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I never see it coming; I never think about it twice;
I am never ready; nor do I ever ask for advice.
I’m afraid to say that when I “fall in love”, I really do “fall in love”-
as if I have fallen to Earth like a shooting-star from above.
You know that phrase “absence makes the heart grow fonder”?
well the farther away my inamorata is, my love for them grows stronger.
However, when that love inextricably grows to become a muse,
it is as if the spark that is my love has ignited a slow-burning fuse-
inspiration, love, feeling, thought, all become one and the same;
my muse becomes the centre of my universe; a fire I cannot contain.
If I knew the consequences, would I still choose to fall for someone?
If I were to become heartbroken, would I undo what has already been done?
Although the pain is always excruciating, the alternative is always worse-
every word of every poem that I was inspired to write was worth every verse.


To me there is no other film like “The Shawshank Redemption”,
a film that within every week, of every month, without exception,
I have sat back, watched, thought about, and mused about in admiration-
about the most incredible film ever made, in my estimation.
A film, based upon an amazing Stephen King novella-
who, by the way, is a brilliant and phenomenal storyteller-
about the fateful meeting, and the enduring friendship,
of two inmates at Shawshank prison, and the hopeful grip
that Andy Dufresne holds onto during his wrongful imprisonment there,
and “the man who can get things”, “Red’s”, diligence, style, and flair.
To me, The Shawshank Redemption is an extraordinary story,
a story that rises from the page and screen and breaks free-
to reside within, brighten, and enlighten the life of it’s viewer,
and leave you with a smile on your face that could not be any more truer.
After watching The Shawshank Redemption you feel brand new-
as if the sky above you has changed to a more brilliant shade of blue.
The story of Andy Duffresne being sent to prison for murder;
his tenacity, his hope, the struggles that he had to endure;
coupled with the story of Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding-
the “only gulty man in Shawshank”- is so amazing, energizing, and heartening.
To me, no other film, no other story, no other message has the same scope:
that no good thing ever dies, and that one of the best things in life is Hope.

Hi there! I’m Mark Hastings!
I’m afraid I am not someone who plays an instrument, or sings;
however, what I am, what I love, and what I one day hope to be,
is a poet and dreamer who can move the world with my poetry.
I haven’t always been a poet, and while growing up I was not much of a writer;
however, I was always a boy that saw the world to be that much brighter;
I always looked upon friends more optimistically than they saw themselves;
and when I dreamed I dreamed of starships, far-off worlds, and elves;
I watched TV, listened to music, and read the great works of the best-
Star Trek, John Lennon, Shakespeare, Tolkien- with enraptured interest.
While growing up I loved to draw, paint, and I loved to use vibrant colours;
I loved works of art that resonanted and harmonized with what naturally occurs;
however, when it came to rhymes, poets, poems, and poetry, I always fell-short-
I suppose, in retropsect, it was a fear of misunderstanding that I could not thwart.
However, cometh the muse, cometh the inspiration, cometh the poetry, cometh the poet-
and when you are blessed with a such a gift you never fail to feel, love, and know it.

We are the same; we are as one;
we can ascend, and walk the atmosphere of the sun-
the genie of inspiration has been summoned from the lamp,
and the wishes that it bestows looks set to enstamp
a change of pace, a new horizon, a brand new day,
an adventure, a journey, a new direction that will carry us away
to new lands, peoples, ideas, philosophies, and stories,
to new highest, insights, understanding, and glories.
To summon the genie that lies within our being
each one of us must feel a connection to what we are seeing-
whether it be a vision, a place, a landscape, or a person-
we all must look within and touch our inner “genie” version;
that voice, that instinct, that drive to dream and imagine,
that song, that energy, that exhiliration that gets under your skin
is something that we should all love, embrace, and immersive in-
like a vituoso of the bow, vibration, and the strings of our own violin.
Everyone has a genie, a gift, a wish to be fulfilled written into our DNA,
that is bound to our fate in ways we are powerless to disobey.

Two-players, two sides;
how well you play the game is what decides,
who will be the winner; who will capture the queen;
who will be the player to win the jackpot of the slot machine.
The prism of infinite probability makes it impossible to show,
who, if anyone, will win- no matter how many times they pass go.
Whether it be on a board, a park, a pitch, or a piece of paper,
on a court, a battleground, through the internet, or in an arena-
there is always an end, a goal, a score, a prize, a result;
most of the time there is a winner, a loser, a moment to exult.
No matter the who, the what, the where, the when, and the how,
there are always rules to every game that each player must vow
to stay within, to stick to, to abide by, and to not break;
even if the game must end in a draw, a tie, a deadlock, or a stalemate.
Just as for every Alpha there must be an Omega,
for every game there must be a risk, a pawn, a stake, or a wager-
an overwhelming drive that fuels the momentum of the game;
that focuses a player, and builds towards their last move, end, and aim.
Whether you are lucky; or a loser; always a winner; or always in a spin;
when you play any game- enjoy it, have fun, but always take part for the win.

The first thing we see when we are born-
that which is the embodiment of the arrival of the dawn.

That which can be seen, sought, shared, and said-
that which still remains long after we retire to our bed.

That which can be caged, but which can never be subdued-
that which sustains and courses through the veins of the renewed.

That which continues to influence our lives in a million ways, or just one-
that which we thought was lost in the long run we discover among the won.

That which cannot be bottled, but which will always be of the finest vintage-
that which will stand for longer and carry us farther than the longest bridge.

That which lives within the artist, musician, poet, writer, builder, and architect-
that which we care about, love, feel, give back to the world, and protect.

Where there is light there is hope, where there is hope there is light-
where there is the gift of new life the future will always be bright.

You never see it. You never hear it.
You never think it. You never know it.
The Past. The Present. The Future. The Plan.
The Baby. The Boy. The Teenager. The Man.
Is it luck. Is it destiny. Is it fate. Is it karma.
Is he the fastest. Is he the smartest. Is he the tallest. Is he the charmer.
Is it simple. Is it hard. Is it secret. Is it trend.
Is it his beginning. Is it his start. Is it his finish. It is his end.

Creation by the numbers, the universe by design-
that sensation that comes after tasting the world’s finest wine;
the precision of clockwork; the elegence of simplicity;
that indefinable essence that lends to life’s authenticity;
the unconditional love that we feel when we are born;
that naked re-evaluation of our worth when we mourn;
that incalculable rush of energy that grabs our heart with both hands;
that love and admiration that an artist lives to feel with their adoring fans.
Is everything by design, planned, blue-printed, copyrighted, stamped, and approved?
Or, is life a product of our own making, a work in progress, a can be improved?
When an artist first sketches their masterpiece, when a writer first outlines their opus,
when a conductor writes the notes of a symphony, when an athlete attains their focus-
that is the moment when they are no longer the driver of their life’s vehicle-
the moment when their body is now posessed and they are apart from the world and people,
a moment of direct contact with every form of life, energy, person, planet, and galaxy-
as if the universe is now their driver and they are just riding in it’s taxi.




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