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


Two sides of reality
Like 20/20 vision
That was never mine
Daylight sun
Where all clear
Even in a rainstorm
Midnight dark
Monsters visible
In their
Hypnagogic glory
Mouths and teeth
So gory
Give me dawn
Stars just fading
Comforting gray
Like soft flannel
Laundered to a fine thinness
Early birds tweet
No mischief around
Nocturnal creatures
And beans from the tropics
Perk me up
The aroma! Tingling taste buds!
A consistency thicker than mud
Or give me twilight
Early moon rising through
The fleecy velvet of gray
End of the day
Still some time to keep away the night
With 25 watts of light
Guitars strumming
End of the coffee in the pot
Still hot
Dawn and Evenfall
A two-headed coin
My reality…

© 2020 Clarissa Simmens
IMAGE: My Sundown Tree

what if

one day i wrote a poem
and no one understood it
they made nice comments
but had no conception of
what it was about
and i wondered
what if it was a random block
of alphabet letters
like xyz or lmnop
and people were being kind
thinking poor c, she lost her mind
but we will pretend it is art

then i recalled a time
when i was 10
and crying at the kitchen table
seeing my face in a convex toaster
bloated and monstrous
flew up the steps
to check the mirror
and it was me
normal me
with a red nose from crying
but still me
and i wondered
what if the monster in the toaster
was really me
and people were being kind
thinking poor c, no idea that a monster is she
but we will pretend it is ok

one day i told people i’m autistic
explained and wrote what it meant
this spectrum thing is confusing
but with all the stuff on the internet
should have been clear
although we’re all different
we’re the same socially
when people tell me sad stuff
not ignoring them
not being cold
just trying to think what to say
words that will be okay
but people still roll their eyes
or walk away
what if they think i’m monotonous
when i think i’m a prophetess
and they pretend to be tolerant
just being kind
thinking poor c, no idea what a bore is she
but we will pretend we don’t mind


(c) 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Andromeda-Urania’s Mirror, Wikipedia



Wings moving through humidity

Faux Monarch butterfly

Orange, black and white

Flutters around the pink blooms

Red Lady Bug

Paddling in the rain water

House on fire like the

Old singers sang

Twittering Love Dove

Preening gray feathers

Waiting for her mate

All attracted by the painted

Colorful flowers on the

New glass bird bath


A lesson from teachers

That appeared

Lesson of Elemental Air

Demanding logic, thought

Think this, my dear

Winged creatures

All that glitters

May merely be



© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Bird Bath


The Aspie aspect of me
Conjures up scenarios
Twisting and turning
Through my neurodiversity
Sometimes making them real
They’re so logically true
But when up against
So-called reality
Tells me I’m wrong
Am I? I ask myself
How do we know
What is below
The river’s surface?
How do we decide
If there be dragons
Who comfortably abide
In the corners of the world?
Is it a lie?
Maybe I’m neuroacceptant…

(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: James E. Grey Preserve Withlachascotee River

head game

my entire sense of reality
rattled like a snake’s tail
since you called
since we spoke
can it be true
is it really you
or a holographic image
created self-delusionally
seemingly sprung to life
out of my sorry emotions now dead
like Athena’s birth from Zeus’ head
what is the truth
and, significantly
is it provable……

(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Wikimedia Commons, Athena born from Zeus’ Head



Before age three

Not much of a memory

Then a new reality begins

As the theater of life


Years of tears and smiles

Love and rage

If blessed, then good health

If lucky, then material wealth

Ah, but entropic biology

States not much can last

All is supersonically fast

As we segue into

That third reality

Mirrors screaming

With altered faces

Losing family and friends

Unable to fill up empty spaces

And we want

We want so bad

To believe that deep down

People are honest

People are true

Especially people like me

Who don’t have a clue

About subterranean actuality

And we hang on

To the old reality

But we are wrong

The sands are slipping

Burying the hourglass base

Filling up with a reality

Devoid of grace

As we helplessly wonder

Who committed this crime

This ravaging by Time

And reality a lie

As we prepare to die

What was I thinking…?


© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Budapest Timewheel at night, Atlas Obscura



Two years of an unappreciated garden

Now all gone to unremitting green and brown

How I long for reds and blues

The day sobs out for vibrancy

Need something rare as a hummingbird

Spotted without tear-stained spectacles

Porky-Pig-pink flowers reaching for the sun

But it all takes work

Fertilizer brings relief while wrecking aquifers

So sandy soil

Once the bottom of the Gulf

Holds out for salty seaweeds

Blooming algae

Leaving me a blistering memory

Of our once-fertile

Yet fantasy-driven


Impatient for reality,

Should have known it would be



And empty…


© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE:  John Everett Millais – Ophelia



I sometimes think you died in the hospital

And me, famous family denier

Cannot accept or just doesn’t know

That the heart attack was fatal

Drove you home from the hospital

Talked to you

But maybe I conjured you up

As I broke down


No physical contact

So don’t know if you’re a ghost

Would my hand penetrate your shape

If I reached out to touch?

Don’t really want to test my theory

We sometimes speak

Mostly, you’re a disappearing specter

Silently, suddenly appearing in a room

Sitting quietly

Staring at me


No one has seen you in years

Just me

So I question my fears

Are you real?

My shattered soul

Is taking longer to heal

I just don’t know


At night I hear a voice


A clickety-clacking brain like mine

Leaping among the shoals of conception

Tumbling in the tides of ideas

Am I reading your mind,

Or do ghosts communicate like that?

Must I pick out the important parts

Of your manic communication

In order to gauge sanity?


I sometimes believe you survived

I sometimes believe I’m the one who died…


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Ghost (Mirror Online)



Double fog curtain


Emanating from roadside marshes


Winding around the dips and curves

Of the gray matter

Rumored to contain

The seat of the soul

Yet a slave to

The delicate heart

Misty comfort, though

A hidden place to go

Inside and out

Pull over, just stop

Can’t see where to drive

Pretense no longer needed

Not driving anywhere anyway

Not thinking anything real

Just drifting in the embrace

Of my new-found friend,



© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE; Morning moon & sun in the fog