Month: May 2021


Ate yellow today

Frozen corn

Garbanzo beans

From a slow-cooking crock

And vegetarian chicken patty

Breaded in yellow crumbs

Ate yellow for chakra power


Out of power

From aging

From fear of plague

From never seeing

Real Life


Just me, rooomie, dogs

And an occasional glimpse

Of the neighbor across the road

Pierced ear lobes closing

New black dresses wilting

New leather boots

Greening from humidity

Driving skills retro’d  to

Preschool days of sitting in

The parental car

Yanking the wheel and

Screaming “Vrooooooooooooooom”

Where is my realtime life

Are virtual online friends

Flesh and blood?

Are my sons’ phone voices real?

Where is realtime?

Or are they inventions

Of a lonely heart?

I end the day

Walking through burnt yellow grass

Seeing the missing stalks of corn

Vivid in their yellowness

Crows caw as I crunch through the straw

Crows are the real anymore….

© Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE:  Corn and Ukulele


To me

Chord D

Is not the saddest

It’s a lonesome chord

But not like A minor

Or even E minor


Loneliness is sad

Maybe it encompasses

Emotions provoked by




Creating an empty feeling

Of abandonment

Today my music is somber

Gazing into a pot of water

Reflecting Live Oak leaves

Towering above in humid breeze

Yet letting the loss

Wash over me

Soothing the sting

Of salty tears

Etching skin with fears

And I begin to sing

Through an aching throat

The voice range

Sinuously winding deeper down

Into the welcoming diaphragm  

Until the Blues burst through

Then melting like ice

In the sunshine of life

That is often the cure

For the forlorn and forgotten…

© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Reflection in a pot


May Not Be Visible In Your Area


Hide your brooms and dusters

O cosmic cleaners of the clouds

If you cease, the Moon will appear

As a dark red shade

Because dust in the atmosphere

From, perhaps, a volcanic eruption

Will color our most sung-about satellite

Transforming our Full Flower Moon

Into a globe of red

As the color spectrum weaves

Through the celestial celebrations

Moon-madness may interfere

But the breathless beauty

Brings a message  

As the solar cycle reappears

Red conquering all

For a brief time

Red:  security, strength, and

Material well-being

Have no fear,

It bodes, for us, a good year…


© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGES: Red Moon, Total Lunar Eclipse Map (Chandra Grahan)


My heart will be in

Saintes Maries-de-la-Mer

Where my soul will dance

In Languedoc, Camargue

The South of France


Not only a refuge for the Knights Templar

And Mary La Magdalene

But also home to countless images

Of Black Virgins so serene

Reflecting peaceful love


Sara E Kali—Sara the Black—

Confluence of the Hindu Goddess Kali

Women warriors combatting political folly

Some sinners but certainly

The church-approved saints


One version of the story

Tells of Marie Jacobe and Marie Salome

Accompanying Mary Magdalene

When she fled the Holy Land

After attempting to make a stand


We Roma believe that

Sara, a Gypsy,

Saw their boat floundering and

Tossed her (head scarf) diklo

Upon the waters, when they could not row


This enabled the three Marys to

Walk or sail across the water to shore

Establishing a rapport

Between the women forever more

As they brought their message of peace


The Roma come to the town

These two dates in May

To celebrate Sara E Kali

Patron saint of Gypsies and Travellers

To show their love on a feast day


In an alcove stands the tall, lovely statue

Serenely gazing out of large, dark eyes

Covered in beautiful, filmy diklos

Presented by those who ask for help

Or have received help from one so wise


Saint Sara E Kali, carried into the sea

Violins and voices of praise

This sublime personification of a

Saint-Goddess-Woman surrounded by bouquets

Apocryphal representative of our bloodlines


© 2015 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja), Parallel Universe Café and Other Poems

IMAGE: Personal statue of St. Sara E Kali in a Mulberry Bush

DRAGON DREAM (4-17-21)

I’ve stood trapped between

Two Dragons

In my life

A dirty-white dragon

Ferociously Lunar

Dragon of the South

Summer heat searing the darkness

Folding into itself

Like origami

And then a deceptively bright

Light-green dragon

A Spring-Earth tone

Never leaving me alone

The hungry newborn

Dragon of the East

Poking through the mud

Seeking nourishment

Draining my blood

And I, the Red Dragon

Axis to the one above

The one below

Violence of lightning

Flowing through their veins into mine

I feign lifelessness

Once again

And the good fortune

Of Red aids my

Creeping away

As the two sizzle in pain

Escape is all I desire

And I do

But me, red dragon

Of the center

Will live in solitude

Safer to never crave

The touch

Of another clawed creature

In a heart drowned with rain…

© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: D&D set from WorthPoint.



Every so often

Gran sold Avon

And other perfumes

I didn’t do well

At family dinners

Would sit under

The dining room table

And even though she’d

Never heard of autism

Somehow she knew

What to do

Sitting me at her

Bedroom vanity table

Colorful jars of

Perfume, cologne

Here Is My Heart

And other romantic names

My favorite?

