love

8-31-2020 BLACK TEA: LAPSANG SOUCHONG

Standing in the dark
Midnight mist tangled
In silver moonlight
Splashing across my
Pale, anxious face
Eyes searching swamp edges
Waiting for you
Smoky Souchong
Sloshing in cups
Bamboo and pine fires
Give scent the power
To evoke Russian caravans
Carrying precious tea leaves
To far-flung Florida
Eagerly sipping
The potent brew
No Shakespearean witch
Could conjure in her cauldron
On the darkest night
Caffeine calms me
And I hear years of
Piled Live Oak leaves
Crackling on compacted sand
Recognizing your step
In anticipation of the tea
With its own sensuality…

© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Russian Caravan tea

8-25-20 HAND PRINTS (REVISED FROM 2018)

Grimoire
Magic spell book
But aren’t most books
Enticingly magical?
Most writers want to
Weave a spell
Enchant the reader
An alphabet put together
Interpreting the
Arcane codes
True, some are more
Grimoire-y than others
But the hope is always the same
Book of Shadows
For memories to reclaim

Anyone could make a
Physical book
Cutting, pasting
Dreaming
Mine contains words
Pictures
Photos
And amulets in drawstring pouches
What will you make?
It is the book that will
Define your legacy
The hand prints on
The door of our universe
Saying, “I WAS HERE”

(AIR)

I took a trip
To learn why
Writers stifle colors
And artists go for blank
Turned the page
Explaining how to fly
Instructions specific
For a heady trip
Here was I
Looping through the sky
Thought I’d die
Scared to be so high
But relaxed into the rhythm
Balancing on the cold
Atmospheric road
Where the night sky
Anchors us to life
But the silver cord tugged
And back I fluttered
Merely a feather
Drifting onto my bed

(WATER)

Another lonely night
Riffling through pages
Scanning the list
Of Love Potions
Devastated from rejection
Needed him back
But would I want him
Under magical circumstances?
No, I want real love
Equal partnership
No controlling
No binding
Free choice
As I expect it for me
So I rejected that conjuration
For whomever needed to put
General love into their life
And splashed through the
Outgoing tides
Searching for the Sea Henge
Upside down tree of life
Teach me, I breathed
How to survive
Alone

(EARTH)

Sick next day but not in bed
Probably sadness put it in my head
Sat shivering over my Grimoire
And there
In plain English
Well, mostly
Was the Ena Drab Farmeko*
Nine-herb charm
The secret cure
In my backyard
Or in fields and forests
Swamps and even health food stores
Found bits and pieces of the herbs
Stirred, sieved, suffused
Sipped, slept
Earth’s magic
Strengthening my resolve
To evolve into
A perfect balance
Of marbleized black and white
A swirling mixture
Of Yin and Yang
As my voice sang out
In harmony

(FIRE)

Oh, the spirit
Belief, relief
In caring about the world
And all contributing to
The Buzz
Of a vibrant planet
Paper, wood
Instant campfire
Envy of embers
Help us see
Each other as real
Blazing through the dark
Bright, straight, strong
But alone
Hoping it will smoulder
Giving the cold heat shoulder
Resentful hot hatred
Scorches, sears, singes
In order to extinguish
A lone flame
What price incandescence…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: My Grimoire

*ENA DRAB FARMEKO (for those interested in simple herbs)
https://poeturja.wordpress.com/2015/07/16/ena-drab-farmeko-nine-herb-charm-2/

8-7-20 PHILOSOPHICAL COMPETITION (song-in-progress)

Who is the most authentic
Living in nature
Empty clam shells
Greens and stewing roots
Poking through the sand
Good enough to supply
Physical sustenance

Who is the most free
No one to see you or me
As we move thru life
Without revealing
A secret identity
The world never imagines
We’re hiding behind distractions

Middle of the night tossing
Measuring need by thermal burnings
But you provided
No Rosetta Stone
Nothing to accompany
Years of clay etchings
Masquerading as feelings
That may or may not exist

Who is the most responsible
Living lives alone and lonely
Life not providential
But surely existential
As we do what may be right
Loveless in the hemispheres
Lifting legs like logs
Through the muck and mire
Lost in the geography of the
Split brain…

© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Existentially Alone

7-28-20 THE PARAPHRASE (Connie Francis 1959 song “Lipstick on your collar”)

