My Poem “Cap It Off”

For centuries
all types of headwear
has been worn in order
to display and to demonstrate
a particular way of life,
or a belief system
that certain people subscribe to:
big hats, small hats, tall hats,
short hats – and certain hats,
over time, were worn to signify
and to advertise the social standing
that a person had in a society…
in the United Kingdom, for example,
the vast majority of the members
of the aristocracy wore black hats
that towered above them –
while those who lived their lives
and made a living through hard labour,
long hours, and for the minimum of wages
often were observed wearing flat-caps
of different woven threads of material
and designs of fabric,
and some could often be wearing hats
with hidden surprises just waiting
to be revealed from underneath their peaks.

Hats have also been worn
as somewhat of a fashion statement,
and for some people hats are
a vital staple of a person’s identity
and they personify who they are –
take a Stetson, for example:
because who would a cowboy be
without their cowboy hat?
And who would “The Great Detective”
Sherlock Holmes be if he never wore
his characteristic Deerstalker?

Hats, caps, headwear as a whole –
be it symbolic, religious,
logo embossed, or just plain –
have never been more popular
nor more worn by every facet
of human society,
in every country on Earth,
and I see no end in sight
for the practice of wearing a hat:
because for a great many people
hats are how people “put a cap on”
a particular look that they like
in order to preserve a tradition
that could just as easily be
relegated to being a thing of the past.

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My Poem “The Heart of A Family”

There are some things in this life
that cannot be predicted…
there are moments in our lives
that we never want to see repeated…
there are some things and some people
that we all sometimes take for granted…
there are truly terror-inducing,
fear-filled, horrifying and shocking
things that happen to fathers,
to brothers, to sisters, to mothers –
to members of a family –
that have the power of a lightning-bolt,
the gravity of a star, and the explosive
impact of a bomb being detonated
to bring people to their knees.

When terror and tragedy strike
time is always of the essence…
when there is the fear that
someone could lose their life
every action of every second is precious…
when someone’s heart stops beating
the split-second instincts
of a stranger could mean everything…
when a chaotic event takes place
the present and the future
of a person’s life can depend upon
so many disaparate pieces of a puzzle
coming together, to work together,
to give something to someone else:
to restart a person’s heart,
to breathe life back into the lungs of someone, in my opinion,
is nothing short of a miracle,
because giving the gift of life,
so that someone may carry on
living and breathing once again,
is truly incredible and phenomenal in every way.

So many things run through a person’s mind
when they hear that something
out of their control has happened
to someone that they love…
so many different scenarios
are considered and so many
things are thrown into the air
in order to find out who or what
was to blame for what happened,
and for what mostly could not have been foreseen;
however, ultimately, the truth about every one of us is that
no one is untouchable,
everybody is vulnerable –
and when the life of somebody
who is important to a group of people
is threatened in some way
it becomes greatly apparent
whom it is who stands, sustains,
and is the driving force
at the heart of a family.

Dedicated to my Dad
My Dad

My Poem “Between Sunrise and Sunset’

On Tuesday, September 11th, 2001,
the eyes of almost everyone on Earth
became fixed upon their television screens
which were showing the shocking
and horrific scenes that were being
played out in the land of the free,
the home of the brave –
and the population of the world,
especially the people of the
United States of America,
have not forgotten, nor will ever forget,
where they were and what they were
doing on the day that the two towers
of the World Trade Center,
in New York City, were attacked from above
and tragically fell to the ground
taking the lives of everybody within them.

Tuesday, September 11th, 2001,
is a day, a month, a year,
seared into my memory
and I will never forget the tears
that fell from my eyes
when I watched the last
moments of life of people whose
only crime was to wake up that morning
and wish to better their lives
and the lives of other people –
and from that day on,
and forevermore, we – the world –
have not been the same,
and every day we mourn.

Whenever we witness something devastating –
like the terrorists attacks of
Tuesday, September 11th, 2001 –
everybody always wishes
that they could turn back the clock
and change history in some way
so that all the people who were lost
could be brought back to life –
but, unfortunately, the terrorist
attacks that happened on
the East Coast of the United States
of America, on September 11th, 2001,
will forever leave a scar
of memory on all of us
who are living witnesses
to a world at war with itself;
however, I still remain hopeful
that one day the entire world
will wake up to the fact
that the true meaning of life is to love
and everybody deserves the gift
to be able to live in a world without fear
in which everybody is able
to do the best that they can,
to live freely, to live happily,
and to make the most
every moment of every day
between the first light of sunrise
and the last light of sunset.

Never forget.

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! πŸ˜ŠπŸ“–πŸ“š

My Poem “The Driving Force”

I have been inspired
by so many things
since I was a child:
television shows, films,
books, art, music, places, people –
and everything that I have
had a profound encounter with
has ultimately changed me
in some way, shape, or form;
however, like the after-effects
of a power-outage, as a result
of a bolt of lightning
from an electrical storm,
the realization and the rebooting
of my thoughts, feelings, and emotions
sometimes takes time to adapt
to such a new infusion of inspiration.

