life problems



Sun struggles among clouds

Painting shape-shifting images

Phantoms hide a

Metaphysical medley

Ghosting in my mind

Unreliable narrator

Of my own life

Mirrors lie…


© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Cloudy sky over swamp





To live inside a deck of cards

Safer place to reside

Than the world of flesh

Wouldn’t really be two dimensional

Because the true thinking

Goes on there, not here

In the Third dimension

I shuffle my Drom Ek Romani

The Way of One Gypsy

Amateur drawings first conceived

When very young

Although my artistry never improved

Each card is imbued

With my soul signature

I enter seeking refuge

With my agenda-less friends

(After all, I am their agenda)

When alone and blue

And want to hear the truth

It will not hurt my feelings

Like lies do, as told by

Three-dimensional people

Smiling into my face yet

Secretly sneering

I find myself in a polar universe

The Physical plane

Ice-encrusted imposing castle

Against a blue-tinged sky

Kapuri card 9


Solitary confinement


My thoughts so imprecise

How do I melt the ice

Moving onto a theater stage

Opened curtains for performing serpent

Plane of Emotion

Slobozil Pe Maya card 10

Strip away the illusions

When I cannot accept life

I fantasize


Just don’t insist on making them a reality

Decades of falling into the same trap

The serpent represents wisdom

He hisses, but kindly

And I move away

Not quite twilight, I reach

A dark cave sheltering huge eyes

Guga card 20

Face your fears

This, then, is the Mental plane

Blinking eyes

Use your eyes

They seem to say

Then process all in your mind

Don’t be blind

How to trust my judgment

Once again a serpent

Wrapped around a tree

Reminiscent of that biblical story

But quite different

The snake, a she, wants me

To stop hanging on her tree

Sap card 12

You will hang here with me

Until you learn

Sacrificing your life

When all along you only need

To let go

This is the Spiritual plane

Trust in the Universe

Listen to what it sings

Most importantly

Trust in yourself

I am now on a bridge

Between the Third and Second dimensions

So safe here with friends

So frightening there

The world like a ring

With facets of faces

Multiple emotions

Directed my way

Don’t make me cross that bridge…

But I do…

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Four Drom Ek Romani cards



(scroll down for Dylan YouTube video)


Never turn around

To look at hell

Eyes forward

Think of Orpheus

Turned to look at his

Beloved Eurydice

Forgetting she was still

In Hades

And lost her forever

Think of Lot’s wife

Fleeing hellish Sodom

Turned to look for her daughters

Saw the destruction

Became a pillar of salt

Ancient life lesson for us:

Don’t look back

Don’t turn around

Don’t look at your past

Especially if it was lived in hell

You risk losing what little

You may have gained

In the present

Remember to move forward

Where a chance of happiness awaits

Forward, always move forward…


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)





This I-Am-A-Rock stuff

Gets really old, sometimes

Pretending loneliness is

Just being alone

A choice

Like Paul Simon

I’m empty and aching

But I do know why

Maybe it’s all the people

Hearing without listening

Strange how songs

That I learned as a teen

Still have monumental meaning to me

At this old age

The difference is

There was once a way to make it through

The devastation

Because an entire life path

Promised a dance

Down a dappled, mostly sunny road

The future so exciting if one were bold

But now

It’s the tunnel

Toward the light

Oh, better switch songbooks

And sing someone else’s words


Just maybe

My crankiness




Dread of an impending birthday

Is merely  a form of

Senior Spring Fever…


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)





Poem based on the book The Sabian Symbols as an Oracle

by Lynda Hill & Richard Hill © 1995*


“Miners are emerging from a deep coal mine”


Today, randomly generated the number 192

Wandered the cold, dripping mines

Wondering what to do

At still another life cusp

Menacing stalactites creeping down

Snaring stalagmites tripping the unwary

Wandered twelve days in the darkness

When the answer came, so obvious,

Wondered why I didn’t believe what was already known

Gems pick-axed from the walls

Must be brought up to the light

As a reminder

To never again lack self-faith

And to remember that

Coming into the light reveals

Rewards gained by

Releasing a belabored point…


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)


*Thanks to Hunter S. Jones ( )   for reminding me about the Sabian Symbols that are used to describe astrological degrees in a horoscope. It is often helpful to consult the ancient practice of sortilege–sometimes called Bibliomancy–for guidance.





