My Poem ‘Memento Vitae’

Mementos of life…
Photographs of us…
Memories of days and nights…
Echoes of love…
Souvenirs of where we’ve been…
Snapshots of who we’ve known…
Reminders of what we’ve seen…
Hallmarks of home.

Hope and happiness…
Laughter and light…
Smiles and kisses…
Children who have blossomed
before our eyes…
Things to remember…
Lessons learned…
That which truly matters…
Cycles of rebirth.

Sunrises and sunsets…
Timeless songs of yesterday…
The eternal souls
of those who we will never forget…
Music that stays with us everyday…
Unbroken Vows…
Promises made under starlight…
Words of truth spoken aloud…
Miracles never to be forgotten
from the gift that is our life.

My Poem ‘My Jam’

From All Hail The Silence, to BT…
from The 1975, to David Bowie…
from Savage Garden, to Johnny Cash…
from Ed Sheeran, to Set It Off…
from John Lennon, to Walk The Moon…
from Young Guns, to Muse…
from CHVRCHES, to Christian Burns…
from Bruce Springsteen, to Green Day…
from Lady Antebellum, to James Bay…
from Carrie Underwood, to a-ha…
from Armin van Buuren, to Bruno Mars…
from Bon Jovi, to Bryan Adams…
from Coldplay, to Michael Jackson…
from Tears For Fears, to Sixpence None the Richer…
from Daft Punk, to New Order…
from Prince, to Deadmau5…
from Tracy Chapman, to Crowded House…
and many many more –
that is but a selection of the artists
and the bands who make music
and who have created songs
that I adore and I listen to over and over.

Music is a great source of inspiration for a writer,
and the music and the songs that inspire me the most
are those with a message to them that touches my heart
and sets off a chain-reaction
and a rejuvenation of spirit within me like no other –
from Electronic Dance Music, to Rock…
from Classical, to Pop…
from fast, to slow…
from a ballad, to something wholly-instrumental –
I find great peace and beauty,
I find great love and serenity,
in hearing the voice and the music
of the heart of an artist, or artists,
that bridges the gap from my ears, to my mind…
from my imagination, to my soul.

My love for all types of music
stems from when I was a boy –
even as a child, I knew there was something special
to what I heard all-around me,
which others might just have
thought was background noise…
my heart has a rhythm to it
and it creates its own music with every beat –
and even now, when I hear a great song
that I haven’t heard before,
it doesn’t take me long
before my heart skips-a-beat
and I am tapping away with my fingers
and moving in-time, to the music I hear,
with every movement of my feet…
when I hear my favourite songs,
I secretly have this insatiable urge
to “bust-a-move” and dance –
there is a deep-seated reason
why music means so much to me,
there is a truth to why
I could never live without music
that stares right back at me every day
in the mirror of my mind…
whenever I listen to my playlist on my iPod,
I always get millions of sparks of inspiration,
and for a long-time after I finish listening
to my favourite songs I still hear
the echoes of the music
that make up “My Jam”.

My Poem ‘Christmas Time’

“So this is Christmas,
and what have you done…”
sang John Lennon on the radio
as I sat with my pen and open notebook,
as the sun shone through the windows
and reflected off the chrome panels
of a nearby building;
I was near an open door all the while –
but not for a second did I feel cold;
the Christmas songs kept playing,
the air was cozy,
and everybody around me
was locked in their own world;
the Christmas colours and lights
were bright and bold,
and just as I got to the end
of the first verse of my new poem
a familiar voice sang loud:
“Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!”

I sit. I stare. I blink. I smile.
I write. I think about how much
I have in common with the life of a sundial –
because I too would be nothing
without the light of the star from afar
that gives my life meaning
and endows me with all that I need
to be who I am supposed to be.

As Louis Armstrong sings
of the “trees of green”
and the “red roses too”
and the blue skies of our “wonderful world” –
I know, I see, I remember
all that he sang about
and what I too believe makes out planet
standout from any other
in the entire universe;
so often, I become both lost and overflowing
with words to describe
all that I see and all that I feel;
I do not know who I would be
if I could not write the language of my heart
on a page in connected verse of poetry.

“White Christmas” starts to play,
and instantly I am back in time
and I am imagining things that happened
so many years ago –
I remember the snow of my childhood,
I remember the happy times I spent with my family,
I remember imagining that if anybody
were to walk on the surface of the moon again
then of course I would;
I remember seeing true beauty
in fallen snowflakes
and knowing that there was more to me and to life,
and twenty years before I would ever have thought
to write anything that I would now
consider in any way poetic.

One last song plays
before I have to leave the place where I am now;
where I am going next I do not know for sure,
because I do not have a fixed plan –
however, as I think of a title
to sign-off my brand new chain of rhymes,
I decide to use the last words
of the song that I hear…
and as my poem is about the world of today,
about me, and is in itself a snap-shot of life –
this poem is about this moment,
and at this moment it is definitely
Christmas time.

My Poem ‘The Gift of Ideas’

Ideas are like a tower;
thoughts have a structure;
dreams are like a castle of clouds;
wishes are like a beach
of long-forgotten shells;
memories are like photographs
that have faded over time;
old photo-albums
are like old songs
that remind you of people
and places from your life.

Eyes open; flowers blossom;
light shines; heart-rates rise;
life grows; the dark is exposed;
the clouds part;
a miracle becomes real
as the music starts –
and like the composer of an orchestra,
you put together the pieces of picture:
sometimes the music is loud,
sometimes the instruments are distinctive,
sometimes the players are both known
and unknown –
perhaps just one face in a crowd;
sometimes, most of the time,
what comes seemingly from the most random
reasons and places
are the most impressive,
even to the dreamer of the dream –
because they are so wonderfully inventive.

