My Poem “We’re All In This Together”

The sound of pots and pans
being banged together
ring out at 7 o’clock every evening
from roof tops, from open windows,
from the doorsteps of houses
and apartment blocks
all across New York City,
and in many parts of
the United States of America –
and it is an amazing, humbling,
and emotional thing to behold.

The sound of clapping hands
echoes from street to street
all over the United Kingdom
every Thursday at 8 o’clock at night,
as people of all ages recognise
the hard work and the sacrifice
being undertaken by healthcare
professionals and “key-workers” –
from nurses to doctors,
from grocery store workers to bank clerks –
who turn up every day to their respective
places of work and who do their best
for those in the most need
at this time of great anguish –
and the sound that is produced
always generates a wave of emotion
that is, in my opinion, an example
of the best of humanity.

Every day the world loses people
who are irreplaceable…
every day we all mourn the loss
of our fallen brothers and sisters…
every day humanity loses
a member of its family…
every day we all have to keep
our distance from our loved ones
and from those people who
we may not know but who
we would not want to suffer
at the hands of the virus
that we all want to see the end of
as swiftly as possible so that
we can attempt to reevaluate
our lives and the reality
in which we find ourselves
that often feels as if
it has been shattered
like the shards of a broken mirror.

Life is not as it was,
and nothing will ever be the same again…
each and every death of everybody
who has lost their lives
is a scar upon the heart of us all,
and I hope that when this virus
has been finally subdued
from doing any more harm
each of us who are blessed
to still be alive and have reached
the other side of this massacre
will be able to find peace
and a deeper connection
between ourselves and all of humanity –
and especially when people are finally
able to overcome their fear
of keeping their distance
and physically interacting
with one another.

What is essential to life
is sometimes invisible to the eye…
what makes life worth fighting for
and worth living for is present
in the heart of every family member
who loves one another…
one of the most important things
in life is to be kind
and whenever we all find ourselves
presented with an opportunity
to show the depths of our humanity
there is no greater way than to
show a sign of hope –
in the form of a painted rainbow
or within the resonance of a sound
for all the world to see and to hear –
that is a clear and present example
of how everybody in this world
is bound to one another,
and no matter what we have to go through
we can get through anything and everything
just as long as we remember that
when it comes to staying alive
we are all in this together.

My Poem “Grounded”

One of the things that living
through times of uncertainty
teaches someone is to appreciate
all the things about a person’s life
that are the most essential…
one of the things that people
realize that they often take for granted,
especially when living through times of loss,
is the gift of knowing that
the friends and family members
are still managing to adapt
and to survive the best that they can.

One of the things that everybody
understands more acutely than they would
under normal circumstances
is why it is so important to tell people
how you feel about them, if you can,
when you can, how you can –
because sometimes things in life
do not always go to plan.

One of the things that people
have to deal with,
especially while learning how to deal with
the after-effects of a cataclysmic event,
is an unbelievable amount of stress
as well the sometimes difficult
endeavour of feeling under the weather,
trying to figure out how to live
when some connections
and when some avenues of stability
and serenity have been temporarily severed.

One of the things that the people
have to learn when they are travelling
down an unknown path
is the ability to course-correct,
to change how they think,
to change what they do,
and to remember what has always
kept them on the straight and narrow,
what their life revolves around,
and what it is in their life
that has always kept them grounded.

My Poem “Say No To Dystopia”

When I woke up this morning,
in my mind I felt like I had travelled
back in time to the year 1989 –
over thirty years in the past –
to a time in my life
when I began to become absolutely fascinated
by films and TV shows that depicted
what life would look like thirty years,
a hundred years, a thousand years in the future;
and this morning, while watching
a film called ‘Millennium’ –
a movie that centred around
the prospect and the concept
of time travellers travelling
back and forth in time
to save people before they died
and transporting them into the future –
I realized that almost thirty years before,
as a child, I was most likely watching
the same film that I was watching now on DVD
back then on VHS tape,
and while just as completely
enthralled now as I was by
what I saw depicted back then
I realise now that at the time
I did not fully understand what
the film trying to say.

Every film, every TV show, every book
whose story takes place
in a future setting and at a future time
always attempts to predict an accurate
depiction of how the world of tomorrow
will look, sound, feel,
and what the life of our descendants
will be like based upon an extrapolation
of the direction that some things
seem to be logically taking –
such as technology, fashion,
and the way that people treat one another –
and sometimes the world to come
is predicted to be one of hope, optimism,
universal understanding
and peaceful coexistence,
while some cautionary tales
predict that we may all be slowly
but surely spiralling into a world
that can only be described as being
dystopian
in which the children of tomorrow
have to live a hard and painful life
because of the short term actions
and mistakes of our present
which to them would be perceived
as their past.

Science Fiction writers and futurists
have been trying to warn people
what the future might be like,
and what the future world might
look like, if we – humanity –
do not stop and take a good, long,
and deep look at ourselves
while asking ourselves
where we are going wrong
and what we can do to build a better
world to leave for future generations
to be thankful for.

At this moment in time,
it sometimes feels like the world
is teetering on the edge of a precipice
from which there will be no coming back from:
a potential future that has been prophesied about
in science fiction tales for almost
a hundred years –
from H.G. Wells’ ‘The Time Machine’
to films like ‘Waterworld’ ‘Mad Max’,
‘The Matrix’, ‘Blade runner’,
and ‘The Terminator’ movies,
which all depict possible versions of our world
and a dark vision of the future
in which Earth’s natural resources
are in short supply or have been completely depleted entirely
and humanity is mostly living a day to day existence of not always knowing
how they are going to survive
and if it is possible for them to leave
a legacy going forwards that generations
to come will be proud of.

