#0 THE FOOL (Song in Progress)

Saw a man walking, white dog by his heels
Guitar slung over his strong, straight back
He plucked flowers from a bush, color and shape surreal
Eyes focused on me, while shifting his rucksack

Play guitar because it’s all resonance
Sometimes you can hear the dissonance
But most times the beauty shows its arrogance
Hey, hey, hey, play and sing night and day…

Walked toward an overhanging cliff
He jumped off and I had to scream
But heard a sacred sound of a familiar riff
Saw him hanging by his fingers on a sunbeam

Play guitar because it’s all vibration
Eases all life’s vexation
Sometimes a body needs sedation
Hey, hey, hey, play and sing night and day…

Swung himself back on the overhang
Still holding the uncrushed flower
Sat down, played guitar and sang
Darkening sky lit by a meteor shower

Chladni patterns disburse on fingerboards
Frequencies echo as I strum the chords
While nodal lines of the vibration awards
Hey, hey, hey, play and sing night and day…

I am Zero, therefore first or last
Some call me The Fool but I know the truth
I have no future and not much of a past
Because I don’t worry, blessed with perpetual youth

Share a secret language with your guitar
Playing whatever you like under the evening star
Life is music and your mind will wander far
Hey, hey, hey, play and sing night and day…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
Images: Chladni Patterns /#0 The Fool, After Tarot deck

fool after tarot deck 1 sm px

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#18 THE MOON (4 PHASES)

WAXING

I’ve seen men walk across your face
Stabbing you with red-white-blue
Waving on a pointed pole
I’ve seen you cloud-white in a daylit blue sky
I’ve seen you fat and thin
I’ve seen your sallow skin
No matter how dark the nights
You’ve wrenched blood from my body
Sanity from my sometimes struggling mind
Caressed the beach with your tides
And been my poetic muse while I cried
You are so familiar, iconic
But you always retain the magic of your name
My Moon

FULL

Red starry show
Orion struggling in a sea of blood?
No! Just the red glow of
Hind’s Crimson Star
Alpha Leporis
Fourteen times the mass of sun
Drawing all eyes to
Constellation Lepus
Rabbit
Hare
Easy to see
The mythology
Of Orion’s dogs
Canis Major and Minor
Pursuing this incandescent body
But thanks to Ostara
Goddess of Spring
She is granted swiftness
And once a year
Will appear
On the Moon
After traveling 1300 light years
Syncretizing Eastern myths
With Western ones
Bringing eggs to the
Moon Rabbit who is
Fiercely pounding
A lunar mortar by pestle
Grinding out the Elixir of Life
An Asian Philosopher’s Stone for
Immortality
Mystically produced
By the mating of the
Hare and Rabbit
For is not reproduction
A form of immortality?

WANING

Fragment of a dream
Me in helmet-less
Astronaut’s suit
Disembodied voice:
“We no longer have the
Resources to get you off
The Moon…”

NEW

Rolling through my mind
Catchy-tune theme song
From some 1960s bad TV
Expect to see
Go-Go booters
Dancing the Monkey
On colorful boxes
Piled on the stage
All that energy
Brought by the once-again new
Moon…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGES: NASA moon crater/Smith-Waite Tarot card/CS disk Drom Romani

(combined 2 moon poems and added two observations)

smith-waite tarot moon

18-Shon disk

#17 THE STAR

I am the Daughter of the Firmament
The Dweller Between the Waters
Protecting the space between the
Sky and Earth aqua pura
What is your desire?
Make it special
We all want good health for ourselves
For loved ones
We all want to win the lottery even if
We don’t buy a ticket
What is your secret wish
For that is what I can
Help you win
Stars are hope
Inspiration
Guidance
It is why Van Gogh’s
Starry nights are the
Beloved archetype
Of beauty and love
It is why Mircea Eliade
Calls myth the
Sudden breakthrough of the sacred
And so here am I
The myth who will guide you
Through dreams of tomorrow’s promise
Do I speak true?
Don’t know
But you do
In your self-reflection
Gazing into the waters above and below
Yet I do promise
I will always encourage you
To reach for the stars…
(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: VanGogh, Starry Night Over the Rhone

#21 THE WORLD

The World is so much more
Than Earth and the visible
Night sky
Telescopes and space cameras
Transport us to galaxies unknown
When tarot cards were first shown
Although there were always a few souls
Who knew what was out there in the vastness
Of space

THE WORLD is the archaeology of our past
Moving us through the present
And showing us the future
Symbols on cards mimic
Symbols of everyday life
Like the day I found an engraved coin
With my name and home address
Of a place I lived before age seven
Lying in the mud near a shed of broken crates
My past zoomed in and saw myself
Winning tickets for Skee Ball
To use on the mechanical engraver
In an Atlantic City arcade
Before casinos wrecked the ambience
Of ocean and sand and fries in a paper cone
Of cinnamon donuts and black coffee at midnight
From Mammy’s with my Gran

