Thursday, August 25, 2016

Enjoy Life by Stephanie Jeannot & Mike LeShore

New Music by independent recording artist, 

Stephanie Jeannot from NYC entitled "Enjoy Life."

Lyrics by Stephanie Jeannot and music by Mike LeShore.

Promo art by Melodiaz Creations/ 

Check out song here:

For more information about this artist, visit her website at

Thursday, August 18, 2016

My Favorite Way to Cool Off from the Summer Heat

In the heat of the day, when the sun is the warmest, I like to interrupt the train of sweat surging from my pores with the raging waters of the ocean. I enjoy shaking off the catatonic heat of hot summer days on the beach.

So I travel during these times when the rays of the beaming sun starts to drain my power, and try to remain grateful for the warm weather I asked for, though I complain a little bit because I start feeling hotter than a broiling beef rib. Instead, I exploit the momentum of the season where sand faces refreshing waters that I can swim in. Hot and humid days offer this opportunity and what a great one to revel in.

Through the hustle and bustle of New York city traffic I race desperately in pursuit of being tossed back and forth by the waves of the sea as it spirals out of control in its tide.  I feel this deep satisfaction after I park my car and walk on to the boardwalk and see this beautiful view of nature, not fashioned by human hands. 

There’s no treading lightly on the sand because it is so hot I want to run for relief for my feet. I am usually successful at finding a spot to set up my little claimed territory on the sand and suddenly, I am laying there on my beach blanket reading the works of Pliny while listening to Miles Davis Bitch the jazz Brew on his trumpet.

Next move is to feel God’s water on my body. What a great way to shake off the heat that has taken over it! Just putting my feet in the water makes an indelible impact on me. I always have this grand illusion that the water should be warm because of the piping hot weather but, what a wonderful problem to have.

The water is my antidote to the poisonous humidity. I steep in it like a cinnamon apple spice tea bag and am refreshed. The waters fit snuggly into my taste buds. People all around me with the same idea are all having a wonderful time. Throwing myself into the pull of the water suddenly mends everything because once I come out, the heat seems irrelevant and the sand, no longer so hot that I have to run through it with my sandals to avoid its hot temper. I can embark on its stretch shoeless.

When I go to the beach, no longer am I parched for a relief from the summer heat. Sure it is a fleeting pleasure but I must say, jumping in to the waters of any ocean is my favorite way to stay cool.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Writers Reads worth the share

I remember when my teacher used to send us home in the summertime with an assignment to read ten books before we returned to school. 

    (From Mamakat writing prompt email

Imagine being a kid and all you want to do is play outside but instead, you are forced to stop all the fun and games to read. I didn't like it much back then, but now, I think I have read 20 already this summer.

My favorites so far are:

"This is How You Lose Her" 
by Junot Diaz
"God Help the Child" 
by Toni Morrison
by Junot Diaz
"I Would Die For You"
By Toure

My love for reading actually grew this year while researching to write my college thesis. But thank God for a passion that actually is good for me and for wonderful thoughts and memories to share. 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Peacefully Flowing Water & Raccoons

When I was in Montreal, I noticed something different about that city that I found interesting. 

Every other block you turn, there is water running as an attraction. Yes, it is beautiful but smelling the water also changed my breathing each time I passed by one of the freely, flowing water sources. 

I think the clearer breathing makes your mind also operate differently and you fall under the spell of its calmness and suddenly, you are no longer walking a tight rope and stressed at everything around you and regressing your anger to your next undeserving victim. 

The reason I say that is because, I visited Mont Royal, which is one of the highest peaks in the second most populous Francophone speaking country of the world, and up there, you can see the entire city. 

Back at home, I heard about a 76-year-old man who was bitten in several places by a raccoon in A heavily wooded park in Morris County which I thought was really interesting. 


While on Mont Royal, amongst all the people gathered around and taking pictures of Montreal were raccoons. Huge ones. 

They were just walking around peacefully among the people, not harming anybody and definitely not trying to bite any of the unprovoking tourists seeing the spectacular view right next to them. Had it been in New York, the next day would feature a news report about someone having been bitten and being tested for rabies. Then it made me think. 

We need more water freely flowing everywhere. Water is like a magic potion I think; freely and naturally flowing and all of a sudden, you smell it and it opens your mind.  I think it changes the nature of everyone and everything. Talk about peacefully flowing. 

Just a thought! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Sweating for Photos

Nothing like a little bit of walking and sweating to get to old Montreal and see the most beautiful building (in my opinion anyway) that I have seen in Montreal.

