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I have loved music for as long as I can remember;
in all honesty, I have loved music
longer than I have loved poetry;
I have loved music, I have been changed by music,
I have felt more alive than ever
when listening to music,
I have been overcome with emotion when listening to music;
I have closed my eyes, been taken,
carried far, deep, and high-
as if I were swimming in the voice, the lyrics,
and the sound of the music, the energy of the music,
and drifting peacefully, contently, effortlessly,
free like a feather.

Music has been a big part of my life since before I could talk;
music had me running before I could walk;
music sent me to sleep and coloured my dreams;
music awoke me every morning as a child,
and within the heart of my soul
it has always been and will always be.

I must have heard thousands of songs;
I must have heard hundreds of artists,
singers, musicians, and bands;
I must have dreamed that I were John Lennon
playing guitar and singing along with the other Beatles
about fifty times, bu I could be wrong;
I must have had more favourite songs in my life
than I could count with the fingers on both of my hands.

I love songs, styles, speeds, of every type,
and possible genre, and classification, of music;
I love songs that take a hold of both my mind and my heart,
and make me feel epic;
I love songs that have unique, poetic, empathetic,
sometimes tragic, lyrics;
I love songs that are nothing short of celestial magic.

I love female voices;
I love male voices;
I love instruments;
I love voices that are soulful, special, lyrical,
incredible, unbelievable, beautiful, different;
I love who I am when a song makes me want to dance;
I love when a song puts me in a trance;
I love what I think about when a song is playing;
I love where I go within myself,
as I sing along to every song,
and as I repeat every line without mistake,
it is almost as if I am chanting or praying;
I love a song that to me is nothing short of perfect;
I love life, art, inspiration, memories,
feelings that were made, created, felt, captured,
made infinite, because of, and for,
the love of music.

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There you are.
You are the one I have been looking for.
I have traveled far and wide,
I have seen the world, and I have cried.
The universe has been waiting for us to find each other;
the tree of destiny has been waiting for the seed of us
to grow and connect us and bind us together.

On a clear night, I look to the stars and at the moon,
and I see you;
during the day, I think about you and I follow you,
I look at pictures of you,
and I bathe in the light of you.

On a windy day, I watch the trees sway;
on a sunny afternoon, I sometimes look up at the blue sky
and I see the moon;
on a trip somewhere, I travel miles without even knowing it,
because all I hear is your song play;
on a summer’s day in June, there is no one else
who I want to see or talk to than you.

Even in a dark garden, under the white light of the moon
glowing like a pearl and shining like it is alive
and full of expression, you would be and you are
a twilight flower who blossoms and touches the life of another,
and the source and the inspiration of their obsession;
even in a bright sunlit garden, surrounded by colour
and other flowers of every description,
you would stand out from all of them,
as if you were a flower on fire,
and even the bees would come to you first
to get what they need,
and after they have they would be addicted to your pollen.

I will never forget what I saw,
and I will never forget what I felt,
in that first instant after I first saw you;
I will never see you any other way
than how you have always been
and how you always will be,
because your infinite perfect beauty
is you and only you;
I will never forget everything you said to me
and everything you say to me,
because they are the drug and the effect
from which I live to feel always,
and never want to become immune;
I will never forget the rocket ride
that I take every time I look at you,
because, to me, it is like an epic journey to the moon.

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We could not have asked for a more beautiful morning,
we could not have awoken to a more peaceful, calm, epic,
sounding music, that can be heard on the wind,
along with the birdsong of the phenomenal dawn calling;
there could not be a day that feels like more of a dream,
there could not be another day like today,
because today is a moment of a lifetime
which will finally tie together what has happened,
what will happen, where we are going, and what will be,
and also what has always been.

I am sure that there are lots of emotions, expectations,
thoughts, hopes, fears, heart-rates,
that are running away with themselves at this very moment;
I, myself, am an optimist, a romantic, a story-teller,
as well as the main protagonist in my own epic,
and in every thing in life I always hope for the best
and for overwhelming happiness-
so today, the reality of what is going to happen
and what it means, could not be more potent.

