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I have always thought that we should
truly listen intently to the young,
because the young, especially children,
make a point to say what is on their mind;
I have always thought that the best thing about being young
is that you do not need to worry about anything,
nor think too much, and just live,
learn, look, sample, and have fun,
be adventurous without knowing it,
look in every direction- not just forwards, or behind.

Every child sometimes forgets to look left and right
when they are crossing a road,
and sometimes than can walk away
by the skin of their teeth after a close encounter;
every child wants to be out and about with their friends-
whether it is a hot day of sun,
or a cold day of freezing snow;
every child is a not-so-secret natural explorer.

Children have no concept of time;
to a child the next day feels like a life-time away;
children have no thought of right or wrong, gift or crime;
to a child every day is like playing a game.

Every child attends a different school of thought
depending on where they live
and what they have been taught since the day they were born;
every child ultimately can only go on their own journey-
but the more a child has to choose
the more that they can feel torn;
and, to me, a child does need guidance
from those that they respect and trust,
but without too much of a push,
and letting them figure things out for themselves,
children always do find their feet.

A child from Africa can inspire the entire world
to think about others before themselves;
a group of friends from China can come together
from all different backgrounds
and dream of doing things, and going places,
and taking the rest of the world with them;
a little girl from Hawaii can hear the voice of the Earth
when they listen to the sound they find within a seashell;
a boy from Canada can one day be holding tightly
and looking down at his favourite toy,
and then one day years later in the future
take one simple thought that comes to him,
and realize that he could change the world
for every child and for all future children.

The life and the time of a child is precious,
and before you know it things get complicated,
and they can slowly start to lose their tender touch,
and they can worry about who they see in the mirror;
it is only natural to think
about why things are the way they are,
but you just have to hold on to things
for as long as you possibly can-
because before you know it
everything, slowly but surely,
falls through your fingers.

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I have never been able to hide my feelings,
I have never been successful in disguising my emotions,
I have never been able to figure out
how not to have everything I am thinking
written all over my face,
I have never been good at realising who and what
it is people observe about me in what they are seeing,
I have never been able to wear a mask of my own face,
because my expressions are apparently so blatant
they change more frequently and are more noticeable
than waves of an ocean,
I have never been eye to eye with someone
and worn an expression that was the opposite
of what I was feeling on the inside-
like the winner of a card game,
who is able to bluff better than anyone else
because they have the greater poker face.

I am a very open person in some ways,
but not in every way;
however, my face paints a picture of my thoughts
and contorts like no one else;
I do not reveal every detail of my heart,
but when it comes to sharing as much of me as possible
via involuntarily manifested external emotions,
I am as transparent as a cell.
Being so noticeable and open has got me into a lot of trouble
and has allowed people to read me whenever they want to like a book-
people have told me that they know exactly what I am thinking
from seeing my reaction to something they said with a single look.
When I am sad, everyone knows.
When I am happy, I let it show.
When I am thinking about something,
it is as if others can see the hemispheres of my brain sparking.
When I am angry, people can see in me
that I am ready to strike and burst with energy
of the power and the electricity of a bolt of lightning.

Everything about me is plain to see.
Everything that I think about is as deep and as vast as outer space.
Everything about what is on my mind,
I am sure people can read and have read
without me having to say a word or write a single line of poetry.
Everything that you want to know is there every second
and written all over my face.

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Your signal is always the strongest;
your picture always comes through clear;
your frequency is always what I am in-tune with;
your content is always new-
but I would watch you, and I do watch you every day,
on repeat.

Your look is fantastic as it is
and never needs to be refreshed;
your ideas and dreams are the characters of a drama
with whom I imagine myself interacting with,
and in a world I would love to live in;
your taste is sublime,
and like a great meal,
every course of you is a feast.

You show me so much every day,
I simply have to look at you and I am already off
on an adventure in my mind;
you tell me and teach me something every day-
a mere glance in your direction is like staring
at an intense explosion of light,
who and which to someone else would be powerful enough
to send them blind.

I am addicted to you, and I have been for a while.
I would choose to be the moderator of your fan club,
and I would proudly wear a t-shirt with my love for you on it
and never hide away or live in denial.

I take notice and I record everything you broadcast;
I think about you even when you are right in front of me,
and the time when I can’t, nor anyone,
can take my attention away from you goes by
and makes my heart beat so fast.

When you fill my screen and talk directly to me,
and no one else, in true and vibrant colour
and in infinite and ultra-definition;
when you blur away the rest of the world
and suck me in, every episode of you
always brings me to the conclusion
that you are the most important gift in my life,
of that there could never be any confusion.

Your voice carries farther than radio;
your message is more hypnotic than television;
your name and your face is what I see repeated everywhere I go;
your energy is like that of the explosion
that is ignited to launch and propel a spacecraft
on a long and deep-space mission.

