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Being a big brother comes with lots of responsibilities;
being a big brother means that you have to set
and show a shining-example;
being a big brother means and comes with a promise
to always look out for your little brother or little sister-
whether they are ten years old,
or a beautiful married woman in her thirties;
being a big brother is something that you should never
take for granted if you are one,
because you can be the one person in the entire world
that your sister or brother can come to
when they are feeling down or vulnerable.

I am a big brother;
I am a little brother;
I am not the best brother;
I am a lucky brother;
I sometimes feel like my little sister’s twin-brother,
because we are so different and yet so similar;
I sometimes look and listen to my little sister Clare
and I think that she is the older, wiser,
more courageous, more fearless,
more inspirational of the two of us,
because she is a fighter,
because she is a believer and prime-example
of how being bold, colourful,
and not always being so reserved all the time
can make life much more richer.

My little sister has amazing instincts;
my little sister has a heart of gold
and an ethic to life that I love and admire;
my little sister has a voice, a spirit, a fire,
a purpose, that anybody can see and feel from a distance;
my little sister is the one person in the world
who you would always want by your side,
because she will always be the most supportive
and hard-working heart in a room, even if she is tired.

I am a lucky brother to have a little sister like Clare;
I know that to have an amazing person as your sister
like my sister has always been to me is incredibly rare;
I am always going to be here
and whenever I am needed by my little sister;
I know that I have not always been
and I am not always the perfect brother,
but their is no one more prouder than I
to be my sister Clare’s one and only big brother.

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There is the poet,
who is always writing his poetry;
there is the man with the gold-rimmed glasses,
who is always looking and tapping away at his laptop;
there is the woman who has a particular temperature,
a particular colour, and a particular way,
that she likes and she expects her coffee;
there is the lady who comes through the door,
and every time she comes in and I see her
she is wearing the same coloured top.

There is the man who is always doing his crossword puzzle;
there is the business man who is always lost in thought;
there is the couple who sit opposite one-another,
but who never talk;
there is the woman who is always dressed in her running-gear,
and listening to her music on her iPod-
happy to just stay in her own private bubble.

There is the man who is always reading the same novel;
there is the woman in the red blouse,
who is video-calling someone far away- I always assume;
there is the boyfriend who is constantly looking at his girlfriend,
as if no one else is more beautiful;
there is the girl who has a tattoo on her neck
in the shape of the crescent of the moon.

There is the woman who I always see eating a salad;
there is the man who always sits by the window,
in the same seat, listening to the music being played,
as he stirs and sips the coffee in his cup;
there is the woman who sits on her own in the corner,
looking down at her phone, who always looks sad;
there is the man who is always dressed
like he is about to play a game of football in a World Cup.

There is the mother with her daughter;
there is the father with his son;
there is the blonde-haired man in the black jacket and blue jeans,
who drinks his drink in a rush as if it was water;
there are the friends who always look as if all they want to do
is chill-out, talk, laugh, and have fun.

There are people who I am used to seeing
when I come in to the same coffee shop, every time;
there are people of every age, colour,
inclination, and character;
there are people who stay here all day,
and some who just stay for a short time;
there are people who I would count myself a member of the same group,
and for all intents and purposes,
until I get to know everyone else better,
I will just call us all “The Regulars”.

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Life is brilliant.
The people we meet,
the friends we make,
are all one in a million.
The smiles that we see
and create are heaven sent.
Our lives, our days,
our experiences, our adventures,
never stop and have made us who we are
since we were children.
We are all special.
The world is our oyster.
Every day can be magical and hopeful.
What we share with others,
no matter how far away they are,
will always draw us closer.

Whether up a snow-covered mountain,
or below a beautiful ocean;
whether trekking across a desert
with a purpose, a camera,
a notebook, and a pen,
or having fun with your friends in the sun,
you are constantly being gifted
a once in a life-time opportunity
to see all things and everyone for all their beauty.

Hope is the most powerful motivator.
Inspiration is the most important light that can shine upon us.
Love is the most phenomenal force of peace in the universe,
and unites all galaxies- no matter how far far away they are,
and can unite everything and everyone-
even if the stars themselves were at war.
Fate is the cord that can never be cut.

The hours of the day can sometimes feel like a fast-moving current.
The sun rising in the East is always a great
and beautiful omen that is heavens-given.
The song of our time, like the beat or our heart,
is mesmerizing, awesome, beyond compare,
and breathtakingly brilliant.
If it were not for each other and all that make us who we are
we would not be beautifully human.

