peace

WOMEN IN WAR

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
Against Romans marching
Through sacred forests

Women in revolt
Beside their men
Stuffing the cannons
Riding like Revere
Founding Mothers
Some disguised as men
As their great-great granddaughters
Four decades later did
In a civil war of economics
O, to be with you
When war was for
Something grander than balls
And women of all races
Did their part
Against Kings of foreign lands
And decades later
With amazing bravery
Against Kings of slavery

Women in partnership
In the War to End All Wars
But no, once again,
In the War to clean up
The economic and territorial mess
A second world war where
Women were winding through alleys
With secrets in their minds
Torn apart by the enemy
No chance of apology
The height of equality
In the torture culture
In hindsight, I would not have wanted
To be with you

On and on
And then I came of age
Married during the Vietnam war
Mom threw out everything
Even my genuine winter pea coat
And summery field jacket
From the Army & Navy store

Here’s an aside:
Why did we protest
That ambiguous conflict
Yet wear war gear?
Sympathetic magic?
Or, worst of all,
A mistaken glamour?
Clad in the garb
Bathing it in words
From Dylan and Ochs
Peace, man
What a joke

Decades later, sadly
Homo sapiens still wants to kill
And despite taking classes
For karate and gun safety
Defense for my sons and me
I’m still wondering
Where have all the flowers gone
Still damning the masters of war
And me, I ain’t marching anymore
Not lifting my voice in protest
It’s for the new young to do

But the desire
The belief
In love and peace
Is still in my aging heart
Still want global good
Still sign those petitions
Still write Congress letters
Now tweeting and emailing
Now posting and texting:
Stop it! Please stop it!

Why have we buried
The end-the-war manifesto?
Why are we all still
Killing the men
Raping the women
Destroying the children
Poisoning the pets
Polluting the water
Burning the books
Cremating the crops
All in the name
The name that does change
Of the jealous god
Let’s build a wall
Around hate and death and war
Because destruction
Is not glamorous at all…
(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Woad 2

*Used this verse in Selfie-Reflections (c) 2016

OLBERS’ PARADOX

Despite innumerable stars
Why is the night sky
Not as bright as day?

Olbers’ Paradox
The Dark Night Sky
Finite or vast
Stars shine from the past

Astronomers say
The Big Bang is only
13.7 billion years old
Older universes exist
In distances only measurable
By Light Years
So if the universe expands
Other galaxy stars
Become concealed
Only those of the Milky Way
Our orbiting familiar wheel
Are visible

Is it enough to know
The Cosmic Web
Links all galaxies together?
We and the stars are
Embers of Fire
Eddies of Air
Droplets of Water
Nuggets of Dirt
Strongly woven
Never to be broken
Neighbors forever
Lineage unspoken…

“We are star stuff” –Carl Sagan

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Cosmic Web

FLIGHT

Survival of the fittest
Political temperatures dictate
Fight, flight, freeze
Been frozen for a few years
Chronologically too old for fight
Adrenal glands choose flight
Travel with jars of natural
Peanut butter and jelly
Crackers withstanding staleness
Jugs of water
Rolls of toilet paper for trips
Behind hedges
Baby wipes hygiene
Oh, why did I
Get rid of the travel trailer
Can I live on 4 wheels with 3 dogs
And a driver?

Icy dawn heading north
Wind whipping long hair
Through minute window cracks
Canine scent-sense tells me
When we pass salty or loamy aromas
The truck a speeding bullet
Of movement
Until yawning stars give way
To a cloudy dawn
Where have I gone?
Flying away to safety
Bicameral brain
Merely a strain
Logic says no safety in denial
Creativity says
Draw, write, sing SAFETY
Until it is real

The sky is falling
How do I make it right…?

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: I VOTED

 

PEACE RECIPE (another goulash poem)

*scroll down for a YouTube video*

 

Drugs and sex and rock and roll
Doesn’t have to be so radical
Music, well, I like it all
Rock, Folk, World, Jazz
Drugs, well, I used to smoke
Still miss it after many decades
But chocolate is a drug
So is caffeine
Sex, well, I like it
But even a hug
Or a kiss
Or an affectionate word is nice

So, share even one vice
With a stranger
And you fast forward
Like a time-lapse video
To the point where you’ve
Known each other for years
You’ve broken through
An icy membrane
A wall of ancient sun-baked stones
Breeching a stranger’s
Cellular level
Enabling a mutual recognition

Music, sex, alcohol
Doesn’t have to be so radical
Share an herbal cigarette
Toast each other with
Home-brewed mugs of near-beer
Look into someone’s eyes,
While Starbucking, with love
But most of all
Listen to the rhythm of music
It’s how we connect
We, almost seven billion souls
Drugs and sex and rock and roll
Perhaps the elusive secret of
World Peace…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

“Sex & Drugs & Rock’n’Roll” Ian Drury and the Blockheads

(original quote unattributed from a 1969 Life Magazine article)

brown cover 3

ME FOR YOU

Who says we’re the “Me” generation?
“Free” definitely
But remember all we did
For the Cosmos?
Some went to war
Some protested same
Learning the game
Of politics
Trying to save
Earth and clean up
Acid Rain
Not easy

Indulgence?
Yes, we were teens
Milestone to adulthood
Looming like a shadowy
Twist of steam
Competing with our
Psychedelic auras
So we indulged
But remember, we didn’t know
That drugs, cigarettes
And even sunshine
Were traps of death

Indulgence?
Oh, the music
Need I say more?
the melody of
Make love not war
Thrumming in our heads
Never to be forgotten
Decades after the first riffs
Of incomparable songs
Echoed along the
Space-time continuum

Me
And you
My lovely cohorts
(No matter our politics)
We made a splendid skydive
Into time
Ticking to the
Rhythm of
Rampaging, riotous
Life
All for the benefit of
You, the future generations…

