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When you think about
all the innumerable things that happen in life,
especially in your own life,
that all stem from a single moment of creation
that is beyond the control of anyone who has ever lived;
when you think about what you have done,
what others have done, and why everyone did what they did,
it is not hard to wonder, and it is not surprising to think,
about what may happen in the future-
however, we all forget that the future consists, and is built on,
the choices and the decisions that we make now,
and a combination of what we know for sure,
as well as the chaotic and unpredictable confluence
of the things that we come across and effect us,
which make us go wow!

Gravity, and anti-gravity;
Earth, and outer-space;
Strength, and fragility;
Confusion, and happiness-
two opposing sides of a single coin
tossed in the air, waiting to fall
and land on one side or the other,
and sometimes, depending on which way the wind blows
at a certain time of the day
can change the course of an entire life
and can move you in a particular direction
and can drive you in a natural way-
like the way that music can engage and drive
the heart, the mind, the spirit,
and the body of a dancer.

Wherever you happen to be at a given moment,
at a particular time in our life,
can effect you a great deal;
a writer, for example, writes differently
and about different things depending on where they are-
in a loud cafe, in their sanctuary at home,
while they are sitting down eating a meal,
listening to music in complete silence,
alone, or surrounded by people-
life effects a writer and their writing,
in ways that are always inspiring.

When you come up with an idea;
when you fall in love with something, or someone-
the idea, the thing, the person, takes over you
and becomes the most important thing in your life,
they become your life, and they become all that you want and desire,
and can make you feel out of this world,
but like you are even more connected to the world-
they can make you feel the happiest of the happy,
and as if you are walking on the moon in anti-gravity.

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Every adventure begins with a dream;
every epic starts with a first step;
every day begins with a sunrise
that you may not always see;
every ocean starts with that very first drop.

Every singer starts by singing into a hair-brush;
every author begins by first writing in a diary;
every musician starts with an imaginary instrument-
like an air-guitar- while listening to their favourite music
full-blast, and being told to turn the music down
with a bang on the wall, or a hush;
every song-writer begins writing songs as poetry.

Every driver starts by having a go behind the wheel
of their parents car;
every life full of language and conversation
begins with that first word;
every humanitarian, or doctor, starts every day of their calling
with the oath ‘to do no harm’;
every disease that was ever thought to be wholly-untreatable
will one day be found to have a cure.

Every happy life begins with that first friend;
every band began with that first practice-session;
every new beginning started with an end;
every great relationship began with a question.
Every fortune started with that first penny;
every chain began with that first link;
every thing about who you are and who you will be
goes back and can be traced to who is your family;
every change of perspective begins by you considering
a possibility that you never thought to every think.

Every collection begins with that first item that you treasure;
every place of peace and serenity started as the place
where you always wanted to be when you were a kid;
every passion should always be a pleasure.
Every singer, every musician, every poet, every astronaut,
every teacher, every vet, every soldier, every inventor,
every gardener, can always go back
and point to the time, and they can always tell you what,
and where it all began, and where it all started.

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Everyone has their likes and dislikes;
everyone has an opinion about what is the best,
even when we are a child we have our favourites-
a favourite toy we like to play with,
a favourite teddy-bear we like to carry around everywhere,
a favourite blanket that we hold onto tightly for comfort and security,
a favourite bike, a favourite colour that can equally make us feel
calm and quiet one minute, and then the next have our heart
beating fast in our chest.

Throughout our lives we grow to love things more and more,
and we can even gain a new appreciation of some things
that we always claimed wholeheartedly to always hate,
because nothing ever last forever,
and because invariably our tastes do change over time-
there are some things of brilliance and greatness
that we can discover and happen-upon late.

Our favourites are individualistic and say much about who we are
and about the life we have had and the life we live;
our favourites are what make our entire day
and can be what we think about and breath every minute;
our favourite person, our favourite song,
our favourite lesson, our favourite road
which we travel on which is never a mile too long,
our favourite book, our favourite car,
our favourite cook, our favourite drink at our favourite bar.

Our favourites are our favourites,
because they make us feel something;
our favourites are our favourites,
because they make the world feel like there is nothing missing;
our favourites are our favourites,
because they make us feel at home
even when we are far-away from what we know
as well as the back of our hand;
our favourites are our favourites,
because they are special to us
and not just another grain of sand.

My favourite book is ‘The Little Prince’;
my favourite film is ‘The Shawshank Redemption’,
or, depending on the day, ‘500 Days of Summer’;
my favourite colour is Blue;
my favourite writer is William Shakespeare,
and he has been from the moment I first read his beautiful words,
and every time I have re-read anything penned by him every day since;
my favourite song is ‘To the moon and back’ by Savage Garden,
but I also love John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’-
and to me these songs are songs that no one else
could ever truly cover;
my favourite thing to do is write,
but, if you know me already,
that would be something that you already knew.

