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Today is my birthday.
Well, in actual fact, today, right now it is not my birthday,
my birthday is two days away;
however, the next time that someone reads this poem
will be on the day of my birthday,
and the next person to read it will be you,
and if you are reading this you probably already know me,
but if you don’t know me I would just like to say hello
and thank you for finding me.
To everyone, I just want to say that the last 33 years-
all the years, all the months, all the days-
have been more amazing and more epic than I could ever truly describe,
and you who have been with me, and who have followed me along the way,
have been fantastic and amazing,
and I would not be me if it was not for you.

What a life! What a world!
What a ride it has been!
What has happened to me throughout my life
has been more than words could ever describe,
ever since I was a boy and my hair was curled.

Am I who I thought I would be when I reached the age of 33?
Did I think what happened would ever of happened to little old me?
Someone once told me that “life was better than a dream,
because everything that happens to us while we are awake is tangible and real”;
but then again, there is a favourite quote from a favourite book of mine
that I love that says something along the lines of “life is but a dream”.
To me, dreams are the place where great and epic ideas happen
and where we all break a timeless seal,
and life is where we take those ideas and thoughts
and run with them, and ride there currents
like a fast-moving stream.

What I have seen;
what I have learned;
who I have met face to face, and in my dreams,
who I have have been saved by when it looked as if
all my bridges were going to be burned,
has given me everything anyone could ever want and dream of,
and what has not yet happened will either take the form of a figurative
black crow, or a white dove.

My life has changed so much, and it is about to change again;
my life is constantly changing shape, changing colour,
changing feel, changing speed, and that is why sometimes
I have to stop, take a breath, and count to ten.
My life, like the universe, like my mind, like my heart,
is always on the move, and never rests
even when I am lying asleep in bed;
my life, and me, has been dark and black,
light and white, and my life and I is there for all the world to see,
when I write the poetry of my life, and it is read.


I saw a black swan on the river today,
swimming in the ice-cold morning air.
Alone the black swan made its way without a care-
one of the most amazing sights I have ever seen,
the swan captured my attention
and stimulated my imagination almost immediately.
The stark contrast of its beautiful black feathers and its red beak
to the white of the surrounding snow.
As it made its way down the river
the black swan looked up at me as it passed me,
and for a second we two exchanged a gaze that stunned me-
so much so that I watched until it left my sight
and went to where I was unable to follow.
I had never seen a black swan before, but on this day of all days
I was not lost on the significance of its symbolism and meaning.
Seeing the black swan,
as I made my way to say my final goodbye to a good friend,
made me stop and think
on this personal journey of remembrance that I was taking,
that the world was trying to tell me something,
that I was going to receive a gift on this day
that would be for me and for me alone to understand,
but the consequence of that would be heart-breaking.

I had attended my friends funeral, but I hadn’t really said goodbye;
I had written a poem describing how I felt about their passing,
but I felt that I hadn’t really spoken to them as I always had;
I felt that simply attending my friends funeral service
and sharing my sorrow with their family was not enough-
in my mind, I thought that I needed to go back to their grave
and reconnect with them in some way,
so that I may hear them again,
and maybe I would stop feeling sad.

The snow covered everything in the graveyard,
but I remembered where the body of my friend now lay
without a second thought.
The wind was bitterly-cold as I stood facing the frozen Earth
above and below the now empty shell of my friend.
As I spoke to them in hushed-tones hoping that they could hear me,
because I knew that my memory was quickly fading
and that time was growing short.
After standing with my head bowed in solace and in silence
remembering everything that I could about my friend,
an image of the black swan that I had seen began to grow in my mind
until it was all that I could think about-
and then, above me, to my awe, shock, and astonishment,
I looked up and saw a black swan flying in the sky over-head,
and I fell to the ground at the sight of the black swan’s wings
outstretched like a dark angel ascending to the white-coloured clouds.
After regaining my footing,
I was fortunate to just catch the sight of the black swan
before it disappeared into the fog of the horizon-
as I did I swore that I heard my name being spoken somewhere far-away
in a whisper that I could barely hear,
but its depth of resonance was unmistakable-
like the crashing waves of an ocean.

