poetry

FERAL (on hemp oil)

Little bit of old age pain so taking a little bit of hemp oil. I’ve become a little bit
uninhibited (that’s a little bit good). Interesting thoughts while watching Joan Jett
eat…

*scroll down for a Joan Jett video

WTH?
Swear I’m swinging
On a fur-clad sling
Wearing fur?
Oh, no!
Hope the animal rights groups
Don’t splash me with blood or
Red paint
But never wore fur
Couldn’t afford it
And I’m vegetarian
Not the radical kind
Hey, eat whatever you want
Well, not me
But I look around
And honestly
The word “Scruff”
Echoes
I’m being carried by
The scruff of my neck
It’s a cat
A black feral cat
And wait!
Too much hemp oil?
I’m a kitten
A starving one
With a desire for milk
But aren’t I lactose-intolerant?
Hate milk
Suddenly
(That horror story word)
“Suddenly”
An orange male cat
(I know he’s male, can smell him)
Leaps at the female
Mom?
Carrying me
Didn’t I once feed a feral cat?
Didn’t want to do it
But her cry seduced me
Music like I’d never heard
Pathetic
Beautiful
Secretly named her
Joan Jett
Oh, no!
He’s trying to kill me
For food?
I know male bears do that
To their cubs
But do cats?
And while wondering
How I became a cat
My eyes close
All is dark
And I tumble down a tunnel
Toward light
So bright
It finds its way through my eyelids
And I wonder what
Life
Or is it
Death
Brings me next…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Joan Jett eating

*Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, I Love Rock & Roll

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ANOTHER NEW BOOK!

Hi Friends,

Here’s a link to my newest book on Amazon

(Chakra Madness & Other Colors)

You’ve probably read all the poetry here on WordPress but wanted you to know that the Kindle edition is available now and the paperback will probably be along in about two weeks.  Thanks!

MUMBAI ALOO

Silken sari soaking
Cooling in the Ganges
Dreaming of Mumbai Aloo
Musical voices calling
As recipes traded
In this, the women’s watery time
I think of my pot
Bubbling on the hot coals
Filled with aloo, fine potatoes
Caressed by tomatoes
Hard shells of garbanzos
Softening in the heat
Cayenne and cardamon
Cumin and ginger
And rich turmeric
Colorful yellow healer
Did I chunk the onions?
Oh, yes
Bubbling in the heat
As I drift in the sweet
Water of the Ganges
Wrapped in a silken sari…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Mumbai Aloo or Bombay Potatoes Romani-style

COUNTRY SONG WITH MINORS

Am/ Why didn’t you ask me
Em/ If it’s true
Am/ Instead you believe
G/ What I didn’t do

Em/ You really must hate me
Am/ If you’re quick to believe
Em/ You want me to suffer
D/ So happy when I grieve

Am/ All my long life
Em/ Been treated so mean
Am/ Laughed at or worse
G/ Y’all made me demeaned

Em/ Why do you hate me
Am/ What did you see
Em/ In soft dark eyes
D/ With tears hidden by me

Am/ Laughing at me
Em/ And spreading your lies
Am/ You secretly smiled
G/ And I wanted to die

C/ But I’m still standing
G/ Although I ache
A/ Because I’ll never let you
D/ See me break…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: sad hallway guitar

LENORMAND IN EXISTENTIAL-LAND

ONE

Here I am upon a horse
Why? Last time I rode at 16
He tried to bite me
Thirsty
But here I am a RIDER
No doubt a lost outsider

TWO

All I remember is blackness
Nothing, not a thing
Until a spark of light
In the night
Lit and I was back
In a dewy field of CLOVER
Trying to cross over

THREE

Water now before me
An ancient sailing SHIP
Empty like the Flying Dutchman
Tossing upon waves
On a mysterious trip

FOUR

Climbing a jetty on shore
A stable HOUSE
With woman and spouse
But I was invisible to them

FIVE

And now walking alone
Under an ancient TREE
Far from sounds of the sea
I convinced myself all would be clear
If I remained patient

SIX

Above were stormy CLOUDS
Mirroring my confusion
Scanning for people on the horizon
But nothing
No riders, walkers, drivers, crowds

SEVEN

Ah, but here a SNAKE
Curled around the bark
No fancy patterns
Maybe venomless
Deceit or wisdom
Mixed message made my head ache

EIGHT

Spying a box in the distance
I moved along the path
Sitting above the dirt
A plain pine wood COFFIN
But no one saying farewell
No mourners for the blow to soften

NINE

Where am I? I cried out
Then spotted a field of flowers
Gathered up a colorful BOUQUET
Returned along the pathway
And placed it on the box for hope