What: Basilique Notre Dame Montreal 
Where: 110 Rue Notre Dame O, Montreal, QC H2Y1T2, Canada
When: Construction on building was completed in 1843 
Who: Architect, James O'Donnell 
Why: To create a bigger gathering place for the growing congregation on the church of Notre Dame which was built in 1672 and was the first cathedral of the diocese of Montreal. 

Ironically, I had been sweating for great photos and I got some; feet hurting and all. 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Antiquated Music Love

I am a music lover and have loved it ever since my time began.

I didn't just lie in bed in the dark one night thinking about it, to realize I was in love with music. It simply stared back at me with wide, admiring eyes when I ejected out into my first light of day and it settled in my heart like a plate full of poutine to an American, the first time trying it in Canada. 

What I didn't expect was for musical machinery such as the Walkman, to be considered museum displays only years after I used to enjoy it. 

I feel like a person imprisoned by age trying to escape getting old, only to watch time slivering by as cold as a snake. This is not a deliriously, funny joke; this is real life, roaring past and I am still a student getting discounts for learning from the school of life and it's deficiencies. 

Music is a short term breather. A recycling of old, repressed feelings that stayed stored up behind the bars that are catching me shriveling away. Sexy music of today that hit and run by to tomorrow until it becomes yesterday, and today's museum exhibits. 

And still I lie here giddy with love, dreaming of wedding bells ringing as I approach the aisle with music by my side as music's bride, doing the marriage walk into a third-degree type of coffee hot romance with a flush of confidence, only to be awakened by the cleaning service. 

I awaken, still antiquating and music still a love that though it's artifacts grow old, the romance never expires. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Sparks of Nouveau Energie

Take off for destination moon. We reached the air and there was nothing but blue skies. Thank God for the sunny weather. And also for the empty seats. One for me and one for my spirit to experience the cabin pressure's calmness as it began its recharging. 

"What a way to adjust my mask," you say! "What a way to face away from reality," you say! "Definitely," I respond. "I needed to attend to my mental needs. How long can I carry all this baggage without putting it down for a rest to power back up for the remainder of the run?" 

Here I am standing around where I can see everything for what it is. The world from the clouds looks so small when you consider the universe. The baggage came from me just peering out from one window. But when you vacate from the mundane, you realize life est plus grande than the one channel that your mind is used to. Change, il est importante. 

And so, to someplace different I scatter. Through clear skies I fly. Canada is where I land. And all of a sudden, I am incredibly happy experiencing a wonderfully different kind of rhythm to my life. Ironically, I am finding footing on sparks of nouveau energy in the 72 degree moment. 

Bienvenue energie! 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Well-Wishing X-Youth Zone

Here is a piece of wisdom about who I am that you might find Incredibly hard to believe.

I have spent my entire life walking past store fronts looking for a place to buy that one thing that I have yet to find at any store.  I get one of those silly surges of anger and my eyes well because even after I fully occupy myself to prevail, that one thing I am searching for has yet to extend its greeting to me in my quest.

I have genuine interest in finding it though but doubters have been talking smut to me, trying with everything they have in them to scare me off from my continuing efforts. Then there are times when my mind starts wandering everywhere because I fall into doubt that prevents me from focusing and I start to lose my bearings. I guess you can say that those are the times when those who practice their craft of trying to get me to lose my earnest faith and to shift my direction works. But then, I think about what my thrilling adventure to find that one thing will bring and suddenly, a brilliant spring day sprouts in my heart and my hope in finding it grows rapidly.

I have traveled the world looking for it in the face of my sudden change of faith and here is a compendious summary of what happened. I walked along the Tennessee River throwing in my pennies and wishing to find it but I didn’t have much money to stay focused on that location.  I visited Leonardo da Vinci’s home and saw him painting the Mona Lisa and asked him if he knew where it was and he responded quickly on possible places I could find that very thing. 

He told me to take a trip to Paris and to walk across this wooden bridge and then to climb up three flights of stairs and that maybe it would be there but, it wasn’t. All I could remember was boarding flight 8775309 back to New York and from JFK, driving sleepily in the middle of a big storm back to home without even coming close to finding that one very thing.

Then it hit me while the rain from the strong thunderstorms was draining my yard. It hit me like thunder that shakes an entire neighborhood in a myriad of ways. I was out there risking my life trying to find it, hailed cabs in big cities only to encounter difficulty because that very thing has been here all along. It was almost as if the truth had lied dormant in me for all this time. I actually lost my way and did not even consider how real my lack of imagination had been. But the truth was slowly coming together and my happiness intensified.

