love

FOR MY DARLING DESCENDANTS

Star book and amulet
In this plastic box
For those nights
We need to dream
Our ancestors gazed above
Saw many of
The same stars we see
Did they dream, too
Most importantly, who
Was able to time travel
Take quantum leaps
Through fabled worm holes
Are we warned about black holes
Swallowing us whole
Like early explorers
Were warned about
Falling off the flat Earth
A time-honored way
To control
By those inside the
Moneyed walls
Against us the have-nots
But thinkers, all
Yes we are
So who really has the best
That life can offer
If you are reading this
A charm, a book, a song of freedom
Is yours
My darling descendants
Be bold
Let your mind search the aethers
Through dark and cold
Following the dim light
Of possibilities…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: AMULET, BOOK & BARITONE UKULELE

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PEACE RECIPE (another goulash poem)

*scroll down for a YouTube video*

 

Drugs and sex and rock and roll
Doesn’t have to be so radical
Music, well, I like it all
Rock, Folk, World, Jazz
Drugs, well, I used to smoke
Still miss it after many decades
But chocolate is a drug
So is caffeine
Sex, well, I like it
But even a hug
Or a kiss
Or an affectionate word is nice

So, share even one vice
With a stranger
And you fast forward
Like a time-lapse video
To the point where you’ve
Known each other for years
You’ve broken through
An icy membrane
A wall of ancient sun-baked stones
Breeching a stranger’s
Cellular level
Enabling a mutual recognition

Music, sex, alcohol
Doesn’t have to be so radical
Share an herbal cigarette
Toast each other with
Home-brewed mugs of near-beer
Look into someone’s eyes,
While Starbucking, with love
But most of all
Listen to the rhythm of music
It’s how we connect
We, almost seven billion souls
Drugs and sex and rock and roll
Perhaps the elusive secret of
World Peace…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

“Sex & Drugs & Rock’n’Roll” Ian Drury and the Blockheads

(original quote unattributed from a 1969 Life Magazine article)

brown cover 3

COFFEEHOUSE ON NEW YORK AV

(ANOTHER PRE-CASINO, ATLANTIC CITY MEMOIR)

Troubadour in dark room
Singing and strumming
“Go away from my window…”
Thinks he can tell me
What I need
Coffee grinding ten steps away
Strings strangling a heart
Fibrillating to future rejections
“It ain’t me, babe” soaring through
The smoky room
Zinging in, trying to make me cry
With his lying eyes
So why’d he pursue me
Take me to his room and
Almost ruin me
Thinks he can croon
By the light of the
Not-yet-landed-upon-Moon
Me nervously twirling my spoon
Roiling the brew
To read a few escaped coffee grounds
What is my future
Another tall, dark stranger
I’ll love and lose?
Caffeine finally affects
The saddened brain
Venomously I think
He’s not even a quarter good as Dylan
Can’t help wondering, though
When I’ll be an adult
So to all you young girls,
Yeah, not really women
We’re fragile little girls
When it comes to secret chambers
Of the heart
Here to tell you
Lived despite the pain
But can’t say
I ever used the label
“Adult”
Because
For the very sensitive
Adulthood is merely in the
Eyes of children
And the memory comes through
When I’ve sipped a few
Double-shot espressos…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: kava3

ME FOR YOU

Who says we’re the “Me” generation?
“Free” definitely
But remember all we did
For the Cosmos?
Some went to war
Some protested same
Learning the game
Of politics
Trying to save
Earth and clean up
Acid Rain
Not easy

Indulgence?
Yes, we were teens
Milestone to adulthood
Looming like a shadowy
Twist of steam
Competing with our
Psychedelic auras
So we indulged
But remember, we didn’t know
That drugs, cigarettes
And even sunshine
Were traps of death

Indulgence?
Oh, the music
Need I say more?
the melody of
Make love not war
Thrumming in our heads
Never to be forgotten
Decades after the first riffs
Of incomparable songs
Echoed along the
Space-time continuum

Me
And you
My lovely cohorts
(No matter our politics)
We made a splendid skydive
Into time
Ticking to the
Rhythm of
Rampaging, riotous
Life
All for the benefit of
You, the future generations…

(c) 2018 clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: MUSHROOM & PEACE UKULELE

HAND PRINTS

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/

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

 

 

SOMETHING PRIMAL

REPOST OF MY SONG FOR MAKE MUSIC DAY

Make Music Day 6-21-18       http://www.makemusicday.org/

C/Never been in love or D7/loved
D7/Struggled to stay C/afloat
C/Can any man be so D7/perfect
D7/As a series of musical G6/notes?

