Month: December 2016


OK, OK, This is for fun.  My first video.  A silly video of me reciting my poem Unconsummated Guitar.  Hate my voice.  It’s a South Philly nasal whine (South Philadelphia, a neighborhood in Pennsylvania, USA).  Can’t believe I forgot to take off my glasses.  Never take pictures with my regular glasses.  Oh, well, it’s New Year’s Eve so this is for a laugh 🙂  Wishing us all fun and good health and happiness for 2017!





Linear calendar

Creates nice little squares

Of days and years

This follows that

Circularity makes more sense

Yet even astrology

Has Aries as the first sign

So the days and years

Seem to differently appear

But they might as well be

Lined up in nice little squares too

What can we do

To avoid the inexorable tolling

Of time

Yearly seasons keep count

As we move around the sun

The moon phases rigidly

Orbit the Earth

Drum beats of time

Calculated in sidereal months

Would there be true chaos

If we banned time?

How would we know

The time to go

To school, work, or that all-encompassing word:


We are too wired to wait

For doctors, hair dressers, massage therapists

Without an appointment

Time is wasted

I don’t like time

Just another way

To legislate lives

I want us to live laid back

I want night people to work in the night

Dawn people to do their thing

Before birds are on the wing

Poets to write celestially in the dark

I don’t like time

But the calendar says

I must wish you all

Happy New Year

But I swear

And resolve

No more calendars for me

Anyone agree?


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)




Christmas is a time of birth

New traditions from the Earth

Capsicum annum from Mexico

A green pepper named Poblano

Cicer arietinum from the Middle East

Garbanzo or chick pea, what a feast

Allium cepa from Bronze Age digs

Onions growing under dirt and twigs

Glycine max from China and Japan

Crumbly bean curd extends the life span

Solanum lycopersicum from the Southern Hemisphere

Tomatoes cooked make a saucier new year

Blending magical ingredients is so much fun

My Romani gulash in a stove-top cauldron!


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: My Poblano-Garbanzo Gulash


Forcing me to look into your eyes

Knew something not quite right

Swimming in your ominous pools

Feeling the pulse of a song

You, you said you love me

In love, you said

Whispered in a star-tossed bed

Me, refusing to give away my anemic power

But worn down (“Do you, do you love me???”)

Admitted the truth

I do

What a night

Me and you

Swimming in dark pools of

Unbearable delight

Only to drown in reluctant dawn

You took your pools

I felt a fool

Gone, gone your hypnotic eyes

Leaving me floundering

In your lies

No one to hear my wounded cries

Now in pools

Dead as jet mourning jewels

Barricading the last image

Of one about to be a ghost

Pools deep as the sloping sands

Of a continental shelf

Pools hiding hazards unknown

To a naïve but desperate woman

Who took the chance of diving

Into the frigid waters of possibility

Despite swirling in blood-red


I want to die from the lie

Knowing, now,

That I’d been so wrong

About you…

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)



So many meanings for gris-gris

Little cloth bag of thirteen charms

Used as an amulet or for a curse or

As a method of birth control

Vodoun the religion

Voodoo-Hoodoo stereotypes

Black magic or good luck

Zombies, chicken bones

Dolls with pins

What is the truth, the head spins

I think of it as the original French word: gray*

I see it as a swirl of black and white

I see it as day and night

I see it as yang and yin

I see it as the divine curtain

Separating hell and heaven

Gray, like the Grateful Dead say

Everything has a touch of gray

Including magic

My gris-gris bag was too powerful

Syncretized with my own Gypsy culture

It now sits at the bottom of my closet

In my backpack of cremation clothes

To my sons:

Tie it around my neck

As I go into the flames

This is a last request

In sound mind I proclaim…   touch of grey, grateful dead, youtube

The “a” in “gray” is US English and the “e” in “grey” is British although the GDead used the British spelling  (just a bit of boring trivia)

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

Image: flickriver textures creative commons


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 new yet nothing to fear.


The meaning of this celebration?

Above all, love and peace

Cease all war and hatred

Send out only the kindest thoughts

Into the winter aethers

May they permeate the unity

Of the circle that is Earth…


© 2014 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja) Parallel Universe Cafe and Other Poems

IMAGE: December 21, 2016 Winter & Summer Solstices 10:44 UT



Raindrops in a discarded walmart mug

Tinkling like the finest crystal

Winter sun glittering through humid silence

Bouncing off a tin shed roof housing abandoned treasures

Cobwebs decorating half-gnawed boxes of once-important IRS receipts

Do not be fooled

Nature allows us the illusion of civilization

And the poisonous tinkering of her gifts

But it is merely misdirection

As we pay attention

To our minor defecation on today’s interests

Nature is reclaiming, unnoticed, in other parts

Performing her illusions

Like making the Statue of Liberty disappear

While we gape like the apes we are

While our children die from chemicals

While our wildlife fades into history

Nature waves her vengeful wand…


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Gaia, Anselm Feuerbach 1875



Moving away from the city that day

No longer able to tolerate cement suffocating the earth

Never seeing the universe’s nightly planetarium

Hiding out in the country

Ostriching my head

As the daily news counted the dead

Telling myself, I’m safe

But I know now it is the absolute end

Glass face of the moral compass


If there was still a molecule of belief

In love and peace

It has been sucked into a

Bottomless vacuum

And nothing

Not a speck

Not an iota

Can ever be seen

No matter how strong the

Scanning electron microscope


Seeking an image

Gone, all gone…


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: pollen molecules under scanning electron microscope