My Poem “The Misunderstood”

Everybody always looks to their peers
for a familiar face to trust…
everybody always looks to
who they seek out on a regular basis
for guidance about what to think,
what to believe, what to do,
and what is the truth…
everybody always looks to the images
that they see being presented
in newspapers, in magazines,
on television, in movies,
and on the screens that they use to
access the infinite streams of the internet –
and everybody sees some things
and everyone sees some people
slightly differently depending upon
their own personal opinions, attitudes,
experiences, and past relationships.

I believe that some things are not open
to interpretation, for example:
we are all human beings,
we all live on the same planet,
we all breathe the same air,
we all have the same colour blood
coursing through our veins –
and though we are not all the same
physically, psychologically,
or emotionally, we are all people,
we all need the same vital things
to survive, to grow, and to thrive,
and the fact is that some people
in this world have had it worse than
other people could ever truly imagine.

I think everybody needs to focus
more on what we all have in common
rather than on what divides us
and we all need to treat one another
with all the respect that we are due
through acts of selflessness,
mentoring, sharing, and coming to
an understanding that hopes to help
heal the scars of the past
so that everybody can one day
be defended and represented
by those who chose to rise above
the use of violence to settle their
problems and instead decided
to reach out and find a dialogue
of words and actions that they
hoped over time would help
to right some of the many wrongs
that have been wrought upon
the innocent, the forgotten,
the lost, and the misunderstood.

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 “Undercover”

Undercover, under the hood, under the skin –
whether sitting under the shine of the sun,
or at times when under the weather,
whether it is raining or sunny –
everybody is somebody else,
everybody has a secret identity,
everybody dreams, thinks,
feels, and dwells upon
the reflection of the one
who they see within themselves
when they internalise with their
inward looking eyes…
Under normal circumstances
the best way to understand
why we do what we do
and who we are would be to stop
ourselves and to scrutinise
what we truly want and desire
and to ask ourselves whether
the actions that we have taken
have been progressive or self-destructive
in order to find the bliss
that we wish we had within our grasp…
Under investigation the sins
and the crimes that we are guilty of
are clear as day –
but just because we might be guilty
of being selfish from time to time
that does not mean that heaven does not await
each and every one of us
if we seek and follow a path of redemption
and if we first forgive ourselves
for being human and fallible…
Under a microscope
a scientist may be able to discover
a lot about what makes our biology
the way that it is and how different
we are from other people
who might look similar to how we appear –
however, the truth of the matter is
that everybody is a product
and the result of an experiment
that has been ongoing
for billions of years
and characters in a story
that each of us has a version of
that we tell ourselves all the time,
that binds everybody and who
and how they see themselves
when they are looking at the world
from under a cover.

My Poem “Quotes”

“I have always loved reading quotes,
I have always loved sharing quotes,
I have always loved the way that
something that someone once said
is captured, written down,
and recorded for posterity,
because what someone in particular
said at a particular time
captured the attention and the imagination
of someone, got inside them,
and changed them profoundly –
sometimes to the degree that the words
that someone once uttered,
perhaps just in passing,
struck something deep inside
and grew to become their life-long motto
and the words that they daily live by.

The right quote, at the right time,
can be a powerful thing…
the right words, said by the right person,
when someone is sorely in need of wisdom
can be like rocket-fuel for the mind…
the right insight from the first-hand
experience of another person can be like
a parachute for someone – allowing them
to gently glide back down to Earth
from a place high above the ground –
when they feel like they are falling through life,
and it can create metaphysical wings
to make a person believe that they are soaring…
the right collection of interconnected letters
and words can reveal so much about
what is going on within a person’s mind
that they sometimes find that they have to hide
from everybody observing them on the outside.

Quotes are amazing to me,
because they are like gold nuggets of wisdom
and inspiration that people sometimes find
when they are sifting through
the fast-moving stream of life…
magical rainbows of colour and depth
that show themselves after a rain-storm
of uncertainty and unpredictability
that are brought to light when the right
conditions present themselves
and beauty arises and when truth
and nature come into alignment.

