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There is a man who lives in a house on the hill,
there is a man who looks over on the village of his birth,
who comes down from his home from time to time
to be among other people, to buy a news paper,
and sometimes just to pay a bill.
People say that the man is a mystery,
people say that the man is a ghost,
people say that he lives on his own
because he is suffering from a broken heart that never mended,
people say that he doesn’t have an address-
no house name, no house number, no street name-
so you can’t contact him by post.

The man on the hill doesn’t have a name,
at least not one that is widely known,
the man on the hill can’t remember the last time
someone actually called him by his birth name-
he never says a word to anyone anymore,
no one even realizes that he is there.
People stopped ringing him years ago-
one day he decided that he had no need to be in contact with anyone,
so he disconnected his phone.

The man on the hill can be seen in the flesh,
if you are ever in the centre of England,
if you are ever in a park in Coventry
and you see a man sitting alone on a bench reading a book-
if you take the time to approach the man, to introduce yourself,
and to tell him that you’ve heard all about him,
he might raise his head, he might smile back at you,
but in his eyes you will see a very sad look.

The man on the hill walks everywhere.
The man on the hill goes out in the morning
and comes home at night,
full of new thoughts, old memories-
always seen in the same clothes, with the same haircut,
as if he has nothing else to wear.

The man on the hill used to know everyone,
and everyone used to know him-
beyond the legend that surrounds him,
beyond the shadow that he carries along with him.
The man on the hill’s story is a long, tragic, and sad tale-
a journey that came to a grinding halt one summer afternoon, long ago,
but where the man on the hill came from,
and how ended up becoming the man on the hill,
is complicated to explain, and even he would find it hard
knowing where to begin.

There is a man who lives on a hill
who once made a difference;
there is a man who lives on a hill
who thought he had the entire universe figured out,
until something happened to him that changed him forever-
and now the universe, to him, just doesn’t make any sense.

There is a man who lives on a hill,
who is waiting for the right person to come back into his life;
there is a man who lives on a hill,
who wants to simply remember what it is like to be alive.
There is a man who lives in a house, by himself,
who if you knocked on his door he would shower you with goodwill;
there is a man who just wants to be remembered,
who wants to dies happy again-
that man is the man on the hill.

When people ask me why I started writing poetry,
I tell them: “because I fell in love.”

When people ask me what my poetry means to me,
I tell them that “my poetry is a gift from the heavens above.”

When people ask me why I am here,
I tell them that I am here to be inspired and to inspire others,
to make people think, and to be the best person I can be,
as the Poet of the Sphere.

Mask lifted, shroud cast aside,
secrets revealed for all the world to see;
private life made public, your secret identity- the real you-
has been uncovered and set-free.

People work with you, they live with you,
and they think that they know everything about you-
from your hair colour to your shoe size;
people may see you and talk to you every day,
but they will never know you, nor would even recognise your true voice,
until you reveal it to them-
and the reaction to such a revelation can be one of unbelievable surprise.

Friends, co-workers, and family members,
don’t believe what they are hearing at first-
when the secret life that you have been living is announced to the heavens
it is always in a way that, if you had the choice,
you would have hoped to have rehearsed.

People don’t always intend to lead a second life-
most of the time the real you gets pushed to the shadows,
for the sake of conformity-
you act and talk in a way that you are expected to-
while in your private thoughts and moments
you live as best that you can
all the things that make you happy
and you become the person that you always wanted to be.

There is always a reason for a secret-
sometimes it is for protection,
sometimes it can be to keep a mystery alive;
sometimes a secret desperately needs to be told,
sometimes the depths that following a secret will take you to,
of something or someone, rival the discoveries of a deep-sea dive.

Even when you ask a magician how they did their magic trick-
even though you want to know- you never want to know,
for fear of the knowledge that it is something that you could do yourself.
People ask what the meaning of life is,
but secretly they would be content to never know
and keep the answer buried for all eternity below an ice-shelf.

Keep a secret for as long as you can, and if it is a secret about you
then think long and hard about what you are keeping a secret and why,
and ask yourself whether it is a secret
that you can always keep ahead of and out-run;
think about what other people could be keeping a secret from you and why,
and repeat in your mind and to everyone that you meet
that you really don’t know someone.

This morning, at daybreak,
as the tide came in and went out and came in again,
I wrote my name in the sand with a black stone,
in the place of a pen.
Writing my name so close to the beach’s end
I knew that it would not be long before the sea washed it away,
as if it had never been there-
but it is something that I have wanted to do for so long.

