music

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

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MULTI-CHAKRAS

ONE

Think Red
Spectrum’s lowest frequency
When lost or crossed
Wear Red dangling from the ears
Draped and fringed across one’s back
Eat Red tomatoes on the vine
Not the GMO kind
Lick winter strawberry fingers
Glory in pomegranate-stained lips
Wear Red floral combats
For safety
And squat
Holding to the earth
Red
Protection

TWO

Think Orange
Sweet and tart
For when we laugh
Or when we cry
Out of control excitability
Tamp it down
Always regret if
Wrong words emerge
Tears of joy or anger
Sniffling up the water
Passionately flowing
Balance needed
Don’t want to be a hothead
Or cold as the undead
Orange
Emotions

THREE

Think Yellow
Disguised like tepid
Sun tea
Yet infused with
Super nova energy
Bursting with intensity
Diffusing one’s vitality
Rein in the solar strength
Save it for
More important scenes of life
When whether a hunter or gatherer
This potency throbbing within
Will need to help you win
But your mantra should be
Cause no harm
Yellow
Power

FOUR

Think Green
To be healthy and serene
Gateway to the upper Chakras
Lower levels embrace the physical
Upper levels embody the mind
All that is needed
Counterpoise
Comprising a sentient being
Chakra residing centrally
Heart’s restless pounding
Drumbeat sounding so strong
Foundation must be there
Where you find the key
Buried treasure below
Slip through the green
Warm, chlorophyll mornings
Exit the upper door
Time to face the
Toughest part of the journey
Green
Balance

FIVE

Think Turquoise Blue
Sing out the color
Interaction between you
And the world
Connectivity via
Humming, speaking, writing
Or even miming
Open up
Share your joy and sorrow
Being sad is no crime
If you don’t allow it to
Linger too long
Performance art is your goal
Reaching out makes us whole
Turquoise Blue
Communication

SIX

Think Indigo Blue
Deepening shadows
May fool you and others
But this is the time
You use the unseeable
Third eye
Insight from premonition
Accept it as an endowed sense
No need to hide behind pretense
Look at the indigo night
And as each star appears
All will come clear
As the eye adagios
Through seasonal constellations
Revealing what is true
Indigo Blue
Intuition

SEVEN

Think Violet
Spectrum of visible light’s
End of the rainbow
Only the truly spiritual
Can abide in tranquility
Cast away their trouble
Watch it decrease
A welcome release
Into the aethers of space
Tossed into black holes
Along with ego and worries
Aspiring to the final wavelength
Because we know
Life is easy
Without caprice
Simply live in kindness and peace
Violet
Spirituality

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Rainbow Baritone Ukulele by Kumbayart, Etsy

ACHROMATIC BLACK

 

*Scroll down for a YouTube video*

A hueless color
Completely absorbing visible light
It’s why I wear only black
Born in the wrong century
Incorrect body size
It’s why, despite the breakdown
Of facial skin beginning to fossilize
I Amy-Winehouse my eyes
Disguise my hands with black lace
Goth Granny needing moonlight
Bathing me in a silvery beauty
Short and going dumpy
No longer a cutie
But hey, I’m alive
But hey, I’m self-propelling
But hey, I’m happy in my
Quirky feminist way
It’s a new day
And we Baby Boomers
Who cannot afford cosmetic surgery
Sneer at botox and chin lifts
Avoiding mirrors during the day
But hey, we’ve got the secret of youth:
Classic Rock
And like Jagger sang
I’ll paint it black
And like Amy sang
I go back to black
Now I’m off to sing and play
Songs about glorious black
Creating a memorable sound track
As another birthday approaches…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Amy Winehouse

 

 

 

RED SONG-IN-PROGRESS (memoir)

Red Rover Red Rover
For Red to come over
Childhood game
When our blood did flow
Scrapes and red-tinged bandaids
With young bodies
Pulsing like Native drums
At American pow-wows

Red
Blood
Life
Flood

The beat goes on
The heat pulsing the blood
And then one day
It changes…

Flirting and hurting
Judged, loved or hated
Trying to walk dignified
Through teen years as the
Moon monthly controls
Female tides
Red flow meaning
Safe another month
Slut-footing past the boys
Pulsing like Gypsy tambourines
At doo-wapping City corners

Red
Blood
Life
Flood

The beat goes on
The heat pulsing the blood
And then one day
It changes…

Sleep with legs straight
So blood will circulate
But I awake
In a tight fetal state
With that artery
Behind my left knee
Pulsing like Santana drums
At Woodstock

Red
Blood
Life
Flood

The beat goes on
The heat pulsing the blood
And then one day
It’s gone…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Red#1

WHITE POEM 1

Saw a ghost last night
Not a woo-woo one
Saw a man by a white piano
Banging away
Every once in a while he’d say
“This one will go platinum”
Looked like Lennon
But his iconic face
Was off a bit
Surreptitiously glanced around
For a white bed
Nothing
But out of the corner of my eye
Was a bit of a white mini
Long black hair
And wondered
Ghost?
Time Travel?
Parallel Worlds?
Listened to the song
Knew it wasn’t one I’d ever heard
Knowing all John’s songs
Bopped my head
Played air ukulele
Yep, this one would go platinum
But hey
Suddenly back in my bed
Bottle of hemp oil
On the night table
Near my head
And wondered….

