Rainy Day, Come and Stay

Rainy days. rainy days,
I will not ask you to go away,
in fact I ask and I beg,
to please come and stay,
instead of visiting another day.
These days are made for warm tea and coffee,
a good day for a soft symphony,
to relax in bed,
or to find a good covering for your head,
as you dash quickly to where it's warm,
from the scattering storm.
I dripping melody,
with the occasional boom,
of the sky's drum,
a bath, a shower for the Earth,
natural luxury.
A much needed cleansing,
for the ground we walk on,
needs relief, needs a drink,
and always a heavenly blessing.

She Dances

She dances,
like the trees swaying in the wind,
she dances.
Like the leaves twirling as they fall,
she dances.
Like a flowing river,
she dances.
Like rapid waterfalls,
she dances.
Like the tidal waves in the ocean,
she dances.
Like the wind that blows through your hair,
she dances.
Like the rain that drips down a leaf on a tree,
she flows as she dances.
Like a flickering flame,
in constant movement,
she dances.
Like the stars that glitter in the sky,
she shines as she dances.
Under the moonlight,
she is free, the epitome of beauty,
a Goddess of grace,
as she dances.

Indigenous Day

What once was ours,
you took away,
you tried so hard to take it away,
and have it your way.
Erased history to make it your day,
but together we stand,
hand in hand,
to get back in your way,
on this blessed land,
with history, life and a people,
that can never be erased.
We are here,
no we never left,
and we're not going anywhere...
I hope we've made this truth, very clear.

Fallen Flower

My love for life is like a fallen flower,
deep rooted, it grew over time.
The Sun began to shine,
I was drenched in cleansing rain
as I grew,
and my tears falling from the current pain,
helped me grow too.
I shook off the dirt,
and emerged unhurt, beautiful.
I was ready to blossom.
But as the cold winter rolled in,
it was becoming clear there would soon be a problem.
Oh how I craved the blooming love of spring,
all the essences of life it would bring,
birds sing, children swing.
The heat mixed with a gentle breeze.
But I bloomed a bit late,
immature, not ready,
so these few moments I would appreciate,
until the ice inevitably consumes me,
and hope disappears from my reality. 
Darkness, emptiness, frozen, desolate, cold.
The future feeling unknown.
But the ground is wiped clean,
a new slate, an empty canvas of Earth,
and so we meet again, life and I,
a rebirth.
The Sun visits me and it's harmony,
to feel the warmth on my skin,
I'm blooming brighter and stronger this time.
Things froze and came to an end,
but only until I was healthy, 
and ready to begin living life again.

Dreams That Don’t Make Sense

There once was this guy,
who was kind of shy,
though he tried to act cool,
the girl he liked never knew,
that he wanted to be her guy,
the right kind of guy,
the kind she liked,
the poetry he would write
would make her feel alright.
But the heartbreak came,
before it even began,
when another man messed up his plan.
She fell for the trick,
of which lover came quick,
never holding out for the lover behind the books,
that would constantly give her the look,
of desperation and pain,
of a chance that may never come again.
A love that would never happen,
so intense,
and holding out for a dream, 
that didn't make sense.
But when new love failed her,
there he was.
A knight in hidden armor,
as their love they had to hide,
till she could could run away,
with a new life inside.
A pain you could never describe.
And this love happened fast,
deep and she thought was built to last,
she felt whole, 
and let him in, 
to the depths of her soul,
her journals, her mind, her heart...
The yang to her yin,
a love that was as deep as sin.
But a promise of marriage,
let her know,
this is who she had always been waiting for.
You're my blessing, was his words,
she held him to it.
And she finally ran away, 
she escaped her captivity, 
to find herself and to find his love.
But when she searched,
she found he didn't stay,
he didn't wait...
for her to escape,
and this caused her yet,
another heartbreak,
a mistake,
for now she had been tricked twice,
humiliated and hurt,
for neither was ever worth her time,
and in this moment,
she let go of the dream, of his love, of his promise
for this was a dream, only a dream
never being all that it seemed.

Like You

Your sensitivity
and empathy,
it inspires me.
And these thoughts that stay inside my mind,
all the time,
makes me want to be,
be love, kindness and honesty.
Honestly it's true,
there's so much that you do.
I yearn to be like you,
and love like you
and inspire like you do,
So think of me if you're feeling blue,
because when you look up, 
I'll be shining and waiting to inspire you too.

Intertwined, for a Moment in Time

And for a moment in time
His bed became mine
And we lingered
And we were temporarily intertwined
This feeling I had, it was completely divine
Oh how I never wanted this moment to end
The mixture of us, was my favorite blend
Because together we fit
Together feels good
And this feeling stays deep inside me.
Deep down
Deep within
Where you stretch me thin
And ease my mind
And I rest my eyes and melt
while you hypnotize
The very core of my soul
And for a moment in time
Our two bodies felt whole.

