In sudden silence

Three-note melody

Cymbals, jingle-jangles

No matter the name:

Zils, cimbali, trastine

From a churo, tambourine

Sound so crisp and clear

Can hear the shiny pieces

Clicking together

Although the song it presages

Is unknown

Previous empirical study

(This has happened before)

Tells me it means a message

Mom played her hands, clapped to music

Gran played piano and harmonica

Great-Gran had no time for music

Early widow working to feed

Eight children

Somewhere way back

Somewhere in the gene pool

Somewhere in the family tree

A kind Phuri Dai spirit

Loves me

And once again signals

Through a medium we both savor

The arrival of fortunate times

Oh, let it be

Because my coming trip

Is worrying me

Surely the brief music means

There, there, all will be well…


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: My Drom Romani symbols tambourine


  1. Re: the image. First I thought, “what the H*** is that? Then I had like an awakening and I thought, Oh Great White Whale, that’s like, a UFO dude! And then the vision sort of faded, and it was a tambourine stuck in a tree. Of course I had to ask myself, what’s a tambourine doing struck in a tree? The thoughts that came to mind on the wings of that question were definitely, well, let’s say, no, let’s just not talk about that.

    It’s like the Charlie Brown cartoon where Linus is looking at something on the ground. He says to Sally who is standing by, “Look, a butterfly. It came all the way from Brazil.” Sally being girl savvy and not easily fooled squats down and looks at the thing: “It’s a potato chip” she pronounces with nary a doubt. Linus squats down in his turn, looks at the thing which is indeed a potato chip and says, “How did a potato chip get all the way up here from Brazil?” Which proves my theory that some questions have no answers except in wisdom much too deep for me to dare be fool enough to rush in. In fact I’d even warn the angels against treading there, you know, just in case a fire should spout out of the ground and burn their wings. I better quit while I’m already behind…

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    1. Ah, you made my day Sha’Tara! I looked at the photo and thought, yes, it does look like a UFO. I photograph a lot of my images on the branches of my Mulberry Bush. There are a lot of legends about the Mulberry (including Shakespeare’s writings) that it should be planted in the south, not the north. I planted one each and the north one died but the south one produces wonderful berries. My tambourine has wooden disks stuck on with drawings of my favorite Romani symbols and I can see how that detracted from the recognizable shape of the instrument. Still, I like the idea of other worlds and perhaps the 3 cimbali notes I heard were from space rather than a spiritual realm!

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