What is my favourite now hasn’t always been,
nor should it ever be-
things are meant to change, as we are meant to change;
as we live, learn, and experience new things and see new things
we grow and change, bear fruit, and take in,
and are a person and a product of our environment, circumstance,
mood, and our emotional metamorphosis that we sometimes go through,
because of something that we feel and see.

Your favourites are your favourites, but they could also be
the favourites of someone you know,
or of someone you have yet to meet-
but who you might meet because you share the same love
and appreciation for something,
and because you bask in the light that something,
or perhaps someone, daily emits;
your favourite table, your favourite chair,
your favourite place, your favourite passion-
there is always an amazing story and an amazing reason
why something touches you, and why something, or why someone,
becomes your favourite.

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It’s never what you set out to do;
it’s never what you ever plan for;
it’s never what you think
will ever need to happen-
but then you realize it is the only thing you can do,
it is the thing you must do,
it is the thing that is necessary to prevent
things getting as bad as they were before;
sometimes you have to even reset a relationship
to remember, to rediscover, to reignite, the passion.

Even the best of things from time to time
needs to be turned on and off again,
rebooted and restarted-
even our senses and our instincts
can sometimes benefit from a readjustment-
especially if you have been tested to your extremes in some way,
if your life feels like it is going astray,
and like everything is just not going your way,
and for some reason you just feel sad or broken-hearted.

If you own a car,
sometimes you discover that you need to replace its battery;
if you manage a team and your aim and goal is to win every game,
sometimes you realise that you need to infuse your team
with new blood to shake things up;
if you are running a marathon,
sometimes you have to pick up the pace;
if you try not to worry about what is going to happen next,
you might just see what you have been trying so hard to see
where you never would have expected it to be;
if you change your normal rhythm and walk a different way
in a new direction, meaning and reason will find you
without you having to look;
if you go away and come back to something important,
to you an entire new universe might appear and open up for you
that is more wondrous and infinite in appearance than outer-space.

Everything and everyone must go back at some point-
even a finely tuned guitar needs to be retuned sometimes;
even an expensive watch sometimes needs to be rewound;
even the most state of the art machine, piece of technology,
or software, needs to be upgraded, or sometimes replaced-
every state of being can only last for a certain amount of time;
even a part of your body may one day need to be substituted
with an artificial equivalent-
like a new heart valve, or a new elbow-, or knee-joint;
even a good crop needs to be cut down, sold,
and then resowen, so that cycle of growth can continue,
from the Earth to the air, and then back to the ground.

Even the day has to turn to night at sunset;
even our minds have to switch off and dream,
and run away with themselves when it is dark;
even an every-day hero starts somewhere
and ends their journey somewhere else
that they may never have ever planned to be,
or could ever have expected-
that is their arc;
even a life needs to come to a full-stop,
needs to be reassessed, and like anything that is complicated
to sometimes understand, which we can sometimes take for granted,
sometimes needs to be reset.

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I asked a friend who I should write about next,
and they said that I should write about me-
and then I started to think about what people know about me,
what my friends know about me, what those who I have loved,
and who love and have loved me, know about me,
and what I know about myself,
that I haven’t told anyone else before
that still remains a mystery.

My family know the day I was born,
where I was born, and where I grew up;
my friends know where I went to school,
who my teachers were,
and who I was in my developing years;
my close friends know what I like, what I love;
my best friend knows what I am thinking about all the time,
and knows the road I walk every day,
and knows the direction I am going,
and knows what makes me smile, and what brings me to tears;
my muse, my love, the voice I hear all the time in my head,
the one I dream of every night, knows me better than anyone
and knows my heart’s desires, and is with me every second
of every day, and who wants everything to turn out for the best
for both of us, and is my inspiration, strength,
and my future, every step of the way.

I was born on the 21st of April, 1981,
on the maternity ward of a village called ‘Marston Green’.
I grew up and still live in a village called ‘Meriden’
in the Centre of England, and surrounded by the most beautiful
and inspiring scenery, fields, and forrests, I have ever seen.
I went to high school at ‘Heart of England’ school
in ‘Balsall Common’, where I first fell in love with English
and literature, and where I had my first crush
on a girl called ‘Helen’.

