My Poem “The Microphone”

Everyone’s voice is distinctive…
everyone’s voice can be poetic…
everyone’s voice is informative…
everyone’s voice is a gift that can
open doors and change minds –
whether that voice is audible, visual,
reflective, or creative;
but when anybody, no matter who they are
and no matter how much experience
they have, approaches a microphone
to share what they have to say
to an audience of listeners,
so many emotions can come
bubbling up to the surface –
even veterans of singing
and voice-acting find it easier
to adopt a performance persona
so that they can fully embrace
and embody the words that are in
their thoughts, from their heart,
or the words that they are
reading from a page.

Holding a microphone in your hand
can be invigorating,
putting the lips of your mouth
close to the head of a microphone
can be exciting;
but sometimes when you are talking about
something without a script to read from,
your mouth can become dry,
you can find yourself lost for words,
and you can find yourself
talking and talking and talking
because your train of thought
feels like it is stuck in reverse.

When you perform for a long time
something like a microphone can
almost feel like an extension of yourself
and a vital tool with which you use
to extend the reach of your voice…
some people live so many days
with a microphone in their hand
or in front of them that they can find
it hard to imagine a place and a time
without one present –
which is how a musician thinks
when they consider a future without
their musical instrument.

Not everybody is a born performer
and not everybody feels comfortable
expressing themselves face to face,
via video, or by communicating over the phone –
but then there are people who have
always been confident and who
always have something teetering
on the tip of their tongue
and for those people there is no better
gift to give them than that which
can allow them to transmit their voice
and their message to the masses:
an opportunity and a microphone.

My Poem ‘My Jam’

From All Hail The Silence, to BT…
from The 1975, to David Bowie…
from Savage Garden, to Johnny Cash…
from Ed Sheeran, to Set It Off…
from John Lennon, to Walk The Moon…
from Young Guns, to Muse…
from CHVRCHES, to Christian Burns…
from Bruce Springsteen, to Green Day…
from Lady Antebellum, to James Bay…
from Carrie Underwood, to a-ha…
from Armin van Buuren, to Bruno Mars…
from Bon Jovi, to Bryan Adams…
from Coldplay, to Michael Jackson…
from Tears For Fears, to Sixpence None the Richer…
from Daft Punk, to New Order…
from Prince, to Deadmau5…
from Tracy Chapman, to Crowded House…
and many many more –
that is but a selection of the artists
and the bands who make music
and who have created songs
that I adore and I listen to over and over.

Music is a great source of inspiration for a writer,
and the music and the songs that inspire me the most
are those with a message to them that touches my heart
and sets off a chain-reaction
and a rejuvenation of spirit within me like no other –
from Electronic Dance Music, to Rock…
from Classical, to Pop…
from fast, to slow…
from a ballad, to something wholly-instrumental –
I find great peace and beauty,
I find great love and serenity,
in hearing the voice and the music
of the heart of an artist, or artists,
that bridges the gap from my ears, to my mind…
from my imagination, to my soul.

My love for all types of music
stems from when I was a boy –
even as a child, I knew there was something special
to what I heard all-around me,
which others might just have
thought was background noise…
my heart has a rhythm to it
and it creates its own music with every beat –
and even now, when I hear a great song
that I haven’t heard before,
it doesn’t take me long
before my heart skips-a-beat
and I am tapping away with my fingers
and moving in-time, to the music I hear,
with every movement of my feet…
when I hear my favourite songs,
I secretly have this insatiable urge
to “bust-a-move” and dance –
there is a deep-seated reason
why music means so much to me,
there is a truth to why
I could never live without music
that stares right back at me every day
in the mirror of my mind…
whenever I listen to my playlist on my iPod,
I always get millions of sparks of inspiration,
and for a long-time after I finish listening
to my favourite songs I still hear
the echoes of the music
that make up “My Jam”.

