Month: July 2018

FOR MY DARLING DESCENDANTS

Star book and amulet
In this plastic box
For those nights
We need to dream
Our ancestors gazed above
Saw many of
The same stars we see
Did they dream, too
Most importantly, who
Was able to time travel
Take quantum leaps
Through fabled worm holes
Are we warned about black holes
Swallowing us whole
Like early explorers
Were warned about
Falling off the flat Earth
A time-honored way
To control
By those inside the
Moneyed walls
Against us the have-nots
But thinkers, all
Yes we are
So who really has the best
That life can offer
If you are reading this
A charm, a book, a song of freedom
Is yours
My darling descendants
Be bold
Let your mind search the aethers
Through dark and cold
Following the dim light
Of possibilities…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: AMULET, BOOK & BARITONE UKULELE

Advertisements

PEACE RECIPE (another goulash poem)

*scroll down for a YouTube video*

 

Drugs and sex and rock and roll
Doesn’t have to be so radical
Music, well, I like it all
Rock, Folk, World, Jazz
Drugs, well, I used to smoke
Still miss it after many decades
But chocolate is a drug
So is caffeine
Sex, well, I like it
But even a hug
Or a kiss
Or an affectionate word is nice

So, share even one vice
With a stranger
And you fast forward
Like a time-lapse video
To the point where you’ve
Known each other for years
You’ve broken through
An icy membrane
A wall of ancient sun-baked stones
Breeching a stranger’s
Cellular level
Enabling a mutual recognition

Music, sex, alcohol
Doesn’t have to be so radical
Share an herbal cigarette
Toast each other with
Home-brewed mugs of near-beer
Look into someone’s eyes,
While Starbucking, with love
But most of all
Listen to the rhythm of music
It’s how we connect
We, almost seven billion souls
Drugs and sex and rock and roll
Perhaps the elusive secret of
World Peace…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

“Sex & Drugs & Rock’n’Roll” Ian Drury and the Blockheads

(original quote unattributed from a 1969 Life Magazine article)

brown cover 3

NIGHT SKY MEMOIR

Living in Philly
My night sky
Was the ceiling of
The Fels Planetarium
In the Benjamin Franklin Institute
Slouched in the gray theater seats
Neck comfortably straight
While head tipped upward
I’d get chills when the room darkened
And we school kids would stop talking
And the stars would begin to greet us
Like actors slowly wondering
If the audience would adore them
And when we’d applaud
Because the show was FINALLY beginning
The stars, planets, meteors, comets, moons
And all those performers
Playing their celestial roles
Hidden to city children
Living in cement jungles
With streetlights every 500 feet
All those performers
Would put their hearts into
Brightening the night sky
(although still sunny outside)
And my heart would race
As I drifted in space
Not listening to the lecturer
Because no one could top the stories
I told myself
About the constellations
Talking to me via vibrations
For all those years
I never saw the sky
Time tempestuously passed
And I found myself sitting
With my very young sons
Also stretched and bruised
On the concrete of childhood
Their excitement matched mine
As the room darkened
And then I knew
There must be very few
In this world
Who didn’t long to stride across
The canvas of our universe…

soprano w the stars 1 life wip

 

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Fels Planetarium, Ben Franklin Institute (Rittenhouse Astronomical Society) and My Ukulele and Stars

CONVERSATION WITH MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

Instruments want to be played
Whoever finds us worthy enough
To pluck our strings
Bang our heads
Push our keys
Will have love and loyalty
Forever
Don’t care what you do
To make others hear our voice
We’ll always reward you
With a feeling of peace
A comfort for all the
Terrible events in each life
Because everything is better
For all who play or sing
No matter your stage
A lovely synergy
Of attention and melody
After all, our music translates emotions
From your soul
As an invisible potion
To a lonely world…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Some Happy Instruments

REPETITION OF HOPE

Is there a rule about the amount of
Healing words sent to the aethers
Are they to be measured by a spoon
Like a prescription:
Take three times a day
Or can we utter them
Like a prayer
Or a favorite song
That just won’t leave the mind
No, no rule
Once is never enough
When sending good thoughts
A sparkling beauty of a jewel
To heal our friends and family…

(c) Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Into the Aethers

COFFEEHOUSE ON NEW YORK AV

(ANOTHER PRE-CASINO, ATLANTIC CITY MEMOIR)