Every second is a unique moment,
every sight that we see is a great vision,
every thing that happens is a source of magnificent insight,
every day can be the best day ever.

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The sun in the sky;
the moon at night;
the planets that some people think
their lives and fates are dictated by;
the stars that have inspired me always,
because their light has been around
since the birth of the galaxy,
and their story has always fascinated me,
and their ability to be both timeless and spent
at the same time gives them a god-like status,
and the gift to be a time traveller, a time machine,
an engine of change, a storyteller, a fortune-teller,
that can tell the future, and inform about the past,
speak volumes, and shine bright.

My mind is always a billion miles away,
I am always taking a ride on an asteroid,
painting with the colours of a beautiful nebula,
and marvelling at the miracle of vibrant
and inspiring distant worlds,
and connecting and imagining the dreams of unseen
and amazing life beyond description every day.

The stars speak to me.
The Earth below my feet holds me.
Life embraces me.
The spectacular sight of a continuous and never-ending
sunrise and sunset and sunrise
is what I love to see.
The story of the entire universe,
and the meaning of all life is in me.
The music that I hear playing and resounding
from the hearts of everyone I know,
and everyone who means something to me,
is the true music of the spheres,
the song of life, the meaning of all life,
light, art, science, religion-
what makes you you, what makes every thing everything,
what makes me me.

The universe is an infinite and wondrous ocean;
the milky-way is a coral reef teaming with life
of all colours, shapes, sizes, description-
some that defy explanation and are beyond words;
life is a complex and intricate web of connectivity;
Earth and its countless population is a shining pearl,
whose miraculous appearance and purpose
is only just discovering its great and incredible potential,
and right now, and always, morphing, changing, evolving,
creating, making, and will one day see, understand,
and share the promise of awakening that we have all been awaiting.

We all have a job to do.
We all have a heart that tells us right from wrong.
We all have to look inside and choose.
We all have to sing our verse of the infinitely-layered,
and unique, universal, orchestral song.
We all have a foot-print to leave, a mark to make-
as long as we remember who we are,
and as long as we stay together,
we all have our own chapter and character interwoven
with that of everyone else and everything else of nature.
We all have times when we are both the traveler
and the interstellar storyteller.

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I have been thinking a lot about New York recently,
actually I haven’t stopped thinking about
the city of my dreams since I left.
I still remember the taxi ride that I took to the airport
when I knew I was leaving, and actually becoming teary-eyed,
and incredibly sad to leave-
I felt like I was leaving a part of me behind,
I felt lost, I felt bereft.

As I watched the skyscrapers disappear in the distance over my shoulder,
I remembered every extraordinary moment that I had
in the best city and my favourite city in the world;
I remembered the friends that I had met for the first time,
who I cannot wait to meet again;
I remembered the places that I visited,
and even now can still remember every detail of every moment-
from the faces that I saw, to the sounds and the noises
and the voices that I heard-
I still feel I am reliving every overwhelming and inspiring moment,
as if I can easily jump backwards and forwards in time
from the now to the then, and back again.

Being in New York City was one of the best times of my life.
While I was there my entire destiny came into focus,
and I realized where I was and where I wanted to be.
Being in New York City, feeling the energy of everything
and everybody inside of me made it possible for the first time
to connect me to a higher knowledge of purpose,
and I felt unbelievable wherever I was-
whether I was standing in Times Square being bathed in colour
by the giant screens or the flashing lights,
or standing at the top of one of the tallest buildings in the world-
and I even remember closing my eyes and reaching above me,
as if I could literally touch the sky.

I can still remember the smiling face of my friend,
the fantastic street-performer Natalia Paruz
playing her musical saw in the subway,
I can still feel the elation that I felt every second
I was standing in front of her hearing her completely hypnotized
and in-awe of her, watching her, talking to her,
telling her how I couldn’t wait to come back to New York
even though I hadn’t yet left, seeing her again,
maybe even collaborating with her someday,
and being a part of her music that truly moves me like no other,
and of course hear her and watch her play.

I can still remember standing in Grand Central Station,
being surrounded by what seemed like thousands of people
all in transition to somewhere else;
I can still remember waiting for my amazing and awesome friend Kyle
to arrive and for us to share a meal and a meet-up together
that was epic on every level,
and added on an extra level of magic to my time there-
and the Umami burger that we had was to die for, I can tell you,
and it tasted like nothing else.

