love

WOMEN IN WAR

Women in woad*
Shaking undressed breasts
Leading the warriors
Down Irish roads
Banshee-ing through the air
To cause enemies fear
O, to be with you
When war was for defense
Against Romans marching
Through sacred forests

Women in revolt
Beside their men
Stuffing the cannons
Riding like Revere
Founding Mothers
Some disguised as men
As their great-great granddaughters
Four decades later did
In a civil war of economics
O, to be with you
When war was for
Something grander than balls
And women of all races
Did their part
Against Kings of foreign lands
And decades later
With amazing bravery
Against Kings of slavery

Women in partnership
In the War to End All Wars
But no, once again,
In the War to clean up
The economic and territorial mess
A second world war where
Women were winding through alleys
With secrets in their minds
Torn apart by the enemy
No chance of apology
The height of equality
In the torture culture
In hindsight, I would not have wanted
To be with you

On and on
And then I came of age
Married during the Vietnam war
Mom threw out everything
Even my genuine winter pea coat
And summery field jacket
From the Army & Navy store

Here’s an aside:
Why did we protest
That ambiguous conflict
Yet wear war gear?
Sympathetic magic?
Or, worst of all,
A mistaken glamour?
Clad in the garb
Bathing it in words
From Dylan and Ochs
Peace, man
What a joke

Decades later, sadly
Homo sapiens still wants to kill
And despite taking classes
For karate and gun safety
Defense for my sons and me
I’m still wondering
Where have all the flowers gone
Still damning the masters of war
And me, I ain’t marching anymore
Not lifting my voice in protest
It’s for the new young to do

But the desire
The belief
In love and peace
Is still in my aging heart
Still want global good
Still sign those petitions
Still write Congress letters
Now tweeting and emailing
Now posting and texting:
Stop it! Please stop it!

Why have we buried
The end-the-war manifesto?
Why are we all still
Killing the men
Raping the women
Destroying the children
Poisoning the pets
Polluting the water
Burning the books
Cremating the crops
All in the name
The name that does change
Of the jealous god
Let’s build a wall
Around hate and death and war
Because destruction
Is not glamorous at all…
(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Woad 2

*Used this verse in Selfie-Reflections (c) 2016

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LUNAR CAUSTIC

Waiting-waiting-waiting
A Lunar Caustic
Photographic negative
Miss Havisham* clad in her
Black dress
Waiting-waiting-waiting
To be combusted
By the enhancing of
Silver Nitrate
Holding in her hand a
Destroyed chocolate cupcake
Looking negative-white
A tier of wedding cake
Waiting-waiting-waiting
Sun and Moon
Alchemically conjoined
Silver Nitrate
Cauterizing wounds
Creating a scab
To stop the bleeding
Of a torn heart
Waiting-waiting-waiting
For what…?

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Miss Havisham

*Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

ALCHEMICAL GULASH

 

How do I alter a gulash
That is almost perfection
As it slow cooks magically
Finest spring water
Plumpest peas split
Pearls of barley
Root vegetables
Planted and picked
From Full to New Moon
Carrots, potatoes, turnips
Spiced with Cayenne
Using only-only-only
Healing Capsaicin
Capsicum annuum
Garlic strong enough
To weaken vampires
Chunks of onions
To discourage
Open mouth kissing
Marrying the barley
Creating high protein
An Ayurvedic wedding
Fit for healthy ingredients
But is this a recipe
Or a magical potion
I declare it an
Alchemical mixture
Because I’ve added
Aurum potabile
Drinkable gold
And element 78
Platine to match
Our aging manes
For like the precious metal
Platinum
We are ruled by moon and sun
Aries, me, the calcinator
Bullying the temperature to rise
What a magnum opus
As it bubbles in the yard
Birds in the trees watch so
I strum a bit of music
To relax the few crows
Wanting them to know
I will not ever use them
In a Caput Corvi
Decapitation ceremony
The blackest feathers of a crow
As above, so below
Representing the black coal
Deep in the Earth
Carbon pulverized
Beneath tectonic plates
Ground to the blackest powder
Then thrust up to the surface
Blinking in radiant sunshine
For the greedy
For lovers
For miners sweating their wage
Diamonds so lovely
Precipitating rage
But no
No crows hurt in the gulash process
I crown the bride and groom
By grinding the blackest
Piper nigrum
Transforming the primordial ocean
Into a potful offered in love
As the bouquet begins to coalesce…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Legumes & Roots

COUNTERBALANCE

(song-in-progress DGBE tuning for Baritone Ukulele or Tenor Guitar)

D/You’re afraid of getting
G/What you want
Dm/So you push me Am/away

D/You grind your jaw
G/Like broken glass
Am/Leading my heart G/astray

chorus:
F/You’ve put me on a E7/tightrope
Am/Be careful what you G/say
F/Without a balancing E7/rod
C/I’ll hit the ground Am/one day

D/I don’t know how
G/To show you
Dm/We belong as Am/one

D/Why’re you so scared
G/Of love
Am/Arctic as the midnight G/sun

chorus:
F/You’ve put me on a E7/tightrope
Am/Be careful what you G/say
F/Without a balancing E7/rod
C/I’ll hit the ground Am/one day

D/Your words freeze
G/My heart
Dm/It drops down to my Am/knees

D/Losing my eloquence
G/Merely stiltiloquence
Am/Off the roller coaster G/please

chorus:
F/You’ve put me on a E7/tightrope
Am/Be careful what you G/say
F/Without a balancing E7/rod
C/I’ll hit the ground Am/one day
C/Hit the ground Am/one day
C/Slam right into it Am/one day…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Flamingo Love in the Dirt

FRIENDSHIP (TURQUOISE CHAKRA)

Just back from an incomparable vacation. My feelings in this poem will also fit in
with my coming book “Chakra Madness” and the photos include my friends (Betty,
Myra, Arlene. and Wilma) and family (sons Ben and Micah and granddaughter Eliana). Thought you would enjoy the comparison pictures of me with Wilma on our way to Girl Scout camp (longĀ ago and far away) and of me with Arlene in the 1980s when my hair was still black (how I miss it!)!

