Fall, 2018

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My Poem ‘Sights to see in Birmingham City’

Even from far-away
you can see the towers of the city on the horizon;
as you get closer to the centre of the city
the buildings both old and new glisten;
when you catch a glimpse of the spires
of Saint Martin’s church,
and of the shining disks that cover
the imposing Selfridges store,
you cannot help but be taken-aback by what you see;
when you climb the steps that lead
to the entrance to the Bullring,
that is but the start of a path
to things that always attract my attention
and capture my fascination
every time I see them
as I walk around the city.

I love walking up New Street,
from the famous bronze Birmingham bull
to the statue of Queen Victoria
that stands tall atop their plinth
at Victoria Square –
there are always musicians and street-performers
playing and performing hoping to draw people to them
so that they can bedazzle with the talent;
I love going into my favourite restaurants and stores –
in particular Starbucks, Waterstones,
and also my favourite bookstore ‘Foyles’
which to me is the jewel in the crown
of the newly-refurbished New Street Station –
and simply looking, perusing,
people-watching, and listening;
one of my favourite places to go in all the city
is the amazing and inspiring
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery –
the exhibitions and the art to be found within
to me is always a treat to behold…
and another place I love to revisit is of course
the phenomenal new Birmingham library –
somewhere I have spent many an hour
enjoying every moment of walking through
the near-infinite number of books on their shelves,
and also sitting outside almost on the library’s roof
looking far and wide and also below
at the beautiful city beneath me.

I love walking the towpaths
of the canal-side near The Mailbox;
I love walking from one end of Broad Street
to the other and marveling
at the number of restaurants and bars
that can be seen as you follow the stars
and in the footsteps of the famous and the renowned;
I love how no matter if it is a sunny day or a rainy day
that I cannot deny that this city
constantly speaks to me and to my sensibilities;
I love those times when I can walk around,
or just sit down on a bench near St. Philips Cathedral
that stands at the heart of the city,
and allow my thoughts to runaway in my mind;
I love the many cultures, accents, colours,
and sounds that echo wherever you find yourself in town;
I love every time that I get to see the sights
that always inspire me in Birmingham City.

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My Poem ‘Walking the line’

Literally, figuratively,
physically, emotionally,
I have been walking a line
or two my entire life…
just like Johnny Cash,
near the infamous Nickajack cave
in Tennessee,
I walked the tracks of a railroad-line –
and I can honestly say
that on the beautiful morning in February,
while I was walking alongside the Tennessee river
with the love of my life
and my adoptive family,
I too had what could be called
a “spiritual experience”:
the sky was blue,
the light was golden,
and I felt more alive than I had ever felt –
I was renewed, and I did not even for a second
think to look back over my shoulder,
because all that mattered
were the moments of perfection
that I was living out in nature
and under the life-giving and incredible sun.

Walking any kind of a line
is always when and where
something life-changing begins;
walking down a road that you don’t know
is how you can discover
and learn to embrace something unknown
and completely different;
walking, and not rushing,
is how to savor the beautiful
and the miraculous things about life
that speedsters sometimes miss
because they travel at the speed of lightning;
walking has always been a passion of mine –
and I swear that you haven’t lived
until you have stopped and heard
the breathtaking sound
of the Earth when it sings.

Every day people walk the line of life and death;
every day people walk the line of light and dark;
every day people walk right and left;
every day people walk to live,
and to live they have to walk far;
every day people walk
even though every step may feel like mile;
every day people walk through all weathers;
every day people walk through fire
and must overcome a torrent of trials;
every day people walk and repent
so that one day they can be
welcomed through the gates of heaven.

No matter what demons lie in your past,
you have got to keep walking
even though there may be times
when you don’t feel fine;
no matter what baggage you carry
that you think you can’t let go of,
sometimes you have got to learn
to let go of what you don’t need anymore,
and don’t look too longingly
at the light of the past
because before too long it may make you blind;
you haven’t lived in this life
if you haven’t at some point or another
been asked to pick a side;
there is no one alive
who hasn’t had to walk away from something
so that they to walk towards something –
no matter what, no matter the time,
everybody in their life
has got to walk the line.

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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.

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My Poem ‘The Fox’

In the early hours of the morning
when everybody, mostly,
was asleep in bed,
I used to walk the streets
while the sun was still rising,
and I would see and hear the world –
and there are things that I saw,
and things that I heard,
that I have never before confessed.