Falling Out of Obsession, and Into Love

This short story idea was provided by a prompt from Reedsy.com   called  Write a story about a character obsessed with one of the long-dead “greats” in their profession....  

In honor of National Story-Telling Week, here's my first published short story.

Her name was Marie Topaz and there wasn’t a single photo of her that existed that I didn’t try to get my hands on.

My name is Adam Sharpe and maybe you’ve heard of me, maybe you haven’t but I’m a little old soul who plays the trumpet and piano to swinging jazz music. I get to do what I’ve been doing since I was old enough to hold and play an instrument and it’s what I love, it’s what gives me life, what wakes me up each day, my soul is filled with the sound of smooth beats, rhythm and blues, I’m a modern jazz man and I have Marie Topaz to thank for that.

She was a jazz singer who played the keys and could easily put on her dancing shoes to shake up the dance floor. She had a background in music since her father would play with his work buddies after long days in a factory and she and her mother and sisters would dance and sing along. Her family was fortunate enough to escape the oppression of the South, and find some good land with a house they could afford while doing hard but good paying work and they never took their freedom for granted.

This mentality and togetherness, Marie brought with her into life and music, she always managed to put a smile on the faces of those around her. But boy did she wow them with a soulful sound and funky beat. She was the epitome of beauty, sexy and classy, all in one. She had this long, brown hair full of curls that hung in face and swung around when she sang. She had this perfect glowing skin that resembled warm caramel. Her curves and strong, yet feminine smile with signature deep red lips, could melt steel. But her voice, her voice and finger movement on the piano, now that was where the magic was. She played as if she had only entered the world simply to grace us with this mesmerizing sound. She was truly a ground-breaker and every jazz pianist that has come after her, commends her for the bridges she crossed in the music world.

Every song that she ever played and sung, she either wrote alone or with very little help. And let’s not even get started on the amount of music she wrote for other musicians, from jazz to funk to rock, what area didn’t she cover? She even sang with some of the country music classics. She had no boundaries on where or what she would get involved in.

I’ve pretty much been in love with her since I was a small child. I can’t imagine a time where I didn’t obsess over her. All of my friends thought I was strange growing up, they didn’t even know who she was, well most of them didn’t. After all, she passed on just a few years before I was born. But boy what I wouldn’t have given just to be alive in the times where I could’ve met her face to face, I would’ve done everything in my power to make her fall in love with me.

Anyway, Marie is the absolute reason that I wanted to be a musician, I wanted to do and be everything that she was, I spent my childhood daydreaming about singing to live audiences, playing the piano and the trumpet, wearing fancy suits and then dancing with girls in pretty dresses. Late night lounges, spotlights, spending the whole night jamming with other musicians who had a love for swinging jazz like me. Band classes in school were life for me, it’s where I got to practice playing the horns and on the side, I begged my mom for piano lessons. It wasn’t easy to make it happen, she was a single mom raising an only child but I did what I could around town to earn extra money and when some of her friends saw my dedication, I was gifted with a really nice keyboard instead of lessons. I didn’t complain, I just went on to check out every book and video from the library that I could, then I took what I learned about music in class and began closely listening to Marie’s playing, along with the other piano greats, and did my best to mimic them. I lived and breathed for practicing and playing, I did my best to earn a microphone so I could put on shows for my friends and community, it was so much fun and I felt so alive, I was even able to earn some small change doing what I loved, always playing at least a couple of Marie Topaz’s songs.

One of my music teachers suggested that I volunteer to play my music at the local retirement home since they would love to hear a kid play songs they all grew up with. I did so happily, knowing my playing could bring joy to others. It was also nice to talk to others who knew of all the long time greats that I obsessed over. I began going there regularly. I was called little old soul every time I went. I truly felt at home with everyone there, they understood me in ways that none of my friends did.

I was thrilled to find out that a lady named Geraldine had actually had the opportunity to see Marie Topaz live when she was a young adult, she even received an autographed photo of her, she dug it up and showed it to me, I was in awe that I was looking at something that Marie herself had touched and to speak to someone who had had the opportunity to meet her, of course she talked about how truly sweet she was to every fan she met.

When my birthday rolled around that summer and I was turning thirteen, Geraldine gifted me with the photo, it was the absolute best gift I had ever gotten next to my keyboard. I took it home and hung it right across from my bed where I could see it every morning. She was my daily inspiration to keep practicing to get better.