The best quotes ever captured
are poetic in so many ways –
and usually more so than the speaker
who was the source was ever conscious of
when they said them…
when I read something, when I hear something,
when I feel something in something
that someone else has said,
it is always impossible for me
to not be affected by it –
especially if what I have read, what I have heard,
what I have felt was something that
instantly and immediately had an impact on me…
to me some of the most inspiring words of wisdom
that still haunt the world
are the true ghosts and the real spirits
of people who may have long-since passed on,
but who will live on forever
through their poignant, timeless,
and immortal quotes.”

-Mark Hastings, 2019

My Poem “Catharsis”

Whatever you internalize,
whatever you take in,
whatever you analyze,
whatever you hear,
whatever you taste,
whatever you touch,
whatever you see –
especially if it is something
that challenges you in some way –
at some point, ultimately,
has to be released and set free…
that is why art – poetry, painting,
drawing, movies, television, books,
theatre, carpentry, comedy, music –
is so important to society,
because it gives us an excuse
to externalize our inner thoughts and feelings.

Expression can be powerful…
creation can be trans-formative…
exposure to things can be inspirational…
discovering who you are and who you want to be
can define how, where, when,
and with whom you want live…
sometimes you only have an inkling
about what is bubbling away inside of you,
below the surface of your day to day thoughts –
and it is only at moments when your internal
defenses and barriers have been lowered enough
when what is within you is allowed to come out…
there is something evocative about
watching something being performed live –
like watching an artist or a band
let their art and their distinctive
sound and voice speak for itself –
that just overtakes you, consumes you,
and makes you do things and say things
that you would not ordinarily do.

The only way to find the answer
to a question is to ask it…
the only way to discover the truth
of something is to explore it…
the only way to get through life
is to live it, to fight for it,
to embrace it, to worship it,
to take chances, to take risks…
the only way to be is to be a poet –
because a poet lives every day
a life of reflection, of contemplation,
of inflection, of internalization,
of externalization, of expression,
of liberation and catharsis.

My Poem “Rings”

Rings are a symbol of love…
Rings are a symbol of eternity…
Rings made up of tiny particles
can be seen encircling
the mighty gas-giants
of our solar system
and have been doing so for generations…
Rings are a promise…
Rings are an oath…
Rings are a truth and an unending
bond shared that should not
be taken for granted…
Rings of engagement, Rings of marriage,
Rings mean something profound
to those who understand
and value the symbol of forever
that should not be broken…
A Ring can give meaning…
A Ring can give purpose…
A Ring can give its wearer power…
A Ring given to someone by their lover
can make them happier than they have ever been…
Rings made of every type of metal
have been worn for centuries
and they have come to symbolize
many different things –
however, when I think of a ring,
and what a ring means to me,
it symbolizes completion,
protection, a union of hearts, minds,
bodies, and souls connected
in so many different ways…
Life is a cycle… galaxies of stars spin
with black-holes at the centre of them…
planets orbit their stars…
moons orbit their parent planets…
The universe is a system
of concentric Rings around Rings
around Rings around Rings –
Rings are everywhere you look…
Rings are what give meaning to everything.

My Poem “Love Is Like Dynamite”

Love is like dynamite…
love is a sometimes indefinable
feeling, energy, purpose,
connection, sensation, perfection,
that everybody knows and instantly recognizes
when they experience it coming over them…
love is like nothing else…
love is like a flash of light
that guides your way, day after day,
and keeps you wide awake at night…
love is true magic…
love is the true meaning behind the universe…
love can never be foretold, nor predicted…
love is a blessing and should
never be considered a curse…
love can make people do many things…
love only gets stronger as you commit further
and you dive deeper into the ocean of feelings
that you can’t deny that you feel for another…
love needs to be expressed…
love is a question, an answer, a test,
a way for someone to show themselves at their best…
love is a gift… love is infinite…
love transcends sex, colour, cities, countries,
distance, language, and worlds…
love is more than a word,
love is more than a feeling –
love, in its purest form,
is about finding bliss, joy, heaven on Earth,
when you aren’t looking for it,
and realizing the fundamental truth of the universe:
that nobody is ever truly alone,
and there is somebody out there in the world
for everybody to share an unbreakable bond with
who gives everything that someone has always wanted.

