folk music

THINGS THAT AREN’T THERE

WORK/SONG IN PROGRESS (NEEDS LOTS OF WORK)

(ANOTHER AUTISM POEM/FOLKSONG)

note to me: chorus ?

Things that aren’t there
Life often unfair
Reverse imagination
An unaware incantation
Impossible at times to overcome
For some of us on the Spectrum

note to me: do I want to rhyme the verses traditionally or chaotically?

Can’t make myself
Get on that train again
Happened months ago
Can’t let it go

Thought I saw a small trash can
Next to coffee shelf
Tossed my uneaten sandwich
Porter flipped out, upset my mental health

Can’t make myself
Get on another plane
Body search in my long dress
Made me feel like an embarrassed mess

Can’t go around huge crowds no more
Walked into an ad board not on a door
How’d it get there, I asked, rubbing my head
Knew I should just stay in bed

Can’t cross streets, haven’t learned
To watch for cars when talking
Friend saved me when we were young
No one there now when I’m walking

chorus

Things that aren’t there
Life often unfair
Reverse imagination
Is an invisible conjuration
Impossible at times to overcome
For some of us on the Spectrum

Autistic brains can perform magic
An unaware incantation
I’ve taught myself to think first
And not lose my concentration

There’s a secret door to the attic
Dusty, yet brimming with bling
Often difficult to let it shine
But I know the effort is mine

What came first, I wonder
The Princess or the Pea
Mounds of moldy mattresses
Brain on Silly Putty

The pea’s an irritation
Like pearls to the oyster
Sensitivity crazes me
Just lock me in a cloister

I guess I want you all to know
Autism comes in many colors
I’ve shared mine with you today
It’s sometimes painful but mostly okay

chorus

Things that aren’t there
Life often unfair
Reverse imagination
Is an invisible conjuration
Impossible at times to overcome
For some of us on the Spectrum

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: CS & fallen Florida Black Vulture perch

 

 

 

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SPOONS!

*scroll down for a YouTube video*

Sun’s morning stretch Over the Atlantic Ocean
Sinking gratefully into the Gulf of Mexico
Silken sheets of green embracing
Seaweed waving to coming darkness

Spoons enter my life day and night
Stirring hot espresso
Scooping raisins onto a plate
Scent of cinnamon oats seductive

Slipping away to play through the day
Seductive invitation to join a jug band
Spoons of dessert size clicking on my hand
Singing Bluegrass songs of summers to come

Simple life of peace perfect
Superman Nietzsche’s Amor Fati
So simple: Love your fate
Starting to understand “acceptance”

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: My spoons!

https://youtu.be/qFC2pJctBUo Spoon Lady YouTube video

 

FRAGMENT FOR A BARITONE UKULELE (or mandolin) SONG:

fog-wrapped palm by my swamp 2 yrs ago

DECIDED TO ADD ON A ROUGH DRAFT OF WHAT WILL BE THE BODY OF THE SONG:

Year after year

Our lives so dear

You disappeared

Taking my heart

We’re forever apart

As you stay locked

In the wood of the tree

Never to be free

Lost hearts of Palm…

 

Playing one day

Polished obsidian ball

Our two faces reflected

Happiness and perfection

 

You invented words

In a foreign tongue

I laughed, joined in

We chanted, having fun

 

Suddenly gone…

You are suddenly gone

Suddenly gone from me

 

Never did I dream

You’d be so close

Locked away in wood

Brown and gray

 

I thought I’d dreamed you

And then awoke

Until one foggy morning

I heard your voice

 

So far away

And yet so close

Heard your voice

Calling my name

 

Found an axe

But you shouted “No!”

The bark, the leaves, the heart of palm

Part of you

 

Found that old obsidian ball

Polished, washed, sun drenched

Held it next to my heart

Whispered my love

 

Nothing, nothing

(Please, please)

Silence from the swamp trees

 

Words, what words

Did we say

That terrible day

I ask, but you no longer answer

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Two views of my palm tree 2015 & 2017

(it sure did grow/as if it holds the key/to my happiness)

 

 

Save

NERDY BLOGETRY

 

*scroll down for a Joan Baez YouTube video*

 

A friend did send

An article about

Thracian deities

Thrace part of

Bulgaria, Turkey, and Greece

Just south of Romania

My father’s birthplace

My friend did send

When I complained

That her Celtic gods and goddesses

Were so much more interesting

Than the Romani ones

Of course, the Romani ones are from India

But there is the Eastern European part of my blood

That calls out to other deities

 

So being a Fire sign

I was interested in the Fire goddess

Later to become St. Marina

Daughter of Domna (Queen)

Who comes with her own folk song:

“Oh, Domna, Domna, Domna queen!

Domna queen and swallow!”

And the nerd in me

The wannabe folksinger in me

Can suddenly see

Can suddenly hear

The high trilling of none other

Than Joan Baez

Singing and strumming

“Dona, Dona, Dona, Dona”

A song claiming to be a Yiddish folksong

Even though the words

Match up with the Thracian mythology

Of a black sheep being sacrificed

To the Domna

And a swallow, like the swallows

Of San Juan Capistrano

Are elements echoed in the song

“On a wagon, bound for market

Is a calf with a mournful eye…”

And

“Why don’t you have wings to fly with

Like the swallow so proud and free?”

