,
and he honestly did not mean to cause such upset.

“Forgive you? You are asking for my forgiveness?
Do you not want to roar? Or breath flames, maybe?
Also, can you tell me how it is possible
that a dragon such as you are
can speak, and speak the most perfect of English?”

“It is not I who is speaking English, dear George –
you are speaking dragonese!
I had no idea anyone or anything could speak
in the dragon-tongue –
however, I am both surprised and pleased!”

“I am? Since when?
I had no idea there was such a language?”
Said George with a look of astonishment.

“And I had no idea that humans had such
a big heart for such a small body?
Today is truly a day for human-dragon
mutual-relations development!”

“You are not a monster at all, are you?
You are not what our children dream of
in their nightmares!
I thought that slaying you would be
the crowning achievement of my life –
but now, I realize that
though we may look different from one-another
there are things that both humans and dragons
have in common and share.”

“Perhaps you could return to your town
and say that you did in fact slay me?
And in return, I promise to never shadow
the town of Mountain Shadow,
nor shake fear into the hearts of its people,
ever again!” Said Scales as he thought out-loud.

“And you would just let me turn around and leave?
You wouldn’t just come up behind me and eat me
so fast that I wouldn’t even hear a sound?’

“George, I promise! Believe me, I had no idea
that I was perceived as such a demon of skies
by your people! I may be a dragon…
I may breath fire from time to time,
but I do not tell lies.
In fact, I have been thinking about
turning vegetarian? Sheep and cows
do not taste that great,
and humans do not do any favours
to my already sensitive-stomach
and my problematic digestion!”
Said Scales with a wry toothy-smile
after he licked his lips jokingly.

“But what if someone from town find out?
If my people ever found out that I lied
they might banish me?’ Said George worriedly.

“No one will find out. Your secret is safe with me.
You go home and receive a heroes-welcome for slaying me.
I will even give you an old tooth of mine as proof!”

“You would do that for me?”
Said George with a lump in his throat
and a tear in his eye.

“Of course I would, George!
That is what friends are for!
And if you ever need my help in any way
then do not hesitate to return her in the future.”
Said Scales with a smile,
before yawning and stretching out his wings.

“Thank you! “Scales” is it? Thank you
for your kindness and your generous offer –
I will not forget!”

“Now head home, young knight –
and tell your fellow towns-folk
how you slayed me easily
and then took a tooth from my mouth
as a souvenir. And, as I said,
if you ever need me I will be right here.”

And so, George turned around with a grin
and left Scales’ cave holding an old tooth of his
that must have been the size of his hand –
leaving Scales to rest in comfort and in silence again,
and thinking about his new-found human friend.

George returned home to his town more of a hero
than he was before he had left –
and telling anybody who might want to listen
how he slayed the dragon of the mountain
(but who to George was secretly his new best-friend).

Both George and Scales knew that their meeting
was just the beginning of a long friendship
that would be a staple of their shared future –
and both Scales and George knew
that it would not be long
before they saw one-another again
and they shared a brand new adventure.

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My Poem ‘Fallen Friend’

A fallen friend, a fallen star,
a friendship that will never end,
a familiar face to be remembered
always as if they were still by your side
as well as always in your heart.

We meet so many people in our lives,
but the special ones we remember forever;
we make so many friends,
but there are only a small group
to whom our fate and their fate
will always be tied together.

It’s hard to say goodbye to a friend –
especially when their spirit
can still be felt, heard,
and seen where we always remember them being;
it means everything to never forget someone,
and it is comforting to always believe
that one day you will see them again;
it’s hard to put into words
what someone truly means to us
and what about them we always found amazing;
it always hurts to think that a friend of yours
had to endure a time in their life
that caused them such pain.

To recall a shared memory,
to say a silent prayer,
to light a candle,
to say goodbye,
to never forget,
to believe that they who we have lost
we be looking over us
as long we continue to remember them.
Earth angels and heroes never die,
nor do great fighters who keep fighting
until the bitter end…
so, to all the dearly departed,
this poem is for you,
this poem is for all of our
indomitable and special
never to be forgotten
fallen friends.

My Poem ‘Poet’s Corner’

I am sitting here writing;
I am sitting here musing about the world;
I am sitting here enjoying a coffee-
the voices of people,
and the sounds of everyday life;
I am sitting here alone at my table;
and on the table next to me
a fellow poet is meeting up
and having a conversation
about how they just wrote a new poem,
about how beautiful the new day’s morning is,
and about things that they have seen
which they find exciting, inspiring, amazing,
and they sound just like I do in my head,
and I cannot stop smiling.

The poet sounds like they are from South Africa,
by their accent;
the poet is talking to their friend,
and they sound and they talk with so much
clarity and passion.

The poet is wearing a poppy;
the poet is not eating or drinking anything;
the poet is definitely someone after my own heart,
and obviously, to them, living, breathing,
writing, communicating, is not just a hobby;
the poet and his friend, it turns out,
have never met before,
and have only communicated over the internet,
until this moment;
the poet is describing a “great adventure”
that he has undertaken, and is still on,
and they are obviously, genuinely,
happy about the joys in their life,
and what they have gives them,
and what having a connection with people brings.

It is truly unbelievable what happens in life.
It is no accident who you may sit down next to.
It has been my experience that artists, writers,
poets, and people of deep thought passion,
and imagination, are drawn to each other
by a mutual drive;
it is the way of the universe
that people are who they are,
and the way that they are,
and there is an important reason
that people do what they do.

I watched in silence as the poet and his friend
exchanged gifts and spoke about what their presents
and their presence means to them;
I was hypnotized by their conversation,
by their story, and by everything they said;
I was enthralled, but I was sad –
because I knew that I would probably
never see or hear these amazing friend again,
but I too was thankful to them both
for coming into my life,
even if it were only for a sparing,
precious, and short time,
and the whole time that I was in their presence
I was unbelievably energized and phenomenally inspired.

There are too many coincidences and commonalities
for life to be just a string or a chain of accidental encounters,
there are too many things that matter to too many at once
for them to be unconnected,
even if they are the separate lives and stories of strangers.
There are so many places on this Earth
which attract people who share a brilliant,
beautiful, open, heart of a storyteller;
there are places like this place
that I am sitting in right now
that have a meaning and a power to them –
which I like to describe, and which I believe,
are amazing poet’s corners.