Month: November 2015



Plywood bedroom floor

Ossuary of dirty dog bones

They sneak them inside

And hide

The bones in the bed

During the looooong night

They fall to the floor

Loud thuds

Like incoming bombs

No sleep for the weary human

Lie down with dogs

Wake up with an aching back

From bones tucked under the

Tender rib cage

Or stuck to my calf

Calciumed animal parts

Literally littering the path

That vegetarian me

Tries not to see

Or even think about the origins

Of those shapes

Once belonging to cute farm animals

But dogs and their short intestines

Require meat

I follow the path

From bedroom to bath

Walking barefoot

Across the hall



© 2015 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)



I say the sun

Is salicylic acid

Like aspirin

It thins the blood

So we sub-tropicals

Find it impossible

To tolerate 45 degree weather

(That’s Fahrenheit)

And you northerners

Swim in our Gulf

Sixty degree splashing

(That’s Fahrenheit)

Showing off on our beaches

Calling us wimps

With your sneering eyes

As we huddle in fleece

Tucked into the sun-sparkling sand

Because after all

The negative ions are worth

Shivering for

As we decompress


On a rare Florida day…


© 2015 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Anclote beach, Pasco County, FL


gs pin

Clap if you believe in peace…

Like clapping for light and love

Flowers wilting in my gray hair

Discordant voice hoarsely flying through the air

Eyes closed against the news, I see me

Flag bearer in green uniform

Girl Scout 1950s Memorial Day parade

Dad earlier pointing out the remnants

Of Spanish American War survivors

There goes Mr. Gerwitz,

Smelly old man in Edwardian suit and tie

Now wearing a moth-eaten uniform

For a moment, I see him at eighteen

Striding along in the tropical heat

Determined to beat

The enemy

And end all war

Within six years

I will march again

Despite loved ones dying in Vietnam

I will scream against the war

My screams will join others

And we will save the world

I so believe

I clap because I believe in peace

And flying fairies

And Giant Killers

Who slayed the ogres

Ring Wraiths

Bad guys

To begin our Utopia

Clap if you, too, believe in peace

© 2015 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)


music poetry cover 3

Desperately searching for spirituality

Under my feet

Mining the ground

Scrabbling with broken fingernails

Looking for that bit of quartz

Or a bird’s feather

Would even accept an acorn,

Message from the trees

But no, no sign

That life would take a sharp turn

Along this sandy, moon-struck path

Of broken shells

From high tides past…

© 2015 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)



Dedicated to all us working poor

I know the pain of a

Rotting car in the rain

Buckets of rain

Wipers refusing to work

Abandoning the car off the road

Running for the bus

The one that only comes

Every two hours

Trying to get to the

Community College

To take my last final exam

After attending four years

To get an Associates Degree

Working, mothering, studying

Running for the bus

No umbrella

Bringing the boys to daycare

Dragging an autistic six-year-old

Having a melt-down

While carrying a three year old

Trying to make that bus

Trying to get that degree

Trying to get a better paying job

Running for the bus

All the while whispering:

“Please, please, please, please…”

© 2015 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)