TEN

Oh, but here a hooded figure
Staring off into the sky with a SCYTHE
He didn’t look very blythe
He didn’t look at all
No eyes gleaming, focusing
More like a scarecrow
Scary, to me, though

ELEVEN

Around his other shoulder
Was wrapped a WHIP
A symbol of life’s strip
From the landscape of repetition
Happening over and over

TWELVE

So I changed direction
Walking toward the north
In a moment of clairvoyance
I knew I must move
The song of a BIRD
Openly conferred
This truth to me

THIRTEEN

Out of nowhere suddenly apppeared
An out-of-place apparition
A delightful CHILD
In all innocence, smiled
And believed the future would be revealed

FOURTEEN

I watched as she tumbled with a FOX
The sun tilting to the spring equinox
No worry, at present, about intrigue
All was right with this strange world
Since I didn’t seem to be visible

FIFTEEN

I moved along to a cave with a BEAR
Experiencing a fearful flare
Yet the power and might of
This strong personality
Continued to feel lucky

SIXTEEN

Not long after, the sky darkened
But a lovely guide, a huge STAR
Silently promised me clarity
Resonating in my reservoir
Of strength and hope and reality

SEVENTEEN

Allowing myself a dreamless sleep
I awoke in daylight once again
Continuing a journey of reversal
Back to the south
As the beak of a STORK
Pointed the way
And come what may
I’d follow

EIGHTEEN

Before long I noticed a DOG
Seemingly following me
But unaware as dogs never are
Yet he barked if I went the wrong way
And I obeyed
This trusted travelogue

NINETEEN

As all my silent companions did
He disappeared and I wandered
Alone and dispirited
There stood a TOWER
Of loneliness but power
And I stood outside the open door

TWENTY

Shockingly
The room held a GARDEN
With many people socializing
I moved toward them
Begging their pardon
Asking where we were
But as before
I remained unheard

TWENTY-ONE

Frustrated I moved outside
Heading toward a MOUNTAIN
Hoping to overcome the obstacle
This unsolvable problem
Pausing at a fountain
To wet my weary feet

TWENTY-TWO

I arrived at a CROSSROADS
Not sure which way to wander
A feeling of being turned around
As if right was left
Instead of the antipodes

TWENTY-THREE

Scurrying around were tiny MICE
Another sign of my distress
Closing my eyes I walked quickly away
Searching for someone, anyone
Who could give me sorely needed advice

TWENTY-FOUR

Suddenly I saw an indentation
In the grass I tiredly walked through
I was sure it was shaped like a HEART
A loving piece of art
A sign that love was alive
Somewhere in this terrible world
I couldn’t contrive

TWENTY-FIVE

In the center was a tuffet with two RINGS
Symbol of commitment and partnership
Music from my guitar and other strings
Transported me to an iconic room
Once again inside

TWENTY-SIX

Of course it was a library and
I chose a large leather-bound BOOK
Where else could I find the knowledge
A much needed map that was a hook
To hang my vulnerable mind
While I learned more of my mystery

TWENTY-SEVEN

Inside the cover was a LETTER
Addressed to me
At least I thought
It was my name from another time and place
But the words were unfamiliar
Dancing upon the page
So I could not figure them out
And as I focused they did not seem better

TWENTY-EIGHT

There behind a desk stood a MAN
Busy with a quill and pen
Scratching foreign words upon
A parchment
Not seeing me
Leaving me
Without a plan

TWENTY-NINE

Near a shelf of books was a WOMAN
She also did not see or hear
Reading a manuscript
In one hand
Tapping a lacy fan
In the other
To some silent rhythm
Only she could bear

THIRTY

I’m dead! I’m dead! I said
And tore out the door
Plucking a LILY
Feeling immature
And incredibly silly
But not knowing what all this could be

THIRTY-ONE

I gazed at the SUN
Not caring if it blinded me
Feeling as if hit by a stun gun
Feeling the heat
Feeling the chill
Feeling the absence of all

THIRTY-TWO

Time passed and soon
I was staring at the MOON
Its silvery gaze
Mirroring mine
But keeping the secret
Of my loss

THIRTY-THREE

Hearing a clink
Bent down to see a KEY
Carved from silver filligree
I could hear its vibration
Saying, “Pick me…”
So I did

THIRTY-FOUR

I saw a pond
With a golden FISH
Worried about this business
I crazily made a wish
To meet someone to help me

THIRTY-FIVE

All I needed was an ANCHOR
I thought with rancor
To bring me stability
On this journey

THIRTY-SIX

So then I realized it was fate
As appeared a karmic CROSS
And suddenly felt the loss
Of this heavy albatross
Lifted from my life
And then I knew
Whatever I would do
Made no difference at all…

(c) Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Lenormand oracle decks

PETRIFIED!

