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

O HOLY MEMOIR

Why cry
When playing and singing
O Holy Night
I miss my high soprano
Soaring above the All City Choir
I cry for my youth
But hey
Think of that time
Tenth grade
I was being bullied in the girl’s bathroom
Bus tokens stolen
No boyfriend
Unknown autism making me
The school alien
Social Misfit of teenage hell
But that was then
And today, my voice
O Holy Voice
Gone
So I’m strumming the song
Didn’t know how to play
Ukulele in Tenth grade

But

And this is a positive
can play it now

Cracked singing
Like some boy entering puberty
High
Low
High-and-Low
Yet O Holy Night
Makes me cry
And I can’t see the chords
On the songbook by the time
I finish it
But WHY cry
Lost youth
Actually
My life is better than it was
In tenth grade
Yeah, I’m old
Yeah, really don’t do
Social niceties now or then
But a mere thousand miles away
Live my sons and granddaughter
Got enough money
To eat and dress and buy songbooks
So why
Why cry
For times past
When the truth is
Tenth grade sucked
Except for the voice
Soaring into the aethers
O Holy Memory…
(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Baritone, songbook, sunflower (planted by birds)
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“TRANSIENT” IS NOT ANOTHER WORD FOR FREE SPIRIT

ONE:

I’ve been homeless
And hungry
Runaway
Merely a credit card away
From being a street person
Fortunate to have
Kind family and friends
Lucky to be
Drug and alcohol free
Favored to have volition
To retain ambition
And always remained sane
In my crazy, madcap way

TWO:

But I know
The untethered feeling
Of being alone
Unable to cope
Unable to return home
It’s like I went day tripping
To the astral plane
And suddenly the slender, silver cord
Connecting my soul to the body below
Snapped in two, severed
As I trailed the useless, dangling connection
Wanting so badly to return
But unable to do so
My mind, emotions, anger
Refused to permit it

THREE:

So I imagine
How scared the homeless may be
Like when I lived in Philly
The ones sleeping on steam grates
In twenty degree icy weather
My mom gently placing
Coats and socks
On the sleepers
While I do my part
When going to and from work
With piles of plastic sandwich bags
Filled with pennies
In the days when cash
Was the way
I would pay
And my pockets sagged from the change
One hundred pennies
Each bag
Giving to those still able to walk around
A woman wearing fake fur
Face crawling with lice
Blessed me and
I let her hug me
I don’t care what they spend it on
It’s for their comfort
Wish I could give more

FOUR:

But my heart hardened
Here in Florida
They camp in the woods
Behind my trailer
Owning bikes and designer clothes
They steal my copper pipes and
Whatever else brings money from recycling
And I feel hard
And angry
Angry with myself
For feeling cynical
About just how needy
Are these new homeless
And I think
How their living in my woods
Attracts rats
Because they shit and piss
On the loamy earth
Or toss garbage
And I say
I’m the working poor
I just want my little bit of life:
Internet, a few toys and books
And enough food and gas for the car
I never drive far
And who do they think they are????

FIVE:

So one day I’m strumming
Baritone ukulele
That sounds like a guitar
Strumming out my old folk songs
And wonder how my
Love of humanity
Wandered so far
From the days I believed
We could all live in love and peace
I feel afraid
Don’t want to leave this life
With hatred and suspicion
Enraged and spitting at others
Who are doing the best they can
To survive
What do I know of
The devastation in their lives
The people who hurt them
The cruelty of husbands and wives
Why am I judging them

SIX:

So I pull on my Wellies
Walk through the eons of fallen leaves
Find their campfire
Now deserted
I place the large plastic crate
With clothes and socks
Sleeping bags and crocks
Of baby wipes, shampoo
Soap, towels, pads
All the niceties I’m sure they don’t have
Hoping when the shelters close
As the weather warms
They will return
And forgive me my thoughts
Hope I can forgive me my thoughts, too…

 

(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Behind my yard

 

Please see what The BeZine is and consider contributing a post:

ABOUT The BeZine

FIRST MEETING

 