You are someone I could never just turn on
and not watch every second of,
and just leave to be, like moving wallpaper-
because you are like a window to so much
and so many wonders;
of all the magical sights in this world that I have seen,
you are and you will always be my favourite view.
You are my favourite station of destination
that I never want to leave,
and you can rest assured that any and every time
I want to scan and be in-tune with anyone,
I will always choose to be watching and in-awe
of Channel U.

A little boy jumping in puddles,
a little girl kicking and tossing
a collection of leaves on the ground-
the joy in their faces,
the pure excitement in their bodies,
is exhilarating to see and to witness;
just as it is brilliant to see a child
be encouraged and compelled to be excited
by their parents, and not told off
for doing what they are doing-
being a kid.

A child has a right to be free more than anybody
in discovering the answer to ‘If I do this, what happens next?’-
they might learn a valuable lesson
that will stay with them their entire life,
and depending on how their parents respond to them
at particular and important moments
will be the difference between them aspiring to be more,
see more, and experience more,
and walking the line of hope and trouble,
and knowing the value of something and someone;
whether it be an acquaintance, a friend, a gift,
a house, a sunrise, a rest, a cup of coffee,
a hand-hold, a look, a relationship-
just as they will always hopefully know
the true value of a hard-earned dollar, or a pound.

One of the best moments to witness
is when a child hears music for the first time,
and it instantly makes them dance, move,
and sing along to the lyrics
and replicate with complete accuracy all the right
choreography and dance-moves, words,
and the inflections of the artist
who is the author of the song they are hearing,
and it truly moves them like no other form
of communication of any kind.

Children love to express their profound joy
and overwhelming passion for life in every way-
whenever they can, wherever they can, with whoever they are with,
and they never hold back, unless they are stopped in their tracks
by something they have never seen before,
and then the expression that you see on their face
is absolutely priceless:
it’s like a mix of wonder and confusion,
bliss and captivation;
something new to a child, like a new song,
is like magic to them, and they don’t mind listening to a song,
or seeing something, over and over again.

They say that we lose much as we grow up, get older,
and sometimes we forget the pure unadulterated enjoyment
and the thrill of exposure of our inner-self
and our untempered emotions for all the world to see-
because we are so worried about what other people
will think and who society, for all its good,
tells us we aught to be-
a child doesn’t have that,
a child doesn’t need that,
a child should have boundaries,
but not those that will stop them
from doing from doing the impossible,
from overcoming and clearing the fences
that can threaten to restrict their metamorphosis too much.
A child doesn’t need to be told what they can’t do,
they need to be shown and encouraged in the things they can do
and will do;
a child can grow up anywhere
and as long as they have what they need when they need it,
a child can and will change the world-
it happens everyday, it has happened everyday of human history-
whether that child is born into poverty,
doesn’t have all that every other child they go to school with has;
whether that child is deaf, physically or mentally challenged, or blind-
any and every child can be something amazing and someone spectacular,
as long as they are surrounded by love and support,
and while they are a child they are allowed to be free,
discover, and be who they want to be,
and can make every moment of their lives
an important part of their play time.

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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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Just above the horizon,
just above the trees and the buildings nearby-
streaking and shining beautifully
among the strange and amazing clouds
and the beautiful and amazing blue sky,
like the trail of some magical gift
that had come to Earth from the heavens,
or from some other world,
some other reality of colour, energy, and light-
a rainbow, a beautiful and wonderful reflection and echo
of cosmic and divine light, stops everyone in their tracks
and in their conversations, and makes everybody look up
to see it and marvel at how unbelievable, special, stunning,
and fortuitous it is to see such a sight.

Whenever I see a rainbow, I always make a wish.
I believe that whenever you see something so beautiful
and wonderful as a rainbow is to me-
which because of its uniqueness, randomness,
momentousness, rarity, brilliance, and beauty
can only be a sign of something significant, powerful,
and important taking place somewhere at that exact moment
that is undeniable to those that it is happening to,
but unfortunately is something that the rest of the world
must sadly miss.

A rainbow to me is more than a simple reflection of light
captured in the air like the negative
of some other-worldly photograph;
to me, a rainbow is a Mark of an important thing
that is going to happen to you,
or something that already has;
to me, a rainbow is an omen of a bright future,
and a universal approval of something that is on your mind,
but which you want to move on from and consider the past.

I believe there are signs everywhere.
I believe the universe shines a light
and guides us at times when we need to see something
we really need to see, or to realize,
and truly know something we really need to know.
I believe if something is meant to be seen and felt,
you will see it and feel it at the right time for you,
when you have arrived at the perfect time and place,
and you feel content and happy to be then and there.
I believe if you want to know if you have come
to a point in your life that will mean something to you,
and will inform, and set out the road, and the path,
and the course for the rest of your life,
you only have to look around, and you can truly be certain
with all your heart, if you are lucky enough
to look up at the sky and see a rainbow.

The Rainbow

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