My Poem “Music/Food”

Just like the ingredients
that all combine to make
a meal look, smell, and taste
the way that it is supposed to,
a piece of music or a song
is also a multi-layered mixture
of individual components
that all harmonize to become
something greater that the sum of their parts –
as they are played by those players
capable of synchronising the gift within them
with the instruments that they have at their disposal…
the art of making a melody of music
that has a distinctive voice of its own,
that is immediately recognisable,
even after the first morsel
of ear candy has been heard,
is exactly like the signature of a dish
prepared by someone for
breakfast, lunch, or dinner –
because food, like music,
leaves an indelible imprint on all of us
that is always profoundly memorable.

Both food and music are both a key
as well as a gateway to memories
and experiences that may have become
compartmentalised by us over time –
but there is no denying how both
a song, and perhaps something
that you may not have tasted for years,
can have the instant power
to turn the gears of our minds
back to a particular place and a time…
food is sustenance for the body,
music is sustenance for the mind –
and when combined together,
while dining within a restaurant
or in a cafe, there is no estimating
the flood of endorphins that can rise
within our thoughts which can drive our emotions
in ways akin to a tsunami of waves
that have the ability to resurface
moments of merriment so meaningful to us
that they can make lost artifacts
of our consciousness once again easy to find.

Both eating food and listening to music,
to some people, can be like having
a spiritual experience that feeds
and rejuvenates something within them
that goes beyond the physical and the biological…
consuming certain legal stimulants,
such as chocolate or caffeine,
that have the ability to influence
the speed that our heart beats
and the way that we feel,
can affect us in the same way that music
can make us all involuntarily
raise our arms, close our eyes,
move our feet and dance around a room –
especially if the song that we hear
is one of our favourite tunes
that always has the effect of making us move
as if we are being compelled by a spirit
that we never want to be free of
that always takes us all to a place that feels
out of this world and utterly phenomenonal.

My Poem “Eternally Illusive”

Some of the most influential artists
are the most illusive…
some of the most prolific artists
are the those who most people
will never be lucky enough to meet…
some of the most powerful artists
have worn masks all of their careers…
some of the most emotional artists
are those who never publicly shed a tear…
some of the most acclaimed artists
are those who want to be judged
upon the quality of their art
and not by how they look…
some of the most accomplished artists
are those who draw people to them
because they speak a language
that is universally understood…
some of the most loved artists
are those who respect their audience
and layer their work with insights about
them that reflect who they are within…
some of the most iconic artists,
who are worshipped as if they were a deities,
live on after they have ascended this world
and leave words, sounds, messages,
music, and sustenance for the mind,
the heart, the soul, and everything in between…
some of the most poetic artists
infuse their masterpieces with
so much of themselves that they illicit
memories, feelings, and emotions in others
capable of being retroactively reciprocated…
some of the most intriguing artists
will always be considered as such because of the way that they can cause somekind of surge of energy in the imagination
of people near and far, old and young –
while continuing their enduring legacy of remaining eternally illusive.

Dedicated to Daft Punk

‘Me and My Ukulele’ by Mark Hastings

There are times when I am in my room, thinking about what I am going to write about next, when I just reach for the hand-built DIY ukulele that I bought and I put together piece by piece, and just start strumming and creating whatever music I am inspired to play. It’s so invigorating! It’s so captivating! I never thought that I would get so attached to a musical instrument, but from the moment I built my ukulele, and I started plucking away at the strings, I began to feel this connection with it and with the music that I could produce… and I absolutely love playing my ukulele whenever I can, just for fun, just so that I can make some kind of music – music that I can feel on a subconscious level, and music that means something profound to me! 😊🤟🪕🎶🎵

My Poem “Vox”

Who knew that there were
so many people with a story
to tell and with a voice
able to express itself
so easily and so effectively?
Who knew that there were
so many people who had this drive
to want to let people into their life
when they do not need to?
Who knew that there were
so many people with a dream
to be able to reach as many
people as possible?
Who knew that there were
so many people who would want to
listen to other people talk about
what interests them and what inspires them?

I have always known that I liked
expressing the joy and the energy
that I felt within me
ever since I was a child,
and I have always known that
I enjoy past times like sitting and listening
to the music that is being played
and being broadcast on the normal
F.M. radio stations that people listen to,
that have “Disc Jockeys” on them
who people think they know
because they are used to listening to
their particular voice on a regular basis;
however, these days fewer people
listen to the radio than they used to –
unless they are driving down
a long stretch of highway
with nothing else to do.

