history

SIBYL OF THE RHINE

 

*scroll down for a YouTube video*

 

Nine hundred years before my birth

Hildegard von Bingen arrived on this Earth

Sent to a convent because of her religious visions

Eleventh Century upheavals:

Gypsies banished from India

Creating a European diaspora

Sharing their knowledge of divination,

Herbs, cures

By oral transmission

William the Conqueror

Banishing Anglo-Saxons

Creating new law codes and the early census

Known as the Domesday Book

While indigenous tribes unknowingly

Lived out their last moments of freedom

In the Americas

Yet keeping alive their own oral traditions

Of spirituality and cosmography

Momentous times for a Renaissance Woman

To appear in Germany

Rising to the position of Abbess

Writing a book about her visions

Composing music on her psaltery

Rivaling Gregorian chants

Writing the book Physica

A classic on health and healing

Writing the book Causae et Curae

A classic on herbs and cures

Leader, reader, writer,

Composer, musician, healer

History moves in spurts

As does knowledge

The dark ages may seem all-consuming

But they are not

Arcane knowledge

Always rises to the top

Like a granular convection

And once again

Buried dreams will be reality

Hold tight

Remember that night

Always fades in the dawn…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

 

https://youtu.be/LJEfyZSvg5c YouTube video Spiritus Sanctus, Hildegard von Bingen

 

IMAGE: Statue of Hildegard in Bingen’s Museum am Strom

 

poetry, sybil, healer, oracle, nun, abbess, herbs, cures, visions, politics, history, renaissance, repression, underground, dark ages, second inquisition, oral histories

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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

 

 

FOURTH OF JULY

 

My annual Independence Day poem:

 

Growing up in Philadelphia

Home of the Declaration of Independence

And that wildly independent founding father Franklin

I pondered the meaning of Independence

At a very young age

Countries become independent from their oppressors

But people can become independent too

And that was what I tried to do

I became self-sufficient

Didn’t hurt to read Thoreau at age sixteen

Yet, of all the words he produced for us eager hippies

I fastened on what may be his saddest quote:

“I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude”

Countries really cannot live in solitude

As we see by the history of United States wars

So much for the Monroe Doctrine

***

Well, here I am, meandering between

The idea of an independent country

And an independent person

Does anyone dread

What’s waiting ahead?

Our presidential election

Lying and promises

Slur-slinging and anger

Tossed between the candidates

And we, the voters, surrounded by

The circle of hate

Like children in a game of dodge ball

Will we unfriend our friends on social media sites?

Click out of their opposing posts of rhetoric?

***

I was taught to not talk about

Politics, religion or money

With any but family and close friends

Being an independent woman, however,

I couldn’t stay away from activism:

Feminism, racism

All in the name of peace and love

“In order to form a more perfect Union”

As the Preamble to the Constitution states and,

“Dedicated to the Proposition that

All men (and women!) are created equal”

Thanks to Lincoln

While I asked what I could do for my country

In answer to JFK’s challenge

***

Independence

So important

Yet, so easy to independent ourselves

Out of friendship and love…

 

© 2015 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

 

IMAGE: View of the head of the Statue of Liberty, designed by sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, on display on the Champ de Mars, Paris, France, 1878. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

 

 

 

SABIAN SYMBOL OF THE DAY SETS ME OFF (AGAIN)

 

“A MAJESTIC ROCK FORMATION RESEMBLING A FACE IS IDEALIZED BY A BOY WHO TAKES IT AS HIS IDEAL OF GREATNESS, AND AS HE GROWS UP, BEGINS TO LOOK LIKE IT”

 

Can understand this

Always fascinated by

Those mighty faces

In South Dakota

Loved Hitchcock’s

“North By Northwest”

Cary Grant

Climbing the faces

Impeccably clothed

In suit and tie

But as a girl

Didn’t want to “look” like them

Made more sense to want to

“Be” like them

Of course, the argument is

There are two slave owners

Depicted on the mountain

Washington and Jefferson

And poor Lincoln has been trashed

As not really caring about slavery

That was just an “issue” tacked on

To secession

Teddy Roosevelt?  Well, he did

Form the National Park legacy

That is being dismantled now

And who was the controversial sculptor

Who actually carved out the mountain

What was his name?

