Mark The Poet – The Podcast: Episode #13

My Poem “The Hero’s Journey”

It occurs to me that since I
first began writing poetry
that I have been on my own version
of “The Hero’s Journey”…
perhaps I have been on
my “Hero’s Journey” since I was a child –
or, more likely, like most people
who find themselves called
to seek out adventure,
my childhood was just the preparation
that I needed to learn and to grow
before I knew what I had to do,
why I had to do it,
and where I needed to go.

My call to adventure was one of love –
and when I discovered the book
that I would come to consider
as the poetic version of a “holy text”
that was when I felt like I crossed
a threshold into a new world
where I could see patterns
and poetry all around me
and I felt truly transformed
and able to walk through doors
that I was unable to do so before.

When I first started upon
the path of the poet,
and wearing the guise
of the Poet of the Sphere,
along the way I found myself
drawn to people and inspired
by mentors and muses
who opened my eyes to things
that challenged the way
that I perceived the world around me
and I was tempted down dead ends
that would ultimately lead me to a downfall.

After my fall I found myself
within a dark and deep abyss
of my own making –
however, eventually, I was able
to pick myself up off the ground
and like the embodiment of
a mythological phoenix
rising from a fire
I felt as if I had been reborn,
and yet again I found myself
walking down a path of transformation
in order to find myself,
which was followed by
moments of revelation
that lead me to atone
for the actions that I had taken
that had lead me to emotional ruin.

Over time I was given the gift
of love from a goddess
and I was forgiven, and then I returned
from the underworld of the unknown
to the land of light where I would
rekindle the love that gives
meaning to everything that I do –
and so the cycle began again,
and again – however each time always
distinctly different in some way –
and after every new revolution
was completed I always found myself
sitting down, alone, writing,
contemplating and attempting
to interpret in verse the revelations
and the phases that combine
to make the tapestry of
my own version of
“The Hero’s Journey”.

Happy National Read A Book Day!

Happy National Read A Book Day! I happen to have written and had published 9 books in paperback and as an ebook – ranging from poetry to short-stories to short novels – and every time I have it has been a phenomenally fulfilling and a thrilling experience; however, nothing could ever compare to the experience of writing, reading, living, dreaming, and breathing every moment of every word of every poem or sentence that has made it into one of my books! Books of all kinds are like children – and they can change you and the way that you look at the world, as well as yourself… and some books can also change the way that you live your life, and the way that you read some books can change over time – depending on where and when you are in your life. Books are doorways through time and space… books are gateways to different worlds… books can talk to the person within each of us and compel us to do the impossible… books are incredible, books are vital, books are phenomenal, books are magical! I would implore everybody who is anybody to daily pick up a book and read something they have never read before – or perhaps something they have read a million times before – and especially today on National Read A Book Day, and it would be amazing if one of the books that people chose to pick up and read were one written by my own hand and with the power of my own limitless imagination! All my books are available online from Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and The Book Depository right now in paperback and as an ebook – so what better day than today to check one out and read the wonder of what can be found inside each and every one of them! ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ“–๐Ÿ“š

Happy World Poetry Day!

Happy World Poetry Day, everybody! I have been writing poetry for over 11 years now, I have been publishing poetry books with my amazing publisher Zeloo Media for 7 years now, and in all that time I have written hundreds and hundreds of poems about absolutely everything – from Love to Life, from Birth to Death, about people still alive and well, and about those who we have sadly lost – and for me it has been a rollercoaster ride of inspiration and discovery during which I have learned a lot about life, the world, people, and myself. Writing is one of the most amazing expressions that an artist can commit to, and over time – like a musician – what you write changes and evolves, as does the writer in the process. I have changed, what I write about has changed – but what has never changed, and never will, is my passion for poetry. I was introduced to poetry by reading William Shakespeare’s sonnets – and after I read them all I was inspired to try my hand at writing my own poetry, and the rest (as they say) is history! I am a writer, and I will always be a poet… and over the years I have been fortunate to meet other poets and writers who are amazing in their own right. I write almost every day, everywhere I can… and I know for sure that when you are blessed with any kind of a gift I believe that you have to use your gift and practice your art every day to keep the instrument of your creativity sharp – even if you only write within your mind, in your dreams, on your phone, or in a notebook. I love writing! I love being a writer! I love writing poetry! And for me every day is World Poetry Day! But today is officially World Poetry Day – so, to everybody reading this, I would just like to say Happy World Poetry Day! ๐Ÿ˜Šโœโœ’๐Ÿ–‹๐Ÿ–Š๐Ÿ“๐Ÿ—’๐Ÿ“–

