My Poem “Soapbox”

In any public area there exists an arena
where those who have both the creative spark
and also the drive to perform
can show an audience what
calls out to be heard within their core...
the stage might be a grand bandstand,
or perhaps just upturned used crate -
but no matter who they are, or where they are,
what every performer wants
more than anything is to perform.

Most performers who
perform on street corners,
or in the middle of a town square,
do not do so simply for monetary gain -
because the first love of most performers
who stand with their instrument,
a live microphone, and a speaker by their side,
is that of sharing what they feel
for the music within them
and the magic of music that has
the power to draw everyone.

For most performers a stage
of any kind feels like a second home -
and every time every performer
feels those pre-performance nerves
sometimes they feel as if they have to
put on some kind of metaphorical second skin,
or step back into a psychological
pair of comfortable shoes,
with which they can use to help them
soak up every ounce of attention upon them
so that they can convert
their audience's enthusiasm into a fuel
to turbo-charge their art;
however, for the more reticent of performers,
a spotlight may be the last place
that they want to be -
but even the most introverted artist
can, over time, find a way to create
an alter ego with which, in a sense,
they can become someone else,
and make it possible for them
to climb to heights from where
they can make themselves,
and others, believe that they have
this extraordinary, electrifying,
transcendental and other-worldly power.

In this day and age a stage does not need
to be a physical place at a particular time...
in this day and age, because of the constant
advances in technology that have been made
in the way that we all communicate
with one another, anyone, anywhere,
can do what they love, and they can be
whomever they want to be,
and put on a live performance of their own -
even from the sanctuary of their own bedroom...
in this day and age someone
who is categorized as "unknown artist"
can quickly create something and go "viral",
and for as long as the place
where their performance was shared remains,
archived forever for posterity,
someone, anyone, could become
a constant source of hope and joy for someone  -
especially for those people who, at times, feel lost...
in this day and age you don't need to have
a message written in the sky to get noticed,
because anybody with the tenacity,
the courage, the spark, and the love for performing -
that every performer has within them -
can find the perfect place,
can find their perfect audience,
where, and to whom, they never want
to step off the stage of, or say goodbye to -
because every performer has their soapbox.
 
 

My Poem “Rough”

There will be so many people
sleeping rough with a hard pavement
as their place of rest this Christmas…
There will be so many homeless men and women
sleeping on park benches
or on the green grass of public places
as they try to stay alive
as best that they can over the festive season…
There are so many people who I see daily,
weekly, sitting or lying on the ground
with their heads as low as they can go
who look as if they have given up
and as if they have lost any sense of hope:
people who feel like living on the streets
is their only option
because they have nowhere else to go…
I cannot imagine how it must feel
to live such a life of desperation –
there are people who do give whatever they can
to people who are homeless,
and there are even churches
requesting anyone who can
to donate a coat that they no longer wear
so that someone who hasn’t got one
and someone who needs one can have one…
I have asked myself many times
what the answer is to this troubling
epidemic of homeless people
that is endemic to big cities
all around the world –
from New York City in the U.S.A.
to Birmingham in the U.K. –
and the unfortunate reality
that always presents itself to me
is that there is no silver arrow idea
that could completely put an end
to the problems felt and carried every day
within the heart and the mind
of those who live on the street…
All the money in the world is not enough,
love alone is not enough,
and time is not always the greatest of healers
to a long-term problem…
Life is not always easy for anybody –
however, I believe that we as human beings
need to start turning our attention
more to those people who feel like
they do not have much,
those people who need to be given a hand
and lifted up off of the ground:
those people for whom life is as hard
as the ground that they sleep upon
each and every night,
and those people for whom every day of their life
is as rough as it could ever be.

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