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The day had been planned for for months;
the moment had been imagined and re-imagined
over and over over in my head;
the thought about what I would say gave me goose-bumps;
the alignment of all the stars that had to happen
to bring about a meeting of minds, lives, books, authors,
still makes me feel like a kid at Christmas again;
the anticipation, the journey,
the waiting in-line outside the grand Waterstones bookstore
in Birmingham with my friend,
is something that I will always remember,
and it will always be special to me-
I remember bringing more than one book to get signed
by one of my favourite authors,
but just the thought of what I was doing
and who I was doing it with,
and the memory and experience that I was sharing
was what truly made me happy.

Being a writer can sometimes be a solitary endeavour,
and by its nature writing must be a personal act
that only you can do alone;
being a writer can sometimes feel like you are a traveler
off on an adventure,
and the only person who can truly understand what its like,
what it means, and what you can do,
is another writer who is on their own journey-
while sitting in a coffee shop surrounded by sound,
or a writer in their own space,
writing feverishly on their computer or in their notebook,
in the comfort and solitude of their home.

What I loved about waiting in-line for so long
was that I got to listen and notice people around me,
who were just like me,
and who were just as excited about coming face to face
with someone who made them imagine, think, feel,
something, and share something with someone else-
that is exactly what happened with me:
I read something, I was touched by something,
I was gifted an amazing story,
because of a phenomenal and magical writer,
and I instantly felt the need to share it-
as if I were under a spell.

When my friend and I reached the top of the windy stairs,
and finally came eye to eye with the author
that we had both been looking forward to meeting,
I honestly felt like the author, myself, and my friend,
were the only people in the bookstore,
at the book signing event,
and that everyone had suddenly, magically, left;
it was amazing looking down at my favourite writer,
talking to him about how I loved his writing
and the inspirational commencement speech
that he gave a few years ago
which made me too go off on my own creative quest-
however, the truly amazing and the most epic thing ever
was when I took out my own book that I had signed for him
and I handed it to him as I told him that I too was an author,
and to this day I still remember what a thrill,
and what an honour, it was when my favourite author
accepted my own gift and then extended his hand to me,
and in that infinite and fantastic moment
I felt a connection and a transference of knowledge and wonder,
and storytelling magic, from one author to another.

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As I dream at night,
when I wake up in the morning,
as I walk in the sun, and in the rain,
through forests of trees,
and along streets of light,
I hear a sound,
I feel a calling,
I decipher the chaos,
I feel on fire,
I see, read, and imagine poetry,
in every leaf, in every smile,
in every look, in every raindrop-
the energy of the world gets into my veins,
the inspiration of the universe
makes me feel like the king of the cosmos,
everybody I know and everything about them,
and all that I know, has my imagination and thoughts
jetting off faster and higher than an airplane,
and just as I am right now-
everything twists around me
and I feel like I am in the eye of a storm,
seeing and watching things that appear fractured
from the outside looking in
come together and fuse forever
like a blanket of frost.

I will never forget the moment I heard the sound;
I will never forget who inspired my voice;
I will never forget the shock-wave that I felt,
like a lightning-bolt hitting the ground;
I will never forget who I was and who I knew
I would always be- as a matter of destiny, not choice;
I will never forget what began, what came first,
and what it was like to instantly feel
like all this time I had been traveling through the heavens,
but I just hadn’t realized it;
I will never forget the moment I became the poet.

The journey has been bumpy;
the road hasn’t always been smooth;
the sky above and my vision has on occasion been cloudy;
however, I have not stood still, I have kept on the move;
I have written about love,
I have written about loss,
I even wrote a poem once about a lost glove;
and every day I write with a pen and paper,
or I create something with my soul
on the canvas of my mind, with all my heart,
and I am consumed, happy, free of fear,
alive with life and inspiration-
like I have emerged from the waves of a sea
and I am now walking in the soft sand of the wash.

