music

MIXED METAPHOR

 

Playing my ukulele

Enormous desire

To do a pilgrimage

Across the country:

Haight Ashbury

Although no Janis Joplin

No Grateful Dead

Maybe a crashed and scattered

Jefferson Airplane

Maybe something more

Emerging from a door

In San Francisco…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: My newest baritone ukulele in the shadows

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ELEVATION 2

 

Riding backwards

Seeing what was

Appropriate for a memoir scribbler

So, have roadside trees

Changed instantly

Shedding leaves in Florida Autumn?

Clouds are following me

Heading North

 

Playing air ukulele for amusement

Since train WiFi silent

Refusing to share

The outside world

Just me

In a womb room

Now chugging through

A little-known station

In Denmark, South Carolina

 

Last year, first time in a train roomette

Was magical

Besotted with the tracks

Circuitously leading locomotives

Through the East Coast’s elevation*

True, I’d learned to play

“City of New Orleans”

On the ukulele

And oh, those chords

And words

Seduced me into forsaking airplanes

Now, it’s like footprinting through

Scattered stardust

Alone on a Magician’s stage

As if he’d hypnotized and then left me half alive

Alone

An abandoned

Dusty old platform

House lights on

Revealing faded curtains

Sprung springed seats

Alone

 

Looking through the large-view window

Recognizing the same-as-last-year flooded

Roadside thickets

Litter scattered among the deciduous trees

As we race between Rocky Mount, NC

And Petersburg, VA

 

Gazing at trucks piled with logs

Mongrel architecture of cottages

Half  Great Depression rural facades

Hiding a post-1960s add-on

When wardrobes grew

Requiring more closet space

Plural bathrooms needed

To accommodate the cult of the

Nacirema**

 

Suddenly Washington, DC

Water marked overpass walls

Dripping with graffiti

Resembling a vellum book

With aging endpapers

Hidden shelf, second hand shop

Marbled designs disguise

Deterioration

 

Do I feel less enthusiastic

Because last year

The sun rose in Virgo,

This time in Libra?

Was it because last year

The virgin voyage was fresh,

This time it is post-honeymoon?

Was it because I was a year younger?

Wish it was like the inaugural trek

Year after year

In life

In love

In mystery…

 

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE:  heritage railroad

 

*Compare to last year’s poem, same train trip https://poeturja.wordpress.com/2016/09/04/elevation-but-still-wouldnt-swap-my-swamp/

 

**American spelled backwards (term used in Sociology and Anthropology depicting specific behavior)

ELIXIR OF FAMILY BONDING

 

Flanked by big, brash progeny

The plucky baritone ukulele

Holds her own

Amid clamorous sons

Sensing no time elapsed

Between early motherhood and retirement

Removing their eyeglasses

Myopically peering at each other

It is 1989

All is fine

As life-long love

Picks up at the point

It left off

Long ago and far away…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGES: My baritone ukulele and their guitars/Halloween in the 1980s

 

(I’m back, WordPress!  Will check out your stuff this coming week)

B, C & M 80s Halloween cropped

OBSESSING, NATURALLY…

(photo from FB Memory set me off about leaving on Thursday)

Morning

Exhausted

From little to no sleep

I’m a mass of

White-pink-gray-blue

Brains or intestines or

Pile of pythons

Primal soup solidified

Try to untangle

Thrown into the void

Falling

Dogs desert me

As I hurl myself to safety

Thoroughly awakening

To what type of day?

Oh, no, I’m going away

From the swamp

From the ginger

From the dogs

From the music…

 

What makes people

Want to travel?

Is it easier with

Sister or Brother

Friend or Lover?

I’m used to being alone

Will eventually feel okay

Do wish, though

There was someone to hold onto

While wading through strangeness

And strangers

Oh no, I’m going away

From the swamp

From the ginger

From the dogs

From the music…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

Image: CS from FB Memory 2014 with ginger

 

“FROM THE BRIM TO THE DREGS”

My Annual Sorta-Kinda Equinox Poem (revised)

 

(scroll down for a youtube video)

 

Not a good idea to mention this

Coming from South Philly and all

But I wasn’t part of the Sinatra cult

Even though my mother said

The only time she ever cut school

Was to see him sing in those swinging 40s

In any event, he does have some okay songs

One of those is “It Was A Very Good Year”

(D Minor, 1965, is his version per Wikipedia)

Loved that song although

Odd, since the lyrics were not “relevant” like Dylan’s

And those of other beloved folksingers

Maybe I was young but

Couldn’t stop the melancholy looping

About being in the autumn of his life

Didn’t even know the meaning of “dregs” back then

No Google, but we did have dictionaries

 

Anyway, here it is

Autumn Equinox

Day and Night Equal

But the harvesting of crops

Or dreams or just general

Digging in for the winter

Signals the beginning of the end

And now instead of being Seventeen

I’m trying to think of my life

As “vintage wine from fine old kegs”

But it’s not happening

I’ve worked at it being healthy,

Life more like Dandelion wine

Little bit of a buzz

Lots of bitterness from picking the wrong weeds

But once in a while

It tasted like spring

No matter the season

I’d love to tell younger people

To try to slow down and enjoy life

But I didn’t listen when young

I screamed about mistrusting anyone over thirty

(OMG, what a wild time!)

