Month: September 2017

OVERPACKERS’ ANONYMOUS

 

I’m pretending that I’m going to repack and leave some of my clothes home but I know I won’t.  I sure hope I don’t tip over:  huge wheeled suitcase (including 10 bras and panties…why???), backpacker’s pack with food (train only has a snack bar with salt & fat & sugar foods), and a regular backpack with my meds, vitamins & herbal first aid kit (OMG, do I take a lot!), change of clothes in case I get separated from my suitcase and the necessaries like phone, kindle and money.  I always identified with the Hobbits but man, I sure would have slowed them down for the ring quest…

 

(If there’s WIFI on the train, will keep in touch)

 

Here’s a haiku:

 

Call Overpackers’

Anonymous for me, please

Desperate for help!

Sastimos!

Clarissa

Image: my stuff

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OBSESSING, NATURALLY…

(photo from FB Memory set me off about leaving on Thursday)

Morning

Exhausted

From little to no sleep

I’m a mass of

White-pink-gray-blue

Brains or intestines or

Pile of pythons

Primal soup solidified

Try to untangle

Thrown into the void

Falling

Dogs desert me

As I hurl myself to safety

Thoroughly awakening

To what type of day?

Oh, no, I’m going away

From the swamp

From the ginger

From the dogs

From the music…

 

What makes people

Want to travel?

Is it easier with

Sister or Brother

Friend or Lover?

I’m used to being alone

Will eventually feel okay

Do wish, though

There was someone to hold onto

While wading through strangeness

And strangers

Oh no, I’m going away

From the swamp

From the ginger

From the dogs

From the music…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

Image: CS from FB Memory 2014 with ginger

 

“FROM THE BRIM TO THE DREGS”

My Annual Sorta-Kinda Equinox Poem (revised)

 

(scroll down for a youtube video)

 

Not a good idea to mention this

Coming from South Philly and all

But I wasn’t part of the Sinatra cult

Even though my mother said

The only time she ever cut school

Was to see him sing in those swinging 40s

In any event, he does have some okay songs

One of those is “It Was A Very Good Year”

(D Minor, 1965, is his version per Wikipedia)

Loved that song although

Odd, since the lyrics were not “relevant” like Dylan’s

And those of other beloved folksingers

Maybe I was young but

Couldn’t stop the melancholy looping

About being in the autumn of his life

Didn’t even know the meaning of “dregs” back then

No Google, but we did have dictionaries

 

Anyway, here it is

Autumn Equinox

Day and Night Equal

But the harvesting of crops

Or dreams or just general

Digging in for the winter

Signals the beginning of the end

And now instead of being Seventeen

I’m trying to think of my life

As “vintage wine from fine old kegs”

But it’s not happening

I’ve worked at it being healthy,

Life more like Dandelion wine

Little bit of a buzz

Lots of bitterness from picking the wrong weeds

But once in a while

It tasted like spring

No matter the season

I’d love to tell younger people

To try to slow down and enjoy life

But I didn’t listen when young

I screamed about mistrusting anyone over thirty

(OMG, what a wild time!)

 

Equinoxes, Solstices

The sun will insist that we do a self-examination

No matter our age

But dang! Turned this into another aging poem

(My poems often write themselves)

Not surprising, though

Like the Solar Year

I’m aging

Question is,

Will I return

Eternally

As the year so predictably does?

Should have reblogged my annual Autumn Equinox one

It’s a bit more upbeat…

Well, here’s Frankie for your listening pleasure (or not):

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: September Harvest Moon, hpwallpaperpc.com

 

https://youtu.be/-bhNz6saaE8  Very Good Year, Frank Sinatra

 

TAMPA BAY (WE’RE TOUGH!) WHO NEEDS LUXURY?

 

*scroll down for  YouTube videos*

 

Not only is the City of New Orleans

Living and breathing on Amtrak

It also has a dining car

Unlike the Silver Star

My train next week

From Tampa to Philly

Maybe I can get Arlo

To write a song**

“Riding on the Silver Star to Philly…”

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE:  Akron Railroad Club, Amtrak Silver Star (Tampa to Philly & back again)

YOUTUBE VIDEO: City of New Orleans, Arlo Guthrie https://youtu.be/TvMS_ykiLiQ

**Uh, oh, never knew this:   Looks like the songwriter was actually Steve Goodman   https://youtu.be/2SfPyg-mGhU

ANOTHER ROCKSTAR POEM

 

