mythology

CORNUCOPIA

MY ANNUAL THANKSGIVING POEM. WISHING ABUNDANCE TO ALL ON EARTH!

To make a cornucopia, take:
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

 

JACK-OF-ALL-ARTS or FOCUS, PLEASE!

(another page in my poetic diary about self-doubt)

 

Surprisingly longer life
Than expected
(Not complaining, keep it coming!)
Been a Jack-of-all-arts
Master of none
Trying to perfect
Trying to understand
Everything
While soul-castle
Labors behind ramparts

Self-Prometheused
(Before Zeus caught me)
Directing my fire
To music and words
To painting and herbs
To daylight birds
And night sky mysteries
But always intimidated
By the experts

(Caught by leaves in the sun daily
Or pecked by the god’s eagle
Punishment for sharing my fire
With you)

Each art has been a
Swatch of color
You think too much, Gran said
But politics and correctness
Invade my brain
No one expects France
To give Mona back to
The Italians
Why did TS Eliot
Rhyme Michelangelo with “GO” *
Instead of Picasso
(Van go, yeah, I know,
Pronounced in a clearing-the-throat style)
How can I finish
When questions mock and diminish?

Is there a pecking order of musical genres?
Classical, Classic Rock,
Country, Folk, Jazz
All the way down to World?
Determining factor money
(Of course)
Yet we continue creating
With fame as a driving force

So if these questions prevent me
From pouring my entire heart
Into creating
Perhaps I should pursue
A Philosopher’s degree
(My autistic monologuing fits!)

No, because here’s the word
I search for but lack:
Talent
Innate Talent
Can practice
Try
Scream at the Muse
One’s genetics accuse
But the elusive ingredient
I am convinced
Must be present
In order to go from a Jack to a King
(Or Queen)
Talent…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Chained at the mercy of birds

*TS Eliot’s The Love Song of  J. Alfred Prufrock

#17 THE STAR

I am the Daughter of the Firmament
The Dweller Between the Waters
Protecting the space between the
Sky and Earth aqua pura
What is your desire?
Make it special
We all want good health for ourselves
For loved ones
We all want to win the lottery even if
We don’t buy a ticket
What is your secret wish
For that is what I can
Help you win
Stars are hope
Inspiration
Guidance
It is why Van Gogh’s
Starry nights are the
Beloved archetype
Of beauty and love
It is why Mircea Eliade
Calls myth the
Sudden breakthrough of the sacred
And so here am I
The myth who will guide you
Through dreams of tomorrow’s promise
Do I speak true?
Don’t know
But you do
In your self-reflection
Gazing into the waters above and below
Yet I do promise
I will always encourage you
To reach for the stars…
(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: VanGogh, Starry Night Over the Rhone

#7 CHARIOT (AURIGA)

ONE

Does Auriga
Charioteer constellation
Know that it carries
A precious cargo
A piece of our galaxy
On his nightly excursion
Across the star-lit sky?
Auriga is the
Anti-center
Opposite the center of
The Milky Way
You can see it
Even below 27 degrees longitude
Locate bright star Capella,
Part of Auriga, as he has
A friendly stand-off
With Cassiopeia
Greek goddess boasting
About her beauty
Don’t screw with sea nymphs
Especially those under the protection
Of Poseidon
You may know vain Cassiopeia
By her other name:
The Chained Woman
Forced to watch her daughter
Andromeda
Chained to a rock
As sacrifice for
Cetus the sea monster
But saved by Perseus
And they marry
Living happily ever after
Auriga, Charioteer
Like the tarot card
Represents
Forward motion
Travel
Careers
A mythic symbol
Associated with
Astrology’s Crab
Water sign in the sky
Yet suspiciously holding kids
Under Earthen Capricorn’s
Watchful, goat eye
TWO

