My Poem “The Shining Light”

Seventeen years ago,
when the whole world looked at the images
being shown on television,
it felt like we were all witnessing
the world coming to an end
as we watched twinned towers fall to the ground…
nobody knew what they were seeing,
nobody knew what was going to happen next…
I can still see in my mind’s eye
the scenes of devastation,
I can still hear the sounds of fear
that echoed from one of our planet’s
greatest and most courageous nations…
tears were shed, and they continue to be shed to this day…
lives were lost on an unimaginable scale,
and to this day people all around the world
still have nightmares about the tragic events
of September 11, 2001, and they always will.

Five years ago, I stood where the shadows
of the two towers of the World Trade Center
once fell, in New York City,
where two giant pools of water now ripple
in their footprints and are refilled continuously –
and though surrounded all around by people
who had also come to pay their respects,
remember, and read the memorialized names
of all the people who lost their lives
on that day of days that could never be forgotten,
it was as I stood there looking down at the pools,
it was as I stood there looking around at everyone,
and it was as I stood there looking up
to the Freedom Tower that now stands
like a beacon of hope for all the world to be guided by
that I found myself overwhelmed by remorse, by sadness,
and also by a powerful spirit that spoke
directly to my heart and soul.

The power of hope, the gift of freedom,
the opportunity of optimism,
the wonderland of dreams that is the United States of America
will never be brought to their knees –
no matter what their enemies try to do to them…
the people of the United States of America will continue
to live, to endure, and to fight for what they believe in,
and they will continue to stay standing true, strong,
defiant, hopeful, and confident that they are
and they always will be a shining light
of aspiration and inspiration for the entire world.

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My Poem ‘Snow-where to run’

I am not sure if it is just me,
but I’m sure that it used to be,
that more than often than not
it used to snow only at Christmas time?
I’m not sure if it is just my memory
playing tricks on me,
but I’m sure that it used to be the case
that every Christmas when I was a kid
was a white Christmas –
however, now it is as if
the seasons have shifted slightly
and the weather of December
has now moved to the months
of January and February.
As I look around the world,
and I see the photos taken
by people of where they live,
snow appears to have fallen
and countless cities around the world
are now covered in a thick blanket of white.

New York City at the moment
is a winter-wonderland;
Washington, D.C., will soon be waking up
to what fell from the sky the night before;
people who usually wake up every morning
and go out for a run around Central Park
are putting on their winter coats
and knitted hats and scarfs
and instead they are planning to go for a walk;
the Potomac River has a layer of ice over it
so thick that it may take days for it to completely thaw.

From Rossville to Nashville, Tennessee,
a world of white is all that you can see –
perfect conditions for anyone
who likes throwing snowballs,
or perhaps going down to the local store
on a pair of ski’s
all the way up 7th Avenue in New York City;
from Times Square to West 59th St.,
adults and children are walking down roads
frozen in time in every sense of the word –
cars and taxi-cabs still stand
in the same place they stood the day before.

Here in England,
we have been lucky up until now –
three years ago, at this exact time of the year,
I remember walking down lanes
in the countryside of my home
and thinking that the only thing
capable of getting from A to B
with any kind of speed
would have to be a snow-plow;
when snow falls here in the United Kingdom
the entire country almost comes to a stand-still –
the kids love it when it snows though,
because their schools close for the day
and they can run around the streets and have fun.

There are some cities
and some countries around the world
that have a temperature of -20 degrees Celsius,
and where a day without seeing a single snowflake
would be to someone who lived there
just as miraculous as walking
across the surface of the sun;
for most people when it snows
it gives them a reason to stay indoors
and turn the heating up,
catch up with family and friends,
and share their pictures and memories with the world,
and it gives them an opportunity
to look out there window
at the snow that they see
and remind themselves that
where they are is where they are meant to be
and no matter where they look
they have nowhere else to run.