When you realize that you have a gift;
when people tell you that you should pursue your talent
and see where it takes you;
when you know that you have something to offer someone
who needs what you have inside you
you can feel your own heart racing in your chest
and your pulse beating in your wrist;
when you see truth, hope, purpose, potential, and goodness,
emanating like an aura from certain people
that you are fortunate to meet,
the things and the people who give us so much
are who we too want to do all for and give back to.

The ‘Poet of the Sphere’ is who I will always be,
and the first book of my poetry
is only the first chapter, the first volume,
the first teaser, of the whole story that is me;
now, I am stepping into the future
with memories and experiences from my life,
hoping to share who I will always be in the light of the day
as well as in the twilight of the dark,
and you can be sure that when you read
or hear the voice of the Poet of the Sphere,
you will forever know, and you will forever recognize,
the unmistakable sound of Mark.

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Sometimes you have to wait for things you really want;
sometimes you have to do all the hard work
and then sit back and be patient;
sometimes to see the fruits of your labour and passion
you have free yourself of any expectations,
so that what you put that effort into will truly count;
sometimes you have to leave things alone
and let things settle, dry, and be as they should,
like wet paint.

Everything needs time to cook;
everything needs time to come together naturally,
everything needs time to coagulate, be framed,
be bound tightly like the pages and cover of a book;
everything needs time to grow into what it is meant to be.

Different influences,
different sights,
different sounds,
different people,
different encounters,
make a piece of art,
make a creation,
make a life,
make a person,
and sometimes they can all be focused
into one perfect moment, or one perfect and amazing gift;
waiting for the right time can be all that is necessary
to pull together the dividing sides of a rift.

Having the will to hold on,
having the belief to not lose faith,
having the strength to carry on,
having the vision you rely on
to keep standing and keep going, can be hard
but when it all becomes real and tangible,
and you can actually hold what you have wanted in your hands,
everything that came before and all you had to do
to get where you are is eclipsed
and everything and you feel incredible, invincible, and great.

There is nothing worse than a ticking clock
that when you are waiting for the time to fly
moves slowly as if the seconds, minutes, and hours,
are not even moving at all;
there is nothing worse for the mind, the heart,
and the senses, than the time to think,
because sometimes you can think too much,
and you end up building and living behind a wall.

Counting down; seeing the next direction to take;
navigating without a map; making the choices
and embracing the mistakes that are not really mistakes
that you have to make,
are all a part of the adventure of a life-time
that is like Earth-bathing and Earth-gazing
a quarter of a million miles away on the surface of the moon.
The best of things are born into life slowly but surely,
meaningfully and poetically,
and we can all rest assured that phenomenal new adventures
are on the horizon, and are coming soon.

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On a morning walk down the city high-streets,
passed countless people, passed shops,
stores, restaurants of all names,
I am stopped in my tracks instantly when I see
a Golden Gunslinger reading a book
while sitting at the foot of a tree.
I’m not sure how long he had been there,
I’m not sure what he was thinking,
but when I looked at him looking down at his book,
to me, the gunslinger looked
as if he didn’t have a care in the world,
and it seemed as if to the gunslinger
the rest of the world could carry on their way
because he was lost in thought, in state,
and frozen in time, but like a performer at a carnival,
the gunslinger sat with a tin pot
just to the left of his right boot
asking politely of his generous passer-by
for a token of interest, fascination, respect,
and a thought to show that they care.

I sat in-awe of the gunslinger on a bench nearby,
and I even took a picture-
I felt like I was looking back in time,
or as if the gunslinger had been transported to the future,
to our present-
and as I sat looking at him, the sun shone brightly on him,
and made him glow even more golden,
and he looked even more amazing than he did before,
and even the sky above looked even more blue.
I thought long and hard about approaching the gunslinger
and putting some money in his pot,
and I wondered what he would do if I did-
would he lower his book? Draw his gun and take a shot?

