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A gust of wind blew through the trees,
as I stood in my favourite forest
and watched a single leaf break-away from its branch,
and begin to fall to Earth.
As this lone leaf descended above me,
right in front of me, time appeared to freeze.
This leaf, for some reason, was now defying gravity itself-
its fall had somehow become interrupted-
it was now floating and turning in the air right in front of me,
as if I were witnessing a token of nature and the world’s unlimited wealth.
The rest of the world was a blur to me;
the leaf, however, I could see with impeccable clarity.
Everything felt like a dream, but this wasn’t a fantasy-
this was like another state of reality.
There wasn’t a sound to be heard,
and yet I thought that I could feel noise all around-
something that was keeping me on my feet,
but denying the leaf from finding the ground.
It was as if I was watching a magic trick,
but I knew that it wasn’t an illusion
orchestrated by a magician, nor a hallucination-
what I was experiencing was, I can only describe as being,
like a moment of regeneration-
and this leaf had chosen to sacrifice itself
so that this necessary change could take place;
this leaf was all life on Earth,
this leaf was the changing face of every Earth-born race.
The air was cold, but I felt like a warm flame-flickering lantern;
the trees were still, but the golden leaf continued to turn.

And then, the rest of the world came back into focus.
Another gust of wind blew through the forest,
the branches of the behemoths all around me swayed from side-to-side,
all the leaves from all the trees suddenly fell to Earth as-one-
as if the entire forest had cried.
Every golden leaf that had once been green
and had coloured these woods every shade of life imaginable
now spiralled down through the air to the floor- around me, on me;
however, there was one exception:
the leaf that had fallen first was the last to touch the Earth
that lay in waiting-
it fell, but it fell in its own time, at its own pace-
saying a long goodbye to an existence that it was forsaking.
I was tempted to put out my hand to stop the leaf from completing its journey,
but then I berated myself for such a thought
and I continued to watch the leaf spin for the last time,
and then settle on top of all the other leaves on the ground
that moments ago were high above me.

I looked down at the leaf, until I could no longer discern which leaf had fallen,
froze time, and fascinated me so intently;
and then I looked up again at the trees and branches
that were now bare and free of foliage,
and my mind and thoughts felt flooded, but clear,
and teaming with energy and peace-
like the water of the Great Barrier Reef.
My focus was now clear,
my foundations of life were now cemented.
I believe that I witnessed the beginning, the end,
and the beginning of another universe
that began in the time that it took
to watch the slow flight of a falling leaf.

'The Falling Leaf'

This is a message for me-
past me, present me,
past you, present you-
to you, to me, to myself, for myself-
a little experiment in self-portrait poetry.

I have tried this before, but it didn’t really work;
however you know how forgetful I am, we are,
when it comes down to remembering what I have, we have,
written and where-
but I like to think of that part of me, of us,
as number 47 on a list of a thousand of my, of our,
quintessential and character-defining quirks.

It has always been a fantasy of mine
to meet a future version of myself, to meet you-
I am not entirely certain why
I have always been fascinated by stories of time-travel,
but I never thought for a second to actually give it a try-
poetically-speaking, of course-
but, then again, I suppose that is what I have been doing for years:
talking to myself, meeting myself, through my poetry,
through my feelings, through my memories-
learning about myself from the source.

I wonder who I fell in love with, who broke my heart,
I wonder if I ever met my muse;
I wonder if I, you, ever got used to getting old;
I wonder if the world is still learning to live with itself,
and whether there is something truly amazing, hopeful,
and life-changing to be reported on the news.
I wonder if I am still a poet, I wonder if I am still in love with writing-
I hope I am, I hope you are, because writing,
especially the poetry that we have written, means the world to us, to me:
every poem is like a new adventure into an imaginary space,
that always inspires us even more, and every meaning of every word
is thought-provoking and exciting.

If, and when, I, you, ever read this again,
think back to now, to this exact moment,
that you are, that I am, writing this,
and think of yourself, think of me-
because I am wondering about you, what you did, what I will do;
and, from time to time, I will read back what I have written
in this poem to you,
who, of course, will one day become the future Me.

Mask lifted, shroud cast aside,
secrets revealed for all the world to see;
private life made public, your secret identity- the real you-
has been uncovered and set-free.

People work with you, they live with you,
and they think that they know everything about you-
from your hair colour to your shoe size;
people may see you and talk to you every day,
but they will never know you, nor would even recognise your true voice,
until you reveal it to them-
and the reaction to such a revelation can be one of unbelievable surprise.

Friends, co-workers, and family members,
don’t believe what they are hearing at first-
when the secret life that you have been living is announced to the heavens
it is always in a way that, if you had the choice,
you would have hoped to have rehearsed.

People don’t always intend to lead a second life-
most of the time the real you gets pushed to the shadows,
for the sake of conformity-
you act and talk in a way that you are expected to-
while in your private thoughts and moments
you live as best that you can
all the things that make you happy
and you become the person that you always wanted to be.