For every letter that I wrote
I could see that the tide was coming in faster with every passing second,
so I wrote every letter of every word as fast as I could-
it was like a race against time to write my name
there in the sun soaked sand, before it was washed away like a flood.

We all leave footprints, hand-prints,
names in the sands of time, as we travel through the world
from sunrise to sunset, from sunset to sunrise-
what we see of the world does not end with what we see with our eyes.

Most of what we do is temporary;
most of what happens to us surges and then settles, like ocean spray;
most of what we build within us is gone by the next day.
Some of the things that stand the test of time are invisible on first look,
and that is why they are untouched:
rock-faces, islands, channels, rivers-
when you look at them you can see natures signature in its sculpture,
and because of the perfection that you see,
you can tell that nature does not rush.

Our lives are sparks in a fire;
our interactions with each-other are like waves on a sea;
our fates are entwined together like holding hands;
our voices may be small in the chorus of the cosmos,
but I think that there is something wonderful and powerful
about something so simple as writing your name in the sand.

“Speak your mind”,
“Honesty is always the best policy”,
“Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind”
“Confidence is always the cure to jealousy”-
great sentiments, good advice;
but how many people truly believe them,
how many people truly believe what they say?
How many people are honest with themselves, and with others?
How many people truly make the most out of every day?

To be heard, you have to speak out;
to accomplish something, you have to have no doubt;
to be yourself, you need only to act naturally;
to be seen, sometimes you have to become your own gallery.

Everyone has an opinion about every thing,
and most people rebel against any kind of persuasion-
an expert in behaviour would say that people are predictable,
repeating patterns that can be calculated, as if in some kind of an equation;
however, I would argue that when intense emotions are concerned
that can never be the case-
just as in great beauty we can find vulgarity,
and in chaos we can discover immense grace.

Some people internalize their emotions and thoughts-
while others shout them into the air, and paint them on walls.
Some only reveal their true-side
when they are following the exploits of their favourite team,
in their favourite sport-
while others wear their interests on their chests twenty-four hours a day,
with the ferocity of Niagara Falls.
Whether quiet, or outspoken- everybody has a voice;
whether cerebral, or brutish- our defining nature has seasons,
like a planet does; however, our real defining power lies in our gift of choice.

Unlike an animal, Human beings are not driven by instinct alone-
what fulfills us is self-preservation:
keeping alive not just ourselves, but also our peace of mind,
our justifications, and our fixations.
Some people try to hide behind hate to mask their misunderstanding;
some people retreat into cruelty when their frustrations become too demanding.

The best of us speak only when we have something worthwhile to say,
or when our voice is needed most of all;
the greatest of us act for the benefit of everyone-
giving their last breath for another, no matter the cost-
always going beyond the call.

In the long-run, honesty will always ensure loyalty-
at first, if people don’t like or agree with what has been said,
they may not believe you,
but if you hold-true to what you think and say-
they will always trust you.
In the end, when all is said and done,
if you are wrong, and you know that you are wrong,
there is no shame in voicing your disappointment and letting it show-
because it makes it clear to all that what you believed meant something to you-
and there is no harm, after which, in bowing your head low,
in acceptance, and in remembrance of the great philosopher and orator
that was Cicero.

Standing in a dark forest, on a moon-lit evening-
with no idea of how I got here,
and with no concise answer as to what I was feeling-
I looked into the shadows,
and suddenly I saw the face of someone watching me.
The face got larger and larger as they walked towards me,
and then stood two feet away from me,
staring at me with unseen black eyes,
with a face as white as a ghost-
that if not for the moon, you would never believe or see.
I am Dream,” spoke the man, dressed all in black
and with hair as wild as a thorn bush.
You have many questions, I would guess;
however, for now, you must hush
,”
said “Dream” to me, as he put an ice-cold index finger to my lips.
Truth sometimes comes when you least expect it,
and moments of understanding happen fewer that the times
you will witness a total-eclipse
.”

The man seemed to know me somehow-
it was as if he knew exactly what I was thinking;
as I looked into his eyes I tried to read any emotion that I could
on his face, but he remained nonchalant, still, and unblinking.

I felt like I should be scared,
but, oddly, at no time did I feel uneasy;
my eyes told me, from where I was, that I should be cold,
but my mind and my body didn’t agree.

Ask me a question,” said Dream, “even though I know the one
that is always on the tip of your tongue.
Ask me the question that you have been asking
for so long to be answered ever since you were young
.”