My Poem ‘9/11’

The die was cast far and wide,
the pain was felt deeply and irrevocably
on that sunny Tuesday morning,
on the Eleventh of September, 2001;
terrorists to all mankind
came out of the shadows
from where they had been hiding
and made an attack
and left a lasting scar
on all of humanity,
that to this day still pains me
even now, 14 years on.

How could anyone do such a thing?
Why? Oh my god, why?
Who would think to do such a thing?
The innocent do not deserve to die!

I mourn the lost;
I am mindful of the loved ones
and the family members
who were left behind
and who still struggle
to live and to move on,
as if nothing happened;
I still believe that the entire world
is still understandably shell-shocked;
I have been to Ground Zero,
I have stood in the place
where the shadows of
the World Trade Center still remain,
and I can honestly say that being there
where so many people lost their lives
had a profound effect on me:
the new Freedom Tower
and the pools of remembrance
that are now in place of what was once there,
in memory of the indescribable tragedy
and the massacre that took place,
will always be to me
sacred and holy ground.

I have flashed back to that day
every year since 2001;
I have imagined myself where I was,
sitting in front of my TV,
watching the news reports
of the true American horror story unfold;
I have wished many times
that what happened on that day
could somehow have been prevented
by some miracle of heaven;
I have watched the echoes
and the repercussions of what happened
on that day spread and effect
everyone and every country around the world.

I am a man of many words,
but even I struggle to put into words
the sadness that I still feel
about all the people who died
in New York City,
at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.,
in Virginia, in Pennsylvania,
and everybody who has lost their life since;
I am a man who believes
that things happen for a reason,
but I cannot, nor could I ever,
nor could anyone for that matter,
give me an acceptable justification
that would make my confusion
about the murders that were carried out
on that day in any way lessen;
no deplorable and horrific act of terrorism
like that which played out
in front of everybody
on the 11th of September, 2001,
to me could ever make sense;
I will never forget;
I will never allow the fallen to be forgotten;
I will always hold on to the memory
of my unforgettable brothers and sisters,
as I hold up my hand
and feel my heart beating in my chest;
I will always remember
the day that will always be known as 9/11.

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My Poem ‘The Wonder City’

I don’t know if anyone
could ever say enough or all
about New York City,
“The Wonder City”,
in every respect –
to me, it is a perfect place:
a place of inspiration,
beauty, and infinite opportunity;
a place for anybody and everybody;
a place that I have not seen for a long time,
but a place I still dream about and think about,
which is constantly calling to me.

I knew New York City was important to me
the moment that I saw it,
I knew I loved New York City
from the moment I saw the skyscrapers of its skyline
through the window of the taxi;
I knew I would not be the same person
after having lived, breathed,
and become a part of New York City;
I knew I did not want to leave,
and I wanted to return as possible,
when a tear fell down my cheeks
at the thought of all the incredible memories I made
in the place that no matter what time of the day it was
was always brightly lit.

The Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building,
the Rockefeller Center, Central Park,
the New York Subway, Fifth Avenue, Sixth Avenue –
everything I saw, everybody I met,
was beyond my imagining, and instantly I knew
that New York City was the one place on Earth
where I would feel at home living;
it is hard to describe and explain
why New York City means so much to me –
every second I was there I never took for granted,
every step I walked had deep and intense meaning,
every time I felt my heart beat hard at what I saw
made me feel so happy,
every day felt like a year;
and after walking up, I loved doing my ritual of
getting a take out coffee from Starbucks,
taking a walk around and through Central Park,
returning to my hotel room with a breakfast bagel,
and then leaving my hotel again
and going off on a new adventure
in my favourite city.

At night, when I was in my hotel room,
near Central Park, and I sat at my desk near my bed,
I dreamed, I wrote, I remembered,
I ingrained every moment of the previous day
into my DNA forever;
while walking the New York City streets in the moonlight,
I knew that I was where I was always supposed to be;
while sitting in the shadow of a statue of Christopher Columbus,
on a bench at Columbus Circle, in New York City,
I knew and I felt an incredible and energizing feeling
that felt like I was in my own version of heaven,
and a perfect paradise for anyone artistic,
creative, especially a writer.
Every minute that I was in New York City,
I knew and I understood why the best city on Earth
was also the worlds most spectacular city,
and why it was known as “The Wonder City”.