When I left school, like most of my friends
and like anyone of the age of 16, braving the undiscovered
and new horizons of an unknown and scary bi wide world,
I didn’t know what I wanted to do, nor who I wanted to be-
I had no definitive direction to go in but forward,
but where that would take me I did not know,
but I knew that only one person would be the only one
to give me what I needed and who would be the key-
and that person was me.

I could never have predicted what would happen in my life.
No one could ever have told me what I would see,
what I would feel, what I would write.
I could never have wished, or ever have guessed,
that I would have been truly blessed every day
by something, or someone, that was both my day
and my night light.

So, is there more to say about me?
Is there a secret that has yet to be uncovered
and admitted to the world?
Why of course there is!
But what that is, both you and I will have to wait and see.

This is the last page of the last chapter
of this edition of my book, before I begin a brand new chapter
of a brand new book, and on the first page I will begin
the first poem of the next chapter of my life
and my journey-
I already know that it will be filled with so much
of what and who is in my life now, and always will be;
but I also know that my new book will be full, infused,
inspired, interlaced, with new muses, and new musings,
new dreams, new experiences, that could only have been possible
because of everything that has always been and is constant,
and will never change-
but I know with complete certainty that what is to come
and what I am going to write about
will be about things beyond my imagining,
and, unlike this poem, wont be all about me.

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Sometimes you think you know the beginning of something
before you know the end;
sometimes you think you know with every certainty
what you are going to do with your life.
When you are a child it is so simple to imagine,
to anticipate, and see the good things that you want to happen to you,
and to you they are not just thoughts that you write in a diary
or a journal, and they are not just the dreams that you share
with your best friend.
When you are a child every first step that you take is an adventure,
and you just do what you feel in the moment,
and you say what you think in an instant,
and everything is possible,
because you haven’t yet been told that the most important thing
to do in everything you do is to try.
There are no disappointments,
at least there shouldn’t be as long as you remember,
even though you are a child, that as long as you still have yourself,
your mind, and your heart, and something to believe in,
and someone to believe in you;
and as you grow older, if you stay true to what feels right
and what your first instincts tell you,
you will one day look back with a smile,
and wonder how unbelievable it is that the moments of your life,
like the years, have gone by so fast-
so much so they feel like they have flew.

I am always fascinated by what the first thought is
that someone remembers of their lives.
My first clear and recognizable memory
is of my first day of primary school,
and being late that morning for some reason.
I am always in awe by what a child says,
no matter what it is, because they never have no end of things
to say about everything, and because they are surprisingly
articulate, knowledgeable, open, and right.
My first day at school was when I first said ‘I’m sorry’
and I gave my first gift to my teacher for being late-
it was only a box of chocolates,
but I do remember her telling me that is was alright,
and her saying thank you to me and to my Mom-
it’s so strange, because even though that happened so long ago
it feels like yesterday,
and at that moment, and at that time,
my mind, body, and senses, raced and lived truly and wholly
in the moment, and I didn’t fixate or even realize
there was such a thing as a horizon.

As we get older, we unfortunately do forget.
In this day and age our lives seem to revolve around numbers
that we feel compelled to constantly remember,
so we can do what we have to do,
and so we can get what we want to get.

The world has changed so much since I was a boy.
I have seen technology, opinions, countries,
cities, sky-lines, people, language,
and what children and adults are constantly being told
what they need in their lives and what they should think-
whether it is an expectation, or an image,
because it is what everyone else has in the form of a
new disposable and unimportant,
but seemingly vital new toy.
But the world is change. Change is the nature of life,
and the life-blood of the entire universe.
When things change everyone know that they must adapt to survive,
and to me that is why change is a gift to be cherished
and relished, not a problem or a curse.

The more we live and the more we experience,
the more our lives blossom in ways that know
and don’t have to imagine when we are a child,
because we feel it in ourselves-
just as we know and feel the change within us,
and sometimes that can make us want to break free
and run wild, unrestricted and unconfined,
and because we are still discovering who we are
and who everyone and what everything is,
nothing is out of reach or not aloud.

What I rediscover and realize more and more day by day
is that I don’t see myself the way I sometimes feel
I am supposed to see myself,
because I see how others my age look at me
and look at themselves,
and because most people these days are so used to
being told what they should think, feel, like, dislike, say, and do;
I suppose I am the opposite of that and I recognize
that same freedom of expression and identity in so many others that I see-
people who just want to be a person and not a number,
even if that number is their age.
I find that if you live free and embrace every hopeful moment
it shows in every part of you,
and to everyone around you it really tells.

