My Poem “Games”

It always amazes me
what draws people together...
it always astounds me
what people will do to feel something...
it always surprises me
what can be seen and what can be heard
when people become observers
as well as participants of a communal experience
of excitement and wonder...
it always fascinates me
what people are willing to do
when they are given the freedom
and the gift to be anything
and to say anything they want.

For centuries, crowds and audiences members
have stood, sat, cheered, and clapped
while watching fighters in a fight,
competitors in a competition,
players in a game face off against one another...
for all of time, there has been a race
between multiple sides in which
the object is to dominate and be the victor...
whenever there is a contest to out-do,
to out-play, and to overshadow someone else
there is always a start and a finish,
there are always winners
and there are always losers,
and sometimes when people bring their "A game"
they can even surprise themselves
with just how good they can be
when they put their all into that which they love...
whenever a particular moment arrives
for someone to shine like they have been
preparing to do for hours, for days,
for months, perhaps even for years,
players, athletes, thrill-seekers all
always find the strength, the speed,
the spirit, the will, the heart
to go as far as they can possibly go
like a rocket ship to the heavens above.

It can feel life-changing to be somewhere
with a multitude of people
at a once in a lifetime opportunity
to witness something phenomenal,
fulfilling, and magical...
it can be engrossing to feel as if
you are a part of something bigger
than you believe you are,
but at the same time something you feel
inextricably a part of -
as if you are staring at a piece of art in a gallery
and you feel like you can step inside the frame...
it can be entertaining, electrifying,
enlightening, enlivening, enriching
to be pulled into something that
while you are doing it looks
and most likely feels wonderful and enjoyable...
it can be hard to resist picking a team,
picking a side, picking a sport,
picking something to engage your attention in -
like one of the many encompassing
games of the world.

My Poem “Number One”

In every level of life -
from the playground of a school
to the CEOs of companies trying
to outbid one another while trying
to secure a multi-million dollar contract -
there are always rivalries between two sides,
both wanting to walk away victorious...
in every facet of entertainment and culture -
from films to television,
from literature to music,
from fashion to sport -
everybody wants to be more successful
that those in the same sandbox in which
they play in, at the same as doing what they do best,
and hopefully better than all the rest...
in every place of business or recreation
there are always contests between
opposing forces who both want to win -
but, as with everything, some participants
take tests of their skills
more seriously than others
and in turn will break the rules
or outright find a way to cheat
just so that they can say that they are unmatched...
in every part of the world
physical rivals, intellectual rivals,
industrial rivals, technological rivals,
relationship rivals battle it out
against one another,
and in every duel there is always
a high ground of sorts that exists
that either side wants to get to first...
in every field, on every pitch, in every room,
in every arena, on every gameboard,
physical or metaphorical,
there will always be winners
and there will always be losers,
there will always be those who will be
overcome with joy at being a champion
and there will always be those
who will be left disappointed -
because there will always be those
who will do anything and everything,
no matter what, to be #1.

My Poem ‘Marble’

When I was a child,
like a great many of the children at my school,
along with all of my friends,
I used to run around, play games,
pick up conkers from the base of trees,
take them home and ask my Dad
to drill a hole through it
and help me put an old shoe-lace through it;
and then the next day take my brown
and beautifully vibrant conker to school
to play a game of “conkers” with my friends,
and perfect my throw, my wrist action, and my technique –
but as a child I did not realize there was so much to it,
I just, we just, did it, and my friends and I played happily
trying to hit and win a game against each other,
in the breaks between the lessons of our school day,
and it was probably the only time that we actually stood still
when we were enjoying our recesses,
because, most of the time, like I said,
we were mostly seen running around,
and trying to catch each other in games of “tig”.

One of our other, and my favourite, school time pursuits
that my friends and I shared were “marbles”:
multicoloured glass spheres that varied in size,
but which were essentially, to my friends and I,
jewels of enjoyment and literal pearls of perfection
that we all treasured.
My favourite marble of my collection,
of must likely a hundred,
was a silvery, glistening, marble,
that was like the biggest ball bearing
you have ever seen in your life,
but which I hardly ever played a game with;
and my other favourite marble was a pot-marked obsidian,
that looked as if it had been formed in an actual volcano,
or it had fallen to Earth like a meteorite
thousands of years ago, and had strange
and mystical powers to it that would allow me to win every game
and surround me with luck wherever I went –
at least that is what I thought when I was a kid.

I am not sure if kids still play with marbles,
nor do I know what kids do with their time
and what they share with their friends, these days –
however, if I were to guess, and anecdotally I have heard,
that what they do most likely involves a screen,
and usually takes place indoors so that they can
see their screens and they are not blinded
by the reflection of the sun’s glare;
I’m not saying that just because I and my friends
used to enjoy ourselves while being outside,
and while doing things that required using
all of the things that we were born with and blessed,
that we had a happier or a more content childhood,
than those of the modern digital internet-driven age,
because I know that children still do see, look,
explore, and ask questions, and things do matter to them,
and they do care.

I think, and I have believed all my adult life,
that our lives are a work of art –
but that it is a work of art that has more in common
with the mindset of some artists rather than others,
but if you are an artist you can understand life
and the world more – because you can see and interpret
and appreciate nature and peoples instances of sparkle,
and make your own art as you see and marvel;
I like to think that a person’s life
is like a work of sculpture, that we sometimes make mistakes at
when we are sculpting, but in the end those same mistakes
make the carvings, shavings, chiseling,
individual to us and to our lives,
and that is why I believe that all of our lives
is a work of art in progress,
that is incomplete until the very end;
and the matter and material that our lives is made up of
is as tricky to make something of, and with,
and as hard sometimes, and as delicate to work with,
as marble.