Happy Birthday, Bowie!

It’s been 4 years since we lost David Bowie – on January 10th, 2016 – and today – January 8th, 2020 – would have been David Bowie’s 73rd birthday, and I wanted to write a post to wish one of the most interesting, inspirational, and influential artists the world has ever known a very Happy Birthday – who is hopefully looking down upon us all right now.

To celebrate David Bowie’s birthday today I wanted repost the poem that I wrote for him following his untimely death in 2016, called:

“Always the Starman”

Now it is you
who is the Starman in the sky;
now you know the answer
to the question “is there life of Mars?”;
now you can see just how much
you made us all smile
and how much you made us all dance;
now it will be the stardust of you
that will fall to Earth
and makes our minds sparkle
like the stars at night;
now and forever you will be a hero
for many and not just for one day;
now you can embark
on your own space-oddity;
now and forever through sound and vision
you will speak to us
and you will sing to us all from afar;
now that you have reached
the centre of life’s labyrinth,
and as you now look back
and touch Earth from heaven
with an outstretched hand –
from one poet to another,
this is my tribute to you,
the Starman of Magic in the sky,
who will always be the eternal
and the immortal artist of life David Bowie.

And I also wanted to repost my poem that I wrote last year which was inspired by a brand new piece of street art inspired by David Bowie, called:

“Bowie and Me”

Every day of the week
I head down to Dudley Street
to meet, to greet, and to speak
with the one and the only
David Bowie,
and every time I see him
he talks to me and
he communicates so much to me
without even having to say a word
how lucky we all are to be alive
and walking the streets and the paths
of this world –
and every time I see him
I get this instant flash
of inspiration,
like a bolt of lightning,
that I try to imbue
into the art that I create
which always follows
my divine-like encounter with “Bowie”
who waits tirelessly for me
against a wall of blue
on Dudley Street like a gate-keeper
and a guide to a world of
wonder, imagination, and self-discovery.


“Bowie” by Annatomix – Dudley Street, Birmingham, United Kingdom

And I also wanted to honour David Bowie once again by taking inspiration from his album Aladdin Sane and paying tribute to its iconic artwork by adorning the “Man in Black” who is the central character and who is on the cover of my book Playing God – which includes stories featuring a powerful hero who was also inspired by David Bowie and his timeless legacy of inspiring and motivating people to do unbelievably things… just as I was! Take a look at the Aladdin Sane-inspired cover of my book Playing God below:

And today is also the day when I have decided to start using my Collectors Edition David Bowie themed Moleskine notebook to begin writing who knows what? We shall see:

So, once again, I would like to wish the late great David Bowie a very happy birthday and I would like to thank him for all the inspiration that he has given me over the years!

Rest in peace, David!


1947-2016

-Mark

My Poem “The Angels of Sacrifice”

Remember the many…
Remember the brave…
Remember the lost…
Remember the scared…
Remember the tears…
Remember the cost…
Remember the courage…
Remember the men,
Remember the women,
and Remember the children
who still wear the scars of war,
the scars of chaos, the scars of confusion,
the scars of survival on the outside
and as well as those invisible scars
that they sometimes dwell
upon silently on the inside.

Always Remember why the world is
the way that it is,
and because of whom…
Remember, embrace,
and never forget the stories
of those who suffered through so much
in hope of helping to build
a brighter future for the next generation…
Remember, respect, remind,
and renew every day the gift of freedom
by never taking life for granted,
and by never forgetting all the heroes
who have sacrificed their lives
during times of war and utter darkness
and despair who soldiered on
no matter what for all the people
of every country of this fragile world.

Today, and every day,
if you are lucky enough to be able to do so,
take a moment to close your eyes,
to think, to Remember, and to appreciate
the angels in all their forms
who have walked this Earth –
whom you may have met –
who made a difference to the lives
of everybody simply by going to
where they were needed and by helping
those in the most urgent of need.

I will Remember, I will Never Forget –
and I hope that the memory
of the lost and the fallen
will always live on
in the consciousness of everybody.

Lest we forget.

My Poem “The Underdog”

Underdogs are always underestimated –
however, in the same breath,
underdogs are also expected
to accomplish a sometimes almost
miraculous feat and overcome
every obstacle in their path…
underdogs are usually the ones
that a crowd of people gets behind
and roots for, because people
like the idea of being a participant
and a witness to a remarkable event
in a person’s life, their story,
their legend, their journey…
underdogs can sometimes appear
to have come from out of nowhere –
however everybody knows that someone
can only make a difference if
the right version of them shows up
and they put everything into
whatever they are doing…
an underdog is a rebel of the status quo…
an underdog is someone who does not know
when to lay down their sword
and keep their head low…
over the centuries history has recorded
the deeds and the words of underdogs
who answered a call to face an opponent
who towered above them in some way –
just like in the story of David and Goliath –
and it is because of these heroes,
and these icons of inspiration,
who chose to rise to the occasion
that they found themselves presented with,
that people all around the world
still to this day battle in arenas
of many kinds and sizes
and valiantly personify the importance
and the meaning of being an underdog.

My Poem “Artistic Heroes”

I am definitely no John Lennon,
Johnny Cash, David Bowie, Bob Dylan,
Michelangelo, or Vincent van Gogh –
however, they are some of the poets
of music, words, colours,
prolific and deep expression
who are among the members
of some of my artistic heroes.

I am no Shakespeare,
Stephen King, or Neil Gaiman –
however, I am also an author
and a writer who wants to
inspire, to enlighten, to entertain,
and to take the readers of my poetry,
my stories, and the characters
who I have written about
and described, on a journey
that they will never forget
which is unquestionably
a pure creation of my own
varied and constantly
curious wandering imagination.

