shakespeare

BARD’S GARDEN

(an early morning meandering poem for my tarot book)

Unable to sleep so
Reading about the
Shakespeare Garden
Where only plants
Mentioned in his plays
Sonnets, writings
Are allowed to flourish
Impossible to plant one
In Florida
At least for an amateur
Apple trees? Not possible
In a yard loaded with
Live Oaks and dripping
Spanish Moss
I see myself walking around
Pulling off a leaf
Releasing the scent
By squeezing out the life
Can’t sleep because I get crazy
About being a vegetarian
Because so sure plants feel pain
But the alternative is to starve
Besides, I’ve become a pescetarian
In my old age
Craving protein

So here’s my drabarni’s garden
With tarot cards and crystals
Hanging from trees
And I suddenly hear the Beatles sing
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
Code for LSD? we wondered in our teens
Never dropped acid myself
Always high on life
Did take some tokes
And now 2 bottles of Hemp Oil
Wait for me on the computer table
Will it help my creaky joints
Or is it better to smoke a joint
Are they still called that?
Didn’t do much weed
Yes, it enhanced happiness
Creativity
But also sadness

So where was I?
Shakespeare’s garden
So tossing and turning
I imagine walking around my
Themeless garden
A mad bard’s garden
Instead of planting
All the botanicals
Appearing in my poems
I write the poems
Based on what’s already planted
Floratam and wild grasses
January daisies
Browned air potato vines
And banana leaves
Tattered ginger greens
Hiding the harvest below ground
Naked mulberry trees
Chili peppers frozen in clumps
Palms waving in forty degrees
Dreaming of summer’s flames of
Red Hibiscus
Orange Cosmos
Yellow Jasmine
Dressed in bright green
Turquoise dragon flies flitting
Indigo skies cooling solar flares
Violet waves residing in planetary tides
None appear in a Shakespeare world
But it is winter
And I think of the drabarni

Drabarni is the Empress
Queen of Wands
She is every woman in the tarot deck
Who nurtures and heals
Body and soul
TAROT CARDS ARE A VEHICLE
To bring two together
The Interpreter is really the listener
Feeling the pain or anxiety
From the Questioner
Silently begging for
Alleviation
Rejuvenation
From the shadow side of life
Tarot cards are
After all
Pieces of wood
Pieces of cardboard
Numbers and symbols
Yet, a way to open a dialog
Between the confusing world
And those of us who sometimes wander
Alone and entwined in a hopeless fog
TAROT CARDS ARE A MAP
Terrestrial navigation
Through gardens of chaos
Into orderly beds of
Comforting words
“Help me, I’m lost!”
Cries the Questioner
And all the Interpreter can say is
“I will try…”

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Winter Banana Tree

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IN THE SHADOW OF SCRIBBLERS

Shakespeare covered
Every human emotion
In existence
Turned them inside out
Shook them over the
Straw-strewn floor
And we learned life from him

Woolf and Joyce revealed
The constant stream of consciousness
Speeding through our brain
Tunneling like a dark train
Finding form in summer fields
And we learned thought from them

Plath confessed it all
Words tinkling against
The cracked bell jar
Climbing the bars of poetry
Hearing Shakespeare’s
Be true to yourself
She was
And we learned about the fine line
Between fiction and reality
From her

Ginsberg and the Beats
Howled all over the world
Shoving ugliness down our throats
As they ushered in love and peace
Bleeding all over in City Lights books
Ideas never in print before
Overcoming obscenity trials
Changing the word itself
And we learned emotion from them

So what is left to teach?
What can we writers do
To make life easier for you?
To make you see
That we, like you
Suffer and love
Cry and sing
Hurtle through life
Slowly uncoiling
Writing:
A lifetime search
An outreach
To teach
And learn from you…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: My notebooks & guitar