Cards associated with noise and chaos

Casinos, money, broken dreams

But they have a quieter

Contemplative side

Some feel they hold the

Mystery of life

The future in a deck of 52

Be bold and hold them in your hands

Here’s Jack with one-eye

Here’s his brother hiding a lie

Here’s the Queen of love

Watching the doves above

Here’s the King of Air

Spades like arrows to beware

The royal group

Overseeing the people everywhere

Ten digits, two hands

The real leaders of life’s band

Aces to Nines

Details in their power lines

Listen as they speak

Through vibrations 

Thrumming along with the magnetism

From the Earth’s core…


© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: cartomancy 2021 image


Such a hot, melty day

But here tucked away

A letter on parchment

Return address and stamp blurred

But the scent

Despite traveling through many hands



A strong aroma of

Russian Caravan tea

Caffeinated Black Tea

Smoked in bamboo

Yes, that, too

Strangely antiquated but

Addressed to me

I hold it in trembling hands

Trying to see

Through the envelope

Maybe a Daisy

Symbol of innocence

There’s a shadow, a shape

Perhaps a dried Bloodroot blossom

With petals of eight

Reminding me that

I first saw you in a dream

And here you are

But living so far

I tried to forget your

Delicious fragrance

The spiciness of France

Your intense glance

You, the emblem of

Continents divided

Continents connected

An Asian vibration

Our Croatian flirtation

You, man of the world

Sending me your signal

Like a radio telescope searching

Through space

But you, original you

Use an antiqued envelope

Knowing I’ll rip it open

(No lady, me)

Full of excited hope

That the anachronous way

You greet me today

Is romantic and our reality…


© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE:  Envelope 2


Delta harboring a swamp

In the South, turn left

This pre-dawn she chooses

North , turning right

No Pit Bulls patrolling the dirt road

No feral cats or wandering homeless

Pepper spray in backpack, useless

But psychological safety equals positivity

Just a lone frog with a loud croak

Sloping up to the top of a Florida hill

96 degrees sweating humidity

Stopping at an empty field of unmown grass

Dotted with parched flowers

Yet wild, free, colorful in waning moonlight

Accepting their dryness

While awaiting early dawn showers

She kneels in the sacred space

Sparkling dew forming like lace

And then she waits

Colorful dawn shifts away

Streaks of gray

It’s a new day

As flowers reflect the

Sky’s rainbow colors

Today will be the day…


© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE:  Swamp Picnic


When that thin gossamer veil

Between the worlds

Shreds impatiently

To let the alive and dead

Have their meet-and-greet

Be careful what you wish

Be aware of what you say

Trust no spirit if they be unknown

Dump salt from a neck pouch if tingly scalp

Light white candles if black ones flicker and flare

Carve smiley orange kirbiso

And fish-feed your inky cats


Unless you crave

(If you are brave)

Excitement that may turn into


Because the spirits are bored

Powerful and jealous

And they may overcome

Whatever you believe

Who has the control?

Not us, my fellow-living

We can train, memorize, pray

But spirits have that spectral power

A necromantic way with words and wands

No, we’re no match


Unless you are blessed

With wisdom and purity

And you know the runes to

The banish spell

Do I know them?

Will I share?

Perhaps if you give me your candy corn

I can be persuaded to bare my soul to you…


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Halloween 2021


Been up and down city streets

On a horse whose name I forgot

Been through the Painted Desert

On a mule with a crazy name

But always knew my own

It sounds like Seeker, Wanderer

Loving aloneness but often

Regretting being lonely

Because after all,

No one can really help us

Live or die

In a blink of an eye

We are 3 and then

70 years speed by

But we are still the same

Still wanting that guy we can’t have

Still trying to stay thin by

Ignoring the chocolate cream pie

Still dancing on the treadmill

To old rock and roll

Our essence is still the same

Only the shell has changed…


© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: CS age 3


What this swampy backyard needs is

A two-person observatory

(Two dogs, too)


But then, if not

Can fly to the

Star-stairway of

The aethers

Past the space debris

In a galaxy

Not so far, far away

Fitted with

A super-strong


That not only scans the skies

But can see four miles to the

Gulf of Mexico

And then we can say

As above, so below…


(C) 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Backyard Observatory Plans, non-attributed


Do you feel it?

Do you feel the

Saturated fat

Winding wicked tendrils

Around the heart

Reminding me of

Last week

When I swore

I’d never eat peanut

Trail mix before bedtime again

But oh, those M&M’s

I just wanted a small hit

Of chocolate

And peanuts are protein

Raisins are iron

Chocolate is, well,

It’s a bean

But suffer dieters

When the loneliness

Of night descends

And comfort is sought

So it’s trail mix from

The dollar store

And I keep eating more and more

But my heart cries out

Not only from the sadness

But there’s the oil and sugar and salt

Finding the heart’s fatal fault

Yet I know I’ll do it again…


© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Heart


After two years

Sitting inside a sterile box

Scrubbing away

Invasive viruses

I want to stretch

I want to climb

Dreaming of towers

Eiffel, Pisa, clock

Water, commercial, religious

Strategic, tarot card, defense

Don’t care which

Want to, at last, grow

Want to go



© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: World Landmarks by NationMaster


Hard to glamourize being poor

Especially when shopping at the Scratch & Dent store

My hourly wage was four twenty five

Just barely enough to keep us alive

Two teenagers eat a lot…


We couldn’t afford the air conditioner

No help from the county commissioner

Didn’t know about free food and power

Just lived from second to minute to hour

But I was out of icy Philly and in Florida…


My sons wanted to see the beach

An hour’s drive, certainly in reach

But no money for charcoal and BBQ-ing

Wanted to impress them for family renewing

Why don’t they like peanut butter and jelly, my favorite…?


Bought cheap hot dogs and wrapped in buns and foil

Couldn’t afford ice and didn’t want them to spoil

Opened up the hood of my dusty old car

Saw the engine block and had an idea so bizarre

To us trailer trash, engines are for cooking…


Parked by the Gulf, sat on the seaweedy beach

That day my sons learned what I was trying to teach

As we munched on the lunch

I delivered my punch:

Stay in school and never, ever be poor…


© 2014 Clarissa Simmens, Poetry of Memory: Six Decades from the Space Time Continuum

IMAGE: Hotdogs and Tortillas


True story but lots of love and not so bad being poor…


(a tribute to the star of our show this autumn/spring equinox)


The sun is not mysterious enough

To rate writing about

Moon mystique is endlessly


Appearing in the darkness

Drawing our blood, tides

And ruling our emotions

Contrast the sun

A necessity for all life

Dosing us with Vitamin D

Nothing enigmatic though

Just there

Even if it seems invisible

Like during polar winters

Of utter darkness

Or on stormy sub-tropical noons

Even on cloudy beaches

Evidenced by the wind-blown skin damage

It is there on twilight evenings

As night-bloomers like Evening Primrose

Open and stretch

Toward its sleepy rays

Dark or light

Dim or bright

The sun is always there

No, nothing mysterious about it

Just a burning ball having

Occasional tantrums

As the spots explode

We understand its punishment

On desert roads

Our bodies mercilessly drying

There are so many moon songs

But not many sun ones

So what’s to write about?

Yet, my favorite time of day is dawn

When the sun sails above the Earth

Breaking through the horizon’s rim

My heart thuds loudly because another day

Another chance for a good day

Is once again hovering in the dawn

Let it be today, I think longingly

Let it be today…


© 2015 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Morning Sun June 2016