The incredible living-statue of the gunslinger
that mesmerised me, painted head to toe in gold,
in himself was a work of art-
he was so brilliant to behold,
because as soon as I saw him I was instantly transported
back in time to my childhood,
and my fantasies of wanting to be a cowboy.
The Golden Gunslinger was like a living photograph
of a time of adventure and a reminder of the heroes
and out-laws that fill the stories of the Wild West
that once was in America that for so many
still holds a special place in their heart;
The Golden Gunslinger reminded me of how care-free
and amzing it is to a child, or someone who acts on and follows
their instinctual passions-
whether you are a man, or a woman, a girl, or a boy.

As time caught up with me,
even though in all the time I was sitting there looking at
the gunslinger he did not move an inch,
I realised that it was time for me to move on.
I decided to approach the gunslinger and give him a coin
from my pocket to repay him for his time,
his inspiration, his generosity, and his golden spirit,
and even as I got closer and closer
he still didn’t look up or look away from his book
and didn’t for a second flinch;
and then, as soon as my £2 coin hit the rest of the coins
in his golden pot and made a sound,
The Golden Gunslinger suddenly came alive
and he looked up at me-
he lifted his left hand to touch the rim of his Stetson,
he looked right into my eyes, and I saw him smile
without him having to move his lips at all,
and he bowed his head slightly,
and it was in that moment that I smiled too
in appreciation, and I too began to shine as the sun shone.

As I stepped back the gunslinger reverted back
to the pose in which I first saw him,
and he immediately went back to his prefered-posture
of reading his book, at-ease against the base of his tree;
while I turned to my right and continued to walk down the high-street-
I didn’t look back, but I knew and I was so glad to have met him,
to have given him my time, and for him to have given his time to me
and to everyone who saw him, because he reminded me
in lots of ways of myself, and he was obviously someone
of great patience and a deep-thinker.
I promised myself to capture this moment that would never come again
in as much detail and with as much meaning as I could,
and I also promised that I would never forget
The Golden Gunslinger.

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It’s a brand new morning,
on a brand new day,
at a brand new time,
for a brand new me;
it’s a brand new dawning,
on a brand new path,
to a brand new way,
at a brand new place,
with a brand new state of mind,
for a brand new poem,
about a brand new us,
and a brand new life for us
to live breathe and see.

I feel like I am going back to school.
I feel like I am having to learn things over again.
I feel like I am discovering
and tapping into a new source of inspiration fuel.
I feel like I am learning more about myself
every time I sit down with a piece of paper and a pen.
I feel like I am crossing a border
to an unfamiliar territory.
I feel like I am ripping out the last page of my story
from my book, and throwing it into the wind
for someone else to find and one day return to me,
and then we can both know what my last word
and what my last line of poetry will be.

It’s a fresh air that I feel,
and a fresh perspective that I now have.
It’s a fresh surge of blood, energy, and love
that I feel pumping and beating from my heart.
It’s a fresh and gleaming new coat of paint on the world
that I can see my face in,
because the shine is so clear when I look at it
I am instantly reflecting.
It’s a fresh cup that I am drinking from,
as I make the best of every second
of my fresh start.

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One year ago today
the course of my life was changed forever,
one year ago today
I remember sitting alone, in silence,
with a piece of my heart,
a memento of my memories,
an embodiment of a life-time of hopes, light, love, and tears,
a story that could not have been written by no other-
one year ago today I was holding in my hands my book,
‘Poet of the Sphere’.

What a year it has been!
What a time I have had!
I have seen things that I never dreamed.
I have been given gifts of insight,
I have done things I have never done before,
I have put my faith and my heart into the hands of others,
and I am so glad.

Things happen for a reason.
The things that have happened to me are a testament to me
that life is not just a series of random happenstances
strung together by commonalities-
life is guided, guarded, and fated to be what it is for a purpose.
We meet people and they dazzle us with fascination.
The people I have met, the friends that I have made,
the muses that I have fallen in love with,
have infused, overwhelmed, and flooded my life
with so much inspiration, energy, joy, excitement, fun, and wonder-
every day has been like an ever-changing and performing circus.