“Who am I?” I whispered, not expecting this man to know what I was asking,
nor why-
the question that I have never been able to answer for myself
without beginning to cry.

Most that ask that question nearly always already know the answer.
Some stop asking when they believe that they have found a real-world
substitution that they prefer
,” replied Dream, as he looked up to the sky,
and then back at me,
and for an instant we two were like two beings of light in darkness
and no longer surrounded by trees.
The name that you were gifted after your birth was not accidental.
Who you believe you are, and what has befallen you throughout your life
is elemental
.”

As I face Dream, I noticed that I too was wearing nothing but black-
but that I was wearing a T-shirt emblazoned in white with a word on my chest:
“What does this word mean?” I asked, pointing to myself- “Is this a test?”

When Dream spoke this time,
I swear that his skin shone whiter that it had before;
as soon as Dream had finished saying that
This is the word that has forever been knocking on your front-door“-
that was the moment that I felt as if he, Dream, was telling me something
that I had never considered before.

“Is this a dream? I don’t recognize this place?”

This is a place that is very important to you, I understand-
somewhere you have never visited after dark before,
but which has always made you imagine what it is like to be in outer-space.
This place is infinite, unending- and yet brief, and simple
,”
Dream explained, as he looked down, as I did, to see below on the ground
the symbol of a snake devouring its own tail.
Do you understand?” Dream asked, “Do you recognize the answer?“-
as I looked into Dream’s face, I saw and I felt something that was
incredible, beautiful, and pure:
I imagined a child being born, growing rapidly older-
as if every year of its life were a second-
until the face that I saw looking back at me was myself, completely stunned.

I have always believed that things happen for a reason,
but I never put much credence into the idea that everything in my life
has been guiding me to a truth that some may call a destiny-
that was for stories of heroes, not for me.
But you are a hero,” Dream proclaimed, to my surprise-
You do have purpose beyond your dreams and your horizon-
the terminus of all, not just the one
.”

“Why have you come to me now? I don’t recall ever dreaming about you before?”

I have been a part of every dream that there has ever been
since time began, as I will be forevermore.
I was there when you first fell in love and dreamed so intensely,
deeply, powerfully, that you awakened your gift of creativity
and inflamed your waking desire to make someone feel special;
I was there when you first looked within yourself,
found who you were, who you were going to call on the world to know you as-
the name that sounds as perfect and fitting, as it does natural
.”

Dream then turned and started to walk away-
to which I soon beckoned: “Dream? Wont you stay?”

And then Dream replied, without looking back over his shoulder:
I see no need to stay and remind you of that which you know
can only be grasped by they who are the beholder
.”

“Thank you!” I called out into the darkness, as the pale-faced
dark-clothed man disappeared so that he could no longer be seen.

Next time you feel the need to rediscover who you are,”
said Dream, as his voice echoed as if from every direction,
you need only to close your eyes, return to this place,
and dream
.”

Inspired by The Sandman by Neil Gaiman

It is a peaceful and beautiful afternoon;
and yet, I am restless.
For some reason that I can’t put my finger on,
I feel in distress.

I feel like I am atop a great mountain,
all alone as the cold winds blow, unsteady my feet,
and clear my mind;
I feel as if there are clouds below me
that are preventing me from leaving my mountain-spot behind.

I feel like I am on top of the world, but that it doesn’t matter
because I can never go back the same way that I came;
I feel like I am the soul-survivor of an expedition,
and the reason why I am is because I am to blame.

Someone I have known all my life is getting married soon;
and while I am happy for her, I still cannot stop asking:
why is that not me?
The reason why is probably glaringly simple to others;
however, I am always the one who sees things a million miles away
before I see what is right in front of me.
It is a deficiency that I have worked hard to exorcise,
but my progress, if any, has always been short-lived-
perhaps it is a remnant of something that happened
to me when I was a kid?

I am happy in myself, in my relationships, in my work,
and in my life in general-
every minute I am inspired, able to breath deep, think intently,
and express myself in any way-
and for all that, I am incredibly grateful.
But I am missing something, something I may have had once, but lost-
something for which I feel like I am paying a heavy cost.

Machines don’t have regrets, and I am no machine-
wherever I look in my life I see echoes of another reality,
and indelible footprints of where I have been.
I have no real regrets, either-
only after-thoughts of what-could-have-been,
what could have I done better, and will I do better next time-
and I am proud of myself for doing so when I do,
because those questions are a part of my nature,
and one of the reasons why I continue to climb.

