Month: December 2015

BORN TO SHOP

ThrowBackThursday (TBT POETRY–Wrote this in 1991 when I moved to Florida)

 

I never wear white

It makes me look fat

It wipes out my complexion

And being a slob, white isn’t right for me

 

But what a great white dress discovered

In the Goodwill Thrift Shop

Only $3.50

 

Although it hung just below the knee

It looked very Victorian

(The only era for me)

So I decided that maybe I could dye it blue

Nah (I think in slang)

Walked away

 

Seductive lodestone irresistibly

Dragged me across the floor

Look, I argued, this is Florida

You wore dark colors in Philly

But white is for Florida

Agonized over it and once again

Walked away

 

Poked around the other stuff in the store

Then submitted to my desire

Ripped it off the rack

Almost dropped it

Because happily deciding

It’s an Emily Dickinson dress

I unhappily had the penetrating realization that

I’m leading a lonely Emily Dickinson life

Newly-made spinster affectedly wearing white?

Uh uh

(Didn’t fight)

 

Hung it up and decided to

Continue being Chekhovian

Bought a black dress

 

In either color I’m in mourning for my life

But Masha was so much more exciting than Emily

I’ll opt for fiction anytime

 

© 1991, 2013 Madame Sosostris Explains (a poetry patchwork)

Image: Emily Dickinson’s Dress (Emily Dickinson Museum)

 

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THE ROOT QUEEN

Embrace the heat

Of Winter Solstice

No white Christmas

Not even a cool, Florida day

But the prize is a full moon

Plant those roots:

Ginger, carrots, yams

Throw in some garlic and onions

What a goulash they will make

Hot, humid, but the Earth

Coating my hands as I dig

The sweet-smelling manure

That the dogs try to eat,

Makes up for the heat

Setting of the full moon

In the pink of dawn,

No longer high

Eyes of ginger

Gaze to the sky

Bulbs of garlic—

Vampires?

Prepare to die!

And soon there will be onions

Ready to fry!

 

© 2015 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Flowering ginger from CS garden

THE DOVETAIL

(The USA should have a Boxing Day for all our laborers who had to work yesterday)

 

Like a troublesome jigsaw puzzle

Life may be similar

But too large to see

The big picture

So I just enjoy

Fitting together little pieces

And forget about life itself

 

Here’s a segment of history:

Joe Hill’s execution in 1915

Interested me

In 1965

And again in 2015

Decades of belting out

“I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill”

Now, able to magically play it

On my ukulele

(Only four chords, of course)

As the aging voice

Sings the song

 

So okay, history…

Thought he was

Merely

A union organizer

For the copper miners

Executed for a crime

He says he didn’t commit

I won’t belabor that

I wasn’t there

But we know

Thanks to History

How that goes for protestors

Who need to be “disappeared”

 

Anyway, bored one night

Followed his virtual path

Discovered

He was a poet and songwriter

(Why didn’t I know that?)

So then I find the I.W.W Songs

You know, the Wobblies

The Little Red Book

Online

And because of my Medicare woes,

Boringly detailed in a previous poem,

Because of that, I

Find myself emerging from the

Underground maze

A place I hid in for years

In silence

Smiling, nodding, tippity-tapping

In order to keep the jobs

Hiding the big secret

That I’ve always been angry

About the injustice of any government

Toward the working poor

Like me

Despite a college degree

In mid-life

Yet always a bottom feeder, salary-wise

 

So I pull myself out of the underground

Into the open, wild flower field of truth

And I find a song in the Little Red Book

Written by Joe Hill

“Rebel Girl”

Be still my heart

A song written for me

And you who are poor

Despite working more and more

And I know

I’ll always be a rebel girl

Above or underground

 

All right, I’m getting on with my “thesis”

How the synergy of one topic

One little puzzle piece

Connects

I call it

Dovetailing:

Music, Biography, History, Poetry, Politics

And full-circle to Music

Rebel Girl is back

It’s the 60s, at least in my inner life, again

And yes, for all you readers who

Hung in there with my tiradic poem

This personal dovetail is part of the big picture of

My life

But also yours…

(c) 2015 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

 

FROM JOE HILL’S REBEL GIRL (thanks to ultimate-tabs.com):

 

G           C             G (G7)

Yes, her hands may be hardened from labor,

C             Cm     G

And her dress may not be very fine;

G          C       G

But a heart in her bosom is beating

A7                       D (D7)

That is true to her class and her kind.

