Month: March 2018

THINGS THAT AREN’T THERE

WORK/SONG IN PROGRESS (NEEDS LOTS OF WORK)

(ANOTHER AUTISM POEM/FOLKSONG)

note to me: chorus ?

Things that aren’t there
Life often unfair
Reverse imagination
An unaware incantation
Impossible at times to overcome
For some of us on the Spectrum

note to me: do I want to rhyme the verses traditionally or chaotically?

Can’t make myself
Get on that train again
Happened months ago
Can’t let it go

Thought I saw a small trash can
Next to coffee shelf
Tossed my uneaten sandwich
Porter flipped out, upset my mental health

Can’t make myself
Get on another plane
Body search in my long dress
Made me feel like an embarrassed mess

Can’t go around huge crowds no more
Walked into an ad board not on a door
How’d it get there, I asked, rubbing my head
Knew I should just stay in bed

Can’t cross streets, haven’t learned
To watch for cars when talking
Friend saved me when we were young
No one there now when I’m walking

chorus

Things that aren’t there
Life often unfair
Reverse imagination
Is an invisible conjuration
Impossible at times to overcome
For some of us on the Spectrum

Autistic brains can perform magic
An unaware incantation
I’ve taught myself to think first
And not lose my concentration

There’s a secret door to the attic
Dusty, yet brimming with bling
Often difficult to let it shine
But I know the effort is mine

What came first, I wonder
The Princess or the Pea
Mounds of moldy mattresses
Brain on Silly Putty

The pea’s an irritation
Like pearls to the oyster
Sensitivity crazes me
Just lock me in a cloister

I guess I want you all to know
Autism comes in many colors
I’ve shared mine with you today
It’s sometimes painful but mostly okay

chorus

Things that aren’t there
Life often unfair
Reverse imagination
Is an invisible conjuration
Impossible at times to overcome
For some of us on the Spectrum

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: CS & fallen Florida Black Vulture perch

 

 

 

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ENDLESS NIGHT

I hear stray thoughts
Invisible air waves
Shred discordant music
Striking me like steel confetti
A thrumming threatens engulfment
While hypnagogic images
Rapidly animated, changing
Invade my bed of spikes
I feel cruel hands
Encircling my skull
Bone on bone
Spitefully violating
My heavy-lidded eyes
While nausea speaks to me
Croakingly
How I crave darkness and quiet
Instead, there is
Pain
Another migraine…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: swamp rope

SPOONS!

*scroll down for a YouTube video*

Sun’s morning stretch Over the Atlantic Ocean
Sinking gratefully into the Gulf of Mexico
Silken sheets of green embracing
Seaweed waving to coming darkness

Spoons enter my life day and night
Stirring hot espresso
Scooping raisins onto a plate
Scent of cinnamon oats seductive

Slipping away to play through the day
Seductive invitation to join a jug band
Spoons of dessert size clicking on my hand
Singing Bluegrass songs of summers to come

Simple life of peace perfect
Superman Nietzsche’s Amor Fati
So simple: Love your fate
Starting to understand “acceptance”

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: My spoons!

https://youtu.be/qFC2pJctBUo Spoon Lady YouTube video

 

CURSE OF THE HANGED MAN

So many explanations about
The Hanged Man of the Tarot
Most depicted with left leg
Twisted into a cross
Cross under a cross
The home of martyred gods
Of pecked-out-eye gods
Absorbing the secret of life
An Odin, a Jesus, and
Some might say
A John Lennon
Wood of the cross
Wood of the tree
Tree of Life
Tree of Knowledge
Root of the Curse
Visited on me
Passed down through family
Mark of the maternal line
Great Gran, Gran, Mom
Me, my son
Born misshapen left leg
The Curse, Gran said
Good and bad
The healer’s mark
Telling us to do no harm
But it just accompanies
The dreaded curse
No one listens
No one cares
No one loves
How to heal
Those who steal
Our reputation
Our confused social damnation
Leg now unswerving in youth
Remaining resolutely strong in maturity
Helping us to forget
Our notoriety
Seen only by others
Never ourselves
What did we do?
Origin remains a mystery
Perhaps fog and rain
Disoriented the brain
Some well-meaning healing
Backfired
Triggering hateful words
Directed to the drabarni
And her progeny
Throughout time?
Curses return, says Gran
We must never curse anyone
But can we end its power, I ask
Gran turns away
Bathed by the sun
Accept your life, every day
Managing to age
Left leg begins to distort
As fragile bones contort
And once again
We are back on the tree
Upside down
Wondering
What did I learn
And why me…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Some Hanged Man cards

KORAKO (CROW)

(This blogetry was in a book I wrote in 2014. Adding it to WP although I was so sure it once was posted.  Not my best, just an emotional rant  😦  but I like to keep an online “diary” of my work.)

 

We Romani in both ancestral tribes
Kalderash and Sinti
Believe Korako (crow)
Is exceptionally wise and intelligent
Living 30 years
Bringing us signs that we must obey:
One korako is sorrow
Two korakos are joy
Korako in the road is a happy journey
Korako dead in the the road, turn around!

I cheered for the Raven in Poe’s poem
My life improved when a friend sent me
a 10-inch raven’s feather
Fluttering around New Mexican rocks
I love the swaggering tricksters
Their intense eye contact
The caw-caw-caw on the wind

What I did not know
(Because, unlike my Gran
Did not live on the road
Lived in the concrete forest
Missed a lot in my cultural education)
So what I did not know
Is the true meaning of the flock word
A “murder” of crows

Since age three, my first memory
Has been of birds
My aging pleasure is to sit in the yard
Sipping burning black coffee
While cardinals and finches
Woodpeckers and jays
Twitter away at the feeder
Sometimes korako will come
When the smaller birds are sated
And clean out the remaining seeds

A few weeks ago
I saw a crow
Sitting on the swamp’s dead oak
Korako caw-caw-cawed and four more
Joined the dark herald

Such a nervous clatter
As red and brown cardinals
Fluttered around, attacking them
When the sixth korako appeared
Dive bombing the mated couples
The other five flew into
The surrounding trees
Routing the rowdy teens
And finding the fledglings
No! Baby birds in merciless beaks!

