Month: July 2015



Already know the story of my palms

Life line, heart line and one for the head

I desperately need more information

Although the answers I somehow dread

Small hands telling a story

Pulsing with life, at least

Once delicate and pretty

If only they weren’t creased

Does the blue vein signify character

Or is a fortune waiting to be foretold?

If correctly interpreted it would parallel

Crossing my own palm with gold

The veins look like meandering roads

Connecting and leading where?

The left could be a prancing horse

Tempting me with a dare

The right hand appears more sedate

Resembling an after-the-rain mushroom

Both images explode with life

Replicas heady as the finest perfume

Healthy life is what I seek

Now that a bit of wisdom has surfaced

Things I’ve known forever, yet ignored

Have suddenly become repurposed

Yes, I will follow my intuition

That I will live until I die

And drink extra coffee tomorrow

Altering the shape of a predictive scry

© 2015 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)



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)


kali oct 2012

Aisles of tables crammed high

Smell of bacon mingling with musky perfume

Morning coughing from the smokers as they

Sneak their fifth one of the day, hunched outside the doors

Coffee scent, the morning sustenance, dominates

The aisle of dollar breakfast booths.

Slinky long dresses promise me admiration

As they shimmy off the hangers to the floor

Colorful pottery chipped by careless buyers

Glitters in the morning sun, begging to host a plant

Tattoo parlors and gun shops, coin and pawn booths

Harley boots and leather vests alongside polished crystals

Nestling in sachets of smudging sage

Layers of masks litter the bargain table

But who cares what they are concealing?

I have an objective in this endless flea market

Crowded with shoppers who walk the aisles disguising

Hopes and dreams and the need to spend money

To make the pain go away.

There she is, waiting for me, I just know she knows

I saw her sitting there last week looking tired and discouraged

Her sister was taken away and she was in mourning

Three months old in a cage quickly becoming too small

I didn’t rescue her last week because I could hear the refrain

“Boycott puppy mills”

But where do these puppies go if we do not rescue them?

Testing labs? Euthanasia-oven-ashes-in-the-trash?

Her eyes haunted me all week and here I am

She is on sale today. When I ask to hold her she gives me her best

Face licking, smiling, staring into my eyes: Take me, please!

And I do.

What a healthy, happy girl she is

Type B, not really interested in living up to her breed

Or her name: Kali the Rat Terrier, the Warrior Goddess?

No. But definitely a sacred clown

Knowing the right laugh buttons to push

Born under the sign of Leo, yes, she is a classic Leo

Happy Terrific Threes birthday, dearest dog Kali

I cannot imagine life without you.

© 2014 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja), Poetry of Memory: Six Decades From the Space-Time Continuum



Fantasies of the rich and famous

More, more, more?

How about the fantasies

Of the working poor?

Do abused victims


Begin with hope and love

Only to morph into another

Abusive scenario

Because that is all they know?

Is it possible to imagine

A happily-ever-after ending?

What is the dialog like?

Loving, positive

Or angry and demeaning?

Is there no relief for the

Physically or mentally abused

Even in the imagination

In an alternate reality

Or is there a place

A private world of escape

From what is and what can be?


A self-mythology

To brave each day

Or night…

© 2015 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)


sand painting

Numerous “What you should do”

Advice posts on social media

It all seems so long ago

That I cared

Being old, well,

It is just living in the now

With the bit of fear

About approaching pain

Or an undignified end

Among strangers

Or the loss of my mind

Total, that is, because

Some of it is already gone

Like when I ask myself

Um, why did I come into this room?

What did I want to say?


How can it be Thursday already?

Yet there is the joy of

Being able to recall and sing

All those songs from my youth

That are thankfully still popular today

Rocking out gives as much pleasure

As it ever did

There is trying to diet and exercise

Because the reality is brutal

As it always was

But the wrinkles are reflected back

To my surprised eyes

And I say,

“Surely it is a misunderstanding

Between my brain, eyes and the

Mirror that is obviously a cheap version

Of a real one!”

We are all merely a Buddhist sand painting

A created, colorful mandala

Years in the making

Seconds in the melding

Of individual grains

With the earth, water, wind and fire

I understand the analogy

Just cannot accept it…

© 2015 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)


(Another dream about Poe)


Cats and ravens black

Hidden hearts, death, tolling bells

Edgar Allan Poe

Ideal man of mystery

Soul-baring in moonlit dreams

© Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja) Tanka & Haiku Collection

IMAGE: UNIDENTIFIED from WordPress blog



apollo 11

Hot July day with

Our first color TV

Tuned to the moon

Wow! The moon!

Humans landing on the moon!

Walking on the moon!

The moon and I have a history

No matter her phase

She is my comfort and my light

Even when dark

I did not feel she was being violated

As Neil Armstrong bounced along her

Silent craters

Even when the flag penetrated

Her virgin soil.

Just 21 and legal

Able to vote and buy wine

Married a few months

Lying on the floor

Bottle of Mateuse Rose

Box of water colors as

Face painting dripped

Below the neck

Dribbling between breasts

Painted with red roses

Continuing past the navel’s crater of skin

Down, down, Dave Van Ronk singing

“Baby let me follow you down…”

Marriage so beautiful in its youth

Like a space program that showed so much promise…

© 2014 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

Poetry of Memory: Six Decades From the Space-Time Continuum



This year I come out of the closet

And admit that I am HFA

High Functioning Autistic

No such diagnosis when young

I only have meltdowns once a year

But everyone deserves a meltdown

My mother, back in those days,

Knew how to deal with noisy children:

Pull the hair, pinch the cheeks

Until we stopped

Thought I was an alien

At school, and later work

If I was a wolf

In a tight pack

Would have been driven out

Then, a few years ago,

My Gen Prac doctor casually said,

“Oh, you didn’t know you’re HFA?”

Tested and yes, I am

So I’ve decided to

Embrace my inner clown

Not a Seinfeld-funny one

Just odd

Just master (mistress?)

Of the inappropriate


Somewhat unsure

If people are joking or serious

A bit stiff if a stranger hugs me

Overwhelmed by flashing lights

And large crowds

Although I learned to navigate in

The day-to-day and night-to-night


Homo autistica

I coined that word in a previous poem

We’re a new, evolutionary breed

There are so many of us on

Different levels of the spectrum

Too bad I didn’t land in the

Land of Savant autistics

Like Bill Gates

But at least I’m an Earthling

I think…

© Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)



How far I’ve come

From South Philly

To the bayou

Who would have thought a

Relentless cement upbringing

Could produce a swampy old woman

Able to move through the unruly floratam

Twisting boot heels in sand

Skeeving leeches

Or were they alien life forms?

Standing up to a Rottweiler

Staring me down

Because he’s taller

Pedaling on an elliptical

Outside in 100 percent humidity

In 95 degree temps

Walking under Live Oaks in lightning

Extricating a wild woodpecker from my hair

Discussing murder with decimating crows

Growing and eating more and more

Luscious red cayennes like

A dragon in training

Plunking a ukulele

While singing like Yoko

On a bad day

Because only the dogs and birds

Only the leeches and mosquitoes

Only the clouds and sun

Only the earth and water

Are there to hear and see me

Crazy old

Gypsy woman

Stomping around

Yet still wondering how to

Right the world

How full-circle I’ve come

© 2015 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)