Author: poeturja

I'm an independent poet--since the age of four--and a Romani drabarni (Gypsy herbalist/adviser). Recently taught myself to play ukulele and now a wannabe songwriter. Prefer writing poetry simply, striving to compose musically, including talking blues, folktales, and memoirs of life. All music genres inspire me, but I especially vibrate to Classic Rock, Folk, Romani (Gypsy), and Cajun with an emphasis on guitar, ukulele and violin music mainly in a Minor Key. I hope to heal souls and maybe poetry can accomplish that. https://www.facebook.com/RomaniGypsyBooks https://poeturja.wordpress.com/ http://t.co/JSvNROn15t

BOOKS NOT BRAS

Women!
Don’t toss your bras
At musical concerts
Fling those books
Of poetry
You spent time writing
Revealing your agony
Of love and life and fantasy
That rarely, if ever, comes true
Toss that lacy, black book
Of rhythmic suffering
Or cast that hard-living
Denim tome
Of your broken heart and home
Aim those pages
Potential songs
Maybe they’ll like your words
Maybe they’ll use their
Talented fingers
To set your soul to
Music seducing you
But be strong
I’ve done it before
And I’m quite sure
Those men up there
Prefer bras flung
Because the words they sung
Were never mine…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: My bra, books & guitar

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ISLAND IN A STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS

Haunted by youthful dreams
Too late to reinvent myself
Island metaphor strongest
Easier to be alone

There was Java
Circumscribing a mineral world
Of left-over lava
Decorating via fatal eruptions
Merapi volcano cosmology
Of fire-breathing dragons
Would I exist on a moon-like world

There was Fiji
Divided by time
Could stand there with one foot in today
And one in tomorrow
Or is it yesterday
Where the international dateline
Bisects the 180th meridian

Pieces of land
Floating in oceans
A fish net
A water purification kit
A lifetime supply of Vitamin C
It could have been easy
Sand or dirt a magic slate
Whatever written washed away
By tidal spray

There were other islands
Of song and book
But now that I look back
It is clear that the island experience
Was lived as I moved through droves of
Endless people
Smiled. laughed, talked
But they all must have been
Particles of colorful matter
Because I, the deportee
Now see
That the island is me…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: posted on YouTube by Placers, Merapi Volcano

GRANULAR CONVECTION (The Brazil Nut Effect)

Surprise treasure from the Earth
Pushing up shattered pieces of art
Like volcanoes forming islands
Over the millennia
Broken, delicate
A message brought
By flooding rain
Pounding the dirt
That once absorbed
The free mulch
Mountains of mulch
At the city recycling center
Shoveled into garbage bags
Brought home to be dumped
On a ten by twelve garden spot
Productive for years
In healthier days
Now evolved into a
Radio Control car track
And later, a robot walkway
Yesterday, I tripped and saw
A piece of cement etched with
A trinity of painted leaves
Once someone’s garden step-stone
To me, a message from the trees
Leaves!
Fighting it’s way
Via granular convection
To the surface of my flooded
Back yard
To remind me
Rain, heat and humidity
While uncomfortable
Bring much-needed growth…

GC4 SM PX

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Track with prize of leaves & mulch

NPR free mulch pile sm px

FOR MY DARLING DESCENDANTS

Star book and amulet
In this plastic box
For those nights
We need to dream
Our ancestors gazed above
Saw many of
The same stars we see
Did they dream, too
Most importantly, who
Was able to time travel
Take quantum leaps
Through fabled worm holes
Are we warned about black holes
Swallowing us whole
Like early explorers
Were warned about
Falling off the flat Earth
A time-honored way
To control
By those inside the
Moneyed walls
Against us the have-nots
But thinkers, all
Yes we are
So who really has the best
That life can offer
If you are reading this
A charm, a book, a song of freedom
Is yours
My darling descendants
Be bold
Let your mind search the aethers
Through dark and cold
Following the dim light
Of possibilities…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: AMULET, BOOK & BARITONE UKULELE

PEACE RECIPE (another goulash poem)

*scroll down for a YouTube video*

 

Drugs and sex and rock and roll
Doesn’t have to be so radical
Music, well, I like it all
Rock, Folk, World, Jazz
Drugs, well, I used to smoke
Still miss it after many decades
But chocolate is a drug
So is caffeine
Sex, well, I like it
But even a hug
Or a kiss
Or an affectionate word is nice

So, share even one vice
With a stranger
And you fast forward
Like a time-lapse video
To the point where you’ve
Known each other for years
You’ve broken through
An icy membrane
A wall of ancient sun-baked stones
Breeching a stranger’s
Cellular level
Enabling a mutual recognition

