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Mark J. Halliday's Blog

About Mark J. Halliday
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My Name is Mark Halliday (Staff Sergeant, US Army Retired). 
I grew up in Garden Grove, California.  I had piano lessons as a kid, and played flute in marching bands for 4 years. My first college attended was Santa Ana College, which was interrupted for two years while I served as a Mormon missionary in north-eastern France and southern Belgium.  While finishing my first AA in Liberal Arts, I played keyboard synthesizer with my friends in a band that focused on Beatles songs, surfer music, oldies, and pop songs from the 80s.  I started learning to play guitar around 1985.

Besides being involved in music, I also like to draw.  Often my pictures have the same theme as my lyrics or poetry.  I have a series of drawings of musical instruments in fantasy/science fiction settings, for example a picture of a bass guitar fighting off biplanes from on top of the Empire State Building (based on the original film King Kong), and others of primitive man surrounding a giant set of keyboards (similar to the opening of 2001 A Space Oddessey).

My favorite hobby is reading.  I especially like military-science-fiction writers such as David Weber, David Drake, John Ringo, and Eric Flint.  I'm also fond of books by Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Tom Clancy, Harold Coyle, Harry Turtledove, Frank Herbert, Ian Fleming, W.E.B. Griffin, Clive Cussler, Jack Higgins, Arthur C. Clark, Jim Butcher, George R. R. Martin, and writers for Star Wars novels such as Kevin Anderson.
I enlisted in the US Army (1987) near the end of the Cold War to be an Intelligence Analyst/Russian Linguist.  I later cross-trained into the Serbian and Croatian languages during the Bosnia and Kosovo conflicts, and spent time with UN Peacekeepers in Macedonia.  I also spent a year in Mosul, Iraq, helping train the Intelligence section of an Iraqi infantry battalion staff. I spent about a third of my service time in Germany, as well as Missouri, California, Texas, Massachusetts, Arizona, and Maryland.  I taught Russian, then Serb-Croatian, then French at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) in Monterey, California, where I finally retired in 2007. 

I met my wife Nelly while visiting Paris, France, during the bicentennial of Bastille Day in 1989 (see my quatern poem A Soldier's Foreign Woman).  We have two sons.  We are still together, and happily still best friends.

While still in the Army, I earned an AS in Ornamental Horticulture at Monterey Peninsula College (and have enough credits for another in Business Administration), and a BS from Excelsior College in Liberal Arts with an emphasis on European languages and culture.
I work full time as an Army civilian Supply Technician at the DLIFLC in Monterey, and on call as a commercial charter bus driver for a company in Marina CA (see my poem The Butterfly Flutters by).  I've been learning bass guitar the last few years and also using a keyboard workstation.  I'm slowly learning to record my songs on computers, too.

This is how I got into poetry.  I was 'in-like' with one of my French converts back in the 80s; she sent me a poem or two, so I reciprocated and started writing sonnets and songs (see my lyric Odessey), ever since about 1983.  Today my normal focus is on writing songs instead of poems, so in a sense many of my recent poems are ideas that I could not easily make into lyrics....not quite failures per se, but not successful towards my first priority.  As of this writing (January 2015), I am working on recording my songs Tropical Getaway, Something you Left Behind, Egyptian Dancer, Lady Luck Stomped Out, and the children's song Blow More Bubbles.

My dream is to create a band called the Retropolitan Underground, which plays new songs using older musical styles, probably heavily into old pop-jazz fusions.  We just bought an older quaint house in Salinas, California, near Hartnell College.  I want to apply some of my education and skills to upgrade the house, by 1) turning my garage into a home music studio, 2) organically growing vegetables and fruit trees everywhere around the house with enough sunlight, and 3) painting some murals inside.  So far I'm working on an image of a pergola covered with flowers in the master bedroom.


New to blogging.

Blog Posted:5/23/2014 11:12:00 PM
Never made a blog before.  Testing the waters.  My big toe is turning blue from the effort!  Trying to figure out how to add some of my drawings, too.

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  1. Date: 5/24/2014 9:21:00 AM
    So nice to see you! Welcome to the bloggers!!

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  1. Date: 5/24/2014 7:28:00 AM
    Mark, very interesting bio, looks like you've been around the world a tad more than most of us! Welcome!