Shocked. Electrified. Stunned.
A massacre with no warning
Stormtroopers raiding the homes
Ridding the homes of a new generation
We all know that birdsong
Is not always a carefree tune
But why now?
Summer is a time of abundance

Next day used the metal trash can lid
And a large branch
Percussion to drive away the returning five korakos
Persecution in the backyard not welcome
Decimation of propagation!

The dogs barked, korakos took heed and flew
To the next set of trees on another street
I thought of those little birds with guilt
But glad! Glad my birds were spared!

How do I welcome korako into my life now?
Is there a way to overlook the violence?
The Survival of the Fittest truism?
The meek not inheriting the earth?
The might makes right credo?
How can I ever look at korako with fondness again?

Perhaps it would be similar to those people,
Those soul-murderers, self-esteem scythers
Whom I have sometimes let back into my life
Remaining alert via an underlying lack of trust
Korako…Mardari…Murderer…

(c) 2014 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
Poetry of Memory: Six Decades from the Space-Time Continuum
IMAGE: Crow Amulet

“SPIRITS ARE USING ME…”

Southern Cross–Crux–once again visible in my Florida backyard!  Wanted to write a new poem but my old one says it best:

 

(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
Crux!
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
Redemption
Religion
Although a brief vision
Of the tarot’s Hanged Man
Sacrifice
Flashes through my exploding mind
Crux!
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
https://youtu.be/iuLBhxZUkmU

NEW POETRY BOOK

The paperback edition of my newest book Xeriscaping Poetry (A Wild Mellowing) is now available on Amazon for $6 with B&W photos. The Kindle edition is $1.99 and the photos are in color. Although I edited and redid the photos, some of them are not centered and I made the decision to leave them as is since there is some inconsistency with the Kindle Beta Program for paperback. I do want to thank Karen Bruton for her invaluable help with my book cover. I will NEVER understand how to change the DPI despite her meticulous instructions! Here is the link:

 

 

SPRING FORWARD, STEP BACK

Daylight Savings time
Urges a spring forward
Optimists insist we grow
But I’ve learned to step back
Blocking my shadow
Momentarily confused
But then she gets it
And follows through
We do tend to strive
Upwardly mobile
So when I made my move
From ukulele to baritone
Planning on a guitar solo
Within a year
Found myself in a dark nook
Described in the Peter Principle book
Of not moving
Instrument too big
Chord complexity obvious
So from GCEA strings
Practiced happily hours a day
Plucked DGBE ones
Barely fifteen minutes
Absolutely no fun
I tried
I did try
Didn’t cry
Just took the advice of a friend
When you’re stuck,
Step back
As long as there’s no gaping pit
Behind you
Like the mnemonics of time
Spring forward or
Fall back
No shame
Make it a game
And I did
And I played
On this Spring Equinox Day
Although it tried to discourage me
Got through the afternoon
With a Tornado Watch
It’s finally removed
As if the Spring wind approved
Of my decision to fight its force
So glad…

(nothing to do with Spring, but happy Spring Equinox!)
(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: UKULELE SUNFLOWERS

PEACE POPPET

Poppets to benefit
One’s personal selfishness
Make me rich
Make me beautiful
Or harmful wishes
Make him hurt
Make her sad
So sad are our desires
But what if
The old way
Of ensuring
Sympathetic magic
Could be used to benefit
All life
A poppet to bring tolerance
Good health
World smiles
Marrying magic with reality
How would I make her
Globe for a head
Heart for a torso
Draped in peace signs
Drenched in sunlight
Snuggled in green grass
And the rain would pour
Opening a baptismal door
Grass would entwine
The hidden shrine
Dedicated to healing the Earth
Making life so honorable
In its rebirth
Like cures like, I say
While secretly, lovingly
Placing the poppet
In an overgrown swamp
Chanting to our beautiful planet
Heal…heal…heal…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Peace Poppet 3

LATIN LESSON (MEMOIR)

*scroll down for a YouTube video*

“Gallia est omnis divisa in partes quattuor”
Only Latin offered at the junior high school
I’d wanted to learn French or even Russian
But here we were, with a dead language
Can’t remember what the book looked like
Hardback, small, all in Latin
But the first lesson was
“All of Gaul is divided into four parts”
And the words seized me
Black letters on white background seduced me
I needed to know
What was its meaning
As I marched with the Centurions
Proudly carrying a flag
Emblazoned with huge letters
SPQR
“Senate and People of Rome”
Words opening a new world
Togas and bloody gladiators
Pounding their chests
“We Who Are About to Die Salute You”
Pre-AC/DC days who sang
To my delight
“For those about to rock we salute you”
And now, so many decades later
When I can’t remember
Where I put something
Or what I was saying
Five minutes ago
I still see Mrs. Layton
Who brought life to the dead words
I still feel that book in my hands
I still remember sitting in my bedroom
Memorizing Latin vocabulary
I still remember the magical days
Of learning and
Being part of the Legion
That would conquer the world
A mere year or two
Before I’d be carrying signs
With a new–English language–flag
Reminding us all that
War is not healthy for children or
Other living things…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Wikipedia Commons

https://youtu.be/8fPf6L0XNvM AC/DC YouTube video