Having a book of my poems published by an amazing publisher
is one of the best things that will ever happen to me in my life.
Having people that I have never met before
tell me how amazing what I have imagined and written about is,
and saying what an achievement it is to do what I have done,
what others have only dreamed of doing,
makes me so happy, emotional, thoughtful,
about what it means to take every opportunity you are gifted
and to make the most of every moment of being alive.

I have learned that your life can be whatever you want it to be.
Sometimes you have to take a risk on things, on people,
jump from a mountain-top knowing that you will have wings on your back
that will glide you to a prosperous destiny-
just like the miracle that happened to me, one year ago today.

Book 1, 20/1/2011

Icy. Frosty. A day of great beauty.
This book feels special.
This time in my life feels essential.
This day feels inspiring.
The future, I can tell, is going to be exciting.

Book 2, 23/11/2011

Icy. Frosty. A day of stillness. A day of great beauty.
This book is me. This is the beginning of a future I cannot wait to see.
Today is the day.
I have so much that I want to do. I have so much that I want to say.

Book 3, 5/6/2012

Calm. Peaceful.
As Venus prepares to transit The Sun for the last time this century-
the energy in the air is wonderful, palpable.
This book is me. This book is my destiny.
I am in the cusp of something great.
I am at the end and at the beginning of a journey.
The hour is early, and yet it is getting late.

Book 4, 23/9/2012

It is the 23rd of September, 2012.
It’s a warm, restful, inspiring Saturday afternoon-
perfect conditions and a perfect day to be inspired, to write some poetry,
and a perfect day to take your favourite book down from the bookshelf.
This book is me. This book is my thoughts. This book is the world that I see.
I feel inspired. I feel brand new.
How can anyone feel tired, when they are on the verge
of having all their, my, wishes all come true.

Book 5, 13/2/2013

The last few weeks have been hard.
The last couple of days have been a revelation.
The last few weeks have felt like one big condolence card.
The last couple of days have given me something that I truly needed:
a peace, an acceptance, a discovery about life,
that, for me, will have lasting ramifications.
This book is my story. This book is my life.
This book is more than my poetry.
This book is what keeps me going,
and sustains me in my struggle to stay hopeful, and to stay alive.

Back story: Since the 1st of January 2011,
at the beginning of every new notebook
that I start writing my new poetry in,
I have written a little poetic-message to myself
and to anyone who may one day read my notebooks in the future, in ink,
trying to capture who I am and what is going on in my life,
and how I feel at the exact moment that I am beginning a new book-
one of the most thrilling times, if you are a writer.
Anyway, since today is World Book Day in the UK,
I thought that I would share these little notes of insight
and put them all in one “evolving-poem”, as I call it-
I call it an “evolving-poem”, because I intend to never finish it:
every time I begin a new notebook again,
I will update this poem with a new verse! I hope you enjoy reading it!
-Mark

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.

Some people go through their entire lives
still holding-on to a dream;
some just need to find the right person at the right time
to elevate them from wannabe philosopher and poet
into something and someone who makes a difference when they speak.

I never had lofty dreams while growing up-
not unless you count those daydreams of mine when I was a kid,
when I dreamed of what it would be like to be an astronaut;
I never thought that I could play a part in the world,
until I met the muse who would overcome all boundaries
and shatter all concepts of reality-
whose inspiration has always guided my path and given me support.

I never thought that my words would carry farther
than the eyes and the ears of someone near and dear,
until I was gifted a wish to be granted by a dream-maker
to echo the words of my life to the entire world-
as should be the purview of the poet of the sphere.

In my hands I am holding my life’s words
in a book with my face on the front-cover,
as if I were holding my own heart;
I cannot tell you how incredible and epic this moment is-
to me, it is as if I have painted a picture
and now that painting has come to life,
and I am now meeting the face for the first time
of my own work of art.

Holding my own book of poetry, my life, in my hands
and seeing my parents, my sister, cry tears of happiness at the sight;
hearing how proud my family and my friends are of me
is what I live for, and it is why I write.

“Poet of the Sphere” is but the start for me-
I have so much that I want to do, to experience, and so much that I want to say;
there will never be enough words in my vocabulary,
nor enough hours in a single day.

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