Mark The Poet – The Podcast: Episode #31

My Poem “A Summer Like No Other”

The Summer season is usually
a time that most people
look forward to and plan for…
the Summer is usually when
people have once in a lifetime
experiences that they
have never had before…
the Summer season is usually
when people spend most of
their time outdoors…
the Summer is usually when
everybody is smiling
from ear to ear and embracing
the rays of the sun
that seem to shine a light
on certain aspects of life
that inspire moments of awe.

The Summer season is supposed to be
when people enjoy certain examples
of beauty as they come into bloom…
the Summer is usually when people
like to take their time
when talking to one another,
face to face, instead of feeling
like every interaction is just one long zoom…
the Summer season is supposed to be
when people feel optimistic,
and they are generally in a good mood…
the Summer is supposed to be
when most people are singing with joy
and not crying because they had got
a bad case of the blues.

This Summer has already been filled
with so many examples of good news,
as well as the ultimate example
of bad news which we all know about
which in truth has felt like
one long, continuous, and engulfing
cloud that has been the epitome
of a bad dream that has
unfortunately come true…
this Summer has been one that
will forever be etched upon
the psyche of everybody
far into the future…
this Summer has been a time
in the lives of everybody alive
that will be something spoken about,
chronicled, and remembered as a
Summer when the whole world
had to do what they had to do
to protect the most vulnerable
and to preserve as much as possible
for the next generation…
the events of this year
will haunt humanity like a spectre,
because this year has felt like
a Summer like no other, and memorable
in most cases for all the wrong reasons.

My Poem “Pool of Contemplation”

As I sit looking at the ripples
upon this pool that I have been
familiar with since I was a child,
I contemplate so much about what I know,
about what I don’t know,
about what has happened, about life,
and about what will happen
when all is said and done
and when the world feels like it has been
put back together after such a long
period of feeling as is if
the seams that held everything together
were beginning to become undone.

I know this place…
I have stared into this water
more times than I can remember…
I have a connection to this place…
I once sat down and painted this very pond
long ago when I was a child –
and then, just as now, I felt compelled
to see and to find shimmering
sources of inspiration, of connection,
of that something about nature
that feels indefinable, magical,
wonderful, and phenomenal.

There has always been something
calming to me about staring
into a pool of water…
there has always been something
ethereal about the thought of
what may be found within the depths
a puddle, a pool, a pond, a river,
a sea, an ocean –
beyond the surface, below the waves –
where nobody can venture to
without external oxygen
or without an imagination,
to explore things that have
a life of their own,
where things remain unseen
until they are explored,
and where things which always
spark into life
the fire of inspiration:
things that I always find
whenever I look
into a pool of reflection
and contemplation.

My Poem “Memory Lane”

Walking down and around
my old stomping grounds,
down the long and winding lanes
of the countryside near my home
that I know and could never forget –
especially now, while the world
feels like it has been turned upside down –
feels so rejuvenating, it feels so relaxing,
it feels like stepping back in time
and simultaneously being the man I am now
as well as the man I was back then
when I last walked this path,
as if I am in communication with myself
as I was five years ago in the past.

The grass looks just as green…
the budding trees look just as pretty…
the sky above looks to me to be
the brightest blue that I have ever seen…
the furrowed fields look just as
mesmerising as they always did –
in fact everything that I see, hear,
feel, and inhale of the nature that surrounds me
intoxicates me with its natural,
lush, and majestic beauty.

It is no wonder to me
that so many artists have attempted
to capture a view and the epic expanse
of a landscape within the confines
of the edges of a canvas –
because there is so much to be found,
because there is so much to take in,
because there is so many evocative
shapes, colours, textures, nuances,
wisps of language and meaning
that constantly jump out from
a green and pleasant environment
that has so much to say
and to convey about itself,
about who and what calls it home,
how it has changed and how it is
exactly the same as it was.

Quite often you find things out
about yourself that you recognize,
sometimes you might encounter
things about yourself that
you may have forgotten about,
and sometimes things can look different
when seen through the prism of time,
experience, memory,
and what we see can inform us
of exactly where we have been,
where we are going,
what we have been through,
and most important who we are –
and that is why one of the most amazing,
transformative, and rejuvenating things
that we can do from time to time,
especially when we feel like
our spirit needs a boost,
is to see beyond the frame of the present
and take a walk down “memory lane”.

“Blur”

Sometimes life goes by so fast that everything becomes a blur – that is why it is always important to hold on to the memory of something or someone whose image is always as clear as day in your mind, and no matter the distance from you what they mean to you will never fade away. 😊

My Poem “A Stream of Starlight”

As I slept last night
I composed the poem of my life –
but when I woke up
and I opened my eyes
all the words and the imagery
that I dreamt about
disappeared and returned
to the world from whence
they came, locked away
deep inside where I can
never find again,
without form, without memory,
without words, without time…
each and every one of us
live every day of our lives
riding the waves and existing
in the wake of dreams
that are as wistful
and as ethereal as the rainbow
of colour that comprises
a stream of starlight.

