aging

FERAL (on hemp oil)

Little bit of old age pain so taking a little bit of hemp oil. I’ve become a little bit
uninhibited (that’s a little bit good). Interesting thoughts while watching Joan Jett
eat…

*scroll down for a Joan Jett video

WTH?
Swear I’m swinging
On a fur-clad sling
Wearing fur?
Oh, no!
Hope the animal rights groups
Don’t splash me with blood or
Red paint
But never wore fur
Couldn’t afford it
And I’m vegetarian
Not the radical kind
Hey, eat whatever you want
Well, not me
But I look around
And honestly
The word “Scruff”
Echoes
I’m being carried by
The scruff of my neck
It’s a cat
A black feral cat
And wait!
Too much hemp oil?
I’m a kitten
A starving one
With a desire for milk
But aren’t I lactose-intolerant?
Hate milk
Suddenly
(That horror story word)
“Suddenly”
An orange male cat
(I know he’s male, can smell him)
Leaps at the female
Mom?
Carrying me
Didn’t I once feed a feral cat?
Didn’t want to do it
But her cry seduced me
Music like I’d never heard
Pathetic
Beautiful
Secretly named her
Joan Jett
Oh, no!
He’s trying to kill me
For food?
I know male bears do that
To their cubs
But do cats?
And while wondering
How I became a cat
My eyes close
All is dark
And I tumble down a tunnel
Toward light
So bright
It finds its way through my eyelids
And I wonder what
Life
Or is it
Death
Brings me next…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Joan Jett eating

*Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, I Love Rock & Roll

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PETRIFIED!

Our lives are like a fossil record
The past built upon the corpses
Of who we were
Evolving in our lifetime
Age 10, age 20
Stages part of the record
Phases of impressions
Visible along the
Striations in different hues
Records of me and you
An old map relevance
Hope I remember
Life is merely a planned trip
Guiding me to me
Time synonymous with vertigo
Yesterday
Today
Tomorrow…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Fossils

ABANDONED!

When does immortality desert?
Listening to the wind and rain
In a rickety old Victorian
Off the Atlantic City
Boardwalk and ocean
Wanting so much to be swimming
In the flooded streets
Like the other children
Sailing through life without
Health-conscious adults
No, didn’t desert this little girl
Sneaking outside to ride the wind
Sure was immortal when
Hurricane Hazel hit
Brave and bragging
Like Beowulf in Hrothgar’s Court

Immortality didn’t desert
Around 1987 when she swayed
With her workplace
On the 13th floor
University spread out below
As West Philly fought the deluge
Standing by the window
Daring the winds
To crack open the glass
And carry her on an adventure
Work and motherhood and
Young woman power a
Powerful fuel
Indestructible as Beowulf
Ripping off Grendel’s arm…
Certainly didn’t desert her
When living in Florida
Watching the Roomie
Wind surf in the Gulf
Lifting ecstatic arms
Inviting the power to the Earth
Screeching with laughter
Crossing Dunedin Causeway
When the No-Name Storm
Tried to take away her life form
No, this almost-middle-age woman
Was still immortal
Enduring as Beowulf
Decapitating Grendel’s mother

Now, now mortality
Has wrapped her in its heavy folds
Not a warm and comforting blanket
Just freezing cold
Age-old
Fears
And she cowers
In a time-worn tower of years
As new imps introduce themselves
With names like
Fragility
Autoimmunity
Stupidity
Done in like Beowulf
By the dragon’s mighty fire
Cyclone: the mirror showing
Time ending onshore
Immortal no more…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGES: Hurricane Dorian 2019 / Cyclone 1

cyclone1 sm px

ESCAPE FROM PINK

Born in an April Pink Rose Moon
Lover of red and black
Roses and sun beams
Suddenly smack against the wall
Of no longer striving to be happy
Personable or at-least-cute
Swimming in worry
Unable to rise to the glass’s top
Like newly-poured sweet cream