Troubadour in dark room
Singing and strumming
“Go away from my window…”
Thinks he can tell me
What I need
Coffee grinding ten steps away
Strings strangling a heart
Fibrillating to future rejections
“It ain’t me, babe” soaring through
The smoky room
Zinging in, trying to make me cry
With his lying eyes
So why’d he pursue me
Take me to his room and
Almost ruin me
Thinks he can croon
By the light of the
Not-yet-landed-upon-Moon
Me nervously twirling my spoon
Roiling the brew
To read a few escaped coffee grounds
What is my future
Another tall, dark stranger
I’ll love and lose?
Caffeine finally affects
The saddened brain
Venomously I think
He’s not even a quarter good as Dylan
Can’t help wondering, though
When I’ll be an adult
So to all you young girls,
Yeah, not really women
We’re fragile little girls
When it comes to secret chambers
Of the heart
Here to tell you
Lived despite the pain
But can’t say
I ever used the label
“Adult”
Because
For the very sensitive
Adulthood is merely in the
Eyes of children
And the memory comes through
When I’ve sipped a few
Double-shot espressos…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: kava3

FLYING FINGERS IN A STORM

DEDICATED TO DENISE FLETCHER & JAMES CORBESIA

 

Resonator road
Tin shack swamped
Sinking beneath
Vines and moss
Dueling guitars
Electronic sizzling
Thrift store treasure
Shoulda stayed there
But it competes against
Lightning spears
Searching the ground
In a wet backyard
Here’s the star
My acoustic tenor guitar
Smug and safe
No connections with
The storm
Although thunder roars louder
Than metal strings
But electric unplugs
Acoustic wins the
Aging game
With a hot patch
On osteo knobs
And now the music
Under the aegis of
Modern medical heat
Allows delicate fingers and tendons
To play and sing
For at least an hour
Lost in the bower
Of the space time forgot…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Dueling guitars

 

 

ME FOR YOU

Who says we’re the “Me” generation?
“Free” definitely
But remember all we did
For the Cosmos?
Some went to war
Some protested same
Learning the game
Of politics
Trying to save
Earth and clean up
Acid Rain
Not easy

Indulgence?
Yes, we were teens
Milestone to adulthood
Looming like a shadowy
Twist of steam
Competing with our
Psychedelic auras
So we indulged
But remember, we didn’t know
That drugs, cigarettes
And even sunshine
Were traps of death

Indulgence?
Oh, the music
Need I say more?
the melody of
Make love not war
Thrumming in our heads
Never to be forgotten
Decades after the first riffs
Of incomparable songs
Echoed along the
Space-time continuum

Me
And you
My lovely cohorts
(No matter our politics)
We made a splendid skydive
Into time
Ticking to the
Rhythm of
Rampaging, riotous
Life
All for the benefit of
You, the future generations…

(c) 2018 clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: MUSHROOM & PEACE UKULELE

A BRIEF HISTORY

Tripartite divisions
Time wounds all healing
Historic time unchanged
Lives still worth stealing

First tree struck by lightning
Branch fell on singed earth
Potential for weapons
Anger now gave birth

Wooden equalizer
Swing it through the air
Smash the enemy’s head
In war, all is fair

Stones are so much stronger
But they still can break
Blazing fires shape bronze
Blood lust now to slake

Iron changes the game
Scissors-paper-rock
Right through the techno age
Add lizards and Spock*

Childish games teach us well
So why work for peace
The world is so crowded
War aids that decrease

Songs of peace resounding
Through harsh centuries
Voices must continue
Profound harmonies

*The Big Bang Theory quantum addition to old game

(C) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: My peace ukulele

 

 

CHROMA COURSE

My one hundred year plan
First quarter life in
Gray, cement city
Hot music spots
Gourmet eating from trendy pots
Life and noise
Adrenaline high
Suddenly an end

Second quarter life in
Green, overgrown swamp
Heat and dangling moss
Trees of invisible webs
Clinging to my face
Slowly feeling out of place
As I disconnect from people
And the working rat race

Third quarter life in
Brown, desert hills
Forest petrifying me
As I move among fossils
Dying to be free
Sun unbelievably
Morphing all into arid shells
Not much here, not even the sea

Fourth quarter life in
Voided, swirling, clouds
Darkness, vacuumed space
Leaving without a trace
Who can guess
Heaven, hell
Or maybe nothing
One big coalesce?

 

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Chroma Intensity