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

My Poem “Reader’s World”

There are books about everything…
There are books about anything…
There are books of fiction,
and there are books of fact…
There are books about possible futures,
there are books about the past…
There are books about heroes…
There are books about aliens…
There are books about journeys…
There are books about friends…
There are books about food…
There are books about cars…
There are books about paths in life
that you should choose…
There are books about the planets
of our solar system,
and there are many books
about the question of whether
there was, and still is, life on Mars…
There are books about celebrities…
There are books about authors…
There are books about cities…
There are books about nature…
There are books about animals,
mammals, insects, reptiles,
forests, jungles, flowers, plants,
predators, herbivores, carnivores,
extinct species, and there are thousands of books
about history, about archaeology,
and about all the different big and small
varieties that there were of dinosaur…
There are books about films…
There are books about T.V. shows…
There are books about dreams…
There are books about clothes…
There are entire libraries filled
with books from floor to ceiling
that are a treasure troves
of different worlds…
There are second-hand bookstores
that are entrances to many different
places where you can find yourself,
where you can find someone, something,
somewhere to identify with…
There are bookshops which,
when you walk into them,
instantly give you this feeling
of being welcomed into a sanctuary
of fellow book-lovers, book-enthusiasts,
and book-buyers, who understand
why books and stories are so important to everybody –
from young to old, of every sex,
of every walk of life, of every skin colour…
Humanity is a species of storytellers…
Our world is planet of infinite stories…
Some humans are natural born artists
and sharers of feelings and experiences…
Earth and humanity have constantly
been living in a symbiotic relationship
with one another since the dawn of time –
and since our ancestors first looked up
to the stars of the night sky
we have imagined, dreamed, and told stories about
what else and who else could be out there
looking down upon us from above
as we look up at them –
and I have great confidence and optimism
that our fascination with what we know
and with what we don’t know
will never stop inspiring all of us
to seek and out discovery
something that we do not yet know…
It is our collective gift of curiosity
that has always driven the human heart
and soul to want to create worlds
and tell stories for others to read
and to learn from –
which is not a surprise to me,
since we know that since our species
first learned how to paint
and how to record what was on their mind for others to see
we have been members of a reader’s world.

Happy World Book Day!

Happy World Book Day, everybody! From me and my books – at least the books I have written – I just want to say thank you… thank you to anyone who has ever picked up a book, bought a book, read a book, read a story, read a poem – especially if you have read one of mine! Iโ€™m a writer, and I love to write both poetry and stories, because I am a dreamer – and just like John Lennon once said: โ€œThey say Iโ€™m a dreamer, but Iโ€™m not the only oneโ€ – and, like John, I too believe that dreams, stories, poetry, art, music, can, and has, changed the world many times over… and one of the most enjoyable ways to go on a journey of imagination, and one of the most magical experiences you can ever partake in, you can find morning, noon, and night within a book. I believe that books are doorways to other worlds that we as a species need to read about, imagine, and dream about for our very survival on this planet. So, this World Book Day, and in the future, I would like everybody to occasionally put down their phones, their tablets, and pick up a book they have never read before, and discover a new world that is waiting to be found. Some of my favourite authors are Neil Gaiman (who I met in the 2014, and who I gave a copy of my first book โ€˜Poet of the Sphereโ€™ to), Stephen king, Douglas Adams, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Lewis Carroll, C.S Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Ernest Cline, Stan Lee, and many many others – but I know that there are still an infinite number of writers and authors out there that I still need to discover. Anyway, have fun reading! And have a very Happy World Book Day! ๐Ÿ˜Š ๐Ÿ“– ๐Ÿ“š

-Mark

My Poem “_”

The wind blows… the trees sway…
the water of the lake ripples…
the raindrops fall upon my face…
the clouds are grey…
it is not even midday,
and though the sky feels like
it is falling down on me
I feel completely at peace and content,
as I sit on a bench
looking out at this oasis of tranquility,
completely exposed to the elements of nature,
as the ink of my pen becomes smudged
as I write in my notebook –
however I do not mind for a second
what is happening around me and above me
which I have no control over,
because all that concerns me in this moment
is where my inspiration
and the thoughts of my imagination will take me…
some moments leave quickly
like a leaf on the wind,
while others will live forever
and they will never leave me.

