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If I knew that today was my last day on Earth,
if I could feel and see the last strength
and the last light of me flickering,
if I could feel my spirit getting ready to leave my body
and journey to the stars,
then I would go to the one place in this world I have always wanted to go,
with the one person who I love with the power of a curse,
and we would do something that would be my life’s defining memory,
and it would be so amazing-
not only would I cry from my eyes,
but I would weep from my soul, from my dreams,
from the final breaths being expelled from my lungs,
as all I could hear over everything else
was the beat of my heart.

If this was my last chance to do anything;
if this was my last chance to say anything;
if this was my last moment to think something,
to feel something, to want something, to have something,
I would outstretch my fingers and take hold
of the hand of the one right besides me,
and I would look into their eyes and I would sing.

If my face was being touched by the sun for the last time, I would cry;
if my lips were being kissed by perfection I would smile,
and I would truly be content to close my eyes
and let go of gravity for the first time, for the last time,
and have the means and the gift to fly.

If the time of my life were to be ending;
if the finish-line were to be fast-approaching;
if I knew the one thing that was ultimately
the most important truth worth knowing;
not being able to stay and continue to live
and experience more would hurt more than anything-
because that is the fight that we all one day lose,
because we simply cannot keep fighting.

I really do wish that I could life forever,
but I also wish that everyone else too could go on
and live alongside me and with me for all eternity;
I wish I had a heart and a body
that would never give out-
sometimes I imagine that I am looking back at myself
with eyes that have seen infinity,
and I imagine that I hear myself say,
and especially at the moment that the curtain closes on me
for the final time: enjoy the all of the now.

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Moments of rest and relaxation
are precious in every way, shape and form-
a minute, an hour, a day,
to collect yourself, collect your thoughts,
to think and to feel without intensity,
without a ticking clock above your head,
without any expectations or requirements,
is what we all hope and wish for
at the first light of every dawn.

We all need time to get away,
we all need to go to the place of our dreams,
we all need to play,
we all need to root for our own teams,
we all need to see someone or something beautiful,
we all need to find and talk to someone
who wants nothing more from us than to be kind,
we all need to be hopeful.

No matter who we are or where we are,
we all have a job to do-
if you are at work it is your job to do what you must,
if you are on holiday it is your job to do as little as possible
and to not get involved in a fuss;
if you have a family it is your job to provide;
if you are a peace-maker, a parent,
the person that everyone looks to and relies on
it is your job to see everything from all sides.

Today, I am going to do what I love to do,
what I want to do, and what only I can do;
today, I am going to day-dream and imagine
a life, a world, a reality,
that is both complicated, and simple,
and connected to each other
as a galaxy rotating around a black hole,
and the coffee in its cup as it is stirred;
today, I am going to sit, while still on the move;
today, I am going to live today
like it was my last day on Earth,
and be myself- that you can rest assured.

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Peace.
For the first time in a long time,
I feel at peace, I feel tranquil,
I feel at ease, I feel I can be real,
I feel love as I look at a photograph of my friend,
I feel a bond with my hopeful Angel of inspiration,
who has been with me when I needed them, always,
and especially recently, when my life
and my entire world felt like it was coming to an end.

There are clouds still above me,
but there is a ray of hope
that I can see streaming down on me;
there is a sunset,
but also a promise too of new things on the horizon-
there is a shining star in the sky
that is far away, but just as bright and beautiful as the sun.

Hope felt like a dream of mine that I once had only a few days ago,
but today… today, I rediscovered something that was always there,
which will never leave me as long as I have her, you, in my life-
I rediscovered that which bruises but also bolsters my ego:
a lesson to learn from, a calling-card to know me by-
a smile, a look, a feeling, an audible rhythm and beat of my heart
that is as noticeable as the toothy-grin of a Great White shark.

