relationships

TOASTER FACE

Amazing how an incident happening today (criticism by a stranger) could trigger a
looping of past trauma. Just a reminder that domestic abuse lasts a lifetime, even
when life is safe and happy. Fortunately, this world contains poetry, music, and some
supportive family and friends creating rainbows in the darkness…

Twilight
Talking to you
Lights out
Fading lit blue
Changing the sketch
Of your face
Darkness is kind
And she always preferred it
Can you be ten years old
Sitting at a kitchen table
Behind the family grocery store
Not allowed to cry anymore
Smacked for doing
What?
Just don’t know
So sure she was being good
Can you see yourself
Staring into a convex toaster
Face distorted
(That’s why I’m hated)
Epiphany herding her
Up winding steps
Built in 1904
Closing the bathroom door
Staring into the mirror
Yes, monster face
No wonder
(That’s why I’m hated)
So ugly
Who could love
That face?
Over the years
Smacks never end
Verbal ones just as harsh
Married to men
Trying to hold on to female friends
Always smacked
Verbal digs
Unrecognized abuse
Someone please remove
The kick-me sign
(My face is still ugly, that’s why I’m hated)
Can you see yourself
In the waning moon’s light
In brackish water?
Lubricous mess in city streets
But the grease reveals
A tiny rainbow
In the puddle’s ragged corner
Shades of oily color
Help her to endure
Despite the slaps
From hands, mouth, eyes
That she tries to melt
In order to love herself…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: VENNGAGE banner

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MOON LUNACY

Alone in my bed of memory foam
Sole indentation
Barely registering
Tossing and turning
Sweating in unremembered dreams
Furrowing small hills and valleys
One day you are there
Imprinting your length and width
Tossing and turning
Altering the structure
Of my memory foam
Changing my dreams
Calming the foamy sea
Strengthening
Improving
Memory
Sharing lust and love
Laughter and moon lunacy
Pure luck for me
Meeting and repeating
A concavity of love…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Full Moon Rising by Heather Awen, author
Steel Bars, Sacred Waters: Celtic Paganism for Prisoners.

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

FIRST MEETING

 

Bestowing quirkiness
Should I show my best?
Try to impress?
Your face reveals
Flickers of annoyance
Boredom
Yet can’t stop
Self-putdowns
Weight, wrinkles
Evanescing clown
Embarrassed
Look at my lap
Hearing your sigh
I mustn’t cry
But then you say
Now that your self-negativity
Is swept away
We can be ourselves
I’m part of your tribe
Whatever the experts think
Caused our different social vibe
Let’s compare creative moments
Occurring every day
What thoughts you bring
To first light of morning
How to deal with chores
Interrupting the lures of fun
And I smile
Looking you full in the eyes
Knowing now you won’t spout lies
Or serve warmed-over pity
Just willingness to share
How witty
You can be
Expecting me
To respond in kind
Truly interested in my mind
No worry about words shallow
Like one so callow
Both our hearts aligned…

(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens
IMAGE: flamingos in swamp palm tree

MUSIC ROOM

 

When we met
Couple of decades ago
Heard you play guitar
At flea market bazaars
But you’d never buy one
You’d left your childhood
Garage band
Because your
Stairway to Heaven
Didn’t sound like
Zeppelin’s
Stairway to Heaven
And you never played again

Radio music interim
Interspersed with
MP3 tunes
Did their job
Kept me sane

Then two years ago
Thanks to internet window shopping
Bought a soprano ukulele
With a how-to book
For thirty dollars
And although I couldn’t decipher
Musical notes
Chords enabled this wannabe
To play amid laughter and joy

You listened for two years
And finally picked up the baritone
Tuned like guitar
Playing like a rock star

Love the ambience
Music frequently welcomes
Dawn
Often lullaby away those
Sleepless nights
Most of all
What fun to play together
Voices gritted with age
You picking with a hint of flamenco
Me strumming with a campfire aroma

And although we will never
Be what we were
To each other
All those years ago
It’s a functional way
To segue
Into old age
Making what we believe
Is beautiful music
Together…

(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Guitar & Ukulele in the backyard

NO-WAKE ZONE

 

Red-right-returning
Channel markers
Red and green
Confusion sets in
For someone like me
Who has a reversed compass
In the brain
My life, then
Has been a slow movement
Fearful of attracting attention
The making of a wake
Sloshing the water
Best to obey
Don’t make waves, they say
But by the time it is okay
To speed up and get someplace
The tide is out
The boat is low
Knee-high
Tow with a rope
All is pull and push
Always that much more
Difficult
By land or water
By air or even fiery balloon
Easy does it
Shuffle-shuffle
Never make a wake…

(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)