politics

UNPAVED PARADISE

*Scroll down for a Joni Mitchell YouTube video*

They unpaved paradise
And took out the parking lot
Old Sims Park
With Canna Lilies and ducks
Some so blasphemously beautiful
With red, white and black faces
Circular sidewalk for dog and walker
Huge wood fort for kids
With imagination
Then a short walk to the
Pithlachascotee River
Leading into the Gulf of Mexico
Paradise for all social classes
People like me
Parking for free
Now no place to park a car
Playground carpeted
CARPETED???
And 80 apartments
Soon to be filled
In a tiny idyll
Spilling into a lake clogged
With so-called “boardwalks”
While the ibis and ducks
Dodge cars and trucks
In a town once open and free…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGES: Orange Lake Canna Lillies, Pithlachacotee River

https://youtu.be/94bdMSCdw20 Joni Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi

pithlachascotee river channel to gulf of mexico

 

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#14 TEMPERANCE

(written by a first generation American)

Yin and Yang
One wall falls
Another rises
Rise and fall
Of the Berlin Wall
Remember how we cheered
When it fell?
Seems capital “B” Balance
Demands another rise
But what goes up
Must come down
Right?
So like a child’s see-saw
Up
Down
Are walls still made of bricks?
Have governments perfected their tricks?
Down come the National Parks
It took eons for silt and
Saline oceans
To turn a forest
Into quartz crystal
And petrified wood
Now, no one protects it
Hours to dismantle
A crystal cabin
Take it home
Store the stones
In a collector’s walk-in safe
Make America ugly again
Shut out and starve
The working poor
I know
Who cares
The market is screaming
Stocks are over the top
Would be raw justice
If we could stack that money
Lean the piles against the wall
Both sides
Create great ladders
Or
We can always
Make America elitist again…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Brick Wall, Music & Flowers

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

 

BOARDWALK

 

Frog trap contains a surprise

‘Possum sitting amid dog kibble

Take him to the Preserve of James Grey

Re-homing works well

As he struts into the wild woods

 

I go to the Boardwalk

Winding my way

Through scrubs and pine

Palm and bush

Hearing DeSoto and his men

Clanking in armor

Ninety-five degree summer

Humidity drenching their

Proud mustaches and beards

 

A narrow but magical boardwalk

Taking me from gulf to ocean

Spooling across the Bermuda Triangle

As I hear

Creaking oars and rusty motors

Of ghost ships and planes

Caught in the mysterious vortex

 

I walk until the boards

Under my feet

Pass haunted abbeys

Destroyed by the Eighth Henry

Who changed the face of religion

Merely because he could

Woe to the women

Witches, so was claimed

When it was really about sex

And male progeny

Although we now know

The XY chromosomes of males

Determine the gender

Not the XX of women

 

The Boardwalk continues

Across ranges of mountains

Quiescent volcanoes

Pyrenees, Vesuvius, Alps

Carpathians, Himalayas

And I hear Hannibal

Urging his men and elephants

Through rain and snow

They must conquer

As I must walk

To quell the need for change

The greed to live one’s desires

 

I pass above lands of dynastic tyranny

Exotic islands and animals

In a different hemisphere

And I meet no one

See no one

Only those ectoplasmic shapes

Hearing voices in the language of Babel

Burning oil rigs, and the echo of screams

As terrorism clashes with soldiers

Mere teens

 

Then suddenly the walk

Is spanning the Pacific

A word meaning peaceful

And I continue

As whales and dolphins

Fight the fish nets

Imprisoning them along with

Other food of the sea

Supply and demand

For a horribly over-populated land

The land called Earth

As organized religions

Insist on the outdated

Be fruitful and multiply

Stop it!

We’re already overly-fruitful!

 

I walk, so tired now

Breathing deeply

Wanting to feel

Negative ions that comfort me

As the Boardwalk approaches

The other smog-shrouded coast

Of my homeland

 

And I walk

And I breathe

And I smell

And I hear

The fear

Of the world

And oh

I just want to be alone

Because

All this distills down to

A coarse social media acronym

Burned on my retinas

From overly-surfing

And I say it aloud:

WTH????

 

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: James E. Grey Preserve Boardwalk

 

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

Subject line from a gmail email: “Add your name if you believe in Science”

*scroll down for a YouTube video*

Today I signed a petition

To admit I believe in Science

WTH?

Is that like believing

In unicorns?

In elves?

Oh, yeah, I signed

But can’t help waiting for the punchline

Or have I been dropped down the rabbit hole

Ousted from Logic World

Because I lived my life

Believing in truth, justice

And the American way

What would Benjamin Franklin say?

I hate waking up

With cold water flung in my face…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Benjamin Franklin Scientist

YouTube video Thomas Dolby, She Blinded Me With Science

 

 

SIBYL OF THE RHINE

 

*scroll down for a YouTube video*

 

Nine hundred years before my birth

Hildegard von Bingen arrived on this Earth

Sent to a convent because of her religious visions

Eleventh Century upheavals:

Gypsies banished from India

Creating a European diaspora

Sharing their knowledge of divination,

Herbs, cures

By oral transmission

William the Conqueror

Banishing Anglo-Saxons

Creating new law codes and the early census

Known as the Domesday Book

While indigenous tribes unknowingly

Lived out their last moments of freedom

In the Americas

Yet keeping alive their own oral traditions

Of spirituality and cosmography

Momentous times for a Renaissance Woman

To appear in Germany

Rising to the position of Abbess

Writing a book about her visions

Composing music on her psaltery

Rivaling Gregorian chants

Writing the book Physica

A classic on health and healing

Writing the book Causae et Curae

A classic on herbs and cures

Leader, reader, writer,

Composer, musician, healer

History moves in spurts

As does knowledge

The dark ages may seem all-consuming

But they are not

Arcane knowledge

Always rises to the top

Like a granular convection

And once again

Buried dreams will be reality

Hold tight

Remember that night

Always fades in the dawn…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

 

https://youtu.be/LJEfyZSvg5c YouTube video Spiritus Sanctus, Hildegard von Bingen

 

IMAGE: Statue of Hildegard in Bingen’s Museum am Strom

 

poetry, sybil, healer, oracle, nun, abbess, herbs, cures, visions, politics, history, renaissance, repression, underground, dark ages, second inquisition, oral histories

ANOTHER FAIRY TALE MIA

 

Moving away from the city that day

No longer able to tolerate cement suffocating the earth

Never seeing the universe’s nightly planetarium

Hiding out in the country

Ostriching my head

As the daily news counted the dead

Telling myself, I’m safe

But I know now it is the absolute end

Glass face of the moral compass

Shattered

If there was still a molecule of belief

In love and peace

It has been sucked into a

Bottomless vacuum

And nothing

Not a speck

Not an iota

Can ever be seen

No matter how strong the

Scanning electron microscope

Zaps

Seeking an image

Gone, all gone…

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: pollen molecules under scanning electron microscope