herbs and plants

C-VIRUS

Moving toward the Megallion Swamp
My mystical swamp with a
Host of ghost characters
Summer sweats pheromones for
Mosquito troops hunting sweet blood
Females, say the science sites
Pregnant females feed on humans
I swat and stomp in ankle combat boots
Water moccasins visible
In the evaporating water
But me, I have a mission

Peopled swamp calling me
Some dressed in white
Hoodoo circle chanting
Others in white Baptismal light
Some in Grays or Blues
Maybe reenactment troops
Some in cheap suits like old
Blues bands shredding their guitars
Ghostly voices drifting over a
Tract of swamp advertised for sale
Of More-Or-Less 4.5 acres
Me, my mission moving toward summer
In the Sunshine State

Candidates spewing hate
Quarantined countries
Smiles and frowns hid behind
Medical masks while hoarding
Cases of hand sanitizers
The swamp shadows I see
Doctors with beaks
Bubonic Plague masks
“Bring out your dead!”
Time an illusion as
Einstein said
Because surely we’ve
Stepped off the Tardis of Time
Without Dr. Who to rescue me and you
Into a swamp of history
Repeating itself and all the
Technology
Uselessly
Impotent in the swarm of germs

What mission can a high-risk
So-called “elderly” woman claim?
What can I do except
Crash through the watery milieu of
Chaos
Carrying a bag of herbs
Extracted in Winn Dixie vodka
Waiting for the full moon to offer
The untried elixir to swamp denizens
And others
Gathered beyond my back yard
Of a once-sane haven
Beneath Orion’s protection.

And I hear voices
Voices in the swamp
I see miasmic misery
Smell the smoke of
Charred dreams
And must see if it is
A vision of expectations
Or the real thing

Healing Reiki bear
Comes bearing herbal gifts
From the Forest of pure rain
Cordoncillo
Jaborandi
Lapacho
Mighty words that
Might as well
Mean Abracadabra
Yet even that has worked for some
In the past

I so want to save us all…

(c) 2020 Clarissa Simmens, ViataMaja
IMAGE: Plague Doctor Mask

PROMETHEUS AMOK

It is fitting, to me, that my first poem of the new decade is a protesting, non-
popular-themed one. All respect to our heroic doctors, scientists, patients. Just a
nudge that we rebels be allowed our opinions and so-needed support ❤

 

Remember all that SciFi
The Fly
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde
Scientists
Forced to use themselves
As experimental subjects
Because to mainstream doctors
And scientists
They were lunatics
(oh, yeah, it’s always full moon inside my head)
And everyone laughs at them
But everyone laughed at body snatchers
Those gruesome corpse robbers
Who sold them to anatomists
The basis of all our health care
Marie Curie died for her beliefs
Of course she knew about
Radiation poisoning
But who would hypothesize
Who would document
If not her?
And so I join the ranks
Of the so-called misguided
Trying to heal myself
With herbs banned by the FDA gods
And true
Maybe I’ll be punished like
Prometheus
Some days it DOES feel
Like an eagle is eating my liver
As I’m chained to the cliff
Of ignorance and money-grubbing
Big Pharm
But I’ll never regret
Trying to bring fire
To my fellow-humans
And somehow
If I don’t hit
On the cure for despicable diseases
Someone like me will
Hope it’s soon…

(c) 2020 (First poem of the decade) Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Rainforest 2 sm px

 

SHADES OF A HEALING MOON

Blue box
Overflowing blue and silver
Blue-Water-tides
Silver-sun-in-darkness
Blue Buddha
Medicine Buddha of Fire
Lapis Lazuli of Light*
Blue Jay feather of Air
My dissident Crow
Smirking at the words
Love & Peace
He truly does know
Maiden, Mother and Mage
Three stages of the Moon
Archangels from heaven
Lugging the key of knowledge
To decipher the Earthen gifts
Of silver saints
Matrona
Hildegard der Bingen
Mother Teresa
Healers all
Hear me
Heal me
Or bestow the
Bravery of Kali
On this silver-haired
Blues-singing
Sometimes scared
Cancer-Rising Aries
Clutching her portable altar
Night after night
In healing moonlight…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Portable altar
*Medicine Master and King of Lapis Lazuli Light

From Wildmind.com: (tadyatha:) oṃ bhaiṣajye bhaiṣajye maha bhaiṣajye
bhaiṣajya raje samud gate svaha Hail! Appear, O Healer, O Healer, O Great Healer, O
King of Healing!

 

SECRET OF LIFE

Sanguinaria canadensis
(Bloodroot)

I: LAMENT

Ways of the old
Are lonely roads
In modern days
Try the herbs
When the end is here
Yet no one believes
In the cure or fear
Go to the doctor
If you’re scared
But although I respect
Others’ choices of
Slash and burn
No one respects mine
Ah, if only I’d paid
More attention to
Gran’s ancient lore…

II: HISTORY

Many years ago
Used a salve
Instead of allowing
Burning and slashing
In my body
Painful in its own way
But within a year
It spewed the poison
And life was once again good

In the heat of the cure
I woke up in darkness
Hearing myself say
“So that is the secret of life”
But couldn’t remember the
Vital words preceding
The statement
So sure
So sure I knew
And instantly forgot
The secret of life

III: OLDER BUT NOT WISER

Now I have need
For the same cure
The same salve
To pull the poison
From my body
But
It is more serious now
Perhaps being thirteen years older
Has added to the stress
But I am looking for quality
Not quantity of life
So I try alternatives

IV: COSMIC JOKE?

