Month: December 2020


I think the starfruit was a little fermented. Here’s the result 😀

A little angel came and played

At first I felt very afraid

She shredded that medieval lute

Requested a dish of golden starfruit


Who are you? asked I timidly

Your great-great-plus 10 grandmammy

Came to give you my most wonderful love

‘Cause it’s time to leave the great above


I do strum my beloved ukulele

Not very well as you will see

I’ll pass along the power, she sighed

Like my great ancestor did when I died


She handed me a wrinkly stone

A blue geode from a place unknown

She whispered words of foreign root

I did make out the word “recruit”


Wait! Wait! Medieval granny, cried I

Does this mean I am about to die?

Not yet, sweet child of my blood

But beware the next decade’s flashing flood


Life is one big conspiracy

I suspect your lack of sincerity

I’ll pass on being the best ukulele-ist

Perhaps you’ll find another descendant on your family list


I fear that is not possible

Sorry to be so shockable

But you are the next in line

And therefore the next divine


I’ve always favored freedom

And the afterlife sounds humdrum

Do you really want a rebel

Gladly raising heavenly hell?


Sorry, you have no choice

Nor do I have a voice

In this decision of our family

I’m on my newest journey


Call it reincarnation or rebirth

I’m heading back to Earth

To start a new life story

That will perhaps bring me glory


And if I refuse this travesty

That I suspect is someone’s fantasy

What do you think will occur

If I become a saboteur


You’re as strong willed as I was

And that’s the probable cause

Of me becoming a lutist

Along with an oboist and flutist


We were all kept so calm

Strumming for centuries with balm

But that is heaven’s tempo

Teaching us to stretch and grow


And so I say to you

Take this geode of sparkly blue

Listen to its message

An unrelenting future presage


I suddenly heard the flapping of wings

And unbelievable harmony from strings

It was me, strumming the ukulele

No longer a wannabe


And I thought, well life could be good

Playing music for the ill in my neighborhood

And I walked outside in the warmth

And tell you proudly, thenceforth


I shared my new-found gift with peace begun

And my music weaved together the moon and sun…


© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Starfruit and Geode with Angelic Lutist


HAPPY NEW YEAR! Didn’t plant anything this year but just want to show you how much this grew since planted in 2018 (picture of that below)

Seventy five degrees
Perfect temp to plant trees
Shoveled the sandy soil
Back ached a bit from the toil
Added an earthy mix
And water for a quick fix
Tuned the baritone
Strummed a song called “Moonstone”
Water ruled by the Moon
Quick growth would be a boon
Soon I’ll have a Norfolk Pine
I’ll baptize it with faux wine
My drink of choice for New Year’s Eve
While a tarot story I weave
Baxtalo Nevo Bersh we say
Luck and happiness on New Year’s Day
(and the coming year, of course!)

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)


Time stands still

Copernicus and his solar centric vision

Accompanied by an alchemical belief

That certain chemicals could stop people

Growing old or stop time completely

A form of suspended animation

By the mere murmur of an incantation

Frozen rooms, aging chambers

Or, as the ancient Greeks called it,

Tombs that eat time

I see some people from my life

They don’t see me

But they move about the chamber





And I so want to join them

But suddenly one

Who looks like my Gran

Stares into my eyes

I not only feel surprise

But a preternatural fear

And I break eye contact

Back out of the room

And know we can never go home,

As we knew it,


Because time may stand still

But we, the alive, do not…

© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Christmas ornament


(or another obsessive poem about the writing process and The Band)




Some music reviewer called

The Band’s The Weight

(Take A Load Off Fanny)


And that’s what I strive for

In my writing

How I’d love for someone to say

My writing is



(def: difficult to interpret or understand; mysterious)


(I mean, even the chorus is a puzzle

Do they mean

Take a load OFF FANNY


Take a load OFF ANNIE

I’ve seen the lyrics

On those lyrical internet sites

Showing it both ways!!!)


Probably need

A magic wand

To transform my blogetry

Into something mysterious


Classic-Rock Eternal


A fiction writer doesn’t worry

About being enigmatic

It’s all about the plot

The logical solving of

A murder or a


But poets


We need metaphors

We need to create words

Enshrouded in a code

So unsolvable

Even Alan Turing

Would throw up his hands

In defeat


So okay

Here’s my first line

And for those who

Are unfamiliar

With The Band’s song

They start with:

“I pulled into Nazareth

Was feeling ‘bout half past dead…”

(what an amazing line!)

And we ask

We who obsess over

Words and meanings

So do they mean this is

A religious song

Like Jesus of Nazareth

Or do they mean

Nazareth, Pennsylvania

Home of Martin Guitars


And in the spirit of true symbolism

We poets usually don’t give a rat’s bottom

About why he’s half past dead

We care about the one word

That hooks us

In this case, Nazareth


How can I match that, let alone top it?


Where’s the place I love the most?

The most spiritual place for me?

The Petrified Forest

But imagine singing

“Pulled into the Petrified Forest”

And talk about confusing

Petrified could mean scared to death

Or wood turned to crystal over the millennia


So let’s not use “pulled” but hiked

Hiked into the forest

Drenched with geodes and hope…

Yeah, ok, it doesn’t do it

No competition there

And the many strange characters

Enhance the mystification

Of the song

The Band sings about


When I went to the Forest

I was alone

Stayed alone

And like Garbo

Wanted to be alone

What kind of song will that make?