F/Something primal G6/making it sing
Em7/Slapping bongos or F/tambourines
F/Skin aglow D7/feeling the sting

C/Fantasy in D7/chords of blue
D7/How will I ever Am/find you

C/Flavor of a D7/good man
D7/Like eating chocolate C/Ice cream
C/As taste buds revived D7/deliciously
D7/In a piquant G6/dream

F/Something primal G6/making it sing
Em7/Blowing horns hot as a F/thermal spring
F/Pumping blood rides D7/an upward swing

C/Fantasy of D7/honeyed kiss
D7/Craving a present Am/life of bliss

C/Longing for a D7/reality
D7/Consigning all the C/nightmares
C/Back to the D7/dreaded past
D7/Of implacable ghosts of G6/despair

F/Something primal G6/making it sing
Em7/Fast picking of guitar’s F/heart strings
F/Spiraling out on strong D7/beating wings

C/Fantasy of love D7/in the now
D7/Intending to live the Am/myth somehow

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja) words and chords
Written for GCEA ukulele but should work on Baritone Ukulele & Guitar (DGBE)

 

STRING THEORY

HAPPY 3RD ANNIVERSARY TO ME AND MY UKULELES!  THREE YEARS AGO TODAY I RECEIVED MY FIRST ONE AND TAUGHT MYSELF TO PLAY, ONE OF THE HAPPIEST DAYS OF MY LIFE.  HERE’S A REPOST OF A UKULELE POEM FROM 2015:

 

Over the years
Played several instruments:
Flute, harmonica, kazoo
Tambourine, bongos, keyboard
Never has anything felt so right
As the guitar from my youth
And the ukulele from my maturity
Vibrations of string
Pulling the heart strings
Brain strung out

 

Perhaps some of us
Are as sensitive as Pythagoras
And his Musica Universalis
Music of the Spheres
Movement of celestial bodies
Sun, moon and planets
Emit their own unique hum
Pythagoras, mathematical madman,
Claimed the pitch of a musical note is in proportion
To the length of the string that produces it
Ergo, quality of life on Earth reflects
The tenor of celestial sounds
Imperceptible to the human ear
Felt, though, in the body, mind and soul

 

The first known artist
Depicting an angel with a harp
Must have loved string music
Must have discerned the Musica Universalis
That’s also my idea of Heaven
Although more fun to strum strings on Earth
Because we get to wear cool clothes…

© 2015 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

skein

brain doing some interesting
slip-slide-glides anymore
not very sure
but may be related to aging
time-travel in my mind
and you are there
whether past, present or future
a quantum entanglement
yeah, i know
not meant to describe love
but it’s more a twinning
positive i’ve known you forever
and now
like einstein’s spooky action
i almost see you
because X marks the spot
oh, look, the shadow’s fading
forming a crystal-clear definition
and the cogwheels of my mind
creak to the music of time
while reaching out
across the light years of space
to see, and touch, your face…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: today’s skytrail over the swamp

 

MAGICAL SUSTAIN

*scroll down for a YouTube video*

Always thought I resonated
To A Minor
Strange experience
Playing my new acoustic
Ibanez tenor guitar
Left fingers forming chords
Right hand strumming strings
Playing a favorite song
Wrote it simplistically
Ending with G chord
As my right breast rests
On the curve of the guitar
And I finish with
A hard strum G chord
(Hope you’re not bored)
But wow!
What a sound!
Okay, it wasn’t the Beatles’
A Day in the Life
But oh, the G
Giving me a high
Like the smokiest
Russian Caravan Tea
A sustained note
As I silently
Breathlessly
Counted 15 seconds and still
It sustained through
My heart
My breasts
My guitar
What a gift to me
I’m so not a musician
But the universe’s melody
Enfolding in a velvet sea
A deep blue of sky
White of stars
Flashes of red like Mars
And then the Earth
Grounded it
And I
Now addicted
Strum the chord again
(And again)

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: my new Ibanez acoustic tenor guitar

*YouTube video: https://youtu.be/usNsCeOV4GM
Beatles Day in the Life (4:21 to hear their chord)