Suddenly, I was in a relaxed state because I found it and the sun rose to the occasion. The fountain of youth is a myth. I couldn’t find it because it was right there in my backyard. No amount of money can buy your youth back. It is not sold in stores. We can go way back in pictures but the way you look at life is the way that you see it. You gain confidence in the strength of your experiences. If you keep an open mind, you have all the tools you need to be able to peacefully survive getting older. But no matter how many times you glance at your throwback pictures and wish that you can be young again and wish to buy back your youth, you’ll only do a masterful job of finding it if you take life with a grain of salt, like you would a margarita drink at a bar in a collins glass full of ice.

What was innocent living is no longer our ways. What was a simple life was something of back in the days. Serious matters had a lack of impact because we were too busy playing and enjoying our lives. We had so much fun and we had no other choice but to act like all was well because it was. If we continue to keep that internal joy lit like a candle during Advent, regardless of the adult real life quotidian events that keep our minds stressed, we will always find our youth, right there within our hearts; experiencing, learning and growing with favor and a flare of imagination.

So nowadays when I wish I could be young again, I make it a very good point to sink my feelings in the good things that are outweighing the bad and sing, dance and smile about it because though the world can often bring you to a point of feeling down to nothing, the true motive in life is to find a way to create your own joy within it. For what is life without smiling in breaths of fresh air and saluting the dawning of a new day’s worth of sun? If your answer is time unspent, you must be special because you probably know the most about it.  

The Bible says that grey hair is a sign of righteousness and so with my silver sneakers, I feel okay now with my wrinkling skin that looks like I had been soaking in Jones Beach water for the entire day. Good and gray; can't beat that. You are however only as old as you feel. Or as young as the wigs and hats and Botox and other tricks make you look. A cougar in disguise you can call me. Or am I really that old and is this just animosity well-wishing from my bones? Then again, this is just a story and I have now arrived to the completion of it. Life however, rolls on like a rolling stone until it gets to a cliff starts flying to the bottom of the pit and then ejects wings like an eagle and flies up to heaven's gates. It is up to you if you spend it grumpy or jittery. 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Never Bored When I'm Sizzling

I wouldn’t consider myself an anger intensified person though you might catch me a little fired up from something as simple as a busted tail light in the back of my vehicle or over an industrious man who measures love incorrectly and is extremely careless in handling it; the way I’d expect a grown man to anyway. 

The stress of being forced to engage in truculent debates in public arenas is definitely not a deep interest of mine because there is a time for everything and life brings that pivotal time when I have a sweet tooth to be in perfect peace because I work so hard to attain it. But then comes the summertime and somehow my aura performs an edit and I start dancing to the beat of a new drum. It’s like a new start in life for me and I come alive propelling with excitement into my unlimited future. I get excited about the opportunity of experiencing the summer sun and the heat and magically, the volume of my calm nature is turned up and I enter into some of the happiest days of my year.

These are the days when all of my creative elements surface. I guess you can say that I am wild about the summer. It is almost like experiencing heavenly bliss when the possibility of having leisure time to do things that I most likely would not do when I am trying to get through heavy piles of work and stay organized with the tasks I need to complete. For instance, one weekend you might catch me at the top of the Washington Monument and the next catching an enticing show in Atlanta at the Fox Theater. Maybe I’ll be relaxing and meditating on the beach which gives my mind a small adjustment from the overthinking that sometimes happens. I still get surprised at how just simply focusing my mind on the beauty of the weather while lying on the sand helps to support my crown and satiates my internal rage. 

Perhaps this is a time when I can cruise around the world and experience a ripple of change or profess my love for a great book that I had been dying to read and finally give it my undivided attention. Or maybe, I'll come across a really cool Mamakat writing prompt that will make me want to engage in the art of writing something different which pushes me to enter into a different dimension of possibilities in my notebook with my old trusty pen. These many things make a true difference in my world and I no longer feel trapped in the zone. Call it being distracted by the sun. The role contentment plays disenfranchises my grief and makes me whole again for what is to come for the rest of the year.

I guess I could consider summer as the time to rearrange the circumstances of being one of the busiest bees in the hive. The possibilities of buzzing in different sky-ways are endless. No longer must I remain close to my comfort and pulled toward the political energy of a close sting. I can truly experience the visions of another world and dabble into unfamiliar honey that I have yet to taste; even a thousand miles away.

