The Mark Hastings Experience – Season 3, Episode #1: “For the love of it”

In the first episode of “Season 3” of The Mark Hastings Experience podcast Mark talks about writing, his writing process, and he recites his new poem “For the love of it”. Check out Mark’s poem “For the love of it” @ http://MarkThePoet.Me

My Poem “For the love of it”

The best reason to do anything
is always for the love of doing something:
giving someone a smile,
asking someone how they are,
giving someone the gift of your time,
showing your appreciation to someone
for sharing a small insight into
who and what makes them just as
worthy of taking an interest in
as the nearest or the furthest of stars.

Not everybody is lucky to be able
to have a career doing what
enlivens their thoughts and makes their
heart throng like the thunder
of a lightning storm...
not everybody can do what
everybody else can do as perfectly,
proficiently, nor perhaps as poetically -
but I guarantee that when someone
is home alone, without any eyes upon them,
everybody who has ever been as
spellbound by something
as extraordinary as a magic trick
has been able to do and to mimic another person's
talent and as a result has found their
own individual hidden gift or secret accent.

Everybody has that song
that they secretly do a little dance to
when no one else is around...
everybody has that characteristic
about someone else that they
secretly admire and wish
they could embody and emulate
simply by feeling the vibration
of someone's quintessential sound...
everybody has that person,
or a small group of people,
who they believe they can
see through to the soul of
and who can return the favour
because a bond of experience
that was once forged and was destined
to always be eternally rich...
everybody has an indefinable
electric eccentricity of wonder
about them that they harbour within
that occasionally sees the light of day
when and where they have the opportunity
to be and to do whatever they want,
for no reason other than
simply for the love of it.



My Poem “Life”

Life is full of many surprises...
life is full of many sunsets and sunrises...
life is full of many contests and prizes...
life is full of many stories of those
whom have never stopped wanting
to reach for something farther
and climbing beyond
the highest of the heights...
life is full of people looking up
to somewhere where the lights
of the heavens shine upon
and guide those who have
always known that they had
a fate to fulfil unconstrained
by any invisible lines...
life is full of those who have always felt
as if they had a goal before them to be achieved,
to be found on the other side of a ride
of ups and downs, of body and mind,
of drive, of faith and belief of every kind,
at the end of which lies a place and a time
where and when a creation
can finally meet their maker
and bring home with them
the dawn of a new world
unlike the one that they
may have known
their entire life.

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 “Nice”

It's nice when the sun is shining...
it's nice when people are able
to be free, instead of hiding...
it's nice when nature calls
and people answer...
it's nice when the air
is filled with golden light,
when children can be seen
and heard enjoying the gift
of their innocence and you can feel
the palpable joy in every wave
of every echo of laughter.

It's nice to be able to just sit and listen...
it's nice to be able to just close your eyes
and experience your thoughts
drift away like a gentle breeze...
it's nice to be able to just do "nothing"
while at the same time doing
something profoundly rejuvenating...
it's nice to be able to have no expectations
upon you so that you can focus
on the constant stream of energy
from your soul within that so often
we feel as if we have to filter the flow of,
because sometimes dreams feel like memories -
however, dreams are even more powerful
and integral than we might think,
because even though we often do not
always remember what we experience
while we are sleeping, the amount
of processing of our daily thoughts
that we do and the importance that
that process not be disrupted
in any way cannot be estimated.

It's nice, sometimes, to not know
the conclusion of something...
it's nice, sometimes, to invest your time
in something that is only
temporary and fleeting...
it's nice, sometimes, to be a rebel
and to follow your instincts -
and sometimes it is nice
to be cautious and to listen
to the valuable wisdom
of somebody's advice...
sometimes it is good to free yourself
of any preconceptions, any pessimism,
any pressure that you may
have been putting on yourself -
and sometimes the simplest act
of making a connection by not even trying
to do so is the best and the most nice.

My Poem “Park People”

Parks are wonderful places...
Parks are beautiful oases...
Parks are where people run
and walk through...
Parks are can be islands of every size
where people sit, exercise, get a sun tan,
have a party, or have a picnic,
and where people who know each
can all gather together to enjoy
their own company as well as
consume thirst quenching beverages
and some of their favourite food.

Parks are also the places where
those who are homeless go to every
night to lay down upon the grass and sleep...
Parks are where people young and old
can rejuvenate themselves and be reminded
of memories and experiences
that they will always want to keep...
Parks can have amusements,
rides, sights and sounds that
cannot be found anywhere else on Earth...
Parks can be where things are lost
as well as where things can be found -
and Parks can also be at both the beginning
as well as at the end of a particular search.

Parks often have benches...
Parks often have plants and animals
that people can make a connection with
with all five of their senses...
Parks are where some people
want to be laid to rest after they die...
Parks all have paths that allow
the people who visit them to navigate
through to them from every side...
Parks are for everything and for everybody
and the importance of their preservation
to all life on Earth is unestimable -
but there are those who may not be able
to enjoy nature as much as they would hope,
and then their are those who
take every opportunity, whenever they can,
to embrace every moment that they
get to embody what it means
and to be someone who might
affectionately describe themselves,
or might perhaps be described as being,
one of the many "Park People".

My Poem “The Way of the Artist”

Everything changes...
everything evolves...
everybody doing every thing
has their own process...
new things have naturally arisen
over time to replace other things
and other ways of doing things;
however, some things never change -
and one of the things that will never change
is the way that artists are inspired,
the way that artists seek out
new sources of stimulation,
the way that artists wake up
every morning and want to create art,
the way that artists cannot settle down
to sleep without first either thinking
about or doing something about
the nugget of an idea within them.