I rediscovered the coin
After finding a feather
That pointed the way
Very small feather
From a Florida Black Vulture
Stripping the flesh
From a corpse so fresh
And so here is my future
I thought
Death

To live in the now
Would be best
So I hauled out my tenor guitar
Music,the most beautiful part of
Anyone’s present
Although old songs transport us back
To the past
The words are seared in memory
Never to go
Always with us in the current phase

This trio reminds me
Of a wedding superstition:
Something old (coin)
Something new (guitar)
Something borrowed (feather)
Uh, oh, I’m blue
Because I
Always have
Always do
Always will
Need to find images of life
And force them into
Patterns
Patterns that ease the chaos
Of my world

And like the moon
We go through the stages
Circularly
As past, present, and future
Twirls like the Earth
Orbits the sun of our existence
And tilts with the seasons
The World
The tiny world that is ours
Our personal world of elation and sadness
Of terrible regrets but moments of gladness
We dream of space and vastness
But we are the microcosm
Like symbols imitating life
We mimic the macrocosm
Because the World is us…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGES: Arcade good luck medal, feather & guitar: zoom in to see my full name
and address on the coin/Photo of the arcade mechanical engraver

arcade stamped good luck coins machine SM PX

#20 JUDGMENT (work-in-progress)

Turn up this card
From the deck of 78
Traditionally see
Gabriel blowing his horn
While happy, animated corpses
Leap out of their coffins in joy
And we instantly interpret
The obvious symbols:
Renewal, rebirth
And the power to forgive
Although it might be difficult
For the flower to forgive the bee
Who blithely
Sucks the nectar
From her heart and soul
Leaving a shell of
Empty hell
It is not difficult for me
I forgive you
Whispers I
Into the dark silence
Staring at the images of our past
And in truth
Judging you
I confess
The phrase is meaningless
The phrase is wrapped in
Invisible barbed wire
Because in the staggering
Loneliness of night
When the bite of acid rain
Reminds me of things said
And like mindless zombies
Thoughts of what you did
Slither out of the corpse clay
Fastening hungry mouths
On my brain
That is when
After judging you
I ask
Is this any way to live?
How can I ever
Palliate, mitigate,
Forgive…?

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: JUDGMENT TAROT CARD (The US spelling is without the “e”)

#7 CHARIOT (AURIGA)

ONE

Does Auriga
Charioteer constellation
Know that it carries
A precious cargo
A piece of our galaxy
On his nightly excursion
Across the star-lit sky?
Auriga is the
Anti-center
Opposite the center of
The Milky Way
You can see it
Even below 27 degrees longitude
Locate bright star Capella,
Part of Auriga, as he has
A friendly stand-off
With Cassiopeia
Greek goddess boasting
About her beauty
Don’t screw with sea nymphs
Especially those under the protection
Of Poseidon
You may know vain Cassiopeia
By her other name:
The Chained Woman
Forced to watch her daughter
Andromeda
Chained to a rock
As sacrifice for
Cetus the sea monster
But saved by Perseus
And they marry
Living happily ever after
Auriga, Charioteer
Like the tarot card
Represents
Forward motion
Travel
Careers
A mythic symbol
Associated with
Astrology’s Crab
Water sign in the sky
Yet suspiciously holding kids
Under Earthen Capricorn’s
Watchful, goat eye
TWO

But now
As if amateurs like me
Aren’t confused enough
The heart of the galaxy
Has been discovered
They think it is a black hole
Named Sagittarius A-star
Right near poor Cassiopeia
I mean,
What did those ancient Greeks expect
Women were vain
What else was there to do
But stare at their reflection
And pop out babies
Why demand punishment for vanity
There are a lot worse sins out there
So now a potential abyss
Sits just below
Cassiopeia
And what does that mean
For poor Auriga?
Will he halt the chariot
As he nears the heart
Or fall into
The black hole
Where no light
Will ever brighten
The galactic center
Of our universe?
So then, to me
The new discovery
Alters the tarot card meaning
Of lucky seven…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGES: Positions of Auriga and Cassiopeia/Center of Galaxy black hole
(Wikipedia and EarthSky)

(an example of Neurodiversity working in the night)

auriga & cassiopeia

#11 JUSTICE (song-in-progress)

In a building of marble
Where truth meets its match
Adversarial claws scratch
As words catch and detach
While one is singing lullabies
Another buzzes like a cloud of flies
Corrupting the corpse of truth with maggots of lies
She ties on her blindfold
Listening to the stories told
From lips so old yet cold and bold
Until the flare of a match idea
Knits together like a continental pangaea
Deciphering who is the Medea wielding fake panaceas
Leaden words melt in a mist
Golden truth now may exist
O Justice, mighty alchemist…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Justice tarot card, http://www.tarotteachings.com

