poetry

PANDORA’S MORE FORTUNATE DAUGHTER

Working

Mothering

All the usuals

Happiness

Sadness

All the emotions

The real me

Kept boxed up

Until one day

Retirement

What to do?

Collection of boxes

Containing nothing but

Sparkly dust

Poured a bit into my palm

A sonnet appeared

Oh, sure, not Shakespeare-worthy

But each day it grew

Until there were twenty-two

One for each symbol

Of the Major Arcana

Then there were twelve

Terza Rima

For each Zodiac sign

And each box

Had its own lines

Until there was a

Rima Royale

Of birds

And a tiny box of Haiku

Slightly larger box of Tanka

But in a special box

Of the loveliest cloisonne

Shone silver Moon dust

Mixed with golden Sunlight

And Stars of blue and every hue

They whirled above me

Then gently drizzled down

Covering my head, lips, shoulders

And as I grew older

I became bolder

Free

Free at last

Poetry that had no use for rhyme

Stream-of-consciousness

Confessional

Memoirs

Gutter talk

A touch of erotica

Words made up

Words spilling from a box

Filling ten books

Of words hidden inside

For decades

The real me

Then one day

Those magical boxes

Were empty

I’d open the lids

In the three A.M. shadows

Whispering, “Where’d you go?”

So, I bought more boxes

My collection growing

And one cloudy morning

Something sang out

From a new box

And there

As I hastily opened the lock

Was a different dust

Sparkling? Not quite

Sparking!

Like electricity

And poetry melded

With musical chords

And songs were born

Euterpe with her magic flute

Pushed open the lids

Danced with her sister

Terpsichore

And I wrote

And strummed

And sang

And hummed

But I see

The magical dust

In my box collection

Is once again disappearing

And so I say

Today is the day

I shop for a new box

And begin an unknown

Collection…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Some of my magic boxes
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BAXT (LUCK) ZEROING IN

On this New Year’s Day
I will provide
A fragile parchment map
Fail-safe guide
For Nevo Bersh Baxt
Roaming a sky
Lit in fire-crackered smoke
My coordinates:
Northern Hemisphere
Eastern US Coast
Southern Region
Western Peninsula
Dear New Year’s Luck
Zero in on me
And my friends and family
Midnight Major Arcana reading
Without cards
Just generated random numbers
Too old for meaningful predictions
I mean,
Who needs to see
Death-Devil-Destruction
Although the true meanings are
Transformation
Temptation
Insight
And there it is
Number 10
Wheel of Fortune
So as a Southerner
For the last quarter century or more
I lovingly prepare
The lucky dinner
Black-eye peas
Collard greens
“Alternate” protein and
Corn bread stuffed with
Poblano and honey
Let this be a
Healthy year
Strong year
Intelligent year
Sweet year
Bring to me and mine
Zero in on a straight line
X marks the spot on my roof
For you, dear good Fortune
To sprinkle a myriad of

2018 blessings…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: My lucky New Year dinner

HAPPY NEW YEAR, ALL!  Sorry, have not kept up with WordPress comments and likes.  Feel so overwhelmed.  Just know that I’ll soon be back on track but I think of you all and wish you health and happiness…

WHERE IN THE WORLDS?

(song-in-progress/will use lots of Em, Bbm, minor all the way)

For those lost, especially during the holidays…

Searching for the road home
It winds past city trash
And wild sunflower dumps
Where rats scurry to miss
Practice shots by bored kids

Searching for the road home
House in my name
Blue collar crowded rooms
Weekend alcohol and rarely
A toke of smoke enhancing
A mood that is happy or
A mood that is fast sinking

Searching for the road home
Worked so hard but
It just doesn’t fit
Like denim jeans sewn
In a country of petites
The wrong country
For voluptuous ass and thighs
Lands where those women believe
Their US counterparts have no need to cry

Searching for the road home
Different geometric shapes
Different names for states
A jigsaw puzzle from childhood
Can’t find the right neighborhood

Searching for the road home
Swamp and forest surrounding
Approaching age spent owning
A ten-year-old car
Some musical strings
Boots, shirts, just things
No home

Can’t find the road home
There is no home
Where do I go from here…?