Music, sex, alcohol
Doesn’t have to be so radical
Share an herbal cigarette
Toast each other with
Home-brewed mugs of near-beer
Look into someone’s eyes,
While Starbucking, with love
But most of all
Listen to the rhythm of music
It’s how we connect
We, almost seven billion souls
Drugs and sex and rock and roll
Perhaps the elusive secret of
World Peace…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

“Sex & Drugs & Rock’n’Roll” Ian Drury and the Blockheads

(original quote unattributed from a 1969 Life Magazine article)

brown cover 3

NIGHT SKY MEMOIR

Living in Philly
My night sky
Was the ceiling of
The Fels Planetarium
In the Benjamin Franklin Institute
Slouched in the gray theater seats
Neck comfortably straight
While head tipped upward
I’d get chills when the room darkened
And we school kids would stop talking
And the stars would begin to greet us
Like actors slowly wondering
If the audience would adore them
And when we’d applaud
Because the show was FINALLY beginning
The stars, planets, meteors, comets, moons
And all those performers
Playing their celestial roles
Hidden to city children
Living in cement jungles
With streetlights every 500 feet
All those performers
Would put their hearts into
Brightening the night sky
(although still sunny outside)
And my heart would race
As I drifted in space
Not listening to the lecturer
Because no one could top the stories
I told myself
About the constellations
Talking to me via vibrations
For all those years
I never saw the sky
Time tempestuously passed
And I found myself sitting
With my very young sons
Also stretched and bruised
On the concrete of childhood
Their excitement matched mine
As the room darkened
And then I knew
There must be very few
In this world
Who didn’t long to stride across
The canvas of our universe…

soprano w the stars 1 life wip

 

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Fels Planetarium, Ben Franklin Institute (Rittenhouse Astronomical Society) and My Ukulele and Stars

CONVERSATION WITH MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

Instruments want to be played
Whoever finds us worthy enough
To pluck our strings
Bang our heads
Push our keys
Will have love and loyalty
Forever
Don’t care what you do
To make others hear our voice
We’ll always reward you
With a feeling of peace
A comfort for all the
Terrible events in each life
Because everything is better
For all who play or sing
No matter your stage
A lovely synergy
Of attention and melody
After all, our music translates emotions
From your soul
As an invisible potion
To a lonely world…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Some Happy Instruments

REPETITION OF HOPE

Is there a rule about the amount of
Healing words sent to the aethers
Are they to be measured by a spoon
Like a prescription:
Take three times a day
Or can we utter them
Like a prayer
Or a favorite song
That just won’t leave the mind
No, no rule
Once is never enough
When sending good thoughts
A sparkling beauty of a jewel
To heal our friends and family…

(c) Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Into the Aethers

COFFEEHOUSE ON NEW YORK AV

(ANOTHER PRE-CASINO, ATLANTIC CITY MEMOIR)

Troubadour in dark room
Singing and strumming
“Go away from my window…”
Thinks he can tell me
What I need
Coffee grinding ten steps away
Strings strangling a heart
Fibrillating to future rejections
“It ain’t me, babe” soaring through
The smoky room
Zinging in, trying to make me cry
With his lying eyes
So why’d he pursue me
Take me to his room and
Almost ruin me
Thinks he can croon
By the light of the
Not-yet-landed-upon-Moon
Me nervously twirling my spoon
Roiling the brew
To read a few escaped coffee grounds
What is my future
Another tall, dark stranger
I’ll love and lose?
Caffeine finally affects
The saddened brain
Venomously I think
He’s not even a quarter good as Dylan
Can’t help wondering, though
When I’ll be an adult
So to all you young girls,
Yeah, not really women
We’re fragile little girls
When it comes to secret chambers
Of the heart
Here to tell you
Lived despite the pain
But can’t say
I ever used the label
“Adult”
Because
For the very sensitive
Adulthood is merely in the
Eyes of children
And the memory comes through
When I’ve sipped a few
Double-shot espressos…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: kava3

FLYING FINGERS IN A STORM

DEDICATED TO DENISE FLETCHER & JAMES CORBESIA

 

Resonator road
Tin shack swamped
Sinking beneath
Vines and moss
Dueling guitars
Electronic sizzling
Thrift store treasure
Shoulda stayed there
But it competes against
Lightning spears
Searching the ground
In a wet backyard
Here’s the star
My acoustic tenor guitar
Smug and safe
No connections with
The storm
Although thunder roars louder
Than metal strings
But electric unplugs
Acoustic wins the
Aging game
With a hot patch
On osteo knobs
And now the music
Under the aegis of
Modern medical heat
Allows delicate fingers and tendons
To play and sing
For at least an hour
Lost in the bower
Of the space time forgot…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Dueling guitars