I can honestly say that I have learned more in the summer time than any other season. I am excited to talk about it because this is the time of year that I gain intense interest in exploring my hopes and dreams. I know that sometimes my energizer going and going ability sometimes gets defeated by the scorch and I am somewhat obstinate because I still try to pull tricks out of my sleeve to participate wholeheartedly in every corner of it. But I consider rest the dues you pay for enjoying the fact that summer is the time when you never get bored.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Poettues: Love like you Love TV

I compare my love life to a few seasons of a thought provoking television show
I look at the box of photographs and remember how my love life flowed
There is no resting on accomplishments of great relationships that survived
There is none I can say that are worthy of veneration when I press rewind
I’m not altogether sure why some of them even happened
All I can say was maybe they were part of a fashion statement which trend started to decline
I find it hard to imagine that at one point, I thought being single was crazy
I put the emergency brakes on being alone because I thought that I couldn’t be happy
I would have preferred to be part of a rocky duet than to be on the solo tip
Even when from one to the next I was taken on a full of lies trip
Sometimes coming to an evening full of arguments was not worth the bother
There’s no full day’s wage in having to deal with BS and be left as a sobber
Perhaps in their thinking that they were more cultivated than I
They held on to those stupid ideas and knew more of how to buffoonery
They were truly gifted in knowing how to piss me off
They were especially different or crazy if you catch my thought

Turn then channel and there they would go
Off on another tangent like a bandit and you know that you are not capable of handling it
I mean, imagine getting lost in a room of screams for having a job
Or being a victim of someone else’s compulsions on repeat that never seem to stop
And the demand for the skill to be a real man never seems to stir the pot
And in the scorching heat of indecisiveness, you decide that it is not your lot
And then you look at the landscape of the past and get tangled in the truth
That you need to set the banner of true love based on your veritable value
Because there is no unit of analysis more genuine than how you love yourself
The surprising discovery you may find is that
if you don’t honor yourself how can somebody else
What is love you may ask
Sometimes you magnetically attract
Sometimes you get into a union that is right
Sometimes the ones you get into don’t last more than a minute of your life
Then you have those that do last under the belt of control
Each hit is considered love that make your wings of experience and tears unfold
And nobody ever can come in between though you walk around with all those love scars
Who said a black eye was a distress call if he can buy you the most expensive cars
Or those expensive cuffs that cost thousands to remove from your hands in a cell
Or those cops that decide to show up at your door with bad news and ring your bell
The most plausible explanation is that love cannot be defined
You have your definition and I have mine
An episode that left you mesmerized
Until the series finale when you realize it was not worth your time

All I say is that you should keep an open mind to hear the tones of true harmony when it comes
Every suitor has a suit for which it was destined to put on
Don’t try to speed up the process by getting
into the fashion before you are mentally ready though
There is always someone out there that you can meet who can move you for a while
That special someone that would love to hold you in the moonlight
Especially those who hide rings that show they have a family and children
Especially those who consider themselves players and slip into your bed and give you a lesson
Especially those who only play with your heart and don’t have it together themselves
Especially those who will take your humble care but if you need it wouldn’t provide their help
Or those who simply want to use you for what you can give
And then make your life somewhat unbearable to live
You can make two friends as lovers
But sometimes you can’t make lovers be friends with each other
You can fall into the trap of being the third in a company
And then result in messing up a happy family
You can even meet the one you thing is the one
But then lose them because you were not mentally ready to love that someone
So I say learn to love yourself in spirit and in truth first
It would be more valuable than any money you could have in your purse
So that when you hit the remote and the right one comes your way
You can be like those septuagenarians who are together forever and a day

Monday, July 4, 2016

The Freedom to Have Faith

“May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.
For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, peace be within you.
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
 I will seek your prosper” (Psalm 122:7-9)

The only shelter from the storm you may need is the belief that you can get through it. Stand tall and slender and believe and plow ahead with your bright shining eyes and that admirable spark of faith that always makes the shadow of your smile seem so inspiring.

You should always be in uniform for the war of the world that you enter, making sure to never leave that shield of faith that was so masterfully created for you to wear around your rounded bodice.  That way, in times of uncertainty, you can stand firm in the idea that everything will be alright.

Beyond the normal parameters of the prize we set our eyes on, there are the natural twists of life. Those are the days when doubts accompany you home and remain as unwelcomed guests we can call squatters that dwell within. They keep you up at night twisting in thought. As childish as it may sound, this is something that many people deal with on a daily basis.