As birthdays come and go;
as the days begin earlier, but feel shorter;
as I realize that life is more about who you know
sometimes more so that it is about what you know;
as I realize, what I used to not ever think about
and simply act upon when I was child,
that the feeling of the moment is more important
than worrying about what hasn’t happened yet,
and may never happen.
I realize that even though in counting the years
that I have been alive, breathing, thinking,
and feeling on this planet,
I may appear or seem to be getting older,
I am in fact in spirit doing the opposite of that-
because I truly feel that I am growing younger.

Life is short,
and as a butterfly knows only too well,
and what the life of a butterfly teaches us all too well,
is that we are all in a constant state of metamorphosis,
change, and adaptation-
we all live a butterfly life,
and the appearance of a butterfly
and the significance of it’s meaning to me
is a sign of renewal, a fresh start, a new path,
a clean slate, a feeling of elation.

A butterfly has no control of its life,
but even as a gravity-bound caterpillar
it feels this natural drive to go forward,
to take in all that it can so as to change
who and what it is, so as to one day
use everything that it has ingested to surround it,
and evolve and regenerate and grow
and spread the gift of its wings
that have been a part of it since it was born,
and do what it has always been meant to do.
To me a butterfly is not just a sign of change;
to me a butterfly is an example of fate,
a paradigm of destiny, a beautiful epiphany.

I see a butterfly every day-
even if it is just a picture of one,
a drawing of one, a mural of one
painted on the side of a wall,
a tattoo of one, a preserved one,
a memory of one, a living and breathing one-
and every time I see one I smile,
because I know that I am being drawn to somewhere,
to something, or to someone, that will change my life in some way,
and I always follow a butterfly to where it is guiding me,
even if I have to run.

There are butterfly people in this world,
there are butterfly events that happen to us
that effect us and shape us,
make us, and resonate with us,
that are like music that vibrates through the air
and on the wind that can coalesce into one special,
beautiful, perfect moment that has the feel
and the shine of a pearl.
There is buttefly poetry being written
indelibly over all parts of the Earth
that will last forever and be interpreted
and reinterpreted, and read and rewritten
in a billion different ways.

A butterfly is as special and as precious
as the touch of an angel;
a butterfly is as magical and wonderful
as the laugh of a child;
a buttefly is a daylight reflection of nature’s beauty,
and that can be seen in the colour of it’s wings,
the way it moves, it’s instincts,
and in the way they fly.
A butterfly has one of the most important purposes
and messages that can be found anywhere, in anything,
and that is what is so amazing, special, and beautiful,
about remembering what life is all about
for everything and everybody;
and why it is important, if you can,
to think and to live the butterfly life.

My heart feels like lead.
I don’t even want to get out of bed.
My head is pounding. My mind is swimming.
I feel numb. I have forgotten the touch and the heat of the sun.

At work I am making mistakes, I can’t do anything right.
At home I am reminded of every thing and every one that I have lost,
but the worst thing is that I feel like I have lost the will to write.

The words and the conversations that I have had with people
over the last couple of days have been rattling around in my head
and driving me insane-
to me, love is not something you can pretend to be in,
you are either in love or you are not-
love is not a game.

I am not perfect, and I don’t claim to be and never have,
but what I am is someone caring, passionate, full of energy,
full of life, and the farther the distance between me and someone
I put every second of thought into bridging and connecting
with someone as much as I can.

I have been told that I simplify things too much,
that I sometimes focus and obsess on things and people too much,
and I have to agree with that, I know that about myself,
that is what makes me such a good writer, I like to think-
I like to think, I like to feel, I like to be lost in something
and someone, I like, I love, to be in love.

Anyone on the outside looking in on me and on my relationships
would think that I seek out chaos, that I like the rocky road
more than I do the flat, maintained, tarmac of a highway-
however they would be mistaken, because, believe me,
I want nothing more than to be with someone, to be happy,
and for them to be happy with me,
living the quiet, simple life of embracing and making the most
of every second together,
and never even to think or ever want to walk away.

I have walked away from things and people in the past,
and every time I have hated myself after for it.
I don’t want to walk away from anything ever,
or anyone that I care about and love-
but sometimes I feel like I have worn out my welcome
and I have said and done all I can,
but what is below my feet now resembles a worn-out piece of carpet.

I am hurting.
I am confused.
I am like a computer that needs rebooting.
I am like a battery that has lost its charge and is now used.

It will all be ok tomorrow- I keep telling myself.
It will all work itself out- a friend of mine once told me.
It will be a brand new day, a brand new year.
It will be a fresh start- at least I hope it will be.
It will be a time to change again,
it will be a time to change everything,
and even though it will be hard,
I am willing to see how far I can go-
as long as I remember what my sister told me yesterday:
to “don’t change (my) good heart”.