My Poem ‘The Messenger’

Everybody is here on this Earth,
everybody is a part of this world,
for a reason – but, sometimes,
most of the time, more often than not,
people have no idea why…
I, however, know exactly why I am here,
why I am alive, and what my reason to live is
and will be until the day I die:
I am a messenger, but not a messenger
that you may expect,
I do not look like any “messenger”
that I have seen in my life –
I do not wear a uniform,
and what I does not always require me to drive…
I suppose I am like an old-fashioned telephone receiver,
and when I receive a very important call
with a very important message to be delivered to someone
I answer it without question or hesitation
and I go to pass on what I have been asked to deliver.

I never know who the sender is,
I never know who the recipient will be –
I only know a face, sometimes I even know a first-name;
I do not know what the message I am delivering is
sometimes until the moment that I deliver it…
I don’t even know where I am going
until I see the signs showing me the way
to where I need to get to –
it’s like I am painting a picture of something
that hasn’t happened yet as I take each and every step,
and it is only at the end of my delivery
that I can see the complete picture in its entirety,
like stepping back and looking at a canvas
newly-framed and mounted on the wall of a gallery.

I have delivered more messages than I can remember:
a young man sitting on a bus…
I remember telling him something
that his older sister wanted him to know:
that even though she had run away from home she still loved him
and that they would see each-other again one day –
some of the messages are so emotional to deliver,
I cannot help but break-down in tears
as I give them their message,
but in the same breath I love being the bearer of hope
and that sometimes invisible and silent hand
upon a person’s shoulder
telling them that every-thing is going to be alright.

I am not sure why I was chosen…
I am not sure who it was who chose me…
I am not sure if I am doing God’s work…
I am not sure what happens next
after I reach out, on behalf of someone else,
to another person…
I am not sure if my delivery of the message
is delivered in the same way as was intended –
most of the time I can deliver
what the message is with a look
and with a burst of thought,
like I am the conductor
of some kind of psychic-electricity;
sometimes I just let the message do all the work
and I just watch from behind my own eyes
while my body acts as if it has been possessed
by some kind of magical curse.

To most people who meet me,
I am nothing more than a stranger;
to a higher-power,
I am the one whom they chose
to be their psychic-amplifier;
to the sender of the messages that I send,
I am a link to someone who they want to talk to
without having to use their own voice –
I am their secret-teller,
I am one of their story-tellers…
I am here, I am there,
to be close and near to someone,
so that I can be who from a small child
I was always destined to be:
‘The Messenger’.

My Poem ‘The True Gift’

The true gift of Christmas,
the best present you could
ever receive or give;
the truth of the season
you can always trust,
the spirit that you can
walk a thousand miles with;
the touch to heal all scarred hearts,
the light that shines like the North Star;
the beautiful angel who shows you
the true meaning of life
that so many have for years
been in search of;
the true goodwill of somebody
that everybody at one point or another
has been touched by.

Christmas is, and should always be,
a celebration of shared ties
and meaningful connections;
Christmas can only be Christmas
if you give without any expectation
of anything in return;
Christmas is always full of passion,
and if you are fortunate
then whatever thoughts that you think
may return to you in more amazing and wonderful ways
than could ever be mentioned;
to open your heart for another, whenever you can,
is the true message that resonates
every moment of the season.

Christmas trees; shiny ornaments;
one of a kind shared and special moments;
the miracle of rejuvenation and joy
that constantly brings to life
a story that will always exist;
the motto on the family-crest of St. Nicholas;
the true meaning of life
that is more than a myth;
giving, sharing, remembering,
meeting, living and breathing,
every thing about everything
is how you know in more ways than one
the true gift of Christmas.