But you must get involved in the process of overcoming the spirit burnout. Don’t simply wait until the scars heal to continue on towards your masterful victories. A mind flooded with doubt may bring you to your knees and that is a very important thing.  Turn your attention to God and ask him to equip you with the faith needed to handle it.

Always remember that you were fearfully and wonderfully made in a very skillful and unique way. Never forget how powerful your machinery is. Do you know how precious you truly are? So when you think there is no rainbow on the horizon because all you see are dark cloudy days full of rain, don’t be afraid to cry out loud to the Lord because he is listening. He can tame the flames of your tears down. Remember he is the one who deposits joy into your heart; that same joy is the one no one can take away.

With that faith, you can do anything. You can put on a happy face even when the external forces try your soul. Do you know how powerful you really are? You have conquered feats that were once only dashing thoughts. 

You can be cured of the handicap of inferiority and claim what has been left for you to inherit in the world. You can even believe in your own beauty that was once shadowed by self-doubt and instead, be centered in faith while appreciating yourself for who you see in the mirror staring back at you with lashes thickened by mascara hidden under a wide brim hat while you are balanced unsteadily on one foot.

Life is composed in parts. Cherish the moments that got you to your today. The good and the bad ones make you who you are. Do you know how truly blessed you really are? Don’t walk away mad from your yesterday when every today is like planting a new seed for the rising springs of tomorrow. 

Through the lens of history, you can accept the fact that you are a strong person; stronger than you may even truly know. No other being could walk your walk; but you did. You’ve won battles. You are a warrior. You’ve run out of steam many times and still somehow ended up on the winning side. The winning side is the brand new day filled with brand new mercies and many blessings. Thank god for that. Celebrate that God given love with joy. Do you know how much your smile inspires mine?  

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Friday, July 1, 2016

Flashback: Them Smoking . . . Hot Days

When you start to soften your steps that are full of experience, you often walk without leaving any evidence of the things you once practiced in your life.  And as you pull away from the past to the present, you look back in a clear and concise way at the bigger picture that you feel is being better lived by you today.

I was absorbed by the influence of what I thought seemed cool when looking at others who walked the same earth as me, smoking cigarettes. I have seen family members do it and when they did it before me, I did not like it so much. They lit their cigarettes and it lit a fuse in me because of the crazy scent that filled up the house. I never took their addictions with delight. I never accepted the idea with open arms.

But then when in high school, I had this new urgency. My innocent eyes saw it as a whisper of romance and I wanted to be a part of that glamorous life. My parents would tell me to keep my head above the crowds. They’d tell me not to play the same song that everyone else was playing and don’t allow their harmonious music to change the way I do things. But there I was, moving with velocity, trying to be just like them and sifting farther from the calm person I was, deeper into the jungle and off the radars. At first, I tried out one. Then it became a few every now and then. Then a pack. Then a pack a half a day.

I remember those days clearly. Those were the days when I wouldn’t face the daylight without being surrounded by a haze of cigarette smoke. The morning lark would never sing me a sweet tune without me interrupting his aria by pulling out a morning smoke. Smoking liberated my mind. Without one I would be as ornery as I could be. I was like a coffeeaholic without their morning brew. No one can explain his philosophy except knowing that the cigarette or morning cup of joe is the drug that keeps them lifted on high and they need it.

I tried to quit. One time, a really good friend of mine would mark my pack and we would try to limit the habit that we both shared down to one cigarette a day. I would always stumble because someone who smokes a stogie every half hour might not have it that easy to just simply quit. I had been under construction for a while trying to take into confidence the fact that I could push away from smoking anytime that I wanted to. I was meant to just concentrate on doing it and that would be the beginning of the end of my unsolicited affection for cigarettes.

Imagine going out and bumming a cigarette. You ask and you are given one because it is a need. You run into the store and you’d purchase one for a quarter.  You’d limp through the halls every half hour to take a few more drags just to get through the slow upward crawl of the day.
Then it happened. My $2.25 pack of cigarettes that I would purchase every single day of the week for the many years I had been doing it, went up to $2.50. The loose ones also went up to 50 cents. I contemplated the situation for a while. My mind was always teeming with the thought that I want a smoke but didn’t need one. I felt at that point like one of those cartoons with an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other quarreling their communicative powers from different angles. Then one night under the wandering moon, I simply put my pack of cigarettes down and never went back to smoking.

Once that happened, the scent of smoke that I used to enjoy so much were no longer sweet breezes blowing through my window. My calloused hands from the many times my fingers would get burned from the match that I struck to light up, now had this cool calm with a sober spirit. Who knew I’d go from trying situations of not smoking to never doing it again? And then I take a step back and wonder how I used to love something so much at one point that now made me feel dizzy from the pungent aroma? My closet full of fancy dresses no longer had the lingering scent of cigarette smoke on them. And though it took a really long time to get over my addiction, I am happy to be having this unique beautiful outlook on life that was not there back then when the only thing I had was a secret determination for the next stogie. Those were the days when my nerves had the better of me. Now I walk with greater confidence in me and I am happy.

Here I am handcuffed to my history and using the day’s courage to talk about it. No need to go perusing the book shelves for ways to quit smoking. No need to pick the brain of those who do smoke and are unwilling to listen and not yet ready to take control of their situation. Everything you want to say on the issue might be a well-received message for some and for others may be a bother. No need to angrily blast someone on the side of their pugnacious jaw, demanding them to stop. They might simply leave stomping their feet, weeping on the street because of the chastisement. My situation begged for my patience from within and so, I caved.

Somebody once told me that God takes care of all detours. Thank God he did because my singing voice seemed more important. How could I sing and keep up a healthy voice, he'd tell me?  How could I carry on as a sophisticated and classy woman with my hair and body smelling like smoke and with my caricature having a cigarette in my hand, he'd say? And for the parts of my vocal cords that smoking has affected, thank God for what I have left. And so, I anchor my cause to the earth to say, when you are ready, you can do it without the drugs, doctors or anything else. Every man has his own will power for the things that they want out of life. Use it and smile sheepishly at what you are capable of doing. For I have learned that life is no wreath of flowers, but if you water the soil with as much faith and knowledge as needed to grow, one day you might rise out of the soil with wings to fly. When you are ready, use those wings to quit cold turkey. All it takes is you, your desire to change and your strong will to make that change happen.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

And He Made Me Melt

We were young and innocent then. He was up in the cut making his presence known to all. I was guarded by the shadows all around me. Trying to not make it so obvious that I was bedazzled by him.

Photo by Ricky Jean
The elements of roughness that he carried seemed appealing. I sat there stiff in the shadowed corner staring at his vibe. His smile was more potent than a dip in the Coney Island waters. His gaze was more melodious than a funk band on the sand in the summer. He looked my way and I couldn’t help but feel a jolt of his energy. We definitely had chemistry. I digged his authenticity.

In the midst of life, we were meeting and in his gentle Philadelphian accent, he was speaking.  He had a great gift for gab. He was also very comical and was good at making me laugh. He had beautiful curly hair, graying the soft black thickets of it with maturity. His body was firm, bold and as beautiful as a warm, summer fantasy. His hands were as soft as 1500 count sheets. He was definitely the cool breeze that was satisfying my mind in the heat.  

Our worlds connected and my red, flushed face reflected that I wanted more than just the moment.  Maybe I was absorbed in the essence of our connection but all I could remember asking was if he was married. Better to have played it safe than to later on skid on the road into a three is a crowd situation.  Some guys pretend not to be, don’t wear a ring and pretend not to be someone else’s king with a family and happily married. Who wants to break up a happy home by accident when there are so many
handsome and available men 
out there that I can connect with? Ironically, he was available. Evidently, we both wanted more.

We settled on leaving that place to have dinner at a smoke house.  The walls of the eatery were covered with portraits of jazz greats and music filled the oasis with light drum brush strokes and piano sprinkles. It was the perfect backdrop for the connection that was taking place. It is a moment that in my mind, I can honestly say may never be erased. He spoke like he had a sound education. I couldn’t help but smile at the situation. We left there talking about meeting up again. I was excited because I really liked him. Especially after seeing how much of a gentleman he was. But never judge a book by the appearance of a cover because after reading the book you might be left stumped.

Months passed and we had formed a relationship. I found comfort in his arms. Every
single thing we did, to my world, he brought this sense of calm. I was not used to all the attention but I loved the way we were together. And for a second I thought that things could only get better. But I am not always right. But better to find out the truth early enough before we find out after all our lives.  

I won’t say that you have to have everything in the world to be a happy person. You do not need riches to have joy in this world. I don’t need the weekly flowers that my ex used to give me. You don’t have to be a college professor with a wealth of intelligence to impress me. And you do not have to have a six pack and the sexiest of manly shoulders for in your arms to feel safe. And I won’t like you any less if we have to travel to our destinations by train. Besides, in New York City, you can get around anywhere without a car. I drive because I am spoiled and also have driving as a matter of the heart.

