The Mark Hastings Experience – Episode #13: “Halloween (1978 & 2018)”

My Poem “Scary Movies”

As a child, I – like so many children do –
grew up watching so called
“scary movies”, “horror films”,
that truly scared me,
and I also watched thrilling
and occasionally comedic depictions
of fictional, supernatural and paranormal
events and characters
that made me jump, entertained me,
made my heart beat fast, made me smile,
and put me in a good mood…
films like ‘It’, ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’,
‘Jaws’, and ‘Alien’ initially effected me
on an emotional level –
however now I can appreciate
the “fright tactics” of the film-makers,
because what feeling they were
attempting to illicit in people
is what they succeeded in making
me feel quite profoundly…
I also watched such paranormal comedies,
like: ‘Ghostbusters’, ‘The Addams Family’,
‘The Munsters’, ‘Beetlejuice’ –
which were fun to watch,
enjoyable, and they did not
take their subject matter too seriously.

Even to this day, I still occasionally
watch scary movies –
and I would have to highlight
the films that take place in the
“Conjuring Universe”, that feature
fictional depictions of real-life
paranormal investigators
Ed and Lorraine Warren,
based upon documented
supernatural experiences
that occurred around the world,
as being some of the scariest,
the most thrilling, the most heart-racing,
and the most believable of any
and all of the scary movies
that I have seen recently
and the experiences that I had
of seeing them in a cinema
will forever stay with me.

If could pick just one
so called “scary movie”,
or a particular supernatural thriller,
that I believe is my favourite
of all that have been made,
I would have to choose
‘The Shining’, directed by Stanley Kubrick,
based upon the book of the same name
by the one and only “master of horror”,
Stephen King – because to me
‘The Shining’ is a masterpiece
of both storytelling and film-making
that entances you from the first
camera shot and from the first
note of music of the film’s soundtrack –
just as the original ‘Jaws’ does;
and, in my opinion, the ability
of movie-makers to be able to
take a viewer on a roller-coaster
ride of emotions, thoughts,
and feelings, while watching
something “otherworldly”,
by using all the magic of
movie-making at their disposal,
in a truly collaborative effort,
is what contributes to what makes
the most thrilling and the most scary
of thrilling and scary movies.

Happy Halloween! ๐ŸŽƒ

My Poem ‘9/11’

The die was cast far and wide,
the pain was felt deeply and irrevocably
on that sunny Tuesday morning,
on the Eleventh of September, 2001;
terrorists to all mankind
came out of the shadows
from where they had been hiding
and made an attack
and left a lasting scar
on all of humanity,
that to this day still pains me
even now, 14 years on.

How could anyone do such a thing?
Why? Oh my god, why?
Who would think to do such a thing?
The innocent do not deserve to die!

I mourn the lost;
I am mindful of the loved ones
and the family members
who were left behind
and who still struggle
to live and to move on,
as if nothing happened;
I still believe that the entire world
is still understandably shell-shocked;
I have been to Ground Zero,
I have stood in the place
where the shadows of
the World Trade Center still remain,
and I can honestly say that being there
where so many people lost their lives
had a profound effect on me:
the new Freedom Tower
and the pools of remembrance
that are now in place of what was once there,
in memory of the indescribable tragedy
and the massacre that took place,
will always be to me
sacred and holy ground.

I have flashed back to that day
every year since 2001;
I have imagined myself where I was,
sitting in front of my TV,
watching the news reports
of the true American horror story unfold;
I have wished many times
that what happened on that day
could somehow have been prevented
by some miracle of heaven;
I have watched the echoes
and the repercussions of what happened
on that day spread and effect
everyone and every country around the world.

I am a man of many words,
but even I struggle to put into words
the sadness that I still feel
about all the people who died
in New York City,
at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.,
in Virginia, in Pennsylvania,
and everybody who has lost their life since;
I am a man who believes
that things happen for a reason,
but I cannot, nor could I ever,
nor could anyone for that matter,
give me an acceptable justification
that would make my confusion
about the murders that were carried out
on that day in any way lessen;
no deplorable and horrific act of terrorism
like that which played out
in front of everybody
on the 11th of September, 2001,
to me could ever make sense;
I will never forget;
I will never allow the fallen to be forgotten;
I will always hold on to the memory
of my unforgettable brothers and sisters,
as I hold up my hand
and feel my heart beating in my chest;
I will always remember
the day that will always be known as 9/11.

9-11-poem