Month: August 2021

MISSISSIPPI RIVER REVERSED

River reversed

Angrily churning South to North

Ghosts of literature and song

Pouring out of the waters

As the hurricane raged on

Doobie brothers singing

Old black water

As the Mississippi moon

Kept on shining its light

Here’s Mark Twain

Steamboat pilot writing about the river

Civil War waiting in the shadows

Always a threat

War, hurricanes, plague

Tonight people fleeing

The city of music

Fiddle, guitar, concertina

Clutched in one hand

Babies in the other

And the Mississippi River

Reverses again

Angrily churning North to South

As nature intended

But how long will it take

Its children

To reverse the devastation

To lives, shelter, electrical power

How long…?

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© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE:  Hurricane reverses river with

ferry floating backwards by Alakananda Bandyopadhyay

BLUE MOON

*scroll down for a YouTube video

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Jupiter’s moons

Ganymede & Europa

Callisto & Io

Seemingly dancing

With Earth’s Blue Moon

A rare sight yet perfectly right

Because Jupiter

The planet of good fortune

And joviality

Has showered its gifts

On a time when we

Need to know

Good intentions

Can permeate our hearts

And soothe our souls

As we gaze at the beauty

Of our universe…

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© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGES: Blue Moon & Jupiter and  Blue Moon Blueberry Pie

https://youtu.be/qoi3TH59ZEs The Marcels, Blue Moon

HEALING CRISIS

Saved by macrobiotics

Yay! I’m not psychotic

Adjusted a food imbalance

Rerouted a bond of covalence

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Vegetable juice fasts weekly

Face, hair and body move sleekly

Healing crisis mimics past diseases

The body banishes it on dark breezes

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Fast forward to decades when age changes

Pandemic now through continents rages

Old immune system grinding to a stop

Vaxxing is the cure from science’s machine shop

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Twenty-four hours after my second vax

Time slips back as the present cracks

Seems it’s like my juicing days

Neon sign pointing to a pulsating maze

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This way! Hurry! The antibody bell tolls

Be careful walking and mind the sink holes

Do you feel that sharp pain from 1970

How about the shingles with its weird chemistry

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Every major pain from migraine to post ops

Ravaged me that day until my mind did stop

Immune system working, it’s all good

Merely a healing crisis, you don’t deserve sainthood

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Finally got through it and feel a bit amazed

Homeostasis in the body can right any malaise

What a piece of work is man, Shakespeare wrote

Healing crisis became my healthy life boat

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Odd theories circulating, the vax is a microchip

To enslave us innocents to government ownership

But sometimes we need to trust science

Those two words a true alliance

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Consider getting vaxxed

Wear a mask, it’s so easy

Please…

© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE:Vaccine, header

I try not to write political poems but the personal is political as we hippies used to say. And I sadly know that 1% of vaccinated people have died of covid-19.  But I really wrote this because I’m amazed at the healing crisis I went through for 24 hours.  It was like, oh, hello, knee pain from an auto accident when I was 20, or hi, trigeminal neuralgia, haven’t seen you for 4 years.  Hmmm, was I in a fever dream?  No, pretty sure I wasn’t. 😊

LIFE COULD BE A DREAM (song-in-progress)

*Scroll Down For A YouTube Video

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Sleepless, aimless wandering through the home

Marty  Balin on the old radio believing in miracles

Grace Slick edgily voice-prodding him on

And then that great solo saxophone

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Sleepless, restless yearning for escape

Wanting to Ruby Tuesday out of this place

Where’s the excitement I once craved

Instead I’m stuck here, glued by a ball of tape

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Sure had major plans each decade along my path

Hiking across the Carpathians to see Vlad’s castle

Writing seminal literature, drinking muddy coffee in bazaars

Yet seems like anymore I rankle from my wrath

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Where are the circles of artists and writers

Poets, musicians, and inventors of utopias

When did life stop being magical and mysterious

How did I cease wanting, no longer a fighter

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At what age do we lose our childhood dreams

Start sanding the square peg to fit in the round

Become ordinary, mediocre, basically human

Give up and accept life is never what it seems

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Sleepless, I stare into the darkness outside

Vampiric castles dissolve in my mind

Literati friends fade into the night clouds

Potential miracles evaporating as my desire subsides…

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© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Budapest Dream House (no attribution)

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^YouTube Video Jefferson Starship https://youtu.be/HBWBOGhFDnM

WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?