Oh, thank the Cosmos for Wikipedia

It was Gutzon Borglum

A child of Mormon polygamy

And here’s something that

Makes no sense:

He was a Mason and a member of the

Ku Klux Klan

Talk about apples and oranges

But there is more controversy

Because the lands were stolen

From the Native Americans

(What a surprise)

And a memorial to Crazy Horse

Will be competing with the four

Ex-presidents

So what does this mean?

Be careful whom we idealize

Even the rich and famous

Have feet of clay

Or in this case

No feet at all…

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

Lynda Hill and Richard Hill: Sabian Symbols As An Oracle (360 Pisces 30)

“USING ILLUSIONS TO RECREATE ORIGINAL COMPOSITIONS”

 

A quote re Paleolithic paintings In Chauvet Cave

Southern France

Scientists learned their lesson

Opening up Lascaux Cave

In the name of sharing knowledge

Yet wall paintings there

Destroyed by bacteria and mold

Introduced by visiting tourists

So a vast replica was built

Just for tourists to view

Incredible animal paintings

Originating 35,000 years ago

Who were the artists sketching

With charcoal and red ochre

Etching the stones

Exploiting the relief of the rock

To create forms, shadows

Expressing the animals

Roaming beyond the entrance fire

Who were those talented, fur-clad artists

Ancestors of today’s painters,

Poets, musicians

Who must produce

No matter the cost

Did they feel alienated

Or were they prized by

The tribe

As holy illusionists

Revealing, interpreting

Life through their

Intuitive hearts…

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

 

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-32403867

 

HISTORY

 

History

A synonym for

Cracked vinyl

Missing zipper teeth

Baggage

Some shininess

Like holiday eves

Love, though, a masquerade

Really only lust

A virgin’s veil

Hiding the truth

All against a sweeping

World affairs backdrop

To anchor memories

 

In contrast

Tabula Rasa relationships

Have their own amnesia

Fresh start on a clean slate

To sketch new memories

If there is still time

And great maturity

Baggage-free

 

Or, we can pick up the charcoal

And let the ghosts control us

Midnight automatic writings

Repeating

Endlessly

Infinite, identical

History…

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: etta de camp. Uncyclopedia.wiki

FOURTH OF JULY

View of the head of the Statue of Liberty, designed by sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, on display on the Champ de Mars, Paris, France, 1878. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

View of the head of the Statue of Liberty, designed by sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, on display on the Champ de Mars, Paris, France, 1878. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Growing up in Philadelphia

Home of the Declaration of Independence

And that wildly independent founding father Franklin

I pondered the meaning of Independence

At a very young age

Countries become independent of their oppressors

But people can become independent too

And that was what I tried to do

I became self-sufficient

Didn’t hurt to read Thoreau at age sixteen

Yet, of all the words he produced for us eager hippies

I fastened on what may be his saddest quote:

“I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude”

Countries really cannot live in solitude

As we see by the history of United States wars

So much for the Monroe Doctrine

***

Well, here I am, meandering between

The idea of an independent country

And an independent person

Does anyone dread

What’s waiting ahead?

Our presidential election

Lying and promises

Slur-slinging and anger

Tossed between the candidates

And we, the voters, surrounded by

The circle of hate

Like children in a game of dodge ball

Will we unfriend our friends on social media sites?

Click out of their opposing posts of rhetoric?

***

I was taught to not talk about

Politics, religion or money

With any but family and close friends

Being an independent woman, however,

I couldn’t stay away from activism:

Feminism, racism

All in the name of peace and love

“In order to form a more perfect Union”

As the Preamble to the Constitution states and,

“Dedicated to the Proposition that

All men (and women!) are created equal”

Thanks to Lincoln

While I asked what I could do for my country

In answer to JFK’s challenge

***

Independence

So important

Yet we can independent ourselves

Out of friendship and love…

© 2015 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)