Traded in the family bike

For a handful of magic beans

Told it would grow into

A source of unconditional love

Wrapped In other-species intelligence

And just by touching this incredible bloom

Happiness would be mine for infinite hours

So hurricane rains

Cooled the solar beams

While rainbows bathed it

With seven colorful properties

And it grew and it grew

Until the blossom peeped through

And it was all

And more

As promised…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: RockStar my Pit-Chi

SPIRITS AND SENIOR PROMS

 

(Humor lightens fearful actions)

 

Time to start communing

With the spirits

Family, friends

I’m not a Ouija person

It lied to me decades ago

Although

My friend really did

Meet and marry a Louis

But I never met Bruce

The New York lawyer

Did go to my senior prom

With a New Yorker

We fought

He wanted me to stop

Hanging at coffee houses

Screaming about war

And most of all

He hated my super-size

Peace earrings

Anyway

You know I’m getting old

Can’t seem to tell a succinct story

This is a poem

About Ouija boards

Spirits

Not proms

Pink gown

Hated pink

Mom got it on sale

Insisted I get my brunette hair

Teased and sprayed

Into an itchy pile

Atop my head

Radical chic

More fitting for my frizz

Not quite in yet

What’s with me

And the senior prom?

Okay, spirits

I’m old now

Wanna know

What’s doing in the

Dead Dimension

I’m getting cremated

Why would I want to

Waltz through paradise

In a five-foot frame

And have to keep my

Weight down

Using a heavenly elliptical

Into kingdom come?

So I’m willing to trade in my body

For something nicer

No one wants to try this

Handmade Ouija with me

All the way from the smallest continent

Overpaid

But don’t think I need money

Where I’m headed

Might as well spend it

So Lone Practitioner that I am

Will lightly place both hands

On the planchette

Dogs will be quiet

Because I’ve tryptophaned them out

With chicken jerky

(Ten dollars for 16 pieces!

WTH is wrong with Walmart?)

Yeah, ok

I’ll be damned

–I am, I know—

Draw a protective circle

Sit amid a bronze bowl of salt

Fake crystal bowl of water

Aromatic sandalwood in a resin holder

Elephant trunk to hold the incense

Supposed to be a good luck totem

Flickering white candle from Save-A-Lot

With a picture of a saint

The acrylic moves

Across hand etched wood

Spelling out ——-

Well, can’t tell you

But I asked respectfully

Asked for a kind soul to guide me

And halfway through

The answer

The essence flew

Not sure where

Relieved?

Somewhat

Will save it for another day…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

TERRESTRIAL ZODIAC

 

The UK has Glastonbury Tor

The US has Mount Trashmore

I have been a Flatlander

Here in the Florida peninsula

But my backyard converts

To whatever I wish

And like conjurers of old

I see a Terrestrial Zodiac

On a two-lot land

An as below, so above plan

True, copying the stellar heavens

Is almost impossible to do

Yet I have special corridors of power

To do my bidding

Scaled down to twelve sections

 

Aries, my own, begins the wheel

Lies in the North

Red and green cayennes

Like the finest quartz Bloodstone

Soaking up the Sun

Clockwise to Taurus

Partially shaded by

Banana tree fronds

A solid, fighting weed

Inflorescence fruit womb

Gemini up against the back fence

Pure shade to hide the glow of

Duality and intelligence

Live Oaks dripping

Spanish Moss

With Air plants of Red Tillansia

Cancer conserving the foresty ponds of

Aquaplants like duckweed and algae

While Leo, basking in sunlight

Shows off the finest, most colorful

Swamp flowers

Haven for bees and hummingbirds

Now the serious vegetables take root

As Virgo’s analytical, critical

Earthy nature dominates under the palm tree

Libra has a patch of harmony

Growing this and that

But intense Scorpio

Hides the roots

Of onions, garlic and ginger

Under the water-based ground

And vibrant, reckless Sagittarius

Generously shines on Greens of every hue

As ambitious Capricorn

Close to the back of the house

Self-importantly impels the

Growing of corn and sunflowers

Sowed by birds and squirrels

Circle almost complete

As Aquarius

Not caring a bit

Who thinks what

Grows whatever blows its way

And inching closer to the beginning

Sensitive Pisces

Lets loose with exotic tropical flowers

Often not based in daily reality

But there, nevertheless

 

And so, I may never go

To see and feel the breathlessly beautiful

Tors and mounds sublime

But it is always

As above, so below

And I believe

In the great mystery

That if even one person

Out of one hundred

Lives life magically

It is a life worth living…

800px-Torre_de_Glastonbury

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGES: Night Sky (Sky & Telescope), Glastonbury Tor (Wikipedia) and Mt. Trashmore, Virginia Beach (The Daily Runner)

