song lyrics

URSITORY (song-in-progress)

First saw the Ursutara*
When 3 days old
Cold night spider webs
Or dripping icicles
Over my basket
Gran setting a table for 3
Honey cake, tea
And in a broomstick drawn circle
Gran, Mama and me

Tell me a story
Of the three Ursitory
Living in Romani glory
Before morphing into allegory

3 creatures of Fate
Come to adjudicate
Lifeline to create
Each birth to celebrate

Sometimes I dream
Of that night supreme
As 3 moonbeams
Lit faces in fog-bound steam

Felt so enchanted
As each fairy implanted
Words that granted
My future garden planted

Said one: Listen my child
You are fated to be wild
And always beguiled
By a trying life reconciled

In the circle of safety
Me in a basket
3 tables with cakes
For the Ursitory Fates
Gran whispered my secret name
Viata

Said another: Listen my child
You are fated to be wild
And often reviled
Yet strong enough to survive the trial

“No” Gran recanted
But the third Fate ranted
Wanting to supplant it
With frightening cant

In a powerful scream
She stopped Gran’s scheme
The fate was extreme
No peace to redeem

No room for debate
Gran hid her hate
For this weaver of Fate
Surely a devil incarnate

There’d been no signatory
Just verbal and auditory
Surely an escape from momento mori
If they left the territory

The Ursitories departed
Gran tossed out the cake
Whispering a secret song
Taught me to move along
But all their words true
And some sleepless nights I hear them
Enchanted, chanting Fates
Pronouncing lives desolate
The Ursitory…

*Kalderash dialect

(c) 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: August von Pettenkofen,
Gypsy Girl Wraps A Baby In A Wooden Tub

ELEMENTAL COMPASS (song-in-progress)

(Well-water pump broke last Saturday so wrote the water part and have continued.  Guitar chords to be added)

Garden rebelled/ Odd bugs expelled/ Movement from the Earth
Kicking the dirt/ A wild revert/ Out-of-control screams the Earth
Snake-filled habitat/ I issue a caveat/ But no one can stop the Earth
Only weeds grow/ Country version of Skid Row/ but no escape from Earth

Earth, Water, Air and Fire
Elements aid but sometimes conspire

Well pump broke/ Up in smoke/ How can I live without Water
Plenty of tears/fighting my fears/but that’s not really Water
Follow the ley lines/watch out for land mines/block oceans of Water
Finally time to be free/ Not much can stop me/ Far from evaporated Water

Earth, Water, Air and Fire
Elements aid but sometimes conspire

Tornados screech at dawn/ Trailer hugs the lawn/ Fear blooms from the Air
Wind wild and free/ How I want that for me/ Can I flee the Air
Breeze builds to violence/ All super-intense/ But trees shield from the Air
Bird feathers ruffle/Gusting will muffle/ Songs silent in the Air

Earth, Water, Air and Fire
Elements aid but sometimes conspire

Stuff must be burned/ One thing I learned/ Destroy using Fire
Travel with speed/ Avoid hearts that bleed/ Passion cooled by Fire
If I can’t forget/ When we first met/ Cauterize it all with Fire
Start a new life/Cut memories with a knife/ Burning desire with Fire

Earth, Water, Air and Fire
Elements aid but sometimes conspire

(c) 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Broken water pump last Saturday

CROW GLASS MIRROR (SONG-IN-PROGRESS)

“Take your broken heart. make it into art”–Carrie Fisher

A G D
Swamp perimeter
A G D
Sun sets it a’glitter
D A
Feeling distressed
G D
Yes, abandoned nest

A G D
Lying on grass
A G D
Just shiny crow glass
D A
Black feather nearby
G D
Where’d they fly

A G
Neaten up their home
D G
So want to roam
A G
Been quite a night
A D
I’m ready to take flight

A G D
Lay down my shawl
A G D
Back against a tree wall
D A
Take out the pieces
G D
Pile of glass increases

A G D
Like a kid’s jigsaw
A G D
To the tune of a distant caw
D A
They form a circle
G D
And then a skull

A G
A fully formed mirror
D G
Couldn’t be clearer
A G
I see my cracked face
A D
Safe in a hiding place

A G D
Message from a crow
A G D
Definitely time to go
D A
Glass back in the nest
G D
Feeling less distressed

A G D
Final possession in the trunk
A G D
I still have lots of spunk
D A
Foot on the gas pedal
G D
I tried, I deserve a medal

A G
Driving through the night
D G
Finally taking flight
A G
Smiling at the crow’s gift
A D
I once again drift