I used to listen to the silence,
and, as when I was a child,
I believed that I could hear
and feel the Earth turning;
I used to see the sun
and instantly feel the hairs
on the back of my neck stand on-end,
and I could feel the heat of the sun –
as if my skin was about to start burning.

With the moon still in the sky,
and the stars still shining bright,
the streets, the houses,
the trees, and the flowers,
looked in a stage of rest
as the people sleeping nearby –
and even though it was a new day,
it still had the look
and the feel of twilight.

I used to hear the first birds,
in the trees and on the rooftops,
begin the symphony of song
that is the dawn chorus;
I used to look up at the sky
and see the colours
and the canvas of the clouds
change and paint a unique picture,
with the sun acting as both
an inspiration of natural art,
as well as a back-light.
There were mornings
when I just used to stop and stare,
and feel a part of each
and every beautiful moment;
some mornings were absolutely
stunning, incredible,
phenomenal, and magnificent.

I was witness to true wonders of nature;
I lost time, because I used to forget
that it even existed;
I used to have this feeling
about what a day would consist of
right at the beginning –
like sampling an unfinished meal
and trying to get a sense of it’s flavours;
the times when I felt like
the only person left on Earth,
as if I were its eternal guardian
and destined to walk the miles
of this wonderful sphere forever,
were the best.

Many mornings, many hours,
the only other living thing
that I would see was wildlife –
and the amount of animals
that are already up
and doing what they know,
and what their instincts tell them to do,
without even thinking, is amazing;
and every animal that I used to see
was a moment, for me, that was truly magical:
from deer, to rabbits;
from hedgehogs, to badgers;
from frogs, to cats –
however, the species of wildlife
that I saw the most, and the animal
that I used to see
and would see looking back at me,
the beautiful creature of the night and the day,
which knows the true value of family,
which knows what they have to do to survive
and provide for their family,
that I used to read stories about as a child,
and the animal that I used to see daily
and be captivated by,
was the animal with the most warm and fiery fur on Earth,
which I used to see casually walking down the road,
which I was not for a second afraid by,
and which was and still is one of my favourite animals
of the night and early morning,
and that animal is the fantastic fox.

My Poem ‘The Walking King’

I love walking. I have always loved walking.
I love discovering, I love exploring,
I love adapting; I love finding new ground;
I love trekking, and I happily would walk and keep going
until I could be counted among the lost and found.

When you walk, you see the world
and you get to take in its beauty;
when you walk, the depth of colour
and the exquisite detail that you can see stretches to infinity;
and the ecosystem that carries on regardless
of the sometimes pettiness of humanity, do not blink –
because to them they have an entire life
and a whole world of their own to survive in,
thrive in, and do the best that they can in,
and most of the time these self-contained worlds,
that occasionally overlap, are focused of a single goal
and an encompassing need to
maintain their species’ well-being.

When I walk, I see things, I hear things,
I think about things, I imagine things,
I feel things, that I would not anywhere else,
while doing anything else, and I feel transformed,
and I do not for a second want to stop feeling
or being the person I am,
because the thrill and the rush that galvanizes me
is more powerful than any drug,
and it is a natural instinct and magic
that comes from within us all,
as well as from our surroundings –
whether we are walking free and roaming
in the air of the countryside,
or in a park, or even along the streets
and pavements of a busy city.

If you love to walk, like me,
you will walk anywhere, at any time –
in the daylight, in the dark,
in the peaceful solitude of the wilderness,
in the noisy and chaotic motorway of a never-ending,
never-stopping, never abating living laboratory
of an energetic and energizing metropolis.

The call to be on your feet
is one that a walker, and a runner, cannot ignore,
and it may even wake them in the middle of the night
as they sleep soundly;
the importance and the gift to walk
is one that is primal, and runs deep;
sometimes we can act without having to think,
and walking is one of those things
that if we can we will do,
and under our own subconscious locomotion
we can achieve and maintain without at blink.

Those of us who can walk take it for granted;
those of us who can climb, go anywhere,
stand on a mountain, walk on the seafloor,
have the amazing gift to see and go to
every corner of every country and continent
on our wondrous and beautiful planet.

When I walk, I take in the temperature
and the touch of the air;
when I walk, I feel exhilarated,
as I witness the incredible, the unbelievable,
the fantastic, and the amazing;
when I walk, I am in my own world,
and I feel like I can go anywhere;
when I walk, the world truly comes alive,
and sometimes I cannot believe my eyes,
as I witness the endless cycle of a world in the making,
that I am a part of, and more often than not
when I walk, I love the feeling
of being a “Walking King”.

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