My Poem “The Question that drives us”

Everybody has a question
that drives them which influences
every choice that they make
and every action that they take…
everybody has a question
that they need answered
in order to give their life meaning…
everybody has a question
that reflects what they hope
will be their ultimate fate…
everybody has a question
that is answered multiple times
throughout their life
which, for so many reasons,
some people sometimes find it hard
to accept and to believe
because they often find it hard
to imagine what they cannot see.

Answers are not always what people
find at the end of a journey…
possibilities are what most people
dwell upon when they reach
the end of a particular story…
most things in life that we commit
ourselves to are a matter of trust…
revelations are always powerful –
but almost always, in reflection,
no matter what we are doing
and where we are going,
it is the questions that we have,
the questions that we ponder upon,
and the questions that we are
consistently awoken by
over and over again
which are the source within our life
of what truly drives us.

My Poem “Outlaws”

When I was a kid
I was always fascinated by
legendary heroes and characters
such as Dick Turpin, Robin Hood,
Sinbad, Zorro, and many other
renowned outlaws of their
respected times and societies,
who rebelled against what
they saw as a dictatorial
state of being that people
were being forced to live in,
who decided to rob from the rich,
deliver to the poor, and fight
for the right of the innocent
to live free and happy
and content in the knowledge
that there was someone
looking out for their interests
and watching over them.

Heroes of conscience
who live every day of their life
fueled by the hope that they can
make a difference and right
the wrongs of tyranny
have been featured in so many
of the tales that humanity
has been telling itself for centuries,
and even in our modern age
those same characters still
embody and have associated with them
a symbolism and an enduring example
of just how powerful the human spirit
can be when it finds itself facing off against injustice.

There will always be injustice in this world
and there will always be a place
in the stories that we all tell ourselves
for extraordinary individuals
who have the courage of their convictions
to put the needs of the many
before the needs of the few
and commit to enacting
their own form of rebellion
by staying true to a code of behaviour that in their eyes of the oppressor
might be considered
the actions of an outlaw.

My Poem “The Forbidden”

The draw of the forbidden…
the urge to explore
the places where very few
people have been before…
the instinct to reveal the truth
of that which is hidden,
the call of the wild
that has compelled many people
to seek out, to feel,
and to capture the energy
and the spirit that some things
naturally emanate –
symbolized in many stories
as being an apple, a chalice, a ring,
a fountain, a plant, a monolith,
a message left for others to find
so that they may experience
profound revelations that will
fundamentally change the way
that they see the world,
as well as change how they see themselves,
are as prevalent in the tales
that humanity has been telling itself
since the beginning of language
and the start of our path of discovering
who we are and what we are
in the grand scheme of universal understanding.

It is the quest of the forbidden that gives
a journey into the unknown its potency…
it is the question of what lies beyond
all the maps that have been drawn
that has attracted all the explorers
that have ever been born…
it is the danger of a forbidden vortex
that storm-chasers lust to race towards
that awakens within them
the same deep longing to push the envelope
of what is possible that precludes
so many people from being able
to silence the voice inside them
that tells them loud and clear
to never decline an opportunity
to take a bite out of
the fruit of the forbidden,
to experience what it takes like,
and to see where it takes you.

My Poem “Verbatim”

There is a story behind everything…
there is a reason for everything…
there is a story to be told about everybody…
there is truth to be found
about the human condition
by listening to everybody.

Everybody is capable of being
a storyteller with a varied
and a different perspective
on everything, because
everybody experiences the world uniquely –
which is why no voice
should be ever silenced or muted
because their opinions
do not run in parallel
with that of the status quo…
everybody is capable
of expressing themselves somehow –
even if it is with the power of a stare
or a passive but noticeable gesture
that is a part of the universal
art of getting your point across
and making your intentions known.

Stories are wonderful things –
however, stories have a way
of taking on a life of their own…
some stories can start out
being about something
small and insignificant –
however, when stories are internalized
and personalized then can be reshaped
and retold in many different ways…
stories can be given names –
especially those that were inspired
by real life events and circumstances…
stories always have characters in them –
and on occasion storytellers
often exaggerate the qualities
and the attributes of a particular
character in order to make the story
that they are telling more dramatic…
some stories are referred to as
“Chinese whispers”, because they grow,
because they change, because depending
on how many times they have been told,
heard, retold, and shared –
though the seed at the centre
of the same story remains the same –
little by little, with every passing
iteration and narration,
a story can lose some of it’s most
fundamental facts,
and the devil that is in the details
of a story can become a shadow
of what was initially intended
to be a story told word for word.

My Poem “Run Jesse, run!”

It is the hallmark of a great film,
a great television show,
a great play, a great writer,
a great cast, a great production staff,
a great actor portraying
a great and complex protagonist,
who by the great gift of their craft
is able to make us –
the viewer, the audience –
care for them, accept them,
and become emotional invested and involved
in the story and in the journey
of the characters that we follow
from the second that we first see them
all the way to the last moments
of the last chapter and finale
that will ultimately – hopefully –
deliver a satisfying conclusion
that makes the journey that you
have taken with these familiar
characters worth all the time,
all the energy, and all the thought
that you committed to them
over the hours, the days,
the months, perhaps even the years
that it has taken to reach the end credits.

