john denver



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:






© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: My tenor ukulele with late winter berries



This is the year

I do a string of

Florida festivals

That come only in spring

But so want to see

Live music relevant to me

Today was the Blueberry one

Lovely weather

Terrific food

Taboo food

For a dieter

Blueberry pie with cream

Blueberry shortcake with cream

Blueberry funnel cake fried, no cream


And crafts and clothes

So expensive

But a small tent

With a man playing

The unmistakable

“Jamaican Farewell”

On a steel drum

Held in one hand

Made from a large can

That may have once held


Peaches in heavy syrup

Painted brightly

With chords

Who could resist?

I couldn’t

Bought it and in the car

Played “Leaving on a Jet Plane”

(The only ukulele song I know by heart)

And, oh, I know

John Denver’s ghost

Threw back its head

And laughed in delight

And the tune came out right

Music, at last…


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: My new steel drum & blueberries