-Mark

‘Blue Sky’ by Poet of The Sphere

Blue sky above me, blue sky below me,
blue sky all around and as far the eye can see;
I have risen, and without even having to try
I have reached beyond my grasp and I have touched the sky;
the universe within me, and the universe around me
have both come to a mutual impasse to reveal to me my destiny.

Shakespeare; Poetry; Friendship; โ€˜The Worldโ€™ itself:
Why did I take โ€˜The Complete Works of Shakespeareโ€™ from that shelf?
Why did I start writing poetry and teach myself to write in rhyme?
Was my meeting of all those who I have met simply a matter of time?
What is โ€˜The Worldโ€™? What is the meaning of our lives?
What should we do when our moment to shine arrives:
when we are called upon to make a difference and to make our mark,
to touch people with the same magnitude as the universeโ€™ first spark.

Since I wrote my very first stanza I have not been the same;
after that first poem I cannot convey how important poetry became.
To be inspired by life; to have patterns of words come to me as if by magic;
to write something meant for the entire world and not just for the esoteric.
To share what itโ€™s like to have blue sky above me, blue sky below me:
to fly above the clouds, and to find inspiration in everyone and every tree.

-Mark Hastings, Poet of the Sphere, 2010
‘Blue Sky’ by Poet of the Sphere

Blue sky-poem

My Poem ‘Burning Bright’

‘Poet of the Sphere’,
‘The Sound of Mark’,
‘The Eternal Boy’
I am my books, and my books are me;
just as Ray Bradbury is ‘Fahrenheit 451’,
‘The Martian Chronicles’, ‘The Illustrated Man’
just as those books will forever be
Ray Bradbury.

An author has a connection to their books,
to their stories,
that is even beyond the words that they have written;
a published writer is a part
of each and every one of their books –
deeper than the cover, the ink, the paper, the ideas;
a storyteller knows what it is
to have true unburdened and unbounded imagination;
a wordsmith embodies their words and their works,
and their power cannot be taken away from them,
not even by fire.

To me, there is no greater sin in this life
than to burn a book, to try and destroy a story,
to undo what was done and written;
to me, there is no greater crime
than ignorance of the truth;
to me, everyone of Earth with a story to tell
deserves to speak aloud and stand under a hot sun;
to me, and to a lot of writers,
the knowledge of life that each and every one
of us possesses is what keeps us Human,
and it is what makes us unique –
magic is real,
and language and stories are the proof.

J.M. Barrie is Peter Pan;
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is Sherlock Holmes;
Terry Prachett is every character
that lives on the ‘Disk World’;
William Shakespeare is every character
that he wrote and gave life to in his plays;
Stephen King is Roland Deschain
from his epic ‘Dark Tower’ series of books;
Neil Gaiman is ‘Shadow’ from ‘American Gods’;
Douglas Adams is Arthur Dent;
J.K. Rowling is Harry Potter;
J.R.R. Tolkien is Bilbo Baggins;
and I am every one of my poems,
that to me are like rhyming short-stories.

Every writer of every book,
is each and every one of the characters that they write;
every myth, tale, and story, is an inspiring light;
every author deserves to have their books
remembered and embodied until the end of time –
from the sunrise of every morning,
until the moon fades away again
at the end of another night;
every story can live forever and be retold,
if people take them into their minds
and into their hearts,
and allow them to never stop
burning bright.

In memory of Ray Bradbury;
and all authors, all books;
and all myths, tales,
characters, and stories.