Everything that I am, that has happened to me, and what I have done,
has brought me, for better or for worse, to this apex-
and the only question that I have now,
and the question that will always keep me going, is:
what’s next?

Dear friend,

I have changed so much,
more so than I ever truly realized;
I am not myself anymore,
in ways that I can no longer disguise.
What has changed? Who am I, if I am not myself?
And, why do I feel as if I cannot change things back?
Why do I feel as if I have lost my way,
and that life has covered-over my tracks?
I used to be content in myself,
and untroubled by the intentions of others;
however, I now believe that my focus has shifted
away from what I want, to what it is that everyone else prefers.
Have I been lying this whole time?
If that is the case, then that was not my intention-
things were definitely simpler when I didn’t feel like the technology,
as well as the inventor of the invention.
I feel like I have become a part of the crowd,
where before I was the solo member of my own band;
a sunken island that has been swallowed by the sea,
when all I ever wanted to be was an untainted, free,
oasis of untouched land.
Change can be the best things ever,
putting a spring in your stride can make you feel amazing-
I regularly pray at the altar of variety,
but I sometimes think that things seemed more special
when I was just a boy who was stargazing.
I followed a shooting-star one night,
and from that inspiring evening to now
I have no recollection of the words and the events in-between-
I feel like I have just returned home
from living in the wilderness with no knowledge of where I have been.
How much of who I was remains?
How many traits of who I always wanted to be still live on in me, if any?
I may not be able to turn back the clock, and reset what has happened,
but I can save a part of myself- this letter, this realization-
that was born on the epiphany.

Your friend.

From door to door, on moon-lit night,
pilgrims of every age, and of every height,
embark upon a mission of masquerade
on a hallowed October evening
at the time of autumnal twilight.
What gifts will they receive,
and who will they meet,
on this annual, but one night only,
quest for trick, or treat.

The faces that can be seen from left to right
range from those that will make you laugh out-loud at the sight,
to those that never fail to shock you and imbue you with fright.
From vampires, werewolves, and witches,
to zombies, Frankenstein Monsters,
and plain old white-sheet ghosts and ghouls;
from superheroes, to Jedi knights,
to cardboard robots made at home with the help of parents;
or a costume made by a child on the day before at school-
Halloween is a day and a night of fantasy, frivolity, confectioneries, and fun;
today Halloween is a joyous holiday for all
and a welcome occasion to be someone else, even if only for a night,
and to do something that you have never done.

From ghost stories, to haunted houses, and Halloween parties;
from carved pumpkins, to illuminated Jack-o’-lanterns of every design
on countless doorsteps-
the wonders of peoples imagination are in full-display
in infinite forms, colours, and depths.
What I think people love about Halloween is the freedom of identity
that it allows, invites, beckons for, and asks-
an excuse to display your inhibitions on the outside,
while still remaining the same person behind the eyes of masks.

Happy Halloween

The mystery box of my life
would contain everything of magic on Earth that means something to me;
even if it were only a memento,
I feel confident that even the smallest of hints as to why I love them,
and why they inspire and mean so much to me,
would tell you everything about them, and me-
while still preserving a sense of mystery.

The first thing in my mystery box,
and the most important thing in my life, is my family:
my Mum, my Dad, my little sister Clare;
because they are why I am, who I am-
the structure and the foundation of me and my identity.

If I had a mystery box,
the next thing that I would place within would be my poetry,
my inspiration, my muse, every poem that I have ever written,
and every poem I will ever write:
a picture of my muse, smiling the most beautiful smile in all of creation,
with eyes as amazing as diamonds sparkling infinitely
a flash of unbelievable light.

Inside my mystery box
I would put in something that reminds me,
and the thing above all else that I cherish
more than anything about my friends:
their songs, their journey’s, their friendship, their stories-
everything that makes me smile whenever I think of them,
and the times we had together that felt like they would
never come to an end.

If I could put only one more thing in my mystery box,
no matter the size, what would it be?
The only thing in my life that is ever-present,
but always remains unseen;
a secret that no one on Earth, nor I, know about me;
an answer to a question, posed long ago;
the most simple, and yet the most complicated question ever spoken:
why?
Why was I born? Why did I live?
Why did I do what I did? Why do I have to die?
And the answer to be found within the mystery box would be:
that is why.

Everyone has their own mystery box;
everyone holds onto and holds dear
things about them that define their place in the world,
that ground their feet firmly to our planet of simplicity,
complexity, and infinite possibility-
everyone is a box of impossible to define dimensions of memory,
space, and time-
everyone is a mystery.

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