I went on to play and also volunteer at my local retirement home for the rest of my school days and intended on getting into the best music school in Los Angeles, growing up in a smaller California town about four hours away, it was the only place I wanted to be so I could come back home and visit whenever I was able to. Interestingly enough, I started playing small gigs around town and began to make a name for myself and started to film myself playing and uploading to a new online platform, Myface. Little did I know that a producer named Peter Bryan had come across my profile because he had family in the town I grew up in and he too traveled in and out. He had heard of the old soul boy who played to the local retirees. I guess you could say I got a lucky break, all the practicing and hard work did indeed pay off, but I imagined that I would be a starving artist for years, and while it did take some time for Pete to clean me up and work with one of his best vocal coaches to prepare to cut my first record, he knew what he was doing and after some promotion, interviews and a handful of opening acts, he booked me my first tour with a few other jazz and pop artists, and basically the rest was history.

My dreams of becoming a modern day jazz pianist came true and I bought my mom her dream house, still in our hometown but in a nicer neighborhood. I went back to the retirement home and made sure they got anything they needed or wanted to keep the place a happy, well kept environment. I even opened a bigger stage area for them and hired any local musicians to their liking. I named the mini auditorium the Topaz place, in honor of none other than Marie Topaz.

It’s been a few years now and every time I perform I make sure to cover at least one of her songs and make it known that she is the number one reason I became a musician.

In a few weeks, there will be an event in honor of all the late jazz musicians where the artists of today get together and sing their songs and remember their music, of course there will be a part where Marie is one of the ones honored and I get the chance to sing one of her songs during. I couldn’t be any happier than if I were actually meeting her, but I know she will be there in spirit.

When the event finally happened, the evening went perfectly, every act was amazing and there was lots of laughter, applause, tears and encores demanded. I felt so at home, I knew I was right where I belonged and everything was so perfect that it honestly couldn’t get any better. There’s no way.

As I performed I got my own set of applause and I could feel the energy in the room, I stood up and took a bow. As I was walking off stage, a girl was coming up to take my place, we shared a quick glance, and I was mesmerized. She had long wavy black hair pulled to the side, with a purple flower, she had beautiful glowing caramel colored skin, wrapped in a satin green dress, and red lips. She actually looked exactly identical to a photo I had of Marie, she was like a dream. She slyly smiled back at me and for a moment, I literally trembled, as if I had just watched a beautiful ghost walk by. I walked off but turned around to see her on stage.

“And now ladies and gentlemen, we welcome the granddaughter of Marie Topaz, Clara Valentino, also known in honor of Marie as Clara Topaz!”

Loud applause followed and I was stunned. I knew she had children and grandchildren who played music, but I had never had the chance to meet any of them, I knew there would most likely be a relative of her’s here tonight, but I never expected to basically see her twin.

“First, I would like to thank Adam Sharpe again for that beautiful performance and rendition of one my grandmother’s greatest hits, and also for keeping her legacy going by performing her songs at every one of his shows, thank you,” I nodded back to her, “let’s give him one more round of applause ladies and gentlemen.”

After the applause dies down, she continues on to talk about Marie and memories of her.

“My grandmother, was a legend, a ground breaker, a revolutionary in music and in her life, she was always trying to make the world a better place, and when she was back at home with her family, she was the best grandmother, mother, sister, wife, friend, that she could be. She would constantly sing to me, at bedtime, randomly throughout the day, she would even make up a song for each one of us, she wanted us to know how special we all were to her. She would tell us stories of her life on the road as a musician, and even though she wasn’t in my life very long, I knew from the very beginning that I wanted to be just like her. Growing up in a family of musical people, it was definitely in my blood and I would sit on my mother’s piano, which was given to her by my grandmother and play until my fingers were sore. I am so happy to be here tonight with all of you to share in my grandmother’s legacy and honor her in song with the rest of these wonderful musicians. I’m about to sing you one of her most well known songs, My Love For You, which was specifically written for her three children, my mother included,” she began to tear up, “I love you grandmother Marie, I miss you and I hope you’re watching from above,” she raised her hand and blew a kiss to the sky, “I love you.” More applause as she sits down to the piano to sing her song.

I sat there listening in awe. Her voice was deeper than Marie’s but her style and mannerisms were spot on. I finally felt as though I was getting the chance to see Marie Topaz live, in my lifetime, I could’ve stayed in this moment forever, watching and listening and I had to admit to myself, I was starstruck all over again. My mom was in the audience and I wondered if she saw her the way I did too, of course, I’m sure everyone did, but I’ve obsessed over the idea of seeing and meeting her, so this was the closest I’d ever get. In this moment, my heart was racing and I couldn’t help but imagine myself dancing with her and sweeping her off her feet, the way I had always imagined it with Marie.

