Month: July 2017

FOREVER FRIENDS

 

Through two decades

A dead Live Oak

Stood upright

Perch for families

Of Florida Black Vultures

What sights I’ve seen

On that stage

Young buzzards courting

Males competing for

The belle of the bough

Married couple kissing

Passing food between beaks

Here they are with baby

Showing him how to perch

And search

For newly-made swamp corpses

Other days watching them

Wings outspread

Drying out stormy feathers

One day the mom and dad gone

Baby sat for three days

Finally the smaller one returned

Maybe dad creamed by a car

While cleaning up the road kill

In the middle of city streets

Then the other day

A muffled crash in the swamp

Perch finally fell

And here I go in pursuit of my “art”

Worrying about Water Moccasins

And other snakes

As I wade through the grass

Snap, snap

On smart phone

That does no justice

To the thumbnails of Nature

Suddenly recalling last week

Vulture in my yard

Broken wing

Hopping around

Looking for a way out

I opened the gate and tried shooing him

But he didn’t get it

He did find a pile of tables and plants

Climbed up over the fence

Relieved he escaped

Yet what are the chances

A bird will live safely

With a damaged wing

Birds

Trees

Life yet death symbols for me

And I recall sitting under

Another Live Oak

Many years ago

And it splitting

For no good reason

Phone ringing, me running

My mother’s voice funereal

My favorite uncle died

The trees never lie

But do I think a tree

Can actually be

A psychopomp?

Birds play that role for me

But would a bird

Lead a bird

To the afterlife

Or does the tree’s soul

Take control?

After all

They were friends for so many years…

FL Black Vulture on my swamp perch

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGES: Live Oak perch fallen in my swamp and FL Black Vulture on the perch in my swamp

 

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PENINSULA

 

No earth here

Peninsula of sand

Swampy

Awash in water

Mutable

Change from one

To one hundred in seconds

Over-abundance of fire

Flat and florid

Baking, broiling, lasering the land

Dangerous air tornadoing

Thunder and lightning deluging

Interfering with civilization’s

Grids and grand plans

For living on a land devoid

Of vibrations

Stone, rock

Thrumming to hearts

That need the gentle jolt

Rich soil imported,

Bagged for the DIY stores

But only coquina

Limestone and long-dead

Fossilized remains

Of shelled food for fish and fowl

For humans too

Only coquina

Is underfoot

But that’s not natural earth

And so imbalance reigns

In the state of torrential rains

Where’s the grounding of  Earth…?

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Can that tropical storm get any closer to me?

NA, NA, NA, NA-NA-NA-NA NA-NA-NA-NA

 

 

*scroll down for YouTube video*

 

An extra

Four and a half minutes

Revolutionizing music

Before that

Typical two minute songs

Good ones, so good

Motown, Beach Boys

Can’t Help Falling in Love

Even the most commercial protest songs

From a some-day peace prize winner

Are winding down

And the times they are a changing

Because the generation is demanding

And history is made

In a car tuned to AM radio

And here’s a song

On and on

Over six minutes

NA, NA, NA, NA-NA-NA-NA

NA-NA-NA-NA

Hey Jude…

Teen in Nehru mini

He driving in Nehru shirt

Just out of the Army

Germany, not Nam

How’d he get so lucky

And the na-na’s go on

The guitars and drums

Voices and song

In the latest evolution

Of cruising music

And decades later

As that teen-turned-old-lady

Pedals on her elliptical

Singing to sunny skies

Ignoring the feeling

That youth was full of lies

About the future

Because the music remained true

A wormhole to wander through

Hey, Jude…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

The Beatles, Hey Jude

https://youtu.be/cII1jJWDf04

 

FORFEIT

 

What could be more spiritual than living under a perfect sky

A skydiving sky

People jumping out of small planes

Clouds so quiet, their voices

Screaming joyously

Heard through my open windows

Living above a fresh water spring

Twist the faucet and the purest water

Filled my glass and hydrated my body

Filled my pots and boiled my brown rice

Swirling in summertime miso

Living on the blackest, most perfect soil

Where everything grew in abundance

Home-grown carrots and celery

Onions, garlic and radishes daily dug

Beans on the pole and herbs in their pots

Even the Florida storms would end in

Bright sun

A loving laser of light

Creating the jeweled gift of a rainbow

Sometimes double ones

And one day the magical end

Burrowed down

In my front yard garden

Consecrating the land

Sat beside a track with a train

Barreling past the house

Twice a day

Yet the whistle was a fragment of the romance

And there was a lot of that

A lot of—for lack of a better word–love

For a few years it was paradise

A power spot

Lying on a hidden ley line

Crossing improbable property

Balancing out my life

Until

What?