Making my way home, the gift that I had received continued to ring in my head.
My memory of the swan that I had seen was glowing,
as if I had seen it in infrared.
I felt this feeling in my heart that my friend was still here in some way-
that their part to play in the universe was now proceeding on a different path-
that they will return to life in other forms, their essence will never be gone.
I had thought it impossible to accept the truth of my friends death,
and to try and reconcile the reason for his return to the source of all life,
until I saw the beauty, and caught the gaze, of the black swan.

Snowflakes swirl, fly, and dance, in the air,
as they slowly descend to the already white-covered floor-
billions of intricate and perfect frozen tears
dusting and blanketing the world before me.
It is like standing in the middle of a snowglobe.
No one can see anything in front of them,
everyone just jeeps going as best, as fast,
and as caustiously, as they can-
not letting the weather keep them in one place,
not even this unrelenting snowfall.

Seeing familiar landmarks veiled below frozen fields
that makes everything look indistinguishable from everything else,
a new world reveals itself, a new light shines, a new beauty arises,
the sky becomes the Earth, the Earth becomes the sky;
the sun is obscurred from view, all is bright,
and suddenly every-day things that you may sometimes miss
start to catch your eye.

A red british postbox has never looked more amazing
and glowing than against a white back-drop;
roads and motorways have never seemed more ghostly,
nor more other-worldly, than when you drive down them
in the middle of a blizzard,
when you are relying on the lights of the vehicles
in front of you to save you from coming to a sudden,
immediate, and perhaps costly stop.

Walking on what you cannot see,
walking on something that you have to constantly reteach yourself
how to walk on with every step,
makes you think more about your surroundings,
forces you to not take anything for granted,
and to expect the unexpected-
it doesn’t take much to take a false step in the snow below
and seconds later to find yourself in a skid.

In this weather you need to wrap-up warm, keep on the move,
stay dry, make the most of every shelter and cover that you come across,
don’t rush to wherever you are going, give yourself time, stay inside-
the snow can seem like a disruption if you have got somewhere to go;
but you cannot not appreciate its beauty, its magic,
its gift of contemplation-
nothing else opens your eyes to the world more wide.

Looking at the world, staring at the white cloud-covered sky,
at the snow-carpeted ground, and at the bare branches of the trees,
while wearing the biggest and the warmest coat that I could find
to protect me from the cold and the ice-
I look at where I am standing,
I look at the landscape that nature is remaking,
and I smile to myself at the thought that, as things stand right now,
this must be the most perfect winter wonderland that I have ever seen,
and it would be the most sublime snowman’s paradise.

A seemingly unremarkable man of average height,
stands alone in the street,
slowly being turned into a living snowman,
as the snow falls and covers him in a coat of white.
Strangers trudge through the near foot-deep snow,
slowly passing him by without even a blink of an eye;
children have snowball fights around him,
while the snow-covered man just stands there in his place
looking up at the sky.
The stars cannot be seen,
a grey cloak of clouds has obscured them;
but the mysterious man’s eyes make up for the lack of constellations,
as they shine in the moonlight like never before,
and like they will continue to shine again and again.
He knows a thousand magic tricks,
but on this snowy night the only thing that this magician knows
is that, in the now silent, cold, beautiful, open-air,
the magic of the world is present in every snowflake when it snows.

In a blink of an eye, the magician is now 9 years old-
standing in the snow of a glorious white night,
holding a book of magic tricks in his gloved hands,
and wearing a scarf that reaches down to his ankles,
to protect him from the cold.

As the magician closes his eyes,
he imagines above his head that the clouds have disappeared
and that the light of the galaxy can now be reflected on the snow floor-
to his knowledge he has yet to learn the spell that can control the weather,
but he is willing to give the thought that he can his all.

When the magician opens his eyes,
the frozen moon above his head seems to glow much brighter,
and appears to have grown larger, whiter,
as if it almost fills the sky-
a sky that was once filled with falling snow, and bereft of stars,
is now still, perfect, and beautiful,
the magician could almost cry.
Stars sparkle like fixed snow flakes in the clear night-sky,
all is white, all is peaceful, as the winter wind continues to blow.
A billion wonderful things happened today,
and one person feels and knows that more than most-
a man who sometimes thinks of himself as a ghost,
but who is right now, and forever,
a magician in the snow.