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My Poem ‘Her Magical Powers’

I was listening to Johnny Cash,
“The Man in Black”,
when a shiver of cold ran down my back;
it was night time and the stars were out,
and I had no idea what the shiver was about –
but as I looked out my window
and I saw the streak of a shooting star
in the sky above;
I make a wish to the one I love,
and I saw her face as clear as day –
and as soon as I did a song began to play;
and as I listened I heard a voice:
three words spoken with no background noise,
and I heard everything
that I have ever wanted to hear…
I closed my eyes, as I shed a tear,
and into the air I said a prayer
to the one I love
that for her I would always be there;
I said to her that I loved her too,
I heard her say my name and my eyes flashed blue,
and all I wanted was to have her near –
so I let go of all my fear…
and I wrote a poem for her to read,
one that would tell her
that she is the only one that I need –
and I typed it up with my own two hands,
and I sent it to her with my heart
beating as if I were in the middle of a dance;
I waiting out of breath for a whole two seconds,
and then my love replied to the message
in which I had beckoned:
she said that she always wanted us to be together…
I jumped for joy and I told her that she was my heaven!
And later that night, I went to sleep,
I dreamed that I was with the woman
who I wanted to keep:
we hugged and kissed,
we laughed and promised;
and the next morning when I woke up
I picked up the phone
and I called my love…
I told her that she was my world,
that no matter what happens
I would do anything for her;
and then we spoke for hours upon hours,
until I had to say goodnight to her…
and I told her again that I loved her
and that I always and forever wanted to be
under the spell of her magic powers.

My Poem ‘Our Magical Opus’

I want to tell you a story,
about a prince of poetry
and a princess of unfathomable beauty…
who met and who fell in love
after being drawn together
and to each other
by their love of music,
who long to live happily ever after
in each others arms as-one
and forever enjoy and revel
in each others’ magic.

There are forces at work all around us;
there are unstoppable alignments at play
like the perfect orbits of planets;
there are electronic, spiritual,
biological, magical opuses;
there are seemingly random fragments
combining and attracting each other like magnets.

That first picture;
that first message;
that first peak under the cover;
that first expression of love;
that first digital kiss;
that first shared dream;
that first face to face;
that first smile that eclipses
all others that you have ever seen;
that first touch;
that first look;
that first first embrace;
that first loss of control
when hands and fingers and lips
come together in a lock.

There are modern day fairy-tales;
there are people who are meant to be
together forever all around the world;
there are stories of synchronicity
that are as beautiful and amazing
and as breathtaking as they are incredible;
there are some fires
that are always meant to burn.

The story of this prince
and this princess…
the story of the American beauty
and the English poet…
the tale of the Englishman
and the American woman
who love one-another
more than they could ever confess…
the tale of the two hearts
who grew up worlds apart,
but who one day found each other
as if discovering a life-changing
and priceless treasure…
is the story of the beautiful destiny
of my angel and I –
that is deeper, richer, and more amazing
than words could ever describe,
because it is the most phenomenal, epic,
unbelievable, poetic and magical opus.

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My Poem ‘Soul of the Summer’

Summer is the season of the sun;
summer is the time when everything can shine;
summer is sometimes different
in different places around the world,
it depends where you are from;
summer is when all life can flourish
and share its colours far and wide;
summer brings about new experiences,
new music, new inspirations,
re-invigoration of soul and spirit,
and it is when anyone and everyone
can get out and enjoy the beauty of the world
and see the face of nature close-up,
and if and when you can
to have a good time.

The sunlight of a summer morning,
the heat of the summer air,
the vibe of a summer spent walking,
talking, recalling, and memory making;
the incomparable and intense summer glare;
the constant mood medicine on the summer breeze
that keeps you smiling;
the summer sensation that you feel
when your skin changes colour;
the summer days spent rocking
from side to side in a hammock
that feels like you are lying calmly on a cloud
as you spend hours just relaxing.

Every summer is unique;
you can capture important moments
in photographs, memories, impressions –
but you can’t every capture everything;
every summer has its valleys and its peaks;
you can often recall a particular summer
by recalling the songs that were constantly playing
on the radio that everybody was singing;
every summer is revealing,
and it is a time to say and to do
absolutely anything.