Bestowing quirkiness
Should I show my best?
Try to impress?
Your face reveals
Flickers of annoyance
Boredom
Yet can’t stop
Self-putdowns
Weight, wrinkles
Evanescing clown
Embarrassed
Look at my lap
Hearing your sigh
I mustn’t cry
But then you say
Now that your self-negativity
Is swept away
We can be ourselves
I’m part of your tribe
Whatever the experts think
Caused our different social vibe
Let’s compare creative moments
Occurring every day
What thoughts you bring
To first light of morning
How to deal with chores
Interrupting the lures of fun
And I smile
Looking you full in the eyes
Knowing now you won’t spout lies
Or serve warmed-over pity
Just willingness to share
How witty
You can be
Expecting me
To respond in kind
Truly interested in my mind
No worry about words shallow
Like one so callow
Both our hearts aligned…

(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens
IMAGE: flamingos in swamp palm tree

MUSIC ROOM

 

When we met
Couple of decades ago
Heard you play guitar
At flea market bazaars
But you’d never buy one
You’d left your childhood
Garage band
Because your
Stairway to Heaven
Didn’t sound like
Zeppelin’s
Stairway to Heaven
And you never played again

Radio music interim
Interspersed with
MP3 tunes
Did their job
Kept me sane

Then two years ago
Thanks to internet window shopping
Bought a soprano ukulele
With a how-to book
For thirty dollars
And although I couldn’t decipher
Musical notes
Chords enabled this wannabe
To play amid laughter and joy

You listened for two years
And finally picked up the baritone
Tuned like guitar
Playing like a rock star

Love the ambience
Music frequently welcomes
Dawn
Often lullaby away those
Sleepless nights
Most of all
What fun to play together
Voices gritted with age
You picking with a hint of flamenco
Me strumming with a campfire aroma

And although we will never
Be what we were
To each other
All those years ago
It’s a functional way
To segue
Into old age
Making what we believe
Is beautiful music
Together…

(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Guitar & Ukulele in the backyard

OVERDRAWN

 

Ways they may fail
Tomorrow’s borrowers
Via multi-withdrawals
Once again cruising through
The drive-through window
At the bank of time
Balance near depleted
Robotic voice
Vaguely sarcastic
Come again
Before the clock tower’s chime
Is no longer heard
By you…

(c) Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE Clock on Swamp Fence

NO ENTRANCE

One year gone since writing this but nothing changes 😦 Great photo from Deserted Places on FB:

poeturja

Moss flung against the south side

Losing me in the trees

Lined up like doors

In forested hallways

Collecting words in spiral notebooks

Vertically lined

Along the horizontal:

“Paprika”

“Onomatopoeia”

Words not quite magical

Missing the point

As always

Pinterest boards of doors

Named “Piro Hudar”

Virtually visiting

Hallway of color

Pounding until they creakily reveal

Darkness behind each one

Twenty-two Tarot cards

Major Arcana

Gateways aligned

Yet the same ten

Beckon me inside monthly

Saying, “This is your lesson

When will you learn?

Then maybe you will earn

Lovers, Star, Sun”

Portals

Lines of trees

Lines of words

Lines of cards

Hallways so dark outside closed doors

Open Sesame…

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: From Deserted Places, no identification

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NO-WAKE ZONE

 

Red-right-returning
Channel markers
Red and green
Confusion sets in
For someone like me
Who has a reversed compass
In the brain
My life, then
Has been a slow movement
Fearful of attracting attention
The making of a wake
Sloshing the water
Best to obey
Don’t make waves, they say
But by the time it is okay
To speed up and get someplace
The tide is out
The boat is low
Knee-high
Tow with a rope
All is pull and push
Always that much more
Difficult
By land or water
By air or even fiery balloon
Easy does it
Shuffle-shuffle
Never make a wake…

(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

WANTED: SERIOUS MUSE

 

Throw-away society

Planned obsolescence

Of material goods

Marriage and partnerships

Easy to toss, too

That includes

The all-important entity

Called Muse

Whose actions

Like the fabled soul mate

Are impossible to predict

Will he always be

Standing over my shoulder

While I type my poetry?

Keats, Byron

Even women like

Wheeler and Walker

Love, curse, cajole

But the Muse

Doesn’t always come through

And me, I’m modern

If he doesn’t work

Find one that will

So here’s my serious plea

If you’re looking for a new job

And you understand poetry

Send your application to me

I really can’t write without you…

(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

Photo: Nickolas Muray,  Frida Kahlo & her male muse