(#TBT new poem, same old lost path)


The bridge is out

Going nowhere

(As I am)

Expected to walk

My honest path

Somehow stumbled onto a

Yellowing brick road

While the wizard west of me

Hiding behind the curtain of potency

No real name

No identity

Siren sings in his masculinity

Is he real?

Can bots be programmed to write poetry?

That’s what he must be…


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens

IMAGE: me on the Suwanee




(scroll down for YouTube video of Bob Seger’s Against the Wind)

Everyone survived Y2K

Well, everyone except those

Slated to be Grim-Reapered, that is

Anyway, noticed I didn’t own anything

Except a used Aries K car

In the year 2000

So I wanted property

Now that the world wasn’t destroyed

But was only earning $5.75 an hour

Still, the kids had moved back to their

Beloved cement town up north

It was just me

And surfing on the net

That wasn’t atomized

I found a find

Spiritual perfection

Near the Petrified Forest

I think the Reservationists

Were quitclaiming some land

So sorely in need of affordable property

Only $500 per lot

I bought it “now”

On Ebay


Stop the eye-rolling

I didn’t go then, though

It was like an escape hatch

It was there, it was mine

Anytime I wanted it


Years went by

But then it was time to try

To move to my retirement dreamscape

According to the Property Appraisal website

Most of the lots were sold

Although Google maps showed

Well, showed not many homes on those lots

Packed it all up

(Fans of my poetry now know

That I only own ten crates of crap)

It all fit in my SUV and I

Waved goodbye

To Florida in my rearview mirror


Here I am

In El Camino Real Development

Should have been El Camino Un-real

Ghost town!

Hotel California!

I was going to put a down payment

On a Tiny House

Or small mobile home

But hey, will I even survive one day

In a ghost town?

Where are my neighbors

Whose names are proudly etched

Across the tax rolls?






Ludicrous at my age, now

So drove to the nearest motel

Decided not to panic

I mean, the Petrified Forest is near

What could be more dear to me

From my trip there in 1989

When I was so in need of spirituality


I’ve grown accustomed to my swamp

Can I live with sand and Saguaro

Without Live Oaks and wild birds?

Why didn’t I think of that before leaving?


Check one:






Like when I hear

Bob Seger sing

He’s running against the wind

Even though he’s older now

Well, I understand

But there’s no help for me

Always have to push

When the door says pull


So here I sit

Wondering what to do

Go back to the bayou?




© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: 80 acres near Petrified Forest

YouTube video Bob Seger, Against the Wind




When we run away

Because life is tough

Do we comply

With our destiny

If the past finds us

Why do we weaken

And let it drag us back

Why not continue scaling

That slippery, unpredictable hill

To the top


Never stop moving up

Because I’ve glimpsed the


And it is a limitless plateau

That will not let the climber


Down the other side

It allows us to

Hold steady

To have time to think

Freedom means conquering

The learning curve of life…


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Fraser Plateau, British Columbia, Canada



Was I too flighty as a teen

Or did Gran become forgetful

While aging

Who knew how old she was anyway?

She always lied about the age thing

But so youthful and fun

That no one cared or noticed



Slowly, she revealed her secrets

Of the universe

As they applied to a drabarni


Yet, like her famous apple cake recipe

She left out the most important ingredient

(Oops, she said, forgot to tell you to use apples)


This time

She neglected to tell me

How to move through life

With the least amount of trauma

How to heal myself

So I would be able to heal others


Didn’t notice that omission until she passed

But in the flush of thirty-something

When the ego was at full-rage

Thought it was easy to figure out

Since I was good at guessing

Merely a process of elimination:

Toxic food, toxic addictions

Toxic people


Forgot the missing ingredient

The secret of life

Only available through self-reflection

Didn’t occur to me until too late


Sprinkled with

A sense of humor

Must be liberally added

Or there is no apple cake


After years full of tears

I finally raise my arm

Anxiously waving my hand

At the universe

(Call on me! Please! I have a question!)

But I am ignored

So just shout out the words:

“May I bake another cake?”


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)