musica universalis



What a way

To cost-effectively play


Why buy strings

That stretch and break

When Walmart sells

The key to unending fun

In a magical reel

Like the discovery of the wheel

Something to change my life

So I string my Tenor

Like a Baritone


Like a 4-string guitar

(Who needs bass?)

And plunk


Sing in the silence of a

Swampy womb

Or an air-conditioned room

Fishing string producing

Musica Universalis

Music of the Spheres

Do you hear?

I do…

2 closeup with fishline sm px


© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)


Images: RockStar & fishing line & ukulele / fishing line & ukulele




Swaying between two train cars

Waiting for the station stop

Waiting to jump to freedom

Although land legs shaky

From thirty hours of sitting

With time off in my roomette

Surreptiously, calisthenically moving

Now swaying, holding my music case

Fellow passenger standing first in line by the door

Also swaying as we make the final journey

Into Tampa


“Is that a violin?” he asks

I smile

“No, it’s a ukulele”

His face scrunches

His voice, heavily sarcastic, repeats


“Concert size,” says I pluckily

He turns his back to me

I so want to see

His face

If I start singing

Falsetto Tiny Tim’s

Tiptoe Through the Tulips

Or a deep-voice Don Ho’s

Tiny Bubbles

But I’m too mature for that

Well, kinda

Why don’t others know

How lovely a ukulele can be

How perfect Scarborough Fair or

Into the Mystic can sound

So much like an acoustic guitar

Most of all

Why sneer?

Why not hear the Music of the Spheres

Contained in any instrument

Or voice or lyrical words

Why sneer?

Hugging my ukulele I whisper,

I love you…”


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)




my concert ukulele #2

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)