Month: July 2021


The secret of one’s soul

Is the search for Jung’s “Nigredo”

The blackness

I knew half of what happened

But too young to understand

And no one ever explained

I do remember becoming

Eliot’s Drowned Phoenician Sailor

For the count of four minutes

Before dragged from the depths

Of the Atlantic Ocean

Too young to fear death and

Unaware of artificial rebirth

But I revived as a four-year-old

Yet,  deconstructed

No longer the same child

Hallucinating white pigeons

Followed by a lifetime of

Psychopompic birds*

Searching for meaning

Perhaps believing

The answer is waiting

To be awakened

By…by whom?


© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Caput Corvi


See also:

*A Lifetime of Birds (Rima Royal) © 2014 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

A LIFETIME OF BIRDS | poeturja (


Entering Publix Supermarket

For the first dose of Moderna

After two years living in my home

Seeing only dogs, roomie, wild birds,  and

The gentle, quiet green of a Florida swamp

I was flying with The Beatles’ Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

I was gaping at Plato’s release from the allegory of the cave

I was speed swimming from Campbell’s whale’s belly

I was melting from Dali’s surreal tapestry

I was blindly running through a crowded theme park

Breads piled up to the ceiling

Every kind of cheese calling from their refrigerated case

Succulent plump vegetables of every hue

I didn’t know what to do

And the people

Babel couldn’t have been more confusing

Than the conversations swirling around me

As I sat waiting in the pharmacy

To be vaxxed

When my name was called

I stood, bent down to pick up my

Twenty-pound backpack

And like a Weeble Wobbling

I managed not to fall down

Despite the noise level

Discombobulating me

Dragging the pack to the sheltered place

Where I sat and waited for my first dose

Of the Elixir

That would set me free

And as the needle found its way

Into my arm muscle

I thought

In a month

After vax number two

It’s off to the Dollar Store I go

To fling my money around

Filling my basket

With artificial flowers, silky scarves,

Pens and notebooks and trail mix

Laced with M&M candies

Surely buying better swag than a pirate

Of the Caribbean…

© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGES: Overwhelming Light, Weebles Wobble toys


So many uses

For potential steel barrels

Housing anaerobic compost

And biological life

As earthworms convert garbage


Create a tongue drum

Playing gentle Bob Marley tunes

While ruminating on Earth’s

Numerous gifts…


© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Tongue and Compost Drums


Lantana or any wildflower entices bees

Adding a buzzing tone to the continuation of life

Busy cycle of life, death, and rebirth through DNA

Do you speak to your ancestors?

Sit by the grave or gaze at the clouds

Remembering them

Dogs’ graves are the easiest

Mine are in the back yard

So I speak to them

All those dogs (and a few cats)

Who made our lives happier

Passed down their skills to the new puppies

Human or furry family members

Love to help

They listen

And then send us a sign

Guiding us through

What we must do

To find peace and acceptance

In our lives

Visit one in your mind



© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Max in his favorite hole under Lantana


I strum and hum to the tune of the sea

As you sing your notes in wind so free

So far apart, in another reality

Like guitar strings compared to a calliope

But like me, if you see, the world’s beauty

We may know no bounds

Of what can be…


© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Music & Flowers


Like the moon I have no magnetic core

I cannot draw anyone to me

But I do have the magical ability

To command the oceans

To dance and sing

As the choreographed tides


The wistful dream

Inside the fantasy…


© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Full Moon


*Scroll down for a YouTube Video


Invisible portal in Sociological Time

Played out, for me, at the Cage Coffeehouse

In Philly

Half the patrons black turtlenecked Beatniks

Other half, like me, self-consciously in

Bell-bottomed jeans or

Flowered maxi dress and lacy shawl

Making me aligned with the hippies

Although I loved black most of all

Despite differences

In schooling, social class, and age

Agreement manifested in music

Be-bop jazz

Old Folk

New Protest

Music, espresso, Jasmine tea

Underground movies to see

And books, ideas, and poetry

“Howl” declared non-obscene in 1957

Found a City Lights copy

To be prized for decades

Seems it wasn’t long after

Country Joe & The Fish

Screamed “Give me an F!”

Woodstockers screaming

The answer to  What’s That Spell?

Learned all the words to Dylan’s Hard Rain

Ironed my long hair to look like

Baez & Travers

Tried and failed to play guitar

Wrote poems that were sure to

Make me a star

Did the Greenwich Village thing

Seeing and hearing

Jimi Hendrix

Electric mixed with Folk

Mystical Mirrors and Smoke

But why oh why

Did we split with our

Brothers and Sisters

We all did what we felt was right

Peace and Love, though, as

Ephemeral as light

Us and them

It would always be

Same now, more than a half century

Distilled down to masks

And who is vaxxed


Peace too much of a fuss

On two sides stacked

Like lumber at a DIY yard

Refusing to listen to each side’s bard

Of logic whirling in Smoke and Mirrors

How can we come to consensus

Make what’s best for the Universe clearer

Do we still have the ability to see

Our beautiful Earth

Our bright blue Oceans

Our sweet-smelling Wind

Our life-giving Sun

Oh, please, let us be friends

Let’s make amends with each other

And make our anthem

The Beatles song

We can work it out…


© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Peace Ukulele

*YouTube Video We Can Work It Out, The Beatles


What a wild road it’s been

Youth passed in Earthy, innocent sin

Tried to be tough with a thick skin

Able to right myself from life’s tailspin


Middle years moving through inertial mass

Spanning Water insubstantial as glass

Often holding the wrong ring of brass

Sometimes welcome and allowed to pass


Aging but moving across a bridge of stars

Air so rare while composing celestial memoirs

Just kept moving, ignoring my scars

Comfort strumming of tenor and acoustic guitars


End of the road, horizon harbors a whirlpool

Fire draws me away from moments so cool

Been through life’s mainly battering school

But looked closely and found an occasional jewel


What an elemental road it’s been

Earth, Water, Air, Fire my life’s linchpin…


© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: CS on Suwanee River Bridge


Like the kalimba in rain

Wood warping, keys rusting

We wait out the hurricane

Trusting in the elements

To control their rage

Mudslides, floods, tornados, lightning

And we persevere as warriors

Finding hidden strength

Bowing the head

To Nature’s dreadful hour

Believing this too will pass…


© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Kalimba in Rain



Hurricane coming

Puts life into perspective

What matters or not


Some days feel anger

Wah, wah, this baby feels sad

Feel this, says the wind


Huddle in tin home

Promising to be grateful

If it misses me


Nature’s reminder

Decide: chaos or order?

Embrace quiet breeze


© 2015 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)