TWO POEMS (Happy Horror Week Scare: I’ll take ghosts, vampires, zombies anytime. Aging is my personal nightmare…)




Nightmares about Soylent Green

Hungry? Worried about aging?

Thankfully, no Charlton Heston in the dream


Shopped at Walmart yesterday

Tomatoes spilled from inferior plastic tray

Some hit the floor but I’d already paid


Nothing grew in my back yard

Lost the planting will, everything’s hard

Sandy soil, anyway, is much too scarred


Food and water no longer seem healing

Garden medicine chest no longer appealing

Glancing in reflective glass, aged face has me reeling


Food, water, shelter and power

Supposed to create a protective tower

Framework for the body and soul bower


Poisoned is the water and food

Houses unaffordable yet devalued

Utilities effectuate disquietude


Ah, to be young and strong and ready to fight

To feel the blood pump while mood takes flight

But my side-effect of aging is terrible fright


Today is the future…


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Ebay Gothic Skeleton Wall Mirror







What do women want

According to medieval storytellers


The ability to make her own decisions

I disagree

Women want beauty

The magic ticket to

Receive it all

When older,

Women want youth

AKA beauty

Let me prove

This to you

Disputing Chaucer and

His Wife of Bath Tale

Or, later, Sir Thomas Malory

And although Dame Ragnelle

Is given the honor of

“Knowing” what women want

The tale would be different

If an actual woman

Wrote the story:


So, you may remember that

King Arthur is chasing


A deer in haunted Inglewood Forest

Owned by the otherworldly

Sir Gromer Somer Joure

Who in anger, demands an answer

Within one year

(Or he will behead the king)

To the question:

What do women most desire?


Despairing, Arthur confides

In his nephew Sir Gawain

So the upbeat knight

Organizes a ride

Through the country

Asking women the question

But all the answers are different

(Okay, no women-change-their-minds-too-much jokes)

Desperate, Arthur returns to the forest

And meets a “loathly” lady

An ugly, old crone

Promising the answer

If he arranges for Gawain to wed her

Gawain agrees, to save his uncle

And Arthur finds Sir Gromer

Who is waiting with his sister

Lady Ragnelle, who happens to be

The “loathly” lady

She has quietly told him the answer is



In bed, after wed

Gawain good-naturedly decides

To treat Ragnelle like a beautiful woman

Turning around

He sees she has transformed into a young

Stunning one

“You broke the spell

Cursed, to be old and ugly

Until a handsome young knight

Agreed to marry me”

But her looks will only be restored half the day

She gives him the choice:

Shall she be beautiful at night

When they are together

Or during the day

When they are with others?

Instead, Gawain gives her the sovereynté to make the choice herself

His answer lifts the curse for good

And Ragnelle’s beauty returns permanently




Magical words

Why are there no real stories

About ugly, old men

Marrying beautiful, young women?


Well, ok, didn’t prove anything

Just another rant by an aging woman

Who happened to take a selfie

Facing the sun…

Um, hey, no knights

In my past or present

Can you lift the spell anyway?


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Burne-Jones, Tale of the Wife of Bath, Victorian Web





Soon we two will be between the same walls

Your voice, your scent, the truth in your eyes

Will now forever be a part of me

Despite my adrenalin faintly permeating

The fresh onslaught of oxygen

Pumping at its utmost

I expect to be imperceptible

A ghost

As I move into your space

Your restless eyes

Passing me by

Hesitating for a blink

As a preternatural twinge

Arises from your brain

Warning you an observer

Is in the area

But like all moderns

You ignore that extra sense

Continuing on, walking by

As my looping mind

Consoles me

Reminds me

Skin-deep counts

In a world where plainness is maligned


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Beauty is only skin deep by



Kabukis were originally female prostitutes

Most women fit that description

Even married ones

Even ones with our own career

Singing, Dancing, Acting

For the dollar

Really brought home when aging

Face with lines carved by a hard life

Like a Kabuki Theatre Mask

Etchings worsened by makeup

Prized high cheekbones

Make shallow pools under eroded eyes

As if wearing John Lennon specs

Naturally rounded

Incised lines in fragile, declining skin

The nose is a nose

Larger with age

But the mouth

Despite years of smiling

(As I tap danced for work supervisors,

Lovers, husbands, friends)


Feel like the Bride of Chucky

Still under the spell of the ventriloquist

Tell me what to say

My Kabuki face is all

Lines, lines, lines

I’m no longer a child, yet (like my teen years)

Despite the creases

Despite the inevitability of real health problems

That may appear

I’m still looping about my face…

© 2015 ViataMaja