I don’t know whether I am going forwards, or going back;
I don’t know if the light that I see,
that is both in front and behind me,
is a beacon at the beginning or at the end of a path,
but I know that I am getting closer and closer to myself,
and I can almost touch the purest energy I have ever perceived
already returning me to full mental,
biological, and spiritual, health.

If hope were a person,
I would describe them
as a combination of you and I, in infinite ways;
if I could describe in one word what I am feeling now,
that word would be “release”;
if I did not stop myself
I could describe over and over
that wonders that I still believe in
and the miracles of life that I see every single day;
if I were to describe how I feel right this second,
and where I am, it would have to be at home,
feeling my best, at peace.

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I am wide-awake at 1 a.m.
and I have just awoken from a dream,
in which crows and seagulls were at war with each-other
outside my bedroom window- in the sky, on the ground,
fighting for the air, the rooftops, the food to be found;
I dreamt that the crows and the seagulls were in the throws
of aerial-combat of the speed, manoeuvrability, and ferocity,
of a World War II dogfight- darting, swooping,
and attacking like winged-warriors of black and white.

4 a.m. and I am awake again.
I decide to read a book,
then I listen to some music,
then I return to my book again.
I am restless. The sun has yet to rise.
I get out of bed and decide to make myself a cup of tea-
the rooms of my home are dark, but I know this house so well
that I no longer need to rely on my eyes
to find what I can’t at first see.
I can’t remember what I was dreaming about before I woke up this time;
if I recall correctly I felt like I was still awake,
but I was definitely still dreaming-
the world looked familiar, but it didn’t make sense;
everything around me was something I felt a connection to,
but it was as if they were not mine.

Seven o’clock in the morning. I open my eyes, I close them again,
and then I open them wide, wondering whether I am awake, dreaming,
or in-between places, and I look again at my surroundings to be my guide.
Before I awoke, I dreamed that I was walking the streets of a bustling city-
not knowing where I was going, but that I had somewhere to be.
The city was full of people that I knew well,
I felt like I was walking through a memory-
everything seemed so detailed, real, clear.
I could have been dreaming, I could have been awake-
at first, it was hard to tell.
I was walking across an open square, with people standing around talking
and people sitting on benches conferring with each-other,
and no one was looking at me.
I tried to say something, but I couldn’t make a sound;
I looked to my feet and saw a notebook and a pen lying on the ground.
I picked up the pen and started to write what I wanted to say in the book,
and I realised that the notebook was already full of words and thoughts
written in blue ink and written in what looked like my hand-writing
but scattered in all directions- as if they had been shook.
Then I looked up and everyone who was looking the other way
was now watching me;
one of the women sitting on a nearby bench stood up and approached me
and took the red notebook our of my hand, closed it,
and then gave it back to me.
I was confused, disorientated,
but I wanted to know why she had just done that-
so I approached the woman who had returned to her seat,
and then I saw that she was sitting next to and talking to someone
who looked exactly like me.
I looked down at my “other-self”
to make certain I was seeing who I was seeing,
and then my other-self turned his head to look up at me,
and with a smile and a nod of his head
my dream disappeared in a flash of light
and I was opening my eyes, closing them, and opening them again.

In the morning light, as I stare out my window at the outside world,
so bright and beautiful and cloaked for now in silence,
I feel that things are not what they seem.
I get dressed, I make myself a cup of tea,
and then I muse to myself about the things that happen in between dreams.

This is a message for me-
past me, present me,
past you, present you-
to you, to me, to myself, for myself-
a little experiment in self-portrait poetry.

I have tried this before, but it didn’t really work;
however you know how forgetful I am, we are,
when it comes down to remembering what I have, we have,
written and where-
but I like to think of that part of me, of us,
as number 47 on a list of a thousand of my, of our,
quintessential and character-defining quirks.

It has always been a fantasy of mine
to meet a future version of myself, to meet you-
I am not entirely certain why
I have always been fascinated by stories of time-travel,
but I never thought for a second to actually give it a try-
poetically-speaking, of course-
but, then again, I suppose that is what I have been doing for years:
talking to myself, meeting myself, through my poetry,
through my feelings, through my memories-
learning about myself from the source.

