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The man in the suit is always here,
and is always sitting on the same seat, at the same table-
I always see him typing on his laptop,
and is always quiet and smartly-dressed,
and is never disturbed, and I have never seen him ever
do anything to take notice or to make trouble.
The man in the suit is and has always been a mystery to me-
however, every time I come back here
I can always rely on him being here,
wearing his suit and tie, his shiny-shoes,
and his gold-coloured framed glasses,
and to always be where he is,
doing what he does, typing and engrossed in his computer screen,
and I am not sure if even he realises how long he himself
has been here, nor how many times he comes here,
nor what the time or the day is.
On the other hand, however, it is highly-possible,
and more likely, that the man in the suit
knows exactly what he is doing,
and he, like me, and like most people who come to Starbucks
all the time, he has a story to tell about himself
that I wouldn’t believe-
and I must admit I would give anything to ask the man in the suit
who he is and what he does,
but that is just because I love a question,
and I love a great story,
and I am in awe of someone with a secret
who keeps the rest of the world guessing-
like the best character or protagonist in any great
and compelling story does-
and in all honesty, no matter how much I would love
to know the man in the suit’s secret and who he is,
I would genuinely be happy to never know every thing,
even though knowing everything any way is impossible,
and I would remain happy just seeing him there
where he always sits in the corner by the window
doing his thing and keeping the mystery about him
that has always intrigued me alive and well.
I have only heard the man in the suit speak only once
in one conversation he was having on his red-covered mobile phone-
I remember him having an ‘educated-‘ ‘posh-‘ ‘intellectual-‘
sounding voice and accent, but unfortunately I do not recall
what his phone conversation was about-
but I think it had something to do with the sale of someone’s home.
There are places that I come back to regularly,
because I always feel at-ease here, and there,
inspired, at-peace, refreshed-
where I am even recognized as someone who genuinely loves
being where I am and coming back,
and to me that is the reward of any pursuit.
There are people who you see every day
who make you smile for many different reasons,
and I have to say that I always smile too
when I walk into Starbucks and I look around and I see
the man in the suit.

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Every time I can, any day I am free,
I like to visit my favourite coffee shop wherever I am,
in whatever town or city I am in,
and sit down, listen to the always great music playing,
take in the ambiance of inside and outside,
maybe even have a Blueberry muffin
in my usual seat, at my usual table, looking out the window,
while enjoying a frothie caramel-drizzled coffee.

I love coming back to my favourite coffee shop,
I love visiting a store I have never been to before,
and because of the inspiration that I imbibe from being here,
and because the atmosphere is always amazing and different every time,
I always stay in to drink and eat-
for me, every time I come to Starbucks, it is never just a short-stop.

I have been to many different coffee shops,
I have been to many different Starbucks in different cities
and towns around the world-
from Birmingham, Solihull, and Coventry, in the UK,
to one or two of the many Starbucks in New York City-
early in the morning for breakfast,
in the afternoon for lunch,
or late at night surrounded by bright lights.
Every experience I have had in Starbucks
has been one that I always remember, and I am always inspired by,
and every time I come to Starbucks
I do feel like something wonderful and new has been awakened in me.

I have been to Starbucks alone,
I have shared deep, meaningful, and phenomenal
states of transcendence and conversation with friends,
I have written poetry after taking a mere sip of a Machiatto,
and feeling like I have been transported to a wonderful,
inspiring, fascinating, connected, inclusive, Wi-Fi, worry-free zone.

I have never wanted to be anywhere else than in Starbucks
on a rainy day like today,
enjoying my favourite caffeine-filled beverage,
looking around, thinking and seeing where my attention will take me,
enjoying every moment, and making the most of every second
of reflection and refraction-
not knowing where my thoughts, where my imagination,
will carry me, nor where it will all end.

In Starbucks you can sit down in a comfy chair,
chat with your friends, laugh, joke, surf the internet,
drink, eat, write a poem, read a book;
in Starbucks you can be anonymous,
you can be anybody, you can say anything, you can feel so much,
you can meet someone you have known for years,
you can meet someone new,
you can realise something you never knew-
because there is no other place that I love coming back to,
than my favourite coffee shop, the place with the deepest of cups,
the one and only, Starbucks.

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Sitting, looking, taking in the view
of the young and the old, the timeless and the new-
I look up and out to a bustling city
constantly changing and revitalizing itself every minute,
as I sit alone staring at faces, windows, beauty, art, life,
from my spot at Millennium Place,
as sunlight bursts through the clouds and blesses where I am
so that everything is beautifully lit.

The city in which I am sitting was once described as a “ghost town”,
however I think that perception hasn’t been ascribed for a long time-
this city has a history, it is has a story;
this city reminds me of myself, and the people of this city
are like the infinite sides and colours of me;
I think that this city and I are by no means in decline-
I believe that we are in our prime.

Sitting on the circumference of this circular centre of congregation,
with a museum dedicated to the best inventions
of some of mankind’s best mechanical minds behind me,
I think about what the world has gone through, what I have been though,
the things that still stand on land,
and everything that lies, lives, and endures everyday in the sea.
There are creatures who live their entire lives in the dark,
deep, wonderland, water-expanses of the ocean floor-
completely oblivious to sunlight-
who have the ability to actively emit, change, and show their own colours,
whose bodies are as translucent as glass-
they shine in their own way,
some still to be seen by human eyes for the first time,
playing out a mystery unbeknownst to them, blissfully un-harassed.

As I grow older in heart, mind, and body,
I go to places, and I step inside the footprints of other people
who I imagine once followed the path that I am now on,
and my mind no longer feels foggy.
When you are a child you play in the fog-
the fact that you don’t know everything
doesn’t even become a fully-formed thought in your mind;
but you do want to do everything, you want to see everything,
and you have no idea that you should remember for later
the things that you leave behind.

I am enthralled by the future;
I adore every day, for many different reasons,
and as I get older I try to chronicle as best that I can
the days that have gone by-
because I have lost so much, and will continue to lose so much,
and because I have slowly began to give up the obsession of my youth
by stop asking the question: why?

As the bell tolled ten,
as I stood at the twilight cloister between knowledge and faith,
staring up at a sculpture of a victorious St. Michael
standing over a defeated Devil,
inspiration came to me then and echoed through the space,
and I found myself there-after standing on another level.
The ground beneath me was like a river,
the rain did not stop falling for a second;
for an instant, I began to shiver;
when the chimes ended, I thought I heard my own inner-voice
say something, as if it were trying to respond.
There was no lightning-bolt that struck nearby,
but nevertheless I saw a flash of light
which I interpreted as being insight-
cloud and rain was all that I could see in the sky,
and even though it was morning it felt more like night.
I was transfixed by the university, by the nearby fountain,
by the stone spheres that were on the path before me,
and by the imposing cathedral-
even in this light everything looked so beautiful.
I wanted so much to understand what I was feeling,
but my heart could not tell me;
I wanted so much to share this inner-light with someone else,
but there was no one to be seen.
I stood for a few more minutes in silence,
and then I felt my feet and my legs
regain the knowledge of their function
and propel me on my path again.
I don’t think that I will ever forget that moment
outside Coventry Cathedral and Coventry University, in the rain,
as the bell tolled ten.

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