Mapped my way from Earth to sky
Head tilted at a neck-aching angle
Eyes constantly on the night sky prize
Searching for an older body’s scheme
While gravity grounds me physically
But emotionally all over the top
Bouncing off walls
Like an astronaut in training
Living in extremes
Wanting to float
Like myriad space debris
As an ultimate dream
Untethered from the Earth

How I wonder if my books have worth
I think of Bukowski’s poetry
The Last Day of the Earth Poems
Aged and sad
Maybe planning his final leap
Grim and dark
Hardly a sunny gleam
But poets don’t lie
We wrap our truth in starry dreams
Oh, yes, the reality is there
As you strip away the pretty paper and ribbons
Uncovering silent lunar screams

Have I reached too far
Over-reacting to aging?
I should ground myself
Rejoin the flamingo flock
Stop the aging themes
Enjoy the earth, water, air and fire
The base of all our alchemical balance
The stuff that weaves together
Human dreams
Should…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Flamingos & star globes 4

HOW MANY YEARS…?

*Scroll down for YouTube videos

How many more years do I have
To dance around to Soul Sacrifice
Santana’s masterpiece at Woodstock
Michael Shrieve drumming his way
Into percussive history
How many more years can I play
My tambourine
Along with the recorded band
Will the body hold up?

Will I ever get over
Not being there
Married a few months
He laughing at my longing to go
Of all the things we argued about
It’s the one NO! I’ll never forgive
(Advice: Never marry someone
Who doesn’t like the
Same music as you
Who doesn’t like to
Sit by a sizzling campfire
Huddled under a shared bedroll
In the endless rain)

So year after year
Every hot and rainy August
I celebrate Woodstock
Alone
In my air conditioned room
Dancing, singing, pounding the tambourine
And here it is
Fifty years later
I’ve slowed down
Bones make strange tones
When hauling myself off the floor
So I ask rhetorically
How many years
Will I have left
To listen to Jimi, Janis,
Dead, Who, Airplane, CSNY
And to Joni, who also missed Woodstock,
Yet she conjured up the eponymous song by
Sheer imagination and talent
But I am left alone, wondering
How many years are left…

*YouTube video, Joni Mitchell, Woodstock https://youtu.be/cRjQCvfcXn0
*YouTube video, Soul Sacrifice, Santana https://youtu.be/xBG6IaSQCpU

bandit&rockstar woodstock2 sm px

(C) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGES: Woodstock poster/My dogs with tambourine

rockstar woodstock1 sm px

LENORMAND AT LAST

Always ignored the Lenormand
Oracle decks
So limited
As compared to Tarot
(My greatest love)
Or even a playing deck
Of fifty-two
But aging brings wisdom
And aging brings the realization
That there is only one future
So cards became a jiffy way
To explore my day
And see what pondering problems
Such as what to eat for lunch
Could be solved by cartomancy
Made sense to explore Lenormand
Only 36 cards
Where the card creators warn you
To use ONLY their interpretations
Yeah, that’ll happen
Cards are meant to be dreamt over

Should have known
But leapt into the Aries unknown
Bought a deck impulsively
Only to find
Card #23
MICE!!!!
Oh, no, thought I
I have murophobia
Fear of mice and rats
Due to a trauma at age four
With a sewer rat big as a cat
Oh, no!
So once again
Leapt into the Aries unknown
Well, it was a lovely deck
With the drawings by Pamela Colman Smith
That intrepid artist from the Smith-Waite tarot
But here we go
Even worse
The MICE looked like a swarm of RATS!
So I put that box away
Into my collectible stash

