love

SEASONAL SEMANTICS

I don’t understand

All the fuss

About Christmas semantics

Think of the holiday

A phenomenal time

For all religions

No matter the name

A time when people seem happier

Whether receiving

Or giving

Being together

Singing

Like long-ago pagans

Shivering in clammy caves

Unheated cottages

They knew

The shortest day

Heralded the return of the sun

And an easier life

With crops and colorful fields

A few months away

So those of you

Who want the Christ back in Christmas

Try to see

That it is a perfect holiday

Of love and peace

Whether navigating toy aisles in Walmart

Or baking secret-recipe cookies

For those we like

Or sharing smiles with strangers in Mickey D’s

Isn’t that Christ?

Isn’t he there?

Just stop and see

With tolerance

Don’t criticize

Don’t polarize

We all are sand

We are water and sunlight

We are invisible air

Life can be all right

Today I saw a homeless woman

Pushing her possessions

In a rusty shopping cart

A twist of red plastic poinsettia

Adorning the handle

She sees him too…

(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Season’s Decorations

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TRIANGULATION

 

Searching neighborhood grids
Spreading state-to-state
Sectors of the country
Braving mountainous runaway truck ramps
Trekking through petroglyphic canyons
Primeval swamps
Gazing at city cell towers
Pulsing out your locale
Never an intimation
Move on
Over continental shelves
Navigating in Babel-ese
But still
No sign
Move on
Until
Standing on a deserted plain
Observatory open to
Moonlit wind
Telescope probing the aethers
The faintest buzz
Emits
Through navy blue
And yellow, too
Across the sky table
Looking like spilled sugar
In spiral glory
Then I hear you
In our milky galaxy
The pulse
The sign
You are mine
As you signal
From a triangular prison
And we whisper
Loneliness, be gone…

(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Milky Way, NASA

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

LITERARY CRUSH

I stand with Emily

She created the perfect man

It’s not that he’s wild and free

Not that he’s handsome as can be

Not even the bad boy syndrome

Attracts me

He’s the man

Who loves his woman

Exclusively

Oh, the words:

 

“Do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you. I cannot live without my life… I cannot live without my soul!” Heathcliff to Cathy, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

 

So, okay, I know it’s silly

But there he is

Larger than life

In love and not afraid to say it

I’d rather be poor

Lying in purple moors

With imaginary Heathcliff

Than trapped in a secure bed

Lost and alone

In a loveless home…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: North York Moors (no attribution)

FRAGMENT FOR A BARITONE UKULELE (or mandolin) SONG:

fog-wrapped palm by my swamp 2 yrs ago

DECIDED TO ADD ON A ROUGH DRAFT OF WHAT WILL BE THE BODY OF THE SONG:

Year after year

Our lives so dear

You disappeared

Taking my heart

We’re forever apart

As you stay locked

In the wood of the tree

Never to be free

Lost hearts of Palm…

 

Playing one day

Polished obsidian ball

Our two faces reflected

Happiness and perfection

 

You invented words

In a foreign tongue

I laughed, joined in

We chanted, having fun

 

Suddenly gone…

You are suddenly gone

Suddenly gone from me

 

Never did I dream

You’d be so close

Locked away in wood

Brown and gray

 

I thought I’d dreamed you

And then awoke

Until one foggy morning

I heard your voice

 

So far away

And yet so close

Heard your voice

Calling my name

 

Found an axe

But you shouted “No!”

The bark, the leaves, the heart of palm

Part of you

 

Found that old obsidian ball

Polished, washed, sun drenched

Held it next to my heart

Whispered my love

 

Nothing, nothing

(Please, please)

Silence from the swamp trees

 

Words, what words

Did we say

That terrible day

I ask, but you no longer answer

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Two views of my palm tree 2015 & 2017

(it sure did grow/as if it holds the key/to my happiness)

 

 

Save

EARTH WHEELS

 

*scroll down for a YouTube video*

 

Suddenly

Whether talking

Writing

Busy

Suddenly feel

The wheels of a train

Rolling under me

Gentle whistle

Bed and pillow under my head

As I rock in rhythm

With the Industrial Age’s

Lines of Ley

Hammered into the earth

Circumnavigating

The continent

Wheels, always wheels

Wearing lines in the Earth

 

Wheels on Earth

In my DNA

Hearing my ancestors

In their rolling wagons

Encouraging the horses

To get to the nearest stream

And I a baby

Rock to the clopping

Rock in rhythm

Wheels, always wheels

Wearing lines in the Earth

 

Was a difficult baby

Per the lore of the past

Wrapped in a blanket

Midnight car rides

Through dimly-lit city streets

Trying to get me to sleep

Wheels, always wheels

Wearing lines in the Earth

 

But I now know

Rocking in rhythm

Is the only way

To get me to stay

Relaxed and asleep

 

No doubt, Earth-bound

No desire, alternatives

 

Planes have wheels

Brief Earth contact

Without wearing deep lines

Mostly,

We hope they don’t rock

 

Boats? They rock, but

No wheels

No Earth

Just lines

Wearing invisibly through water

Scary concept

To leave the Earth

Yet I wonder

Would it work…?

 

YouTube video Dionne Warwick, Trains and Boats and Planes https://youtu.be/yQ-gmK25TDg

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Saint Laurent Stiletto Wheels

 

PASSIFLORA INCARNATA

 

Every year

I place your vines

In a different site

Along the fence

Waiting in suspense

To see if you will grow

No

You have chosen not to

Share your passion

The embodiment of my longing

But I am stubborn

Will not give up

Yet

One more time

I bid you climb

Calm my three-beat heart…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE:  Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata) for insomnia

 

TRANSFERENCE

 

Daydreamed owning

A magic spatula

Carefully dug a circle

Around the back yard,

Adjacent swamp

And like a pancake

Slid and lifted

(Didn’t flip it, though)

Then placed it

In your world

A piece of me

In you

Familiarity

Keeps me safe

But willing to walk out the gate

When you ask…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Hard Rock Café Guitar Spatula