nature

NATURE’S MUSIC

*scroll down for a YouTube video*

Magical Mulberry
Playing baritone ukulele
In stark sand instead of snow
Live Oaks sheltering
Woodpeckers and Crows
Do we get what we need?
The Stones’ Jagger thinks so

Years living in the city
Happiness was a vacation
Tent, fire and scenery so pretty
Mountains in the Poconos
Brandywine River nights
Drinking coffee and cocoa

Now I live in a tin camper
Surrounded by trees and swamp
Small, only two lots
Didn’t get what I wanted
(Victorian home with gingerbread
And secret passages to mysterious rooms)
But wouldn’t trade what I have today
24-7 camping life
What a way
To spend these holidays
On Nature’s 2-lot beauty
Rewarded in my old age…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Mullberry playing baritone ukulele

*YouTube video You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Rolling Stones

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SINGLE-STORY TOWER

Entropic trailer
Humidity-swollen floorboards
Warring with Recluse spiders
Who pay their rent by
Trapping mosquitoes and flies
But don’t get them angry
Or you can die

Though the womb room is intact
Climate controlled by air con
High speed internet switched on
Futons piled with sleeping bags and quilts
Walls lined with musical strings
Feng shui excellent
Especially when you look out the glass doors
From shack to avian wilderness
Just slide the magical portal
Enter a mini terrarium
Micro-environment with
Bird feeders and Oaks
Palms and Aloes
Wild red and white Trumpets
Orange and pink Lantana
Potato Vines and Spanish Moss

Oh, yes, The Tower scares many
People hurtling off the parapet
Sky electricity crackling
Implosion!
But look at the lightning
Flashes of insight
Lighting the way
Easing life’s problems
If you are thoughtful and solemn
And safely surrounded
By swamp and woods
No neighbors to judge
No visitors to begrudge
Just me and the roomie
Dogs and wild birds
Feral cats and slinking possums

Entropic, inanimate wood and tin
Versus harmonic organisms
Music and compost and smelly well water
Yes, a lightning-struck tower
Crumbling
But fortunately
I am aging and
It will outlast me…

the-tower-smith-waite-tarot

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGES: Red Trumpets in the fog & The Tower (Smith-Waite deck) & The Crow Tarot
(Margaux Jones https://www.facebook.com/crowtarotdeck/ )

(c) Margaux Jones, Crow Tarot

DIOSCOREA BULBIFERA (AIR POTATOES)

Onomatopoeia of children’s games
Gorgeous click-click from glass marbles
Puh-puh jacks’ ball bounced
On a linoleum floor
Infantile “Ma-Ma” from a
Rubber-headed doll
Hhh-hhh raggedy breaths
Running around brick walls
Being “IT” in hide and seek
Glug-glug blowing bubbles in a
Cup of milk with a straw
Sounds of summer in the city
Some cooing from pigeons
Lots of horns raging against
Impossible traffic
Honkkkkkkkkkkkkkk
Need noise traded
For soothing songs
Sometimes we get
What we wish for
Silent country nights and days
Where the rhythm changes to
Gentle chirps of wild birds
Muted staccato jackhammers from
Red-white-black woodpeckers
But then
A different noise
Tropical storm winds tearing at trees
Lightning crackling through the breeze
Thunder announcing air pressure dizziness
Rain like bullets on a tin-roof trailer
Culminating in the greatest sound of all
Grass growing
Listen and you will hear
Flowered weeds opening
And ubiquitous Dioscorea bulbifera
Air Potatoes
The vine that will pervade
Whatever gets in its way
Whether human-made
Or Nature’s own
Imitate the melody
Tongue clicking
Impersonating the sound
That what should be silence
Serves to confound…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Air Potato invading my fan and deck

 

 

KORAKO (CROW)

(This blogetry was in a book I wrote in 2014. Adding it to WP although I was so sure it once was posted.  Not my best, just an emotional rant  😦  but I like to keep an online “diary” of my work.)

 

We Romani in both ancestral tribes
Kalderash and Sinti
Believe Korako (crow)
Is exceptionally wise and intelligent
Living 30 years
Bringing us signs that we must obey:
One korako is sorrow
Two korakos are joy
Korako in the road is a happy journey
Korako dead in the the road, turn around!

