life

WAKING-UP DREAM

 

Holding the Book of Illusion

Tied with nine knots

Containing the secrets

Of the Conqueror Worm

Welcoming me

Shades of Poe!

Human mortality

Inevitability of death

Is this a message?

Acculturation of dragons

The blood in my body:

German slave owners

Planting their seed

As the Gypsies stripped grapes

From the vines for wine

Further cross-cultural symbols

Existing for Romani, too

Maternal Kalderash word: Azdaja

Paternal Sinti word: Draxo

Oh, Poe!

Why do you bedevil me

In my sleep

With dragons, serpents, worms?

Once again I study the knots

What thoughts

Emotions

Incantations

Are woven throughout?

Binding the dance

Between life and death

But there is no depth

To the dream

After all, it doesn’t have to be a

Warning

Merely a reminder

Immortality spawned from

Fiction, rhyme

Live the best you can

Within finite time

A never-long-enough

Lifespan…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: book & knot (cs)

 

 

PASSING ALONG THE POWER

 

*scroll down for a Tom Petty video*

Entwined in DNA

Dreams refusing to die

Whether for

Fortune

Fame

Freedom

We will grow legs

And crawl out of the muck

We will align with the greenery

And face the sun

We will rev up the engine

And drive forevermore

Movement

Physical or mental

Brings us to the border

O, we must refuse to

Hover between fantasy

And the real

Because

Those who dig the deepest

Wresting the treasure chest

From the Earth’s grasp

Those who claim the prize

Will inherit the future

The priciest double helix

To pass along

Singing the sacred song

Of a life well won…

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: My son B. Michael’s car

https://youtu.be/Qv4-m-cIZf4 YouTube video Running Down a Dream (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers)

ALGORITHM

200 px soprano w the stars 1 life wip

Forgetting the stars

Were already dead

Sang high SOPRANO

With thoughts of love

In my head

A joyful plunking

Of strings and voice

Youthful optimism

Wandering through

A bazaar of choice

 

200 px Luna Peace concert ukulele 2 wip life

Moved into a CONCERT

Of love and peace

Strengthening the range

Born of adulthood

Chains of dependency released

A perfect fit

In hand and song

An oasis of music

Happily growing

Sure to be content lifelong

 

200 px tenor wip life

The next stage

Vocalizing change

TENOR’s timbre

Reflecting experience

The Body estranged

Like winter’s last berries

Burning hot and red

Aging reflected

In deepening tones

Presaging thoughts of the dead

 

200 px baritone2 sm px

Ball and Chain

Channeling Joplin’s pain

As BARITONE chords

Mature like the guitar

Voice a burnished stain

Facing the box

Body juxtaposed

End of the line

Growling in anger

Gradation of life decomposed…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGES: My 4 ukuleles

DINELO NAX (THE FOOL)

Zero or Twenty-two?

Tarot card meaning

Contended

All have opinions

Me?

Romani

Tradition of

The final number

Dinelo nax

Fools, crazy people

Touched by the gods

Because they know

The secret of life

Been through the journey

Freedom from Earth’s pull of money and gold

From Water’s emotional advance

And Air’s mind games and aloofness so cold

Finally, Fire’s negligence of life’s importance

Foolish

Mad

So glad

I’m almost there…

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

(with lines from my book Madame Sosostris Explains, 2014)

IMAGE: The Fool (Smith, Waite & Rider tarot card)

TIME, THE ULTIMATE PIMP

 

Linear calendar

Creates nice little squares

Of days and years

This follows that

Circularity makes more sense

Yet even astrology

Has Aries as the first sign

So the days and years

Seem to differently appear

But they might as well be

Lined up in nice little squares too

What can we do

To avoid the inexorable tolling

Of time

Yearly seasons keep count

As we move around the sun

The moon phases rigidly

Orbit the Earth

Drum beats of time

Calculated in sidereal months

Would there be true chaos

If we banned time?

How would we know

The time to go

To school, work, or that all-encompassing word:

Appointments

We are too wired to wait

For doctors, hair dressers, massage therapists

Without an appointment

Time is wasted

I don’t like time

Just another way

To legislate lives

I want us to live laid back

I want night people to work in the night

Dawn people to do their thing

Before birds are on the wing

Poets to write celestially in the dark

I don’t like time

But the calendar says

I must wish you all

Happy New Year

But I swear

And resolve

No more calendars for me

Anyone agree?