Happy Internatinal Literacy Day!

My Poem ‘The Good Reader’

From acorn to tree…
to paper… to writer…
from life to inspiration…
from the pen of a poet…
to the eyes
and the imagination of a reader…
from out of a cloud of chaos…
something new… something personal…
something that like the person
writing it down and the place
from where the paper
it is being written on came from…
something incredible made believable…
something two-dimensional brought to life
so that it may walk the walk of words
and then take a leap from the page
into the mind of the one
who is reading what is being described…
a world imagined and captured
like a bolt of lightning in a bottle…
something that is a testament
to the power of the human mind…
it is amazing what a writer can do
and what pattern of magical words
they can weave…
it is amazing what a writer
can make a person believe…
epic journey’s have begun
and have been taken
by readers following every word
of every sentence of a writer’s story…
adventures of every height, depth,
and distance have been undertaken
by people who yearn to escape reality
and let their mind and their heart run-free…
over the centuries and after all the tales
that have been told there is still nothing
better to read than a story
that is based on true-events…
even to this day there is no better thing
to experience than to be told a story
and to hear a story while sitting around
a campfire at night with a group of friends…
ghost-stories, recollections,
tales of what, where, when, how, and who with…
some stories sometimes are so amazing
and miraculous that it is hard to know
what is imaginary and what is the real-thing…
a story, like a dream, is a world
that everybody steps into, lives,
and then takes something away from…
a story, a book, a world of characters
and people who we find within a tale
that must be told and read
can teach us something that we never knew
and it can also tell us something
about ourselves…
in countless bookstores, libraries,
on countless displays and book-shelves,
there is untold treasure to be found,
infinite sunsets and sunrises to be seen,
as if staring at the horizon from a pier…
sometimes it is just impossible
to put a book or a story down
once you have begun reading it –
and no matter where a book
or a story takes you
there is only one thing that you can do,
and only one thing that you want to do:
follow the words of a writer
and be a good reader.

img_20170302_171638_057

“Young Wordsmith”

“Young wordsmiths like Mark Hastings, pictured, from Heart of England School got their noses stuck into serious reading matter – all to boost their vocabulary and rake in vital cash”Aww! lol ๐Ÿ˜ I wonder whatever happened to this “young wordsmith”… “Mark Hastings”? ๐Ÿ˜‰

img_20170302_171638_057

My Poem ‘A Good Day To Write’

Today is beautiful…
the weather could not be better…
today has an energy and a feeling
that feels magical and wonderful…
the sky is blue
and there isn’t even one cloud above,
and with every breath that I take
I can sense that there is something special
and inspirational in the air…
I don’t know what it is,
but I have a felt like this before –
to me, to the writer in me,
it is like catnip and all I want is more…
like an intoxicating perfume…
like a dog with a squeaky-toy…
like a wolf howling at the moon…
like that memory of racing down a hill
on my go-kart when I was a boy…
heart-racing, inspiring,
invigorating, breath-taking, exciting –
like the thrill that some people get
from adrenaline-filled activities
like driving-fast, or cliff-diving?
From start to finish, from beginning to end:
an artists dream, a writer’s wish…
like seeing a sun rising or setting…
like the abundance of life and nature
of a forest that gets inside you…
like a day spent in a countryside of green-fields…
like a day spent reading a book under a tree…
like a day spent with your girl-friend,
your wife, your soul-mate,
just enjoying every moment of love
and being together…
today… today is one of those days:
a good day to walk… a good day to smile…
a good day to love… a good day to read…
a good day to open your eyes,
to open your ears, to open your heart…
and if you are a writer like me,
today is definitely a good day to write.