My Poem ‘Draw’

Everyone has instincts…
everybody has to learn
how to react, and when…
everyone makes links…
everybody has to learn
how to use their god-given gifts –
whether it be a gift with their mind,
with their feet, with their hands on a steering-wheel,
with their fingers on keys
or on the strings of a musical-instrument,
or by connecting their heart, soul,
and their dexterity to create a piece of art
with a brush or a pen…
inspiration sometimes comes
from the most remote and random of places –
however, true beauty, to me,
true love can only come from one face…
what draws one person to another
is sometimes hard to fathom –
most of the time it is what and who we see
upon first-sight and it is a physical-attraction;
however, there is more to life than the physical…
there is more to life than what you can see…
there is more to someone that makes them beautiful…
there is more that makes the world what it is
than could ever be believed…
some things are tangible, but most things
are felt with another kind of ‘touch’…
some things can be simplified and described,
but some of the most important things in life
no words – at least to me – could ever be enough…
one example of a boundless, spiritual,
powerful, life-changing, magic that can fill
a person’s heart, soul, mind, and body
to overflow is the most phenomenal
of all energy in the universe: love –
and once you have found ‘The One’
who gives your life meaning every day
feels as energizing as feeling a burst
of brilliant starlight from the sun above…
nobody knows what their calling will be,
nor when it will come –
but when you know it for what it is
you will feel like you are momentarily
floating free off of the ground,
it will be like gravity is no more –
and once you feel what comes next,
nothing and nobody will be able
to stop what rises from the moment
that you feel that indescribable draw.

My Poem ‘God’s work’

God works in mysterious ways…
with light came life
at the beginning of the universe…
to god seven billion years
could be the same as seven of our solar days…
life is precious…
god’s creations are now more distant
than they were at the beginning of everything…
everybody on Earth has a role to play
in the grand design that god set forth
before the universe exploded into existence
with the biggest of bangs…
like everything in life
no thing is any-thing without trust…
we may not realize it,
but everything happens for a reason:
accidents happen, mistakes are made –
however, every-thing and everyone
is bound to a master-plan
too unfathomable to anyone but it’s architect;
the universe is complex –
but what else would you expect
from an idea such as the universe,
literally the most divine garden
of limitless, beautiful, and varied
example of life ever imagined:
what gift, what blessing,
what answer hidden in plain-sight
within a question being asked
could be more perfect?

Two worlds are never the same;
two lives, though seemingly-close,
always live on either-side of a divide;
the two eyes of someone’s face
is like the light of the stars
that we see sparkling from afar
in the vast darkness of space;
the two ears, the two lungs,
the two arms, the two hands,
the two legs, the two feet that many,
however not all, are born with –
the signature physical characteristics
of the human body remind us all
that we are still all of one world,
one Earth, and one of a kind.

We all come to a belief in something
from different directions;
for some, the path to the truth of what life is
can be short, it can be long, it can be easy,
and sometimes it can be incredibly hard;
there are people who believe
in many things in this life –
and when they say that they believe in something,
or someone, I know and I believe
that they are telling the truth with every word;
we all come face-to-face with things in our lives
that we can’t understand –
sometimes the journey to find the answers you seek
cannot simply be reached by driving somewhere in a car;
the human heart, the human soul, the human consciousness,
the human dreams, are all keys to the door
that lead to the gates of heaven –
and I believe that each and every one of us,
no matter how big or how small we believe we are
in the cosmic jig-saw of life
can make no mistake in believing
that we are all doing god’s work.