Whoever owns a turquoise
Will never want for friends
A traditional saying
For the throat chakra representing
Communication and travel
Releasing old vows and memories while
Allowing the soul to express itself
So true because our words are
Often blocked
So difficult because we take a chance
Telling others we love them
(What if they ignore our words
Or worse, laugh?)
So egotistical to not want to say
What we know
Although
Family and friends
Are our soul mates
Even when we disagree
There is a bond so very holy
And so I hold the turquoise stone
And say to family, friends, we are one
And I love you…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
Images: Sons, granddaughter, friends past and present, turquoise (wikimedia)

W&C 10 YEARS

C&A 1980s

WACBEST

E&B1

M&CBEST

M & B 1

E&Cbest

 

HALLWAY UKULELE (memoir)

Beloved but battered
Blah, blah, blah
Can’t say enough
Love it badly
Patiently waiting
In heat and humidity
For me to sling it over
My narrow shoulders
And make it sing
Remembering
New teenager me
Raging Chakiris* crush
As he sang
Roses and Lollipops
Lollipops and Roses
Oh, the garbage we moon over
When young
Believing in romance
And love
Old now, don’t like the lollipops
But still adore roses
Yet
Who knew I’d be banging away
On my hallway baritone
Singing songs about
Life’s disappointments
Yet
Yet
So much fun to strum
And on really bad days
Can raid my stash
In a clothes closet pocket
Peanut butter and chocolate
Almost as good as music
And truly superior
To two-timers I have known
In the realm of romance…

*Actor-singer-dancer George Chakiris (unable to find the video)

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Red roses & baritone ukulele

#17 THE STAR

I am the Daughter of the Firmament
The Dweller Between the Waters
Protecting the space between the
Sky and Earth aqua pura
What is your desire?
Make it special
We all want good health for ourselves
For loved ones
We all want to win the lottery even if
We don’t buy a ticket
What is your secret wish
For that is what I can
Help you win
Stars are hope
Inspiration
Guidance
It is why Van Gogh’s
Starry nights are the
Beloved archetype
Of beauty and love
It is why Mircea Eliade
Calls myth the
Sudden breakthrough of the sacred
And so here am I
The myth who will guide you
Through dreams of tomorrow’s promise
Do I speak true?
Don’t know
But you do
In your self-reflection
Gazing into the waters above and below
Yet I do promise
I will always encourage you
To reach for the stars…
(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: VanGogh, Starry Night Over the Rhone

#3 EMPRESS/#4 EMPEROR

We see them sitting separately
On thrones and different cards
She is the third
Fecund mother, healer
Generating
Emanating
Flowers and herbs
Nutrition and health
He is the fourth
Authoritative
Stabilizer
Protector
Together they create
Universal love, but
Like lonely Sand Hill Cranes
Searching for the mate
Unless they come together in a reading
They remain apart
It’s such a big old world
How to decide
Where to abide
And with whom
Background music
Train whistle
A Minor and E Minor chords
Hurtling through the night
Reminding us we might
Be lonesome and alone
Forever
Forever hoping
To meet
Side by side
On a table top
Where seeker and guider
Interpret this rare combination
So close in the cards
But not
How we hope
How we say
Don’t shuffle …

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
Image: #3 Empress/#4 Emperor

#6 THE LOVERS (SONG-IN-PROGRESS)

Creative media
Forge an unproven friendship
Are we who we claim to be
In an unsung song
Or silent poetry?

She opened the door
Saw his perfect face
New galaxy beckoned
Glided into space

Flying to Io
On passionate wings
Moon of Jupiter
In a deep bass sings
While fiery volcanoes
Unendingly erupt
As atmosphere corrupts
A chance for relocation

But exploding music
Knits their hearts
We can, yeah, do it any day
Who can, yeah, guess it anyway
Love, oh no, hasn’t been kind
But she used to pretend, yeah
Like she didn’t mind

Surprisingly, he says, yeah
You are my soul
With you, yeah
Life will never be dull
You’re the hull but me
I’m the masts, the rigging
You, yeah
Keep me whole

And at last she’s a bride
No longer naked
Not necessary to hide
Though the grass so brown
New life blooms greenly fine
Flowering her crown
And he
Smilingly
Thinks: thanks!
She is mine!

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Gargoyles & Baritone Ukulele

OLBERS’ PARADOX

Despite innumerable stars
Why is the night sky
Not as bright as day?

Olbers’ Paradox
The Dark Night Sky
Finite or vast
Stars shine from the past

Astronomers say
The Big Bang is only
13.7 billion years old
Older universes exist
In distances only measurable
By Light Years
So if the universe expands
Other galaxy stars
Become concealed
Only those of the Milky Way
Our orbiting familiar wheel
Are visible

Is it enough to know
The Cosmic Web
Links all galaxies together?
We and the stars are
Embers of Fire
Eddies of Air
Droplets of Water
Nuggets of Dirt
Strongly woven
Never to be broken
Neighbors forever
Lineage unspoken…

“We are star stuff” –Carl Sagan

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Cosmic Web