My Poem “The Forbidden”

The draw of the forbidden…
the urge to explore
the places where very few
people have been before…
the instinct to reveal the truth
of that which is hidden,
the call of the wild
that has compelled many people
to seek out, to feel,
and to capture the energy
and the spirit that some things
naturally emanate –
symbolized in many stories
as being an apple, a chalice, a ring,
a fountain, a plant, a monolith,
a message left for others to find
so that they may experience
profound revelations that will
fundamentally change the way
that they see the world,
as well as change how they see themselves,
are as prevalent in the tales
that humanity has been telling itself
since the beginning of language
and the start of our path of discovering
who we are and what we are
in the grand scheme of universal understanding.

It is the quest of the forbidden that gives
a journey into the unknown its potency…
it is the question of what lies beyond
all the maps that have been drawn
that has attracted all the explorers
that have ever been born…
it is the danger of a forbidden vortex
that storm-chasers lust to race towards
that awakens within them
the same deep longing to push the envelope
of what is possible that precludes
so many people from being able
to silence the voice inside them
that tells them loud and clear
to never decline an opportunity
to take a bite out of
the fruit of the forbidden,
to experience what it takes like,
and to see where it takes you.

My Poem “Quotes”

“I have always loved reading quotes,
I have always loved sharing quotes,
I have always loved the way that
something that someone once said
is captured, written down,
and recorded for posterity,
because what someone in particular
said at a particular time
captured the attention and the imagination
of someone, got inside them,
and changed them profoundly –
sometimes to the degree that the words
that someone once uttered,
perhaps just in passing,
struck something deep inside
and grew to become their life-long motto
and the words that they daily live by.

The right quote, at the right time,
can be a powerful thing…
the right words, said by the right person,
when someone is sorely in need of wisdom
can be like rocket-fuel for the mind…
the right insight from the first-hand
experience of another person can be like
a parachute for someone – allowing them
to gently glide back down to Earth
from a place high above the ground –
when they feel like they are falling through life,
and it can create metaphysical wings
to make a person believe that they are soaring…
the right collection of interconnected letters
and words can reveal so much about
what is going on within a person’s mind
that they sometimes find that they have to hide
from everybody observing them on the outside.

Quotes are amazing to me,
because they are like gold nuggets of wisdom
and inspiration that people sometimes find
when they are sifting through
the fast-moving stream of life…
magical rainbows of colour and depth
that show themselves after a rain-storm
of uncertainty and unpredictability
that are brought to light when the right
conditions present themselves
and beauty arises and when truth
and nature come into alignment.

The best quotes ever captured
are poetic in so many ways –
and usually more so than the speaker
who was the source was ever conscious of
when they said them…
when I read something, when I hear something,
when I feel something in something
that someone else has said,
it is always impossible for me
to not be affected by it –
especially if what I have read, what I have heard,
what I have felt was something that
instantly and immediately had an impact on me…
to me some of the most inspiring words of wisdom
that still haunt the world
are the true ghosts and the real spirits
of people who may have long-since passed on,
but who will live on forever
through their poignant, timeless,
and immortal quotes.”

-Mark Hastings, 2019

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.

9-11-poem

My Poem ‘Journey’s Friend’

Journeys are more memorable when shared;
journeys are more meaningful
when they are unexpected;
journeys are more special
when you care about every moment
that you are somewhere;
journeys are more fantastic
when you do something epic and amazing
with a friend.

A journey does not have to take place
in a fantasy world for it to be thought of
as magical;
a journey to somewhere,
a journey to something,
can take an hour, or even a lifetime,
and can be just as profound
as watching a new star being born,
which irrevocably changes
the features of the face
of the night-sky forever;
a journey that gives you a gift
every minute and every step along the way
is one that is truly inspirational;
a journey that takes you far and wide
but also close and deep in the same breath
is a miracle in every sense of the word
beyond measure.

A companion to lean on;
a mate to understand you
and pull you through the twilight nights;
a partner you can always count on;
a sidekick to have adventures with;
an ally and a buddy beyond any doubt;
a Butch to your Sundance
you would want by your side if, when, where
you had to make the decision
to jump off a cliff.

A reader of your stories;
someone who you would walk into a burning building for;
a comrade who is one of the best things in your life
who sees the world in the same way that you see it;
a familiar face, who you wish
was always standing at your front door;
someone who you have an unbreakable bond with
that will still be there and strong, even after death;
the best person you know
who is always there for you,
because they are, as you are,
your journey’s friend.

My Poem ‘The Phoenix’

It was inevitable that it would happen,
it always happens;
it was always going to end and begin again this way;
it was inevitable that I would be burned alive
and come back to life,
because that is the pattern;
it will always be me dying to save myself,
and then rising again from the flames
with the same face, the same name,
the same heart, the same soul,
until it really is my Earth-bound last and final day.

Every time I come back from the dead
I lose nearly everything that I had,
but I do retain every detail of my past lives’ memories;
every time my world crumbles and turns to ash,
I return to the place I know,
the people I love, and the thing that is as a part of me
as I am of it- and that is my notebook and my poetry.

You always think that things will go on forever, until they end;
you always think that people will stay with you, until they leave;
you always think that you will always be someone’s hope,
inspiration, life, love, and best friend;
you always think that you know and have seen everything,
until you learn and you see something that you cannot believe.

My world imploded, and then exploded;
my identity was stripped from me and thrown away;
my life had to crash and then be rebooted;
my past, my present, my future, my horizons,
were all sent into flux, and blown away on the wind,
to be replaced by a blank page, an unknown,
and a feeling of loss and uncertainty.

Where once there was something rich, deep, bright, and hopeful,
there is now nothing to be found;
where once there was fate, destiny, reason,
the answer to everything in the entire universe,
there is now a hole in the shape of something wonderful,
special, and profound.

Night has become day,
day has become night;
everything felt simple,
even when it was vastly complicated in every way-
as long as I kept myself, in part, hidden in the dark
I would always end up turning my face away from the light.

Things ended because I was stupid;
I was ripped apart and burned,
because what happened was too far gone for anyone to fix;
I was everything that I have always hated,
but now I have died, I have been reincarnated,
I have been reconstituted, I have been tested,
I have been regenerated, I have risen again from my own flames,
and I am starting again and fighting my instincts
of continually being the human embodiment
of the mythological bird known as “The Phoenix”.