This time, thought I
I will try to find the #23 images
On Google
Pretty difficult
I mean, who can blame the artists
Not wanting to share their dream
Of lovely art
But Oh, found
My dream deck!
The Kitsch Lenormand
All images from the 1950s
I Love Lucy
My parents’ red kitchen set
Flamingos
And #23:
The Mickey Mouse Club
I can deal with Annette Funicello
In Mickey Mouse ears
And it’s a wonderful collectible
But will also be my go-to
Deck
What the heck
Who says oracles have to be serious
Life is meant to be fun
Especially when aging
Because we have begun
To fold in
To shut out
But there is always a sun with the moon…
Thank you Saint Gertrude
Patron Saint of Murophobics
For your intercession and gift
M-I-C (SEE YOU REAL SOON)
K-E-Y (WHY? BECAUSE WE LIKE YOU!)
M-O-U-S-Eeeeeeeee…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Lenormand Kitsch by whiterabbitoracle.etsy.com
IMAGE: Gertrude of Nivelles, Wikipedia

st gertrude of nivelles patron saint of murophobics

WANTED: NEW LIFE (BUT I’D STILL BE ME)

How I want to move and start a new life
Scrape off the old paint with a palette knife
Meet new people who accept my little quirks
Those able to see the quilt through the patchworks

Maybe a place in the mountains or desert or by the sea
With different palms or spreading chestnut trees
On hard cement or lush condo lawns
Or a musty city stage, shivering before a walk-on

But then I realize no matter where I go
The place may look different but still I know
It will be populated with the same old archetypes
Like a disaster movie full of stereotypes

I’m told boredom is better than being frantic
Unfortunately, being alone isn’t very romantic
Socializing, as I age, has become so hard
Sometimes it’s best to stay in the backyard…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Back Fence Move

LUNAR CAUSTIC

Waiting-waiting-waiting
A Lunar Caustic
Photographic negative
Miss Havisham* clad in her
Black dress
Waiting-waiting-waiting
To be combusted
By the enhancing of
Silver Nitrate
Holding in her hand a
Destroyed chocolate cupcake
Looking negative-white
A tier of wedding cake
Waiting-waiting-waiting
Sun and Moon
Alchemically conjoined
Silver Nitrate
Cauterizing wounds
Creating a scab
To stop the bleeding
Of a torn heart
Waiting-waiting-waiting
For what…?

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Miss Havisham

*Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

HALLWAY UKULELE (memoir)

Beloved but battered
Blah, blah, blah
Can’t say enough
Love it badly
Patiently waiting
In heat and humidity
For me to sling it over
My narrow shoulders
And make it sing
Remembering
New teenager me
Raging Chakiris* crush
As he sang
Roses and Lollipops
Lollipops and Roses
Oh, the garbage we moon over
When young
Believing in romance
And love
Old now, don’t like the lollipops
But still adore roses
Yet
Who knew I’d be banging away
On my hallway baritone
Singing songs about
Life’s disappointments
Yet
Yet
So much fun to strum
And on really bad days
Can raid my stash
In a clothes closet pocket
Peanut butter and chocolate
Almost as good as music
And truly superior
To two-timers I have known
In the realm of romance…

*Actor-singer-dancer George Chakiris (unable to find the video)

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Red roses & baritone ukulele

ACHROMATIC BLACK

 

*Scroll down for a YouTube video*

A hueless color
Completely absorbing visible light
It’s why I wear only black
Born in the wrong century
Incorrect body size
It’s why, despite the breakdown
Of facial skin beginning to fossilize
I Amy-Winehouse my eyes
Disguise my hands with black lace
Goth Granny needing moonlight
Bathing me in a silvery beauty
Short and going dumpy
No longer a cutie
But hey, I’m alive
But hey, I’m self-propelling
But hey, I’m happy in my
Quirky feminist way
It’s a new day
And we Baby Boomers
Who cannot afford cosmetic surgery
Sneer at botox and chin lifts
Avoiding mirrors during the day
But hey, we’ve got the secret of youth:
Classic Rock
And like Jagger sang
I’ll paint it black
And like Amy sang
I go back to black
Now I’m off to sing and play
Songs about glorious black
Creating a memorable sound track
As another birthday approaches…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Amy Winehouse