family

CARDBOARD DOJO MEMOIR

(Dedicated to JPH, BMR & MAR)

*scroll down for a YouTube video

Lived in a shack
On the railroad track
With a windmill on
An old shed roof
And we had two tiny chickens
And we ate tiny eggs
And we had my two sons
And like the CSN* song
Two cats in the yard
With loads of herbs
But the best part
Was taking karate
In our 40s
With my teenagers
Tae Kwon Do
Oom Yung Do
Bushido
Three different stages
Made it one stripe away
From a brown belt
But the best
Was living and practicing in
The Cardboard Dojo
JP hauled in his red Ford Ranger
About a hundred empty cartons
That once held desks
For the school where he worked
As the gardener and groundsman
He nailed them into the moldy walls
Of the falling down living room
And we practiced
Counting to ten in Japanese
Fist fighting the air
Side-kicking with flair
Then doing our katas
As seriously as a ballerina
Preparing for Swan Lake
Most days now
JP spends in a power chair
And me?
I just smile
Because after a while
I can hear the voices of my sons
The meow of the cats
The clucking of the chicks
And yes, the sigh of the herbs
Reaching up to the Florida sun
In a garden that was once graced
By a double rainbow interlaced
In a garden on 20th Street
In Zephyrhills, Florida
So many years ago…

(c) 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: JP & CS with chicks by the RR track shack

*CSN = Crosby, Stills & Nash YouTube Video “Our House”

CS Z-hills 1993

GENERATIONAL CURSES

What do the ancestors say
Is there comfort from
Beyond the veil
Thinking about generational curses
Wondering if they’re true
Were they poor generational choices
So easy to misconstrue
Powerful DNA
Passed down through the years
Eyes and hair and sickness too
So why not memories
That we confuse
With reincarnation
So why not a compass
Leading us down the wrong path
Because we have always done it
That way
My generational curse
A Tantalus one
Victory always just out of reach
Me on one side of the breach
And I don’t ask for much
But as such
I just can’t seem to attain
Still, my personal generational curse
Is not like the one, say, of the Kennedys
But then there are today curses
Eyes of evil looking at me
Jealousy
Who knows why
If you only knew
What life has done to me
But I smile so you don’t know
And so I ask the ancestors
To help me go on
No sense asking why
But I need the remedy
The outcome
Safety for me
Safety for my family
Is there any protection
Against mindless enmity…?

(c) Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Hoodoo Tarot 2

CORNUCOPIA

MY ANNUAL THANKSGIVING POEM. WISHING ABUNDANCE TO ALL ON EARTH!

To make a cornucopia, take:
Smoked round reed for spokes and braiders
Soak them into flexibility
Cross, pinch, entwine and weave
Humming hymns of tranquility

Zeus breaking off the horn of his nurse
Heracles wrestling a river god of fables
Either led to an abundance myth
Winding up on Thanksgiving tables

Growing gourds, red and green Earth treats
Nuts and flowers complete the increase
Profusion of life’s requirements
Create a still life centerpiece

Magnetic pull of voices from the past
Call and text loved ones far away
Laughter, tears, music of the spheres
The beauty of a traditional holiday

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Peter Paul Rubens, Abundantia

 

FRIENDSHIP (TURQUOISE CHAKRA)

Just back from an incomparable vacation. My feelings in this poem will also fit in
with my coming book “Chakra Madness” and the photos include my friends (Betty,
Myra, Arlene. and Wilma) and family (sons Ben and Micah and granddaughter Eliana). Thought you would enjoy the comparison pictures of me with Wilma on our way to Girl Scout camp (long ago and far away) and of me with Arlene in the 1980s when my hair was still black (how I miss it!)!

