Month: March 2021


Locked away in an old refrigerator

Dying bumble bees half-heartedly

Buzzing at my hands

Tangled in my silver curls

Here am I

In a Ghost House

At the end of the world


How I love the forsaken

Searching through abandoned houses

Seeking the Ghost

Who stole my soul

Finally finding you

At this broken-down resort


Up against the incoming tide

In a cold, gray Atlantic Ocean

Help! I’d said

But you wanted me dead

And locked me away

Yet, at the last moment

The door opens

Surviving bees and I

Fall out onto the sand

Salty water useless

To quench my terrified thirst


Catching my breath,

I look around

My back against the

Edge of the Earth

It’s the end of the world

As I know it

But end for all

Or just for me

Me or we

Wee wee wee

All the way home

To a place

I no longer own


A Clown in wig and floppy shoes

Emerges from the Ghost House door

Briefcase (briefcase?) opens

And he hands me a form

And feathery quill

How long have you been

An advocate for the Devil

I ask

He smiles and fades out


Out of the clouds

Rock band Heart singing

He’s a Magic Mannnnnnnnnnn

Totally unreal

(How I crave unsalined water)

O, look!

Another horror stereotype

Or is it a Jungian archetype

Magician in a black cape

Wand waving

Handcuffs dangling

From his wrist

Just another Ghost

From the House

At the end of the world


Perhaps water exists

Behind the Ghost House

Evading the Mage

I cross the imaginary stage

Into the next part of this





Only to hear annoying laughter

From gap-toothed Laffing Sal

Animatronic ha-ha-ha-ha-ha

And I’m suddenly three or four

At Willow Grove Park

Crying from the horror of Sal

In the Funhouse of childhood

Laughing her freckles off

Refusing to go into that dark cavern

Of Ghosts and Goblins

Been hearing her laugh

All these years

Every time I failed something





My personal Greek Chorus



Why am I at the end of the world

I ask myself now

End of MY world, I amend


Glimmer of sun on the sea

So I think

The world is round, remember?

It’s just another beginning…


© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGES: Ghost House/Laffing Sal




Poet’s Notebook


“Stand before the people you fear and speak
your mind – even if your voice shakes.”
                   ~ Maggie Kuhn

Tillie Olsen reminded women
to engage our voices, and refuse
to be silenced or shamed,
to stand bold and triumph.

So many women have gone on
before us, fighting the good
Fight and instilling hope
for future generations.

Of the many women who have fought
for truth and justice in women’s rights,
I admire those brave women, like
Elizabeth Packard, Marie Balter, Judi
Chamberlin, Rae Unzicker, Margot
Kidder, Anna “Patty” Duke, Frances
Farmer and others. These women
envisioned a better life for us all.

Sadly, we’ve lost too many souls
to tragic and untimely deaths,
due to depression and madness,
such as Virginia Woolf, Sara Teasdale,
Norma Jean Baker, Sylvia Plath, Zelda
Fitzgerald, Anne Sexton and others.

Mad Lit is filled with remarkable stories,
like Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,”
Bronte’s “Jane Eyre,” “Wide Sargasso Sea”
by Jean Rhys, “A Room of One’s Own” by
Virginia Woolf, Chopin’s “The Awakening,”
portraying women as monsters or angels,
but more powerful stories are needed as
a reminder that women need space and
freedom to speak our minds, to implore
our hearts, to arouse our passions, as we
prolong the debate on moods and madness.

Modern day activists continue to advocate
for civil and psych rights,  and thankfully
there are far too many to mention.

Now it’s time for you, my friend,
to take up the torch for the
creatively maladjusted. I speak
in solidarity, as a fellow psych
survivor, and invite you to join
the struggle to stand against force
to attain humane treatment.

By Denise Fletcher
© 2021

Poet’s Notebook: Silences (


Morning of darkness

Finds me standing in the center

Of an other-worldly crossroads

Surrounded by a

Cremation Pool

Fiery Pond

Earth-choked Cloud

Wind-swept Road

Pull out of my pocket a

Tiny instrument

Beautiful voice from steel flicks

Captured on a chain

Petals of roses

Red as ruby slivers

Sparkling off the sleepy sun

Drifting as the song’s begun


I hear an electric guitar

Hard and masculine

Hear those blending melodies

As the Kalimba’s feminine touch

Calms the guitar struggling

Against its feedback



And the crossroads

Once again become

A path to the beautiful day

No matter what way

We walk…

© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Kalimba Season


Usui symbols of Reiki

Stones of power

Lavender amethysts

Purified in Water

Faded to half

Clouded White

Where’d the power go?

Googled stones

Mohs Hardness

Imagine Diamond being 10

Amethyst 7

Crystal lovers claim

Amethysts change

When purified in

Water or Sun

Never happened

In all the decades done

But does this mean

My power of health

Is drained?

Vision came

In the 5 a.m. darkness

Me out back

Among the Live Oaks

Crow so black

Standing in the dewy grass

Smiling at me

Approaching, it begins to


In slo-mo

Nothing but a jumble of feathers

Like a Fire’s pile of ash

And I am left

With the vision of

Shamans of old

Torn apart by bears

Then reassembled

Stronger and wiser

Healing selves and others

So don’t know

Seems I’ll be ok for

More than a day

Let’s say a month

But definitely life–

Seemingly beaten

By the insidious germs–

Is sleeping

To heal

And will return

Changed but powerful

Once again…

© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Altered Amethysts


Brewed the strongest Arabica beans

Armed myself with pruners

Almost taller than me

To tackle Ipomoea pandurata vines

Eating through chicken-wire barriers

Then thought

Celebrating Spring Equinox by destroying?