I have dealt with times in my past in situations when I did not drive. Everywhere I went, it was my ex who would give me a ride. He would come from far to the front of my door to pick me up to go to the next destination. And it always seemed that I was on his time, even if I was ready to leave that momentary situation. So I got my own whip and once I started driving it was like we started to drift. I no longer had to take the badgering of string of curses while he was giving me a lift. I started letting go of the love I had that was always seemed to be jealous. I could no longer take the arguments that always seemed like petty nonsense.

And now here we are years later, and again I entered into a bond where my guy’s voice was always raised. He would unleash this violent anger that always left me in a daze. We would be in a good place, traveling on small excursions into our future. But even in simple, happy moments he would furiously react over something menial and talk down to me with the most insulting of words.

My spirit started sinking into bankruptcy at his lack of respect for who I am. Selfishly intimate in bed and as my man, he was hard to be my friend. And to think I used to once melt in his arms like cheese on a grilled sandwich. I loved everything about him from his mellow voice to his arousing kiss. We would once wrap around each other like pretzels through the night. His chest was like my pillow and we intertwined around each other with delight.

We’d talk til the morning came about everything that the world had to offer. Then it came to a point where I would cry at the stress he put me under. Who complains about everything when there is nothing to bicker about? Who neglects the responsibilities they carry without being conscious of what comes out their mouth? Who gets mad at a person driving because they are not on your time? How could someone be so angry at the world that they are willing to push you into their miserable life? Who thinks that the moment they see their mate, it is to ask for money because they spent all theirs on drugs? Who claps to get the attention of someone whom they claim they love? Who decides to travel a hundred thousand miles but not tell their partner for how long? When does the one with the temper and demeaning attitude change to a new dance and song?

I had a little draw with stuff I could wear when I stayed there overnight.  We’d relax in the midst of each other until the dawning of morning light. Then we’d ride our bikes out to Flatbush avenue in Brooklyn. But no longer could I approach the escalating tension with thin skin.  After a silly argument, he took my clothes out the draw and put it in a bag. I took the bag and from that point on, I no longer wore his dawg tag.

I never thought this gentle, beautiful man could change my life for the worse. I never expected that that sexy man I once knew could lash his tongue at me til it hurt. But now when I relive the moments of the innocence when we were young. I realize in truth that I even though he touched my heart, he was not the one. All this is to say don’t rush into relationships just to have one. We often carry baggage from one to the next love. Baggage over baggage just adds drama and who needs it? You enter in and the drama from the past is what you will end up with. Sometimes healing is best so that for the future, you can better yourself.  One thing is for sure; he definitely brought the heat that made my body melt. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

And I started Singing the Blues . . .

Before she died, you could hear squeals of delight in her soon to be 50 and fabulous days. We had clashing views because I would continually tell my friend that even though she was not 50 yet, she was already fabulous so stop giving into the border of aging’s narrow confines. Yet, she was not as immersed in the culture of the day as it would have seemed and took life in her own terms.

I started singing the blues when she passed and I blamed myself. She had been going through ripples of transformation and if only I had seen the signs, I could have stretched my reach of help by bringing her to a nurse. It is crazy how we can pay serious attention to everything else in life but our own health.

We used to rely on each other for advice. She sat right next to me at work. I used to tell her all my problems and I would listen to all of hers and we would often behave like kids when laughing out loud at all the oddities we would see around us.

We often say we will not work our lives away until we are too old, but that was our story. We slaved at our desks, went home for the few hours we were there to spend with family and never shutting down for the night because all we would do was think about how much work we did not finish at work, just to turn back around and go back to slave our day away again. We never came away impressed because our days were so mundane. We got excited at the wonderful aroma of finished tasks. We always talked about our goals and the things we wanted to do off the job scene but never got to them and would often aim for another time.

I started singing the blues the day after Independence day weekend when we were all to convene back at our aisles where piles of work persuaded us to sit and not do anything else but type and research. She didn’t show up that day nor the next. The third day, we entered into a different world when she did not show up again and all I remember was receiving a text back after inquiring about her whereabouts when someone else responded with “she is not ready to talk yet.” Not ready? What?

Out across the canal sits a tranquil existence where there is peace beyond knowing. We simply absorb the mysteries of it but she knows it because she lives there. I remember the days she would sit at her desk chanting Bob Marley tunes and now we are here gathered at her living tomb stone where she lies speechless. I remember her easy flowing attitude and her instant search for answers to the pain that suddenly throbbed in her shoulder. Had it captured my attention that it was one of the many signs of a stroke, I could have saved her life. My mind raced ever since with the idea that it was my fault.