Humanity always has a choice
about which direction they want to go
in terms of technological interdependency,
the destruction of the natural world,
and the way they we take
what we have for granted –
and time will definitely tell
whether the predictions of those who either predict a positive version of the future
or those who predict a negative version of the future will ultimately be judged to be right;
however, what is as clear as a crystal ball
is that whatever happens in the future
to humanity and to the world around us,
every one of us are all the architects
of what has yet to come
and by influencing the people
in a position of power now
to want to give the gift of optimism
for the children of the future –
some who might not even be born yet –
we can be a part of making a potential
utopia by promising to keep
the predictions already made
of a potential world-wide armageddon
or an inevitable dystopia
tales of science fiction
that will never become a reality.

My Poem “Under the influence”

Everybody is always
under the influence of something
or someone – however, sometimes
the strings of influence are so
faint that they almost look
invisible to the eye
even though, within our minds,
our thoughts and our feelings
are unquestionably being coaxed
into changing how we see the world,
how we think about the world,
how we interpret the world,
how we interact with the world –
and the reason why we are who we are
and why the world is the way that is it
can all be traced back to the power
that certain things, certain people,
certain circumstances, certain environments,
perhaps to certain opportunities when, where,
and how a small group of individuals
were inspired and influenced
to think something that
no one had ever thought before,
to believe something that
no one had ever believed before,
and to do something that
no one had ever done before,
and fundamentally change
and effect everything;
and the reason that we know
everybody who has ever lived
has been influenced by something,

at some time or another,
is because previous generations
always like to leave testaments
and echoes of themselves
for future generations to follow,
analyze, and interpret,
but without the true intention
of the creator in front of them
to compare the constantly evolving
product and result thereof.

Sometimes influences can easily
be seen, felt, and experienced –
because they are intentional…
sometimes influences are accidental…
sometimes influences can be like
a positive push by someone who
thinks that you have within you
the potential for something
that needs to be realized…
sometimes some influences can be bad,
counter-productive, or potentially dangerous –
especially those influences
that make you feel confused, angry,
or sad immediately after you
have been influenced by them.

Every day everybody is bombarded
by influences of every kind –
from the sun shining in the sky
to the sight of someone’s beautiful smile
that always fills you with love
at the same time that it makes you want to cry,
from a song on the radio that
compels you to sing-a-long
to an advertisement on television
trying to sell you something –
and that along the lines of how things have been,
that is how things will always be,
who the human race is as a species
and that is who we will always be, in some way:
under the influence.

My Poem “Pathways”

In life there are many pathways
that we all have to travel down –
paths of space, paths of time,
paths of the mind that are made
by experience, by memory,
by feelings, by emotions –
that can be as solid as stone,
as tumultuous as the waves of an ocean,
as electrifying as the wires of a network,
as vital and as regenerative as the nerves
of central nervous system that
carries messages and signals
at lightning-fast speeds
throughout a human body
in order to maintain a normal
state of autonomy and self-sufficiency.

Every day pathways reveal themselves
to people who have been searching
for a route between darkness and light,
between unconsciousness and life,
between the foggy underworld of dreams
and the clarity of reality,
between adolescence and maturity,
and sometimes the steps that need to be
taken may seem alien, forced, and uncertain –
but, as is the case with most things,
the more progress that you make
the easier that it feels
to traverse the gulf between
one side of a road of choices to the other,
as long as you remember to always
look left and right along the way,
and vice versa.

Not all pathways are easy to walk down…
not all pathways are able to be found…
not all pathways have a definitive end…
not all pathways are as straight as an arrow
and more likely than not they have several
twists, turns, bumps, and bends…
not all people realize that they have
actually been on a journey throughout
their lives until they look back,
until they see, until they remember,
and until they realize that life
is the precious gift that we are all
surrounded by every day –
and that is why I believe
that people should take a greater
interest in what is going on around them,
what everybody can do to effect
the world around them,
and realize why it is necessary
for everybody around the world
to consider themselves a part of a
single ecosystem and organism
of infinite, interlinked, coexisting,
cooperative, and codependent
variables that invariably define
the fate of life on this planet
and where the nexus
and the “finish line” of everything
and everybody will be when
there is the ultimate convergence
of every single one of life’s
matrices of pathways.

My Poem “360”

It is only when you step out
of your reality –
even if it is only for a short time –
that you discover what the other
sides of life really look like…
it is only when you step inside
the shoes, inside the world,
and inside the perspective
of somebody living in a place
and in a way that may be
far removed from the one
that you know so well
that you learn just how much
of life is not black and white –
because, in reality, life is
all colours and hues
from every extreme of the spectrum
all emanating and infusing
the universe with all its depth
all at once.

At different times of the day
life can feel like a dance…
sometimes life can feel
being at a rock concert…
sometimes life can be like
being at the theatre or at a cinema
watching a play or a movie…
life can sometimes be like
looking into a mirror…
life can sometimes feel like
you have been in a car-crash…
life can sometimes be like
being a passenger on a rocket-ship
bound for somewhere where
the gravity that you have
been used to all your life
no longer exists and you have
to learn to think, to move,
to propel, to motivate yourself,
to be someone and something else
beyond who and what you have always known.

The world turns fast,
but sometimes changes are slow to occur…
unfortunately far too few things
are meant to last,
but the precious gift of life
is to be able to explore
so many of the wonders of this world
that we call Earth.

Nature is always redefining itself…
nature is constantly being influenced
by humanity at the same time
that humanity is being influenced
and inspired by nature –
and every time someone goes somewhere
that they have never been before,
and they turn around to see
what is all around them in 360-degrees,
everybody has to take a pause
so that they can breathe in and breathe out
the dream come true of being free.

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.