Yin and Yang most important

Find the balance

Plant more trees

And I did

But how to celebrate?

Road trip!


With no shadow

Noon is the

Dead Moment in time

Gran and Mom believed

The Mulo

Dead Spirits

Claimed that hour

For their own

Uh, oh,

Seeing Walking Dead

Means it’s time I fled

Fortunately he said,

I’ll come with you


Surely the sea air

Those gained electrons

Uplifting anions

Will bathe us in glory

Holy hell, let’s rewrite the story

Of our lives…


So grab your guitar and I’ll take my fiddle

We’ll head for New Orleans

Find our fortune

Said he

It’ll frizz my hair in the humidity

I thought out loud

You’re living in Florida south-ier

Answered he

Much more humidity

She thought and had to agree

Well, New Orleans is the Nexus of

The Gulf of Mexico’s Amphitheater

Singing to oil rigs

But surrounded by

Janis Joplin’s Texas

Brittany Howard’s Alabama

Mississippi John Hurt’s Mississippi

Tom Petty’s Florida

Carlos Santana’s Mexico

Yeah, definitely the place to go


Surely the sea air

Those gained electrons

Uplifting anions

Will bathe us in glory

Holy hell, let’s rewrite the story

Of our lives…


North on US 19

West on US 10

Swore I’d never

Make this drive again

But we followed the Gulf

Through Alabama and the

State of Mississippi

(I thought of Phil Ochs

Singing his song

When I was a hippie)

Made it, though, to NOLA

Seduced by music

Crackling down the overhead wires

Setting my soul on fire

How, I wondered, could anyone not feel

The absolute Spiritual

Symphony of the World

When here?


Surely the sea air

Those gained electrons

Upliftng anions

Will bathe us in glory

Holy hell, let’s rewrite the story

Of our lives…


Yet I learned

No matter how strong

Music may inspire

The human spirit

Gets tired and worn

We work and argue

Sneeze and cough

Lose money

Lose face

Battering our ego

Leaving no trace

Of the smoothed-away lines

Music makes

It’s a fight

For strength

Against the frailty of our minds

That huge factory in our skull

The complicated brain

Awash with the chemicals of life

Like an intoxicated alchemist


Yeah, puking on our gray matter

To drain

To rain

To strain our thoughts of love and peace

That we know


Is our better half

Of the Jekyll and Hyde


© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGES: Gulf of Mexico Nexus / Spring All Equal


Happy Day! This year is a dedication to all the working poor who have kept our world going.  These three happened to me but you can write your story too.  I chose three poems that represent the triple goddess of the moon: us! Women in our three stages of life: MAIDEN (the age of hope and dreams), MOTHER (whether you birthed babies, careers, or both), and MAGE (if you’re at that stage or on your way).  Always remember, we women rock and we are the rocks of strength and stability (well, we try!).  Love to us all…


Wandering into a coffee house

Folk guitars fretting the spring air

The words Social Justice echoing everywhere

Book recommendations flung at me

As my adrenaline pumps

Fueled by espresso caffeine

Chain smoking

But unimpressed with toking

Because it stole my essence

Stole ME from ME

Hearts should race with the joy of life

While the seductive music led me on

The boys/men promising love

And I step back gazing

At so many paths up the mountain of youth

But it would be years until I learned

They wouldn’t lead to the same place

Impossible to know, no?

At the age of almost sixteen…


Dedicated to all us working poor

I know the pain of a

Rotting car in the rain

Buckets of rain

Wipers refusing to work

Abandoning the car off the road

Running for the bus

The one that only comes

Every two hours

Trying to get to the

Community College

To take my last final exam

After attending four years

To get an Associates Degree

Working, mothering, studying

Running for the bus

No umbrella

Bringing the boys to daycare

Dragging an autistic six-year-old

In the middle of a melt-down

While carrying a three-year-old

Trying to make that bus

Trying to get that degree

Trying to get a better paying job

Running for the bus

All the while whispering

“Please, please, please, please…”


Wise woman with a tribal birthright

Finally one who can read and write

In the swirling of oral traditions

Setting out laws and conditions

Eidetic memory of who begat whom

And which herb cures which symptom

Advising the tribal leader’s visions

As he ponders correct decisions

Gently teaching oracles and healers

How to be revealers but also concealers

Divine feminine in silent contemplation

Willing to share her prognostication

Knowledge she will quietly disperse

Knowing all secrets of the universe

Arcana like the Moon’s fluorescing

The High Priestess gladly illuminates her blessing…

© 2015, 2018, 2021

IMAGE: Mother Nature and Her Music


Another new book self-published through Amazon, Kindle Direct Publishing. Most of the poems in the book have been on WordPress, so you have probably read them if you are a Poeturja follower. I’ve written so many but each and every one is so thrilling to see and read, for me. Thanks so much for all your support over the years!

SECOND YEAR PANDEMIC POETRY: UNIVERSAL HEALING – Kindle edition by SIMMENS, CLARISSA . Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks @