Month: January 2016

THE CREATION OF THE VIOLIN (based on a Gypsy folktale told to me by my father)

(scroll down to hear great violin music by Taraf de Haidouks)

In mountainous region

Where the winds can drive

One to do more than shiver

Lived willful Maja

Setting her hopes on a stranger

Come to hunt on nearby lands


Used to running alone like the

Goats she tended

Her dreams crossed the border

Becoming real in her mind

So she insisted herself upon the hunter

Who persistently ignored her

His thoughts only of his beloved prize back home


Maja’s voice seduced all the young men

She tried again:

“Dearest man from a strange country

I dream of your touch all night

Shelter me in your strong arms

“Til we surface in the light.”

But the stranger remained aloof

Maybe he did not understand her words

But the melody’s meaning was so plain

A passionate song in a minor key

Of unrequited love’s terrible strain.


“I will sell my blood to Beng!” Maja cried

“Help me quench this unstoppable fire!”

Beng, the devil, handsome and tall

Appeared among her goats

Assuring her of the heart’s desire.


“Whoso looks in this mirror will be mine

And I will gladly give him to help you”

Maja glanced in the obsidian mirror

Single-minded in her pursuit

Sure-footedly moving down the mountain

To piedmont of forest and deer

Where the stranger moved silently among his men


All thought drowned in burning desire

Approaching him with the dark reflector

He stopped his quest for deer

To see what she held

Seeing himself

Then recoiling in horror, recognizing

The object as the embodiment of a legend

Told to young boys and girls

He turned and ran

Into the deepest forest.


Crying for Beng and begging for her prize

The devil appeared with a new plan

“Where are your four brothers?

You must give them to me.”

Maddened Maja led Beng to their cottage

Nighttime dreams woven among the breaths

She showed him the bed sheltering

Four young boys


Arcane words uttered as Beng approached

Touching the eldest, the once-beautiful boy

Metamorphosed into a long string

Thick-gauged for volume and powerful sound


Next were the twins both medium gauge strings

Perfect for an evenly balanced tone

The youngest became the thinnest gauge string

Brightening notes even when played alone


Beng then found the parents

In a bed behind a drape

More words sent out into the night

As the father changed into

A formed hollow box

And the beautiful mother segued into

A stick, only her fine thick hair remaining


A heavenly vibration from her locks.

“I name this LAVUTA! VIOLIN!” Beng declared

Picking up his creation, heavenly sounds

Wafting into the spheres

But Maja cried and begged for her hunter

No care for family

Beng laughed and left, giving her the violin

And Maja played for love

The lure of the mystical music

At last brought the Hunter

Who for nine perfect days stayed


Beng returned demanding they worship him

Maja and the hunter refused, as one

Beng roared out more indecipherable words

Forming a chain, chained together

Leading them away from the haven in the mountains

Gone! Gone from the world and the setting sun.


Comes a Gypsy after a full moon phase

Finds, amid the pines, violin and bow

Magically, his fingers know what to do

Playing in thorp and town where he will go.

Other Gypsies touch the music maker’s magic box

Forming their own from wood and metal string

Only the Gypsies can make others cry

Only the Gypsies can make this box sing.


DOSTA (enough)!


© 2014 Clarissa Simmens, Poetic Alchemy: Talking Blues

IMAGE: “The Red Violin” Gypsy scene from the movie


(Listen to: Turceasca by Taraf de Haidouks on Youtube)



TALKING UKULELE BLUES #3,506 (in G, C, D, Am, or whatever)


Oh my fingers are freezing

I can’t strum

Maybe I’m too old

To use my thumb


Picks feel funny

They fly off into space

When I’m playing so fast

And my heart does race


Oh my fingers are freezing

Can’t press that chord

Maybe I’m too old

Shoulda stuck with the washboard


But here comes the sun

Warming my ol’ thumb joint

Ukulele, better than computer games

Where I just click and point…


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: My tenor ukulele



I have always been a woman

Coming alive in a starlit sea

Pummelling waves my only music

Salty foam decorating me

Body rocking with the tides

Hair silvery in dawn’s sunlight

Sleeping in the sandy warmth

Awaiting the moon’s kind night


© 1991, 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)