I feel like I am still sitting in Central Park sometimes,
on my favourite bench in the shadow of a statue of William Shakespeare,
in the incredible and beautiful golden light of the early morning sun-
every morning at seven I would wake up, get dressed,
walk out of my hotel, go to my favourite coffee shop, Starbucks,
and then walk through Central Park,
and then just sit there and take in everything that I saw, heard, and felt,
and feel like I left my own impression there, my own shadow there
for me to one day return to and find and relive again the incredible experience
that it is to be a part of the place that makes your heart beat like a drum.

I don’t want to forget anything that happened while I was in New York City.
I don’t want to replace the memories that I made there,
and I don’t want to forget the joy that I felt taking every step
down every avenue and street on every sidewalk.
I want to go back as soon as I can.
I want to go there and share everything that I know
and will always love about this city,
and what it will always mean to me.
I want to go to the crown of the Statue of Liberty,
look back at the city, and stare, and say out-loud
the thing that I have been repeating in my mind and in my heart
from the second I left and longed to return:
and that is that I love this city so much,
I love my New York.

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As I look out my bedroom window,
as I watch the wind displace the leaves
as it gusts through the branches of the trees
and makes telephone cables
and power-lines sway from side to side with every blow,
as it seems as if every leaf is now well on the way
to changing colour for the season,
I look down to the street below
and I see a little boy riding his bike
on the pavement outside my house
wearing a big coat and a bobble-hat;
and instantly I feel a wave of something come over me,
as if the winds of time were blowing in unison
with the winds of the world outside, and taking me back
to a time, to an autumn day like this one, when I was a kid-
a time when I loved to play outside with my friends,
and my sister Clare,
and play a ‘catch me if you can-type of game’ called “tag”
in which I never minded being the one who was “it”.

I used to love riding my bike;
I used to love exploring the great place where I lived;
I used to love looking out my window
on a dark, rainy night, and being in awe of the sound of thunder,
and energized by the sight of a lightning-strike;
I used to love playing hide and seek-
and I swear no one could ever find me,
nor think of the right place where I was hid.

I had a very happy childhood;
I had everything a child could ever want;
I had so much love bestowed upon me,
and I was taught so many lessons and I learned so many skills
from my Mum and Dad- from appreciating the value
of the smallest of things, and the briefest of moments,
to the importance of hard work,
and knowing the best way to cut wood.

I remember smiling a lot when I was a child,
I remember laughing, creating, watching,
constantly asking questions, and learning from everyone,
I remember times when I used to sit quietly,
I remember times when I used to run wild,
I remember having so much fun.
I remember the good times, and the bad;
I remember the people I knew and who knew me who just suddenly died,
I remember the times when I had to say goodbye.
I remember all the times when I felt so happy
I thought my heart was going to explode;
I remember the tears that came after a fall,
and the times when I didn’t know what was going on,
and I felt sad.

The world has changed.
I have slowly, but surely, grown up.
The home I have known all my life
feels like a picture that is constantly being reframed.
I am outwardly very different from the boy I was-
from my shoe-size, to my likes and dislikes,
to my hair colour, and hair cut.
Inside I am still the same-
I feel and I know that, even now.
Inside I am under no illusion in my belief
that in everything I do, and to everyone I meet, I make a difference;
I don’t always know why, in what way, or how,
but I do feel, and I have always felt,
like everything that I was doing had a purpose and meant something-
even if I was writing a story, or painting a picture,
even as a child I knew that there was so much more to be seen
than could ever be seen, and that no matter the dark clouds
that sometimes swirled around above your head
there would always be something to have hope for,
that there is always a silver-lining to everything,
and that there would one day be a great,
beautiful, and bright future.

Looking at my own reflection in the glass of my window,
as the sun shines on my face,
I look into my own eyes-
the eyes that have seen thousands of sunrises,
the eyes that have seen so much beauty, hope, and inspiration,
in their time, and which have imprinted on them images
that I will take to the grave,
of sights and faces that nothing could ever erase.
I look at my own reflection,
and I see the boy that I was,
and the joy and the hope in his eyes, in my eyes;
I look at my own reflection, and I see the man who I am,
the boy who I am always going to be,
who still lives in the place, the house, the home,
with the memories he treasures,
and will always remember and return to,
in the middle house of three, on Fair field rise.

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We were born of the Earth.
The Earth was born in space.
The sun was born of our galaxy the Milky Way.
The galaxy was born of the universe.
The universe was born of a Big Bang,
a moment of creation, a flash of transformation,
a phenomenal explosion of life-defining energy.

