family

CLOTHES DOTH NOT THE GIRL MAKE (MEMOIR)

A SPRING EQUINOX POEM

 (scroll down for a YouTube video)

 

Bonnet, bag and blossoms

Hope to have them for Easter

But Spring Equinox beckoned

Dad woke us in amaranthine darkness

Loaded us into his brother’s borrowed car

Mom boiled eggs and sliced home-baked bread

Tantalizing thermos coffee jolted me awake

Off we took

Navigating strange streets in Pennsylvania

Before the building of obsolete expressways

Automobile slouches through Bethlehem*

Manual transmission grinding

But brakes holding

Me, eyes aglow

Yay!  Forget about Easter clothes

We’ll be baptized in the mist of

Niagara Falls

Between Canada and New York

How good to be me

Front teeth finally filled in the gaps

Able to sing without lisping

Along with Mom and Dad

How happy and young they are

As we sing “Ain’t Got A Barrel of Money”

And I no longer care

About my holey underwear

Although it will be another year

Without

Bonnet, bag and blossoms…

 

*W.B. Yeats paraphrase

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

 

YouTube video (ukulele, of course!)  https://youtu.be/f4k4xdTVHGE

 

Image: Double Rainbows, Horseshoe Falls @ Niagara Falls (streetsmash)


PHANTOMS OF THE NIGHT

 

Reading ghost stories

In my darkened room

Middle of the night

Finally eyes closed

Falling into a Beta sleep

Creepy images

My old friends

Presented by Hypnagogia

Sleep disorder extraordinaire

Flickering, ghostly girls

From the novel

Originating in a Central Casting union shop

Translucent skin reminiscent of

Victorian tubercular heroines

Smudged, dark eye-bags

Herbalists diagnose as

Renal dysfunction

So much like my favorite flick

Carnival of Souls

Yet Gran looked like herself

When she visited me

On my birthday

Superimposed her face on mine

In the bathroom mirror

Mom did too

Except her hair and clothes

Were World War Two-ish

As she perched on the arm

Of my couch

And I told her to go

Too many issues

When she lived

And breathed her fire

At desperately-wanting-to-be-loved-by-Mommy me

So, no

Ghosts R Us

Not smeared and stained

Not bloody and un-brained

Us R Ghosts

Look in the mirror…

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: young woman reading ghost stories, Wiki Commons

CORNUCOPIA

 

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

 

 

POEM BY MY FRIEND CAROLE HUGHES

Sharing this lovely poem by my friend Carole Hughes:

 

For my Mother (1913 – 2001):

…………In the Garden……..
I dreamed of a garden
in it my mother
was tending the flowers
as was her wont
on earth
you kept all your pain inside
an avalanche of pain
to make you insane
and throw you into a well
with that sad sound in your head
yet to you it was like snow
or feathers
a part of your plumage
or the scents of your flowers
their heavenly colours more radiant
than on any terrestrial ground
discrete profiles of bluebells
and lilies
larkspur and roses
so familiar and yet so haunting
with a power to unsettle
and to console
I picked one rose
from its thorny stem
feeling the thorns between us
this is from me, I said
and when I awoke
sweet-scented petals
lay about the room
and I saw my mother’s smile
the thorns had become roses.

…… carol j. hughes

SPECIAL DELIVERY

stork-baby-delivery-set

Seems like the bees and birds brought us here

Some of us air-lifted by the stereotypical stork

Wrapped in a pink or blue bundle

Some of us ushered in by an owl

Predatory? Wise? Symbolism defined by culture

Some of us carried by Disney-esque blue birds

Twittering to the musical words: the promise of dreams coming true

Some of us thrown through the sky by pterodactyls

Into a maelstrom of volcano spurting hellish ash.

 

The mystery continues as we fight for survival

Depending upon the people locked away with us

In boxes of various sizes, amenities and care

Do we dare share what secrets occur in families?

Neither social class, race, religion nor color matters

The luck of the conveyance, climbing onto the back

Of the correct bird, determines our future

For good or bad, we are prisoners until mad, or old enough

To go into the world alone; no one can stop us then

 

Some of us rise above the nurture, or lack thereof

Even in the same family, differences abound

Sometimes that matters when the next generation

Hops helter-skelter on the back of a delivery bird

Cousins come via all those Audubon book descriptions

And nestlings begin their education sometimes on a higher plane

Moving from owl to stork or a majestic Sand Hill crane

Some of us slip from Disney-esques to pterodactyls

Giving in to the fire obstructing the air.

 

Life somehow is not fair, yet the beat always goes on…

 

© 2015 ViataMaja

MY FAMILY

60's Peace Jewelry 3

Gypsies, Jews, Africans too

Vietnamese, Philippine, and Protestant (a few)

Catholics and even a Muslim or two

Hispanics and Atheists add to the brew

Also Gays and Lesbians of every hue

I feel so proud that my 60’s dream came true

This is my family as the genes pass through

New blood that brings to life a modern view

Tolerance in families is not new

A practice our whirling planet must pursue

It is something we all can do

Spreading DNA from me to you

Eventually, the world will be a stew

Realizing this is déjà vu

Unhealthy war, we can start anew

My flower power wish, love is the glue…

 

© 2015 ViataMaja

(Image: Some of my 60’s peace jewelry)