Poem for Gabe (Phillip Flakes)

by Larry Chamberlin   May 19, 2019

"I play this trumpet so I can comfort
those in court who can but frown,
they need it most, their spirits are down."
A simple declaration to explain his effort
faithful muse, whose value’s underrated,
gives song of freedom to the incarcerated
brings solace to those in great discomfort.

Gabe has kept true to his song
sitting at the Courthouse stairs
for thirty years on folding chairs
playing each morning all week long,
present, rain or shine, through the year
blowing tunes to lift away the drear;
in his ageless way he still goes strong.

He is so genuine that no one can be stony;
people stop who find their sorrows shed
give him handshakes with their bread.
Asked to a judge’s swearing-in ceremony
they gave him beverage and cakes
his name in the program: "Phillip Flakes
Courthouse Trumpeter" - that’s testimony.

Knows what you want without asking
deftly Gabe plays "As Time Goes By"
it brings a tear to strangers’ eyes;
with his trumpet he’s always laughing,
he plays your song full and sweetly
gives spirit to your walk completely;
he remembers friends, everlasting.

I know someday things will be amiss
of course no one lives on forever;
we will all remember his endeavor
to help us all the blues to resist;
there will lift up clear an ethereal tune,
a melody will the morning festoon
saying "You must remember this."

19 May 2019 Larry Chamberlin


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Latest Comments

  • 2 years ago

    by Mr. Darcy

    Congratulations, Larry and thank you for shining a light on this lovely man. Anyone who plays the Lord's prayer each morning at 8.30 are okay by me.

  • 2 years ago

    by Brenda

    What a lovely tribute to a wonderful man. Well done Larry!

  • 2 years ago

    by Milly Hayward

    Larry this sent chills through my bones. What an inspiring poem to remember such a lovely man. Music has a way of touching our hearts in a way that is never forgotten.

    It reminded me of an elderly man who played the mouth organ in town every single Saturday all day long with cheerful tones for as long as I can remember rain or shine. He passed last year and I think half the town or more turned out for his funeral. The town people still miss him he was just always there.

    Your poem has brought to life the story of Gabe for many of us who would have never known he existed and it does him proud. Milly x

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