Most interesting of all

After the Eastern European countries shifted

Joan Baez performed her song in

The new country with

The old name of Czechoslovakia

Many of the people saying they were

Long-familiar with the myth

 

So I apologize to some of you

Wading through my nerdy piece of blogetry

But hoping that my fellow nerds

Will feel the delight

Of discovering cultural insight

Of history repeating itself

But in a lovely way

Not a doom but a boon

Of the beat going on…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Swallow (Pinterest, no attribution)

 

https://youtu.be/BqzGZ5AaeSs   YouTube video, Joan Baez singing Dona, Dona, Dona (spelling changed to Donna somewhere along the years)

CALLICARPA AMERICANA (Florida Beautyberries)

Dripping down my fence

An iced cake of purple-pink

Raw for wild birds who come to drink

Crush those leaves, rub them on the skin

Mosquitoes and deer flies die

Berries, water, sugar, lemon juice, pectin

Recipe for ice cream sauce or jelly

Become a Venus rising by Botticelli

Will they make me beautiful?

Will they help me play the mandolin?

Not really, to my chagrin…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: my mandolin and Callicarpa americana

THE LET IT BE UKULELE & JOHN DENVER’S MINIMALIST CHORDS

 

Finally found a ukulele

That enhances the Beatles song

Or a hymn, really

Of acceptance

With a touch of

Unconditional love

Mother Mary

Or whomever you want to name her

A comfort when needed

Song sounds accurate

Thanks to the

Chensheng hand-made one

Seems I have ukuleles

That specialize in

The songs I love

(Because I can’t read notes

Can’t adapt the melody

Can’t figure out the capo either)

The Luna peace concert one

Perfect for my own song-writing attempts

While Vincent

Forever encapsulated

In his starry, starry night

Resonates on the Ibanez concert

Just love Ronstadt on the Oscar Schmidt tenor

As I twang about love

Or the lack thereof

Yet the song that can enthrall

Can play perfectly on all

Is “Leaving on a Jet Plane”

Underrated John Denver

Whom I once hitched a ride with

From the Philadelphia Folk Festival

Before he was famous

Singing with the Mitchell Trio

What a friendly, happy man

So kind to us young ones

Zooming along the roads

Glad to find coffee and real bathrooms

After a night of no sleep on the muddy pastures

Where music built a crochet chain

Linking all the people responding to

Acoustic folk guitar

Voices hoarse from our singing

Around nomadic campfires

A time when

John Denver was yet to write

The 3-chord song

One song fits all

My ukuleles

No matter my mood

So simple

Play it and see:

G…C

G…C

G…C…D…

 

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: My tenor ukulele with late winter berries

SCARING KORAKO (CROW)

 

No exaggeration

Fifty-plus crows

In my backyard oaks

Noisy and cawing

How they croaked

Despite the dogs

Barking and leaping

The crows intent on

Hysterical cardinals

And doves scared out of sleeping

They never react to crashing noises

Screaming or begging

Or my Romani words of magical ploys

So tried the peaceful way

And walked around the yard

Me with my ukulele

Playing and singing

“Leaving on a Jet Plane”

(Don’t know when YOU’LL be back again)

And really, they quieted, discussed my words

Took wing, darkening the still-daylight waxing moon

Feeling best to go hungry

Than put up with that screeching, plunking loon

And I heard the collective sigh

Of backyard, hiding birds, no lie

How useful I feel

Scarecrow extraordinaire

Guess I finally have a brain…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: My tenor ukulele with berries

HISTORIC WALLS OF RITTENHOUSE SQUARE

 

How can it be?

Generations of posteriors

Warming Rittenhouse Square’s walls

Feeling tall and superior

 

Now it’s a crime

To perch with friends

Glad to see it’s ignored

Youth refuses to descend

 

I played my kazoo

Sitting on those walls

While guitars and voices

Rose above traffic squalls

 

Listened to anti-war speeches

Drank my first beer at fifteen

Handed up by a bearded hippie

Tore my first bell-bottom jeans

 

All the years after

The Square played its part

An island in the midst of the city

Sitters the park’s heart

 

Take down those signs

Philly, it’s a mystery

Why you ignore the beauty

Of an unbroken line of history…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Yong Kim, Philadelphia Inquirer Daily News

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20170113_City_puts_up__no_sitting__signs_in_Rittenhouse_Square__targets_weed.html

 

 

LYRICAL ARCHAEOLOGY

 

*scroll down for YouTube video of S&G*

i.

Wish I’d studied archaeology

But could never see myself

In desert, jungle or ice

So stayed content

Wandering through silent museums

Or looking through picture books

From free libraries

Food crumbs and oily fingerprints

Pressed between the pages of mystery

Left by others interested

In ancient lives

But archaeology exists in music

Sure, we have bios about a few

Composers from centuries ago

But think of lyrics

From songs of the last century

ii.

Paul Simon’s America

If we weren’t alive yet we now know

In the early sixties

Men traveled by bus wearing suits

Belted raincoats worthy of the finest 30s detectives

And bowties!

Smoking cigarettes and eating Mrs. Wagner’s pies

We also know, though,

That like today

People were empty and aching

Yet moved by the moon rising over open fields

All that information in a three-minute song

We learned that Bobby Vinton’s women wore

Blue velvet

Before blue denim

And black leather reigned

And Joni Mitchell fell in love

Dancing in a torn stocking

We know Joe Hill and his men

Drove around the country, writing union songs

Being profiled by small town law

Torn out of their Depression-era cars

Beaten, hung

Bob Dylan sang to us about pellets of poison

Flooding our waters

As Phil Ochs refused to march again

To another war

And Richie Havens

Asking for freedom

In the Garden of Music

At Woodstock

Best of all

We have that visual

Of a head with hair

Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen

Hair down to there, shoulder length or longer
iii.

So each and every one of us

We who memorized or heard a lyric

Has dug through the sands of time

Discovering treasures

Greater than dead gold artifacts

Or mummified bones

We are the culture archaeologists

Owners of rhythm and melody

Alive music in harmony

Part of our historical quest

Forever in our hearts possessed…

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
YouTube video Simon & Garfunkel “America”  https://youtu.be/W773ZPJhcVw