But now
As if amateurs like me
Aren’t confused enough
The heart of the galaxy
Has been discovered
They think it is a black hole
Named Sagittarius A-star
Right near poor Cassiopeia
I mean,
What did those ancient Greeks expect
Women were vain
What else was there to do
But stare at their reflection
And pop out babies
Why demand punishment for vanity
There are a lot worse sins out there
So now a potential abyss
Sits just below
Cassiopeia
And what does that mean
For poor Auriga?
Will he halt the chariot
As he nears the heart
Or fall into
The black hole
Where no light
Will ever brighten
The galactic center
Of our universe?
So then, to me
The new discovery
Alters the tarot card meaning
Of lucky seven…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGES: Positions of Auriga and Cassiopeia/Center of Galaxy black hole
(Wikipedia and EarthSky)

(an example of Neurodiversity working in the night)

auriga & cassiopeia

w-i-p #12 HANGED MAN

*Scroll down for a YouTube video

Crow cawing in early morning clouds
Tallest tree invisible in fog
Tarot’s Hanged Man
Initiation into a mysterious world

Odin hung for 9 days
Euhemerizationally** sacrificing his eye
Think of other mythical and biblical
Heroes hung over the centuries
All in the name of knowledge
Ah, but John Lennon
Knew he was a sacrifice
No worse than others
Yet, in his quest for wisdom
He cried out to us:

“Christ! You know it ain’t easy
You know how hard it can be
The way things are going
They’re going to crucify me” *

He knew, he knew
But tell me who
Would assassinate a rocker?

So many of us
Hanging in silence
Smoke and steam
Muffling our dreams
Then thinking we’ve learned
Slip off the slip knot
Abrading the ankle’s skin
Moving into the Earth’s valley
Carrying new knowledge
But never satisfied
And in time
Wake up to find
We’re back on the tree
Dangling in space
Another lesson to memorize
A path to retrace…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Ayla El-Moussa for 25th Century, 2016 Hanged (Wo) Man

* The Ballad of John and Yoko
https://youtu.be/v-1OgNqBkVE YouTube Video

**Euhemerize: Mythology interpreted as having arisen from actual events/people

SHANGHAI TUNNELS (work-in-progress)

Use for #15 Temptation (new book)

Portland’s Shanghai Tunnels
Chthonic vibrations stirring hair
Survival skill remnant of our DNA
Why shave it away?
Danger
Danger
But my feet continue to trudge
Skin crawls
Pupils dilate
And despite the apocryphal stories,
Documented hauntings,
I continue down these
Historic corridors
Men and boys kidnapped
Sent to sea
Slavery

I don’t believe in heaven and hell
Devils and angels
Because angels and devils
Are here, there, and everywhere
Devils share your office space
And undermine you
Demons crash into your cart in Walmart
Shanghai Tunnels of the past
Enslaved people underground
For galley slaves like Roman days
Slaves
Slaves of every color
Vlad the Impaler slaves
Gypsy blood
Reddening the gates
African slaves tarnished by their pigment
White sex trade slaves craved for porcelain skin

In the past
In the present
In the future
Devils do their work
Angels do too
Corrupting or saving me and you

#15 The Devil in Tarot
I call it Temptation
My birth number
My lesson in life
Is to resist
With an additional caveat
Numerologically adding 1 + 5 = 6
The Lovers
Secondary lesson
Must learn to love
And be loved
Perhaps a little too late for that
But being angelic
Makes more sense
Than being devilish
So I try
(My epitaph:
She Tried)

Devils
You want devils?
Here’s my latest
Hypnagogic vision
Dancing constellations
Stars outlining tomato red
Bodies, faces
Some wearing top hats
Lots of diamonds sparkling
Or are they stars in the sky
Stars for the dancing stars
Ukulele tinkle of 1920s music
And so much red
Devils
Devils are red
What the…?
Force my eyes open
What’s with my head
I preferred the monster images
Seen most of my theta-sleeping life
From the beginning of time
Dancing Devils intertwined with strumming angels
But now, my beloved constellations forever tainted
With visionary blood so painful…

The Underworld, Hades and Persephone
Ruling their version of the Shanghai Tunnels
Keeping Eurydice prisoner
Did she also sing and strum
Like her topside husband Orpheus
Music her comfort in those dark months
Underground?