Things are not always obvious;
the seemingly unconnected
may have more in common with one-another
than they appear;
just like people,
some things sometimes speak
with a similar-sounding voice;
sometimes even a thing of extreme beauty
can bring someone to tears.

Ideas can be like a lost puppy
that you find walking the streets
without an owner;
ideas about people and things
sometimes change and can be
like the highs, the lows,
and the speeds of a roller-coaster
that go in every direction
before finally coming to a rest;
ideas can be like reconnecting
with a long-lost sister or brother;
ideas are one of life’s
most amazing and incredible gifts.

My Poem ‘Busk for you’

Strumming guitar strings,
a phenomenal voice
singing into a microphone,
an amazing and captivating
reverberation of sound –
a singer, a guitar player,
an artist, a hopeful dreamer,
an entertainer, someone with a gift
who is now standing at the centre
of a circle of people,
playing their heart out,
and singing every song as if they mean so much to them,
and as if every song were a song that had be written for them;
entrancing, inspiring, amazing,
making everyone stop and stare, smiling,
and even moving a black man
in a white hat holding a basket-ball
to stop in his tracks
and start dancing like Michael Jackson.

It always amazes me how much and how deeply
music can move and touch someone,
it has always enthralled me no-end
the connection that people form with certain songs;
it has always brought me joy
to see the happiness on the face
of someone who just loves singing
and who loves playing their instrument;
it always inspires me to be up close
to share some time with the gifted
and the artistic people that I randomly meet,
who are wonderfully exceptional and brilliant,
because they are so different.

I have seen performers of every age,
colour, gender, and ethnicity,
performing publicly, in all weathers,
in every city and town that I have been to;
I have watched singers, violinists,
guitarists, brass-bands, choirs,
full-orchestras, change and effect
the very air and the atmosphere of somewhere
and share hope through their music;
I have been moved in so many ways
emotionally by every artist whom I have listened to;
I have always envied singers and musicians –
because, anyone can write a rhyme,
anyone can have an idea come to them,
and anyone can tell a story,
but only a singer or a musician
can bring words and notes to life
in such a way that elevates them
from a page to make them truly epic.

When a busker is busking
they never want to stop playing,
and when they are playing
they never want to rush;
when a singer and a musician
who loves what they do
gets the chance to play,
they experience a feeling of true divine love;
when an instrumentalist
is masterfully bringing together
all the notes before them
and combining them into one
perfect expression of sound,
they feel and they know their instrument
so well that both player and instrument
have for each other a mutual trust;
when a busker is playing on their street corner,
or in the open space
where they feel the most comfortable playing,
and where everybody knows that they are going to be,
all that they want to do
is play like there is no tomorrow,
and busk for you.

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Check out the amazing Esther Turner on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/esthermusic and on Twitter at @Esther_Ninja

My Poem ‘The Shortest Day’

Today is the shortest day;
tonight will be the longest night;
sunrise and sunset will happen
within no time at all of each other,
as if the entire day will begin and end
within the blink of an eye.

The time to do things and to grasp the moments
are more precious today
than they ordinarily are on a normal day;
the Winter Solstice is here –
it is not even midday,
but I can already see the fading of the day’s light.

As soon as I woke up this morning,
I had this immediate feeling that there was something
in the cold early-morning air;
as soon as I started to think cogently
my mind was instantly clear,
and as I watched the sky brighten outside my window
I could do nothing but look up
and marvel at the white clouds that met my stare.

Christmas is but a few days away;
people all over the world
are doing their last pieces of Christmas shopping;
there is an anticipation to be felt all around
that something is on its way;
everybody is filled with hopes and dreams, and genuine joy,
and there is also whispers and wishes
that perhaps soon it may even start snowing.

The air is cold;
the streets are busy;
Christmas songs are playing all around me
and filling me, the atmosphere, and everybody,
with happiness, who are sitting with me here in this cafe;
there are seasons and emotions greeting and changing
and being felt all around the world;
there is energy on the verge of being set free;
there is more than meets the eye occurring today
on the shortest day.

My Poem ‘Mixtape’

Your life is a mixtape;
what you hear from day to day
is mostly familiar, but not the same;
people become important to you,
things are necessary to you,
and like songs that you have brought together,
and have connected and made a part of you,
they are always on continuous-play
inside you and around you,
as a matter of fate and not by mistake.

People often ask why a particular song
is among your favourite songs,
and why you regularly play it over and over –
but, most of the time, at least for me,
the reason why I love a song so much,
is because the words and the music get inside me,
move me, make me smile, make me cry,
and are a reflection of my thoughts, feelings, and emotions,
that in relation to what I am thinking about
at a given moment lie far deeper.

I have been making and remaking,
recording and rerecording mixtapes since I was a kid.
Mixtapes are fun to make, because they can be made up of anything.
Having a wide and eclectic taste in songs, music,
artists, singers, and bands,
means having a mixtape that is better,
more magic, more engrossing, and more epic;
having many differing, special, varied,
voices, lyrics, sounds, and instruments, to listen to,
and fill your ears, your mind, your consciousness,
is like going on a journey every time
to a different time, to a different place,
to a different state of being,
that can be emotional, exciting, breathtaking, and amazing.

Pressing play on a playlist,
and listening whether in order or randomly to songs you know,
expect to find, anticipate, look forward to,
and some you may have forgotten about,
is like putting you own ear to your chest
and hearing your heart beating,
and every time reliving something you have always felt.

For some of us, that one collection of songs
is the only way we can get through
what we have to go though on any given day;
for some of us, we could not live without our favourite songs
that we constantly replay from our own mixtape.