My Poem “The Mark of New York”

Every time I am asked about where
my favourite place in the world might be,
I close my eyes, I smile, and I am instantly
transported back to the metropolis of my dreams:
the one and the only, New York City...
no other city compares,
no other place is more special in my heart,
no other city do I remember every second of
and every experience that I had while being there,
no other place shines brighter -
because to me it will always be
an inspiring constellation of 8 million stars
each with their own individual story to tell
about how they choose to leave their mark.

It's been 8 years since I was last
in the city that never sleeps,
but there isn't a day that goes by
when I do not think about
all that I saw and all that felt while I was
visiting the city filled with so many
buildings literally capable of scraping the sky...
it's been a long time since I was
walking down the various avenues and streets
from one side of the island of Manhattan to the other,
but I always find comfort in the fact that,
though I am far away, I can return to
New York City any time I want, in my mind -
and when I am there I see things,
I remember things, I see details,
I remember people who make
the "Big Apple" the place that it is:
like no other, special, powerful,
and one of a kind.

I would love to go back to New York City one day...
I would love nothing more than to wake up,
to get dressed, to head to my favourite
Starbucks cafe on Fifth Avenue -
where I used to eat breakfast, lunch,
and enjoy a late night caramel latte
or a machiatto on a regular basis,
and during the daytime, as well after dark -
and also revisit the places that I love
and feel like I know so well,
which got under my skin
from the instant that I saw them
and I immediately found myself in awe.

I would love to go back in time...
I would to get back in that yellow taxi
and once again return to the pools of rememberance
that lie in the shadow of the Freedom Tower,
and once again pay my respects to those
who lost their lives on 9/11...
I would love to go back to the place
that I could never get enough of
and rediscover and explore the things,
the places, and the feeling of unbridled
kinetic energy and electricity
that New York City has that has the ability
to gift to those who are lucky enough
to be able to visit it, or call it home -
because, take it from me, no other city
on Earth leaves its mark upon you
after you have been there like New York.

Episode #18: “The Mark The Poet Experience” – Recent Poetry

In this episode Mark recites four of his most recent poems: “Same Language”, “Why?”, “The Runners and Riders”, “Hello/Goodbye”, and gives some personal insights into the inspiration for them.

My Poem “Hello/Goodbye”

During the chapters of our life
we encounter unforgettable characters
who influence us in many different ways -
and, just as in a book, some chapters,
some encounters, and some experiences may be brief;
however, sometimes, some indellible impressions
never end and never stop being
like a breath of fresh air
through the sometimes cluttered
interior of our brain.

"I'll see you again", "I'll see you on the other side",
"I'll see you before you see me" -
life does not always conform to how
we might want it to play out:
sometimes people move on,
sometimes people lose touch,
sometimes two becomes one,
sometimes you can have too much
and sometimes you cannot have enough;
however, no matter the struggle,
no matter the pain, no matter the scars
that people sometimes have to sustain,
if you are lucky, one day, a reason
for what you went through will
reveal itself and give you an answer
that may reveal something about yourself
that will be just as revelatory
as the truth that all life is a cycle
and everything on Earth
has a connection to everything
within the blue or the black sky
that we sometimes see above.

You never know what you are going to do,
you never know who you are going to meet,
you never know what or who
will become important to you -
because no one can ever know
the outcome of anything
until they choose to try...
you never know if you will ever
do something again,
you never know if you will ever
see someone again -
but sometimes something
can last a long time, perhaps a lifetime,
before the curtains are drawn,
before we reach for our jacket,
before we walk through a door
to the world beyond our periphery
where and when we will say
a simultaneous hello and goodbye.

My Poem “The Runners and Riders”

Every weekend
within the village where I live,
there is a convergence, a meeting,
a gathering of runners and riders
who, for some reason, feel drawn
to my home’s crossroads
of paths and directions…
every weekend
people of every walk of life
set out of their homes
and eventually find themselves
at the same place, at the same time,
marveling at the journey they took
to be where they are and sharing
within their conversations their
mutual appreciation of what
always makes their thoughts race
and their heart beat faster and faster.

I, myself, am a walker…
I, myself, like to stop
and literally smell the roses…
I, myself, am a daydreamer…
I, myself, like to be unbounded to idea
of exactly where I am actually going
and let fate take me where
and when it chooses.

