DOGS

WISE DOG TAROT

Today I received my package with the Wise Dog Tarot. I opened it and there was a beautiful bag with the Page Of Cups: my own gorgeous dog RockStar! But each card is special and I couldn’t help feeling admiration for MJ’s extraordinary talent in bringing each dog alive! This is a set I will treasure forever…

https://www.facebook.com/crowtarotdeck/?epa=SEARCH_BOX

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ROCKSTAR’S MESSAGE

What is the message
From RockStar
As he circles the exact contours
Of Max’s buried body
Pushing the dirt
With his snout
Then digging a small hole
Placing inside
A recycled gift of
Semi-digested jerky
Ouroboros
Circle of life
Message to Max
Message to human
And canine survivors
Here you are, Max,
Says RockStar
We will never forget
And you will have
Eternal life
In our memory…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: RockStar’s circle done by snout
(NOT A GOOD PHOTO BUT LOOK ABOVE–or is it below–THE HOLE AND YOU WILL SEE THE DEEPEST PART OF THE CIRCLE ROCKY DREW AROUND THE GRAVE WITH
HIS SNOUT).  Top of photo (RockStar on the right, Bandit on the left)

TO MAX (AND HIS SPIRIT GUIDE)

MAX August 11, 2006-April 26, 2019

On a newly-dug grave, glitters blue glass
Flicker of black, crow cawing on the grass
I pick up the gift as he heads for the burning sky
So much history between him and I
But he likes when I sing and strum
And although I’ve been given crow glass before
Never has it been obvious like this
Crow knows my pain
After burying another dog again
Crow knows I’m blue
Crow knows my woe
Crow knows…

max in his hole 2

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGEs: Max’s grave with crow glass / Max

MERRY MONTH OF MAY

Month of May
Pouring rain
Six inches
Looked at last May’s
Poetry
One about the drought
Starkey Park on fire
Mere miles from my house
Now tropical storms
Daily pourings
With an electric light show
Burning the weeping sky
My dogs wet
Doing bladder runs
Between the drops
Poured coffee but no chance to drink
Poured cold coffee back in the pot
Poured back into the cup, hot
Dried the fur of three
Changed my wet clothes
Wondering if I’ll ever get to see
May deluges bringing May flowers
Maybe June will bring some sanity
Calming the mutability
Of elemental water…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: 3 wet dogs

 

 

NEW POETRY BOOK

The paperback edition of my newest book Xeriscaping Poetry (A Wild Mellowing) is now available on Amazon for $6 with B&W photos. The Kindle edition is $1.99 and the photos are in color. Although I edited and redid the photos, some of them are not centered and I made the decision to leave them as is since there is some inconsistency with the Kindle Beta Program for paperback. I do want to thank Karen Bruton for her invaluable help with my book cover. I will NEVER understand how to change the DPI despite her meticulous instructions! Here is the link:

 

 

JUST 5 MORE MINUTES

 

View from the window
Announces 6 o’clock
I can tell because
The dark of night
Has given way
To pale gray light
And the Spanish Moss
Dangling from Live Oak trees
Resembles my morning hair
Tangled and curly

 

I pull the rumpled quilt over
The silver mess
But my dogs
Ever-attuned to my moves
Nudge me, now in breakfast mode
No, I murmur, not yet
7 is my target time

 

Everyone forgets, except me
That I deserve this hour
Most of adulthood
Up at 5
Lighting the kerosene heater
Those years HE refused to fix the furnace
Shivering in my morning shower
In a one-bathroom home for four
Waking the boys
Making the breakfast
Coffee the prime objective
Feeding dogs who long ago
Crossed the fabled Rainbow Bridge
Dressing us all
Gingerly waking
THE MAN
THE DAD
THE HUSBAND
Through the years
Kids to babysitter
Then preschool, then real school
Me to school
Internships
Student jobs
Real jobs
Not much changed
Even when I began my new life

 