Every day up until today has led to this day,
and every choice made has been a part of all of our lives,
and will propel us all in a new direction, in the days,
months, and years, ahead, forevermore;
every link that we make always creates a new link
to a new chain that is connected to every other link
and chain forged, but you can never know why what happens
happens when it happens until the time is right,
and the right meetings have taken place,
and the right day has come,
and fate taps you on the shoulder and makes you look at the world
for all its incredible complexity and wonder in unparalleled awe.

Today is a day that has been long dreamed about,
today is a day that has been planned for
for so long and constantly talked about;
today is the day that will be remembered in lots of ways,
today is the day, today is the big day.

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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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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Today for some is just another day-
it is a day, a moment, a place, a venue,
an instrument, a microphone,
to do, to say, to play,
something worth doing and hearing
that everyone is desperate and clamoring to hear,
and it is the religion and the god to whom they pray.
The religion of truth, the god of one,
the reason for the importance of energy and youth,
the enduring message of legacy and constantly evolving ages of wisdom.

In this day and age the best way to share what you have made and created,
and to make yourself heard is to record, film, copy,
and upload to the internet for all the worlds ears to hear,
and for all the worlds eyes to see-
wherever you are in the world you can watch, listen, enjoy,
and be moved by something beautiful
made by someone in their bedroom, or their home studio,
or anywhere where someone has been touched by inspiration,
and moved by the feeling and the energy of the moment,
to set the fire in their heart burning bright and burning free.

For centuries, poets have written, musicians have played,
singers have sung, for their own fulfillment of spirit and life,
but I promise you everyone has always wanted to share
with as many people as possible their poetry, their music,
their voice- so as to commune with another a universal knowledge,
message, and light.
Artists will forever seek any way, avenue,
stage, screen, page, and canvas,
to display their stunning and wonderful masterpiece
of a greater masterpiece of a life, a time,
that is part of the poetry, the music, the voice of all life,
that everyone plays a part in making it what it is-
and it will never end, and that thought is what excites me so much,
and of all the miracles of the universe that is the most epic and sublime.

I watch a street performer play his guitar.
I watch people from every direction, hear, approach,
and repay the talented musician for sharing his gift with everyone.
I watch and I feel the amazing voice and the music of the guitar player
permeate and connect and remind people, even children,
how wonderful music is and what it can do.
I watch and I see why he performs in the first place-
he doesn’t do it for the coins in his guitar case,
he does it because it is what he and everyone loves and enjoys.

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Above my head, skirting the cosmic veil,
a comet trails a path in the clear star-lit sky
and dusts the Earth in its wake.
I have always loved and I have always marvelled
at the sight of these glowing and solo travellers
that pass through our solar system,
and so close to Earth that they can be seen with the naked-eye
from the ground, from time to time, on a clear and unclouded night.
I have always been fascinated by what gives a comet its remarkable tail.
I have always dreamed about
what it would be like to be on the surface of a comet
as it passed by Earth, to see our testament oasis
to the infinite possibilities of choice and life,
and to gaze-out in wonder as the comet atomised and fragmented
and floated to Earth like winter snowflakes.

A photograph of the night-sky can never truly capture its beauty;
a camera can see into the depths of space,
but it can only return with an after-image-
a photocopy, a poor-mans facsimile, and representation
about what is truly out there:
colours that we don’t yet have a name for,
forces that dictate the reason for everything
that we don’t yet understand and perhaps never will,
life existing in forms we are incapable of envisioning
because we are not yet ready to see them.
We look longingly at pictures of nebulae, new planets,
moons, shooting-stars, and comets,
because they remind us of ourselves,
and they fore-shadow what we will one day find in the universe:
another and another and another example of complicated
and constantly evolving life-
the evidence of which will come of no surprise
to those who have for centuries believed, looked, read, and listened.

For thousands of years,
humanity has been in the perfect vantage-point
of the astro-auditorium to witness epic changes,
and to ask questions about what they are seeing
and about how the mere witnessing of something that is galactic
and out of our control will fuel the need of someone
to keep watching and finding new pieces to the vast
multi-levelled universal puzzle.
As is customary, to answer multi-faceted questions
you need to employ multi-faceted means of investigation, discovery,
and definition, until one day one layer of the picture
starts to take-shape in a way that could not have been planned,
that is the only way of making sense of what is right in front of you,
that is genuinely new and unthought of before- something like:
what if our universe is not the only universe out there in existence,
and maybe in the grand-scheme of things,
as seen in an infinite image of everything,
our universe is nothing but a puddle.