(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Galaxies Primordia

THE ROOT QUEEN

Re-post from 2 years ago (so we are in New Moon, not full as the poem states so the planting will take place around New Years).    Today’s pre-Christmas eve weather is 93% humidity and 79 degrees F. temperature.  Wishing you all healthy, happy, and fun holidays ❤

Embrace the heat

Of Winter Solstice

No white Christmas

Not even a cool, Florida day

But the prize is a full moon

Plant those roots:

Ginger, carrots, yams

Throw in some garlic and onions

What a goulash they will make

Hot, humid, but the Earth

Coating my hands as I dig

The sweet-smelling manure

That the dogs try to eat,

Makes up for the heat

Setting of the full moon

In the pink of dawn,

No longer high

Eyes of ginger

Gaze to the sky

Bulbs of garlic—

Vampires?

Prepare to die!

And soon there will be onions

Ready to fry!

 

© 2015 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Flowering ginger from CS garden

BAXTALO BITEDER RAT (Fortuitous Winter Solstice)

My annual poem about elegant customs adopted by most world cultures for a fortuitous Baxtalo Biteder Rat:

*

Vibrant clothes and lustrous boots

Honey dripping from fried melija corn

Candles glittering to light our way

After meditating in Neolithic darkness

A tranquil universe is born.

*

Chants and poems echoing

With a new moon making visible

Stars and planets joining Orion

In his nightly romp up high

Through the speckled night sky

Venus, Mars, Pleiades

(Those seven sisters smiling upon us).

*

Sacred herbs and evergreen

Red berries and dandelion wine

Crystals clear, crystals colorful

To remind us of the coming year.

*

Shortest day, longest night

A rebirth for the Earth

Reversal of the sun’s ebbing

The flow of life, a solar delight

A time to celebrate the Solstice

A word that means “Stand Still.”

*

Shuffle the Drom Ek Romani

My Way of One Gypsy cards

For guidance in the pristine year

Earth, Water, Air and Fire

Nothing new yet nothing to fear.

*

The meaning of this celebration?

A love and peace gestation

Cease all war and hatred

Send out only the kindest thoughts

Into the winter aethers

May they permeate the unity

Of the circle that is Earth…

*

© 2014 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja) Parallel Universe Cafe and Other Poems

IMAGE:  Winter Solstice, Pinterest, no attribution

 

SCHINUS TEREBINTHIFOLIUS

(Brazilian Pepper Tree/Florida Holly)

A HOLIDAY SONG FOR YOU
(to the tune of “Deck the Halls”)

Deck the trailer with Florida Holly
Fa la la la la la la la la
‘Tis the season to be jolly
Fa la la la la la la la la
Dress in sweaters oh, so tacky
Fa la la Fa la la la la la
Strum the strings, play something whacky
Fa la la la la la la la la…

(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: My mandolin and baritone ukulele with Florida Holly

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

TRIANGULATION

 

Searching neighborhood grids
Spreading state-to-state
Sectors of the country
Braving mountainous runaway truck ramps
Trekking through petroglyphic canyons
Primeval swamps
Gazing at city cell towers
Pulsing out your locale
Never an intimation
Move on
Over continental shelves
Navigating in Babel-ese
But still
No sign
Move on
Until
Standing on a deserted plain
Observatory open to
Moonlit wind
Telescope probing the aethers
The faintest buzz
Emits
Through navy blue
And yellow, too
Across the sky table
Looking like spilled sugar
In spiral glory
Then I hear you
In our milky galaxy
The pulse
The sign
You are mine
As you signal
From a triangular prison
And we whisper
Loneliness, be gone…

(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Milky Way, NASA

O HOLY MEMOIR

Why cry
When playing and singing
O Holy Night
I miss my high soprano
Soaring above the All City Choir
I cry for my youth
But hey
Think of that time
Tenth grade
I was being bullied in the girl’s bathroom
Bus tokens stolen
No boyfriend
Unknown autism making me
The school alien
Social Misfit of teenage hell
But that was then
And today, my voice
O Holy Voice
Gone
So I’m strumming the song
Didn’t know how to play
Ukulele in Tenth grade

But

And this is a positive
can play it now

Cracked singing
Like some boy entering puberty
High
Low
High-and-Low
Yet O Holy Night
Makes me cry
And I can’t see the chords
On the songbook by the time
I finish it
But WHY cry
Lost youth
Actually
My life is better than it was
In tenth grade
Yeah, I’m old
Yeah, really don’t do
Social niceties now or then
But a mere thousand miles away
Live my sons and granddaughter
Got enough money
To eat and dress and buy songbooks
So why
Why cry
For times past
When the truth is
Tenth grade sucked
Except for the voice
Soaring into the aethers
O Holy Memory…
(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Baritone, songbook, sunflower (planted by birds)