Our lives are like a fossil record
The past built upon the corpses
Of who we were
Evolving in our lifetime
Age 10, age 20
Stages part of the record
Phases of impressions
Visible along the
Striations in different hues
Records of me and you
An old map relevance
Hope I remember
Life is merely a planned trip
Guiding me to me
Time synonymous with vertigo
Yesterday
Today
Tomorrow…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Fossils

TABLE-TOP ZOLTAN

Mysteriously
Today
In a post office locker
A box
Containing Zoltan
No card
But he was batteried up
And at home
Delighted
Asked him a question
His eyes flashed red
And he said:
“The stars will align
On that day
And the answer will be
Yes”
Oh, yes!
You know,
The stars did align last night
Backdrop to
Jupiter, Saturn and
The Waxing Crescent Moon
In the first crispy clear sky
I’ve seen all summer
So if that part is true
I have nothing to do
But believe
All will be well
For a day or two…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Table-top Zoltan

HANGING AROUND

Bananas ripening
Hanging from the canopy
Attached to Max’s old blue collar
All recycled
Not pretty
But, oh, what’s the buzz word?
Sustainability
So the ugliest part of the yard
With smelly compost heaps
Algae-infested kitchen appliances
Reverse osmosis unit purifying the water
Hurricane beating its chest
A few hundred miles away
Swamp mist and lightning
Thunder and hot rain
But sweet pineapples,
Bananas and tart ginger
Abundantly growing
Thanks to the farmer worms
And I know it’s why
I cannot face moving
To a safer, saner spot
On a crowded map
I guess I’ll just have to vent
My fright
As Nature nurtures the back yard
While I play the bard
Singing the Blues about danger…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Bananas Ripening

ABANDONED!

When does immortality desert?
Listening to the wind and rain
In a rickety old Victorian
Off the Atlantic City
Boardwalk and ocean
Wanting so much to be swimming
In the flooded streets
Like the other children
Sailing through life without
Health-conscious adults
No, didn’t desert this little girl
Sneaking outside to ride the wind
Sure was immortal when
Hurricane Hazel hit
Brave and bragging
Like Beowulf in Hrothgar’s Court

Immortality didn’t desert
Around 1987 when she swayed
With her workplace
On the 13th floor
University spread out below
As West Philly fought the deluge
Standing by the window
Daring the winds
To crack open the glass
And carry her on an adventure
Work and motherhood and
Young woman power a
Powerful fuel
Indestructible as Beowulf
Ripping off Grendel’s arm…
Certainly didn’t desert her
When living in Florida
Watching the Roomie
Wind surf in the Gulf
Lifting ecstatic arms
Inviting the power to the Earth
Screeching with laughter
Crossing Dunedin Causeway
When the No-Name Storm
Tried to take away her life form
No, this almost-middle-age woman
Was still immortal
Enduring as Beowulf
Decapitating Grendel’s mother

Now, now mortality
Has wrapped her in its heavy folds
Not a warm and comforting blanket
Just freezing cold
Age-old
Fears
And she cowers
In a time-worn tower of years
As new imps introduce themselves
With names like
Fragility
Autoimmunity
Stupidity
Done in like Beowulf
By the dragon’s mighty fire
Cyclone: the mirror showing
Time ending onshore
Immortal no more…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGES: Hurricane Dorian 2019 / Cyclone 1

cyclone1 sm px

ESCAPE FROM PINK

Born in an April Pink Rose Moon
Lover of red and black
Roses and sun beams
Suddenly smack against the wall
Of no longer striving to be happy
Personable or at-least-cute
Swimming in worry
Unable to rise to the glass’s top
Like newly-poured sweet cream

Mapped my way from Earth to sky
Head tilted at a neck-aching angle
Eyes constantly on the night sky prize
Searching for an older body’s scheme
While gravity grounds me physically
But emotionally all over the top
Bouncing off walls
Like an astronaut in training
Living in extremes
Wanting to float
Like myriad space debris
As an ultimate dream
Untethered from the Earth

How I wonder if my books have worth
I think of Bukowski’s poetry
The Last Day of the Earth Poems
Aged and sad
Maybe planning his final leap
Grim and dark
Hardly a sunny gleam
But poets don’t lie
We wrap our truth in starry dreams
Oh, yes, the reality is there
As you strip away the pretty paper and ribbons
Uncovering silent lunar screams

Have I reached too far
Over-reacting to aging?
I should ground myself
Rejoin the flamingo flock
Stop the aging themes
Enjoy the earth, water, air and fire
The base of all our alchemical balance
The stuff that weaves together
Human dreams
Should…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Flamingos & star globes 4