Sneakers, sandals, tennis shoes, flip-flops;
shorts, skirts, t-shirts, low-cut tops;
shades, sunglasses, baseball caps;
sun-screen, jackets, thirst-quenching drinks on-tap.

The message of the summer in which you find yourself
is always to allow things to be see, and to feel free;
the golden season is when you can seek out and enjoy
all that the world has to offer;
the meaning of every season
is to make the most of the gift of life’s beauty;
hope is meant to rush through the bloodstream of everybody,
and finding hope in something that makes you happy
is what it means to have found the soul of the summer.

My Poem ‘The Beach’

It has been a beautiful day;
it has been a day to remember
in so many ways;
the sparkling and the warm sand
beneath my feet that I am sitting on
feels amazing;
the glistening golden sea
that looks as if it could be
the surface of the sun –
because it looks in every way
like an ocean of pure energy –
is breathtaking;
as I look out and I see
the most beautiful and unbroken blue sky,
my heart skips a beat;
as I close my eyes,
I am transported in my mind
to a deserted island,
surrounded by palm trees –
in my imagination, I am a castaway
living a life free to be
whomever I want to be –
I have no worries,
I have no distractions,
I am self-sustaining
and I live off and alongside nature
and every day I walk my island paradise
and I swim in the beautiful blue sea;
I read the books that I brought with me,
and I daily write down what I see –
what I think about and what I feel
about life in my journal and diary;
I listen to the sound of the waves
and each one is like the voice of an old friend
stopping by to say ‘hello’;
I hear the music of my youth
playing from out of nowhere;
and when I think about the outside world,
and about my friends and family living their lives
far away, their faces appear
as if sculpted by the billion of grains
of sand that I see below me.

My hair is long;
my beard is substantial;
my skin is brown;
my home is a hand-built house
of cut down trees that has a roof of green
and hard-wearing leaves;
from my favourite spot,
looking out at my favourite view,
I have seen unimaginable sights:
dolphins, turtles, whales;
just off the coast, below the waves,
there is the most stunning
and beautiful coral reef.

To me, this place is heaven;
to me, this life could not be anymore perfect;
to me there is nowhere else in the entire world
where you could see the sun rise and the sun set,
and lay down on your back and see
a 360-degree view of the Milky-way galaxy’s
infinite and magnificent stars
shining their incredible and magical light,
in a place that is in every way
the definition of idyllic.

In my daydream, I look to the oncoming waves
and I see something bobbing up and down
before being washed up on the beach in front of me
and within touching distance of the toes of my feet;
I am not phased by the sight of the plastic bottle
and the evident message on a piece of paper
that is contained within –
however, when I reach down for the bottle
and I unscrew the lid and I reach in
and pull out the piece of paper,
it takes me awhile to realize
the messages’ meaning
because of how profound
the four-words of it are,
it takes a while to sink in.

I am brought back to reality in a flash!
As I look at the world, and to the sea,
everything looks even more stunning
and beautiful than it had appeared before.
Still with the message from my daydream
echoing in my mind like a bell,
I decide to write the same message
in pen on a torn-out page
from my nearby journal…
I write the same message
in the same way as it had appeared to me
only seconds before in my imagination,
and then I put the message
in an empty bottle of water
that I had brought with me earlier,
I stand up,
I run towards the ocean
and I throw my message in a bottle out
as far as I can
for someone to find in the future,
for someone to discover and read;
and then I sit back down
and I watch the sea again,
and I am again taken away
to a far-away place –
all the while, I am sitting in the sun
on the sand of this gorgeous beach.

My Poem ‘Birthmark’

34 years, 408 months,
1,774 weeks, 12,418 days ago,
on the 21st of April, 1981,
a little boy was born
and two of the most wonderful
and amazing parents
anyone could ask for
were blessed with a son –
that was the day
that I arrived in the world,
and that was when the tapestry of my life
slowly began to unfurl.

