music

ETERNAL CIRCLE

(scroll down for a YouTube video)

I play the songs of
Too many dead people
Keeping them alive
As their guitars and faces
Fill my eyes
Words and music
Soothing my soul
Thanks, all, for the
Gift that gives eternally
This month’s practice is Let It Be*
Over and over
Doesn’t sound like
The naked version 2003
Paul redid by stripping the
Background strings, drums, keys and voices
My version is ugly-nude
As ugly as this ol’ lady
Stripped to her black underwear
Strumming the chords
Singing the words
But there is beauty in ugliness
Timeless music
Echoing along the continuum
Surely it reaches back into 1970
And soon-to-be-dead John
And unknowingly-blessed-with-a-long-life Paul
Hear a tune
On their linear line
And pick up guitars
Sit at pianos
Singing so fine
A new song
Somehow, they think,
Popped into their already-crowded heads
But time is truly a circle
And they hear a reverberation
Of some crazy ol’ lady
Playing in 2018
Their song
Because life goes on
A circle of time
Of legacy
Of the future
Telling the past what to create
Even though it was composed in
A linear past
That really never existed
Except in our sorry minds
That cannot grasp
Cannot unclasp
The idea of time not being part of
A straight line…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Ibanez Acoustic Tenor Guitar echoing down the decades

*Written by Paul McCartney, attributed to Lennon-McCartney Partnership

YouTube Video, 1970 original Let It Be https://youtu.be/2xDzVZcqtYI

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SEASONAL CONVERGENCE

Picking my way through the swamp
Stomping in useless suede cloth boots
Sand spurs sticking to tights
Shouting to warn unbrumating snakes
All for the picture
And the metaphor
Of seeing the palm tree
Juxtaposed with the Queen Anne’s Lace
But by the time I hike into the
Out of control greens and browns
Hang up my guitar for the arty effect
The photo just isn’t there
At least not by phone camera
That I swear has no zoom-in
The sun hovers between East and South
Washing out the white flowers
If I move forward
The deep swamp will suck me down
It’s not really evil
Just has a sense of humor
And I seem to be the only one fascinated
With its loveliness
So I make it two photos
But the poem in my mind
Is gone
The metaphor was
The convergence of seasons
Palm tree
That never lost its greenery
Because of the warm winter
Queen Anne’s Lace
So Philly and Jersey summer
From my youth
The only flowers
Besides the Sunflower
That I’d occasionally see
In the concrete city
North meets South
Spring meets Summer
No, better go
Before the Water Moccasins
Slither over
And in May
The gators walk all day
Looking to mate
Bad enough a Blue Jay
Almost crashed into me
On my elliptical
This morning, outside
Pedaling to
Of all tunes
“Walking in Memphis”

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGES: My guitar on the swamp palm tree and quasi-invisible Queen Anne’s Lace

 

Queen Anne's Lace in May with arrow

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)

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

ALLMAN BROTHERS OBVERSE

*scroll down for a YouTube video*

Darkness dangerous for women
For we who want to keep our souls
Out there alone
Nothing but our bodies
To pay for a room
And a few gallons of gas
To the next town
How to stay pure?
Starving always worked
As a money-saver for women

No, we’re no
Sexy Midnight Rider
No dangerous outlaw persona
A guise for men only

Stay safe, women
For us, our song is
Not gonna let them catch
The Evening Hider
Stay safe and hide
When the sun begins to glide
Below the perspective point
Of the far horizon

Always the same
Whether Maiden, Mother or Crone
Aging the day we’re born
Heading where?
Heaven, hell, oblivion?
Unknown to those
Who had faith shoved down the throat
Be a good girl and
You will be loved

Might as well be walking
Down a dark midnight alley
With no lantern
Waving bouquets of dollars
Teetering on designer knock-off stilettos
Skin hid in a bikini

Stay safe, women
Stay safe, all you women out there
Don’t walk the streets at night
Be true to your mind and body
And try to remember
Though it may not seem so now
And you’ll not believe how
There is always
SOMEONE
Someone who loves you, somewhere
Always…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Evening Hider

*YouTube video Allman Brothers Band, Midnight Rider

 

ABSTRACT ARABESQUE

(song in progress)

Somewhere tapestried
Into time and space
Beat the hearts
Of an alternative place
Miniscule tweaking
As I envision the only night
We would be speaking
Because there, I am merely
A bit younger
Prettier
Thinner
Personable
We, together, are almost
Uncontrollable
Feeding each other
Mulberries
Branches triumphantly reaching
Into an alternative sky
Only a few changes and
My life would be as planned
Happy, full, secure
With love evermore
Instead, I gaze through
An intertwined tapestry
In this universe
Living the converse
No life in an ivory tower
Merely gutted
Like the sunflower
Under the unreachable mulberry tree…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Gutted sunflower and mulberries

(working on chords for baritone ukulele and will repost)

gutted sunflower sm px

CRYSTAL PAEAN

*scroll down for a YouTube video*

In 1761
A famous founding father
Gave a gift to the world
Delicate beauty of sound
Invented while he watched
Children playing water-filled
Crystal bowls
Franklin and a glassblower
Created the Glass Armonica
Traveling around Europe
Revealing its secrets for free
No patent, says he
Inventions are made to be shared
Discovering that the instrument
Is banned in a few towns
Some so sure
High-pitched, ethereal notes
Must be ghost-evoked or they
Magically appeared
From the swami of souls
Playing the glass-like bowls
In his underground kingdom
To me, hearing this
Crystalline enchantment
A heavenly enhancement
Harmony emanates from my heart
Music soothing composed by
Mozart, Beethoven and others
So I feel sure that the USA’s
First scientist
Benjamin Franklin
Not only lived in the
Elemental kingdoms of
Earth, Water and Air
But also the Fire of Spirit
Sending a prayer of thanks
Through our emotional savior
Music…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Glass Armonica, Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, PA

*YouTube video https://youtu.be/eQemvyyJ–g
Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy William Zeitler

 

 

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

 

“SPIRITS ARE USING ME…”

Southern Cross–Crux–once again visible in my Florida backyard!  Wanted to write a new poem but my old one says it best:

 

(scroll down for YouTube video)

Ancient museum piece
Finding its way
From saline, sunken galleon
To pristine, icy backdrop
Of the sky’s exhibit
Southern Cross
Crux!
Visible in the Northern Hemisphere
And all I can hear
Is Stephen Stills’ voice
Hitting those high notes
Thinking about how many times
I, too, have fallen
No thought of crucifixion
Redemption
Religion
Although a brief vision
Of the tarot’s Hanged Man
Sacrifice
Flashes through my exploding mind
Crux!
On April 8 at one in the morning
Florida, Hawaii and Texas
Are given the gift
From the Southern Hemisphere
Of their circumpolar Crux
Always above the horizon
The Earth poised just right
Stars gracing my life in the night…

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja), Miniature Worlds Sublime

YouTube video Southern Cross, Crosby, Stills & Nash
https://youtu.be/iuLBhxZUkmU