mythology

A JOSEPH CAMPBELL DAY

 

Waving a burning bundle of sage

Sweetening the mysterious corners

Of a lonely room

(Like a priest swinging an incense censer)

 

Humming along with Indigenous drumming

Interspersed with Om Mani Padme Hum mantras

Blasting from the MP3 headphones

(Like a monk’s voice lifting up to the heavens in a Gregorian chant)

 

Sipping wine and delicately crunching crackers

At an evening art opening, smiling

As the mind screams, “Shut up! Shut up!

You’re superficial and snobby!”

(Like a penitent accepting the blood and the body)

 

Religious Rituals

Nature Rituals

Social Rituals

 

Keeping those invasive mind demons away

Trying to get through another day…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

Imagesource:http://www.abstractdigitalartgallery.com/artist_gallery_onebadpenny_abstract_digital_art_fractal.htm

IRISH MYTHOLOGY WIP FRAGMENTS*

Women in woad

Shaking undressed breasts

Leading the warriors

Down Irish roads

Banshee-ing through the air

To cause enemies fear

O, to be with you

When war was for defense

Multi-married Maeve

“She Who Intoxicates”

Queen to Eochaid

Demanding a dowry paid

By a trinity of promises:

A husband who would be without

Fear, meanness and jealousy

Maeve, brave survivor of

Rape, war, and her own soul-sucking envy

Powerful woman or perhaps a goddess

Embodying the Sacred Marriage

Guaranteeing fertility

In a viridescent land

*Inspired by the work of Heather Awen

PLEASE SEE HER WORDPRESS SITE:

https://heatherawen.wordpress.com/pen-pals-political-pagan-lgbtq/

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Woad, ekmpowershop3

CORNUCOPIA

 

Smoked round reed for spokes and braiders

Soak them into flexibility

Cross, pinch, entwine and weave

Humming hymns of tranquility

 

Zeus breaking off the horn of his nurse

Heracles wrestling a river god of fables

Either led to an abundance myth

Winding up on Thanksgiving tables

 

Growing gourds, red and green Earth treats

Nuts and flowers complete the increase

Profusion of life’s requirements

Create a still life centerpiece

 

Magnetic pull of voices from the past

Call and text loved ones far away

Laughter, tears, music of the spheres

The beauty of a traditional holiday

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Peter Paul Rubens, Abundantia

 

 

AUTOHARP

i.

Today

An early Winter Solstice present

Appeared in the mail

Autoharp

Allowing me to pretentiously play

Like I’m Janis Joplin

Talented and fey

Happily harping to my known ukulele chords

Singing into the perfect Florida morning

ii.

Neighbor’s rooster began crowing along

Smiling, I knew he enjoyed my song

Came down off my music high

Finally noticing that he never stopped

That rooster crowed from six to four

Silent by dawn, heard not anymore

iii.

Like some old Volva

Spouting dire predictions

In the Norse Edda

Perhaps tossing runic bones

I shivered in the pre-dawn light

Wondering what would occur by tonight

iv.

Remembering that Egdir plays the harp

While red Fjalar the rooster

Crows

Heralding Ragnarok

Events presaging

The fiery destruction

Yet bountiful rebirth

Of our troubled Earth

v.

Sometimes hard to be born a mystic

Symbols and sounds, so holistic

Today I play with heavy heart

Not sure what came first:

The rooster or the harp

Or were they merely

Synergistically

Reacting together…?

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Volva and Egdir from the Edda

AN ARM AND A LEG

 

**scroll down for YouTube video**

 

Separated only by a belt

Japanese legendary war

Between the Taira family

As red as Betelgeuse

And the Minamoto family

As {blue-tinged} white as Rigel

Stars still battling

Orion’s belt

No-man’s land

A war

A constellation

A leg and an arm

Emblems of a mythos

Red and white

Like the Japanese flag

Symbolizing

Duty, sacrifice and loyalty

The Hunter a mighty sum

Of his parts

In the eternal aethers…

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Earth-Sky.com

 

YouTube: Orion by Metallica https://youtu.be/mmNpYwMpeJE

MYTHOS

 

Love, a legend like

Ponce de Leon’s

Fountain of Youth

Is it real?

If so, where is it?

Many claim to have found it

True love

Soul mate love

But they either

Refuse to share

The square where “X” is marked

Or they truly don’t know

How they stumbled upon it

Is it hidden in jungly vines?

Or among the towering pines?

Do gators protect it in prehistoric swamps?

Or does it snuggle under the coldest perma frost?

I drank out of a fountain a few times

But no, wrong one

Seems like there is some kind of karmic craziness

Knotting me to  “love” phantoms

No substance, as is needed, in life’s trek

Love, I guess, is truth for the fortunate few

But a legend for those of us

Who simply cannot decipher a map…

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Ponce de Leon’s Exploration, kvontobel.com

 

 

ARACHNIPHOBIAN SLEEP DISORDER

 

Dark room, bed of nails

Whispering, “No sleep for you”

Suddenly saw the truth

Superimposed on this world

Rusty red

Old blood red

Spider web

Hollywood size

With matching web-weaver

Also tainted red

Her legs stretching forever

Into the hostile aethers

Saw you and I

Knocking around the nexus

Tangled in the warp and weft

Of a bored tale-teller

Soon to tire and tip

Her latest universe

Clean her house

Sweep away superfluous lattices

Then pitilessly begin another day

Oh, thought I

I understand now

The secret of life

I’m drug-free so

Can’t blame revelation on that mess

Hypnagogic images leave me clueless

One wonders if the Collective Unconscious

Focusing on similar cosmogonies

Has more veracity than suspected

Because this time I know

The Spiderwoman of folklore

Is best left unseen…

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: freepik.com

 

MAGDALENE FEAST DAY JULY 22ND

 

Mary Magdalene’s Feast day

Will skip the contentious theories

Wedding in Cana

Hers and The Preacher’s?

