Month: March 2017



Missing a lot of Aries women who were important in my life and have passed on…


Burning sun makes for a Baba Jaga noon

Shining across the Carpathians and into Eastern Europe

Warming the people who invented me

I am the Grandmother of Fire

Face covered in red and orange ashes

My house on two chicken legs

Scratching in the dirt

As a wide band of water rushes between them

Gently tipping the mortar that serves

As a flying vehicle

The pestle is my rudder and

Tracks etched in the sky

Are swept away with a white birch broom

I, Fire Woman, toss out water-cleansed herbs

And the people see earth sailing through the air.


No, I do not eat children

That is another fairy tale

From another country

I do have companions:

White horse rider named Day

Black horse rider named Night

Red horse rider named Noon-Time Sun

They decorate the ceiling of my chicken-legged home

Cavorting around the painted firmament

So I do not feel closed in when forced to stay.


Like smoke from fire, though

I can sinuously escape through the chimney

Into the real sky

Absorbing more heat and light by day

More stars and coolness by night

Able to traverse the path

Sidewinding around the Galaxy

By map and compass embedded in my brain.


What is my purpose here?

Yes, you may ask

Fiery wise woman am I

Guidance is all I offer but

I prefer that you ask no questions

I age for each one asked

Only blue rose tea will reverse my reluctance

To answer, when you truly need help

Purity of spirit, and most of all, politeness count

But you must overcome your fear

To ask and then hear

Solutions to feed your burning need to know.


So many false tales about me

I am guilty merely because my preference is

To live alone

In order to think

And be myself

I do not like the image I see

Reflected through others

It is warped and thus murky

Not a true mirror

But no one cares to look deeply into

The mystery of Baba Jaga

Fire Woman, Wise Woman

Who was never a witch or even a clown

Just an old soul trying to translate the Earth

To others…


(c) 2014 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja), Poetry of Memory

IMAGE: Baba Jaga, Russie Virtuel


*scroll down for a YouTube video*

Bluegrass banjoing

Eating black beans on white rice

Vamping mosquitoes

Sounds and sights memory-etched

In the logbook of my soul…

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

*Sarah Jarosz doing Edgar Allan Poe’s poem Annabelle Lee youtube video

IMAGE: Bluegrass instruments, Wikipedia Commons


*scroll down for a YouTube video*


Doesn’t take a therapist to know why

I bond with exhausted, forsaken shacks

Nothing but the crows circling with a cry

Prowling, feral cats alert for live snacks.


Why empty so long? How did this house fail?

Dirty pink insulation leaking out

Of screaming mouths with crying walls so frail

Mold and dirt and shaky steps, cause for doubt.


What happened here in the maddened attic?

Ancient clothes and books hug the swollen floors

Tell me your secret, you ache brick by brick

Relinquish the mystery of closed doors.


No one deserves abandonment, ever

Helping lost and wrecked, lifetime’s endeavor.


© 2014 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja) from Poetic Alchemy:Talking Blues

(tweaking an old poem)

**YouTube video Ella Mai, Left Me

IMAGE: Abandoned House (public domain)








I will be taking a few days (weeks?) away from social media, although friends and family think I won’t last 3 minutes.  I have a poetry project that I just can’t seem to complete.  I will try to catch up with your always-wonderful blogs and posts but in case I don’t, feel free to draw my attention to them anytime.  My email is posted on my WordPress “About” page.  If you follow me on FB or are a friend, you can find my gmail address and new phone number on that “About” page.  I love text messages more than phone conversations but will do both.


I leave you now with two reblogs of my poems for World Water Day (March 22nd).  Have a wonderful week!


❤ Clarissa/Viata/Poeturja





Salt scent sending messages

From the Atlantic Ocean

A body of water that might be

The end of the world

Because who knows what’s really through

The vanishing point?


Fishy fragrance floating

From the green seaweed

Although the Gulf of Mexico

Has its share of redness

Also known as the Red Tide

Destroyer of manatees and fish.


Storm runoff pollutes

Sulphur Springs’ once-healing water

Filling dangerous sink holes

Sucking cars and people

Into shifting sands meant

To be a beach, not a city.


Hydroelectric power produced

By a Florida-Georgia dam

Where Lake Seminole and others

Contribute their fresh water

Lovely parks, lots of fish

Share the energizing of air conditioners.


Shallow-water well weeps

In my backyard, famous Florida aquifers

Water-filled layers of earth

Over 31,000 areas of known

Groundwater contamination

Better not get mine tested, ignorance is bliss…


© 2015 ViataMaja, WATER


*Title based on The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Samuel Taylor Coleridge


Romanian Gypsies



Dig, dig, send down the pipes

Share with us the

Holiness of water

A Madonna in blue

Sheltering inside Mother Earth

There for all to share

Yet, although we believe,

This saint eludes us

Poor Gypsies

Living on trash heaps

That are surely

The vomit of a sick mother

Who no longer has the strength

To bless us with her fresh springs

We poor, living as if in war

Send down the pipes

Pray for the rights

That belong to all humans

Except us…

(c) 2015 ViataMaja, WATER






*scroll down for a YouTube video*


Nine hundred years before my birth

Hildegard von Bingen arrived on this Earth

Sent to a convent because of her religious visions

Eleventh Century upheavals:

