Dragonfly with invisible wings
Decades ago landed in a swamp
Drawn by a young boy
Coloring within the lines
Using greens, browns, and clouds
A prisoner of perfection
But bound to be successful when grown

Dragonfly flitted to next school desk
Sitting on the shoulder of a rebel girl
Who just didn’t need or want lines
Crayoning a yellow sky
Smearing a tan desert with pinks and blues
And oh,
The rocky walls
Product of silt, steam and storm
Over the millennia
Sparkling quartz hard
Mirroring the soft body
Of me, the dragonfly

Two creations but no contest
Which do I choose?
And I say
This is my place
Little boy, keep your bananas and gators
Here’s where I will end
My brief life without any fear
A land of fluorescent streaks
Hot, arid suns and moons
Prickly cactus and melancholy tunes
Cacophonic silence
Captivates me too
And I dream
The West is for me…

© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Hand-painted ukulele desert theme

8-7-20 PHILOSOPHICAL COMPETITION (song-in-progress)

Who is the most authentic
Living in nature
Empty clam shells
Greens and stewing roots
Poking through the sand
Good enough to supply
Physical sustenance

Who is the most free
No one to see you or me
As we move thru life
Without revealing
A secret identity
The world never imagines
We’re hiding behind distractions

Middle of the night tossing
Measuring need by thermal burnings
But you provided
No Rosetta Stone
Nothing to accompany
Years of clay etchings
Masquerading as feelings
That may or may not exist

Who is the most responsible
Living lives alone and lonely
Life not providential
But surely existential
As we do what may be right
Loveless in the hemispheres
Lifting legs like logs
Through the muck and mire
Lost in the geography of the
Split brain…

© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Existentially Alone


*scroll down for a YouTube video

Recurrent poetry theme
But each time I’m blown away
By my brain’s ability to convey
Its connection with the senses
This time I heard Dylan’s acoustic guitar
Playing Shelter from the Storm
Found myself
Back in the body of a sixteen-year-old
Feeling the hope of youth
The certainty that life will be perfect
Sixteen but free from the serfdom
Of Childhood
Sixteen battering down the cocoon walls
Of Childhood
But now that I’m an adult
I’ve time traveled
Leaping through the senses
This time of hearing
Or maybe it’s feeling
Strings, yet
The antithesis of puppetry
Shelter from the Storm
My time machine
Disguised, this time
As my ears
Previously, it was the smell of dill
And I’ve been transported
Quite often
Via the vision
Of a place or person
Taking me back
But as the music fades
So do I
And once again it is me
Older me
Trying to catch the beat of the song
Seeking my own Shelter from the Storm
The Storm that has changed
Over the years
Because although I was aware
Once upon a time
Of how precious beauty is
Beauty seen and heard
Smelled and touched
A long time ago
I thought I would know
When old and weak
That I could still sing and speak
But never suspected
Just how ephemeral
Life is…

© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Deserted Tardis in the UK, Lee Sullivan, FB


shelter from the storm dylan

7-28-20 THE PARAPHRASE (Connie Francis 1959 song “Lipstick on your collar”)

*scroll down for a YouTube video

“Lipstick on your face mask
Told a tale on you
Lipstick on your face mask
Said you were untrue
Bet your bottom dollar
You and I are through
‘Cause lipstick on your face mask
Told a tale on you, yeah”


© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Lipstick on his face mask

* https://youtu.be/YMlALAaEwfA
Connie Francis 1959 lipstick on your collar

I’m so silly today! Actually put on my best dress and drove around early in the morning to see the Gulf Channel off of Grand Boulevard. 15 minutes of freedom…Be safe and healthy ❤


You may know it as Lammas
Lunarela is the name per Gran
Harvest on the first of August
Bringing in the corn
But for a nomadic race
The Roma, except when enslaved,
Were not known as an
Agricultural culture
By the time I appeared on Earth
It was in the city
And Gran certainly wasn’t
Chopping up cement
Or running through the park
Scythe slicing through stems
Of dandelions and ryegrass
Even here in Florida
August Heat Index at 105 Fahrenheit
Harvest time is a long way off
But that calendar of holidays
Etched into my DNA
With the added memory
Of Earth’s gift to humanity
I tread through the sandy yard
Find mulberries the birds
And squirrels missed
Add them to a frozen harvest
Courtesy of Walmart
Great big blueberries
That I mix with Graham cracker dust
A delicious but low-calorie crust
And sing out
Baxtalo Lunarela!
May we all have a
Safe and happy harvest…

© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

(the white among the fruit is sugar-free tapioca that will melt and hold the blueberries together)


Barbara Leonhard, author of the WordPress Blog


featuring her own powerful poems and those of others

has generously included two of my poems on her podcast


Along with some amazing poets that will be familiar to you

We have all written about Grief and Healing, a subject especially applicable to

the health crisis we are facing today

Please tune in to the podcast; Barbara has a calming and lyrical voice that

enhanced the words of my poetry!

Wishing us all good health and safety ❤


Splintering wood
Dulled paint
The matryoshka opens
From a determined twist
Revealing four other nesting dolls
Identical except for size
How they blink their eyes
In wonder
Smallest remembers
The first affordable TV
Black and White images
Of cowboys and Disney
Penultimate hears the start of FM
Round-the-world broadcasts
Carnaby Street meets Greenwich Village
As the Stones seek shelter
And Dylan damns masters of war
Middle matryoshka plans
Her American Dream
House and cars and 2.5 children
While next to largest
Stomps alone in a strange U.S. State
Of heat and gators
Learning survival tactics
Because life’s a traitor
And now the largest
The one that contains
Time’s gifts through the years
Sheds some tears
Soaking the splintering wood
The paint an unfamiliar color
Looking ill and so much duller
As Time presents its final surprise
Despite watching Mad Max
And films of the Zombie Apocalypse
She unwraps the microscopic germ
Knowing her final life’s term
Is here…

© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Matryoshka gift from Karen Bruton


You’ve probably read all my poems but here is my newest addition to the ongoing poetic diary of my commonplace life 😀 There are so many photos (mostly of my beloved baritone ukulele) so KDP set the lowest price at $1.99 USD. Must say, this is not my favorite book of poetry. For that, I would recommend my big 3: Chording the Cards or Chakra Madness or Miniature Worlds Sublime.

Wishing us all health and safety in these trying times (that are unfortunately reflected in my poetry) ❤


Twenty button gift
Push and pull most confusing
Chords and melody
A musical harmony
Wrapped in concertina love

(My concertina finally arrived! Thought I’d play Drunken Sailor right away but no, it’s Twinkle Twinkle Little Star until I learn the chords. Arrrrgggghhhh, me hearties, what fun!)


Vastness of the sky overwhelmed
So I chose a space between Live Oak leanings
Where branches did not arbor
Although reaching for each other
And like a laptop screen
I kept Orion and Corvus
Andromeda and the Pleiades
Within my scope

Above is named
The Starlite Ballroom
A magical space
Emanating the finest perfume
As we dance in flowing costumes
To musical bliss
Because as below
Is as above
But during the day
Water reveals the truth
Gaze along the rivers
See its reflection
As Above Ergo Below
Denial is where we
Slosh among our kind
An amorphous reflection of
What is above

A force of reality
Is not mirroring
And today and forever more
It sometimes seems
Disease and
Nature’s catastrophes
May merely be
Part of the reflection
If only we could truly see
All daily negativity
Perhaps, then, our gift
Would be
The reality
Of the Starlite Ballroom
Life’s Truth and Beauty…

© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Pithlachascotee River at James Grey Preserve