 

 

SEE REBEL GIRL SONG SUNG BY CATHY RICHARDSON/ARRANGED BY BUCKY HALTER  (YOUTUBE VIDEO):

 

https://youtu.be/L0Oc-CXJu0A   

 

INSTRUMENT OBSESSION

Three ukuleles

Is that necessary?

Yes, don’t you see?

Small Soprano for learning

Mellower Concert for self-rewarding

Tenor to get serious

Baritone next?

And after that

Will I go so far

To try guitar?

(Another learning curve

Do I have the nerve?)

Of course

Gave up all my other addictions

What could be better

Than one

Whose only side effect

Besides bloody, callused fingers

Is mood elevation?

 

© 2015 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: My three ukuleles

BAXTALO BITEDER RAT (FORTUITOUS WINTER SOLSTICE)

My annual Winter Solstice poem (may the light be with us)!

poeturja

winter solstice

Elegant customs adopted by most world cultures for a fortuitous Biteder Rat:

Vibrant clothes and lustrous boots

Honey dripping from fried melija corn

Candles glittering to light our way

After meditating in Neolithic darkness

A tranquil universe is born.

Chants and poems echoing

With a new moon making visible

Stars and planets joining Orion

In his nightly romp up high

Through the speckled night sky

Venus, Mars, Pleiades

(Those seven sisters smiling upon us).

Sacred herbs and evergreen

Red berries and dandelion wine

Crystals clear, crystals colorful

To remind us of the coming year.

Shortest day, longest night

A rebirth for the Earth

Reversal of the sun’s ebbing

The flow of life, a solar delight

A time to celebrate the Solstice

A word that means “Stand Still.”

Shuffle the Drom Ek Romani

My Way of One Gypsy cards

For guidance in the pristine year

Earth, Water, Air and Fire

Nothing…

View original post 45 more words

SACRED SIXTIES SONG: Phil Ochs’ “I Ain’t Marching Anymore”

IN HONOR OF PHIL OCHS’ 75TH BIRTHDAY DECEMBER 19. MET HIM SEVERAL TIMES AND HE WAS ONE OF MY FAVORITE FOLK SINGERS, TEACHING THIS YOUNG TEEN HOW TO HAVE A VOICE ON OUR EARTH, THROUGH HIS MUSIC. PLEASE SEE ALL THE DIFFERENT WAYS PEOPLE ARE CELEBRATING AT https://www.facebook.com/groups/Ochs75thbirthday/

poeturja

(Another poem in celebration of Phil Ochs’ 75th birthday)

phil ochs i aint marching anymore

Phil’s voice echoing in my mind

As I learn to play

My new ukulele

Here are the chords

No riff, but couldn’t do justice

To the memorable, musical phrase

That always gave me chills when a teen

Listening to him on late-night weekend FM

No commercials in the sixties

Bought the album

Saw him countless times at folk festivals

And Philly coffee houses

Spoke to him twice

Well, in my ultra-shy way

Went through a period of

Perverting his song

As I tired from marching

Although it was to prevent the type of marching

Phil Ochs meant

Anti-war but also voting rights, Women’s Lib

War just kept coming

Voters got rights but stopped voting

Women didn’t want equality if it meant

Sharing a bathroom with men

In frustration I invoked the words of

Phil Ochs

Silently shouting:

“I Ain’t Marching Anymore”!

View original post 88 more words