D G A D
New art, new life…

(c) 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Abandoned nest by my swamp, crow mirror & feather

abandoned nest 2 sm px

PHRYGIAN BOLEROS

*scroll down for a YouTube video

Tonsils yanked out at age 4
Dad gave me a record player
And his only 33-1/3 album
Maurice Ravel’s Bolero
Dreamed over it for years
A progression from heaven
Hollywood mocked it
Used in a silly seduction
But to me
Little girl, then teen, then adult
It was an introduction to passion

Fast forward to old age
Taught myself baritone ukulele
Don’t understand musical notation
Don’t understand tablature
So I’m a Chordie
Stumbled upon a lovely used book
Looked handwritten
And no notes, tabs, chords
But the scales
Remember The Sound of Music?
Doe a deer, a female deer:
Do, re mi, fa, sol, la, ti, do
Um…
Written in scales!
But there are chord diagrams
All I need to do is transfer
Six strings to four
And I’m off
To another universe
A place to immerse
My inquiring mind
A fascinating musical code
I can understand!

Seems it’s the Phrygian Mode
Three-quarter time
Used in Flamenco
And other Classical Spanish guitar music
That I admire so much
Old lady plays a Bolero
Not as fun as the scratchy vinyl
Playing the gift
Ravel gave us
But fantasy creates the start of a song:

Heard your song last night
World acoustics
Like old-time radio waves
Carried your mood
Across the woods
Heard you play
A bolero progressing
Through air
Heart pounding in three-quarter time
Through mist
As wild winds
Brushed palm fronds
Brushing together like that special sound
On jazz drums
And me humming
Humming becoming keening
Because I knew
There would never become
A me and you…

ALL RIGHT

I know
Not a happily-ever-after
Maybe not a bolero
After all
Maybe just a love song
Gone wrong?

But oh, I unlocked a mystical code
And I’m off to learn something new
In the sometimes cobalt blue
Of life…

https://youtu.be/Q4wb11w0ZHQ YouTube Bolero, Maurice Ravel

 

BOLERO 2

(c) 2020 Clarissa Simmens, ViataMaja
IMAGE: BOLEROS BOOK (inside and out)

WHERE HAVE ALL THE BABY BOOMERS GONE? (Song-In-Progress)

(scroll down for a YouTube video)

Where have all the Boomers gone?
If we made it through childhood
Having our feet x-rayed every September
As we were readied for school
New Buster Brown shoes
And a special box
To zap our growing feet
Life was so sweet
After World War II

Where have all the Boomers gone?
Riding our bikes
Or dancing and singing
To Elvis Presley and the
New rock n’ roll
As DDT sprayed
To keep us safe
From mosquitoes
Oh, life was fun
And hey
Until today
We thought it was okay

Where have all the Boomers gone?
Just one more lab experiment
On our brave families and friends
Fighting in a foreign land
Agent Orange defoliating
It’s ok, it’s safe
So it kills a few Vietnamese
And friendly fire just reminds us
That war is hell
Protection for our Boomer kids?
Teens merely guinea pigs

Where have all the Boomers gone?
Gone in search of the perfect lawn
Using Round-Up to spray away
Healthy dandelions in order to pursue
The American dream
Of a carpet of green

So those of us who made it
Through childhood and the teens
Through peace and war
Those of us left
To fight the war
Of our death
With chemicals pumped
Through our blood
Because there is no cure
For lab-rat mentality

That’s where all the Boomers are going…

 

(c) 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGES: DDT mosquito sprayers, X-ray box for shoe size, agent orange propaganda

https://youtu.be/T1tqtvxG8O4 Pete Seegar YouTube Video

DDT mosquito man

x-ray shoe fitting

AgentOrangeStory_FeaturedImg745x51011-09-17

ENTANGLED song in progress (in minor chords)

MINOR CHORDS TO BE ADDED (IF I CAN OVERCOME JANUARY LAZINESS)

 

eternal waves
washing away
unwanted memories
nightmare days

how can i write a love song
when no one has ever loved me
but before you offer your pity
understand,
i never loved anyone either
spent the years
dreaming of you
dreams of wonder
how do you taste
how deep can your eyes
see into my soul
invented scenarios too
your lips caressed me
never whispering lies
always making me feel whole

Violin bows
guitar strums
ebony and ivory
entangled with drums

and that one day i asked
could i stop dreaming and
make us real
force of will
will you see me
so finally found you
and there i was
smiling at you
for real
my lips moving
determination proving
we were meant to be one

soughing wind
whispering wild words
silence broken only
by cawing birds

and i asked
can i stop dreaming now
can we make this real
i want to know
all those years ago
apart
afraid to start
reality
you look at me
but no sound
no song
can i hear
swallowed by fear
i turn away

Violin bows
guitar strums
ebony and ivory
entangled with drums

(c) 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Valentine Fantasy Song

HAIKU STACK (TO BE JOLLY)

song-in-progress (can I write a so-called “jolly song” in melancholy Minor chords?)