I cheered for the Raven in Poe’s poem
My life improved when a friend sent me
a 10-inch raven’s feather
Fluttering around New Mexican rocks
I love the swaggering tricksters
Their intense eye contact
The caw-caw-caw on the wind

What I did not know
(Because, unlike my Gran
Did not live on the road
Lived in the concrete forest
Missed a lot in my cultural education)
So what I did not know
Is the true meaning of the flock word
A “murder” of crows

Since age three, my first memory
Has been of birds
My aging pleasure is to sit in the yard
Sipping burning black coffee
While cardinals and finches
Woodpeckers and jays
Twitter away at the feeder
Sometimes korako will come
When the smaller birds are sated
And clean out the remaining seeds

A few weeks ago
I saw a crow
Sitting on the swamp’s dead oak
Korako caw-caw-cawed and four more
Joined the dark herald

Such a nervous clatter
As red and brown cardinals
Fluttered around, attacking them
When the sixth korako appeared
Dive bombing the mated couples
The other five flew into
The surrounding trees
Routing the rowdy teens
And finding the fledglings
No! Baby birds in merciless beaks!

Shocked. Electrified. Stunned.
A massacre with no warning
Stormtroopers raiding the homes
Ridding the homes of a new generation
We all know that birdsong
Is not always a carefree tune
But why now?
Summer is a time of abundance

Next day used the metal trash can lid
And a large branch
Percussion to drive away the returning five korakos
Persecution in the backyard not welcome
Decimation of propagation!

The dogs barked, korakos took heed and flew
To the next set of trees on another street
I thought of those little birds with guilt
But glad! Glad my birds were spared!

How do I welcome korako into my life now?
Is there a way to overlook the violence?
The Survival of the Fittest truism?
The meek not inheriting the earth?
The might makes right credo?
How can I ever look at korako with fondness again?

Perhaps it would be similar to those people,
Those soul-murderers, self-esteem scythers
Whom I have sometimes let back into my life
Remaining alert via an underlying lack of trust
Korako…Mardari…Murderer…

(c) 2014 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
Poetry of Memory: Six Decades from the Space-Time Continuum
IMAGE: Crow Amulet

COMPASS ROSE

 

Four directions

Places of spiritual power

Matching the elements

Representing strengthening towers

 

Those close to Nature

Traditionally mark

North as Earth

East as Air

South as Fire

West as water

 

Romani personalize

Cardinal directions

So to me

On the edge of the swamp

I think about my own life

And let it ripple out toward others

 

North as Fire

Direction of continental mountains

Metaphorically moving up

Element of Spirit

 

East as Earth

Growing across the peninsula

Over the dirt, farms, orchards

Element of Grounding

 

South as Air

Constellations clearly visible

Opening the Swamp trees curtain

Element of Communication

 

West as Water

Gulf of Mexico tidal pull

Sea and sand as one

Element of Emotions

 

Ceraunomancy requires familiarity

With symbolic directions

The interpretation of lightning

A natural phenomena

That recently became a

Source of terror

 

Yet I calmly walk outside

Avoiding the cloud-to-ground bolts

Asking it to dissipate

Sometimes it does

Sometimes it stays

On those days

I study the direction

Hoping for a connection

The message telling me

What I need to see

And perhaps fix:

 

Coming from the East?

Anchor yourself to the ground

Importance of roots

 

Coming from the West?

Then remain in harmony

Balance is the key

 

Coming from the South?

Celestial messages

The beauty of life

 

Coming from the North?

Reach to the highest power

No matter beliefs

 

Nature presents choices

Chanting her musical voices

Pointing the way, if we would only see…

 

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE:  Compass Rose Cantino, Wikimedia Commons

MELANCHOLIA

 

Now I know why

Van Gogh

Did yellow

Dressed in black

Like the crows

I seek succor

From the sun

Or at least

Its result of

Photosynthesis

Corn

Planted by Corvus

As they compete

With the squirrels

Dodge my dogs

Dropping kernels

That sink into the rainy

Earth

And I try to remember

This darkness will pass

I will see yellow again

As my aura soaks in

The balance of

Magical spectrums of

Vibrant colors…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Music and Madness