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: WHITE 1

(Working on a new book about chakras. True, white isn’t a chakra but then,  white is what we see when all wavelengths of light are reflected off an object)

 

FRAGRANT RELEASE

When days are dragging me down
People seem made more like daggers
And I’m saturated with sadness
That leaks onto the grass and dirt
I have my ways
Of relieving the pressure

There is music, of course
Reading, writing, chocolate
But a forgotten feeling
Resurfaced when the FDA
Became involved with herbs
Raising prices
Banning bottles and jars
Of alternative medicines

So after a few days of
Rejection and feeling
Like invasive vines
Are creeping all over me
When my people skills suffer
From autism
When once again I become
The mistress of the
Inappropriate remark
From autism
When no one will tell me what I have done
I crawl into my magic center
That has room for only one
Closing my eyes
Until a vision appears
And I hear
Triple, triple
Make a ripple
Pour and stir
Blood Root and Myrrh
Plantain and Golden Seal
And other herbs so ideal

It is New Moon
And I add 100 proof vodka
And daily shake the jar
Extracting Earthen properties
In watery medium
As wind stirs the contents
And fiery moon distills and augments
Relaxing as I add and mix
Handle and sing
Wondering
How I could forget the peace
Brought by the release
Of endorphins

Then, when
The moon is a silver medallion
Metal more precious than gold
I sieve and save the healing liquid
Add melted beeswax
Breathing loving words
Passing along the peace
Inside tiny jars
That will hold
An ageless recipe
Of earth, water, air and fire
Ingredients working together
Like a vocal range in a choir
A mystical tether…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Herbs and Dogs and Strings and Things

MARCH MADRIGAL

Ides of March
Caesar’s dead
St. Patrick’s Day Druidic snakes
Killed or fled
Mardi Gras music and tasty food
Women’s Day international history renewed
Aries influence on the 21st day
Spring Equinox awakens our lost sense of play
Many family birthdays
Around the full moon
What were the parents doing
Nine months ago, that previous June
March is fun but April’s best
‘Cause it’s my birthday’s
Once-a-year chocolate fest
Can’t wait!

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: SPRING SWAMP PICNIC

NEW POETRY BOOK

Hi WordPress Friends,

My new book of poetry CHORDING THE CARDS AND OTHER POEMS is available in a Kindle edition now.  The paperback will be ready sometime in March.  You’ve probably read all my poems here, right?  😀  but if not, the ebook is 99 cents USD and mainly contains poems about each Major Arcana card of the Tarot being “heard” by me via Baritone Ukulele or Guitar chords.  ❤

 

 

#0 THE FOOL (Song in Progress)

Saw a man walking, white dog by his heels
Guitar slung over his strong, straight back
He plucked flowers from a bush, color and shape surreal
Eyes focused on me, while shifting his rucksack

Play guitar because it’s all resonance
Sometimes you can hear the dissonance
But most times the beauty shows its arrogance
Hey, hey, hey, play and sing night and day…

Walked toward an overhanging cliff
He jumped off and I had to scream
But heard a sacred sound of a familiar riff
Saw him hanging by his fingers on a sunbeam

Play guitar because it’s all vibration
Eases all life’s vexation
Sometimes a body needs sedation
Hey, hey, hey, play and sing night and day…

Swung himself back on the overhang
Still holding the uncrushed flower
Sat down, played guitar and sang
Darkening sky lit by a meteor shower

Chladni patterns disburse on fingerboards
Frequencies echo as I strum the chords
While nodal lines of the vibration awards
Hey, hey, hey, play and sing night and day…

I am Zero, therefore first or last
Some call me The Fool but I know the truth
I have no future and not much of a past
Because I don’t worry, blessed with perpetual youth

Share a secret language with your guitar
Playing whatever you like under the evening star
Life is music and your mind will wander far
Hey, hey, hey, play and sing night and day…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
Images: Chladni Patterns /#0 The Fool, After Tarot deck

fool after tarot deck 1 sm px

#21 THE WORLD

The World is so much more
Than Earth and the visible
Night sky
Telescopes and space cameras
Transport us to galaxies unknown
When tarot cards were first shown
Although there were always a few souls
Who knew what was out there in the vastness
Of space

THE WORLD is the archaeology of our past
Moving us through the present
And showing us the future
Symbols on cards mimic
Symbols of everyday life
Like the day I found an engraved coin
With my name and home address
Of a place I lived before age seven
Lying in the mud near a shed of broken crates
My past zoomed in and saw myself
Winning tickets for Skee Ball
To use on the mechanical engraver
In an Atlantic City arcade
Before casinos wrecked the ambience
Of ocean and sand and fries in a paper cone
Of cinnamon donuts and black coffee at midnight
From Mammy’s with my Gran

I rediscovered the coin
After finding a feather
That pointed the way
Very small feather
From a Florida Black Vulture
Stripping the flesh
From a corpse so fresh
And so here is my future
I thought
Death

To live in the now
Would be best
So I hauled out my tenor guitar
Music,the most beautiful part of
Anyone’s present
Although old songs transport us back
To the past
The words are seared in memory
Never to go
Always with us in the current phase

This trio reminds me
Of a wedding superstition:
Something old (coin)
Something new (guitar)
Something borrowed (feather)
Uh, oh, I’m blue
Because I
Always have
Always do
Always will
Need to find images of life
And force them into
Patterns
Patterns that ease the chaos
Of my world

And like the moon
We go through the stages
Circularly
As past, present, and future
Twirls like the Earth
Orbits the sun of our existence
And tilts with the seasons
The World
The tiny world that is ours
Our personal world of elation and sadness
Of terrible regrets but moments of gladness
We dream of space and vastness
But we are the microcosm
Like symbols imitating life
We mimic the macrocosm
Because the World is us…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGES: Arcade good luck medal, feather & guitar: zoom in to see my full name
and address on the coin/Photo of the arcade mechanical engraver

arcade stamped good luck coins machine SM PX