*Scroll down for a YouTube Video

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Playing two different instruments

Is similar to falling in love

A situation of testing each other

Learning to work together

Like a concertina and guitar

Sharing the musician’s talent zone

Strings vs. free-reed aerophone

Like love, it takes time

To create the sound

To combine chords for the harmony

Always remembering to see

The beauty

Making sure that Love is in the surround

So want to open my door

See the perfect face

While a new galaxy beckons

Gliding into space

Shall I take a chance on romance

Especially when the glance

Transports me into a mindless trance?

But all in all

Tina Turner says it best

What’s love got to do with it?

And I fear love is merely being

Temporarily possessed…

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© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Concerto 4

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*Tina Turner YouTube Video https://youtu.be/oGpFcHTxjZs

NOW YOU SEE IT…

So what’s the Moon doing in this little Gulf town?

 Not much wave action unless you go the 12-mile limit

Where the gambling ships meet the ferries

Hosting those chance-takers with

Cheap whiskey, saturated fat snacks and

One arm bandits

To get big action from Nature

To experience almost-like-the-ocean seas

And high-rolling Gulf tidal waves

Visit the huge money-magnet beaches

Dredged by man, not natural erosions

My little town hosts a bathtub

Warm Gulf waters abandoning seaweed

On the sand like an ancient sacrifice

But they say

If you’re looking for love

It’s the hot little spa-like

Body of water

That can cure all your pain…

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© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Green Key Gulf of Mexico beach

TRANSIENCE

 

EARTH

(Sand mandala)

All great thinkers say

We borrow the Earth

Buddhist Monks devise

Geometric measurements

And 722 deities are portrayed

Then dismantled within a specific order

Showing impermanence

In a jar wrapped in silk

The grains are released

Into a body of moving water

Released back into Nature

To spread the blessings

I am a Hoarder who failed

Took a photo of the sand painting

I get the idea but couldn’t do it

Couldn’t let the wind disperse

What should be a lasting beauty

AIR

The wind weaves among

Its fellow elements

Dispersing, destroying, devouring

WATER

(Pangeas & Tectonics)

Shift and raise the oceans

Blown to clashing keys

Geographical locks rusted

Place of sacred geometry

Watery entrance untrusted

But recedes temporarily

AIR

The wind weaves among  

Its fellow elements

Dispersing, destroying, devouring

FIRE

(Symphony)

Prometheus punished

For giving the gift of Fire

Lightning

Volcanoes

Spontaneous combustion

Where would we be

Without the symphony

The beautiful cacophony

Of our heroes

AIR

The wind weaves among  

Its fellow elements

Dispersing, destroying, devouring…

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© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Here Today Gone Tomorrow

TRILOBITE (TRILOBITOMORPHA)

         

How does it feel to hold the weight of

540 million years in the palm of the hand?

Pens, bouquets of thorny red roses, a sleeping infant,

Wriggling dog, baritone ukulele

All have the feel of NOW

But a trilobite fossil found sleeping

In a drying riverbed

Is THEN

The beginning

When stars that are now dead

Awakened unknown planets

When monsters dragged themselves

Out of the water

And lumbered across the earth

When winds tore through forests of ferns

When magma escaped from burning holes

Leading to the secret

And sacred

Core of the Earth

And now

This piece of scientific history

Sits alongside a computer

The result of millions of days and nights

Of refined communication in the making

And with a click

A flick

Its entire history tells all

On a glowing screen

A time machine…

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© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Trilobite and ferns

