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Today is my birthday.
Well, in actual fact, today, right now it is not my birthday,
my birthday is two days away;
however, the next time that someone reads this poem
will be on the day of my birthday,
and the next person to read it will be you,
and if you are reading this you probably already know me,
but if you don’t know me I would just like to say hello
and thank you for finding me.
To everyone, I just want to say that the last 33 years-
all the years, all the months, all the days-
have been more amazing and more epic than I could ever truly describe,
and you who have been with me, and who have followed me along the way,
have been fantastic and amazing,
and I would not be me if it was not for you.

What a life! What a world!
What a ride it has been!
What has happened to me throughout my life
has been more than words could ever describe,
ever since I was a boy and my hair was curled.

Am I who I thought I would be when I reached the age of 33?
Did I think what happened would ever of happened to little old me?
Someone once told me that “life was better than a dream,
because everything that happens to us while we are awake is tangible and real”;
but then again, there is a favourite quote from a favourite book of mine
that I love that says something along the lines of “life is but a dream”.
To me, dreams are the place where great and epic ideas happen
and where we all break a timeless seal,
and life is where we take those ideas and thoughts
and run with them, and ride there currents
like a fast-moving stream.

What I have seen;
what I have learned;
who I have met face to face, and in my dreams,
who I have have been saved by when it looked as if
all my bridges were going to be burned,
has given me everything anyone could ever want and dream of,
and what has not yet happened will either take the form of a figurative
black crow, or a white dove.

My life has changed so much, and it is about to change again;
my life is constantly changing shape, changing colour,
changing feel, changing speed, and that is why sometimes
I have to stop, take a breath, and count to ten.
My life, like the universe, like my mind, like my heart,
is always on the move, and never rests
even when I am lying asleep in bed;
my life, and me, has been dark and black,
light and white, and my life and I is there for all the world to see,
when I write the poetry of my life, and it is read.

I saw a black swan on the river today,
swimming in the ice-cold morning air.
Alone the black swan made its way without a care-
one of the most amazing sights I have ever seen,
the swan captured my attention
and stimulated my imagination almost immediately.
The stark contrast of its beautiful black feathers and its red beak
to the white of the surrounding snow.
As it made its way down the river
the black swan looked up at me as it passed me,
and for a second we two exchanged a gaze that stunned me-
so much so that I watched until it left my sight
and went to where I was unable to follow.
I had never seen a black swan before, but on this day of all days
I was not lost on the significance of its symbolism and meaning.
Seeing the black swan,
as I made my way to say my final goodbye to a good friend,
made me stop and think
on this personal journey of remembrance that I was taking,
that the world was trying to tell me something,
that I was going to receive a gift on this day
that would be for me and for me alone to understand,
but the consequence of that would be heart-breaking.

I had attended my friends funeral, but I hadn’t really said goodbye;
I had written a poem describing how I felt about their passing,
but I felt that I hadn’t really spoken to them as I always had;
I felt that simply attending my friends funeral service
and sharing my sorrow with their family was not enough-
in my mind, I thought that I needed to go back to their grave
and reconnect with them in some way,
so that I may hear them again,
and maybe I would stop feeling sad.

The snow covered everything in the graveyard,
but I remembered where the body of my friend now lay
without a second thought.
The wind was bitterly-cold as I stood facing the frozen Earth
above and below the now empty shell of my friend.
As I spoke to them in hushed-tones hoping that they could hear me,
because I knew that my memory was quickly fading
and that time was growing short.
After standing with my head bowed in solace and in silence
remembering everything that I could about my friend,
an image of the black swan that I had seen began to grow in my mind
until it was all that I could think about-
and then, above me, to my awe, shock, and astonishment,
I looked up and saw a black swan flying in the sky over-head,
and I fell to the ground at the sight of the black swan’s wings
outstretched like a dark angel ascending to the white-coloured clouds.
After regaining my footing,
I was fortunate to just catch the sight of the black swan
before it disappeared into the fog of the horizon-
as I did I swore that I heard my name being spoken somewhere far-away
in a whisper that I could barely hear,
but its depth of resonance was unmistakable-
like the crashing waves of an ocean.

Making my way home, the gift that I had received continued to ring in my head.
My memory of the swan that I had seen was glowing,
as if I had seen it in infrared.
I felt this feeling in my heart that my friend was still here in some way-
that their part to play in the universe was now proceeding on a different path-
that they will return to life in other forms, their essence will never be gone.
I had thought it impossible to accept the truth of my friends death,
and to try and reconcile the reason for his return to the source of all life,
until I saw the beauty, and caught the gaze, of the black swan.

On a moonlit night, dressed all in black,
a man walks the streets of his town,
reflecting on the night that has passed
and also on the realization that he cannot give back.

To taxi drivers, and early-morning passers-by,
he is like a ghost in the street lights;
and as he takes a step closer towards home,
it occurs to him that no one really knows him-
people think they do, but he is not the person
that some people believe they are capturing in their sights.

We can never truly know how we are seen by others,
nor what our emanating first-impression is-
all that the man knows is that tonight
he got a glimpse into a mirror that showed him
how people perceive him,
and he wonders if it is a recurring after-image
that when he is described everyone sees.

Maybe it is because, these days,
his words speak for him without him even opening his mouth-
he has found that actions, especially his own,
have spoken silent volumes about who people are-
and that fact he too thinks long and hard about.

Perhaps he is a closed-book
that periodically and uncontrollably
sometimes has their cover opened
and their pages turned by the winds of the world,
and if it were not for a book-mark here and there
nothing about him would be known or unfurled.

We are all a mystery to one-another,
sometimes even to our friends, and our families;
sometimes we are even a mystery to ourselves-
just because we live our lives
does not mean that we know everything about our lives;
sometimes things lie out of reach on perceptions highest shelves.

Song-writers and story-tellers have been singing about and describing
men and women in black for some time now,
but until last night and this morning
this Man in Black never understood who they were talking about
and he never thought that a person like that
would be a person like me.
He wonders if he will always be a Man in Black;
however, that is not for him to know,
that is not for him to see.

We live in the most self-expressive,
free to believe, free to create, age of global-sufficiency,
that the world has ever known-
where freedom and truth are king and queen,
without the need of a throne.

We no longer all need to be wired-in,
our words and our thoughts
can now travel instantly through the air-
every wall has a door, and anyone can go anywhere.
That is not an illusion, that is fact;
you own what you say-
there is no need for a contract.

Everyone knows that their words and their actions
have consequences all over the world- how could they not?
People are not as ill-informed
as they would like others to believe they are-
everyone knows the difference between what is right and what is wrong,
otherwise everything would happen in the light
and not in the dark.

If we don’t have the freedom to use, voice, remix,
reinterpret, and express, ourselves
in all the ways and means that we are blessed to be able to do,
then I think that that is only the start
of splitting the Earth in-two.

Freedom is the one thing in life
that no one now, in the past, or in the future,
would ever want to give-up, and forever do without;
and if there is one way to show how much freedom means to everyone,
that we want to move forward, and not back,
then I can think of no other recourse
but to turn-off the lights,
and go to black.

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