life

CHROMA COURSE

My one hundred year plan
First quarter life in
Gray, cement city
Hot music spots
Gourmet eating from trendy pots
Life and noise
Adrenaline high
Suddenly an end

Second quarter life in
Green, overgrown swamp
Heat and dangling moss
Trees of invisible webs
Clinging to my face
Slowly feeling out of place
As I disconnect from people
And the working rat race

Third quarter life in
Brown, desert hills
Forest petrifying me
As I move among fossils
Dying to be free
Sun unbelievably
Morphing all into arid shells
Not much here, not even the sea

Fourth quarter life in
Voided, swirling, clouds
Darkness, vacuumed space
Leaving without a trace
Who can guess
Heaven, hell
Or maybe nothing
One big coalesce?

 

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Chroma Intensity

 

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THE MAGPIE’S SECRET

Sky above
Yard below
Personal aviary
What’s that rhyme
About magpies?
Seven for a secret
Never to be told…
Past winter
Sand Hill Cranes
Soaring in sevens
So I wonder
About the message
Whose secret,
Mine or yours?
If yours, I’ll never know,
Or mine, never to reveal?
Sand Hills hanging out
At another swamp now
One with lots of water
I miss their honking
But this morning
I hear the worried call
And see a lone male
So big and tall
Frantically calling his
Missing mate
Can we be like the Sand Hills
Monogamous
Caring
In love
Guarding while the other eats
Never parted
Unless one mysteriously disappears
Or, worse, dies
Find her! I sing
As he flies above me
Tracking him with my eyes
And then I hear
A faint answer
She lives!
Wheeling
Skyrocketing
To join his one true love
They both know
The Magpie’s secret of life
Everlasting…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Sand Hill Cranes taking a break with me

 

 

CHAMBER

In the room of life
We come and go
Sometimes speaking
Of Michelangelo *
Enter the door
Screaming in distress
No! No! We protest
For many of us
The room is warm and safe
We learn to navigate
Evading the sharks
Growing older with sparks
Of knowledge, love
And often power
But before too long
Trying not to whimper
Turning the denial into a song
We murmur
No… No…
I do not want to go
But we walk through the door
Formerly invisible
No-nonsense beckoning
To accept the reckoning
Of our so very short stay
In the room of life…

*see T.S. Eliot’s Prufrock and Dylan’s Watchtower

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: TIME, LIFE & DEATH

MUSICAL METEMPSYCHOSIS

I like to think
That Jimi-Janis-Jim
All J’s
All 27
And, well, let’s add John
Older, but still a J
And then Kurt
27, but one letter over
And, yeah, Amy also 27
I like to think
They all transmigrated
And don’t remember
But because their music is
Timeless
Classical
It would play
On the radio everyday
Or come up first on an internet search
As THE song of the singer
And one day they’d stop
Then shrug and think
Deja Vu
(I know, a misused word)
But when they sit still and listen
A feeling of happiness
Of love
For the music and words
Of maybe
Purple Haze
Kozmic Blues
Riders on the Storm
Imagine
Smells Like Teen Spirit
Back to Black
And although they may not be
Singers, musicians, songwriters
This time
They are in the right place
To hear and see
Results of their legacy
So all you people
Born after their deaths
Have a one in a–
Well, I was never good at Math
But a one in a something chance
Of housing a musical soul
Maybe we would all appreciate life
If we thought of who we may have been
Of who we will be
Sometimes so hard
To love ourselves the proper way
I define the proper way
As loving oneself
And by extension
Others
Without the intention of doing harm
Love fully
Love non-violently
Because
All we really do need is love…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Creative Commons

THINGS THAT AREN’T THERE

WORK/SONG IN PROGRESS (NEEDS LOTS OF WORK)

(ANOTHER AUTISM POEM/FOLKSONG)

note to me: chorus ?

Things that aren’t there
Life often unfair
Reverse imagination
An unaware incantation
Impossible at times to overcome
For some of us on the Spectrum

note to me: do I want to rhyme the verses traditionally or chaotically?

Can’t make myself
Get on that train again
Happened months ago
Can’t let it go

Thought I saw a small trash can
Next to coffee shelf
Tossed my uneaten sandwich
Porter flipped out, upset my mental health

Can’t make myself
Get on another plane
Body search in my long dress
Made me feel like an embarrassed mess

Can’t go around huge crowds no more
Walked into an ad board not on a door
How’d it get there, I asked, rubbing my head
Knew I should just stay in bed

Can’t cross streets, haven’t learned
To watch for cars when talking
Friend saved me when we were young
No one there now when I’m walking

chorus

Things that aren’t there
Life often unfair
Reverse imagination
Is an invisible conjuration
Impossible at times to overcome
For some of us on the Spectrum

Autistic brains can perform magic
An unaware incantation
I’ve taught myself to think first
And not lose my concentration

There’s a secret door to the attic
Dusty, yet brimming with bling
Often difficult to let it shine
But I know the effort is mine

What came first, I wonder
The Princess or the Pea
Mounds of moldy mattresses
Brain on Silly Putty

The pea’s an irritation
Like pearls to the oyster
Sensitivity crazes me
Just lock me in a cloister

I guess I want you all to know
Autism comes in many colors
I’ve shared mine with you today
It’s sometimes painful but mostly okay

chorus

Things that aren’t there
Life often unfair
Reverse imagination
Is an invisible conjuration
Impossible at times to overcome
For some of us on the Spectrum

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: CS & fallen Florida Black Vulture perch

 

 

 

SPOONS!