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  1. Date: 5/24/2014 12:57:00 AM
    Hi, Mark, hope you can think of something interesting to tell us. don't worry if you can't do pictures yet. You are not the only one!

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  1. Date: 5/23/2014 11:24:00 PM
    Well to the land of blogging, Mark........Goodnight... Linda

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My Past Blog Posts

New to blogging.
Date Posted: 5/23/2014 11:12:00 PM

My Recent Poems

Date PostedPoemTitleFormCategories
3/30/2015 Grandma the Firefighter I do not know?bio,fire,grandmother,hero
3/25/2015 Friend in exile Senryulost love,music,sorrow,
3/18/2015 Excellence Villanelledesire,education,visionar
3/18/2015 Greenish I do not know?beauty,blue,color,green,y
3/18/2015 Anachronism Senryuage,life,old,
3/17/2015 Inspiration or evolution Haikubeauty,inspiration,music,
3/9/2015 Masks and Gondolas Verseboat,memory,travel,
3/9/2015 Nature's First Law Haikuabuse,earth,environment,p
3/6/2015 Souls of our culture Rubaiyatbooks,culture,places,reme
3/5/2015 Pain Of The Night Coupletbooks,dark,light,loneline
3/2/2015 Black and white, white and black Coupletart,dark,light,
3/2/2015 Tangoing with you Haikudance,romance,sexy,
2/27/2015 Peace Senryuconflict,peace,
2/25/2015 My Wife--An Angel In Disguise Rhymeangel,home,life,soldier,t
2/25/2015 Columns and Ranks, Fog of War intermingled Quaternbeach,death,england,histo
2/24/2015 Gathering dust on my bookshelves Quaternbooks,family,fantasy,gard
2/20/2015 Spring gardening for survival Sonnetamerica,farm,food,garden,
2/18/2015 Scar On My Heart Lyricheartbreak,leaving,lost l
2/13/2015 Spring garden prep Abecedarianfood,garden,home,life,nat
2/13/2015 The 90s Quatrainamerica,children,conflict
2/9/2015 Meaning of Life Rhymedeath,education,growth,he
2/9/2015 Namesake Tankafamily,father,grandson,hi
2/6/2015 Augmented chords Haikumusic,student,
2/5/2015 Valentine Haikuchocolate,holiday,humorou
2/4/2015 Daylight Savings Time Haikudark,day,light,night,slee
2/3/2015 Breath of Love I do not know?desire,fire,love,passion,
2/3/2015 Love and humor Dodoitsuconflict,life,love,marria
2/2/2015 Raspberry and blackberry bushes Haikufarm,life,nature,
1/29/2015 Chocolate Indulgences Coupletcandy,humorous,love hurts
1/22/2015 Heaven or Hell Dizainanxiety,christian,fear,he
1/20/2015 Love's Magic Quatrainlife,love,magic,philosoph
1/18/2015 Hidden beauty in music Haikubeauty,music,
1/9/2015 Late Rock Stars Senryuage,beauty,death of a fri
1/5/2015 This Year Quintain (English)flower,fruit,green,house,
1/5/2015 Magic Beans Quatrainfantasy,humorous,magic,my
12/29/2014 Dog Kisses Haikudog,friend,happiness,love
12/29/2014 In the moment on guitar Senryucreation,inspiration,musi
12/24/2014 Moonlight Serenade Ethereecrazy,longing,love hurts,
12/22/2014 Fortress Home Quaternconflict,evil,freedom,hom
12/18/2014 Christmas 2005 in Iraq with MiTT 2-2-2 Prose Poetryart,christmas,fire,soldie
12/18/2014 Resolution 2015 Senryuhome,house,money,tree,
12/15/2014 Puppets Senryumetaphor,
12/15/2014 Yellow Roses I do not know?lost love,metaphor,rose,
12/15/2014 Longing: Lust and Love Cinquaindesire,devotion,longing,l
12/11/2014 Don't Stress Christmas - repost Versechristmas,hope,stress,wis
12/8/2014 George Baily-It's A Wonderful Life Rhymeangel,film,hope,suicide,