Oh, no!
My Rottie is hungry
Sticks his head
Larger than mine
Into my face
Goofy smile
Not yet, I say
View from the window
Announces 6:30
The early birds
Get the dehydrated meal worms
Red Cardinal dads on the feeder
Brown Cardinal moms on the ground
Pecking the leftovers
(No feminism this morning,
Clarissa, I think
Go back to sleep)

 

But I never make it to 7 o’clock
Because retirement, to me
Means an almost hourly pee
Lucky dogs
Breakfast determined by the
State of my bladder
I’m up and out
And the view from the window
Announces 6:45
That’s a nice compromise
Enabling to care
For the dogs and birds
The life I live and love…

 

(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Morning Moon and Sun

ANOTHER ROCKSTAR POEM

 

Traded in the family bike

For a handful of magic beans

Told it would grow into

A source of unconditional love

Wrapped In other-species intelligence

And just by touching this incredible bloom

Happiness would be mine for infinite hours

So hurricane rains

Cooled the solar beams

While rainbows bathed it

With seven colorful properties

And it grew and it grew

Until the blossom peeped through

And it was all

And more

As promised…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: RockStar my Pit-Chi

SLEEPS WITH DOGS

M, B & Toto (wp, dogs)

Certainly not as romantic

As dances with wolves

But I imagine

Being canines

They also have fleas

Drool

Lick their, um, you know

And sniff each other’s hindquarters

But,

The other side of the ledger

Reflects coin of the emotional realm

I’ve had dogs who

Gently place their head on my shoulder

When I cry

Dogs attempting to speak English

Dogs who sleep in the crook of my legs

As I lie

In a cramped fetal position

During the deepest dark dreaming

I’ve had dogs who make me laugh

Who adore my awful strumming and singing

Who love me unconditionally

Well, okay, food is involved in that bargain

But that’s fair

Most of all, I’ve had dogs

Who daily mourn when

I grab my backpack

Signaling

I’m heading out the door alone

So yeah

I sleep with dogs

No matter how they smell

And each one, in my heart

Forever will dwell…

Cosmic Steppenwolf (wp, dogs)

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Some of my dogs through the decades

Janis Joplin (JJ) (wp, dogs)

Max (wp, dogs)

Kali holding her treat (wp, dogs)

RockStar (wp, dogs)

bandit (wp, dogs)

TIME LAPSE

 

Air potatoes in indistinct moonlight

Like modern Winchcombe Grotesques

Fortifying the overgrowth of summer vines

Chills in the heat, dancing along my spine

Monstrous night

Dogs plastered to the fence

Growling at an undone rope

A rope unwound

Hanging on a spindly tree

Gulf Coast wind winding up to

A shrieking Banshee force

Is it the 3 a.m. heart attack

Or a dream

Can’t recall rolling out of bed

Sliding through the glass door

Suddenly soaking suede cloth boots

I think, Well, that feels real

Surreal similarity of when I was four

High on my uncle’s shoulders

Defying the Atlantic Ocean

Then slapped by a wave

Drowning

But still breathing

Under the sea

Thinking

Well, this is it

Then feeling him find me

Scoop me up

Carry me back to Atlantic City sounds

Of ice cream men walking the beach

Of children shouting, alive and laughing

All a blank after that, like now

And I fall on sleeping red-ant villages

On the beach of my back yard

Mosquitoes glued to skin welting up

My smallest dog jumps onto my back

As if we’re in bed

And suddenly my head

Clears in the darkness

Despite humidity and drizzle

It’s real, I rise

Clap my hands demanding the dogs to follow

Maybe they, as nocturnals, belong here

But no place for me

At three

In the unearthly morning

Of moon madness

Brought on, I surmise

From OD-ing on chamomile tea

And vomit-smelling valerian drops

All in the name of at least

A good two hours sleep

But back in the cool air conditioned bed

Insomniac thoughts reverberate in my head

How’d I get there without remembering

And, most importantly

Who hung that freaking rope

Who hung on it…

 

swamprope1

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGES: Rope in my swamp, medieval Winchcombe Grotesque

winchcombe grotesques