Gypsies banished from India

Creating a European diaspora

Sharing their knowledge of divination,

Herbs, cures

By oral transmission

William the Conqueror

Banishing Anglo-Saxons

Creating new law codes and the early census

Known as the Domesday Book

While indigenous tribes unknowingly

Lived out their last moments of freedom

In the Americas

Yet keeping alive their own oral traditions

Of spirituality and cosmography

Momentous times for a Renaissance Woman

To appear in Germany

Rising to the position of Abbess

Writing a book about her visions

Composing music on her psaltery

Rivaling Gregorian chants

Writing the book Physica

A classic on health and healing

Writing the book Causae et Curae

A classic on herbs and cures

Leader, reader, writer,

Composer, musician, healer

History moves in spurts

As does knowledge

The dark ages may seem all-consuming

But they are not

Arcane knowledge

Always rises to the top

Like a granular convection

And once again

Buried dreams will be reality

Hold tight

Remember that night

Always fades in the dawn…


© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja) YouTube video Spiritus Sanctus, Hildegard von Bingen


IMAGE: Statue of Hildegard in Bingen’s Museum am Strom


poetry, sybil, healer, oracle, nun, abbess, herbs, cures, visions, politics, history, renaissance, repression, underground, dark ages, second inquisition, oral histories



 (scroll down for a YouTube video)


Bonnet, bag and blossoms

Hope to have them for Easter

But Spring Equinox beckoned

Dad woke us in amaranthine darkness

Loaded us into his brother’s borrowed car

Mom boiled eggs and sliced home-baked bread

Tantalizing thermos coffee jolted me awake

Off we took

Navigating strange streets in Pennsylvania

Before the building of obsolete expressways

Automobile slouches through Bethlehem*

Manual transmission grinding

But brakes holding

Me, eyes aglow

Yay!  Forget about Easter clothes

We’ll be baptized in the mist of

Niagara Falls

Between Canada and New York

How good to be me

Front teeth finally filled in the gaps

Able to sing without lisping

Along with Mom and Dad

How happy and young they are

As we sing “Ain’t Got A Barrel of Money”

And I no longer care

About my holey underwear

Although it will be another year


Bonnet, bag and blossoms…


*W.B. Yeats paraphrase


© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)


YouTube video (ukulele, of course!)


Image: Double Rainbows, Horseshoe Falls @ Niagara Falls (streetsmash)


Last year’s memoir about one St. Patrick’s Day for me:


(An Auto-Train Memoir)


St. Patrick’s Day to most

But it will always be the day

I crossed the threshold

And began a new life

Kissing bye to my sons and dogs

At six in the morning

Driving my ‘87 Horizon

Every inch packed with possessions

Including a portable tv on the front seat

Wrapped in my ubiquitous sleeping bags

Winter and summer prize

For the homeless

Speeding down Interstate 95

Past the Washington DC loop

To Lorton, Virginia

First and only stop for the auto-train

CCR singing out the car speakers

“I went down Virginia, seeking shelter from the storm”

From noon to nine next morning

Rode the train in a sit-up seat

Met other women leaving their broken lives

Searching for peace

In what I began to think of

As the start-over state


Friend for the broken and lonely

But still optimistic

View original post 243 more words



(scroll down for YouTube video)


Ancient museum piece

Finding its way

From saline, sunken galleon

To pristine, icy backdrop

Of the sky’s exhibit

Southern Cross


Visible in the Northern Hemisphere

And all I can hear

Is Stephen Stills’ voice

Hitting those high notes

Thinking about how many times

I, too, have fallen

No thought of crucifixion



Although a brief vision

Of the tarot’s Hanged Man


Flashes through my exploding mind


On April 8 at one in the morning

Florida, Hawaii and Texas

Are given the gift

From the Southern Hemisphere

Of their circumpolar Crux

Always above the horizon

The Earth poised just right

Stars gracing my life in the night


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja) Miniature Worlds Sublime

 YouTube video Southern Cross, Crosby, Stills & Nash

IMAGE: Crux, Pinterest (not one internet image is as majestic as the real thing)

UKULELE LYRICS #353 (POOLS) with experimental chords


C/Forcing me to look into your F/eyes

F/Knew something not quite C/right

C/Swimming in your ominous F/pools

F/Feeling the pulse of a C/song

A/You, you said you C/love me

A/In love, you C/said

F/Whispered in a star-tossed C/bed

F/Me, refusing to give away C/power

Dm/Yet so worn down from your demand:


*Fm7/(“Do you, do you love me C/true  ???”)


Dm/The truth always shines through  C/I do

C/What a night, me and Dm/you

F/Swimming in dark pools of

C/Unbearable delight

F/Only to drown in reluctant C/dawn

A/You took your pools

A/I felt a C/fool

C/Gone, gone your hypnotic F/eyes

C/Leaving me floundering

C/In your F/lies


*Fm7/No one to hear my wounded C/cries


A/Now in pools, dead as F/jet mourning C/jewels

C/Barricading the last image

F/Shape-shifting into  C/a ghost

F/Pools deep as the A/sloping sands

A/Of a continental C/shelf

C/Pools hiding hazards F/unknown

F/To a naïve but desperate C/soul

C/Who took the chance of diving F/into

F/ frigid waters of possibili  C/ty

A/Despite swirling in blood-red



*Fm7/I want to die from the lie

Fm7/Knowing, now, that I’d been

Fm7/so wrong about Dm/you…


*supposedly alternate chord for Fmaj7 ukulele 5500 (G-5, C-5, E-0, A-0)

(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja) (poem and ukulele chords)



Oops, almost forgot what today is 🙂 Wrote this last year when the date actually equaled Pi…



It’s Irrational

Circumference divided

By diameter

Whether large or small

Circle growing or shrinking

Numbers stay the same

Flunked many a test

Not knowing the laws of Pi

Ugh, Geometry!

Yet, it’s pretty cool

A three point fourteen fifteen

Constant in our lives

Not much stays the same

Except dependable Math

Rational, to me…

© 2015 ViataMaja

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