My Poem ‘Plane-spotting’

There are things that I remember
from when I was a kid
that are still so full of colour
and still so vivid and clear…
there are places that are forever
preserved within my memory
from when I was a child
that I can always return to
within the blink of an eye…
there are times when you think back
on your life and your memory
can play tricks on you
and you can accidentally and falsely
remember things that never really happened –
but, when I close my eyes
and I think back to being ten years-old again,
on a summer Sunday evening
just before the sun went down,
and I can see my Mum, my little-sister,
my Dad, and I can see my own face
being reflected in the rear-view mirror
of our family car as we prepare to go home
after a busy afternoon of plane-spotting.

My Dad has always been a train-spotter,
a plane-spotter, a car-driver,
and when he was younger
he was even a motorcycle-rider…
my Dad has always been a music-lover…
my Dad has always been the best father…
my Dad has always been of a lover
rather than a fighter…
I learned from a young age
that when it comes to deciding
and knowing what the best thing to do
in any given situation at any time of the day or night,
then my Dad is the one who always knows better.

Everybody who has ever met my Dad
never forgets my Dad –
my Dad has one of those faces
that hasn’t changed that much since he was a school-boy
growing up in his home-village of Coleshill…
when I was younger, as a family
we were always going to airports and air-shows
so that we could see and marvel
at the aircraft that we saw souring through the sky,
and my Dad always knew what every plane was
and he could tell you what type they were
with a single look…
going to places with my family when I was a kid
are timeless memories that I will never forget
because they mean so much to me…
I will always remember those moments
when I would look at my Dad
and I could see the genuine joy
that he took from being with his family
who he loved while he did something
that he had been doing since he was a kid…
whenever I see a plane taking off now,
or whenever I am flying on a plane as a passenger,
I always flash-back to when I was a boy
when my Dad would pack up the car
and we as a family would all go
plane-spotting.

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My Poem ‘My Loving Parents’

My Mum and Dad’s love for each-other
is the most beautiful sight I have ever seen;
my Mum and Dad’s bond is the strongest
that has ever been;
my Mum and Dad would do anything for each other,
no matter what;
my Mum and Dad were always meant to be together,
and you can tell that fact
any time that you are with them
and you see them together –
they are not only each-other’s soulmates,
they are each other’s best friends,
who have both been through a lot.

Throughout my entire life,
I have been a witness to magic;
since I was a child,
every day I have seen my Mum and my Dad
go above and beyond for their children;
in my opinion, no other two people
who have ever been in love with each other
have given as much for one-another
as my parents have –
it is in both of their DNA to give;
to have parents who are as amazing
and as incredible in every way as mine are,
I know with all that I am
that there has never been a more blessed
or a more fortunate son.

I am the best of two hearts
eternally bound to each-other;
I am the art of two artists
whose life and love still lives
and will forever continue
to course through my veins;
I am in constant awe
at what my mother would do for my father,
and what my father would do for my mother;
I am sometimes lost for words
when trying to describe
the truly wonderful and heroic two people
who I am proud and so lucky
to be able to call my loving parents.

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My Poem ‘Birthmark’

34 years, 408 months,
1,774 weeks, 12,418 days ago,
on the 21st of April, 1981,
a little boy was born
and two of the most wonderful
and amazing parents
anyone could ask for
were blessed with a son –
that was the day
that I arrived in the world,
and that was when the tapestry of my life
slowly began to unfurl.

Mark James Hastings,
that is the name that I was given at birth
and that is who I have been
since it was printed for all time
on my birth certificate;
son, brother, friend,
wanderer, wonderer,
dreamer, hard-worker,
and 99.9 percent of the time
a lover of life and a writer
in the form of a poet.

People are always telling me
that I don’t look my age;
people are always asking me
what my secret is to having
an old soul inside someone
with such a young face;
people ask me all the time
where I get my ideas from
when I am writing,
and my response to that question
is one word: life –
because that is the epic adventure
that is eternally and limitlessly
exciting, enlightening, and inspiring.

I have flashes of memories of my childhood
that regularly come back to me;
I have emotions of experiences from my life
that daily make me smile and make me cry;
I have mental and physical photos
that I look at with glee;
I have questions that I ask
that begin who…? what…? where…?
when…? how…? why…?
But I will always know and remember
what is important and I will continue
to spread the word about what I have learned
in my life, and sometimes I secretly wish
that I could replay certain special moments
that I have had, even though I know
life is meant to be so that I can’t.

Today is my birthday;
today is a day that is close to my heart;
today is a day when I have so much to say;
today is always the day when I think back
and I talk to my younger self,
and even at the moment that I am born
I visualize myself in the mind
of my infant-self and I leave myself
a message and a question that has no end
that I know I will carry my whole life –
like a defining and indelible birthmark.

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My Poem ‘Bernadette’

Our mothers
are the reason why we are born;
my mum is the best
and the most wonderful of them all;
our mothers go through so much
to give us the gift of life;
my mum has never once
forgotten about her children,
and every day my mum is thinking
about those who she cares about the most –
morning, noon, and night.

Our mothers are one of a kind;
my mum cares so much,
and, like me, she always feels
what other people are feeling,
and always has someone else’s well-being
on her mind;
our mothers are a true inspiration to us;
my mum means more to me
than I could ever put into words –
but what I wish I could tell her more
is how much I love her, so much.

The connection that a child has with their parent
is life-long – no matter the time, or the distance;
mother and daughter, son and mother,
will always have an unbreakable bond.
I know my mum, and my mum knows me;
my mum was the one who took me to school when I was four;
my mum was the one who held my hand,
and told me that I would be ok, when I hurt my right knee;
my mum was, and my mum is,
the one who would be there for me after a fall –
and every day when she calls me,
I run to her just as I did
when I was still crawling as a baby
and just learning how to walk and talk.

My mum has spent her life
being the most caring person on Earth;
when my mum first met my dad,
it was a miracle of destiny and fate –
which led to the best thing
that ever have happened to me: my birth;
my mum is the most deserving person
of love, or thought, of understanding, and of respect;
my mum never asks anything from anybody,
but every day she serves up her beautiful heart,
and how amazing she is can be read all over her face.

Our mothers are whom,
if we are lucky to have them in our lives,
we will never forget;
and I want to immortalize my amazing mum
in the way of the poet –
so this poem, in name and in every way,
is dedicated to the best mother in the entire world:
my mum, Bernadette.