As I look out my bedroom window,
as I watch the wind displace the leaves
as it gusts through the branches of the trees
and makes telephone cables
and power-lines sway from side to side with every blow,
as it seems as if every leaf is now well on the way
to changing colour for the season,
I look down to the street below
and I see a little boy riding his bike
on the pavement outside my house
wearing a big coat and a bobble-hat;
and instantly I feel a wave of something come over me,
as if the winds of time were blowing in unison
with the winds of the world outside, and taking me back
to a time, to an autumn day like this one, when I was a kid-
a time when I loved to play outside with my friends,
and my sister Clare,
and play a ‘catch me if you can-type of game’ called “tag”
in which I never minded being the one who was “it”.

I used to love riding my bike;
I used to love exploring the great place where I lived;
I used to love looking out my window
on a dark, rainy night, and being in awe of the sound of thunder,
and energized by the sight of a lightning-strike;
I used to love playing hide and seek-
and I swear no one could ever find me,
nor think of the right place where I was hid.

I had a very happy childhood;
I had everything a child could ever want;
I had so much love bestowed upon me,
and I was taught so many lessons and I learned so many skills
from my Mum and Dad- from appreciating the value
of the smallest of things, and the briefest of moments,
to the importance of hard work,
and knowing the best way to cut wood.

I remember smiling a lot when I was a child,
I remember laughing, creating, watching,
constantly asking questions, and learning from everyone,
I remember times when I used to sit quietly,
I remember times when I used to run wild,
I remember having so much fun.
I remember the good times, and the bad;
I remember the people I knew and who knew me who just suddenly died,
I remember the times when I had to say goodbye.
I remember all the times when I felt so happy
I thought my heart was going to explode;
I remember the tears that came after a fall,
and the times when I didn’t know what was going on,
and I felt sad.

The world has changed.
I have slowly, but surely, grown up.
The home I have known all my life
feels like a picture that is constantly being reframed.
I am outwardly very different from the boy I was-
from my shoe-size, to my likes and dislikes,
to my hair colour, and hair cut.
Inside I am still the same-
I feel and I know that, even now.
Inside I am under no illusion in my belief
that in everything I do, and to everyone I meet, I make a difference;
I don’t always know why, in what way, or how,
but I do feel, and I have always felt,
like everything that I was doing had a purpose and meant something-
even if I was writing a story, or painting a picture,
even as a child I knew that there was so much more to be seen
than could ever be seen, and that no matter the dark clouds
that sometimes swirled around above your head
there would always be something to have hope for,
that there is always a silver-lining to everything,
and that there would one day be a great,
beautiful, and bright future.

Looking at my own reflection in the glass of my window,
as the sun shines on my face,
I look into my own eyes-
the eyes that have seen thousands of sunrises,
the eyes that have seen so much beauty, hope, and inspiration,
in their time, and which have imprinted on them images
that I will take to the grave,
of sights and faces that nothing could ever erase.
I look at my own reflection,
and I see the boy that I was,
and the joy and the hope in his eyes, in my eyes;
I look at my own reflection, and I see the man who I am,
the boy who I am always going to be,
who still lives in the place, the house, the home,
with the memories he treasures,
and will always remember and return to,
in the middle house of three, on Fair field rise.

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I have changed. I have really changed-
so much so that people who see me nearly everyday
have physically noticed this change in me,
and have even commented about it,
some people say that they have never seen me more happy,
and they are right:
I am in a season of my life,
in which questions have become answers,
deep connections have been made,
days spent thinking and dreaming and being myself
with someone else and sharing a very personal, special,
truthful, innocence, that I don’t always feel comfortable
showing and bringing out into the light.

Things are more different for me now than they have ever been.
I feel different in every aspect of myself-
not in the defining, fundamental, ways,
but I am definitely showing people
that have known me for a while
sides to me that they have never seen.

It’s a great, inspiring, fun, exciting,
adventurous, amazing, confusing, full, exhilarating,
weird, wonderful, roller-coaster ride of a time
in my time right now-
one in which I am meeting incredible, inspiring,
beautiful, amazing, new people-
one person in particular-
who have genuinely made me feel things and say things
that I have never felt or said before;
a time in which I am discovering new music, new art,
new literature, new ways of enjoying all the things
that life is all about.

Right now, things feel different again-
gone is the confusion, the fog, the static, the pain.
I truly feel like I have come “full-circle”,
but with a gift in my life now to remind me always
about what happened in the previous revolution
that I hope will forever be there to go to talk to,
to talk with, to help work out the inner-workings
of everything with, to be myself with,
without the extra air-supply, protection, trappings,
and necessities, that most people need to survive
these days in the deep depths of life’s ocean.

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