Whoever owns a turquoise
Will never want for friends
A traditional saying
For the throat chakra representing
Communication and travel
Releasing old vows and memories while
Allowing the soul to express itself
So true because our words are
Often blocked
So difficult because we take a chance
Telling others we love them
(What if they ignore our words
Or worse, laugh?)
So egotistical to not want to say
What we know
Although
Family and friends
Are our soul mates
Even when we disagree
There is a bond so very holy
And so I hold the turquoise stone
And say to family, friends, we are one
And I love you…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
Images: Sons, granddaughter, friends past and present, turquoise (wikimedia)

W&C 10 YEARS

C&A 1980s

WACBEST

E&B1

M&CBEST

M & B 1

E&Cbest

 

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)

“ON THE ROAD AGAIN”

*scroll down for a Canned Heat YouTube video*

Swore to the patron saint of loneliness
Swore to the goddess of solo travel
Swore to anyone who’d listen
Never
Never
Would I travel alone again
Or climb an airstair
To fly one thousand miles
Never
Never
But here I go
No way to abstain
I’m on the road again
Because the blood
Is stronger than my word
The blood
With coils of DNA
Bubbling in the soup of my body
Sending messages
Via synapses
(Did I get my anatomy confused again?)
Sending blips of info
To my brain
So, yeah, bits of DNA
Say I miss my sons
Say I miss my granddaughter
And I’m on the skyroad again
Obsessing and obsessing
For the next two weeks
Here I go
Alone
But amid my moans and groans
E minor and A minor chords
Move down their own road
From the brain to the heart
And I can’t wait to start
My trip
Come what may…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
Image: William Penn statue on City Hall, Philadelphia, PA
(Pinterest, Non-attributed)

Canned Heat On the Road Again

BLUES IN THE AFTERNOON

To live with no regrets
True translation:
To live and take
Responsibility
For those incidents
We do regret
There is no time machine
No way to return
To the scene of the shame
So easy to forgive others
Hard to forgive ourselves
Especially if we were children
Helpless
And victims of family
Out of control
Eventually attracting
Friends, spouses
Ripping apart our soul

Maybe three in the morning
Is heart attack time
But for me
Three in the afternoon
Is when I sing the Blues
Blood sugar down?
Morning high
(Brought on partially by coffee)
Has fatally crashed
Blues between noon and dusk
My heart’s an empty husk

Not much natural blue
In Nature
Rare birds
Rare flowers
Blue reserved
For sky and sea
Morphing to Indigo
A representation
Of Third Eye Wisdom
Along the chakra rainbow
Fourth House of the zodiac
Home
Capricorn in the Fourth
No easy way to say this
Not an easy natal moment

I so hope I can struggle to my end of days
In self-made love and peace in a glorious blaze…
(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Picasso’s Blue Period, Old Guitarist

SOLSTICE #19 SUN

 

Happiness and health to all my friends & family (whether you celebrate the summer or winter solstice)
Friday, December 21, 2018 5:23 pm

Winter sunshine often glides
On beams astride a tilted Earth
Sun at its southernmost post
North Pole plunged in darkness
But it is the moment of the
Solstice (meaning “Sun Stands Still”)
When it stops, reversing
Moving northward, a path to fulfill
Ancient calendars in Mayan Tulum
And Salisbury’s Stonehenge
Honored this scientific moment
Capturing the speck of light
Before the longest night
And we continue this in modern times
Among the mammals hibernating
The serpents brumating
We humans manically do our preparations
Baking, cooking, buying, greeting
Dancing, singing, talking, eating
Because we understand how fleeting
Time is for all on Earth
The Sun, long worshiped
Warmth and light to keep us safe
Unconditionally touching everyone
Sun doesn’t care about my autism
Sun doesn’t care about my aging
Sun is there even on the cloudiest days
Even through the dampness and haze
I greet this gorgeous, golden Sun
One of the few constants in my Earth span
Revolving around the Cosmic Plan
That is you…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Bucketful of Red & Green

FOR MY FOLLOWERS, FRIENDS & FAMILY

Happy Thanksgiving Day
This is important for me to say
Social Media is our folk hotel
Visiting daily, we share and retell

Showing pictures of our dog and cat
And our granddaughter the acrobat
Yummy recipes make me hungry
Love the chance to sign petitions about the bumblebee

Wonderful to hear about your son
Life is tough but they still have fun
What amazing writing and crafts so handy
Thanks for accepting our modus operandi

We huddle together when tragedy does come
It visits us all and we succumb
But having loving thoughts sent our way
Soothes us like a spiritual bouquet

So keep on posting and let me know
How life is, just say hello
Know I think of you although I don’t say
You’re always in my mind on any day

Love & Fun & Happiness to you and your Crew…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Tom Russell cover art for Folk Hotel