Month: August 2017

SLEEPS WITH DOGS

M, B & Toto (wp, dogs)

Certainly not as romantic

As dances with wolves

But I imagine

Being canines

They also have fleas

Drool

Lick their, um, you know

And sniff each other’s hindquarters

But,

The other side of the ledger

Reflects coin of the emotional realm

I’ve had dogs who

Gently place their head on my shoulder

When I cry

Dogs attempting to speak English

Dogs who sleep in the crook of my legs

As I lie

In a cramped fetal position

During the deepest dark dreaming

I’ve had dogs who make me laugh

Who adore my awful strumming and singing

Who love me unconditionally

Well, okay, food is involved in that bargain

But that’s fair

Most of all, I’ve had dogs

Who daily mourn when

I grab my backpack

Signaling

I’m heading out the door alone

So yeah

I sleep with dogs

No matter how they smell

And each one, in my heart

Forever will dwell…

Cosmic Steppenwolf (wp, dogs)

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Some of my dogs through the decades

Janis Joplin (JJ) (wp, dogs)

Max (wp, dogs)

Kali holding her treat (wp, dogs)

RockStar (wp, dogs)

bandit (wp, dogs)

PEACE AND LOVE REDEMPTION

(8th Annual Global Hate-Free Day 9-22-17)

 

A/ Could not think of a Em/ poem

Em/ With the words A/ love and peace

D6// That was a youthful Em/dream

Em/ Fading into the D6/ dawn’s release

 

C/ Where’s the kindness G/ in your heart

G/ Why must loving E7/ fall apart

 

A/ But my mind won’t Em/ let me rest

Em/ Surely anger is A/ not our fate

D6/ There must be an Em/ alteration

Em/ Don’t want a world D6/ of hate

 

C/ To old and new G/  I say to you

G/ Let love and peace be part of  E7/ each  day

 

A/ Protesting and Em/ marching

Em/ Once part of A/ my past

D6/ Now I’m terribly Em/ old

Em/ Searching for what D6/ will last

 

C/Words and music G/ into the skies

G/ Allow a new world to C/ crystallize

C/ Allow a new world to G/ crystallize

© 2017  Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja), chords & words

IMAGE: My Luna Peace Ukulele

(For baritone ukulele tuned DGBE:  just a strumming song by an amateur)

 

 

ANETHUM GRAVEOLENS

 

Ooooh that smell

Not really quoting Skynyrd

Smell of life

Merari, my Gran called it

Dill

Chicken vegetable soup

Fresh merari

Tossed on top of the pot

For the last five minutes of bubbling

Hot kitchen, cold winter

But now

Evening in Florida swamp

Smell it growing wild

Well, seed pods begging to be harvested

Must have blown out of my neglected pots

When I took time off from growing herbs

Planted themselves

And now

An aromatic memoir greets me

In the soft gray

End of day

Bringing the ghosts of Gran and Mom

Aunt Cee and Aunt Are

Bumping hips

While dancing around each other

In a small kitchen

With a huge pot

 

Forgetting I have no pockets

Because women’s clothing

Usually doesn’t include that all-important

Piece of fabric

(Can’t have it interfering with the hip line

Of a voluptuous woman)

But I reach for my pouch

So inconvenient to draw attention

While fumbling with the drawstring

Just to feel the reassurance of

My pocket deities:

Acorn, feather, sea shell and fiery bloodstone

Imbued with my essence

From touching them with

Invisible fingertip oil

Touching, touching

Wanting to keep the ghosts of family

Singing and laughing

Forever happy

Keep those ghosts forever

But soon they fade

And I vow

That tomorrow

I will search the sunlit swamp

For a sprig of dill

Add it to my female pocket

And one day call upon

The memory

Once again

From the scent of an earthen gift…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Dill, Wikipedia

 

FOR THE TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE (AUGUST 21, 2017)

 

 

Week of dress rehearsals

On the cosmic stage

Meteors lighting up

Countless trails blazed

 

Planets whirling backwards

Magnetic storms arrive

Constellations stretch their legs

Stars come alive

 

Wandering down aisles of life

Seeking answers for my heart

Searching for the perfect soul

Existence needs a fresh start

 

Ah, the Moon, overshadowing the Sun

Interfering with the brightness of Earth

Astronomical reasons meaningless

When we question our lonely worth

 

Eclipses demand tribute

So we question all intentions

Who is real, who is true

Who is a self-invention

 

Wandering down aisles of life

Searching for my matching soul

Eclipses mean new beginnings

O, celestial bodies, make me whole…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Full Solar Eclipse 1999 (Wikipedia)

 

STONE SENSATION

 

Clunky sound

My backpack torn

Grab a flashlight

Palm-sized amethyst

Lying on the ground

Trained since four years

After birth

To think:

What’s it mean?

Deep purple

Lavender

Crown chakra

Spirituality

Wisdom

But not for free

Must think about it

Work for a solution

Can’t shrug it off

Can’t let it be

Wisdom comes with a price

Its reward a spiritual happiness

A joyful noise unto the lord

Or goddess

Or mathematical patterns

Divinely spread through space and time

Or whatever power you choose to use

 

The older I become

The less I care

About the future

Don’t really want to know

I mean, what’s to know?