I wonder who I fell in love with, who broke my heart,
I wonder if I ever met my muse;
I wonder if I, you, ever got used to getting old;
I wonder if the world is still learning to live with itself,
and whether there is something truly amazing, hopeful,
and life-changing to be reported on the news.
I wonder if I am still a poet, I wonder if I am still in love with writing-
I hope I am, I hope you are, because writing,
especially the poetry that we have written, means the world to us, to me:
every poem is like a new adventure into an imaginary space,
that always inspires us even more, and every meaning of every word
is thought-provoking and exciting.

If, and when, I, you, ever read this again,
think back to now, to this exact moment,
that you are, that I am, writing this,
and think of yourself, think of me-
because I am wondering about you, what you did, what I will do;
and, from time to time, I will read back what I have written
in this poem to you,
who, of course, will one day become the future Me.

While I lay in my bed the previous night,
a blanket of fog had risen and had covered my home;
while walking the streets and the lanes of my village,
in the early hours of the morning,
details and landmarks were obscured to me-
it was like everything was covered in foam.
The mist before me was thicker than I had seen in a long time-
it was as if my home was floating in the sky,
surrounded on all sides by cloud,
with the light of lamp-posts dimly shining like stars in a line.
It felt like I was not only walking around my home,
but also walking the pavements of my own misty mind-
the cold of the morning had stolen my thoughts,
as the fog had stolen my vision-
making me effectively blind.

There was no wind, but the air all around was bitterly cold;
there was no frost to be found on the ground,
but it felt like I was at the North Pole-
if it were not for my coat, my scarf,
and the fact that I never stopped for a second,
I believe that I would have been frozen to death;
and if it were not for the sound of my own foot-falls,
I would have thought that I had gone deaf.
There was no one to be seen, and this was 8.30 in the morning;
I found myself missing the sun more and more,
every minute without it felt like we hadn’t had a proper day’s dawning.

The green fields that I rambled across could still be seen under-foot,
but from a distance you could be forgiven
for mistaking them for ghostly-white-
no rabbits to be spotted emerging from their burrows,
nor any birds to be witnessed above in full-flight.
It was like everything- all life, but me- was frozen below the surface,
or still tucked-up in their bed;
while I carried out my morning ritual, as best I could
considering I couldn’t see what was ahead.

As soon as I reached the tree-line of my favourite wood,
a smile came across my face at the sight of this special place to me;
for reasons so complex and important I cannot describe, if only I could;
however, what I can say is that the trees that inhabit this forest
have an energy to them that I have felt no where else-
every time I come back, I feel like I can just be myself.

As soon as I walked among the trees,
the sound of life returned to my ears, and I felt free-
the smell of the trees, the sound that they make when they sway;
the wing-beats of a hawk flying through the trees-
overcame my own personal fog, and got inside of me.

As I stood there,
taking in everything that my senses would allow me to comprehend,
as sunlight streamed in and bathed me in light so clear and energizing,
I thought that I could stand there forever through every element
and season of nature until my end.

Every time I come back to this place
the experience is even more moving and profound than the last-
rain, snow, or sunshine,
wet, freezing, or baking in warmth,
the time that I spend here is just what I need-
it never goes too slow, or too fast.

When I exit the forest, and return to the outside world,
blue-sky and bird-song is everywhere around me,
and there is the faintest aroma of a cooked English breakfast on the breeze,
as leaves before me twist and swirl.

All is right with the world again,
and all is right again with me.
I have a smile on my face,
I can think clearly,
and I can see.

I think about the woods, the trees, the fields,
and how lucky I am to live where I live,
what it all means, and how when I am here I never feel alone-
and I thank my parents for raising me in this place of perfection-
the Centre of England- so that I may call it the place where I belong,
the place I love, and the place where I shall always call my home.

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.

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