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My Poem ‘Unforgettable Sixth Avenue’

They don’t understand;
how could they?
Everything that happened,
everything that I wrote,
happened to me,
and I wrote it in my words
and from my perspective;
how could anyone else understand
what it was like to go through what I went through,
if they were not there at the time,
if they did not feel how I felt in the moment;
people tell that they like what I write,
but I wonder what they actually think,
what they imagine when they read something of mine,
and I wonder if anyone will ever be able
to truly be of the same mind as me.

I remember walking the streets of New York City,
like it was yesterday –
in my mind, and in my heart, I am still there,
and I want to be there:
I can still hear the sounds,
I can still taste the air,
I can still see the lights of Broadway at night,
I can still remember the moment I was found,
I can still go back there anytime of the day
in my imagination and daydream
even the smallest of details
that I still remember and love to this day,
as I will everyday.

I treasure my memories,
and I replay the best and the brightest of my life
as often as I can;
I miss people, places, times,
that will always be special to me,
more than anyone could imagine;
I relive my youth,
because those years I never want to lose;
I listen to the songs that I remember hearing
on the radio as a child, and I understand them
and what they were trying to say to me then,
now more than I ever knew.

My heart has been open wide since the day I was born;
every day of my life,
something unforgettable has happened to me,
and I remember so much
I wonder if there is anyone else
who loves being alive
and remembering their experiences as much as I do;
even now, I can easily flashback
to the most perfect day of my life,
to the night when I wrote my first poem,
or to the moment when I remember
standing on the street corner
on the “Avenue of the Americas”,
on a beautiful September afternoon,
in Manhattan, in New York City,
and being in awe of the entire world
and the gifts of life
that I can still see happening right this second,
on Sixth Avenue.

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My Poem ‘Cosmic Odyssey’

As I have lived, and experienced,
I have learned that you should never for a second
take a journey for granted;
as I have seen the world, as I have met people,
as I have sat in extraordinary, amazing,
wonderful, and inspiring places,
looking around, and taking in the world,
and all the details of where I am,
I have always believed that my being there,
that my being here right now,
is no accident, and why I am here means something,
or will mean something to me,
and the life that I am living, and a part of, on this planet.
I remember sitting in Central Park, on my favourite bench,
in the shadow of a statue immortalizing my favourite writer
William Shakespeare, and feeling free to breath
and capture this perfect moment in time,
and believing with all my heart and soul
that this was the place that I was supposed to be,
because this was the place that I belonged,
and if I could stay and never leave New York City,
I would all the days of my life be a happy man.

People go to different countries, see different things,
can travel to somewhere easily, and cheaply, these days,
and the cheapest expense that they will have to make
would have been the ticket and the price of an airfare;
people travel for work; people travel for pleasure;
people travel for the weather;
people travel because they are on a search;
people travel to see distant family,
and to show how much they care.

We are all on an odyssey;
we are all people of purpose;
we are all going somewhere defining;
we are all integral to someone else’s journey;
we are all people who live under a finite,
unbreakable, transcendent, curse;
we are all oracles, even though most of the time
we may not think that we are at all enlightening.

Some people are meant to make some journeys;
some people cannot be who they want to be,
but they will become the person
that they were always meant to be –
for better, or for worse –
because that is their destiny;
some people survive ordeals and wars;
however, in time, they will know and they will realize
the ground in which their roots are secure in and deep-rooted
is what makes them great, true, and as strong
as the tallest and the oldest of trees;
some people come to the realization early on in their life
that they are meant for something,
and are about, and a part of something,
older, greater, and more important than words could ever describe.
There are some people that have no idea
that they are a participant, that they belong,
that they are important, and along with everyone on Earth
they are on their own, as well as immutable in the infinite,
universal, cosmic odyssey.