Month: April 2018

COME AND GO LITERARY

My poem was accepted by Come and Go Literary!  Here is the poem but please see the above links.  Nick Campanella (comeandgoliterary.com) welcomes your submissions.

 

Latin Lesson (Memoir)

 

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CHAMBER

In the room of life
We come and go
Sometimes speaking
Of Michelangelo *
Enter the door
Screaming in distress
No! No! We protest
For many of us
The room is warm and safe
We learn to navigate
Evading the sharks
Growing older with sparks
Of knowledge, love
And often power
But before too long
Trying not to whimper
Turning the denial into a song
We murmur
No… No…
I do not want to go
But we walk through the door
Formerly invisible
No-nonsense beckoning
To accept the reckoning
Of our so very short stay
In the room of life…

*see T.S. Eliot’s Prufrock and Dylan’s Watchtower

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: TIME, LIFE & DEATH

MAGICAL SUSTAIN

*scroll down for a YouTube video*

Always thought I resonated
To A Minor
Strange experience
Playing my new acoustic
Ibanez tenor guitar
Left fingers forming chords
Right hand strumming strings
Playing a favorite song
Wrote it simplistically
Ending with G chord
As my right breast rests
On the curve of the guitar
And I finish with
A hard strum G chord
(Hope you’re not bored)
But wow!
What a sound!
Okay, it wasn’t the Beatles’
A Day in the Life
But oh, the G
Giving me a high
Like the smokiest
Russian Caravan Tea
A sustained note
As I silently
Breathlessly
Counted 15 seconds and still
It sustained through
My heart
My breasts
My guitar
What a gift to me
I’m so not a musician
But the universe’s melody
Enfolding in a velvet sea
A deep blue of sky
White of stars
Flashes of red like Mars
And then the Earth
Grounded it
And I
Now addicted
Strum the chord again
(And again)

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: my new Ibanez acoustic tenor guitar

*YouTube video: https://youtu.be/usNsCeOV4GM
Beatles Day in the Life (4:21 to hear their chord)

“THE UNCERTAIN GLORY OF AN APRIL DAY…”

SHAKESPEARE’S BIRTHDAY APPROXIMATELY APRIL 23, 1564

In cold country I sadly plucked the lute
Shining in England, you the rising son {sun}
Seeking me in verse, yet remaining mute
Why don’t you know we are meant to be one

Oh, dear Will, you were fated to be mine
Although centuries separate us now
Twin souls formed by a heavenly design
Calling your name, but me you disavow

Yet I’ve glimpsed your soul somewhere in my space
Perhaps in a yellow striped bumble bee
And though you changed I recognize your face
But stung by your insensitivity

Wading through tears, my grief so prodigious
We’ve lost so much, love now sacrilegious

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

(Title from Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona)

IMAGES not properly attributed from Google Images.

The cartoon is from Pop Sonnets Blog 416 Collins Language

 

william-shakespear_2122089b sm px

 

AND HERE IS MY ANNUAL BIRTHDAY SONNET CREATED FROM THE FIRST LINES OF SHAKESPEARE’S 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

MUSICAL METEMPSYCHOSIS

I like to think
That Jimi-Janis-Jim
All J’s
All 27
And, well, let’s add John
Older, but still a J
And then Kurt
27, but one letter over
And, yeah, Amy also 27
I like to think
They all transmigrated
And don’t remember
But because their music is
Timeless
Classical
It would play
On the radio everyday
Or come up first on an internet search
As THE song of the singer
And one day they’d stop
Then shrug and think
Deja Vu
(I know, a misused word)
But when they sit still and listen
A feeling of happiness
Of love
For the music and words
Of maybe
Purple Haze
Kozmic Blues
Riders on the Storm
Imagine
Smells Like Teen Spirit
Back to Black
And although they may not be
Singers, musicians, songwriters
This time
They are in the right place
To hear and see
Results of their legacy
So all you people
Born after their deaths
Have a one in a–
Well, I was never good at Math
But a one in a something chance
Of housing a musical soul
Maybe we would all appreciate life
If we thought of who we may have been
Of who we will be
Sometimes so hard
To love ourselves the proper way
I define the proper way
As loving oneself
And by extension
Others
Without the intention of doing harm
Love fully
Love non-violently
Because
All we really do need is love…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Creative Commons

ALLMAN BROTHERS OBVERSE

*scroll down for a YouTube video*

Darkness dangerous for women
For we who want to keep our souls
Out there alone
Nothing but our bodies
To pay for a room
And a few gallons of gas
To the next town
How to stay pure?
Starving always worked
As a money-saver for women