A bird flew down from high above;
it wasn’t a seagull, it wasn’t a dove-
the bird that landed at my feet, in the street,
was a crow; but not a crow of the colour
that your eyes would commonly meet-
it looked like a crow,
it cawed like a crow,
but its eyes were pink and bright;
it moved like a crow,
it stood like a crow-
but one the like of which I had never seen before,
because this crow wasn’t black,
this unbelievable crow was completely white.
Such a beautiful bird- the colour of snow,
with a glow like that of the moon-
I was mesmerized by it as it opened its white feathered wings,
as it took-flight into the sky like a balloon.
I was flabbergasted by what had just happened,
and also saddened by the white crows sudden departure-
while it stood at me feet I felt elated,
but now that it was gone I felt like I had been shot
through the heart by the arrow of an archer.

Later that same day,
the same crow yet again came my way-
flying over my head, seemingly about to land in the direction of the park-
and as soon as I saw it, I ran in the direction that it flew-
until I must have tripped over something,
because the world soon after went very quickly dark.

When I opened my eyes again
I was instantly blinded by an unbelievably bright light-
before this light became shadowed, and yet golden,
like someone was standing over me wearing a halo of white.

When my vision finally cleared,
I saw that I was looking into the eyes and at the face of an Angel,
or so it appeared-
because I was now looking at someone whom I had never seen,
but whom I couldn’t take my eyes away from-
because she looked so beautiful.

I got myself up off of the ground, feeling as if I had been in a fight-
and the Angel that was standing besides me asked:

“Are you ok? You gave me quite a fright!
I was just about to call an ambulance. Are you all right?”

“I’m fine,” I said, with a smile, as I put my right hand to my head;
“I don’t even know what happened.” I said,
“I guess in the future I should watch where I tread?”

“One minute you were running around the corner,
and the next you were lying on your back.
I don’t know what happened,” the Angel said,
“but you must have given your head quite a whack?”

“I don’t know what happened either?” I explained-
“you see, I was following a bird-”

“A white crow?” the Angel replied immediately,
before I could say another word.

“Yes!” I said with a shriek, “Did you see it too?”
I asked, with my eyes as wide as the sky,
and I could see that my Angels eyes were too.

“You bet I did! I had never seen one before!
It landed right here, but at first I didn’t know it was a crow-
because it wasn’t black, I wasn’t really sure.
You know, I really think that we should get your head checked-out?”

“We?” I said, with a flutter of hope in my heart,
but also with a touch of doubt.

“Well, I think I better come with you-
just in case you follow anymore birds,
and again find yourself on the ground looking up at the sky,”
my Angel said, with a spark in her eyes and a smile so beautiful
that it would make a grown-man cry.

“Sure,” I said, “but just one thing: I’m going to need your name?”
I asked her with a grin on my face,
and a heart in my chest that now felt like a flame.

“I’m Helen,” she said, as she extended out her right hand;
“And you are?” she asked, but the answer to which,
at first I couldn’t remember-

“Mark,” I said, with my heart burning in my chest
and glowing, I was sure like an ember.

“Well, now that we are both acquainted with one another-
shall we go?”

“Yes, of course!” I replied, as we both started to walk,
and then I looked up into the sky again,
and I saw the wings of the white crow.

I wonder if I am alone, and if it is just me;
but when I stare at a blank piece of paper, do you know what I see-
beyond the obvious, of course, beyond the blank slate that it appears:
I see a doorway, a window, a potential muse to new frontiers.
A blank sheet of paper, that at first seemingly has no depth,
is bigger on the inside, and to me is as rejuvenating as life’s breath;
while on the surface appearing flat, white, and pliable,
a blank sheet of paper’s ability to go anywhere or anywhen is undeniable.
From the first word written, from the first brush stroke of paint,
there is no force of nature, or any conceived physical restraint,
that can bound the imagination of an artist or a writer
when presented with a sheet of paper and an idea.
Their is no artist, poetic, lyricist, or musician,
whose imagination engine would not go into ignition,
when presented with a single A4 sized blank slate,
with the opportunity to write and to create
something brand new, something never before heard, seen, or read-
artistically, musically, or poetically, trying to unravel a loose thread
that began as a thought, and then became a reality,
turning that once blank sheet of paper into a formality;
because in no time at all it is in itself a work of art,
that was simply waiting for you to create it, and unveil it from the start.





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