Everything is made and patterned and destined
to live and endure within the environment
in which they are born into:
a fish needs water to stay alive,
a human needs light, air, land,
something in their life to anchor them,
to keep them sane, to give their lives meaning-
the planets of our solar system give meaning to the Earth,
and the Earth gives meaning to you.
When two compatible individuals connect and come together
a new life is born that irrevocably changes
the face of everything that has come before it,
emerging into a world perfect for it
but which it must continuously learn to adapt to living in,
and living with, that it can’t control,
that it must struggle to understand,
that looks simple from the outset,
but which is more complex than they could ever conceive-
just like being able to walk and stand up straight
without falling over, constantly fighting,
and yet defined by, an invisible force;
just like looking back over a persons life,
seeing the choices that they made, and asking:
how much of what happens in something’s existence
or someone’s life is planned?

Patterns are repeated over and over again in our universe,
on our planet, in our lives- day after day, decade after decade,
century after century, millennia after millennia-
patterns of behaviour, echoes of design, sustaining structures,
that have stood, spread, and are prevalent in a billion different,
but connected, configurations, in a thousand galaxies
throughout the universe-
and they repeat, because they have evolved a way of maintaining balance
and equilibrium with the life source that created the universe
and seeded all things with a purpose, a power,
a path, a pattern to follow,
that we are all destined to find and make work.

No one will ever know all the answers-
anyone who says that they know everything, knows nothing;
but what everybody can know, if they are willing to search
and understand, is that patterns are there:
we were born, we all live our lives,
the galaxy exists, the universe and all life came into being,
for a reason-
a reason bigger and more important than all of us,
but the essential nature, components, spirit, final design,
can be seen everyday in everything and everyone on our planet
when you look for and when you see repeating patterns.

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

There is nothing harder
than starting over;
there is nothing worse
than having no purpose;
there is nothing more soul-destroying
than losing your job, your livelihood;
there is nothing more dis-hartening than realising
that you cannot do all the things that you wish you could.
So, when you have to start again,
when you have to find a new job,
and find for yourself a meaningful purpose-
even though the road can seem long, barren, uninviting,
and working against you, as if you were under a curse-
you have to go forward, armed only with one thing:
self-belief-
it doesn’t seem that simple
while you are trying to rediscover who you are,
but it can sustain you for a short time from sinking beneath.

Everyone has a tendency to take things for granted once in a while,
me included-
I truly do not mean to- I value things,
and peoples worth, more than I can say;
however, even I can at times forget and over-look
the things that I have learned that have always stood me in good-stead.

Things can feel unimaginably difficult
when you have no core responsibility,
or a place to go where you are needed-
however, when that is your reality,
you have to go where pessimists fear to tread:
forward; not standing still, or revisiting the past-
learning something new, something out of your comfort-zone,
that in the long-run will build a structure around you
so strong that it will be built to last.

There is nothing more scary, at first-
there is nothing that you want to do more
than to say that things are not going to work out,
so much so that it physically hurts;
but then familiarity sets-in, takes hold of you,
and fills you with a confidence that never weakens,
and is always ubiquous-
and then you will have found your true-calling,
then you will have found your true purpose.

It’s gone! It’s abandoned me!
A cloud has amassed, a fog has engulfed me.
My spark of inspiration has been extinguished,
the aura of life has lost its glow;
my identity, my imagination, my world is close to death-
I am in-between realities, I am in limbo.

Silence is now the language of my thoughts,
my life’s purpose is stuck in a fugue;
I feel like my entire universe has ended, void- and I am alone, solitary, nude.

The poetry of the galaxy used to be my natural tongue,
the rhyme and the reason of things was my field of view;
but now I can’t tell up from down, beauty from emptiness,
what is false from what is true.
My greatest fear has been realized, I have fallen from grace;
I feel as if I am floating free of anchor in an un-star-spangled space.

I read, I watch, I talk, and I listen;
I stare at a computer screen, and at a white sheet of paper;
but when I try to write something, I feel like my muse and my mind is in prison.

This is the end. I have failed. My days have ran out, like the sands of time.
No more poems. No more poetry. No more inspiration. No more rhyme.

Then I see it. Then the sun rises.
The explosion of creation; the messenger, known by many guises
arrives, as it has has done so many times before,
with a gift of hope- the key to an ever-present, but unseen door-
and also with an answer as to why I am here;
why we are sometimes overflowing with inspiration and new ideas;
and why it is important to truly embrace joy, and to shed a tear.

I feel like I am myself again.
I feel like the veil of uncertainty has lifted.
I feel like I am ready to live and write the poetry of my life,
and to share the love and the purpose that I have been gifted.

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