My Poem “Why?”

There is always a reason,
there is always a why,
there is always a motivation
for the myriad of actions
that people sometimes take
and for the many decisions
that people sometimes make
that they have no trouble in
being able to justify.

Where there is a spark
there will always be a flame...
where there is touch and proximity
there will always be intimacy...
where there is language
there is will always be consideration,
interpretation and loss -
because truth and reality
are not always the same...
where there is the evidence of stories
of the past there will always remain mysteries.

Myths, legacies, stories, records,
chronicles, cave paintings, rock carvings
are important depictions of a mixture
of both fiction and fact all rolled into one...
sometimes it doesn't take anything more
than someone saying that they heard
a voice tell them to do something
for them to immediately act
seemingly without thinking,
nor without a fight...
symbols, signs, warnings, lessons,
cautionary tales are vital for
any civilization to learn the merits
of what is right and what is wrong...
sometimes it takes the bravest of the brave
to stop something that they know
is going to happen before it happens -
so that some day someone won't have to
look back upon a choice that they made
and have to justify to others
and perhaps to themselves
the answer to the question: why?

My Poem “I love books”

I love that books are still being written…
I love that books are still being read…
I love that books are still being listen to
while people are driving,
while people are walking,
while people are sitting in a chair,
or while people are lying down in bed…
I love that books are still physical objects
that people from all ages can hold,
feel, and marvel at the art of
as they flick through their pages…
I love that books are still filled with stories
of characters that do not always have
an accurate description of how they
talk or how they look,
so undividual readers have the gift
of being able to imagine what characters
sound like when talk as well as
paint their own picture in their mind
of how certain characters appear…
one of the things that I love
about the act of reading, as well as
the art of coming up with a brand new story,
is the power that people have
to be able to generate figments
of their own imagination that are
reconstitutions of the familiar,
the recognisable, the known,
the big, the small, the significant,
and the things from our memories
that mesmerise us,
as well as so much more –
but, to me, it is the magic of words
that lies at the heart of why
I will always love books.

Rest In Peace, David Bowie (a tribute)

On January 10, 2016, I wrote a poem called “Always the Starman” dedicated to the late great David Bowie who died on that very day in 2016 – and I can still remember where I was and what I was doing when I heard of his untimely passing, and I can still remember being immediately inspired to mark the memory of one of the most famous and celebrated music artists of the 20th Century – and two days later I published the poem that I wrote on my blog for all the world to read so that they may get a sense of just how inspirational David Bowie was and still is.

Not long after David Bowie’s death, I remember that I was writing a new short story called “The Man In Black” about this mysterious character – who I didn’t truly know the identity of, nor why they were so mysterious… all I knew at that point was that whoever they were they dressed all in black, they had mysterious and powerful gifts that enabled them to appear one minute and disappear the next, they could bring animals and perhaps people back to life, and they may or may not be some kind of angel or some other supernatural being. And something else that I knew immediately was that whoever this mysterious “man in black” was he also bore an uncanny resemblance to the late great David Bowie, as some sort of tribute to him. But that was it. I originally intended to include my short story “The Man in Black” in my 2016 short story collection “Too Close To The Sun”, however for some reason I held it back… and to this day I still do not know why, what, or who stopped me from doing so – but I am so glad that they did, because from that first story there followed others that featured the same “Man in Black” who at times was known to white also depending upon when you met him. And slowly but surely I wrote more and more, until I finally found myself with seven short stories that explored who the “Man in Black/Man in White” was and why he did what he did. And to this day the stories of my short story collection “Playing God” still remain close to my heart, because within them are characters who I know and who I recognise: characters in need of being saved by a hero, a friend, a rebel, an angel, a god dressed all in black, and sometimes dressed all in white – someone who we would all wish would pay us a visit and heal the world of the present from what we are currently being plagued by.

I wrote my original poem “Always the Starman” and “The Man in Black”, the first story of my book “Playing God”, as a personal tribute to David Bowie – but the more stories that I wrote about this mysterious man who looked and sounded just like David Bowie, I also found myself uncovering many different sources of inspiration – from ancient Greek mythology to the daily torments that some people have to deal with – and I also found myself learning more about why I love writing so much: that thrill of exploration and discovery that I find every time I embark upon a writing challenge that I know will take me to places that I never imagined I would ever venture to. And that is what it is so enthralling and exciting about being a writer and an author of fiction: you never know where it is going to take you.