She finished up and walked off the stage, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to talk to her so I followed her backstage to properly introduce myself, but she spoke before I got the chance.

“Well hello Adam, it’s an absolute pleasure to meet you,” she reached out for my hand. I was clearly nervous but I managed to shake her hand with ease.

“And it’s an honor to meet you, Clara.” her eyes were dark brown and I couldn’t stop looking into them.

“I’ve been looking forward to meeting you, I’ve followed your career, especially after you made it very well known that my grandmother was your number one influence, I love your versions of her songs by the way, she would have loved them too.”

“Wow, really?”

She giggled and tucked her hair back, “Yes, she would’ve, all she wanted was to make beautiful music that would make people happy and see it live on, which it has, clearly. I want her music to never be forgotten and that’s why I was very excited to find out about your love for her, it’s been a breath of fresh air to meet someone else from our generation who wants that too and is as good as some of these other greats we’re honoring.”

“Well I wouldn’t say I’m as good because, c’mon, they’re legends,” I laughed, “but it’s still great to hear that, especially from you, thank you. And you, are, wow, you’re absolutely amazing.”

“Thank you, Adam.” she smiled and I smiled back, we shared one moment of silence before she finally spoke.

“You know, I don’t have any plans for the rest of the night after the show is over, perhaps we could go get a bite to eat, and maybe talk music and I could tell you some stories about my grandmother, if you like.”

I stumbled over my words but I finally spoke, “Yes, of course, that would be wonderful, Clara.”

“Good, then it’s a date, I’ll see you a little while later,” she turned to walk away and then turned back around, “by the way Adam, I love your suit, you look very handsome tonight,” she grinned.

A date?

“Well, you’re absolutely stunning yourself,” I smiled back.

“Thank you,” she turned back around and continued walking, I watched every step she took, my heart racing and my stomach turning, and in that moment I knew, I had fallen out of obsession, and into love, I had truly fallen in love.


An Ode to a Soulmate

These feelings I have
are they wrong?
I hope not, cause these are feelings
I've had for too long.
It's too late to turn back,
the way you make me feel,
you take the things I lack
and turn them into beautiful imperfections.
Things that I can learn from,
I can take a lesson.
The love you give 
takes my breath away
but it's also fresh air to breathe
it's a way of life
a way to live.
I want to cross this bridge,
the bridge that stands between us
a distance that seems impossible 
you make it seem a little more cross-able.
Whatever it is you got it
a love I just can't quit,
no, I don't regret it
though I must admit it,
there were days I did,
days where I wished I had hid
and stayed away,
but those days are gone
and this love is here to stay.
The love of my life
the love of my heart
the love of my soul
one to call soulmate 
a love you can not just create
a love you can not just make.
a love that just is
something that has and will always exist.
When something is meant to be  
it's already there
the problem is that some people, 
just don't care.
I wonder how many loves
go unloved 
how many soulmates 
lose each other
or miss each other or never meet,
pure defeat.
What a loss
a huge cost
to pass up
that reminds me...
to thank God we met
this is something we can not disrupt
so glad we found each other,
whether we are or are not lovers,
because our love is so strong,
we're more than that.
You take me to the top.
I've been waiting for you for so long,
come with me and come at me my love,
because I don't ever want you gone.

Missing Yesterday

Do you ever miss someone so much that you get angry at them?

Like how dare you live so far away, and how dare you live your life without letting me have a moment of your time. How dare you make me wait on a phone call or a text, how dare you be so busy while away. How dare we have separate daily lives and separate daily tasks. How dare you not need me anymore, and how dare I for not needing you either, sometimes. How dare we have different careers and how dare we have kids who don’t know each other. How dare you not continue to obsess over me the way I do you. How dare you not let me know when you’ve heard a song that reminds you of me, but then, how dare I for not doing the same. How dare you have a new friend, how dare you tell them you love them. How dare you just be a photo on a screen now, with no voice behind it anymore. How dare you be gone. How dare we move on and move forward right?

But alas, this is life, and what is life without accepting that nothing stays the same, even if we live a similar day twice, the day itself is never the same day, it doesn’t come back or repeat, it just moves on. Whether it was good or bad, it just moves on. It can’t help itself, that’s how it was made.

But the general rule still applies, the sun rises, and the sun sets and the moon comes out, even when you can’t see it, it’s there.

Just as the general rule still applies to the love and pain inside of a heart, inside of us. We may not always show it, and the day may come and go, but it’s still there.

You will always be loved and you will also always be the hurt that lies within someone else as well. How dare we try to ignore that.

I have love and pain inside, sometimes I hide it and other days I wallow in it, it feels the same but everyday is a new day, and I look forward to tomorrow, but I will always miss yesterday.