Napping today
Trying to ignore
Scared looping
Thinking of the
Cosmic Joke of Life

Cosmic joke or each little psychic mote
Seemingly silly or useless
Meant as a part of the larger secret of life
Like being handed an A Minor or Fmaj7 note
What to do with it?
Put it all together
Work together
Make music

Think of Grim Reaper gift
Some have told me they know
Not only the date of their own death
But the date of others
What could possibly be the value
In a “gift” like that?
Or my “gift” of the Bird Psychopomps
Appearing before a family death
Tangled in my hair
Trees splitting
Faces superimposed on mine in the mirror
Book shelves falling apart
What is the value of that?
I cannot warn anyone because
I don’t know who it relates to
Until they die
Or think of a friend
Looking up at a boat hanging in a ship yard
Realizing it is going to fall
He runs and it falls
Wondering
Did he make it fall
Or did it warn him it would fall?
More questions than answers

V: EVEN MORE QUESTIONS

So do we, the people of the world
Each with a bit of psychism
Need to meet and talk
Were we all given a clue
To the secret of life
All with a piece of the puzzle
And until we talk to each other
Combine the clues
We will never understand the secret of life?

VI: CLUES

We’ve all been entrusted with a bit of it
This will take a lifetime or more
To solve…
Hints in symbols and codes
Tarots and alphabets
Equations and cells
Elemental tables and
Dowsing wells
All there
Waiting to be combined
Waiting for us all to share
Our talent
Our truth
A huge cauldron
Containing a big bang
For the next step in
Evolution

VII: LOST IN THE LABYRINTH

Or does Sanguinaria canadensis
Create a high?
Healing and pulling
Bodily poisons
Challenging the brain
To figure it all out
Unforgiving
And if so
I can only conclude
The secret of life
Is living..

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Secret of Life: Herbs

FRAGRANT RELEASE

When days are dragging me down
People seem made more like daggers
And I’m saturated with sadness
That leaks onto the grass and dirt
I have my ways
Of relieving the pressure

There is music, of course
Reading, writing, chocolate
But a forgotten feeling
Resurfaced when the FDA
Became involved with herbs
Raising prices
Banning bottles and jars
Of alternative medicines

So after a few days of
Rejection and feeling
Like invasive vines
Are creeping all over me
When my people skills suffer
From autism
When once again I become
The mistress of the
Inappropriate remark
From autism
When no one will tell me what I have done
I crawl into my magic center
That has room for only one
Closing my eyes
Until a vision appears
And I hear
Triple, triple
Make a ripple
Pour and stir
Blood Root and Myrrh
Plantain and Golden Seal
And other herbs so ideal

It is New Moon
And I add 100 proof vodka
And daily shake the jar
Extracting Earthen properties
In watery medium
As wind stirs the contents
And fiery moon distills and augments
Relaxing as I add and mix
Handle and sing
Wondering
How I could forget the peace
Brought by the release
Of endorphins

Then, when
The moon is a silver medallion
Metal more precious than gold
I sieve and save the healing liquid
Add melted beeswax
Breathing loving words
Passing along the peace
Inside tiny jars
That will hold
An ageless recipe
Of earth, water, air and fire
Ingredients working together
Like a vocal range in a choir
A mystical tether…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Herbs and Dogs and Strings and Things

THE ROOT QUEEN

Re-post from 2 years ago (so we are in New Moon, not full as the poem states so the planting will take place around New Years).    Today’s pre-Christmas eve weather is 93% humidity and 79 degrees F. temperature.  Wishing you all healthy, happy, and fun holidays ❤

Embrace the heat

Of Winter Solstice

No white Christmas

Not even a cool, Florida day

But the prize is a full moon

Plant those roots:

Ginger, carrots, yams

Throw in some garlic and onions

What a goulash they will make

Hot, humid, but the Earth

Coating my hands as I dig

The sweet-smelling manure

That the dogs try to eat,

Makes up for the heat

Setting of the full moon

In the pink of dawn,

No longer high

Eyes of ginger

Gaze to the sky

Bulbs of garlic—

Vampires?

Prepare to die!

And soon there will be onions

Ready to fry!

 

© 2015 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Flowering ginger from CS garden

SCHINUS TEREBINTHIFOLIUS

(Brazilian Pepper Tree/Florida Holly)

A HOLIDAY SONG FOR YOU
(to the tune of “Deck the Halls”)

Deck the trailer with Florida Holly
Fa la la la la la la la la
‘Tis the season to be jolly
Fa la la la la la la la la
Dress in sweaters oh, so tacky
Fa la la Fa la la la la la
Strum the strings, play something whacky
Fa la la la la la la la la…

(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: My mandolin and baritone ukulele with Florida Holly

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