I will always be eternally grateful to the late great David Bowie for his music, for his creativity, and for the gift of inspiration that he gave to me – which coalesced over time into becoming a book of stories written in tribute to him, but also a tribute to hope, optimism and the gift of life that we are all blessed with which we all sometimes take for granted.

Rest in peace, David Bowie

“David Bowie” by Derren Brown

8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016

My Poem “Scary Movies”

As a child, I – like so many children do –
grew up watching so called
“scary movies”, “horror films”,
that truly scared me,
and I also watched thrilling
and occasionally comedic depictions
of fictional, supernatural and paranormal
events and characters
that made me jump, entertained me,
made my heart beat fast, made me smile,
and put me in a good mood…
films like ‘It’, ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’,
‘Jaws’, and ‘Alien’ initially effected me
on an emotional level –
however now I can appreciate
the “fright tactics” of the film-makers,
because what feeling they were
attempting to illicit in people
is what they succeeded in making
me feel quite profoundly…
I also watched such paranormal comedies,
like: ‘Ghostbusters’, ‘The Addams Family’,
‘The Munsters’, ‘Beetlejuice’ –
which were fun to watch,
enjoyable, and they did not
take their subject matter too seriously.

Even to this day, I still occasionally
watch scary movies –
and I would have to highlight
the films that take place in the
“Conjuring Universe”, that feature
fictional depictions of real-life
paranormal investigators
Ed and Lorraine Warren,
based upon documented
supernatural experiences
that occurred around the world,
as being some of the scariest,
the most thrilling, the most heart-racing,
and the most believable of any
and all of the scary movies
that I have seen recently
and the experiences that I had
of seeing them in a cinema
will forever stay with me.

If could pick just one
so called “scary movie”,
or a particular supernatural thriller,
that I believe is my favourite
of all that have been made,
I would have to choose
‘The Shining’, directed by Stanley Kubrick,
based upon the book of the same name
by the one and only “master of horror”,
Stephen King – because to me
‘The Shining’ is a masterpiece
of both storytelling and film-making
that entances you from the first
camera shot and from the first
note of music of the film’s soundtrack –
just as the original ‘Jaws’ does;
and, in my opinion, the ability
of movie-makers to be able to
take a viewer on a roller-coaster
ride of emotions, thoughts,
and feelings, while watching
something “otherworldly”,
by using all the magic of
movie-making at their disposal,
in a truly collaborative effort,
is what contributes to what makes
the most thrilling and the most scary
of thrilling and scary movies.

Happy Halloween! 🎃

My Poem “The Viking Way”

There are times when I look
at the face of someone
and for some reason I am
reminded of how the Vikings
have always been depicted to have looked
when they lived centuries ago –
when they were building their
impressive longboats
and when they were traversing
the oceans of the world –
at the same time they were raiding,
pillaging, as well as influencing
the early cultures of the European continent.

It was at the time that the Vikings
were worshiping the gods
of their Norse mythology –
such as Odin, Thor, and Loki –
that they were steaking their claim
to places which they discovered,
while also practicing a way of life
that stretched from telling stories,
to drinking mead, to perfecting
the art of the particular type of principles
that still define how their culture
is perceived and who they will continue
to be thought of to be.

I am sure that if some of the Vikings
who feature in so many of the
Scandinavian legends that have been
told and retold, over and over again,
were to learn that clear echoes
of their lineage live on
after a time that they might consider
resembled the prophecised “Ragnorok”,
or the “end of days” of their belief system,
then they would be happy –
because showing your attributes
and expressing your deeds so that
they are not forgotten is an example
of how some people used to live
a long time ago: when a certain
type of people used to live
the Viking way.

Happy National Read A Book Day 2020!

Happy National Read A Book Day! 📚📖 I know that not that many people seem to read books these days, like they used to; however, in times like now – when reality seems like a fantasy that we wish would come to an end and revert back to how things used to be – everybody needs some kind of escapism in order to remove themselves for a small amount of time each day so that they may feel hope, joy, and wonder once again. Books and stories are one of the greatest forms of entertainment and escapism, because to fully immerse yourself within a story, you, the reader, have to become a part of the story as the imagineer, the architect, and the artist who paints the picture of what somethimg or someone looks like with the power of your imagination by using the words on a page as a blueprint. As someone who is the author of ten books of both poetry and fiction I am most likely biased when I say that books hold a power within, especially when we hold a book in our hands, that is unparalleled to anything else. Being a writer is an incredibly empowering experience; and as a writer, knowing that people actually read what you write and like what you have written is phenomenonal and humbling and that feeling of creating a connection with someone is absolutely inspiring. 🙂