So many people these days frequently listen
to music and to podcasts via streaming
services and apps that deliver content
to people all around the world,
simultaneously, over the internet…
these days there are even podcasts
and interviews recorded and shared
visually as well as vocally
which add a greater depth of expression
than can be enjoyed if something
is merely a disembodied voice;
however, there is still something amazing,
evoking, wonderful, and personal
about the experience of just listening
to someone’s voice and being told
a story in one of the fastest ways
to capture and process an idea:
by closing your eyes, by pressing play,
and by seemingly being taken away
to another place – like being entranced
into a dream state – by one of the most
powerful gifts that each of us
have at our disposal:
a one of a kind voice with which
we can articulate.

My Poem “Strum”

I am not exactly sure what
it was that overcame me,
but from the moment that
I first saw and I first heard
someone playing a ukulele
I was immediately entranced
and fascinated by this
stringed instrument,
that looks like a miniature guitar,
that naturally seems to have this
calming tone to it when a player
strums its cords that range G C E A…
I am not exact sure why
I was compelled to buy my D.I.Y.
ukulele from the bookstore I found it in –
so that I could leisurely learn
how to play an instrument of my own choosing?
To feel a wave of emotional connection
and a sense of fun when driving
my fingers over the four strings
that I physically tied
from the bridge to the pegs of the headstock?
I’m not sure, but that is exactly what happened:
because as soon as I began to innocently
move my fingers over the four strings
of the ukulele that I had to glue, screw, and attach all the separate
components of, I felt this instant
and emotionally charged feedback
from the sounds that I created,
and I felt a rush of instant creative inspiration.

There is something special about
making things with your own two hands…
there is something about having
a project in front of you
to put your heart and your mind to…
there is something about the visceral
connection that a lot of people feel
when they handle a piece of wood
that has been crafted into the vital
parts of an instrument…
there is something almost spiritual
about holding something
and feeling as if what you have
in your hands has its own identity,
its own story, its own voice, its own soul…
there is something wonderful about
finding something brand new
that you never could have imagined
that you would ever discover
that would give you the gift
of grasping something profound.

I have always been in awe
of those naturally gifted artists
who can pick up an instrument
and instinctually know how to play
something in such a way that they
can illicit an emotional response
from their audience and immediately
generate a continuum of connection
without even knowing that they are doing so…
I have always wanted to learn how
to play a musical instrument
and to be good enough to be able
to capture and to sustain someone’s,
anyone’s, attention, in a good way –
and hopefully not bore them to tears…
I have known some singers, some song-writers,
and some instrumentalists over my life,
and I have had many moments of feeling
this heartfelt bond with several voices,
sounds, songs – and when I write my own poetry
I attempt to write in such a way
that my words can be interpreted lyrically,
as if they were songs in and of themselves;
however, now I believe that I have found
something that I will use in the future
as an accompaniment to what I write,
and perhaps I will get inspiration for
the poetry that I will write to come
just by strumming upon the strings
of my new ukulele.

My Poem “Impressionable”

Since I was a child
I have always been impressionable…
since I was a boy
I have been profoundly impacted
by many sources of entertainment
that subconsciously
left their mark upon me…
since I first started to be drawn
to the images of screens, the words of books,
and the ultrasonic magnificence of music
I have been changed little by little…
since I first began going on journeys
with fictional characters who
inhabited many different worlds
and who lived many different lives
I have been led to believe and to imagine
that what I was shown or gifted
the vision of was a real and true
possibility in some distant
and distinctive alternate reality.

In retrospect, I believe that my childhood
was and still is a treasure trove
and a goldmine of inspiring stories,
visuals, music, and feelings
that over time I saved within my memory
until the day when I would need
a boost of inspirational energy
to help fuel the poetry and the stories
that I would ultimately come to tell…
I truly believe that had I not grown up
how, when, where, and with whom
I grew up with my life would
have turned out very differently
and I would not have been able
to get through some of the things
in my life that led to me to learning from
all the lessons that I now know so well.

There were books that I read,
there were songs that I listened to,
there were TV shows and movies
that I watched over and over again as a child
that I loved and I thought I knew
everything about and every moment of
that when I rewatch and when I replay
them now I realise they were full
of many subtle, but amazing,
details and messages that have
a different, but still just as incredible,
effect upon me that reminds me
why it is sometimes important to return
to something or to somewhere that you
think you know like the back of your hand –
because everyone and everywhere
has more layers and levels of meaning
to reveal about themselves,
especially to those of us who have this
insatiable curiosity about so many things,
who are at their heart someone
who is and who always has been
unashamedly impressionable.