Month: May 2020

Two Winged Entities Walked Into a Bar . . . , a poem by Clarissa Simmens

Thanks so much Jamie Dedes and The Poet By Day for publishing my dream poem Two Winged Entities… ❤

Jamie Dedes' THE POET BY DAY Webzine

Illustration courtesy of The British Museum via Unsplash

“…whenever a new, especially successful form of an infection emerges, it will spread rapidly around the globe.”  William H. McNeill, Plagues and Peoples

The current pandemic is a disquieting influence, but an influence it is. COVID-19 is inspiring dreams that are wishful, fearful, and often surreal. Such is Clarissa’s dream reported in this poem. It reflects the yearning, anxiety, and concern we all feel and, not unlike our experience of this pandemic, it contains elements of the surreal.  / J.D.


Two wings touching
Dark and light
Not very opposite
Never did they fight

The archangels Raphael and Lucifer

Walked into a bar together

Both ordered Southern Comfort Rocks

Needing respite from frantic Root Workers

Overworked simplers and herbalists

Calling upon Raphael for assistance

In the healing of an ailing global populace

While Lucifer himself was busy with

Contracts multiplying each…

View original post 432 more words

RESURRECTION: ROSE OF JERICHO (Selaginella lepidophylla)

Daily dream
End of pandemic
Developmental stages
Of humans
Dictate reactions:

Children will be children
Just a blip
Extended school vacations
Now over
Like a salty wave on sand
Continues obeying the
Moon’s command
And life
Returns to normal

Teens always immortal
Meeting and greeting
Strength pumping
No fear from a
Casual cough
A sneeze
It is once again
As hormones float on the breeze

Young adults
See cracks in the
Mirror of Immortality
But nothing serious
As careers and caresses
Determine the future
Of long life ahead

And now the mid-forty-somethings
Begin to sense
The beginnings of pain
Bones creaking in bed
Hearing whispered warnings
In their head
Post-pandemic protocol
Lingers longer in daily lives
But still
The watchword
It can’t happen to me
…can it?

And what of the elderly?
Dreaming day as well as night
Drifting under a
Black starless sky
Wedge of white moon
Gleaming on a trellis
Of ruby-red roses
The elderly see the thorns
The elderly feel the thorns
As we rock out to our
Beloved music
Dressed in jeans
Dressed in Goth black
Carefully avoiding mirrors
In bright rooms
The pandemic never left
We live in fear of death
Death by disease
Or whatever the reaper may please

So I lovingly place
A tumbleweed of
Rose of Jericho
In spiritual water
And as the seemingly-dead roots
Begin to turn green
I can say I have touched and seen

© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Before & After Rose of Jericho
(Heirloom Reviews)


some black boots

Allowed to do 5 stupid things during a pandemic.

#1 buy a concertina that I cannot play
#2 buy overpriced alcohol wipes and plastic masks
That never arrive
#3 toss out a dozen pairs of black boots and then
Buy another pair because there are
No black boots left to wear
#4 buy ramen to hoard as emergency food and instead
Eat them for breakfast and dinner every day because
The noodles in salty MSG are addictive
#5 write crazy poetry and worse, post it, because
Maybe it’s the end of the world anyway
But if it’s not, someone please,
Cut up my credit card…

© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGES: 20-button Anglo Concertina / boots / ramen / lipsticked mask



I just want to celebrate another day of livin’

I just want to celebrate another day of life—Rare Earth

While good feng shui-ing

My home

By tossing 20-year detritus

I find a pack of cigarettes

Haven’t smoked in decades

But I think


Something to swap

For a loaf of bread

In case

In case the apocalypse

Descends upon us

Cigarettes for a loaf of bread

To keep me alive

An extra day

Seriously, Clarissa…?

© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Collecting Currency

*Confessional poet/ reveals a moment/ of the darkness in her mind 😊


Can’t sleep

May in Florida

Seventy-two degrees

Seventy-two years

Maybe seventy-two coffee beans

Waiting to be ground

Walk outside

Stunned by humidity

Probably seventy-two too

There’s Ursa Minor

Fading into the

Early morning sky

Grayer than my hair

Cardinals eating

Wrens rapping

Woodpecker pecking

The metal TV aerial

Blue Jays aggressive

Those colorful Corvids

Cousins to Crows

And my two faithful dogs

Howl in joy

Blissful ignorance

No Covid-19

Or approaching old age

Or life-changing events

For them

And the Bear fades


Asleep until its stars

Wake up tonight

Fixed in the sky

So far one will die

Red giant

T Ursae Minoris

Already erupted in a thermal pulse

As one day our own star

Our lovely sun

Will also leave

The ceiling of my world…

© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Under Ursa Minor


Brambling buckets of blackberries
Hands torn by thorns
Moving from bushy density
To towering treeful forest
Lightning-struck structures
Of burned bark becoming
Horizontal forest barriers
Keeping some out
Some in
But either way we can win
Crackling clumps of leafy deciduosity
Self-composted bridges breaking
Bubbled muddy carpetry
Winding through lean, mean lanes
And I hear my name
Sung through dappled sunshine
Leading me mysteriously
As I walk erect and brave
Passing hidden graves of
Unknown feathered poets
Who serenaded their ribbon
Of life’s silken road
Composing high-strung music
Of unrecognized joy and tears…’

(c) 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Swamp Forest 1
Previously published by The Poet By Day 2020


Turn back!
Turn back!
Don’t turn your back on us
Heading for the unreality
We cannot see
We cannot hear
How some of us needed you
Listening to a gift from the aethers
Clutching the album
Identifying iconic faces
And no more misheard lyrics
As words from every song
Danced across the back
Of that magical Sgt. Pepper sleeve
Containing the holy grail of the 60s
Black words on red
And we wondered
WTH are “plasticine porters”?
Who needed drugs
With your reality becoming ours
Through music and glorious words
Sitar sounds “Within You Without You”
Endless chord of “A Day in the Life”
“A Little Help From My Friends”
(Why do I always see and hear Joe Cocker there?}
And when I finally turned 64
Numberless decades later
It became my birthday song
But you turned on us
I know, you had to do it
You all had to be free but
Just wish you’d been like the Stones
Together until the end
I’m sure they’ll be
So I stare at this alternative photo
As you reveal that it was all a dream
But no matter because
Your words were truth
So very long ago…

© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Alternative Sgt. Pepper cover

“Picture yourself on a train in a station
With plasticine porters with looking glass ties
Suddenly someone is there at the turnstile
The girl with the kaleidoscope eyes”–Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds

From Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album


Games, guitars

Clicking keyboards

As adrenaline heroically

Breaks through the heart’s

Beta blockers

Poetry struggling to be born

Amid piles of paper goods

And useless cans of


Canned chicken

Trying not to worry

About my well of semi-poisoned


Dependent on electric power

All that matters

Are the words

Typing ferociously

Occasionally glancing

Out the glass door

Into the swamp

For desperate eyes

Watching me

With a full refrigerator

Typing maniacally

With a keychain pepper sprayer

Protection against

Those eyes

And I think how

Pepper spray is Capsicum annuum

Chili peppers

An herbal hemostat to stop bleeding

And a savior hemostat

To stop the eyes

Watching me

In the semi-darkness

In a time of chaotic pandemics

But to me

In this teardrop of time

Only the words matter…

© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)



On this celebratory day

Arranging some of my favorite gifts

For Mother Earth

I see how life has slowed down

Instead of a burgeoning garden

I share a space

From across the fence

With the swamp

Weeds of Ipomoea Pandurata

Or Ipomoea Jalapa AKA

High John the Conqueror root

The lovely Morning Glory

Mother of many species

Circle of Himalayan pink salt

White candles for healing

Medicago sativa

Also called alfalfa sprouts

Growing in a jar

Soon to be between

A sliced pita with

Portobello and spicy mustard

Doused in Four Thieves Vinegar

All the symbols of Earth

In nourishing food

As the Ozone self-mends

While lock-down defeats pollution

Drenching the reluctant flower seeds

With Marie Laveau water

Florida Water

And Notre Dame water

I’m a Science person

But today, it can’t hurt

To eclectically call upon

Mystical knowledge also

Like paraphrasing Hoodoo Psalms for healing

And most of all

In this time of Corona virus

Crowning the threat to Earth

Sprinkling powder of

Sangre de Drago

For protection

And because it is never enough

I reach back

Through old family grimoires

To find Ena Drab Farmeko

The 9-herb charm

Used for venom

In my mind

Virus venom

The snake that has silently

Spoiled the seed of global population

And the Mugwort

Reminiscent of Bubonic Plague

Hangs from the entryways

Burns in the bowls

Of my living altar

Of freshly-gathered rain water

Where chants are sung

For the safety and health

Of a battered but determined children

Whose Mother presents counter-gifts

To make us strong


© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Living Altar