It can sometimes be hard to find
an ending that ticks all the boxes,
that answers all the questions,
that wraps up all the dangling threads
that remain to be addressed
and given a reason for why
they were not connected to the
greater narrative that underpins
everything that is a part
of the ultimate story being told…
in any given story it is always
out of the hands of the writer
and the author which part of an ongoing
story people will respond to and why –
sometimes it is the simplest
and the smallest of plot points
that resonate the most
and which over time become
what people remember the most,
as if what they saw shined like gold.

It is always a test for an audience
when an author creates
a character and they put them
through things that push them to their limits
and they change them in ways
that are hard to watch,
and it can sometimes be hard for people
to continue to empathize with
a certain character when they
start to behave in morally
questionable ways of being…
quite frequently, in some of the best
stories ever told, an audience gets
to watch the evolution of
a protagonist into an antagonist,
the hunter into the hunted,
the wronged into the redeemed –
and vice versa –
and the once imprisoned against
their will make their getaway
and run for the hills and away
from all that they are leaving behind –
like the character of Jesse Pinkman
driving like a bat out of hell
in his black and red ‘El Camino’
away from his past and towards
a future that not even he knows.

“The average person looking at someone doing evil or wrong wants the person to get away with it. I think it’s the most amazing instinct. The audience can’t bear the suspense of the person being discovered. “Hurry up! Quick! You’re going to be caught!” – Alfred Hitchcock

My Poem “The Wolf Within Me”

It was about three years ago,
around this exact same day
and month of the year,
when I decided to write a poem
for Halloween called “The Wolf In Me”;
however, to my amazement, what was
supposed to be a poem slowly but surely
grew into becoming a short story,
a novella, and then ultimately
a short novel capable of standing
on its own and filling an entire book –
and this story was the first chapter
in the tale of Olivia Hunter:
a young woman burdened with a curse,
a secret, a gift, a spirit within her
capable of transforming her into a Wolf,
because the secret that she lived with,
alone, was that she was a werewolf.

When I first began writing “The Wolf In Me”
I had no idea that it would ultimately be what it became…
when I first began Olivia Hunter‘s journey
with her I was just as in the dark about
where her story would take her,
because there was no plan as to the direction
of every twist and turn…
when I first began writing, imagining,
and bringing to life the world,
the characters, and the story of
“The Wolf In Me” I felt myself
be carried away and compelled
to write more, to know more,
and to find out more about
what was going to happen
and where Olivia’s story felt like
it was telling me – the writer – to take it…
when I first began writing “The Wolf In Me”
I began to feel more and more –
the more that I wrote –
that I could be a writer
who explored and exposed different worlds
and different depths of life, of people,
and fully investigate subjects like
identity, change, life, loss,
and those things that are important
to everybody’s daily lives
and their state of mind.

Since I finished writing “The Wolf In Me”
I have written many other things –
short stories, poems – and I even wrote
and published a sequel to “The Wolf In Me”
called “The Wolf In You”;
however, for some reason, from time to time,
in my mind I am drawn back to the thought
of the character whom I imagined,
thought about, lived, breathed,
and wrote about, every day until
I had to say goodbye to her
and let her story speak for itself –
and I silently wonder how she is,
where she is, what she is doing,
and if one day Olivia Hunter may choose
to inspire another story about her
that speaks to the spirit of The Wolf
who I believe resides within me.

My books “The Wolf In Me” and “The Wolf In You”,
as well as all my other books of poetry and stories
are available to buy online from Amazon,
Barnes & Noble, and The Book Depository
in Paperback and as an eBook.

Happy National Storyteller Day!

My Poem “The Underdog”

Underdogs are always underestimated –
however, in the same breath,
underdogs are also expected
to accomplish a sometimes almost
miraculous feat and overcome
every obstacle in their path…
underdogs are usually the ones
that a crowd of people gets behind
and roots for, because people
like the idea of being a participant
and a witness to a remarkable event
in a person’s life, their story,
their legend, their journey…
underdogs can sometimes appear
to have come from out of nowhere –
however everybody knows that someone
can only make a difference if
the right version of them shows up
and they put everything into
whatever they are doing…
an underdog is a rebel of the status quo…
an underdog is someone who does not know
when to lay down their sword
and keep their head low…
over the centuries history has recorded
the deeds and the words of underdogs
who answered a call to face an opponent
who towered above them in some way –
just like in the story of David and Goliath –
and it is because of these heroes,
and these icons of inspiration,
who chose to rise to the occasion
that they found themselves presented with,
that people all around the world
still to this day battle in arenas
of many kinds and sizes
and valiantly personify the importance
and the meaning of being an underdog.