She the original Holy Grail

The Cup

The womb

Carrying the seed

If so, where are they?

Mary Magdalene

Mourning the Fisher King

Groin injury

No reproduction

Of future Sons

Land lying dying

Mary, they made you a whore

But DaVinci changed that

Visible when his painting cleaned

There you are

Not the table’s waitress

But a part of apostolic authors’ club

Mary, did you flee to the Camargue?

Are you real?

Did my Gypsy ancestor

Sara La Kali

Save your floundering boat?

Mary, why so many world-wide

Black Madonnas

In honor of your dusky, Mid East skin?

Myth

Folklore

All based in truth

Why through time

Are all intelligent women

Beaten, burned, diminished?

Mary, I seek your secrets

In the tarot

In the architecture

In the hidden scrolls

Where truth waits

To be uncovered…

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens

IMAGE: Reni, Penitent Magdalene

DOPPELGANGER EFFECT

 

Sometimes she brought with her imaginary friend

As company during stressful situations

Straddling reality and fancy

A comfort for one always alone

He a rock star

She his rock

Functional method to counteract

The outside world’s overwhelming bombardment

As if Jackson Pollock floated in the sky

Employing his drip style technique

Splashing paint splotches on her

Pounding head and worried eyes

A soothing way to shop at Walmart

Or patiently wait in traffic while driving

They’d converse, in her mind

She wouldn’t gesture or move her lips

Always being aware

It was a comforting fantasy

Perhaps a replacement for cigarettes

Once gloriously inhaled

 

One twilight she won tickets to see the real rocker

She went alone, first row center

Fantasy man, holding her hand

Sitting in the imaginary seat between her

And the real stranger on the aisle

Suddenly, there he was

Flesh, blood, sweat and swinging long hair

And the world darkened

Suddenly flung her through a tunnel

Flashing stars seen at a great distance

Her head under attack

As if her mother’s purse

Of JFK half dollars

Was opened and the coins

Rained upon her

And the world crumpled

Forcing her imaginary friend to vanish

The doppelganger legend so true

He died when he saw his double

Although the real deal didn’t see him

And continued to rock on

And she didn’t know what to do…

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, How They Met

 

SOJMO (HAWK)

REPOST FOR FATHER’S DAY: My father loved telling stories, so although this starts out as a poem about him, it turns into one about me.  No doubt though, it was his predilection for oral history that influenced my love of writing (especially loooooooong poems).

 

Dad was a great story teller

A bard who hoarded words

And plots, heard in the kitchen

Where he slept on the ledge of a stove

In old Romani slave quarters

Surrounded by the rich earth

Of what is now Moldova

Somewhat drunk by the wine

The children consumed

Because the water was poisonous

And it was thirsty work to be

Stomping grapes for the winery

Where he was born

Grandson of a slave

Free yet not

***

His favorite story

Was about the Sojmo

The Hawk

Also called Turul

A Hungarian word

Learned from his cousins

Who migrated to Roumania

Turul, the shamanic hawk

Perched on the Tree of Life

That strongly-rooted tree

Connecting Earth with the skies

And the Netherworld

Turul, who saved the Hungarians

From Attila the Hun

And other conquerors

Making them a powerful people

My dad liked the name Hun because

His name was Huna

His mother said he

Approached life like a savage

Like a conqueror

And Huna felt proud

***

Sojmo has been a part of my life

For many decades

I never saw one while living in Philly

But once I moved to Florida

Nature claimed me as a personal fan

And I observed birds and trees

Plants and clouds

Lightning and rainbows

So lonely, though, for a friend

Although I worked daily and met

Good people

So lonely for a man

One day, sitting by a lake

I cried out to the universe

A hawk flew at me

Sitting frozen, mesmerized

At the last second it swooped up

But we had read the eyes of the other

And I knew all would be well

A few months later I met a man named

Hawk

***

Years passed

First good

Then very bad

Then better

Then simply years

No expectations

Simply years

***

Life’s happiness

Feeding and watching

Backyard cardinals,

Woodpeckers, blue jays

Mourning doves and finches

Feeding and watching the antics

Of my dogs, sitting by the graves

Of older dogs who

Crossed the Rainbow Bridge

Then the crows came

Korako

And ate the fledglings and eggs

While I shouted, while the dogs barked

And one day they disappeared

Never returning

Occasionally circling the yard to remind me

So I imagined

That they have the power to return

And destroy the backyard birds

***

Envision my surprise

When instead of korako

I heard a whistle and saw

Five hawks

Sojmo

Repeating the savagery

That korako displayed

Last summer

Half-heartedly I shouted

Banged the metal trashcan lid

With a Live Oak branch

Fallen on the ground

From the wind and rain

The previous evening

The dogs half-heartedly barked

The man named Hawk

Refused to chase them

Siding with Sojmo

Because, I guess,

They are his totem, after all

***

Ah, do I make anything out of this?

Just birds of prey following their instinct

Looking to feast upon birds well fed

From my feeder?

Or is the appearance of Sojmo

The other bookend

The other end of the promise

And now the taking

None of the five hawks

Flew toward my face

To look me in the eye

What do I make of this

Mind-tableau

Sojmo sitting on a Live Oak

That could be the Tree of Life

Reminding me of the connection

Of the Earth and Sky

With the Netherworld

***

Sojmo

Ending another chapter

Of a life…

© 2015 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)