My Poem ‘Yesteryear’

Sitting in the same spot,
wearing the same shoes,
unlocking a door
usually kept shut,
looking out through a window
and seeing a unchanged view;
remembering the past
without reliving it,
remembering poems that I wrote
right here about a time in the future;
everybody is nostalgic, especially a poet;
the more I see, the more I think,
the more I write, the more I remember,
and the more that the pages of my mind
flick back and forth,
I pick up on things that I left behind
from the last time that I was here.

The past is a story that we all tell ourselves,
and for good reason when we come up upon
moments from our lives we do sometimes find
blank pages full of words written in invisible ink;
the present is like being at a crossroads
of time and possibilities;
the future is sometimes not going to turn out
just how you think;
the Earth keeps turning,
the people keep moving,
the seasons keep changing,
life keeps evolving as it has
and as it will continue to do so
for centuries upon centuries to come.

We sit across from ourselves more than we realize;
we are constantly searching for commonalities;
we all want to see ourselves reflected
in another person’s eyes;
we all imagine different realities;
some things will always change,
some things will always be the same;
some things are other things
just repackaged in a different box
with a different name;
some things come back time and again.

Tears must fall;
forests must grow;
flowers must rise tall;
rivers of all colours must flow;
life can sometimes feel like you are walking
through a hall of mirrors;
we must all learn to capture every miracle
and make it a part of us
before it disappears;
a life of anticipation can feel like
you are constantly waiting
for a parcel to be delivered;
as I get older and as I travel
and I am pulled along by destiny’s slipstream,
I constantly find reasons to say
that I am glad to be here –
and now, as before, I walk forward
while closing again and walking away
from the door of yesteryear.

My Poem ‘The Umbrella’

The greatest escape on a rainy day,
the best cover to tie you over
from the lightning and the thunder;
whenever, wherever, you are
something akin to the sun of a Summer’s day;
a perfect oasis and the most serene place
of peace of mind and spirit;
that which when you hear it playing
is literally music to your ears,
that is personal –
but can also be shared in a different way
with people that you are in constant contact with,
that both stimulates all kinds of emotions and tears –
the thing that is so intrinsic to you
it is almost a part of your soul;
the coat of protection
that helps you brave the winter’s cold.

Like the roots of a tree,
like the canopy of a forest,
like the ground beneath all of our feet,
like the constituents of a bird’s nest,
we all have things above us, below us,
and around us, that ground us,
and that inspire us and amaze us
over and over, and without them
we would not be who we want to be,
and we would not be blessed with life’s
invisible, natural, but always present, poetry.

When the rain stops falling,
when the clouds part
and the sun shines again,
when life emerges from where it has been hiding,
as the writers continue to drive
the swirls and the course
of the ink of their pens,
when the Earth settles
and a brand new set of ripple effects
echo throughout the world,
like raindrops falling on the water of a pond,
when new experiences and new thoughts
accentuate and strengthen already deep-seated bonds,
when you need a shelter to wait for a break in the weather…
take out, unveil, open again,
that which has always served to be your refuge
and your constant umbrella.

My Poem ‘Countryside’

As I dream about a city across the sea,
there is someone over the ocean
wishing that they were walking
the fields of the English countryside;
as I sit and hear the sounds
and the accents that I remember so well,
there is someone in the very country
where I wish I was now
thinking about what it would be like
to be where I am, doing what I am doing,
completely untroubled and free.

As I write I think about that friend of mine
telling me about their wish,
and I wish that they and I could trade places,
even if it were only for a few minutes,
and even if it was only a momentary
swapping of minds and lives,
so that we two could for moments
walk in each others shoes
and know the taste and the smell of each others air…
if they were here and if I were there.

If my friend were here at this moment
they would cry at the beauty of the sight of my home;
if my friend could see with my eyes,
their entire vision would be met by
all the colours of the rainbow
represented by the colours of the surrounding
and blooming flowers;
if my friend were able to take in the perfection
that I have known my entire life
which never gets old,
they would never be able to describe verbally
what their eyes cannot look away from –
even if they were describing the landscape
to someone on the phone;
if my friend could follow in my footsteps,
they could and they would never stop exploring
and seeing something new and beautiful
everywhere they looked,
even if they kept walking for 24-hours.

Even when it rains,
and the leaves of the trees are speckled
with droplets of cleansing water from above,
the green that is England through and through
only becomes even more striking,
and when the clouds part
and the sunlight comes blazing through
there is no view anywhere
that is more amazing, nor breathtaking,
than the sudden explosion of colour
that is nature accentuated by the golden rays
of the most important star in the sky
that always makes my home
look like a real life landscape of art
that could never be fully explained,
because it is what it is:
a true, heart-breaking, paradise,
that is so beautiful
it will never stop bringing tears to my eyes.

There are people who I have not yet met face to face,
but who I want to meet;
there are places where I have been
that I want to return to some day,
where when I left them I cried;
there are friends of mine in other countries
who I can’t wait to fully introduce myself to
in the flesh when we first meet and greet;
there are places that I see every day
that the sight of makes me smile,
that if I could I would share with the entire world –
where I have done my fair share of walking,
thinking, contemplating and imagining,
in the most heavenly place on Earth
that is the great, glorious, gorgeous
and beautiful English countryside.

image

My Poem ‘When I die’

I am sorry you are reading this now,
I wish I were alive to say this in person-
however, where I am, I do not think that
personal eulogies by those who have died are allowed;
so this is me planning for the inevitable, as always,
leaving another part of me for my friends
(who were my friends),
and for my family, for my parents-
to whom, I will always be their son.

No matter how things turned out,
no matter when, where, and how I died,
things in my life, throughout my life,
felt like and made me feel turned inside-out-
but I had a great life,
I had a wonderful life,
I had an inspiring life,
I had a blessed life,
I had a mostly-happy life-
so I ask anyone who reads this
who remembers anything about me to not cry.

There were times in my life
when I absolutely could not believe my eyes;
there were times growing up
when I was the happiest that anyone of any age
could ever be;
there were times as a teenager
when I was lucky to see each and every beautiful sunrise;
there were times as an adult
when I was never happier
than when I was laughing and joking
with my amazing sister Clare-
talking, and being in the same room,
and loving every second of being with both of our parents;
and of course spending time with inspiring friends;
and of course trying to write inspirational poetry.

I am not about to die-
at least I don’t think so.
I have considered, and I am considering,
what lies beyond death,
and what awaits us all.
I am not going to lie,
I am not in any hurry to give up on life-
just so you know;
but I am writing this poem,
because I want the last words
that people remember me by to be my own;
I want people who know me
to have a copy of this poem,
and to read it and think about me,
when they are alone and cry tears of happiness,
not sadness;
I want people to constantly be saying hello to me,
at the same time that they are saying goodbye.
I want to say that I hope to see you soon
in another life, and I hope that you will never forget me,
and I hope that this poem will keep on gifting you my presence,
in my poetry, in your life,
when I die.