 

Equinoxes, Solstices

The sun will insist that we do a self-examination

No matter our age

But dang! Turned this into another aging poem

(My poems often write themselves)

Not surprising, though

Like the Solar Year

I’m aging

Question is,

Will I return

Eternally

As the year so predictably does?

Should have reblogged my annual Autumn Equinox one

It’s a bit more upbeat…

Well, here’s Frankie for your listening pleasure (or not):

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: September Harvest Moon, hpwallpaperpc.com

 

https://youtu.be/-bhNz6saaE8  Very Good Year, Frank Sinatra

 

RAINY NIGHT IN GEORGIA (Another Autistically Clueless Memoir)

 

*scroll down for a YouTube video*

 

First flight

Eighteen

Philly to New Orleans

Meeting the love-of-my-life

Stationed in Biloxi

Due in at 11 pm

Nemesis fog

Flight forced to land

In Atlanta, Georgia

Here’s the terrible confession

Autistic mind clacking away

Didn’t hear what stewardess saying

Just kept thinking

Will he know my flight’s delayed

Will he wait

Went into the bathroom

Forgot about the luggage

Exited to a side gateway

Dark and empty

Nothing but faux leather

Benches

Ashtrays

Locked in!

Back to the bathroom

Called my mom

From a phone booth

She said just lie down on a bench

Sleep

As if

Can’t even sleep in my bed for more than an hour

Smoked the entire night

Danced and sang in the dark

No jet noises

All grounded

Just smoggy fog

Peering at me

Right outside the observatory windows

Sang alphabetically

Baez, Beatles, Dylan

Sang all the way to the Zombies

(Well no one told me about her…)

Personnel shocked the next morning

When I asked for my luggage

And a flight to New Orleans

Could see their stares

Could see them glancing at each other

But not sure what it all meant

Hustled me on a plane

Served me coffee

But by then I was shivering

Scratchy throat

Landed to the sound of my name

He was there, waiting for me

So was my luggage

We walked on Canal Street

Ate at Top of the Mark

Back to the hotel

I fell

Into a feverish sleep

Didn’t wake until

The next day

Felt better

He gave me his Air Force wings

How I loved him

How I don’t understand

Why I didn’t wait the four years for him

How I hope he had a good life

A good wife

And that’s what I did

On my trip to New Orleans

When I was eighteen

And unknowingly

Autistic and clueless

Yet able to survive…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: USAF Rank Pin, Pinterest

 

*YouTube video Brook Benton, Rainy Night in Georgia https://youtu.be/bDRbF80NKDU

 

 

PEACE AND LOVE REDEMPTION

(8th Annual Global Hate-Free Day 9-22-17)

 

A/ Could not think of a Em/ poem

Em/ With the words A/ love and peace

D6// That was a youthful Em/dream

Em/ Fading into the D6/ dawn’s release

 

C/ Where’s the kindness G/ in your heart

G/ Why must loving E7/ fall apart

 

A/ But my mind won’t Em/ let me rest

Em/ Surely anger is A/ not our fate

D6/ There must be an Em/ alteration

Em/ Don’t want a world D6/ full of hate

 

C/ To old and new G/  I say to you

G/ Let love and peace be part of  E7/ each  day

 

A/ Protesting and Em/ marching

Em/ Once part of A/ my past

D6/ Now I’m terribly Em/ old

Em/ Searching for what D6/ will last

 

C/Words and music G/ into the skies

G/ Allow a new world to C/ crystallize

C/ Allow a new world to G/ crystallize

© 2017  Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja), chords & words

IMAGE: My Luna Peace Ukulele

(For baritone ukulele tuned DGBE:  just a strumming song by an amateur)

 

 

JONI AND ROBERT OF THE CANYON (Bit of Blogetry)

*scroll down for YouTube videos*

I don’t know

Call it poetic license

Intuition

Just received my vintage copy

The Music of Joni Mitchell

For guitar (and baritone ukulele)

Forgot the words to

Ladies of the Canyon

And, well, am I making this up

Or is it the same canyon

Robert Plant sings about

In Going to California?

If so, I see clashing perspectives

Joni wrote a lovely, accepting song

About three “ladies”

Living the hippie ideal

Robert wrote a song and

In the Zeppelin IV album

He sings, with dread,

“Canyons started to tremble and shake

As the children of the sun begin to awake.

Watch out…”

She embracing the scene

He totally overwhelmed

By the experience

By the vastness

By the teenage liberation

Of the American West

Of the guitars and sun

Of the eagles and sky

Let freedom fly

(Just thought I’d mention it)

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: My newest song book

 

YouTube videos:

https://youtu.be/jft55QBkE6o?list=RDjft55QBkE6o Joni Mitchell 12:25 begins Ladies of the Canyon

https://youtu.be/PDIz4talyQk Led Zeppelin (Robert Plant singing)