(Yeah, I Am A Rock:  Hiding in my Room…)


So okay

Will get back to you

Dear Readers

Off to write the enigmatic song

Of the century

NOT (I’m sure)

But will try

All advice welcome

And I encourage all you poets

Who don’t admit that you are

But you are, I can tell

I encourage you to

Take yourself seriously

Because one day

One of you

Will find the words

To share with the world

Make us lesser ones happy

Make us lesser ones write poetry

About being better writers

While spreading the love of

Words and music

To heal the world…


Thanks for reading!  😊


© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE:  The Band


YouTube video The Band, The Weight

❤ ❤ ❤

Blah, blah, blogetry brought about by playing the baritone ukulele this morning. In between O Holy Night and selected classic rock, I muse on the writing process and then hear the welcome ding of the coffee pot and fresh-made corn bread to celebrate the Solstice. Love & Health! ❤

Find me on FB (Clarissa Simmens) or


Monday, December 21, 2020 @ 5:02 a.m.

Winter Solstice so eclectic

But holidays seem much too hectic

Should be simple and domestic

Gather Brazilian Pepper not my own

Yet seeds are finally being blown

Into my garden to be grown

John the Conquerer root for luck

Pick up my guitar and carols I pluck

Music of the season leaves me awestruck

Medicine Buddha always heals

Blue Saint listens to my appeals

Guitar sounds like medicine wheels

Fresh food and music make us strong

Nothing like a positive song

Family and friends with me belong

2020 produced so much fear

Elections, pandemics, what a year

Often felt the wobbling of Earth’s sphere

I cast the skulls and had a dream

All things end from either extreme

And the sun promises we will redeem

A healthier, safer life for all…

© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Eclectic Decorations



It’s in our collective consciousness

To make movies, books, and songs

About the pandemic to come

Beginning with the

Death sentence slavery

Of staying home

Waiting for what?

At first, it’s an agoraphobic’s

Dream come true

No going outside the door

To imagined doom

Or outside the door

To a disappointing world

But how fast a prison it becomes

Enough to cure many of us

Let me out!


Pandemic borders reminiscent of

The Truman show **

Only so far to go

‘Til we hit the blue curtain

I can check out any time I like

But I can never leave.

It’s the Hotel California! *

It’s all the nightmarish popular culture

Rising from the grave

Of undead zombies

Shuffling down roads going nowhere

I’d go anywhere some days

Only hear jet planes once a week

Someone is getting away

Let me out!


Of course

If home was really

The Hotel California

I’d have pink champagne on ice

Could use some tonight

Let me out (she said weakly)…


© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Abandoned House & Guitar (no attribution) / The Truman Show

*YouTube video Hotel California, The Eagles

**The Truman Show starring Jim Carrey



I’m not very good at interpreting

Inferences, conjectures, hints, speculations, surmises

My imagination careens out of control

When I try to guess

What people secretly mean

When they speak in code

You can write something

You can say something

But it’s like an elaborate labyrinth of words

Unless you spell it out!

So write, sing, say your words

Wrapped in the finest metaphors, similes or poetic pontifications

But it’s lost on me

Come on, spell it out!

Unless it’s not meant for me

In that case

Never mind…

© 2014 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja), Poetic Alchemy: Talking Blues

(image: Enigma code machine)


The gift that keeps on giving

Herbs that are dried and slowing

Seemingly dead but really alive

And there to make us healthy.

Moon beams

Sun rays

Rain water

Blanketed by worm-turned dirt

Winds mixing and blowing

Healthy seeds to other spots

Where the herbs keep growing

Muses abuse you because they’re competitors

For the poetic word

We’re facing a death sentence

Yeah, trying to be positive but—

All that remains are the gifts from the earth

The only reality now

Herbs to heal

So met this guy

Both of us masked

But we talked from desperation

Even though it was 6 am Sunday

At the unopened post office

We got along and he said,

“Got plans tonight?”

And I said,

“Haven’t had plans since Y2K”

But you know what

How could we forget

The death sentence

Of Covid-19

So we agreed

We’ll meet after the pandemic dissipates

As if…

But then, me moving

Toward my car

From the corner of my eye

I spy

(Yeah, I’m a rhyming fool)

A flutter of green sparkles

And wings

I turn and say,

Sorry, what’s your name?

“Rafael like the Archangel

The one of healing”

And he’s gone

But I know

My herbs are waiting

They’ll do for me

Until they can’t

But that’s so okay

We can live day by day…

© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: CS & Ginger & Smeared Eyemakeup


Nah, haven’t crossed over

Still dining on

Thanksgiving tofurkey sandwiches

Chickenless salad

And have an

Iron Fish floating in boiling water

So my blood flows


No, no animals for me

Can’t eat anything with a face

Can’t eat anything with a soul

But I swear I hear

Plants crying out

Oozing their sap

When pulled from the earth…

© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGES: Iron Fish, tofurkey, chickenless chicken


Bodily needs, how they change

Macrobiotic vegetarian one day

Then Pescetarian as fish swim into the fray

Now a Chicketarian as protein demands its say

About the fragility of the body

Dogs, masters of the disdainful look

Waiting patiently

Leftovers definitely on the way

I can read their minds:

No tofu! Yay!

And anyway

What to do

With hoarded cans

Hidden in car trunk

And bedroom of

A tiny mobile home

The Fortress of Apocalypse

The Alamo of a last stand

If needed…

© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Bandit and RockStar