Another birthday on its way. Here’s the newest picture to go along with a poem about what most of us love: music!

We have a duty
To preserve the beauty
Of Music
To play it loud and often
Whether we do it on
Lasered disks
Or vinyl
Or our own beloved but battered
Music, our soul’s sanctuary

(c) 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: CS under the sign of Aries 2020



Ides of March
Caesar’s dead
St. Patrick’s Day Druidic snakes
Killed or fled
Mardi Gras music and tasty food
Women’s Day international history renewed
Aries influence on the 21st day
Spring Equinox awakens our lost sense of play
Many family birthdays
Around the full moon
What were the parents doing
Nine months ago, that previous June
March is fun but April’s best
‘Cause it’s my birthday’s
Once-a-year chocolate fest
Can’t wait!

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

VETERAN’S DAY MEMOIR (Happy Birthday, Dad 11-23-1925)

No one selling poppies
At this Veteran’s Day festival
Dad always bought one
Somehow, the symbol
And socializing with soldiers
Anesthetized the buried memories
One way to survive war:
Thinking of the good times
Alcohol, gambling, jokes
The next day I inherited the flower
Droopy but delightfully blood red
Aries child’s favorite color
Poppies, to me
Conjured up the Wizard of Oz
“Sleep, sleep…”
Said the Wicked Witch of the West
As the camera panned along the
Endless fields of fallen flowers…

(C) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: My father 1946 Herman Simmens (Huna Suharliavi)


I threw a party
No one came
Do not pity me
Alone, I watched the dolphins
Playfully following the tides
Out to sea

About to light the candles
On the birthday cake
For me and Gulf birds
Suddenly thought why
Would we blow out light
Was it fright that stole our words

Why blow out passion
Don’t let the fire blaze
Why blow out life
When we’re celebrating it
But symbols translate chaos
So I ignored the cake knife

Great Gran once said
Blowing out candles is good
The smoke carries prayers
Along with birthday wishes
To the heavens where listens
Our happiness angel who cares

But then I read that the Germans
In the eighteenth century
Celebrated birthday kinderfests
Candles symbolizing
The light of life
Yes, snuffing out life is what it suggests

So earthly life encourages
No passion, no joy, and often
No friends who wish us well
“Blow it out! Blow it out!”
They happily shout
“Be like us!” (Friendships can be hell)

(C) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

Image: Birthday gear

MAX’S BIRTHDAY CAST OF CHARACTERS (8-11-2006) (Happy Birthday to the Big Guy)


RockStar–the Pit Chi–a pirate

Secret stash of stolen pens and rawhides

Leaving no map to confiscate property

But I find them

Can almost hear him growl:  Arrrr, human scalawags!

Digging up my pens

Tasting better than Jolly Roger’s bleached bones

He glares at me with those green eyes

But I avoid walking the plank

When he finds a sardine

In his kibble bowl

Better than coin of the realm


Bandit a Toy Fox Terrier growler

I try not to baby him

As all five pounds strut around

Strong and muscular and adrenalized

Although clueless about building a stash

He’s able to defend the one in his jaws

Loves to play-fight

Must have been a

Soldier of Fortune

Unmerciful Mercenary

In a previous life


Kali, Rat Terrier-cum-Dragon Lady

Piling bones, balls and rawhides

In a comfy dog bed

Then flinging herself

On top of the treasure

Seemingly sleeping away the day

But like a cartoon basilisk

One eye remains open

In case she needs to breathe out defense fire


Max, Rottie mix, larger than life

Plays a cameo role in his

Birthday poem

Well, might makes right, right?

Who’s going to argue with a

One hundred and ten pounder

Even when he’s ten years old today

Not me…

Muddy Max

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)





How random is random

Clicked on the internet generator



15 is my day of birth

15 in tarot is temptation (some would say the devil)

15 in numerology adds up to 6 and in tarot that is the lovers

15 in Tao Te Ching is my favorite quote about being still


Since it is hard for me to remain still and quiet

I need this reminder

In love

But also in life

And here it is hours away from the 15th day of April:


“Who can be still
until their mud settles
and the water is cleared by itself?
Can you remain tranquil until right action
occurs by itself?”


I don’t think so, but I will try…


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: pagespeed.ce