Visions and insomnia
Disordering my brain
Here’s my newest theory
About the curse of insomnia
And Hypnagogia
Oh, those wild faces as I fall asleep
Can it be
Plato’s Allegory of the Cave?
Reality as shadows
Imagine a slave
Who only sees shadows
On the cave wall
Chained underground
Until one day forced outside
And sees the real reality
Can it be the film The Matrix?
(Supposedly modernized Cave Allegory)
Confusion of reality with dreams
And me with hypnagogic
Monster images
Am I waking, all those years
Living between the matrix
And the reality of creatures
Resembling the monsters
Of my so-called
Sleep Disorder?
The newest are auditory ones
Related to Exploding Head Syndrome
But now I hear snarling
In the night
“I will look after you!”
Is that a good statement or not?
Is it like Vishnu on the
Serpent of Time
Watching Brahma
Create the universe?
Or are they Matrix aliens
Sucking the dreams
Out of our souls?

Chthonic
Aetheric
Waking
Asleep
I so want to sleep…

shanghai tunnel portland oregon 2

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGES: Portland, Oregon, Shanghai Tunnels

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/hypnogogia-dreams-creativity_us_56c5d16ce4b0c3c55053de38

 

LEPUS (HARE)

UNTITLED W-I-P FOR UPCOMING BOOK

Red starry show
Orion struggling in a sea of blood?
No! Just the red glow of
Hind’s Crimson Star
Alpha Leporis
Fourteen times the mass of sun
Drawing all eyes to
Constellation Lepus
Rabbit
Hare
Easy to see
The mythology
Of Orion’s dogs
Canis Major and Minor
Pursuing this incandescent body
But thanks to Ostara
Goddess of Spring
She is granted swiftness
And once a year
Will appear
On the Moon
After traveling 1300 light years
Syncretizing Eastern myths
With Western ones
Bringing eggs to the
Moon Rabbit who is
Fiercely pounding
A lunar mortar by pestle
Grinding out the Elixir of Life
An Asian Philosopher’s Stone for
Immortality
Mystically produced
By the mating of the
Hare and Rabbit
For is not reproduction
A form of immortality?

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Mortar & Pestle & Baritone

CANOPUS & THEONOE

Will you weigh and measure
My love for you?
Desiccated heart
Faintly crying out
Inside the body
Seat of the soul
A belief by the ancients
Afterlife organs
Spilling out of
Canopic jars
Sons of Horus
Guarding breath, taste
The brain though
Carelessly tossed out
Considered useless
A belief by the ancients
I agree
Look at the troubled path
Down which it led me
So I ask you again
Although the answer I know
You weighed and measured
My love for you
And let me go
With a handful of
Empty jars…
(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Canopic Jars, British Museum/Wikipedia

MOONLIGHT GARDENING

 

Ground fog floating
Accenting a
Full to Dark Moon
Dangerous Waning magic
Carpeting the acreage
Concealing turnips and potatoes
Carrots and rutabagas
Allium onions
Ginger and ginseng
While deep down
Garlic bulbs blindly
Outstretch their
Mossy corpse fingers
Reaching for the sky
Or whatever walks by
Summoned alive
Seduced by a bloody scent
From those fated to die
Earth’s crust of a floor
Disguised underworld door
Since Time began
We sacrifice to
Hades and Persephone
In their Eminent Domain
As we attempt to refrain
From the romance of late night horror
On the black and white screen
Of childhood dreams…

(C) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

image: moon over garden

CORNUCOPIA

REPOST OF MY THANKSGIVING POEM WRITTEN 2016 TO ALL MY FAMILY,  FRIENDS, and FOLLOWERS  ❤

 

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