I am no Albert Einstein,
Stephen Hawking, or Elon Musk –
however, I too think about things
and I wonder why things are the way
that they are and if there are
answers to the questions
that many people daily ask,
like: What is the true nature of life?
Is time-travel possible?
Who or what created
the universe, and why?
Will people one day be living,
breathing, existing, and communicating
every day of their life solely
within the illusion of a simulation?

At my heart, I am a dreamer…
at my best, I am an optimist…
at my most inspired,
I am a man without regret,
without reservation,
without any kind of fear of the unknown,
nor without any worry that
I will one day lose my life-long
obsession with discovering
as much knowledge and inspiration
from the depths and the frontiers
of this limitless universe as I possibly can –
and one day I hope that I will get to meet
all of my artistic heroes in one place
and swop stories with them
about the road that they all took
to get them from where their story began
to the place where they were inspiring
the dreams of many and colouring
the consciousness of the world’s
imagination.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
– Albert Einstein

My Poem “Our heroes are leaving us”

Slowly but surely
our heroes are leaving us…
sadly and silently
we have to watch those who we have grown up with
pass over the threshold between life and death,
as they begin a new journey far away from us…
every day we all hear that another person
who meant something to us at some point in our life
has broken free of the shell of their life and their body…
every day we have to say goodbye in our own way
to someone who we thought of as a friend
who touched and changed our life in some way…
it’s always sad… it’s always unbelievable…
it’s always shocking… it’s always strange
when we see again the face of someone who has died
but who still continues to live on in memories,
in photographs, on a screen, or through their voice
which we can still hear in a myriad of ways…
when we lose someone we have known all our lives
it is like watching the stars above slowly disappear
one by one before our eyes –
and though over time the space where bright stars
once burned from a distance will be filled with new stars,
nothing and no one could ever replace the light of something
or someone who used to be our guiding star…
the universe is constantly changing…
sunrises and sunsets are a way of life
for every planet in the cosmos…
no matter how hard anybody tries
there will never be enough words in any language
capable of explaining the meaning of life
and where we go to after we die –
but some questions can only be answered
after we have had life-changing experiences
and after we have witnessed the heroes of our life leave us.

My Poem ‘Halo’

Appearances can be deceiving;
no one in real-life
carries around a profile of themselves
of things about them
that other people might need
or want to know;
some things that we should believe in
sometimes do take time to fully sink in;
not all demons have horns,
and not all angel’s have halo’s.

Everybody is different;
everybody shows their feelings in different ways –
some people are always truthful and upfront,
some people are masters of turning a phrase,
some people can keep a secret,
and some people can’t;
some people live a life of regret,
while others do everything that in front of them
and commit always with all their heart.

Just as some people show their love
with a simple gesture of a poem and some flowers;
just as some people ask for nothing else
from their partner but love;
just as some people capture another person
and give them the gift of their likeness
as they appeared when reproduced
in a photograph or a painted picture –
there is no one-true universal symbol
of compassion and love
that could ever compare
to that which makes a heart skip a beat…
for some that might be a ring,
a story written just for them,
or perhaps a message of white
written in the blue sky above.

When the universe began with a flash of light,
when existences’ clock started ticking,
when the laws of nature were first ingrained
into every particle of stardust,
and all of space and time
spectacularly escaped from an opening
smaller than the size of the tip of a pin…
when the universe contracted
and then made its first life-giving push…
all things began,
all things multiplied,
all things became part of an unfinished plan,
and all things were forever bound
to the reason and the meaning of life…
birth, life, death –
and in that order, by design.

When you stand outside on a Winter’s night,
and you look up at the stars,
it looks as if the stars above
are falling all around you
and have turned themselves
into flakes of snow;
when you look into the eyes
of someone who loves you,
or when you are touched
by the hand of a hero;
when you see something amazing
that transcends the language of all words…
you will see in all its glory
the light within the soul and the heart
of someone that is as beautiful
and golden as the ring described to be found
above the crown of an angel of heaven,
that is the symbolic sign of purity of spirit –
that manifests in humans
in their thoughts and in their actions,
which represent their own divine halo’s.

My Poem ‘Time to Remember’

We remember the heroes;
we remember the villains;
we remember the what,
the where, the when, and the why;
we remember the people who tried;
we remember the people who achieved;
we remember those who fought the good fight
but who died while doing what they loved
and what they believed in;
we remember the good times,
and we remember the bad;
we remember the times
that went by too quickly,
that we remember coming to an end
as we looked over our shoulder and cried.

As the weather turns colder,
as the leaves change colour
and then fall to the ground,
as people wrap up more
and wear more layers,
as we buy fireworks and light bonfires
and we gather together
and we start to think about the well-being
of our significant others,
a spirit of good-will and humanity
sweeps over the world.

We should all be thankful for what we have;
there will always be someone
who will look at you
and want what means the most to you;
we all make new footprints
while walking again down familiar paths;
sometimes, especially at this time of the year,
things of importance come to light
that before you always wondered about
but you never knew.

Gifts of sentiment,
things that still carry a shine of memory,
the unique and the different,
the people who matter to you dearly,
seem to glow brighter
at the coldest and the darkest time of the year-
and now is the perfect time
to tell someone or to remind someone
that as long as they are in your thoughts
and as long as they are a part of your life
that they need not fear.

Gather, surround,
think, thank, be grateful, wrap,
step closer, invite,
reconnect the ties
that were once believed severed forever;
forgive, but do not forget;
make the most of the present;
save all that you can,
because these are the times
of your life to remember.

Time-to-remember-poem-excerpt