Month: April 2017

Work in progress for Blues unloved-song*

 

Bb7/ Shovel up the corpses

G9/ Of our forever lost love

Bb7/ Scatter tear-stained bones

G9/ For murders of crows

Bb7/ Picking treasure that’s Dm/ my end

 

Dig deep in the Earth

Where’s that underground spring

Bubbling, soothing dusty souls

Another promise killed in the drought

Of what passes for love

 

The stars, merely a phantasm

All dead many light years ago

Tarot Swords say, stay away

But only until the resolution

Surfaces clear as 20-20 vision

 

Lying in dying winter sun

Swamp beyond the fence

Full of bird activity

Perching Florida Black vultures

So wish they’re here for me…

 

© 2017 lyrics & chords Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: FL Black Vulture over my swamp

*Need to learn a few more Blues chords before finishing…

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W-I-P FIRST BLUES SONG EVER FOR UKULELE #17

 

(fragment, need chorus)

 

Dm/Wanna crawl inside your Gm6/body

Dm/Crawl inside your A7/mind

F/Bask inside your Gm6/emotions

Bb7/Your sacred A7/spirit to Dm/find

 

Dm/Oh for our dark eyes to Gm6/meet

Dm/Oh to taste and finally A7/feel

F/life berry-pie Gm6/sweet

Bb7/Baby let’s A7/make it Dm/real

 

Dm/What are the magic words Gm6/I need

Dm/To make you part of A7/me

F/Just want you real and Gm6/solid

Bb7/Not some A7hell-sent Dm/fantasy

 

© 2017 Lyrics and chords Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: My tenor ukulele with red berries

If you decide to try playing this, please note that I use alternate chords for the following: 

Bb7 is really Db diminished or Bb diminished

F9 is really Eb6 (bar on 3rd)

G9 couldn’t find on internet chord charts

(used 1st fret string E and 2nd fret string C)

 

Originally a poem, then I chorded it, but not satisfied with the music.  Now that I’m teaching myself Blues Ukulele, thought it would be fun to use Blues chords!

 

CHORDING THE BLUES

 

May sound like an oxymoron

To some of you guitarists

But here’s my new

Ukulele Blues songbook

And at long last

“St. James Infirmary”

Sounds like it should be

Heard Dave van Ronk do it for free

At Tompkins Square

And never forgot

Heard Odetta do

“Careless Love”

And here I am

Playing it too

Mucking my way

Via new music today

Brings a welcome discovery:

Playing the Blues

Chases them away…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

#11 HARMONY

 

Earth above

Sky below

Reversals are good

Like sound from a bow

Above the violin’s bridge

Music rains upward

Spreads across the universe

Gently multiplying

Wrapping itself around the many

What say the Ancients

Designers of the I Ching

A time of peace may weaken resolve

At the Center of things

Change is necessary

The Tarot calls #11 Justice

Eyes closed

The Drom ek Romani calls #11 Chachimos

Eyes wide opened

All three warn against the belief

That good fortune lasts forever

But always remember

Baxt—luck

Will not completely abandon

Those whose inner abundance

Remains superior

To the workings of fate…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Chachimos altered art from my Drom Ek Romani

SHAKESPEARE BIRTHDAY SONNET April 23, 1564

My annual Happy B-day Sonnet to Shakespeare

(USING THE FIRST LINES OF HIS SONNETS)

#60 Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye
#88 When thou shalt be disposed to set me light
#66 Tired with all these, for restful death I cry
#80 O, how I faint when I of you do write.

#139 O, call not me to justify the wrong
#150 O, from what power hast thou this powerful might
#100 Where art thou, Muse, that thou forget’st so long
#28 How can I then return in happy plight

#43 When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see
#66 Tired with all these, for restful death I cry
#52 So am I as the rich, whose blessed key
#115 Those lines that I before have writ do lie

#56 Sweet love, renew thy force; be it not said
#71 No longer mourn for me when I am dead

 

© 2014 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja) and William Shakespeare

 

 

Subject line from a gmail email: “Add your name if you believe in Science”

*scroll down for a YouTube video*

Today I signed a petition

To admit I believe in Science

WTH?

Is that like believing

In unicorns?

In elves?

Oh, yeah, I signed

But can’t help waiting for the punchline

Or have I been dropped down the rabbit hole

Ousted from Logic World

Because I lived my life

Believing in truth, justice

And the American way

What would Benjamin Franklin say?