In a dark, night-sky bottle

Sprinkled with stars

Midnight in Paris

She let me draw faces

With her eyeliner

Onto the bottles

And I’d talk for them

Create scenarios


Was still doing this

At age eight

When she became serious

Told me we

Were part Romani

Told me about her

Herbalist dad

Cartomancer mom

Showed me how to create

What I later recognized

As the Tarot’s Major Arcana

Explained about the powers of

Kitchen spices and herbs

Wanted me to be a nurse

But no, nothing practical for me

Even at eight

Drawn to the cards

Tea leaves and coffee grinds

And wanted to create medicines

Secretly, she gave me some

Bottles of perfume

And I practiced pouring scents

Into hidden jars

Mom suspected something

But I showed her the three bottles of Avon

And it satisfied her


When a teen

Wanted to be a poet

But decided to be a pharmacist

Something about

The sounds of elements bubbling

The smells and comfort

From the tin of black salve

Made by the pharmacist

The small bottles

And the herbs I discovered

In Philadelphia’s China Town

But oh, pharmacy not to be

So terrible at math

And here I’d need



So put away my dreams

Didn’t even make it through

The first year of college

Although eleven years later

Sought it out again

Majoring in English

Pharmacy a childhood dream

And as life turned out

There never was a midnight in Paris

Never a dew-soaked romp on the

Banks of the Seine at dawn

Never any of that

But today in the mail

Received my

Periodic Table

(Thanks, Micah!)

With real elements

Minerals, gases, but relax—

Only pictures of radioactives

And I found an empty bottle

To be shipped by Ebay

Midnight in Paris

And I can dream

That my hair is scented

With the finest perfume

That my hands are busy

Mixing the finest elements

Found on our planet

As above, so below

I’ve created a dream world

Turned lead into gold

An alchemist of old

Blessed be our fantasies and


The true Philosopher’s Stone…


© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Alchemy & Chemistry



MAY 26, 2021




When you are down on your knees

Planting the seeds

Into newly kissed Earth

When your back is bent

Over a table of cups

Feeling tired and spent

Placing tiny, cold seeds

Keeping them warm

Until late spring

I am there

Mother Earth

Whispering encouragement

As you assist in my

Fertility rite

To spread life



Over our beautiful planet…




Watching you greet

The Full Flower Moon

Waxed close to the Horizon

What you call a Super Moon

Ponzo Illusion

Named by the scientists

See the Moon farther away in space

It appears small

See the Moon closer to Earth’s horizon

It grows in size

Compares large

Gracing treetops


I, Mother of the Earth

Enter your consciousness

My Conjurer

Daughter of the Water

Reminding you to celebrate

By creating Moon Water:

Leave your favorite jar

Filled with Aqua Pura

In a moonbeam throughout the night

By day, steep herbs for Moon tea

Or wash your face in

May’s Spring embrace

Then cleanse your favorite

Jewelry, gems, stones 

Ask the Full Flower Moon for







While remembering the

Element of Water…




I watch you, my problem-solver

Digging my essence

In a pool of clay

Material for your pottery

Used every day

And you remind me

Of another

Young woman in far-away China

Daughter of the Craftsman leader

Working in Terracotta

Creating soldiers, chariots,

Horses, musicians

All for the glory of the new Emperor

She, most talented

Created individual facial features

And unknown to all

Including her proud father

Sculpted the face

Of her dead lover

To stand in line

Buried for infinity

Brought to light in an

Unimaginable century

Where his dear image breathes

The Air of freedom

Terracotta retaining its form

Part of my Earth

Living on forever…




Here you are

My Sun

My source

Center of our universe

Unknown to you

I enter your soul

Working side by side

Implanting my knowledge

In the form of words

And you furiously scribble

Sensing what is right

The beautiful in Nature

But also the terror

Yet somehow all

The passion and fear

The love and anger

The majesty and sadness

All are a source of joy

Proving we are alive…


(C) 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)


I put on black eyeliner

And suddenly hear myself sing

“And I go back to black…”

Swear I see Amy Winehouse

Winking an iconic eye


Splashing through the mud

Salvaging my rained-on laundry

Flapping on the clothes line

I belt out in best mezzo soprano

“Who’ll stop the rain…”

CCR always helping me feel sane


Get my feelings hurt

On FB, of all things

Why are people mean

So out loud I sing

“That’s just the way it is

Some things will never change…”

Thanks, Bruce Hornsby, it is


You, so cruel

You don’t care

Angry eyes like lasers

Silence screaming in my ears

“Tell me, when will I be loved…”

Linda Ronstadt’s voice pours through my tears


Give me dozens of songs

And I can pervert the meanings

Make them the backdrop of

A daily life

But whether mundane or sad

About the good or the bad

Wouldn’t want to be without those lyrics


So I think of the happiness in life

While I cook, clean, garden or write

And there’s one song that makes me believe

That living is always gonna be right

I loudly sing over the caws of the crows

“You can stand me up at the gates of hell

But I won’t back down,  no I’ll stand my ground…”

Tom Petty, your anthem gets me through…


© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)