There is nothing more magical than sitting in a well-lit theatre,
staring at a blank movie-screen,
when suddenly the lights go down around you,
the film-projector turns on and the screen comes alive
with images of advertisements, film-trailers, and movie-teasers,
before getting to the main-event, before the spectacle of magic
that you have paid the price of a ticket to see,
is projected before you- so that you may immerse yourself in it
and come away from it with something that you didn’t arrive with;
just like how you feel when you see the ancient cave-paintings
of our ancestors in the early dwellings and places of importance
that have been discovered in parts of Africa and Australia.
For our entire existence, humanity has looked, learned,
and will continue to look and learn, and record,
and pass-on their discoveries to a new generation
for them to interpret in their own way-
in the same way, that when we look at cave paintings
we see art, our lineage, our humble beginnings;
perhaps our descendants will one day look at all life, as-one,
in the same way that we now watch a film in a cinema.

In March 2012, I had the great privilege and pride to be contacted by my friend, the amazing, world-renowned, singer, song-writer, and pretty-much one of the most beautiful and gifted people on the planet, Kirsty Hawkshaw – who you may know from her phenomenal music career, or you may know her from her incredible culinary Raw Food cooking expertise. Kirsty and I have known each-other for years as online friends on MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, and I of course have been in love with Kirsty’s voice ever since I first heard Kirsty and Tiësto’s amazing song ‘Just Be‘; but it was not until last year, when Kirsty approached me and asked me if I could offer her any assistance from a poetry standpoint on the song that she was currently writing, that Kirsty and I became potential lyrical-collaborators.

That song was ‘Nostra Terra’.

I had never, and still have never, written a song in my life, but I thought that I would give it a shot. I remember Kirsty telling me that she needed something that described “our planet, our consciousness, our connection with Mother Earth”– that brief, and Kirsty’s incredible generosity and belief in me, was all that I needed to start work on writing a new poem that may be helpful to Kirsty in her song-writing process. So I wrote something, sent it to Kirsty, and the next day I got a reply from Kirsty saying that she loved what I wrote and that she may want to use some of what I wrote in the song itself! Suffices to say, I was blown-away!

On the 14th of January, ‘Nostra Terra (Can we turn it around)’ by Kirsty Hawkshaw & One Vision was officially released to the world and the response to it already has been phenomenal! ‘Nostra Terra’ is beautiful, amazing, epic, soulful, gorgeous, and in my opinion the best song I have ever heard (but I may be biased). Truly, Kirsty’s voice and the unbelievable, uplifting, entrancing, music and beats of the song, are a thing of wonder!

Nostra Terra

You can purchase ‘Nostra Terra (Can We Turn It Around)’ right now on iTunes, on Beatport, and on Amazon.

Track list:
1. Nostra Terra (Can We Turn It Around) [Club Mix]
2. Nostra Terra (Can We Turn It Around) [Epic Mix]
3. Nostra Terra (Can We Turn It Around) [Team Bastian Remix]
4. Nostra Terra (Can We Turn It Around) [North state in the Sunrise Remix]
5. Nostra Terra (Can We Turn It Around) [BDH Remix]
6. Nostra Terra (Can We Turn It Around) [Radio Edit]
7. Nostra Terra (Can We Turn It Around) [North state in the Sunrise Edit]
8. Nostra Terra (Can We Turn It Around) [BDH Remix Edit]
9. Nostra Terra (Can We Turn It Around) [Epic Dub]
10. Nostra Terra (Can We Turn It Around) [Team Bastian Dub Remix]

The album is incredible! And I just want to take this opportunity to thank Kirsty again from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to be a part of this epic and amazing song! I will never forget this time in my life, and that is in part because of you! Thank you, Kirsty! 🙂

-Mark

On a cold February morning,
as the wind blew bitter cold
and the clouds in the sky were as white as snow
and appearing to be giving a sign to all of forewarning,
as I walked down the steps of a subway
my ears and my mind could not believe what they heard-
the music that played out and got louder as I drew nearer to the source
was entrancing, energising, beautiful- I was truly lost for words.

The subway tunnels were like a network,
branching in all directions left and right;
but the music guided me to its player,
as if each echo were a beacon of not only sound but of flashing light.

As I turned a corner, I immediately felt powerful sound-waves hit me
and reverberate through my body,
I was instantly stopped in my tracks
as I came face to face with the eclectic
and amazing musician who seemed genuinely happy to see me
and to be playing for me.

The incredible music I discovered was coming from a musical saw,
and it was being played by a woman who I will never forget
and I will always remember her name:
Natalia Paruz, the “Saw Lady”,
whose music was and is unlike anything else I have ever heard,
and the joy on her face told me that
she was doing what she loved and what she loves is playing.

I don’t know what she was playing for me,
for all I know it could have been a completely new and original creation
that she was composing as she played;
it didn’t matter,
what this incredibly-gifted woman was playing
as she sat looking up at me was magic in every way.

I don’t know for how long I stood watching, listening, imagining;
but I suddenly became distracted
when I noticed that other passers-by were approaching.
As always, I remembered that I had somewhere to be.
Still entranced by the woman’s music,
and wanting very much to repay her for blessing me with her gift,
I took out five dollars from my pocket-
all the money that I had on me at the time-
and I put it into the gold buckect in front of her,
and I again saw her amazing smile as I watched her face lift.

Not long after leaving the subway,
I sat looking out of the window of a coffee shop at the rest of the world
that was now being bathed in bright sunshine,
as I reflected on the woman, her saw, and on her music.
I was still overcome by the experience of meeting the musician in the subway-
even though it had only been for a short amount of time,
it was unbelievably-meaningful and beautiful-
I can find no other word, there is simply no other way
that I can find to describe her, her music,
and the way that her music made me feel,
and continues to make me feel, without using the word epic!

I hope the subway continues to echo
the beautiful voice of the saw player forever.
I hope that even when she is not there
she is there in people’s mind and heart who have heard her play.
I hope people will never stop being intrigued and ensorcelled by her.
I hope the entire world will one day be blessed
to hear the beautiful symphony of the saw lady of the subway.

Check out Natalia “Saw Lady” Paruz’s amazing and beautiful music
by checking out her website www.SawLady.com, follow her on twitter
@SawLady, or perhaps you may be lucky enough to hear Natalia’s
beautiful saw music in person as she plays on the New York City subway.

What more could you ask for from a friend
than what your best friend blesses you with,
what more could you ask for from a best friend
than amazing, heart-felt, support, generosity, joy, and beauty,
who makes you feel so lucky to live the life that you live.

My best friend is a mother, a wife, a daughter,
a person hoping to change the world-
she has touched, brightened,
and made the lives of the people she has met
better for the gift of knowing her;
and in my opinion, she has already changed
and brought love into the hearts of many worlds.

My best friend is so awesome, funny, fantastic, and unique,
when she tweets, comments, or posts anything on the internet,
it is always the best thing that I have read all day;
my best friend is a prolific poet in her own way,
and everything she says is epic!

My best friend’s smile
is the beautiful gem in the crown
of her gorgeous grace, hopefulness, and style;
my best friend’s eyes
are like the magic that you can see and feel
in the light of beautiful blue skies;
my best friend’s heart
is so full of all the things that light the world,
it is always on show for all the world to see,
and it is in itself a beautiful work of art.

My best friend is not just my best friend,
she is the ultimate confidante,
and the person whom I trust the most,
to be there for me, for her family,
for her friends, for anyone,
and she is and always has been since we first met
the most purest source of energy, truth, and enthusiasm,
on Earth, bar none.

Every year I sit down and write my best friend a poem for her birthday,
every year in every poem I try to capture in words
why she is so special in every possible way-
I always believe that no matter what I write
I could never describe everything about her
that makes her to me my best friend-
she is like trying to describe the gorgeous light of an aurora.
Every year, what I want to say to my best friend
is that you really are the best,
and that I hope you have an amazing birthday, Sara!

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