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It all begins at the Birmingham Moor Street train station,
on Platform One, as I stand behind the yellow line,
and the yellow painted words ‘MIND THE GAP’,
as I wait for the 10:01 train to Stratford-upon-Avon.

I love train journeys,
but I dont make them that often-
the last train journey I took was on the New York Subway
last year, and I loved every second;
for me, going somewhere, anywhere, even if it is somewhere
I have been before, but not for a while,
is always an adventure, is always inspiring, is always fun.

It’s a rainy day, but the wet weather doesn’t leave me undettered;
the cloudy sky above looks like a black and white photograph
from another world.
Travelling by rail- through the green countryside of the places I know
so well, and seeing them and passing through them at high-speed-
gives me a new perspective of them, and I love the places I know
even more than before, and their importance to me
has never rung more true than the last time I heard the sound of a bell.

Walking the streets where Shakespeare walked,
seeing and hearing all the people who are visiting England
from all over the world,
seeing tourists of all nationalities excited about being in Stratford-upon-Avon,
William Shakespeare’s home, as much as I am, makes me smile-
and as I look and listen, see and think,
the streets, the history, and the infinite stories of so many people
jump out at me, and their latent voices talk,
and this place of inspiration I can already feel inspiring me,
and the magic of words and language that I can feel everywhere is undeniable.

I love returning to a place I have been to before, but with new eyes,
a new heart, but with already magical accumulated experiences
and memories that I bring with me and walk with me always.
I feel more at peace here now than I did before,
I keep expecting to turn a corner and actually bump into Shakespeare
still walking these roads and paths, like me,
like I am doing today, and he and I actually looking at each other
in the eyes as our mutual spirits exchange a powerful poetic connection-
like two kindred spirits- as we two hear the voice of nature
and life’s beautiful call.

This place is a writer’s paradise;
this place is an artist’s dream;
this place is a people-watcher’s place to be,
because every thing and everyone
is worth looking at more than twice;
this place is a great place to visit, feel, and to be.

Sitting and having my lunch in The Black Swan-
with a roaring hot fire to my left,
the theatre right in front of me outside the window,
and to my right the rippling river Avon-
I sit, I look, and I don’t want to leave.
The rain is stopping now.
The blue sky is returning.
I am reflecting on the day I have had,
and the journey I have taken,
that has inspired, compelled, and availed me.

The last place in Stratford-upon-Avon that I visit
is Holy Trinity Church- the place on this pilgrimage
that I wanted to revisit and pay my respects to the great
master of language, and my eternal inspiration and idol,
the one and only William Shakespeare.
Standing before Shakespeare’s grave again,
I feel introspective-
my mind, for the first time in a while, is quiet,
and as I bow my head before his grave and monument
I feel the connection between he and I so unwaveringly and so clear.
And as I leave his church I feel something amazing come over me,
and my mind feels as turbulent and changeable and full of colour-
like heights and depths of the atmosphere.

When the end of the day came, and I was on my way home on the train,
I left Stratford-upon-Avon reinvigorated with hope, optimism,
and inspiration from so many things that I saw, felt,
and experienced for the first time and again while I was there-
the moments that will not easily be washed away,
and I just wish I could have shared my time there with someone else;
but as I think that, as I am writing about my day
and as I re-read what I have already written,
I realize I have and I am sharing everything with someone else-
with you who is reading this now,
because you are interested in me and my life
and the things that inspire me like nothing else,
and because, first and foremost, you are just like me,
and because you care.

Today has been amazing.
Today has been about me meeting Shakespeare,
and about William Shakespeare meeting me.
Today has been fun, exciting, enlightening,
and in a word: inspiring.
Today has been, and will always be,
the day I found something I have been waiting to fine for a long time-
today was an adventure, a pilgrimage, a trip back in time,
that like a great book that you never want to close or put down
opened my mind wide, and like my life so far-
every second surpassed the last.
It was the most epic, great, and amazing journey.

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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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Icicles on bicycles, frozen spiderwebs on flowerbeds;
it’s spring now, but the snow just doesn’t want to go.
Children are enraptured in the joy of playing outside,
building snowmen, and having snowball fights;
eager travellers, who want to jet-off to warmer climates,
are checking-in at their airport arrivals desk
and finding out that their departure from winter England
may be delayed, or sadly one of the unfortunate “Cancelled Flights”.

The weather is the topic of almost every-other conversation-
some people are embracing it for pleasure,
some people are venturing out at the cost of their own lives,
some people are saying that they “have had enough”;
while other people make the most of the snow-
the way it falls like sprinkled sugar on a bowl of cereals,
the way it lies so beautifully on the ground,
the way it records the momentary paths of passersby,
animals, birds foraging for food-
some try to go as fast as they can,
while others just take it slow.