12/2/2014 Ballroom Delights Sonnetdance,music,women,
12/2/2014 Tungsten or Wolfram Haikunature,strength,stress,
11/26/2014 Keukenhof Gardens Haikuflower,nature,travel,
11/26/2014 Motivation By Inspiration Verseinspiration,life,work,
11/26/2014 Hush of Christmas past Senryuchildhood,christmas,
11/24/2014 What's Up With Santa Senryuchristmas,political,satir
11/20/2014 Musical Fingers - compound word verse Rhymemusic,repetition,
11/13/2014 Diasbled Musician Limerickage,computer,courage,musi
11/12/2014 Poetically Musical Diamanteinspiration,music,poetry,
11/12/2014 My Fingernails Will Grow Back Proseart,beach,beauty,earth,na
11/12/2014 Sequence Cinqkuinspiration,music,word pl
11/4/2014 C'est la vie Verseparis,travel,work,
11/4/2014 Garnished Sauerkraut Epulaeryufood,wine,
11/4/2014 I am a Seeker Verselyric,music,philosophy,
10/31/2014 Mighty Waters Versenature,river,water,
10/31/2014 Lorraine Cemetery Haikuhero,soldier,war,
10/14/2014 The Scent Of Your Soul Haikusenses,soulmate,
10/14/2014 Stressing I do not know?change,fear,future,life,s
10/10/2014 Around the corner Alliterationfamily,fear,future,life,
10/9/2014 moi-meme Bioart,bio,conflict,inspirat
10/8/2014 Monsters Haikufear,horror,
10/8/2014 October Bliss Sijoautumn,color,nature,seaso
10/3/2014 Bastille Day Bicentennial July 1989 Senryuanniversary,celebration,f
10/3/2014 Warrior Poet Acrosticbio,books,culture,food,id
10/3/2014 Respect Our Homeworld Rispettoearth,environment,nature,
10/2/2014 Winter Acrosticseasons,snow,weather,wint
9/28/2014 Farewell Ginger Haikuanimal,death of a friend,
9/28/2014 Fleeting Serenity Trioletdesire,life,simple,spirit
9/25/2014 Columns and Ranks Quaterndeath,england,eulogy,loss
9/20/2014 Somewhere In Time Lyriclost love,love,love hurts
9/20/2014 Until My Ticker Expires Lyricdepression,education,work
9/20/2014 No Halloween Candy Lyriccandy,halloween,youth,
9/20/2014 Il Ne Suffit Pas Coupletforgiveness,song,sorrow,w
9/20/2014 Bedroom Eyes Lyricchildren,desire,family,ho
9/20/2014 Lovers Point, LP Revisited Acrosticbeach,beauty,girlfriend,l
9/20/2014 I Can Only Touch The empty Air Quatrainabsence,lost love,love,me
9/19/2014 La Tour des Baleines Verseboat,imagery,internationa
9/15/2014 Pinnacle Prose Poetryallegory,allusion,life,mo
9/12/2014 In a dark, dark room Quaternangst,evil,fear,food,horr
9/8/2014 Rainy Days Coupletcorruption,earth,environm
9/6/2014 Rappelez Vous, Remember Quatraindeath,father,friend,loss,
9/4/2014 Central Coast Autumn Haikuautumn,beach,color,longin
9/2/2014 The Mirror Doesn't Delude Rhymeage,confusion,mirror,psyc
8/27/2014 Partnach River Haikubeautiful,mountains,natur
8/21/2014 The Seasons Of Our Love Sonnetage,appreciation,devotion
8/19/2014 The Fog Of War Ottava rimaconflict,gothic,soldier,w
8/18/2014 To my lover on Saturday mornings Footledesire,love,sensual,sexy,
8/13/2014 Altruism in the Bible Senryubible,blessing,character,
8/12/2014 Enlightenment Senryuinspirational,introspecti
8/5/2014 Solitude Quaternfamily,inspiration,life,l
8/5/2014 Black Carriage Verseangel,dark,death,horror,h
8/1/2014 Aha Obama Haikuconflict,political,vision
7/28/2014 Clouds over the Ardennes Haikubeauty,color,mountains,sk
7/23/2014 Probabilities of Life Haikuhumorous,life,

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