*scroll down for a YouTube video*

Sun’s morning stretch Over the Atlantic Ocean
Sinking gratefully into the Gulf of Mexico
Silken sheets of green embracing
Seaweed waving to coming darkness

Spoons enter my life day and night
Stirring hot espresso
Scooping raisins onto a plate
Scent of cinnamon oats seductive

Slipping away to play through the day
Seductive invitation to join a jug band
Spoons of dessert size clicking on my hand
Singing Bluegrass songs of summers to come

Simple life of peace perfect
Superman Nietzsche’s Amor Fati
So simple: Love your fate
Starting to understand “acceptance”

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: My spoons!

https://youtu.be/qFC2pJctBUo Spoon Lady YouTube video

 

PEACE POPPET

Poppets to benefit
One’s personal selfishness
Make me rich
Make me beautiful
Or harmful wishes
Make him hurt
Make her sad
So sad are our desires
But what if
The old way
Of ensuring
Sympathetic magic
Could be used to benefit
All life
A poppet to bring tolerance
Good health
World smiles
Marrying magic with reality
How would I make her
Globe for a head
Heart for a torso
Draped in peace signs
Drenched in sunlight
Snuggled in green grass
And the rain would pour
Opening a baptismal door
Grass would entwine
The hidden shrine
Dedicated to healing the Earth
Making life so honorable
In its rebirth
Like cures like, I say
While secretly, lovingly
Placing the poppet
In an overgrown swamp
Chanting to our beautiful planet
Heal…heal…heal…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Peace Poppet 3

FLAMBEAU

I threw a party
No one came
Do not pity me
Alone, I watched the dolphins
Playfully following the tides
Out to sea

About to light the candles
On the birthday cake
For me and Gulf birds
Suddenly thought why
Would we blow out light
Was it fright that stole our words

Why blow out passion
Don’t let the fire blaze
Why blow out life
When we’re celebrating it
But symbols translate chaos
So I ignored the cake knife

Great Gran once said
Blowing out candles is good
The smoke carries prayers
Along with birthday wishes
To the heavens where listens
Our happiness angel who cares

But then I read that the Germans
In the eighteenth century
Celebrated birthday kinderfests
Candles symbolizing
The light of life
Yes, snuffing out life is what it suggests

So earthly life encourages
No passion, no joy, and often
No friends who wish us well
“Blow it out! Blow it out!”
They happily shout
“Be like us!” (Friendships can be hell)

(C) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

Image: Birthday gear

NO-WAKE ZONE

 

Red-right-returning
Channel markers
Red and green
Confusion sets in
For someone like me
Who has a reversed compass
In the brain
My life, then
Has been a slow movement
Fearful of attracting attention
The making of a wake
Sloshing the water
Best to obey
Don’t make waves, they say
But by the time it is okay
To speed up and get someplace
The tide is out
The boat is low
Knee-high
Tow with a rope
All is pull and push
Always that much more
Difficult
By land or water
By air or even fiery balloon
Easy does it
Shuffle-shuffle
Never make a wake…

(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

JUST 5 MORE MINUTES

 

View from the window
Announces 6 o’clock
I can tell because
The dark of night
Has given way
To pale gray light
And the Spanish Moss
Dangling from Live Oak trees
Resembles my morning hair
Tangled and curly

 

I pull the rumpled quilt over
The silver mess
But my dogs
Ever-attuned to my moves
Nudge me, now in breakfast mode
No, I murmur, not yet
7 is my target time

 

Everyone forgets, except me
That I deserve this hour
Most of adulthood
Up at 5
Lighting the kerosene heater
Those years HE refused to fix the furnace
Shivering in my morning shower
In a one-bathroom home for four
Waking the boys
Making the breakfast
Coffee the prime objective
Feeding dogs who long ago
Crossed the fabled Rainbow Bridge
Dressing us all
Gingerly waking
THE MAN
THE DAD
THE HUSBAND
Through the years
Kids to babysitter
Then preschool, then real school
Me to school
Internships
Student jobs
Real jobs
Not much changed
Even when I began my new life

 

Oh, no!
My Rottie is hungry
Sticks his head
Larger than mine
Into my face
Goofy smile
Not yet, I say
View from the window
Announces 6:30
The early birds
Get the dehydrated meal worms
Red Cardinal dads on the feeder
Brown Cardinal moms on the ground
Pecking the leftovers
(No feminism this morning,
Clarissa, I think
Go back to sleep)

 

But I never make it to 7 o’clock
Because retirement, to me
Means an almost hourly pee
Lucky dogs
Breakfast determined by the
State of my bladder
I’m up and out
And the view from the window
Announces 6:45
That’s a nice compromise
Enabling to care
For the dogs and birds
The life I live and love…

 

(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Morning Moon and Sun