*scroll down for a YouTube video

“Lipstick on your face mask
Told a tale on you
Lipstick on your face mask
Said you were untrue
Bet your bottom dollar
You and I are through
‘Cause lipstick on your face mask
Told a tale on you, yeah”

A SONG FOR THE PANDEMIC…

© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Lipstick on his face mask

* https://youtu.be/YMlALAaEwfA
Connie Francis 1959 lipstick on your collar

I’m so silly today! Actually put on my best dress and drove around early in the morning to see the Gulf Channel off of Grand Boulevard. 15 minutes of freedom…Be safe and healthy ❤

NEW BOOK!

You’ve probably read all my poems but here is my newest addition to the ongoing poetic diary of my commonplace life 😀 There are so many photos (mostly of my beloved baritone ukulele) so KDP set the lowest price at $1.99 USD. Must say, this is not my favorite book of poetry. For that, I would recommend my big 3: Chording the Cards or Chakra Madness or Miniature Worlds Sublime.

Wishing us all health and safety in these trying times (that are unfortunately reflected in my poetry) ❤

COUNTRY SONG FOR CONCERTINA

Seems the concertina I ordered in May is trekking around Asia or Europe
Wrote this “song” and will try to chord it when the instrument is here 😀

(song-in-progress)

I’m pretending you love me
As magic thoughts strike
Like old days of herb-picking
When like would cure like

Some days I dream of shaking you
Like a prophetic eight ball
Ask you a question
Penetrate your brick wall

Like a recalcitrant concertina
I push and pull
But deep down I think
I’m just an old fool

So if I pretend you love me
Ten times a day
Like healing roots and leaves
Love me back, you may

© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: 2nd Generation Flamingos

(the overuse of “like” is deliberate)

TANKA (SAY IT!)

song-in-progress

Don’t hear you say much
Don’t hear much said anymore
What is said not heard
What’s heard may never be said
Lies in the lives of lovers

Regretting what said
Words avalanching your own
Opinionated
But your words sliced my sad soul
Lies in the lives of lovers

Where to go from here
Can’t listen to words of war
No need for wrong words
Why would you shipwreck our lives
Lies in the lives of lovers

Sin of silence worse
Can’t settle diversity
Eye contact and words
Helps heal health of broken hearts
Lies in the lives of lovers

Choose words carefully
Keeping quiet isolates
Words reverberate
Sweeping out emotion’s dust
Truth in the lives of lovers…

©2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: SAY IT!

TUNING: DGBE FOR BARITONE UKULELE

SIMPLE STRUMMING PATTERN BY LINE, ALL VERSES EXCEPT LAST:
D
A
G
DAG
DAGD

LAST VERSE IN LAST LINE: DGAGD

(TANKA LINE SCHEME: 5 syllables/7 syllables/5 syllables/7 syllables/7 syllables)

HAPPY 5TH BIRTHDAY, ROCKSTAR <3

Traded in the family bike
For a handful of magic beans
Told it would grow into
A source of unconditional love
Wrapped In other-species intelligence
And just by touching this incredible bloom
Happiness would be mine for infinite hours
So hurricane rains
Cooled the solar beams
While rainbows bathed it
With seven colorful properties
And it grew and it grew
Until the blossom peeped through
And it was all
And more
As promised…

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: RockStar my Pit-Chi

GENERATIONAL CURSES

What do the ancestors say
Is there comfort from
Beyond the veil
Thinking about generational curses
Wondering if they’re true
Were they poor generational choices
So easy to misconstrue
Powerful DNA
Passed down through the years
Eyes and hair and sickness too
So why not memories
That we confuse
With reincarnation
So why not a compass
Leading us down the wrong path
Because we have always done it
That way
My generational curse
A Tantalus one
Victory always just out of reach
Me on one side of the breach
And I don’t ask for much
But as such
I just can’t seem to attain
Still, my personal generational curse
Is not like the one, say, of the Kennedys
But then there are today curses
Eyes of evil looking at me
Jealousy
Who knows why
If you only knew
What life has done to me
But I smile so you don’t know
And so I ask the ancestors
To help me go on
No sense asking why
But I need the remedy
The outcome
Safety for me
Safety for my family
Is there any protection
Against mindless enmity…?

(c) Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Hoodoo Tarot 2