guitar

FLYING FINGERS IN A STORM

DEDICATED TO DENISE FLETCHER & JAMES CORBESIA

 

Resonator road
Tin shack swamped
Sinking beneath
Vines and moss
Dueling guitars
Electronic sizzling
Thrift store treasure
Shoulda stayed there
But it competes against
Lightning spears
Searching the ground
In a wet backyard
Here’s the star
My acoustic tenor guitar
Smug and safe
No connections with
The storm
Although thunder roars louder
Than metal strings
But electric unplugs
Acoustic wins the
Aging game
With a hot patch
On osteo knobs
And now the music
Under the aegis of
Modern medical heat
Allows delicate fingers and tendons
To play and sing
For at least an hour
Lost in the bower
Of the space time forgot…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Dueling guitars

 

 

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SOMETHING PRIMAL

REPOST OF MY SONG FOR MAKE MUSIC DAY

Make Music Day 6-21-18       http://www.makemusicday.org/

C/Never been in love or D7/loved
D7/Struggled to stay C/afloat
C/Can any man be so D7/perfect
D7/As a series of musical G6/notes?

F/Something primal G6/making it sing
Em7/Slapping bongos or F/tambourines
F/Skin aglow D7/feeling the sting

C/Fantasy in D7/chords of blue
D7/How will I ever Am/find you

C/Flavor of a D7/good man
D7/Like eating chocolate C/Ice cream
C/As taste buds revived D7/deliciously
D7/In a piquant G6/dream

F/Something primal G6/making it sing
Em7/Blowing horns hot as a F/thermal spring
F/Pumping blood rides D7/an upward swing

C/Fantasy of D7/honeyed kiss
D7/Craving a present Am/life of bliss

C/Longing for a D7/reality
D7/Consigning all the C/nightmares
C/Back to the D7/dreaded past
D7/Of implacable ghosts of G6/despair

F/Something primal G6/making it sing
Em7/Fast picking of guitar’s F/heart strings
F/Spiraling out on strong D7/beating wings

C/Fantasy of love D7/in the now
D7/Intending to live the Am/myth somehow

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja) words and chords
Written for GCEA ukulele but should work on Baritone Ukulele & Guitar (DGBE)

 

SIMPLE SONG OF THE SOLSTICE

REPOST OF A SONG WRITTEN FOR THE SUMMER SOLSTICE and Make Music Day

 

C/ Today no peppermint Em/ tea
C/ No espresso Em/ coffee
G/ Best is the Em/ extraction
G/ Dripping from aromatic Em/ skin
A/ Xanthos-lemon Em/ juice
A/ Pressed between pomegranate Em/ lips

C/ Slipping through sultry G/ water
G/ Fresh from the Earth’s C/ sluice
C/ And I offer to G/ you
G/ This catholicon of C/ love

C/ Blind taste test Em/ seen through
C/ The sun above Em/ sparkling
G/ Lighting up the Em/ longest day
G/ While indelible Em/ music plays
A/ Fine-tuned strings Em/ echoing
A/ Through circle-of-life Em/ holes of sound

C/ And the day G/ Fades away
G/ Into tie-dyed C/ black denim
C/ The matching color G/ of your eyes
G/ Lemon and pomegranate C/ until sunrise

C/ Dew filtered through G/ you C/G

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja, words & chords)
IMAGE: Baritone ukulele & sunflowers

These chords for baritone ukulele or guitar (DGBE)
Can substitute Am for Em for tenor, concert or soprano ukulele (GCEA)
Can substitute A with D for tenor, concert or soprano ukulele (GCEA)

FOR GRATUITIES (SONG IN PROGRESS)

I KNOW, SAID I’D NEVER ATTEMPT MUSIC AGAIN BUT IT’S FUN! HERE’S ONE ABOUT BUSKIN’

(for baritone ukulele or guitar tuned DGBE)

A/ Busking in old D/ age
D/ Once fairly E/ successful
A/ Won an award or D/ two or G/ three
G/ Made some E/ money
C/ But now younger
C/ More F/ “relevant” acts
E/ Replaced me
A/ Find myself D/ wandering
D/ Into non-smoky E/ clubs
A/ Sad-sounding strings in G/ hand
A/ Hoping to G /land
D/ An invitation to E/ sit in
A/ With a more current G/ band
D/ Please recognize E/ me!
D/ Play? Oh, I  E/ couldn’t
A/ But the applause
D/ Polite, at least
G/ Encourages my walk
D/ To the stage
A/ All false modesty D/ forgotten
D/ And when finished
E/ I’m all the rage
C/ But no one F/ hiring
C/ More like F/ firing
D/ Most old guys like E/ me
A/ Now busk
D/ For a smile and a G/ clap
G/ Pathetic D/ sap?
C/ Nah, just miss it F/ so
D/ Retirement not in my E/ future
E/ But dare not D/ think
D/ What A/ is…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: sunflowers & baritone ukulele

 