Mark James Hastings,
that is the name that I was given at birth
and that is who I have been
since it was printed for all time
on my birth certificate;
son, brother, friend,
wanderer, wonderer,
dreamer, hard-worker,
and 99.9 percent of the time
a lover of life and a writer
in the form of a poet.

People are always telling me
that I don’t look my age;
people are always asking me
what my secret is to having
an old soul inside someone
with such a young face;
people ask me all the time
where I get my ideas from
when I am writing,
and my response to that question
is one word: life –
because that is the epic adventure
that is eternally and limitlessly
exciting, enlightening, and inspiring.

I have flashes of memories of my childhood
that regularly come back to me;
I have emotions of experiences from my life
that daily make me smile and make me cry;
I have mental and physical photos
that I look at with glee;
I have questions that I ask
that begin who…? what…? where…?
when…? how…? why…?
But I will always know and remember
what is important and I will continue
to spread the word about what I have learned
in my life, and sometimes I secretly wish
that I could replay certain special moments
that I have had, even though I know
life is meant to be so that I can’t.

Today is my birthday;
today is a day that is close to my heart;
today is a day when I have so much to say;
today is always the day when I think back
and I talk to my younger self,
and even at the moment that I am born
I visualize myself in the mind
of my infant-self and I leave myself
a message and a question that has no end
that I know I will carry my whole life –
like a defining and indelible birthmark.

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My Poem ‘Live Long and Prosper’

While growing up we all have heroes
who we see, who we watch, who we listen to,
and who we want to emulate,
and while growing up
there were no greater heroes or role-models
who used to keep me captivated, interested,
in-awe, and excited,
to follow their continuing adventures,
where no man has gone before,
than the crew of the Starship Enterprise –
and when I got home from school,
it was to the final frontier where I journeyed off to
on my television and in my imagination –
and to this day every episode and story of every series
of my favourite universe, canon, fan-base, and franchise,
never fails to fill me with the same feelings
I had as a boy imagining being a member of the Enterprise’s crew –
and every time I watch an episode or a movie now,
I am, and I will forever be, captivated.

Captain James T. Kirk, the commander of the ‘Enterprise’
in the Original Series of ‘Star Trek’ in the sixties,
was a natural leading man, and a hero that
wherever he would go thousands would follow –
because William Shatner played him so expertly and perfectly,
no one else could truly be or inhabit such a role
as he did in ‘Jim’ Kirk;
however, it was always ‘Mr. Spock’, played timelessly
by the late great Leonard Nimoy,
who I used to to be more drawn to and fascinated by –
and like another fictional hero of mine, Sherlock Holmes,
Spock used knowledge and logic to be the source
and the answer to most of the problems
he and the rest of the Enterprise crew came face to face with –
and Leonard Nimoy was Spock in every way, shape, and form,
and the knowledge now that Mr. Spock and Leonard Nimoy’s light
has gone out from the world is a loss to everyone on Earth.

Leonard Nimoy, and Mr. Spock, leave a legacy
in so many ways infinite ways for everybody to see,
remember, and be inspired by.
I have always been a life-long Star Trek fan,
and every time I hear that someone from my favourite TV show
has died, I honestly do want to cry.
I just wish I had had the chance to meet Leonard Nimoy;
I just wish I could have been able to tell him
how influential he was to so many people, and always will be,
and to tell him how important he and his message
was to me as a boy.

I will always be inspired to reach for the stars;
I will always look back on my childhood with a smile on my face,
and remember my favourite half-Human/half-Vulcan fondly,
because to me his spirit will forever loom large.
I will never stop watching, reading, imagining,
and I will all my life be inspired by the voyages
of every crew and every starship, especially the Enterprise,
travelling and exploring the final frontier;
I will always remember the amazing Leonard Nimoy,
and this poem is my lasting tribute to him.
And as Leonard Nimoy’s Star Trek character Mr. Spock
was frequently fond of saying, in his name:
I promise to live long and prosper.

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