No, we’re no
Sexy Midnight Rider
No dangerous outlaw persona
A guise for men only

Stay safe, women
For us, our song is
Not gonna let them catch
The Evening Hider
Stay safe and hide
When the sun begins to glide
Below the perspective point
Of the far horizon

Always the same
Whether Maiden, Mother or Crone
Aging the day we’re born
Heading where?
Heaven, hell, oblivion?
Unknown to those
Who had faith shoved down the throat
Be a good girl and
You will be loved

Might as well be walking
Down a dark midnight alley
With no lantern
Waving bouquets of dollars
Teetering on designer knock-off stilettos
Skin hid in a bikini

Stay safe, women
Stay safe, all you women out there
Don’t walk the streets at night
Be true to your mind and body
And try to remember
Though it may not seem so now
And you’ll not believe how
There is always
SOMEONE
Someone who loves you, somewhere
Always…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Evening Hider

*YouTube video Allman Brothers Band, Midnight Rider

 

ABSTRACT ARABESQUE

(song in progress)

Somewhere tapestried
Into time and space
Beat the hearts
Of an alternative place
Miniscule tweaking
As I envision the only night
We would be speaking
Because there, I am merely
A bit younger
Prettier
Thinner
Personable
We, together, are almost
Uncontrollable
Feeding each other
Mulberries
Branches triumphantly reaching
Into an alternative sky
Only a few changes and
My life would be as planned
Happy, full, secure
With love evermore
Instead, I gaze through
An intertwined tapestry
In this universe
Living the converse
No life in an ivory tower
Merely gutted
Like the sunflower
Under the unreachable mulberry tree…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Gutted sunflower and mulberries

(working on chords for baritone ukulele and will repost)

gutted sunflower sm px

MOON LUNACY

Alone in my bed of memory foam
Sole indentation
Barely registering
Tossing and turning
Sweating in unremembered dreams
Furrowing small hills and valleys
One day you are there
Imprinting your length and width
Tossing and turning
Altering the structure
Of my memory foam
Changing my dreams
Calming the foamy sea
Strengthening
Improving
Memory
Sharing lust and love
Laughter and moon lunacy
Pure luck for me
Meeting and repeating
A concavity of love…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Full Moon Rising by Heather Awen, author
Steel Bars, Sacred Waters: Celtic Paganism for Prisoners.

THANK YOU MAGGIE KUHN

“Stand before the people you fear and speak your mind – even if your voice shakes” –Maggie Kuhn, Founder of The Gray Panthers

At age 34
I sat in the Women’s Congress audience
Enthralled by this old lady
And everything she said
Seemed meant for me
An older student
At the university
I couldn’t even speak from my desk
Without shaking
So although her words performed no magic
At the time
I conjured them up
When I really needed them
Stars and sparkles wreathing my face
Sneezing a bit from the moon dust
And for the next few years
Speaking in auditoriums for my career
No trembling, shaking, or fear
Just Maggie Kuhn’s words
Transforming me two decades later
Now I am old enough
To be a Gray Panther
(Although I was completely gray
By age thirty-seven)
And when once I wanted to be
Abby Hoffman, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez
I now want to age gracefully
Be grateful for aging
Be like Maggie Kuhn
It is not her birthday
Or death day
I just want to say
Thank you, Ms. Kuhn
I hope I can live up to your words
Now that I am on the path you blazed…

“Old age is not a disease – it is strength and survivorship, triumph over all kinds of vicissitudes and disappointments, trials and illnesses.” Maggie Kuhn, Founder of the Gray Panthers

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

CRYSTAL PAEAN

*scroll down for a YouTube video*

In 1761
A famous founding father
Gave a gift to the world
Delicate beauty of sound
Invented while he watched
Children playing water-filled
Crystal bowls
Franklin and a glassblower
Created the Glass Armonica
Traveling around Europe
Revealing its secrets for free
No patent, says he
Inventions are made to be shared
Discovering that the instrument
Is banned in a few towns
Some so sure
High-pitched, ethereal notes
Must be ghost-evoked or they
Magically appeared
From the swami of souls
Playing the glass-like bowls
In his underground kingdom
To me, hearing this
Crystalline enchantment
A heavenly enhancement
Harmony emanates from my heart
Music soothing composed by
Mozart, Beethoven and others
So I feel sure that the USA’s
First scientist
Benjamin Franklin
Not only lived in the
Elemental kingdoms of
Earth, Water and Air
But also the Fire of Spirit
Sending a prayer of thanks
Through our emotional savior
Music…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Glass Armonica, Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, PA

*YouTube video https://youtu.be/eQemvyyJ–g
Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy William Zeitler