But isn’t there a reason why

We become smarter with age

Considered a sage

Yet observing elders

Most seem to be arrested

In their soul development

Still whispering about friends they hate

Still picking fights with family or mate

Exploding the myth of

Time healing all ignorance

 

And so I see

Flashes in the sky

Lightning from the north

Bringing the tang of mountains

Burning leaves

A spiritual pilgrimage

Beckons to me

Insisting I go

To where the air is thinner

Where the dense absence

Of angry masses

Enables silence to assist

Clearer thoughts able to persist

By virtue of upward movement

That will fortify, unify

Dreamy thoughts of a

Wisdom and safety

In the now…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Amethyst Wash Basin-Stone Smiths

AGING WITH ORION

 

Missing Orion, but he will soon return to the Northern Hemisphere skies…

(I) ORION AT TWENTY
After meditating in Neolithic darkness
A tranquil universe is born
While camping at the folk festival
Guitars and violins
Chants and poems echo
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)

(II) ORION AT FORTY:
When Orion peels himself off
The black backdrop of the celestial ceiling
And his dog Sirius herds him to my door
I will shake the star-dusted golden glitter
From the halo of hair that I wear free and curly
And as the earthy music soars and sinks
While minor chords weave a robe so warm
I will sharpen the dagger hanging from his waist
And welcome the result of being chased
By the winter Star Man who has come at last…

(III) ORION AT SIXTY
Navy blue Southern sky so reachable
Here he is, once again, tonight
Stretched out, over my head
My legs apart, as wide as his
Dog at my heels
Lift my arms and double high five him
Balance deserts as I stumble into a terracotta pot of ginger
No dignity in old age
But my hands, for a brief blink of time, touched the stars

© 2015 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja), Parallel Universe Café and Other Poems, Wildsound Video read by performer

 

JONI AND ROBERT OF THE CANYON (Bit of Blogetry)

*scroll down for YouTube videos*

I don’t know

Call it poetic license

Intuition

Just received my vintage copy

The Music of Joni Mitchell

For guitar (and baritone ukulele)

Forgot the words to

Ladies of the Canyon

And, well, am I making this up

Or is it the same canyon

Robert Plant sings about

In Going to California?

If so, I see clashing perspectives

Joni wrote a lovely, accepting song

About three “ladies”

Living the hippie ideal

Robert wrote a song and

In the Zeppelin IV album

He sings, with dread,

“Canyons started to tremble and shake

As the children of the sun begin to awake.

Watch out…”

She embracing the scene

He totally overwhelmed

By the experience

By the vastness

By the teenage liberation

Of the American West

Of the guitars and sun

Of the eagles and sky

Let freedom fly

(Just thought I’d mention it)

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: My newest song book

 

YouTube videos:

https://youtu.be/jft55QBkE6o?list=RDjft55QBkE6o Joni Mitchell 12:25 begins Ladies of the Canyon

https://youtu.be/PDIz4talyQk Led Zeppelin (Robert Plant singing)

COMPASS ROSE

 

Four directions

Places of spiritual power

Matching the elements

Representing strengthening towers

 

Those close to Nature

Traditionally mark

North as Earth

East as Air

South as Fire

West as water

 

Romani personalize

Cardinal directions

So to me

On the edge of the swamp

I think about my own life

And let it ripple out toward others

 

North as Fire

Direction of continental mountains

Metaphorically moving up

Element of Spirit

 

East as Earth

Growing across the peninsula

Over the dirt, farms, orchards

Element of Grounding

 

South as Air

Constellations clearly visible

Opening the Swamp trees curtain

Element of Communication

 

West as Water

Gulf of Mexico tidal pull

Sea and sand as one

Element of Emotions

 

Ceraunomancy requires familiarity

With symbolic directions

The interpretation of lightning

A natural phenomena

That recently became a

Source of terror

 

Yet I calmly walk outside

Avoiding the cloud-to-ground bolts

Asking it to dissipate

Sometimes it does

Sometimes it stays

On those days

I study the direction

Hoping for a connection

The message telling me

What I need to see

And perhaps fix:

 

Coming from the East?

Anchor yourself to the ground

Importance of roots

 

Coming from the West?

Then remain in harmony

Balance is the key

 

Coming from the South?

Celestial messages

The beauty of life

 

Coming from the North?

Reach to the highest power

No matter beliefs

 

Nature presents choices

Chanting her musical voices

Pointing the way, if we would only see…

 

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE:  Compass Rose Cantino, Wikimedia Commons

GOOGLE-MANCY

 

So growing up with cartomancy

Consulting the cards

Or tasseomancy

Consulting the tea leaves

Or any of those other mancies

Ouija boarding the spirit world

Maybe even tipping the magic eight ball

For a quickie answer

Has now morphed

For me

Into querying

The O-Great-Google

For answers

Seriously

I said to myself

Why are you asking this question?

But here it is:

Is it ok to prefer strumming

Over what I think is the

More-difficult fingerstyle

Or is that a cop out?

And lo!

I’m not the only one who needs to know!

Forums about it all over the net

And my favorite answer is:

The Beatles preferred it

When playing acoustic

And strumming songs of fame

Are associated with Bob Dylan’s early name

On Google

Most everyone said learn both

Most everyone said strumming’s

Not necessarily the easy way out

It’s ok!

Whew!

But then…

I confess

I can guiltily see

A tempting retreat for lazy me

Hmmm, I wonder if I can ask Google

Who my Prince Charming, um,

Who my Ol’ King Charming

Will be…

 

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Victorian Tasseomancy (NPR unattributed)