There is something inherently human
about art and about attempting to capture
the sometimes incomparable,
about the need to express our inner most
thoughts, feelings, emotions, dreams,
hopes, fears, and our natural insecurities...
there is something primal about
the experience of having this overriding
instinct that we feel compelled to act upon...
there is something almost genetic
about how people young and old
seem to have the same unconscious ability
to be able to go to the same places
that other people are unable to,
because there exists this continuity
of connection that crosses generations
like some kind of universal melody.

All my life I have created art,
I have witnessed art being created,
and I have come to recognize
the look in a fellow artist's eyes
when they are deep within that moment
when the inspiration and the art
within them are in full-flow,
as if it were a sixth sense of mine
that I have slowly but surely
developed over time...
all my life I have looked at
the natural beauty of the world
rise like waves upon an ocean
and literally change the geography
of a well known place or monument...
all my life I have witnessed
something come from something -
and I have come to believe
that "nothing" is in fact a type of
"something" that we have not yet
given a name to, because certain things
are like energy and no matter what
they will always exist.

Looking for an answer to a question
that may have been asked for centuries
and expecting to find what has not occurred
to anyone else before, at least to me,
is not in any way a sign of madness -
in fact, I believe the art of being inquisitive
and never asking the question
"why create art in the first place?"
and just feeling this need to create
some kind of art is the most powerful gift
and the most fulfilling way of every artist.

My Poem “Over too soon”





One of the most beautiful
and truly breathtaking sights
that we mere mortals get to see
is the last glimpse of daylight
when the sun slowly disappears
below the horizon at sunset,
when day becomes night;
and to me, for some reason, a sunset
sometimes has even more of an impact
upon me than witnessing a sunrise -
because, for so many reasons,
seeing the sun set reminds us all
of how precious time is, how short life is,
and how one day we will all see a last day
when we will all close our eyes for the last time
and day will forever become an eternal night.

Sunsets happen too early for some people -
however, everybody has at least once in their life
enjoyed the experience of sitting,
or standing, like a statue or a monument,
as the last rays of the sole star
at the centre of our solar system
touches us and allows our shadow self
to be caste upon the ground behind us...
there is no more astounding moment
like sitting upon the infinite grains of sand
of a beach as the bright sunlight retreats
to its source, as the temperature drops,
as the air grows cold, and as the song
of the sun is replaced by the crashing chorus
of the waves of the sea, as the ocean tide
recreates the shoreline, as above the clouds
the stars of the cosmos sprinkle down
a healthy dose of stardust to inspire
the dreams of countless.

Sunrises remind us all of new life...
sunsets remind us all of how far
we have all come and what we have done -
and, in my experience, there is no more perfect time
to sit and reflect upon life and our place in nature
than on a summer's evening in June...
sunrises remind us all of how
amazing it is to be alive...
sunsets remind us all that sometimes
when something is over it is over
though an echo of what was 
might in some form remain -
however, I am sure that we can all agree
that the journey of some things
and the journey of some people
are sometimes over way too soon.

My Poem “The Best That They Can Be”

How do you restart an engine?
How do you reawaken the spark within?
How do you remember who you are,
who you were, and how you used to do
what you used to do after so long of
living in a state of limbo?
How do you find your place once again
somewhere, doing something, around people
who you haven't seen for a long time?
In my experience the only way forwards
is perseverance, patience,
repetition, and adaptation -
until the moment arrives when you regain
a sense of momentum that gives you
some much needed drive.

When we have time on our hands
and we are able to do what we want,
with who we want, most people
tend to not want to dwell upon
anything associated with work;
however, there are those people
who like to take their profession
home with them and they even enjoy
"talking shop" with anybody
who will listen to them...
when we find ourselves with
too much time on our hands
sometimes people can start to think about,
and even dream about, being at work -
even those people who claim
that if they didn't have to work they wouldn't.

Some people can't wait to retire
from the moment that they start
their first day earning an income...
some people can't wait to go home
from the moment that they "clock in"
at their place of employment...
some people wish that they
could turn their passion project
or their hobby into something
that can sustain them both creatively
as well as financially...
some people get up every day
and go to work ready to face anything
that comes their way and they are willing
to do whatever they have to do
in order to be the best that they can be.

My Poem “Embraced”

Everybody wants to live in hope
when they are awake...
everybody wants to dream
of infinite possibilities when they asleep...
everybody sees things that for some reason
they instantly take to their heart and love...
everybody - whether they remember or not -
experiences internal moments of freedom
during which they may have imagined
that they had the gift to be able to fly,
or perhaps talk to someone living or dead -
someone who they may know, or someone
who they may have always wanted to meet.

Everybody is sometimes their own worst critic...
everybody, most of the time,
wants themselves to be a winner...
everybody has something that they
are meant to receive and to give...
everyday everybody comes up with multiple ideas,
but to be able self-actualize an idea
and see it jump from someone's mind onto a page,
and then perhaps become tangible
and seemingly "more real",
sometimes creators need to risk a part of themselves
if they truly want to see their dreams delivered.

Everybody will succeed, and everybody will fail...
everybody will find themselves throughout
their life in need of something or someone,
and everybody will sometimes find themselves
inextricably walking in circles and figuratively
chasing their own tails...
everybody has to eat... everybody has to drink...
everybody has to breathe... everybody has to sleep...
everybody sometimes has to be the chaser
and everybody sometimes has to be the chased...
everybody sometimes has to be the embracer
and sometimes everybody needs to be the embraced.