The wind blows the snow like dust;
the world looks like another planet;
on every window there is a thick white frost;
every pavement, every road, is covered so overwhelmingly,
and the snow is so compacted it is as hard granite.
People live in a perpetual ice-life everyday somewhere on Earth,
and they carry on regardless;
we here in the UK always say that we are prepared
for all weather eventualities,
but when weather like the cold-front
that has been visiting us recently, and testing out tolerance, comes,
we are always left dazed for days,
we always struggle to adapt-
some reach their peak, and some surpass their peak,
of being overcome with debilitating levels of stress.
I, on the other hand, take every step in my stride
and I treat every footprint in the snow
as if it were one small step on the moon.
I will always have great memories of my time growing up:
playing in the snow with my sister,
remembering my Dad taking my sister and me
for a sledge-ride to the shops near our home-
magical memories that take my breath away
and rise like hot air inside of a balloon.

The temperature is rising,
the sky is turning blue,
the snow is melting,
the wishes of millions are coming true.
The snow is returning to from whence it came;
people thinking about their commute to work tomorrow
breath a sigh of relief-
until the weather presenter on the TV says that
snow may fall again during the night,
and that “there may be a chance of some rain”.

Spring is here, Summer will arrive before we know it,
and I think I can safely say that the climate of Earth
and the seasons of nature are changing,
and we must all change, adapt, and be prepared for everything-
because, who knows what is waiting in the wings to arrive,
who knows what the winds of uncertainty will bring.

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.

I am really going to miss this place.
This island has been my home for almost a week,
but now it is time for me to leave,
now it is time for me to return to England
with renewed inspiration, and new questions and new truths,
that I now cherish and seek.

Walking on the beach for the last time this morning,
I felt so sad to say goodbye to the sea, the sand, the air,
and to the beautiful sunlight and perfect sky
that greeted me at every dawning.

I have made so many amazing, wonderful, and incredible memories
since I first arrived here, unpacked my case,
through my bag over my shoulder, and set-out to explore-
everyday the wonders of this beautiful island
have awoken me with peace and tranquility,
and has seen me fall asleep with memories
and recollections of the day before
that took me to sleep feeling more alive than ever,
feeling more inspired than ever,
feeling more hope than ever before,
and spellbound with awe.

Leaving Jersey, watching the ground disappear below my feet,
rising into the clouds, into the evening sun-
unable to move, completely stuck to my seat.
The feeling of take-off,
I can only describe as like feeling the wonder and the magic
that you feel when you are a child-
when the world seems infinite, incredible, indescribable, and wild.
Watching the island disappear behind me,
I feel so sad to leave it;
but knowing what effect it has had on me,
makes me feel like a newly-inspired, enlivened, and brand new poet.

Seeing the coast of Great Britain again,
seeing my country, the island of my birth from the air,
fills my heart like an intake of breath,
makes me feel light-headed, glad to be home, as if I hadn’t left.

Landing on home-soil, through the golden haze of dusk,
time feels as if it has frozen before me,
and I have to question which senses that I should trust.

Taking my first step back in England,
looking up at the blue, red, and golden clouded sky,
I attempt to describe the beauty that I am seeing in my mind,
but the words that I find fail me at every try.

Returning home, everything seems different
and yet the same- just like me.
I want to go back soon;
but for now, my dreams will be enough
to return me every night
to the place that has me under its spell:
the beautiful island of Jersey.

Great Britain, the United Kingdom, England, my home forever more-
the country of my birth, and the country I will forever adore-
in my opinion, is, and will always be
the greatest country in the world: a beacon of the best entertainment, culture, literature, and, of course, poetry.

What makes Great Britain truly “Great”, to me, is that we are a nation of the many-
we are united in the pursuit of understanding, and in having respect for every Pound and ever penny.

The island of my genesis is a spectrum of colour, taste, sound, and sensation-
a country, a people of determination, inspiration, fortitude, and aspiration.

Although English is our primary language, we embrace and champion a rich confluence of different linguistics and dialects-
which can be seen in every city, TV program, and even in the way we write, email, and text.

To me, Great Britain is the most beautiful, the most magical, the most invaluable jewel in the crown of the world-
and I am always heartened in that belief every time I see the Union Flag being unfurled.

The white light of our beautiful, green, proud, and wonderful island will never go out, or diminish;
the United Kingdom and its people will endure for all eternity-
and that is why I am proud to be British.

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