MIDNIGHT TEXT

(true story/too much imagination or too much Dr. Who, I think)

“If we get east Russia we’re in trouble”
Says a cryptic text message
When I awaken at midnight to pee
What does it mean, this line from an unknown phone number?
If selected, will it open the doors to a rampant virus?
Tossing until dawn
Dreaming of new cold war uniforms
Accidentally sending this important message to me
I once again pee as the dogs enjoin me
To take them into the dark yard
Clutching the phone, flashlight competing
With the Moon phase of the Crone
Repeating the words and trying not to moan
I judge them to be a sinister prelude to
Nuclear war
Who can I forward the text to?
Then I hear a helicopter
Black against a bleeding red sky
“Dogs, come!” I cry
And I cower inside while the dogs
In their apolitical ignorance
Lick my fingers for food
And finally I click into the text
Because ignorance is never really bliss
And blurry morning eyes
Read the message
Just as I feared
Surely encrypted
Disguised as a comment
About weather…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Black Helicopters, Wikipedia

BARD’S GARDEN

(an early morning meandering poem for my tarot book)

Unable to sleep so
Reading about the
Shakespeare Garden
Where only plants
Mentioned in his plays
Sonnets, writings
Are allowed to flourish
Impossible to plant one
In Florida
At least for an amateur
Apple trees? Not possible
In a yard loaded with
Live Oaks and dripping
Spanish Moss
I see myself walking around
Pulling off a leaf
Releasing the scent
By squeezing out the life
Can’t sleep because I get crazy
About being a vegetarian
Because so sure plants feel pain
But the alternative is to starve
Besides, I’ve become a pescetarian
In my old age
Craving protein

So here’s my drabarni’s garden
With tarot cards and crystals
Hanging from trees
And I suddenly hear the Beatles sing
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
Code for LSD? we wondered in our teens
Never dropped acid myself
Always high on life
Did take some tokes
And now 2 bottles of Hemp Oil
Wait for me on the computer table
Will it help my creaky joints
Or is it better to smoke a joint
Are they still called that?
Didn’t do much weed
Yes, it enhanced happiness
Creativity
But also sadness

So where was I?
Shakespeare’s garden
So tossing and turning
I imagine walking around my
Themeless garden
A mad bard’s garden
Instead of planting
All the botanicals
Appearing in my poems
I write the poems
Based on what’s already planted
Floratam and wild grasses
January daisies
Browned air potato vines
And banana leaves
Tattered ginger greens
Hiding the harvest below ground
Naked mulberry trees
Chili peppers frozen in clumps
Palms waving in forty degrees
Dreaming of summer’s flames of
Red Hibiscus
Orange Cosmos
Yellow Jasmine
Dressed in bright green
Turquoise dragon flies flitting
Indigo skies cooling solar flares
Violet waves residing in planetary tides
None appear in a Shakespeare world
But it is winter
And I think of the drabarni

Drabarni is the Empress
Queen of Wands
She is every woman in the tarot deck
Who nurtures and heals
Body and soul
TAROT CARDS ARE A VEHICLE
To bring two together
The Interpreter is really the listener
Feeling the pain or anxiety
From the Questioner
Silently begging for
Alleviation
Rejuvenation
From the shadow side of life
Tarot cards are
After all
Pieces of wood
Pieces of cardboard
Numbers and symbols
Yet, a way to open a dialog
Between the confusing world
And those of us who sometimes wander
Alone and entwined in a hopeless fog
TAROT CARDS ARE A MAP
Terrestrial navigation
Through gardens of chaos
Into orderly beds of
Comforting words
“Help me, I’m lost!”
Cries the Questioner
And all the Interpreter can say is
“I will try…”

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Winter Banana Tree

#14 TEMPERANCE

(written by a first generation American)

Yin and Yang
One wall falls
Another rises
Rise and fall
Of the Berlin Wall
Remember how we cheered
When it fell?
Seems capital “B” Balance
Demands another rise
But what goes up
Must come down
Right?
So like a child’s see-saw
Up
Down
Are walls still made of bricks?
Have governments perfected their tricks?
Down come the National Parks
It took eons for silt and
Saline oceans
To turn a forest
Into quartz crystal
And petrified wood
Now, no one protects it
Hours to dismantle
A crystal cabin
Take it home
Store the stones
In a collector’s walk-in safe
Make America ugly again
Shut out and starve
The working poor
I know
Who cares
The market is screaming
Stocks are over the top
Would be raw justice
If we could stack that money
Lean the piles against the wall
Both sides
Create great ladders
Or
We can always
Make America elitist again…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Brick Wall, Music & Flowers