‘Tis now the season
For buckets of red and green
(Florida dreaming)

Soon the shortest day
Sun’s declination stands still
Candles light the night

Wind and coolness but
This Sunshine State is snowless
(December dreaming)

Golden music plays
Red birds blending with berries
Green floratam sleeps

‘Tis now the season
For energy in coolness
(Florida dreaming)

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Bucket of red and green

GYROSCOPE (song-in-progress)

I’m a wild gyro
Tilting and spinning
Nothing, no one
To tether me
Maintaining orientation
And angular velocity
No problem though
Locating the horizon
When the mist comes
Surprising to see
I’m lost but then
By sheer will power
I right my brain
Like an airline control tower

You yank my string
Send me turning
Churning, burning
This aging heart…

Old bones can learn
To do new tricks
Like dogs biting
Entrenched swamp ticks
But here I go
Once again
Back in my ’07
Honda C-RV
Driving crazily
Through shadowy back roads
Six crates of my crap
All I own in complete defeat
Slipping off the back seat
To the World Music CD drumbeat

You yank my string
Send me turning
Churning, burning
This aging heart…

After days of driving
Back where I started
Land of swamps and palms
But I’m like a handful
Of July 4th cherry bombs
Short fuse, loud noise
Ready to blast
Whatever I worked for
And thought I owned
Gone in a gust
Of anger and mistrust
So the engine ticks
As I get out and stare
Ready for more psychological warfare

You yank my string
Send me turning
Churning, burning
This aging heart…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja
IMAGE: Gyroscope with Baritone Ukulele

SUGAR-TALKING BLUES

SONG-IN-PROGRESS REPOST

Walking along the road one Samhain night
Saw something odd, gave me a weak-legs fright
Hot pink dragon glowing in moonlight
Stretched over its hoard, man, what a sight

Now I don’t drink alcohol or smoke weed
Although decades in the past I partook of the seed
True, tonight I celebrated my control freed
Caffeine and chocolate imbibed with speed

Dragon snored away so I crept near
Have to confess, did feel fear
But wow! Her hoard was oh so clear
Mounds of candy corn celebrating the solar year

Orange and yellow and white sugar treat
My parents used to call it “chicken feet”
In prep for Thanksgiving I’d gobble it neat
I confess sugar and dye is my favorite eat

Shoveled the hoard into my backpack
Pausing to eat a midnight snack
Until the sugar high made me slack
And I must’ve passed out on the dragon’s back

Woke up feeling a pretty hot fire
The dragon yelling, thought I’d expire
“I didn’t do it!” I screamed like a liar
She wrapped her tail around me, I was lifted higher

“How shall I punish you, my thief?”
“I’m so sorry, but I’m addicted,” I said with grief
“Well it is Halloween so we’ll stay in the motif”
“Yes, I will!” I cried in relief

“Play me a song with your ukulele
Sing something sad and achingly lonely”
“I will,” said I gladly, “although I’m crappy”
Kindly she said, “Music is soothing even from a wannabe”

So I played and sang and swore I saw
A few tears wiped away with her claw
I sang and played til my fingers were raw
And then she thanked me, the sugar outlaw

I hurried home grateful to be unharmed
Swore I’d never steal, especially when unarmed
Sugar is my downfall but now I’m disarmed
And thankful that for once, I was charmed…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Anu Grace, Dragon Uke
https://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Uke-Anu-Grace/dp/B00B0LKYRW
10-29-18

IMAGE: My dragon & Baritone Ukulele

dragon4-sm-px

COUNTRY SONG WITH MINORS

Am/ Why didn’t you ask me
Em/ If it’s true
Am/ Instead you believe
G/ What I didn’t do

Em/ You really must hate me
Am/ If you’re quick to believe
Em/ You want me to suffer
D/ So happy when I grieve

Am/ All my long life
Em/ Been treated so mean
Am/ Laughed at or worse
G/ Y’all made me demeaned

Em/ Why do you hate me
Am/ What did you see
Em/ In soft dark eyes
D/ With tears hidden by me

Am/ Laughing at me
Em/ And spreading your lies
Am/ You secretly smiled
G/ And I wanted to die

C/ But I’m still standing
G/ Although I ache
A/ Because I’ll never let you
D/ See me break…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: sad hallway guitar