My Poem “David Bowie”

Over the course of his life
he excited, he electrified, he entertained,
and he enriched the world through
his gift of creating art and music
that instantly struck and stayed
in the heart and in the mind of people,
like a bolt of lightning from the sky,
that made people feel, think,
and imagine things that they
may never have felt, thought,
nor dreamt of before.

He had a voice, he had a spirit,
he had a charm, a charisma, a presence
that could immediately captivate
crowds of fans and make them want
to sing and dance and lift up
their eyes and their hands,
because he was able to make
people feel as if they
could reach out and touch
the energy of a star
that could inspire them with a purpose
that was able to show just how varied
and full of colour each of us are -
and to this day he and his music
makes us consider a variety of possibilities,
including whether there really is
Life on Mars.

He was a man who was not afraid of change,
nor of changing his identity
and how he was perceived...
he was a man who was not afraid
of experimentation
nor of collaboration with fellow artists
who he jived with and felt as if
they understood him
and also spoke the language of magic,
imagination and inspiration that he did.

He was a hero, and he still is...
he was, he is, and he always will be
an icon and a god of music in the eyes
of millions of people around the world -
and who he was and what he did
was all that he ever wanted to be:
a man who transcended
but who was also connected to the world,
a man who left an indelible legacy,
a man who gave us all a part of his soul
to remember him by,
a man who had he not died would
today have celebrated turning 75,
a man whose face we will forever see,
a man whose songs will be listened to
by generation after generation on repeat:
the man, the legend, the one and the only
David Bowie.

My Poem “The Christmas Spirit”

As so often happens,
I was sitting at my usual table
in Starbucks when a song
that I had never heard
by one of my favourite artists -
the one and the only "Man in Black",
Johnny Cash - started to play...
the song was "I Heard the Bells
On Christmas Day" -
and as soon as I heard
this Christmas carol
in its own right that blessed all
who heard it "peace on Earth"
and "goodwill to men",
I started to think about
the true meaning of the season
and why music has always
been an important way
for families and individuals to say
what they want to say to one another.

Music is just as fundamental to some
as living is to breathing for others...
the voice of a singer can break down
barriers and unite people
from many countries, with many accents,
with many back stories -
who can all find times to set aside
their differences whenever they
come together and stop and listen
to someone with a message
they felt within their heart
as well as within their mind
that someone else needed to hear.

Christmas songs are only played
at this time of the year,
and every year new songs
are written and recorded by artists
that dream of being number one
and perhaps remembered
as fondly as those that repeatedly
return to our ears year after year;
however, I would say there are only
a handful of Christmas songs that are
enjoyed, replayed, and loved by many:
John Lennon's "Happy Xmas (War Is Over),
"Last Christmas" by Wham!,
"White Christmas" as sung by Bing Crosby,
"Do They Know It's Christmas?" by Band Aid,
"Fairytale of New York" by The Pogues, and, of course,
"All I Want For Christmas Is You" by Mariah Carey -
because these songs have over time
become quintessential in capturing the Christmas spirit
like no others are able to,
and personally all these songs always
put a smile on my face every time I hear them
and make me more and more ready for Christmas
and overflowing with Christmas cheer. 

My Poem “Jingles”

There is a reason
why those jingles that we first hear
as a child stay with us for so long...
there is a reason
why those Christmas songs
that are replayed on the radio
get stuck in our head
and then get repeated by us just for fun...
there is a reason
why a Number One song
catches the attention of someone,
gets shared, and then goes viral
simultaneously all around the world...
there is a reason
why a certain song sticks out
among the crowd of infinite streams
that there are and does not fade
out of the public consciousness
no matter what...
there is a reason
why we get attached to songs,
to artists, to music, to the words of lyrics
that seem to say everything
that we openly want to convey...
there is a reason
why when we need to remember
something, someone, somewhere,
at some time in our life,
we fall back upon that spark of magic
that can only be experienced by
hearing it with your ears
as well as feeling it with your heart -
that can make you close your eyes,
that can take your breath away,
and can sometimes give you goose pimples...
there is a reason
why we hold on to memories
of childhood experiences
that can easily return to our thoughts
after hearing the slightest of jingles.

My Poem “Soapbox”

In any public area there exists an arena
where those who have both the creative spark
and also the drive to perform
can show an audience what
calls out to be heard within their core...
the stage might be a grand bandstand,
or perhaps just upturned used crate -
but no matter who they are, or where they are,
what every performer wants
more than anything is to perform.

Most performers who
perform on street corners,
or in the middle of a town square,
do not do so simply for monetary gain -
because the first love of most performers
who stand with their instrument,
a live microphone, and a speaker by their side,
is that of sharing what they feel
for the music within them
and the magic of music that has
the power to draw everyone.

For most performers a stage
of any kind feels like a second home -
and every time every performer
feels those pre-performance nerves
sometimes they feel as if they have to
put on some kind of metaphorical second skin,
or step back into a psychological
pair of comfortable shoes,
with which they can use to help them
soak up every ounce of attention upon them
so that they can convert
their audience's enthusiasm into a fuel
to turbo-charge their art;
however, for the more reticent of performers,
a spotlight may be the last place
that they want to be -
but even the most introverted artist
can, over time, find a way to create
an alter ego with which, in a sense,
they can become someone else,
and make it possible for them
to climb to heights from where
they can make themselves,
and others, believe that they have
this extraordinary, electrifying,
transcendental and other-worldly power.

In this day and age a stage does not need
to be a physical place at a particular time...
in this day and age, because of the constant
advances in technology that have been made
in the way that we all communicate
with one another, anyone, anywhere,
can do what they love, and they can be
whomever they want to be,
and put on a live performance of their own -
even from the sanctuary of their own bedroom...
in this day and age someone
who is categorized as "unknown artist"
can quickly create something and go "viral",
and for as long as the place
where their performance was shared remains,
archived forever for posterity,
someone, anyone, could become
a constant source of hope and joy for someone  -
especially for those people who, at times, feel lost...
in this day and age you don't need to have
a message written in the sky to get noticed,
because anybody with the tenacity,
the courage, the spark, and the love for performing -
that every performer has within them -
can find the perfect place,
can find their perfect audience,
where, and to whom, they never want
to step off the stage of, or say goodbye to -
because every performer has their soapbox.
 
 

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! 😊🤟🪕🎶🎵