There is always a reason for a secret-
sometimes it is for protection,
sometimes it can be to keep a mystery alive;
sometimes a secret desperately needs to be told,
sometimes the depths that following a secret will take you to,
of something or someone, rival the discoveries of a deep-sea dive.

Even when you ask a magician how they did their magic trick-
even though you want to know- you never want to know,
for fear of the knowledge that it is something that you could do yourself.
People ask what the meaning of life is,
but secretly they would be content to never know
and keep the answer buried for all eternity below an ice-shelf.

Keep a secret for as long as you can, and if it is a secret about you
then think long and hard about what you are keeping a secret and why,
and ask yourself whether it is a secret
that you can always keep ahead of and out-run;
think about what other people could be keeping a secret from you and why,
and repeat in your mind and to everyone that you meet
that you really don’t know someone.

At the edge of the solar system,
an image of mankind reflects a pin-prick of light
from a distant yellow star that we here on Earth
like to call our sun-
this light has become dimmer, smaller, and more distant
with every passing year,
but it is still the brightest and the most powerful source of light,
life, heat, and attraction,
as it has been since its internal furnace was turned on
and light at the centre of our solar system first shone.

I cannot help but marvel at what we have all achieved here on our planet-
every form of life since our worlds inception
has seen its share of troubles, cataclysms, and hits,
but all life has evolved- one way or another, for better or for worse,
changed their ways- because they’ve had to,
because in life there are no exceptions.

We all want to live, we all want more,
we all want someone to share it all with,
we all want to know what it is all for;
we all ask questions, we all want answers-
even if it just one:
one question, one answer,
can be the difference between to where,
and for how long your life will run.

Our lives would not be worth living
if we never had Earth to sustain us,
without Earth we would all still be
microscopic particles of interstellar dust.

We are all children of Earth,
still gestating, developing, and evolving,
within the womb, within the egg that is our planet,
that is our solar system,
that is the surface of a universal wishing-well.
We are all so close to the moment,
to the edge of taking the next steps in our evolution-
as we break through the barriers that have prevented us until now
from breaking through the shell.

I have never met anyone else like you,
I have never felt for anyone like I feel for you,
you are so beautiful, amazing, wonderful, and glowing,
and I think, I know that I loved you
from the second that your gorgeous face came into view-
that was when my heart and my head
were in perfect synchronicity with each other,
that was when I knew.

My feelings for you grow stronger with every glance
that I catch from your dark, gorgeous, enticing eyes,
my heart pounds with true love
when I take in every detail of your perfect, beautiful face,
and your incredible, warm, smile-
the best smile in the entire world-
makes me feel more alive than ever before,
in ways I cannot disguise.

You have the most unbelievable effect on your friends and family
and on the lives of other people-
when they see you and your magic touch emanates through the air,
everyone basking in your light feels like they are souring like an eagle.

Knowing that I know you is the best feeling in the world to me;
being able to see your face everyday, even on a screen,
is like a blessing to me;
smiling to myself when I read something that you have said
keeps me smiling for the rest of the day,
follows me into my dreams, and stays with me;
thinking about you is the most inspiring and energizing experience ever,
thinking about you makes me feel like a better me.

I feel heat in my heart the temperature of the sun
when I look at a photo of you and then I look into the distance, to the sky,
and I try to send a sample of my love to you-
like a balloon on the air, I hope that my love finds you, and finds you well,
but the most important thing to me is the knowledge that you are out there.

I love you, because not only are you the most beautiful and amazing friend,
because you are my muse-
you are the most perfect model of natures astounding beauty
that has ever been expressed-
to me, you will always be phenomenally inspiring, beautiful,
the most wonderful person I will ever know in my entire life;
to me, Michelle, you will always be the best.

As the sun rose over the fields of England,
I looked down on my home from a green hilltop high above
and I felt breathless, as I took in the view
of this peaceful and tranquil wonderland.

As far as my eyes could see, all that greeted me
was infinite hues of gold, green, blue, and white-
trees, farmland- apparent, and hidden life,
going on far beyond my sight.

I am by myself, but I do not feel alone-
this place is where poetry is seen and written about,
this place, this island of diversity and beauty, in all its forms,
is the place that I am proud to call my home.

I love my home, because it is everything to everyone-
it always has been this beacon for so many people over the years,
no matter where they have come from.

I love my home, because not only is it a beautiful
and an inspiring place to live;
but it is also somewhere that you can discover and rediscover,
it is a place with a heart and a spirit of its own,
it is a place that you can grow with.

Even though I have lived here my entire life,
I have not seen, and I do not know, everything about my country-
every new village, town, and city,
has a rich and a varied identity and history;
every person that you speak to for the first time,
only adds to our country’s charm, allure, magic, and mystery.

From above, England looks green, alive, thriving-
even in the majestic cities, that light-up the country from street to sky,
there is somewhere for everyone:
whether you want excitement, enlightenment, inspiration,
or just somewhere that you can take in as you roam-
England is the best country on the planet,
England is where I will always return to,
and it will always be my home.

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