Month: February 2021

SKEPTICISM (song-in-progress)

Chose the Moon and Stars

Live Oaks, Cranes and Cardinals

Over you

Who would have been ideal

For me

But sick of the city

Had to go

Up and down

The dirt path

Of the Earth’s promise

Now I wonder

If it is true

We learn from a lifetime

Don’t know

Hope so

Intolerable thought

That it’s all random


Can’t stand the thought

Of mindlessly choosing

The wrong way

For no reason

But being me

Wanting to be free…

©2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE:  Full Snow Moon 2-28-21


Doing a lot of that lately


But you, musical you

No, you do not fit that word

Soothing, exciting

Passionate and sometimes funny

Despite not making much money

Your love for the art

No matter what

Shines through

You are my

Musical inspiration…

©2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE:  Concerto 3


Like Anne Frank and family

I begin to see


In our situations

Instead of hiding from Nazis

I am tucked away from a

Venomous strain of


Locked away


During the day

And sneaking out each Sunday dawn

To collect mail and drive

Through deserted streets

To be sure there really is a world

Beyond my door

For a year now

I have lived in secret loneliness

Keeping a poetic diary

Of fear and finally of acceptance

That the will to survive must end

As every life eventually does

But unlike Anne Frank

My writing role model

And ten-year-old Muse

I do have the perspective

Of friends and family

Through social media

I am still attached

By a frayed but ever-present

Life Line

To the real world

Although I never suspected

I’d end my life in hiding

Dreading those footsteps

Of plague

Converging on me

Crashing through the door


A microscopic enemy

Decades after

My childhood heroine

Anne Frank…

© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Anne Frank’s Diary


The beauty of love

Is its encompassing definition

The appearance of a soulmate

Is a rare gift although

A spouse is somewhat more common

As are significants and partners

But let us not forget

The others in our lives:

Roommates, dogs, cats, birds, fish

Parents, siblings, children

Assorted relatives but,

Most of all, our friends

Love is not a box of chocolates

Or roses (although nice to receive)

Love is listening

Love is smiling

Love is effortless grace

Love is free of resentment

Love is clicking sticky keyboards

While commenting

And liking our virtuals

All we need is love

But tolerance is ok too

Wishing you

A Lovely Day…

© 2015, 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE:  © 2015 CS, Love Each Other from Drom Ek Romani


(a bit of blogetry)

“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again”

Well, I rarely dream

Yet I use DuMaurier’s line

As a mantra

Repeating it until even I’m bored of myself

I think of some everlasting

Great first lines

Like Poe’s

“Once upon a midnight dreary”

Or even

“Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself”

(Ugh, I’d first thought,

But continued reading

When I discovered we shared

A first name

And who could fault Woolf for anything?)

And when you read Moby Dick’s

First line:

“Call me Ishmael”

Did you stupidly

Like me,

Say out loud,


And most importantly

Shaping my teen years

Allen Ginsberg’s

Beat Poetry

“I saw the best minds of my generation

Destroyed by madness”


First lines

Like first musical notes

That I call riffs

Help us identify

The body of work

And if visually pleasing enough

They last a lifetime

But first isn’t always perfection

With Shirley Jackson it is her

Third line:

“I have often thought

That with any luck at all

I could have been born

A werewolf”

Me too!

© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

Image: Shirley Jackson cover: Werewolf & Castle


Almost thirty years ago

When we met

First vacation

Speeding along the A1A

Atlantic Ocean beckoning

The way to Amelia Island

In your red Ford truck

Singing Beatles’ Songs

You said,

“I wish we’d die right this minute

The happiest time of my life”

Years and extra pounds

Wrinkles and words unsaid

A marriage that didn’t happen

Although I didn’t know until later

Lies and cries of pain

And here’s the C-19 apocalypse

Me, not allowed to get the vaccine

I glance up, accidently seeing your

Computer screen

You, signing up for it

I wait for you to tell me

But you did it furtively

And I’m back there

Thirty years ago

Wondering would it have been best

If we did die together

I don’t want you to die

Dying is done alone anyway

But I feel scared and sad

Because you won’t at least comfort me

You won’t see me

Alone and resigned

To life and now death…

© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: mask and gloves


Sitting outside feeling a bit ill

I swallow a beta blocker pill

Hearing a Sandhill Crane crying

Like a World War II Black Maria siren

How high flies a Tampa plane?

Higher than a Sandhill crane?

What is that frightening, spreading white stain

Smeared across the cloudy cosmos’s grain

Darkening sky endlessly, lethally crying

Syncopating to the moon’s shape dying

Let the Crane live, by power of will

But all now silent and ominously still…

Poem © 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

Image © 2006 Clarissa Simmens



I don’t mind her elbow

Smashing me to the bed

It’s part of her hands

That feed me turkey jerky

Give me belly rubs

And when she wakes up

To pee

I take her pillow

And she nudges me

Over, but my head

Gets to stay next to

My favorite person

Because my world

Attention and food

Sunshine and smiles

Baritone ukulele songs

And singing

All come from my

Favorite human

And did I mention food…

© 2021 Bandit & Clarissa Simmens

IMAGE: RockStar & Bandit (AKA RockBand)


More life imitating art

Or spirituality

As I haul limbs and branches

From another tree

Rapping the tin roof

A threat to me

When hurricane season

Huffs and puffs to

Blow the house down

On the roof

Roomie chain saws

Temp is 52 degrees

And thinned-out Florida blood

Wants to brumate

With gekkos, frogs and snakes

My job is to haul the booty

Into the ferns of

A shivering swamp

And although there is no mirror

Or reflecting pond

I see myself

As others may

A walking-talking

Picture off the Smith-Waite deck

Ten of Wands

Carrying ten wands

All of equal size and state

And my mind flashes to the meaning:

“Stress, responsibility, problems

Duty, drudgery, obligation

Taken for granted

Keep going”

But why am I smiling

Must be the time of life

The visual imitates art

But I’m happy in the wind

Touching the wood

Slouching through Jurassic-like ferns

Burdock stuck to my black tights,

Fleece hoodie and tunic

I’m happy!

Sure, we’re facing death by virus

Sure, we’re in a Ghost House slide

To who knows where

Fighting the despair

As businesses close

Loneliness engulfs

Politics seem sinister

But the Earth is constant

Putting out green shoots

Scents from muddy terrain

And windy, cold days

To remember when the humidity

Reaches 100 percent

I will remember this winter forever

As I find my connection with woods and swamp

With cranes and gentle rains

With dogs howling at the street sirens

With me picking up the ukulele

Playing for the crows

As my spirit grows

I will remember this winter forever….

© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: 10+Wands