KEEPING OUR KIDS DOWN (“Kinder, Kuche, Kirche”)

A disillusioned friend asked me to share this on my WordPress page. She wishes to remain anonymous:

Uncle Sam slept here

Uncle Sam

That horny man

Seducing young girls

Taking our Social Security

To pay for illegitimacy

The whole point of the women’s movement

Was to give our children

Male or female

A better life

But instead of accepting that

Women are as sexual as men

And deserve to have

Unstigmatized sex

With the understanding that

The goal was

Zero population growth

Meaning 2.2 children each

Instead of popping out babies

By girls, barely old enough to be called women

Because religion snarled through its ugly snout

No birth control!

It would shout

Just say no!

Yeah, sure

As if

As if hormones are not in control

Of every 13 year old’s brain

So Auntie Earth

Divorced Uncle Sam

(or whatever name he used globally)

Because he screwed around

And the population exponentially


Producing pollution and fracking

And ultimately more war

To get the oil for our car

War, killing and maiming our


Both Male and Female

Producing homelessness and

More visits to bars

Or drugs prescribed

To take away the pain

To never see those war visions again

While girls at home

Living on charity

Should be breaking the glass ceilings

Instead of wishing

They were starring on reality TV

Like the Third Reich’s plan

To produce more human cannon fodder

“Kinder, Kuche, Kirche”

Children, Kitchen, Church

A world gone so off-kilter

But what do I know

A flowery old lady

Sorrowing for Auntie’s beautiful gifts

Now slick with oil and

Strangling on plastic bags

A vomiting Auntie Earth

(OMG! Is she pregnant too?)

Uncle Sam

Zip up your pants…

(c) 2016 ANONYMOUS





When we run away

Because life is tough

Do we comply

With our destiny

If the past finds us

Why do we weaken

And let it drag us back

Why not continue scaling

That slippery, unpredictable hill

To the top


Never stop moving up

Because I’ve glimpsed the


And it is a limitless plateau

That will not let the climber


Down the other side

It allows us to

Hold steady

To have time to think

Freedom means conquering

The learning curve of life…


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Fraser Plateau, British Columbia, Canada




Five planets and a full Hunger Moon

Merely a meaningless magical rune


Dangling above my sorrowful head

Making me wish I was dead


Dawn breaks in a Bluesy sky

Here I am, trying not to cry


Same as a Weeping Willow, rooted below

Heart cold and lost like an icy floe


Unlike the Moon, I do not hunger for food

Need a way out of my solitude


How might I cope with your desertion?

Why would I want to continue your coercion?


Five planets and a full Hunger Moon

Merely a meaningless magical rune


Retrograde planets add to your harsh words

Mercury and Jupiter whirling backwards


Venus, Saturn and also Mars

Add strife to the male-female spars


Love has become something ephemeral

Creating an atmosphere stifling and sterile


Like a nocturnal mammal I scurry around

Shivering on the muddy ground


Not sure what to do anymore

Bright Antares and Spica I ignore


Five planets and a Full Hunger Moon

Merely a meaningless magical rune


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Five Planets and the Full Moon (


Terza Rima
Iambic Pentameter
Magician drawing power from below
While mastering the material plane
Lemniscat hovering in skyward flow.

High Priestess of patience reflects no pain
Pillar of moonbeam guiding emotion
Amid lunar cycles that wax and wane.

Empress the Mother, full of devotion
Stars circle her head in a field of corn
Radiating her own loving potion.

The Emperor has no reason to mourn
Learning to govern his passions in life
A strong-willed rose protected by a thorn.

Hierophant plowing through religious strife
Attempting order in chaotic thought
Bloodying alternatives with his knife.

Lovers begin as two souls who are taught
To complement each other’s desire
Beware of choices two separates have brought.

Chariot pulled by water and fire
Decisions spread before us like a feast
Free will to choose the dry road or the mire.