I have been both a runner
and a rider in my time –
and I can still recall the exhilaration
that I used to feel every time
that I pushed my body to the limit
while I got to where I needed –
however, nowadays, I am more of a free spirit
who goes with the flow.

I have been someone
who has had near misses –
and if the universe had had other
plans for me then I would not
be talking to you now…
I do not know how to be any different
than who I have become as a result
of all my experiences and adventures
that I have had over my life –
every so often dancing with
the flames of fate’s fire –
which is why I always feel
a genuine kinship with all of life’s
many and varied runners and riders.

Episode #11: “Dead Poets Society” (1989 Film) review + talking poetry

In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 1989 American teen drama film “Dead Poets Society” written by Tom Schulman, directed by Peter Weir, and starring Robin Williams. And Mark also talks about what poetry means to him and how blessed he feels to be a poet and an author of poetry.

My Poem “Why?”

There is always a reason,
there is always a why,
there is always a motivation
for the myriad of actions
that people sometimes take
and for the many decisions
that people sometimes make
that they have no trouble in
being able to justify.

Where there is a spark
there will always be a flame...
where there is touch and proximity
there will always be intimacy...
where there is language
there is will always be consideration,
interpretation and loss -
because truth and reality
are not always the same...
where there is the evidence of stories
of the past there will always remain mysteries.

Myths, legacies, stories, records,
chronicles, cave paintings, rock carvings
are important depictions of a mixture
of both fiction and fact all rolled into one...
sometimes it doesn't take anything more
than someone saying that they heard
a voice tell them to do something
for them to immediately act
seemingly without thinking,
nor without a fight...
symbols, signs, warnings, lessons,
cautionary tales are vital for
any civilization to learn the merits
of what is right and what is wrong...
sometimes it takes the bravest of the brave
to stop something that they know
is going to happen before it happens -
so that some day someone won't have to
look back upon a choice that they made
and have to justify to others
and perhaps to themselves
the answer to the question: why?

My Poem “Same Language”

The language of thought
is the same as the language of light...
the language of stars
is the same as the language of life...
the language of music
is the same as the language of the soul...
the language of dance
is the same as the language
of the natural world...
the language of a sunrise
is the same as the language of eternity...
the language of a sunset
is the same as the language of gravity...
the language of connection
is the same as the language of purpose...
the language of love
is the same as the language of trust...
the truth is that there will always
be a universal language:
the language of touch -
which is more complex than
any other language in the universe
but which is inherently every other language
combined into one.

The Mark The Poet Experience – Special Episode: “Ten Years in the Life of a Poet”

To celebrate the one year anniversary of the first episode of “Mark The Poet – The Podcast”, in this episode Mark takes a poetic trip down memory lane and recites eight poems from seven of his books, including his poems: “Back to the Spark”, “The Journey”, “Through Your Fingers”, “Heart to Heart”, “Balloons”, “Light of your life”, “Words Enough and Time”, “Memento Vitae”. And Mark also reminisces about the last ten years of his journey as a writer/poet/author. You can check out hundreds of Mark’s poems, both published and unpublished, on his website: http://MarkThePoet.Me

My Poem “Gone”

No matter how much
you try to hold on to something
sometimes you lose things,
sometimes you lose people,
sometimes you lose time;
however, one day you unearth
a piece of your past
and you look at it for the first time in years,
and, to your amazement,
it does not not mean to you
what it once meant -
where before you would have
done anything to not be parted
from a particular thing,
now, all the feelings that you
once felt for something, you discover,
seem to have evaporated,
seem to have become lost,
seem to have left without you knowing -
and though, before, you might have
told yourself that you could
never live without that
particular thing in your life,
you come to find that time appears to have
helped you more than you realize
to get passed what might
have been holding you back,
because now you find it easy
to walk away from what was never meant to be,
because what once was is now gone.

The Mark Hastings Experience – Season 3, Episode #1: “For the love of it”

In the first episode of “Season 3” of The Mark Hastings Experience podcast Mark talks about writing, his writing process, and he recites his new poem “For the love of it”. Check out Mark’s poem “For the love of it” @ http://MarkThePoet.Me