CROSSROADIN’

scroll down for a YouTube video

Ah, so wanted to play
Performance-quality
Guitar
Right next door’s the swamp
Don’t have to walk far
Flooded this week
Put on rubber boots
Satellite picture guiding me
But tripped over some roots
Looking for the crossroads
Pictured on GPS
Swamps tend to change
When it storms in excess
My mind screamed “Anomaly!”
Because it wasn’t a perfect X
Still, I heard guitar playing
Saw Robert Johnson on his knees
Inconsistency
Two realms touched
Causing a liminality
Yet half-heartedly
I cried, “What the hell?
My soul to sell?
No, no way!”
And I looked around
Thinking
Get me out of here
Snake City
Don’t want a gator committee
On my way
Wish me home
In pre-dawn dark
Heard Papa Legba laugh
Closed my eyes
Willed me safe
Woke up in bed
Grabbed my guitar and played
Sounded like dead lead
But that’s ok
It’s fun
Turns the rain into sun
I’m done
Crossroadin’
I think, while I strum…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGES: Santee swamp over my fence/Me on edge of swamp

YouTube video Robert Johnson, Crossroads https://youtu.be/Yd60nI4sa9A

cs & swamp perch sm pix

 

ETERNAL CIRCLE

(scroll down for a YouTube video)

I play the songs of
Too many dead people
Keeping them alive
As their guitars and faces
Fill my eyes
Words and music
Soothing my soul
Thanks, all, for the
Gift that gives eternally
This month’s practice is Let It Be*
Over and over
Doesn’t sound like
The naked version 2003
Paul redid by stripping the
Background strings, drums, keys and voices
My version is ugly-nude
As ugly as this ol’ lady
Stripped to her black underwear
Strumming the chords
Singing the words
But there is beauty in ugliness
Timeless music
Echoing along the continuum
Surely it reaches back into 1970
And soon-to-be-dead John
And unknowingly-blessed-with-a-long-life Paul
Hear a tune
On their linear line
And pick up guitars
Sit at pianos
Singing so fine
A new song
Somehow, they think,
Popped into their already-crowded heads
But time is truly a circle
And they hear a reverberation
Of some crazy ol’ lady
Playing in 2018
Their song
Because life goes on
A circle of time
Of legacy
Of the future
Telling the past what to create
Even though it was composed in
A linear past
That really never existed
Except in our sorry minds
That cannot grasp
Cannot unclasp
The idea of time not being part of
A straight line…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Ibanez Acoustic Tenor Guitar echoing down the decades

*Written by Paul McCartney, attributed to Lennon-McCartney Partnership

YouTube Video, 1970 original Let It Be https://youtu.be/2xDzVZcqtYI

MAGICAL SUSTAIN

*scroll down for a YouTube video*

Always thought I resonated
To A Minor
Strange experience
Playing my new acoustic
Ibanez tenor guitar
Left fingers forming chords
Right hand strumming strings
Playing a favorite song
Wrote it simplistically
Ending with G chord
As my right breast rests
On the curve of the guitar
And I finish with
A hard strum G chord
(Hope you’re not bored)
But wow!
What a sound!
Okay, it wasn’t the Beatles’
A Day in the Life
But oh, the G
Giving me a high
Like the smokiest
Russian Caravan Tea
A sustained note
As I silently
Breathlessly
Counted 15 seconds and still
It sustained through
My heart
My breasts
My guitar
What a gift to me
I’m so not a musician
But the universe’s melody
Enfolding in a velvet sea
A deep blue of sky
White of stars
Flashes of red like Mars
And then the Earth
Grounded it
And I
Now addicted
Strum the chord again
(And again)

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: my new Ibanez acoustic tenor guitar

*YouTube video: https://youtu.be/usNsCeOV4GM
Beatles Day in the Life (4:21 to hear their chord)

A Hard Day’s Night: Solving a Beatles mystery with mathematics

Some nerd stuff to start the day!

http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2017-11-05/a-hard-days-night-how-mathematics-revealed-beatles-secret/9093348

Here’s a silly fragment of a song

(my apologies to bass players, I really LOVE bass & this is non-pejorative!)

Who do you think you are

Rocking hard with guitar

Get out of my face

You should be playing bass…

 

MUSIC ROOM

 

When we met
Couple of decades ago
Heard you play guitar
At flea market bazaars
But you’d never buy one
You’d left your childhood
Garage band
Because your
Stairway to Heaven
Didn’t sound like
Zeppelin’s
Stairway to Heaven
And you never played again

Radio music interim
Interspersed with
MP3 tunes
Did their job
Kept me sane

Then two years ago
Thanks to internet window shopping
Bought a soprano ukulele
With a how-to book
For thirty dollars
And although I couldn’t decipher
Musical notes
Chords enabled this wannabe
To play amid laughter and joy

You listened for two years
And finally picked up the baritone
Tuned like guitar
Playing like a rock star

Love the ambience
Music frequently welcomes
Dawn
Often lullaby away those
Sleepless nights
Most of all
What fun to play together
Voices gritted with age
You picking with a hint of flamenco
Me strumming with a campfire aroma

And although we will never
Be what we were
To each other
All those years ago
It’s a functional way
To segue
Into old age
Making what we believe
Is beautiful music
Together…

(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Guitar & Ukulele in the backyard

ELIXIR OF FAMILY BONDING

 

Flanked by big, brash progeny

The plucky baritone ukulele

Holds her own

Amid clamorous sons

Sensing no time elapsed

Between early motherhood and retirement

Removing their eyeglasses

Myopically peering at each other

It is 1989

All is fine

As life-long love

Picks up at the point

It left off

Long ago and far away…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGES: My baritone ukulele and their guitars/Halloween in the 1980s

 

(I’m back, WordPress!  Will check out your stuff this coming week)

B, C & M 80s Halloween cropped