Self-respecting Strength battling with the beast
Confidently in balance on her own
Challenging uproar until it has ceased.

Introspective Hermit searching alone
Reasoning out a secret, karmic sin
Knowledgeable, yet there’s more to be known.

The Wheel of Fortune continues to spin
Voluntary change from within shines bright
By embracing acceptance we can win.

Justice’s upright sword pierces the light
Objective judgment relentless as ice
Illuminates the confusion of night.

The Hanged Man is glowing with sacrifice
Absorbing all knowledge through sight and sound
To suffer for wisdom is a small price.

Death tramples rich and poor into the ground
Old life is gone but a new one will start
The cycle is endless, all comes around.

Temperance is harmony from the heart
Balance and good humor pours from the core
Purification—a fine counterpart.

The Devil may tempt into a detour
Imagined bondage and fear are the norms
Follow karmic paths and resist the lure.

The Tower collapses all the old forms
Yet the flashes of insight prevent doom
Releasing shadows from gathering storms.

Inspiration and hope are the Star’s bloom
Threading optimism much more concrete
Weaving new aspirations on its loom.

The Moon disintegrates the ego’s heat
Compassion battles with insecure fears
Intuition keeps time with a heartbeat.

The Sun’s radiant warmth uplifts and cheers
Good health and material goals bring mirth
A joyous outcome will bathe the next years.

Judgment rewards with a wondrous rebirth
Gifting the future for yesterday’s deeds
Inner knowing oozes up from the earth.

Completion, perfection are the World’s needs
Four directions converge in the center
Breaking free from the stranglehold of weeds.

Balanced, centered, the Fool is a mentor
Innocently bathed in love’s mighty glow
Faith has sustained life’s experimenter.

***Tarot cards tell us what deep down we know***

(c) 1991, 2013 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

Madame Sosostris Explains (a poetry patchwork)



Like a naïve little girl

Who doesn’t seem to know

The sun can be blinding

Whether in grass or in snow


Playing ukulele outside

Cold day, but sun on my back

Reflecting off the glaring white paper

Propped on the sheet music rack


After practice, stumbled back indoors

Oh, what a surprise

Like Hendrix’s purple haze

Saw only green through my eyes


Green, green

The Earth calls to me

Saying Florida’s sun

Mustn’t be taken lightly


When will I ever learn…?


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: My back yard glare




Was I too flighty as a teen

Or did Gran become forgetful

While aging

Who knew how old she was anyway?

She always lied about the age thing

But so youthful and fun

That no one cared or noticed



Slowly, she revealed her secrets

Of the universe

As they applied to a drabarni


Yet, like her famous apple cake recipe

She left out the most important ingredient

(Oops, she said, forgot to tell you to use apples)


This time

She neglected to tell me

How to move through life

With the least amount of trauma

How to heal myself

So I would be able to heal others


Didn’t notice that omission until she passed

But in the flush of thirty-something

When the ego was at full-rage

Thought it was easy to figure out

Since I was good at guessing

Merely a process of elimination:

Toxic food, toxic addictions

Toxic people


Forgot the missing ingredient

The secret of life

Only available through self-reflection

Didn’t occur to me until too late


Sprinkled with

A sense of humor

Must be liberally added

Or there is no apple cake


After years full of tears

I finally raise my arm

Anxiously waving my hand

At the universe

(Call on me! Please! I have a question!)

But I am ignored

So just shout out the words:

“May I bake another cake?”


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)




How can I be sure

He will love me


So I say something

About myself

Not quite true

To see what he will do

And he fails

Doesn’t question legitimacy

Just believes and moves on


Tests seem dishonest

But they have validity

Whether in ancient Greece, the Bible

From fairy tales to fables

The king sets a test

To see

If the prince is worthy

Of his daughter’s hand

Muck out a stable

Bring me the dragon’s head

Many a prince has kissed a corpse

Reviving the princess

And some princesses

Have kissed toads


Romance is a rocky road

Do you test…?


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Ruggierio Rescuing Angelica (Wikipedia)