(another page in my poetic diary about self-doubt)


Surprisingly longer life
Than expected
(Not complaining, keep it coming!)
Been a Jack-of-all-arts
Master of none
Trying to perfect
Trying to understand
While soul-castle
Labors behind ramparts

(Before Zeus caught me)
Directing my fire
To music and words
To painting and herbs
To daylight birds
And night sky mysteries
But always intimidated
By the experts

(Caught by leaves in the sun daily
Or pecked by the god’s eagle
Punishment for sharing my fire
With you)

Each art has been a
Swatch of color
You think too much, Gran said
But politics and correctness
Invade my brain
No one expects France
To give Mona back to
The Italians
Why did TS Eliot
Rhyme Michelangelo with “GO” *
Instead of Picasso
(Van go, yeah, I know,
Pronounced in a clearing-the-throat style)
How can I finish
When questions mock and diminish?

Is there a pecking order of musical genres?
Classical, Classic Rock,
Country, Folk, Jazz
All the way down to World?
Determining factor money
(Of course)
Yet we continue creating
With fame as a driving force

So if these questions prevent me
From pouring my entire heart
Into creating
Perhaps I should pursue
A Philosopher’s degree
(My autistic monologuing fits!)

No, because here’s the word
I search for but lack:
Innate Talent
Can practice
Scream at the Muse
One’s genetics accuse
But the elusive ingredient
I am convinced
Must be present
In order to go from a Jack to a King
(Or Queen)

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Chained at the mercy of birds

*TS Eliot’s The Love Song of  J. Alfred Prufrock



Lying in bed

Dark night

Can’t arise

Only me

Nothing but human gravity

Preventing the bed

From flinging across

Time and space


Reaching for my notebook

And fine line gel pen

Ink leaking

Shaping words

Across the page

Once again

Trying to rise

Defying gravity

Resisting the flight

Into freedom

Forming the song

Not moving along

Settling on the lines

Of the somewhat sodden paper


Words disconnected

From my mind

Snaking across wrinkled pages

Resembling a poem

Seeking its soul mate


And me


A human anchor…


© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: The Writers College Times





So here’s a slew of

Ibis in search of Friday morning breakfast

Ceasing their scouring

As I peel a banana

But more polite than seagulls and squirrels

Receiving no invitation

They good-naturedly poke along the riverside

Eating whatever is hidden in the mud

Thinking of Ibis-headed Thoth

Egyptian god of knowledge, art and magic

I wonder if this foraging flock

Is a communique

My totems for the day

A message that says

Happiness is creativity…


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Foraging Ibis on the Pithlachascotee






What kind of day greets me

Waking up with the Romani song

Diri Diri So Kerdjan

(How Can This Be)

Clunking through my head

What kind of day will exist

Working out on the elliptical

Randomly shuffled playlist:

When Doves Cry

When Will I Be Loved

Don’t Fear the Reaper

What kind of day will I see

Alone, just the dogs and me

What kind of day?

Anything I want it to be





Forcing it

Must write

Prompts blight

My mind:


Warm shower



Gazing at the sky

Walking in nature

Thinking of events

That make me cry

Why oh why

Have words deserted me

Thought the reservoir

Was endlessly brimming

Can no longer accept

I’m specially skilled

Uncooperative brain



© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Human Connectome Project (Neuroimaging)



Waking up singing

A song that I wrote,

No matter how basic

And unGrammy-like

It may be,

Is almost the

Ultimate high

For me

Eclipsed only by

The birth of my sons


C)Couldn’t bear the memories

(G)Just can’t face it, baby, without (Am)you…

(Chorus from SUBTROPICAL, W-I-P)


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: My “peace” tattoo concert ukulele



The vibrations of the stones

Warmed the pocket of Woolf

Beating like a maddening heart

Urging her walk into the Ouse

Silencing her art of words

Words that brought so much pain

To the writer


The silent gas seeped out and

Swirled about Plath’s mane

Of thick hair hiding the pain

A life lived under a bell-shaped jar

Sealing inside pleasure-producing words

Yet allowing the invisible oozing of death

To end the writer’s pain


Rope of natural hemp, so easy

To wrap around the neck of

A suppressed writer suffering in her native land

Tsvetaeva’s words burned hot with honesty

No one else dared to listen

To one whose pain

Will always remain in her words:

“I know the truth…”


Sacrificial blood

Of poems, stories and song

Tidal wave of despair’s flood…


© 2015 ViataMaja


Image: River of Blood by x. xeroprodigy – DS Productions

A-Muse Me


A new year

Gather your flowers

Your essential nine

Walk through the garden

And maybe you think:

What shall I write about today?


If this is so, I need Erato

How can I stimulate her?

How can I convince her?

She needs to be plucked from the garden

To bloom and glow in my vase

As she basks in my admiration

And I am able to create

As her essence and odor permeate

And the brain-fingers coordinate

Necessary for translation onto the page.

Perhaps you think:

Today is a good day for History

Only Clio can help me produce

An extraordinary work of mystery

Flattening yourself on the ground

Gently stroking her stem, her leaves

Before severing her from the moist earth

And setting her into the vase

Next to Erato who is showing signs of

Brown edges and straggly leaves.

And so it goes, nine times

But one of the flowers understands

A magical flower

Who is helpless and will be plucked

And used like the rest of her sisters

But after all

They are goddess flowers

Will live again because

They hold the power over

Those who a-muse themselves

Who are merely the bees stealing nectar

From the Muse who is a vector of

Beauty and Truth

© 2015 ViataMaja, Poezija