(c) 2018 clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: MUSHROOM & PEACE UKULELE

A BRIEF HISTORY

Tripartite divisions
Time wounds all healing
Historic time unchanged
Lives still worth stealing

First tree struck by lightning
Branch fell on singed earth
Potential for weapons
Anger now gave birth

Wooden equalizer
Swing it through the air
Smash the enemy’s head
In war, all is fair

Stones are so much stronger
But they still can break
Blazing fires shape bronze
Blood lust now to slake

Iron changes the game
Scissors-paper-rock
Right through the techno age
Add lizards and Spock*

Childish games teach us well
So why work for peace
The world is so crowded
War aids that decrease

Songs of peace resounding
Through harsh centuries
Voices must continue
Profound harmonies

*The Big Bang Theory quantum addition to old game

(C) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: My peace ukulele

 

 

PEACE POPPET

Poppets to benefit
One’s personal selfishness
Make me rich
Make me beautiful
Or harmful wishes
Make him hurt
Make her sad
So sad are our desires
But what if
The old way
Of ensuring
Sympathetic magic
Could be used to benefit
All life
A poppet to bring tolerance
Good health
World smiles
Marrying magic with reality
How would I make her
Globe for a head
Heart for a torso
Draped in peace signs
Drenched in sunlight
Snuggled in green grass
And the rain would pour
Opening a baptismal door
Grass would entwine
The hidden shrine
Dedicated to healing the Earth
Making life so honorable
In its rebirth
Like cures like, I say
While secretly, lovingly
Placing the poppet
In an overgrown swamp
Chanting to our beautiful planet
Heal…heal…heal…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Peace Poppet 3

SEASONAL SEMANTICS

I don’t understand

All the fuss

About Christmas semantics

Think of the holiday

A phenomenal time

For all religions

No matter the name

A time when people seem happier

Whether receiving

Or giving

Being together

Singing

Like long-ago pagans

Shivering in clammy caves

Unheated cottages

They knew

The shortest day

Heralded the return of the sun

And an easier life

With crops and colorful fields

A few months away

So those of you

Who want the Christ back in Christmas

Try to see

That it is a perfect holiday

Of love and peace

Whether navigating toy aisles in Walmart

Or baking secret-recipe cookies

For those we like

Or sharing smiles with strangers in Mickey D’s

Isn’t that Christ?

Isn’t he there?

Just stop and see

With tolerance

Don’t criticize

Don’t polarize

We all are sand

We are water and sunlight

We are invisible air

Life can be all right

Today I saw a homeless woman

Pushing her possessions

In a rusty shopping cart

A twist of red plastic poinsettia

Adorning the handle

She sees him too…

(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Season’s Decorations

GIDGETING OF THE “ELDERLY”

 

Hey you guys

Remember Gidget?

Who was the actor?

Sally Field?

Karen Valentine?

Someone petite

Someone “cute’

Hate that word

Applied to me

Tired of being thought of

As another species

I mean, like Jim Morrison said

No one gets out of here alive

And although he left at age 27

Most of us get old

Battle the gravitational pull

So tired of seeing posts about the “elderly”

Holding gnarled hands

With the caption

“Awww, so cute!”

Cute?  Why?

How cute can wrinkled gnomes be?

No matter the age, it is wonderful

To see couples holding each other

Looking at each other lovingly

So while I haven’t been holding hands with anyone lately

Maybe when I go to the Old Age Home I’ll meet someone there

Who will think I’m fabulous and want to hold my hand

(Imagine Beatles background music)

Hope I don’t become a post for some misguided youth

Although, ok, I confess

I was one of those that screamed

“Don’t trust anyone over 30!”

Paybacks, yeah…

In the meantime, Baby Boomers

We’re the ones who tried to bring peace on Earth

We’re the ones who tried to bring truth in politics

We’re the ones getting screwed, now

With impossible costs of medicines

Did you know they’d take our Social Security monthly

For Medicare that doesn’t pay for hardly anything?

So they need to extort more of our (in my case, paltry) money

And use it for “Supplemental Insurance”

I’m still raging against Big Pharma

But it’s easier to yell at you

Warning you not to tell us we can’t wear our hair long

Or wear dark makeup

Or hold hands with a lover

(Yes, we still love sex and rock and roll:

Drugs?  Well, legal ones)

Above all, do not call us cute!

Do not Gidgetize the so-called “Elderly”

We’re forever young

And someday, we’ll be able to go to the moon

With zero gravity

And look lovely enough to be photographed

Then you’ll see who we really are

Just like you…

(Rock on)

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Robert Indiana’s LOVE and Philadelphia City Hall

PEACE AND LOVE REDEMPTION

(8th Annual Global Hate-Free Day 9-22-17)

 

A/ Could not think of a Em/ poem

Em/ With the words A/ love and peace

D6// That was a youthful Em/dream

Em/ Fading into the D6/ dawn’s release

 

C/ Where’s the kindness G/ in your heart

G/ Why must loving E7/ fall apart

 

A/ But my mind won’t Em/ let me rest

Em/ Surely anger is A/ not our fate

D6/ There must be an Em/ alteration

Em/ Don’t want a world D6/ full of hate

 

C/ To old and new G/  I say to you

G/ Let love and peace be part of  E7/ each  day

 

A/ Protesting and Em/ marching

Em/ Once part of A/ my past

D6/ Now I’m terribly Em/ old

Em/ Searching for what D6/ will last

 

C/Words and music G/ into the skies

G/ Allow a new world to C/ crystallize

C/ Allow a new world to G/ crystallize

© 2017  Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja), chords & words

IMAGE: My Luna Peace Ukulele

(For baritone ukulele tuned DGBE:  just a strumming song by an amateur)