folk music

COFFEEHOUSE ON NEW YORK AV

(ANOTHER PRE-CASINO, ATLANTIC CITY MEMOIR)

Troubadour in dark room
Singing and strumming
“Go away from my window…”
Thinks he can tell me
What I need
Coffee grinding ten steps away
Strings strangling a heart
Fibrillating to future rejections
“It ain’t me, babe” soaring through
The smoky room
Zinging in, trying to make me cry
With his lying eyes
So why’d he pursue me
Take me to his room and
Almost ruin me
Thinks he can croon
By the light of the
Not-yet-landed-upon-Moon
Me nervously twirling my spoon
Roiling the brew
To read a few escaped coffee grounds
What is my future
Another tall, dark stranger
I’ll love and lose?
Caffeine finally affects
The saddened brain
Venomously I think
He’s not even a quarter good as Dylan
Can’t help wondering, though
When I’ll be an adult
So to all you young girls,
Yeah, not really women
We’re fragile little girls
When it comes to secret chambers
Of the heart
Here to tell you
Lived despite the pain
But can’t say
I ever used the label
“Adult”
Because
For the very sensitive
Adulthood is merely in the
Eyes of children
And the memory comes through
When I’ve sipped a few
Double-shot espressos…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: kava3

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ME FOR YOU

Who says we’re the “Me” generation?
“Free” definitely
But remember all we did
For the Cosmos?
Some went to war
Some protested same
Learning the game
Of politics
Trying to save
Earth and clean up
Acid Rain
Not easy

Indulgence?
Yes, we were teens
Milestone to adulthood
Looming like a shadowy
Twist of steam
Competing with our
Psychedelic auras
So we indulged
But remember, we didn’t know
That drugs, cigarettes
And even sunshine
Were traps of death

Indulgence?
Oh, the music
Need I say more?
the melody of
Make love not war
Thrumming in our heads
Never to be forgotten
Decades after the first riffs
Of incomparable songs
Echoed along the
Space-time continuum

Me
And you
My lovely cohorts
(No matter our politics)
We made a splendid skydive
Into time
Ticking to the
Rhythm of
Rampaging, riotous
Life
All for the benefit of
You, the future generations…

(c) 2018 clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: MUSHROOM & PEACE UKULELE

A BRIEF HISTORY

Tripartite divisions
Time wounds all healing
Historic time unchanged
Lives still worth stealing

First tree struck by lightning
Branch fell on singed earth
Potential for weapons
Anger now gave birth

Wooden equalizer
Swing it through the air
Smash the enemy’s head
In war, all is fair

Stones are so much stronger
But they still can break
Blazing fires shape bronze
Blood lust now to slake

Iron changes the game
Scissors-paper-rock
Right through the techno age
Add lizards and Spock*

Childish games teach us well
So why work for peace
The world is so crowded
War aids that decrease

Songs of peace resounding
Through harsh centuries
Voices must continue
Profound harmonies

*The Big Bang Theory quantum addition to old game

(C) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: My peace ukulele

 

 

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

 

 

 

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