Month: September 2016



(scroll down for youtube video)


No, no, I’m not Don McLean

I certainly do not feel ashamed

As the music emanates from ukulele strings

I laugh in delight and then I sing

No, no, not his voice

Fingers clumsy but it’s my choice

Better to play a respectful pastiche

Than live in silence, longing leashed…


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

Image: Starry Night Over the Rhone, Vincent Van Gogh


YouTube Video: Vincent, Don McLean



(when campfire strummers get bored and think we can compose)

G/You whispered my Am/name

C/And every favorite D/song

G/Heard throughout my D/life

(Am/Heard throughout C/my D/life)


G/Played in /suc  Am/cession

C/As time tattooed its D/image

G/On our breathless D/skin

(Am/On our breath  C/less D/skin)

 (G/On our breathless A/On our breathless Am/On our breathless G/skin)


G/In tune with my Am/pulse

C/A musical D/memory

G/Love’s exhal D/ation

(Am/Love’s exhal C/a  D/tion)


G/How I adore  Am/you

C/As we two slowly  dance D/through

G/Vast circles C/of  D//time

(Am/Vast circles C/of D/time)

(G/Dance through A/Dance through  Am/Dance through vast circles of  G/time)


© 2015, 2016 (words & chords) Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

 IMAGE: MAN AND WOMAN DANCING (Pinterest, no artist named)



(may chord this as a silly song although it’s true. I was a lefty for five years, then mother and teacher changed me to right so I get everything backwards—including directions–consistently)


I’m not your roadie

I won’t change your strings

I’ll kiss and make love

Physical passion I’ll bring


But the ukulele’s yours

To have and to hold

No one is truer

So treat it like gold


Get your fingers working

Don’t fear the part

Stretch that nylon tight

Then strum from the heart


I’m not your roadie

I’m here to be your love

Learn to keep us separate

Your instrument above


Nothing can be truer

Than the melody you play

The ukulele is faithful

Will never run away


So don’t have anxiety

When trying to adjust

You really can’t hurt it

In yourself, well, just trust


Oh, yes, you did it

Strings new and tight

Silver moon smiles in the window

As you play throughout the night…


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)






Mercilessly you snatched my body

I’d carefully buried my heart

Secreted in soul-murdered soil

But under the callous moon

You heard the feeble beat

Begging for disinterment

Suiting your purpose

Reviving it merely

On a cruel whim

And then tossing it

Into your biohazard bag

Of bloody, loveless tokens…


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: The Graverobber (no artist noted)



(scroll down for a YouTube video)


Those three o’clock in the morning barks

Of moon-struck dogs wanting to be out

I Jump from the bed but age will tell

Walking like a chimp, hurts like hell

As four canines race around the darkened swamp

I slowly get my spine aligned


But why oh why at this hour, with a silvery sky above

Do I think of Oedipus (before or after being a Rex?)

Yes, somehow there is now meaning in the Riddle of the Sphinx

Who devoured all travelers unable to answer:

“Which creature has one voice

And yet becomes four-footed and two-footed and three-footed?”

Only Oedipus, he who blinds himself

And supplies a buzz word to Freud in later years,

Answers:  “Man—who crawls on all fours as a baby

Then walks on two feet as an adult

And then uses a walking stick in old age”


I myself would rather walk like an Egyptian

Yeah, I know, it has silly lyrics

Maybe a bit politically incorrect

But I do love the Bangles song

And if I’m starting to move in a creaky fashion

I just want to look cute while I do it…  Bangles “Walk Like An Egyptian”


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)




(scroll down for a YouTube video)

Love each other, often hard to endorse

So what if we cannot always feel love?

Tolerance is an acceptable course

Distilled from burning passion undreamed of


See our fellow humans who suffer too

Spreading hatred causes life to be worse

Anger poisons the aethers wafting through

Hovering like an everlasting curse


We specks of life on each other depend

Yet we form tribes of separate masses

Mistaking charisma as our best friend

Further separating into classes


Although love is a precious rarity

Honor the emotion with clarity


© 2014 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja) Madame Sosostris Explains (a poetry patchwork)

YouTube video, Youngbloods, Get Together








A Sorta-Kinda Equinox Poem:


(scroll down for a youtube video)


Not a good idea to mention this

Coming from South Philly and all

But I wasn’t part of the Sinatra cult

Even though my mother said

The only time she ever cut school

Was to see him sing in those swinging 40s

In any event, he does have some okay songs

One of those is “It Was A Very Good Year”

(D Minor, 1965, is his version per Wikipedia)

Loved that song although

Odd, since the lyrics were not “relevant” like Dylan’s

And those of other beloved folksingers

Maybe I was young but

Couldn’t stop the melancholy looping

About being in the autumn of his life

Didn’t even know the meaning of “dregs” back then

No Google, but we did have dictionaries


Anyway, here it is

Autumn Equinox

Day and Night Equal

But the harvesting of crops

Or dreams or just general

Digging in for the winter

Signals the beginning of the end

And now instead of being Seventeen

I’m trying to think of my life

As “vintage wine from fine old kegs”

But it’s not happening

I’ve worked at it being healthy,

Dandelion wine

Little bit of a buzz

Lots of bitterness from picking the wrong weeds

But once in a while

It tasted like spring

No matter the season

I’d love to tell younger people

To try to slow down and enjoy life

But I didn’t listen when young

I screamed about mistrusting anyone over thirty

(OMG, what a wild time!)


Equinoxes, Solstices

The sun will insist that we do a self-examination

No matter our age

But dang! Turned this into another aging poem

(My poems often write themselves)

Not surprising, though

Like the Solar Year

I’m aging

Question is,

Will I return


As the year so predictably does?

Should have reblogged my annual Autumn Equinox one…

Well, here’s Frankie for your listening pleasure (or not):


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: September Harvest Moon,  Very Good Year, Frank Sinatra