Did I not maintain it properly

Was I expected to sacrifice some

Unknown object or worse

A living thing

In sorrow I learned

Not to confuse power spots

With sacred sources

Neither elemental elite of

Earth, Water, Air and Fire

Nor dark matter stages of

Solid, Liquid, Gas or Plasma

Changeling Aura

Viciously fooled me

Extracting its vengeance

Whether from an angry spirit

Or malicious evil eye

Jealous gods punishing perceived

Hubris

Or

What…?

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Skydive City, Zephyrhills, FL

 

 

 

LOSING (AND GAINING) MY PERSPECTIVE

 

Lost myself

Mostly in a good way

When retired

Got to play

Ukulele

Write poetry

And strumming-type songs

Found a new self

So I thought

But as long as I live

With another in my space

Nothing changes

Roommate in my face

Left early, first light

Hardly ever drive

But I drive to

A Burger King drive-through

Haven’t had cholesterol on croissant in years

But I do, while gulping the largest black coffee

Arguing with seagulls

It’s like I find myself

Back in pre-retirement

And no, not working

But yes, working

Blue Gulf, blue sky

White clouds

Gulls cry

I do too

So I type on my phone

Doing social media stuff

Drinking fast-cooling coffee

Sitting in steamy sun wearing black

Shirt and boots

Like some little dominatrix

But I’m not

Just want to look thinner

Even if it’s hot

Just want the security of being able

To kick an attacker in the shins

Wearing my vegan boots

If needed

But gotta go home sometime

Face the day

The reality show of my life

Wish I wasn’t so emotional

Must be my Moon in Cancer

Doesn’t harmonize with

My Sun in Aries

Id, Ego

Does it matter that my Superego

Is Libra Rising

Or do all these astrological influences

Keep me from moving forward

Growing up

Must say

Despite this beach being a small sandbox

It is finally quiet

And I’m decompressing

And I’m ready to return

Into the Now…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE:  Seagull staring at me, Green Key

THAUMATURGY

 

Sliver of gold

Separated from the Sun

Found the sandy ground

Sparkling electrons

Sliver of silver

Melted from the Moon

Remained warm and bright

Every night

Snuggled beside her solar knight

Wading through weeds

Alchemist captured them

In his samovars

Of gold and silver

The perfect night for his

Heart’s creation

Manipulating matter

From Solid to Liquid

To Gas to Plasma

Poured into a cup

Sniffing the bouquet

Deeply drinking

The essence of her being

As she grew from the Earth

Showered by the Water

Breathing the Air and

Glowing from the Fire

Splitting from his body

Transformed into a

Philosopher’s stone

Shattering like a delicate bird’s egg

Emerging into the dark

Projecting her daylight

Her moonlight

Capturing him

And enchanted,

He acquiesced,

For Love sees no matter

In chains…

 

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Samovars

TIME LAPSE

 

Air potatoes in indistinct moonlight

Like modern Winchcombe Grotesques

Fortifying the overgrowth of summer vines

Chills in the heat, dancing along my spine

Monstrous night

Dogs plastered to the fence

Growling at an undone rope

A rope unwound

Hanging on a spindly tree

Gulf Coast wind winding up to

A shrieking Banshee force

Is it the 3 a.m. heart attack

Or a dream

Can’t recall rolling out of bed

Sliding through the glass door

Suddenly soaking suede cloth boots

I think, Well, that feels real

Surreal similarity of when I was four

High on my uncle’s shoulders

Defying the Atlantic Ocean

Then slapped by a wave

Drowning

But still breathing

Under the sea

Thinking

Well, this is it

Then feeling him find me

Scoop me up

Carry me back to Atlantic City sounds

Of ice cream men walking the beach

Of children shouting, alive and laughing

All a blank after that, like now

And I fall on sleeping red-ant villages

On the beach of my back yard

Mosquitoes glued to skin welting up

My smallest dog jumps onto my back

As if we’re in bed

And suddenly my head

Clears in the darkness

Despite humidity and drizzle

It’s real, I rise

Clap my hands demanding the dogs to follow

Maybe they, as nocturnals, belong here

But no place for me

At three

In the unearthly morning

Of moon madness

Brought on, I surmise

From OD-ing on chamomile tea

And vomit-smelling valerian drops

All in the name of at least

A good two hours sleep

But back in the cool air conditioned bed

Insomniac thoughts reverberate in my head

How’d I get there without remembering

And, most importantly

Who hung that freaking rope

Who hung on it…

 

swamprope1

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGES: Rope in my swamp, medieval Winchcombe Grotesque

winchcombe grotesques

 

MELANCHOLIA

 

Now I know why

Van Gogh

Did yellow

Dressed in black

Like the crows

I seek succor

From the sun

Or at least

Its result of

Photosynthesis

Corn

Planted by Corvus

As they compete

With the squirrels

Dodge my dogs

Dropping kernels

That sink into the rainy

Earth

And I try to remember

This darkness will pass

I will see yellow again

As my aura soaks in

The balance of

Magical spectrums of

Vibrant colors…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Music and Madness