HESITATION BLUES (song in progress)

*Scroll down for 2 YouTube videos

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Wandered into the Cage Coffee House in 1964

Listened to the music and didn’t look no more

This was my place, found what life was for

Learned rhythm and rhyme’s the way to stop a war

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W.C. Handy, Father of the Blues

Wrote about folk but I followed his clues

Subtext was there, in lyrics that might confuse

Hesitation was wrong, the way to always lose

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So young and ready to embrace life

Could cut the cigarette smoke with a knife

People drinking coffee, no sign of strife

Guitarist announcing:  “Hesitation Blues for my ex-wife”

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I learned that life is meant to be seized

Never play around, be sure not to tease

Take it seriously unlocking with proper keys

‘Cause it’s short and often ugly, never like a breeze

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Learned lots that day and the years I hung out there

Some days happy but others in teenage despair

Music schooled me down a path sometimes unfair

But still felt protected in the Cage, my lair

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Wrote crazy songs and honed my political voice

Played kazoos and sang and learned about choice

One thing I knew, loving the wrong man destroys

But when he looked at me, it was easy to rejoice

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One day I wrote a poem in honor of Handy

Performed but the crowd was bored of my modus operandi

Shouted, the song’s old fashioned! And I was pelted with candy

Hesitation should be laid back like drinking good brandy

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So here are two takes on hesitation’s merit

Some say “look before you leap” so don’t stir it

But ”he who hesitates is lost” is my best commit

Father of the Blues simply is no hypocrite

He knows…

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© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGES: W.C. Handy and only known photo of The Cage

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W.C. Handy St. Louis Blues (Ed Sullivan show)  https://youtu.be/0r81aNCYi0A

Hesitation Blues, Louis Armstrong with W.C. Handy on trumpet https://youtu.be/4EhnhddJLzY

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*W.C. Handy originally titled his 1915 song Hesitating Blues

Here is a vintage photo depicting a typical audience enjoying the musical ambience of the old Gilded Cage.

**Photo of The Gilded Cage in Philly seems to be the only photo in existence (note:None of us carried cameras or could afford to get film developed anyway AND it wasn’t hip to take pix. So an entire historical movement is soon to be lost by those of us who remember but didn’t record it) 

GENERATIONAL CURSES II

Baby wrapped in springtime blankets

Pram wheels tangled in early sunflowers

Here in the dump

Because the rest of her world

Is city cement

And the mother meets

With another daughter of the father

Not married to her mother

But father to her

Others of the family wander

Through piles of some good-looking trash

Picking out, maybe, a wooden Shaker chair

A roses and vines, maybe, Tiffany lamp

And the two young women

Talking about the best way

To interpret a deck of fifty-two

Miss the mother of the sister

Staring at the baby of the bastard

And instead of a wish

A curse twines with the air

Taking form from a whispering breath

Puffed out in the cool breeze

Floating along with healthy pollen

Curses that should be kisses

Doesn’t matter to her

That curses return

Her husband’s been stolen by the woman

Her daughter’s been seduced by her half-sister

And the baby sleeps innocently

Part of the hated family

And the words hit the infant’s earthly body

And all the mutra—urine—in the world

Cannot neutralize her words

That is the older woman’s power

But years in the future

The child, now a woman,

Finds the release

Calling upon her element

Powerful fire

Using the breath

Of the terrible worm

Sangre de Drago

A firewall to reverse the direction

Of the hated words

Haunting her for seven decades

And although it is near the end

And the infant is now the oldest one alive

She returns to the wasteland outside the city

Tosses the brown powder into the air

Murmuring the order to clear

Her beloved family

From what she believes

Crept through their lives

“Dragosta

With kindness

Release us from this prison”

Perhaps only from the

So-called superstitious mind

But real and solid, nevertheless

And although the sky reveals

No rainbows or sun

As a good omen

An invisible lightness

Settles like an aura

Around this new old woman

And the blood of the future

Family…

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© 2021 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Sangre de Drago powder