My Poem “Substantial sustenance”

It’s always great to experience new things…
it’s always great to see things
you have never seen before…
it’s always refreshing to go somewhere
you have always wanted to go
but have never been before…
it’s always enlightening to be exposed
to the sights, the sounds, the people,
and the unique identity of a community
all living and breathing
every aspect of their particular
village, town, region, or city.

It has always been a passion of mine
to seek out, to explore, to experience,
and to learn more about the many
different and diverse voices, accents,
faces, beliefs, and opinions
that make humanity the distinct species
of dreamers, storytellers,
and builders that we are…
when people go somewhere that
is renowned for representing
and practicing certain customs
and for communicating
in certain ways of speech
that cannot be witnessed nor heard
anywhere else in the world,
you can find yourself initially
overwhelmed and uninformed –
however, like with most things,
the more that you are exposed to
certain things, and to certain practices,
the more likely it is that you will
naturally accept what you are surrounded by
and over time you will naturally
assimilate certain things into
your unconscious daily routines.

Being a wanderer can be exciting…
being someone who is constantly
looking for inspiration and stimulation
can be encompassing and thrilling…
being someone who wonders
why things are the way that they are
can be revealing…
being someone who ventures
beyond their understanding of what
life is all about is to be someone
who accepts the mission of exploration
and discovery that might take them
to places that are both illuminating
in terms of knowledge and fulfilling
in terms of inspiration
that cannot be underestimated
and are an essential and a substantial
source of sustenance
for the mind, for the body,
and for the soul of who you are.

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 “My Hero”

Family has always meant
everything to my Dad
and my Dad will always mean
everything to our family…
my Dad is the heart of our family,
the one that we take
all of our strength, our love,
and our inspiration from,
and he means more to all of us
than could ever be expressed…
my Dad has often had to suffer
the scars of all the battles
that he has found himself drawn into –
both physical and emotional;
however, my Dad has never given up,
my Dad has always put
everyone else’s thoughts, feelings,
and needs before his own,
and my Dad has always been there
for his children when they
needed him the most…
my Dad is such a phenomenal
role-model, a beacon hope,
and his natural blue eyes
and his magnetic smile
is always reason enough
to smile in return and believe
that even the darkest of days
can be turned around with a ray
of sunshine in the form
of someone selfless and special…
the gift that is my Dad
is the one that I have been blessed
to have in my life all my life,
and I would not be anything
without the super-human man
who will forever be an inspiration
to me in so many ways:
the one who first taught me
the meaning of working hard
for whatever it is that you desire,
and the one who daily shows me
that nothing is ever impossible,
because my Dad –
David William George Hastings –
is and always will be my hero.

My Poem “Rabbit Holes”

I think everybody can attest
to the experience of
once in a while watching something,
reading something, hearing something,
and then finding themselves
inextricably falling head first
down a “rabbit hole” of interest
and intrigue in regard
to something in particular –
a subject, a song, an artist,
a film, a TV show, an idea
that slowly captures your imagination
and compels you to dive deeper
below the surface and discover
what lies beneath what something
appears to be, and find the structure
that binds everything together
to make something everything that is:
experiences, words of wisdom,
influences, impressions, interpretations,
vital pieces of the creator
that will forever remain infused
into what coalesces into
making a piece of art.

The internet is a place
full of “rabbit holes” –
one moment you can be watching
an interview with somebody
whom you want to know more about,
and the next you can be
automatically recommended
to watch another video
involving someone or something
with a unique and vital insight
into a subject matter that has
a close association to the video
that you original sought out –
and it is the ever present
links that are there to be found
that make the internet the warren
of tunnels for acquiring
and dispensing knowledge,
insight, entertainment, and connection
that makes it a wonder of the modern world.

“Rabbit holes” leading to new,
wonderful, fascinating, and vastly
different worlds, of course,
is a metaphorical allusion
to the rabbit hole that Alice,
in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland”,
deliberately climbs into –
which of course was in fact
an unsuspecting entrance to
the magical world of “Wonderland”,
while following “The White Rabbit” –
has been the inspiration for many
fantastic tales in every form –
from literature to cinema;
and every day everybody carries with them
at all times portals that enable
anybody with access to the World Wide Web
of content that is the Internet
the ability to find themselves
drawn down metaphorical “Rabbit hole”
after “Rabbit hole” that while using
to expand their knowledge
and their horizons they are
all unknowingly also contributing
into the creation of what the wonderland
of the future will look like.

My Poem “Starry Sky”

This is my poem “Starry Sky” – a modified version of the first verse of my poem “Blue Sky” that I wrote back in 2010 – which I rewrote slightly and composited with a little doodle that I did of an astronaut floating in space with the thought that perhaps my poem might one day be what an astronaut might say to when they find themselves floating in space and looking down at the beautiful blue and green marvel that is the planet Earth. 👨‍🚀👩‍🚀🌍