herbs and plants

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

PASSIFLORA INCARNATA

 

Every year

I place your vines

In a different site

Along the fence

Waiting in suspense

To see if you will grow

No

You have chosen not to

Share your passion

The embodiment of my longing

But I am stubborn

Will not give up

Yet

One more time

I bid you climb

Calm my three-beat heart…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE:  Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata) for insomnia

 

TERRESTRIAL ZODIAC

 

The UK has Glastonbury Tor

The US has Mount Trashmore

I have been a Flatlander

Here in the Florida peninsula

But my backyard converts

To whatever I wish

And like conjurers of old

I see a Terrestrial Zodiac

On a two-lot land

An as below, so above plan

True, copying the stellar heavens

Is almost impossible to do

Yet I have special corridors of power

To do my bidding

Scaled down to twelve sections

 

Aries, my own, begins the wheel

Lies in the North

Red and green cayennes

Like the finest quartz Bloodstone

Soaking up the Sun

Clockwise to Taurus

Partially shaded by

Banana tree fronds

A solid, fighting weed

Inflorescence fruit womb

Gemini up against the back fence

Pure shade to hide the glow of

Duality and intelligence

Live Oaks dripping

Spanish Moss

With Air plants of Red Tillansia

Cancer conserving the foresty ponds of

Aquaplants like duckweed and algae

While Leo, basking in sunlight

Shows off the finest, most colorful

Swamp flowers

Haven for bees and hummingbirds

Now the serious vegetables take root

As Virgo’s analytical, critical

Earthy nature dominates under the palm tree

Libra has a patch of harmony

Growing this and that

But intense Scorpio

Hides the roots

Of onions, garlic and ginger

Under the water-based ground

And vibrant, reckless Sagittarius

Generously shines on Greens of every hue

As ambitious Capricorn

Close to the back of the house

Self-importantly impels the

Growing of corn and sunflowers

Sowed by birds and squirrels

Circle almost complete

As Aquarius

Not caring a bit

Who thinks what

Grows whatever blows its way

And inching closer to the beginning

Sensitive Pisces

Lets loose with exotic tropical flowers

Often not based in daily reality

But there, nevertheless

 

And so, I may never go

To see and feel the breathlessly beautiful

Tors and mounds sublime

But it is always

As above, so below

And I believe

In the great mystery

That if even one person

Out of one hundred

Lives life magically

It is a life worth living…

800px-Torre_de_Glastonbury

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGES: Night Sky (Sky & Telescope), Glastonbury Tor (Wikipedia) and Mt. Trashmore, Virginia Beach (The Daily Runner)

Mt_Trashmore, Virginia Beach, image by The Daily Runner

THE STOCKHOLM OCTAVO: A NOVEL

My Book Review (Amazon and Goodreads)

When I saw the illustrations for Karen Engelmann’s The Stockholm Octavo: A Novel, I tore open my bedside drawer.  Yes!  There was my obscure deck, bought from an online historical games site several years ago.  As a long time cartomancer, I thought this would be an interesting deck to use.  I must confess, however, that I did not have the imagination that the author has and tossed them out of my sight.  Descriptions of the plot and characters are available from the other reviews.  I will just say that the story is Magical and Wise: a cauldron of History, Culture and best of all, Sacred Geometry.  I quote from the book:  “The Octavo is the architecture of relationships that we build ourselves, and with which we build the world.”

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R17WMKSKX4QV6K/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B006SJCKVE

(Image: my personal copy of the 1588 deck by German Renaissance artist Jost Amman)