My Poem “Throwback”

Every day, I look at things,
I look at people, I look at places,
and in my mind I am thrown back in time…
Every day I am reminded about
some of the things I have done,
some of the people I have met,
some of the places I have visited,
and what always follows
is an intoxication of memories,
feelings, colours, that rise
to the surface – like the bubbles
of a glass of wine…
every day, I read things that I have written,
I remember what I did and with whom,
and I am overcome with a wave of déjà vu
that floods my thoughts with
echoes of what came before
and what I had compartmentalized…
every day, I hold on tight to who
and what means the most to me
and I try to remember every detail
of everything as accurately as I can,
while trying to correct for
Mandela Effect – which is a
prime example of how sometimes
our own memories can play tricks on us
and even blatantly make things up…
every day, something new happens to all of us –
even if we don’t realize it…
every day something new becomes
the inspiration for an explorer,
a storyteller, a musician,
a dreamer, a poet, that has such
a phenomenal and an amazing
effect that the aftershocks
from the revelations – that feel
like the tectonic shifts
that you can physically feel
when the Earth moves beneath you –
continue to influence you
in everything that you commit to afterwards…
the past, the present, the future,
the outside, the inside,
the old, the new, would not be what they are
and they would not mean what they do
without our own personal perspective…
the world is built upon things
and moments that are not meant to last –
however, if it were not for
all of the things that we sometimes lose,
all of the things that we leave behind,
and all of the things that are not meant
to last then we would never know
the true meaning, nor experience
the incredible power, of moments of nostalgia,
gratitude, and reflection from something
that can serve as a wormhole back in time
through which we can cast our mind’s eye
upon something in particular:
a throwback to an earlier time in our life.

My Poem “Magpie”

I’ll admit it,
when it comes to writing poetry,
writing stories, making art,
creating light from the dark,
I – like many of my kind –
am a bit of a Magpie…
certain things – people, places,
smells, sounds, tastes, experiences –
that I see, hear, feel, and sense
enter my mind through my eyes,
through my ears, through my nose,
through my mouth, through my fingertips,
and make me slightly different
than I was before…
so many things that I see,
that I hear, that I feel,
shine for me and give me
the same reaction that I am sure
a Magpie experiences when they see
a glistening piece of metal from far away.

Magpies are highly intelligent
and they can live a relatively long life –
and it is because of their observed
and recorded intellectual capabilities,
their extraordinary memory,
and their innate nature, that has led
people over the ages to come to believe
that Magpies can sense and perceive
things before they happen,
as if their existence is connected
to a realm that can only be described
as being supernatural.

So many people think in the same way…
so many artistically minded people
regularly experience moments of inspiration
when they see, hear, or feel something
that opens their eyes wide
and compels them to make a reality
an idea that they cannot shake, nor deny…
so many people see things that other people
may also see, but could never convey…
so many people, like me, who express
what they see, what they hear, what they feel,
what they think, and what they believe,
ultimately choose to use what they have collected
within their mind until a time in the future
when they can let their creative side
fly like the black and white wings of a Magpie.

My Poem “Never Forget A Face”

Some people are better at remembering names…
some people are better at remembering places…
some people are better at remembering numbers –
and then there are people, like me,
who are better at remembering faces
and at spotting the various distinguishable
features about a person…
once upon a time, people who had the innate gift
to be able to pick a face out of a line,
or a file of people, were sought-after –
however, in this day and age of the future,
the technology to be able to pick
a face out of a crowd has been invented
to catch the likeness of someone
and instantly reveal a person’s identity…
in years gone by, people used to take photographs
and collect them in photo-albums
to preserve the memory of something,
somebody, at some memorable point in time –
and though people still do take photographs
and collect them together into albums,
pictures taken now are mostly collected
and organised digitally…
remembering people used to be more of a tactile act,
paying tribute to someone used to be more like a pilgrimage –
but now that technology has made the world
relatively smaller, in a sense, and more connected,
people can easily reach out in some way
and talk to people far away directly and immediately…
technology has made communication between people
easier and more readily available,
and it has made it possible to share
what is on your mind with a countless number
of different people from all around the world –
even those who live and work in space…
however, I believe that no matter how
technologically advanced we become as a world
there will always be a need for those people
who have a natural talent about them
to do something amazing –
be it the ability to run fast,
the gift to be able to tell incredible stories,
the miracle to be able to write poetry
and make their own kind of music,
or the skill to be able to never forget a face.

My Poem “Birthplace”

After they are born,
most people do not return
to the place of their birth…
most people have no memory of,
nor any connection with,
the one place on Earth
where they arrived in this world…
it is only as we get older,
when we start asking questions
about who we are and where we come from,
that we find out more about
the place on our birth-certificate…
sometimes, for some people,
returning to the place where the first person
saw their newborn face is a difficult experience
and not one that they which to repeat…
where we are born is integral to who we will be,
how we will think, and the direction in life
that we will take…
everybody is shaped and molded by the world around them –
but the place where a person’s story begins
has an impact that cannot be overstated…
whether someone is born in a hospital,
on an airplane, in a forest,
in the back of a car, in a lift, or in a pool of water –
that first point of interaction with the world,
that first inhale of air,
the first sights, the first sounds,
the first light of life that we see
are the first things that welcome us
into this world of gravity,
meaning, purpose, interface –
and that is why I believe that there is
something special and meaningful
about the exact when and where
that was, and will always be,
our birthplace.