I know the value of sleep now because I hardly ever get any. I sit most nights, with wakeful eyes, pouring my heart out into a journal. Perhaps you can say that I have not tried hard enough to close my eyes and drift away into peaceful slumber. Confetti will probably explode into the antiquely dressed oasis that makes up the four corners of my room on the day that sleep finally catches me. The smell of dew in the morning always makes me realize that another day has met me after going sleepless through the night. And I think about how she would wow her audience of coworkers with her stories of St Kitts. So full of laughter she would leave us that the little break from our tasks was like going out for ice cream with sprinkles on it during the course of the arduous workday. But without any explanation, she just never came back and her energy still stays graffitied in our hearts.

Sunglasses perched my nose as I strolled off with my eyes welling from the funeral home. She was on her path with that cool, confident strut she walked with, to the victory in Jesus’ arms in heaven. We were on the path to the office with an empty desk, where she once sat right across from me. No more exchanging pleasantries.  She was no longer there. Just a thought and a memory. And I started singing the blues because there would no longer be a break for that ice cream chatter she would have for us to refresh our page. All that was left were broken pieces of the cone, littering through our minds where we would relive the stories in clusters. And a soothing voice came and said, it was her time and it started to appease my mind. As peace took control, the E groove ended. As always, she sent a gift of healing but now, from 50 feet or more fabulous, above. The squeals of delight will never be forgotten. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A Fine Rewind

A Fine Rewind (A Poem)
By Stephanie Jeannot

On a fine spring day,
war wounded from battles
with math at a long day of school

while lugging a heavy bag of books
with assignments to complete,
we scrambled in the nick of time 
to catch a bus
like we usually did
and keeping up with the trends of the way things were
It was no different today.

Dinah always let out a big, hearty laugh
because our strength enabled us
to catch the bus ready to speed off from our stop.
The door reopened and we walked up the bus steps
like we usually did;
and keeping up with the trends of the way things were.
It was no different today.

We got to the top of the staircase,
pulled out our bus passes and showed it the driver.
As usual the driver looked at it and then looked at us.
But something different happened this time.
We didn’t make the cut of public transportation riders
who were at liberty to ride on his bus.
We were dropped from consideration to be in his ride
and so were all the other
caramel and chocolate pigmented people
To whom he told to get off of his bus.
And keeping up with the trends of the way things were.
We listened to our elder and got off.

We decided to pound to pavement
to Avenue L where the bus would normally let us off.
I was too young to understand what happened
and thought it was my fault.
Maybe I did something wrong.
All I remember was making a mental note
of what left a bluesy chord in my heart.
But the drone didn’t last long.
Something different happened today.

I reached the corner of Ocean Parkway and Avenue L
and keeping up with the trends and the way things were,
I stood there waiting 
for the light to change.
A Rottweiler walked up 
into my personal space
and started sniffing me like I was his next meal.
There I was taking the alternative approach
of walking as opposed to the bus
from which I was rejected
and now, fear was growing exponentially in me because of some stupid dog;
almost as equivalent as the white driver to the black passengers. 
It felt inauthentic and I did not like it
and my fear of dogs was no different today.

It felt like a dream when my feet transformed
into weld racing wheels
And I started dashing my way from him
like Lighting McQueen at 330MPH.
The work I was engaged in was of a different nature today.
Instead of my normal, walk home with my friends,

I was stomping my feet
like Stanley Biwott at the 2015 NYC Marathon.
I was trying to keep the dog’s teeth off my body
and all this running was so not my style
and somehow I changed the trend
 from the way things were to the way they became.
I was searching for an escape point that bore my name.
It was like being in a dream trying to find the end of the maze.
An end to this fear; an end to the prejudice. 
All the power that was running through my veins
that lead me to the open door that stood ajar for me.
An open door of freedom; a safe zone of humanity. 
Greg held it open and imagine my content.
A change from the downward spirit the bus driver left
and the memory of the crazy day of which’s memory was kept
and keeping up with the trends of the way things were
my brain scanned everything 
and the thoughts constantly turned.
It was no different today; no mind quietness.
Except for the one bad and good thing that I did not expect;
I got thrown off a bus because I was black
I was prompted to run like I was prompted to write. 
But I won the race against a measly dog, one of the many stories in my life. 

Who knew I would?