Mt_Trashmore, Virginia Beach, image by The Daily Runner

WHEN STORMS WERE PART OF MY SOUL (3-13-93 FLORIDA NO-NAME STORM MEMOIR)

Thought I’d reblog my poem about the Florida No-Name Storm to compare to my poem written about Irma the other day. Aging may bring about wisdom but it’s certainly more boring…

poeturja

Driving across the county

Wind and rain our only drug

Laughing and shrieking

In a buffeted Ford Ranger

Red to match our twin

Aries vital force

Didn’t take much for me

To fall into his manic madness

Speeding through the No Name Storm

Meteorologists missing the hurricane criteria

At Dunedin Causeway

Sheriff’s deputies took one look

At the wind surfer on the roof

Laughed at us

Sent us back home

Greeted by the vision of my son

Holding up the chicken coop

Teetering on high wooden legs

Like Baba Jaga’s cottage

Fairy tale come true

Being forty was fun

Fifty became the crossover

Threshold to fear

Surrounded by storms this summer

I try not to quake

At the dissonance of thunder

But after fifty

Bodies become vulnerable

Hearts alter their rhythm

Minds dwell too much

On helplessness

Still, when the next storm strikes

I’ll shake my fist

Under the bleeding…

View original post 34 more words

“ROCK YOU LIKE A HURRICANE”

 

*scroll down for a YouTube video*

Make sense, make sense of scariness by structure

Journalize the fear

So I mind-say Dear Diary:

 

We know each other

On the strength of our poetry

Generously offering me

A place to stay, words of comfort

On this horrible day

Invitations arrive from

Friends and family

In overwhelming kindness

Yet, I cannot see bringing

Three dogs with me

 

Hours before Irma comes ashore

Heading for the motel

Driving down deserted Main Street

Might be the coming of

The Zombie Apocalypse

But it is merely a Category 5 Hurricane

 

Settled in sanctuary

Dogs dreaming on strange beds

Tapping my tablet

Social media taking away

The dread of loneliness

People care, even if we never met

So as I sweat

In a hotel without electricity

I think about the positives

Of Facebook, WordPress and Twitter

 

Dogs need trees

To lift their legs

So in the dark we walk

Incessant rain jabs the skin

Like plucking a splinter

With a pin

And as the wind becomes wilder

A cold, preternatural sensation

Lifts my curly hair above the nape

 

Twenty-four hours after

Prime bands from Irma

Begin to dissipate

A half rainbow appears

Been too many years

Since I believed that

Rainbows are a sign of happiness

And love to come, staying forever

Whether we go over or under it

But I ask for health and strength anyway

Always wise

To compromise

Never burn your bridges

Believe until the end

For we never know

 

Trepidationally driving home

Wondering if a Live Oak fell

Onto my tin trailer roof

Or if a long-term power outage

Renders my water well pump fruitless

My air conditioner within silent reach

Streets blocked by fallen trees

Flooded with muddied water

No humans seen in this continuing cataclysm

 

Will all end in anarchy

Without electricity?

But oh, as I bump along my dirt road

Pull into the marshy drive

Delicate banana trees broken at the spine

I see a beautiful sight

On! On! The outside light!

 

So grateful because I know

Many people lost their lives

Lost their homes

Maybe even lost their faith

In the battering wind and rain

This time, I received a gift

Thank you, thank you, thank you…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Hurricane Irma, Naples, FL (cnn.com)

 

*YouTube video: Scorpions, Rock You Like A Hurricane https://youtu.be/Ypq1FsSXdbE

 

 

ALL OK!

Hey, just got home and wanted to do a quick thank you.  Waited out the hurricane at a motel that lost power but had really thick walls.  We were quite lucky that Irma stayed on land; would have been worse if it tore along the Gulf.

What a beautiful sight to see all the Live Oaks standing (instead of crashing through  my roof).  They did shed a lot of branches but they’re ok. Best of all, the electricity was on! Priority was making coffee and turning on the air con  🙂

One small tree uprooted and took out the well pipe. No water at all, but I had filled the washer before leaving and there are about 10 gallons of drinking water from the R.O.U. (Reverse Osmosis Unit). Fortunately, my roomie is a hoarder, so he’s busily gluing and fixing a new pipe that will hopefully work.

Anyway, just want to thank you for your good thoughts, vibrations and prayers.  Certainly seemed to work for me. I know there are people not so lucky and even a few miles away, in Elfers, the Anclote River will crest today, going up 25 feet. Mandatory evacuation there, but many of us don’t really have anywhere to go. So good wishes to the Elfers residents.

 

You’ve all been busily writing and I promise to try and read everything, although I may not comment.

 

Sastimos! (good health, and of course, love and peace to us all)