My Poem ‘You’re going to need a bigger bookcase’

It all starts when you are a kid:
a book here, a book there…
a book for Christmas?
a book for your birthday?
a book that you borrow
from your local library?
and then, before you know it
you are reading a book a week,
you are day-dreaming
and imagining stories of your own…
and then every afternoon
after you get home from school
you are writing short-stories
inspired by who and what you have read…
and every night you embark
on new adventures of every kind
from the comfort of your bed.

When you first fall in love with stories,
literature, tales, myths, books,
characters and journeys…
when you first fall down the rabbit-hole
with Alice all the way to Wonderland,
or when you first get carried away
by the tornado with Dorothy all the way to Oz,
or perhaps when you first follow
the adventures of Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring
and you feel with each and every-one of them
and you come to understand what it is like
to carry a heavy burden,
or perhaps when you travel
to a magical-land and you encounter
heroes, lords, witches, and a beautiful girl
who is also a fallen-star
which you find in the Neil Gaiman’s world of Stardust…
there is no telling what will happen to you,
what you will imagine, and where you will go next –
going on a roller-coaster of emotions while reading a book
that you just can’t put down is the best!

Some people simply do not have the time
or the inclination to pick up a book
and let it begin to build bridges
within their mind and imagination
to places that are simply inaccessible
unless you follow the words,
the sentences, the chapters,
the pages, and the characters of a book
from one cover to another…
some people read fast, some people read slow –
however, I have always thought
that the best kind of books
require time and patience to be given to them
so that they can truly reveal their secrets.

Some people are just not ‘book-people’,
and then again their are some people
who truly marvel at everything about books:
the way their printed,
the language that they are written in,
and even the beautiful artwork of the cover…
some people only own one book…
some people own physical books,
some people own ebooks –
I might be biased, but I don’t think anything
could ever compare to the feeling,
the pages, and even the smell
of a real and physical book.

I would advise anyone to start with one book
and to fall in love with it slowly –
because reading should always be
a pleasure and not a race;
however, in no time at all,
that one book may turn into one of many…
and then you may be enviably forced
to consider an apparent and glaring possibility:
you’re going to need a bigger bookcase.

My Poem ‘The Stranger Things’

The stranger things are,
the stranger things matter;
the stranger things are what shine
far away in the dark,
and they are as beautiful and mysterious
as the planets and the stars;
the stranger things become
the more that we think about them,
and the more that we become invested
in the strange things of the world
the more our heart beats faster.

Everybody is “normal” in their own way,
and yet equally as strange;
everybody is a character in someone-else’s story,
and a figure in someone-else’s painted landscape;
everybody can be “at home”
at the same time that they are “away”;
everybody can be beyond who they see
when they look at their own reflection in a mirror
and wear within their mind a vastly-different face.

To me, the stranger things are
the more interesting they are;
to me, the longer something stays unexplained
the more intrigued and the more drawn to it I am;
to me, the stranger things in life –
the mysterious, the one-of-a-kind, the extraordinary –
are constantly leaving their mark for me to find,
like a calling-card;
to me, the stranger things –
the unknown, the questions, the fables,
the stories of aliens, fairies, and monsters –
are so inspiring and amazing,
the more I hear, the more I see, the more I imagine.

What can seem strange to one person
can seem “every-day” to another;
what can seem fantastic to a child,
or to someone who is young-at-heart,
can seem to someone with a closed-mind
like something that could only be found
between the pages of a book-cover;
what I have learned in my life,
as a story-teller and a story-reader,
is that anything and every-thing
can be a fountain and a treasure-trove
of thoughts and energy –
and that life, if nothing else,
is never boring and can be always interesting;
living and breathing in a world deeply
brings with it oracles of gifts,
and they can be found in the strangest of places
filled with the strangest of things.