I hate waking up

With cold water flung in my face…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Benjamin Franklin Scientist

YouTube video Thomas Dolby, She Blinded Me With Science

 

 

EARTH DAY (APRIL 22 and every day)

Despite date rapists

Feeding her chemicals

For quiet pliancy

Despite thieves

Stealing her jewels

Of gold, silver, uranium

Hidden in her

Deep, dark pockets

Despite ripping at her

Strongly skillful hands

Lovingly tending the roots

Of trees

That shelter, oxygenate, and feed

Of weeds

Intrinsic providers for healing

Of fruits and vegetables

To nourish her hungry children

Through it all

Her molten core

Fecund to the end

Like a Baby Boomer

Listening to the music

In her soul

Dancing, singing

Shouting out

“I am the mother

Of you all

And will never die”

Because the future holds

Glorious consensual couplings

With water, air, fire

And while they helplessly fail

To protect her now

She maintains her sanity

Knowing what is right

And she will never give up…

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

Image: earth-greens

NOT FOR ARACHNOPHOBES (revised)

(some of my wonderful friends are worried that I was bitten by another Recluse Spider.  This is my poem from 2014–not my best–but want you to know, no worries)

 

What is the message of the spider?

Open invitation from the resident

Into a pesticide-free home

Spaces in floorboards

Irresistible to the neighboring swamp

Despite the equalizer AKA feather duster

The spiders come in the night

They always nip me equally

One on each arm

Unless it’s a Recluse

She gets me in a circle of eight

The secret antidote is plantain

Or even aloe for the minor stings

I’ve been injected with venom so many times

That one day I expect to point my wrists at a wall

While cobwebs shoot out

Enabling me to scale the side of the tallest building in Florida

But I know there is a message

I used to fancy that I was SpiderWoman of folklore

Weaving my tales

My fantasies

My fantasies came true for others, not for me

What was the message there?

Observer and recorder of life

But never a recipient of those richly imagined dreams

We Romani are always looking at portents

The Sinte word for the spider storyteller is

“Shpina Paramichari”

She is telling me that the one nip on each arm

Represents balance

Be consistent in life

Be moderate while living

No important revelation

But a painful one

Just weave your life symmetrically

In order to function in harmony

I tend to forget every few years

Guess I need a reminder…

(c) 2014, 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Recluse Spider Web, creative commons

LESSON NOT LEARNED (my thin-skinned reply to a negative reviewer)

Imparting lore, knowledge

To others with love

Plainly stating

This is NOT an herbal reference book

So many of those already available

All different cultures

No

This is 4-planes medicine

Physical, yes, a bit

But also

Emotional

Mental

Spiritual

Roma—Gypsies—did not travel

With huge herbariums

Have you ever lived in a trailer?

I lived in a Fifth Wheel for two years

I lived in a 15-foot travel trailer for more years

There is barely room for everyday necessities

So why would readers/reviewers think

We should copy the great herbals

For your viewing pleasure?

The Gypsy herbarium was in the surrounding forests

In the wild flower fields

In the rivers and streams

But all that changed

I’d never recommend wildcrafting

When plentiful poisons threaten the land

Only basics are tucked lovingly away

In the vurdon—wagon—that is home

No detailed grimoires exist

Most didn’t know how to read or write

The oral tradition served for everyday cures

If more serious, the Witch-in-the-hole

Was consulted

Or the Vrezitorka  (so say my Sinte family)

Or the Chovaxani (so say my Kalderash side)

If the town hid one

There was no pantheon of gods and goddesses

Although sprung from India

Speaking a bastardized version of Sanskrit

Now named “Romanes”

Gypsy Chib

But Mother Earth

Father Sky

And a few household helps

Like the Domovoi

Lived alongside the Gypsies

Whether they traveled or

Unfortunately became slaves

In Eastern Europe

No collection of pharmaceuticals

The lesson is

Portability

What can be carried on the back

Is most important

Even today

Many of us grow

To adulthood

Learning that lesson

Herbs?

Magic Words?

Future paths

To live life joyfully

Contained in the 22 numbers

Of the Drom Ek Romani

That some call the tarot

The day of birth

Reveals your lifetime study

15 is mine

Temptation down the wrong path

Add to get 6

Love thrown in the mix

Read the book

It’s all explained

This past week

It was useful for me to be ill

Helping me remember

The simple cures

Seeing that they still work

That’s the other lesson

Less is better, always…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

Re: Drab Lil: A Gypsy’s Medicine Book © 2014

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROCKY (ROCKSTAR) APRIL 12TH

 

*Scroll down for a fun video*

 

Look who’s two

RockStar the Pit-Chi

Here he is

Sunning in a plant pot

Looking cute

And how about this picture

Rocking out

I’m sure no one can outdo his

Dirty Dog Dancing

He’s even a Cover Boy

And although it’s not the cover of

Rolling Stone

It’s a great artistic endeavor

By a friend

And

Well, yeah, my book

Call me self-serving

But hey, we indies

Must get our hands/paws dirty

Have to market ourselves

So I can be forgiven, right?

Anyway, just want to immortalize

My beautiful RockStar

Happy Birthday!

 

RockStar rocking out sm px

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGES: The many moods of RockStar

 

ParellelCafeDoneSmallerpixels(1)

COVER ART FOR Parallel Universe Café and Other Poems

© 2015 Karen S. Bruton

 

YouTube video Dr. Hook, Cover of the Rolling Stone

https://youtu.be/-Ux3-a9RE1Q