Every day I find new things to cherish
about some of the things that I know
like the back of my hand –
but that is the thing about life:
surprises can be found around every corner,
even in the places you visit
more often than most.

It can sometimes be hard to pin-point
where, when, and why something
in particular has the effect on you
that it always does –
but there is never any question
of how something so powerful
gets under your skin
and drives its presence deep within you,
because whether we want to admit it,
or not, each and every one of us
is inherently, biologically,
thin-skinned and fragile,
and easily capable of being influenced.

We are all a product and the end result
of so many influences:
our environment, our family, our friends,
our colleagues, our victories, our loses,
what we intake into our body,
what we subconsciously choose
to expose ourselves to via our senses –
and, ultimately, sometimes at the exact
same time that we are being
driven to distraction,
we can also be the driving force
propelling the thoughts, the feelings,
and the direction of other people
who we too are fueling with our gift
of attention and inspiration.

My Poem “The Warstone Angel”

In all of Warstone cemetery,
in Birmingham,
above only one of the many places of rest,
there stands the stone statue
of a single Angel, with one broken wing,
blessing the grave of lost
and reminding the living
who pass them by how important
the gift of life is –
and though the figure depicted
is motionless, because after all
they are a statue,
there is something about the look
upon their face that makes
you think, imagine, and possibly believe
that they could easily come to life
and float down to the ground
from their high plinth
and walk the paths that run
through the cemetery
so that they may bless
the graves of everybody
individually and know them by name
even though some of the grave stones
have long since had the identity
of those that they were erected
to remember eroded and erased…
it is comforting to think
that while we are alive,
and even after our time on this Earth
has come to an end,
that there are celestial beings
who do God’s work and who protect
those who need protecting,
who guide those in need of being guided
and who watch over the living,
as well as the dead,
so that they can find their way
to a place of peace –
and that is why I treasure
the gift of life, and that is why I believe
death is not the end for us when we die:
because some things, some places,
some revelations that people have,
even in a small way,
reveal that there is more to existence
than what we can see with our eyes –
but only those who have already
crossed over the threshold
between the world of the living
and the place of light and dark beyond
know what happens
and how much everybody
who is still Earthbound
are touched every day
by the hands of Angels
as they are silently blessed.

My Poem “The Virtual/Reality”

There used to be a clear
and present distinction
between the world of the real
and the reality of the virtual…
People used to be able to see
the truth of something
through the veil of the illusionary –
however, then illusionists became
better at presenting their craft
and more knowledgeable
about what motivated
the thoughts of a person’s mind
and what increased the beats
of a person’s heart,
and then it began to become
increasingly more harder
to see through the mirror
of reality that surrounds
everybody which constantly
reflects both the good and the bad
that a person observes about themselves
when they look at their own reflection.

The more that technology has advanced
the more elaborate illusions –
in all their many forms –
have become, and with every passing day
reality and fantasy have become
increasingly more indistinguishable
from one another…
in this day and age,
someone can put on a virtual reality headset,
they can open up an internet web browser,
and they can sign up to becoming
a participant and a player in a game –
however, without fully reading
the full extent of the terms
and the conditions by which
they may be bound to.

When a baby is born into this life
they are always unprepared
for what world awaits them…
when every child is growing up
they are always surrounded
by an abundance of messages,
pressures, and beacons of distraction
that are constantly interacting with,
and trying to influence,
their instincts, their choices,
and the actions that they will commit to…
when someone is transitioning
from being a beginner into becoming
a novice who knows the ropes
and all the rules of the world
and the society that they are tethered to
and which need to be adhered to,
while they are trying to figure out
who they want to be and what they want to do,
everybody is pulled in multiple directions,
by multiple people –
and it can take a long time before
someone realizes that the one person
who will feel the aftermath and the burden
of everything that they do is them,
and the greatest gift that someone
can possess is the ability
to be able to forgive themselves
and accept that they are a well-meaning,
maelstrom of both reason
and contradiction, human being, an avatar,
who, like everybody else,
does not have an accurate roadmap
telling them what to do
and when to do it.

At the heart of the complex is the simple,
and at the heart of the simple
is the complex…
in this day and age, everybody lives,
breathes, thinks, dreams, and feels
within a world tailored to their own
wants, needs, likes, and dislikes –
whether they know it or not –
that is as superficial
but as hard to break free of as
a machine-built matrix…
when it comes to choosing
which path to take, which reality is best,
everybody has to weigh up
with their heart, within their mind,
within their soul, what matters
the most to them: freedom? Or confinement?
knowledge? Or ignorance?
Fakery? Or the power of discovering
your true identity,
and seeing the code of interconnectivity
and learning to find the balance
needed to survive within,
and transition seamlessly
between, the ever changing
worlds of the virtual and the real.