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: duna.budapest.hu

LIFE’S TRINITY

 

*Scroll down for 2 YouTube videos (The Browns and The Beatles)*

On a sunny morning

Little Jimmy Brown is born

While Eleanor Rigby scoops up her wedding rice

Jimmy Brown marries his true love

Father McKenzie darns his hole-y socks

As Jimmy takes a running jump into heaven

Eleanor later following his footsteps

Life in song

Born. Wed. Dead.

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE from Wikipedia

 

https://youtu.be/Wtyx8wG8BsI The Browns, The Three Bells (YouTube)

 

https://youtu.be/HuS5NuXRb5Y The Beatles, Eleanor Rigby (YouTube)

TO LIVE INSIDE A DECK OF CARDS

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

Imprisonment

Solitary confinement

Self-imposed?

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

Fine

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

A LIFETIME OF BIRDS

Rima Royal :  (seven lines in iambic pentameter rhyming ABA/BB/CC. Can be constructed either as a tercet and two couplets [a-b-a, b-b, c-c] or a quatrain and a tercet [a-b-a-b, b-c-c] )

A lifetime acquired for me to see

That birds have mysteriously uttered

In sad song or joyful, words meant for me.

Some came alone and some in flocks fluttered

But I did not mistake what they muttered.

Old age understands messages from birds

Tweetings and twitterings, meaningful words.

Three year old memory, illness at night

Screaming and scaring my parents with fear

“Pigeons!” I cried in bed, “Birds are all white!”

“No,” says my dad, “See? No pigeons are here”

“Pigeons are gray,” mom’s voice dings like a sneer.

Tears fall yet I hear a song from the flock

“Life is hard, be strong, like crystalline rock.”

Doctor consultation after sunrise

The overdose of sulfa is to blame

Hallucinations are the mind’s own lies.

Forget the birds, some allergies can maim

Hallucinations only bring us shame.

Yet I can’t forget the pigeons’ sweet song

To be strong in life will never be wrong.

Ah, age ten, dead bird on the wet pavement

Nowhere to dig a grave in the city

Soggy cardboard box may be heaven-sent.

Oh young bird, with a red vest so pretty

Evoking my sadness and my pity.

Into the box with a bright fabric scrap

Sail down the gutter, an eternal nap.

Not many days later a day of gloom

My dad’s dad passed on to heaven, they said

And next my mom’s gran locked up in a tomb.

Gazing out the window, red bird made me dread

That messages of birds meant someone’s dead.

Book-learned a new word for those who have died

“Psychopomp” leads souls to the other side.

Time does weave among the waves so swollen

Seagulls dive-bomb us beached humans eating,

Laughing sons watching lunch being stolen

A new quest to calm my heart’s dark beating

Appeasing the birds, death needs some cheating.

Feathers attract me on a sandy beach

Or beneath the el where I easily reach.

The years fly by like the raven and crane

Feather-filled vases keep sadness away

Emotional change, relationship strain.

New land, new birds, cardinal and blue jay

Alone with many hours in the day.

After three years the aethers hear me say

Stop the loneliness, send someone today.

I sit by the lake, someone shares my soul

Hawk stares in my eyes then veers to the sky

Peace settles in, I finally feel whole.

Perception in chaos, life’s worth a try

Trust in the hawk’s vision while flying high.

In two months a man named Hawk comes to me

Possessed with visual acuity.

We partner and life continues to flow

Strange manifestations seem to appear

Older family generations go.

Superimposed gran’s face in the mirror

Dies on my birthday, couldn’t be clearer.

Death warnings now come from my friend, the crow

A Live Oak splits, it’s my uncle, I know

Mother, father, relatives now depart

But warnings of the birds help me prepare

Yet survivor sadness engulfs my heart.

Hot day outside, woodpecker in my hair

I fight him, toss my head, too much to bear.

Favorite aunt off for routine surgery

Blockage in her carotid artery.

We speak, she sounds strong, I feel I can breathe

Gathering teardrops that fall on the floor

But it doesn’t take long for me to grieve

A shelf falls apart and cardinals soar

Flinging scarlet selves into our glass door

A warning ignored from birds who sing out

Remind me to never show any doubt.

Weeks later a huge white bird on a limb

Seemingly speaks to me with eyes aflare

Plain as if hearing an acoustic hymn.

Walking toward the deck, she follows me there

She stands four feet tall, I become aware

“Be strong, be prepared, be joyful, be wise

Lessons of the birds descend from the skies.”

© 2014 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja) Madame Sosostris Explains (a poetry patchwork)

IMAGES: adventuresinlightphotoworkshops.com

FEELING CRANKY TODAY…

 

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

Maybe

Just maybe

My crankiness

Dissatisfaction

Loneliness

Boredom

Dread of an impending birthday

Is merely  a form of

Senior Spring Fever…

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)