*scroll down for a YouTube video

Recurrent poetry theme
But each time I’m blown away
By my brain’s ability to convey
Its connection with the senses
This time I heard Dylan’s acoustic guitar
Playing Shelter from the Storm
Found myself
Back in the body of a sixteen-year-old
Feeling the hope of youth
The certainty that life will be perfect
Sixteen but free from the serfdom
Of Childhood
Sixteen battering down the cocoon walls
Of Childhood
But now that I’m an adult
I’ve time traveled
Leaping through the senses
This time of hearing
Or maybe it’s feeling
Strings, yet
The antithesis of puppetry
Shelter from the Storm
My time machine
Disguised, this time
As my ears
Previously, it was the smell of dill
And I’ve been transported
Quite often
Via the vision
Of a place or person
Taking me back
But as the music fades
So do I
And once again it is me
Older me
Trying to catch the beat of the song
Seeking my own Shelter from the Storm
The Storm that has changed
Over the years
Because although I was aware
Once upon a time
Of how precious beauty is
Beauty seen and heard
Smelled and touched
A long time ago
I thought I would know
When old and weak
That I could still sing and speak
But never suspected
Just how ephemeral
Life is…

© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Deserted Tardis in the UK, Lee Sullivan, FB


shelter from the storm dylan


Splintering wood
Dulled paint
The matryoshka opens
From a determined twist
Revealing four other nesting dolls
Identical except for size
How they blink their eyes
In wonder
Smallest remembers
The first affordable TV
Black and White images
Of cowboys and Disney
Penultimate hears the start of FM
Round-the-world broadcasts
Carnaby Street meets Greenwich Village
As the Stones seek shelter
And Dylan damns masters of war
Middle matryoshka plans
Her American Dream
House and cars and 2.5 children
While next to largest
Stomps alone in a strange U.S. State
Of heat and gators
Learning survival tactics
Because life’s a traitor
And now the largest
The one that contains
Time’s gifts through the years
Sheds some tears
Soaking the splintering wood
The paint an unfamiliar color
Looking ill and so much duller
As Time presents its final surprise
Despite watching Mad Max
And films of the Zombie Apocalypse
She unwraps the microscopic germ
Knowing her final life’s term
Is here…

© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Matryoshka gift from Karen Bruton


My Spider Woman friend
Weaving cosmologies
Mandala forms
Reminding me of
Relationships between
The infinite
And the world within
Our minds and bodies
Reminding me of
True friendship
In the chaos of our lives….

©) 2020 Clarissa Simmens (viataMaja)
IMAGE: Spice Girls Mandala (Karen Bruton)

Thanks to my wonderful friend Karen Bruton for her perfect gift of a pillow case. The Pattern is Durban Spice Girls, a rich metaphor in itself!


*scroll down for a Jethro Tull YouTube video

When once the greatest songs
Of my generation
Translated to love
Or the lack thereof
The recent past
Now seems so precious
A time of health
Shelves piled with food
For us un-famined countries
Wishing the stores
Were less crowded
Traveling, touching, tasting
Wasting the gift of time
What I would give
For those days
Now I toss all night
Obsessing over our plight
Jethro Tull’s flute flaming through
My 3 a.m. mind
Their words, though
Remind me
To stop living in the past
These are the good old days…

(c) 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Jethro Tull’s Living “With” the Past

*Jethro Tull YouTube video Living in the Past


Another birthday on its way. Here’s the newest picture to go along with a poem about what most of us love: music!

We have a duty
To preserve the beauty
Of Music
To play it loud and often
Whether we do it on
Lasered disks
Or vinyl
Or our own beloved but battered
Music, our soul’s sanctuary

(c) 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: CS under the sign of Aries 2020



Waking with Ben Franklin’s
“A penny saved is a penny earned”
Rattling around the brain
For an exciting hero of mine
He could be thriftily boring
And then
In 1784
He wrote an essay
For the French
“An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light”
Essentially, how to save on candles
By changing the clocks
Love Ben Franklin
I’m originally a Philadelphian
What an inventor
But come on
Time is so personal…

Woke up
Forgetting to spring forward my clocks
But Bill Gates did it on my computer
T-Mobile took care of my phone
Never wear my Janis Joplin watch anymore
But the microwave refused to change
And the light outside is wrong
Long, long hot days in Florida are coming
We need less daylight here

The scary thing is
I am so sure
That something magical happened
At the real two in the morning
The hour that no longer is
Surely contained
The secret of life
Or magical herbal cure
Or a song of such beauty
That so-called angels
(Ukulele-wielding ones)
Could never eclipse
Think of all the children born
Whose Rising Sign
Based on hour of birth
Will be wrong

I want that hour back
I’m sick of statesmen
Screwing with my life
Including all important time
As always, I follow my dogs
They remain true
To their biological clock
Dining by celestial clues
Einstein said it best:
“Time is an illusion”
So don’t ring my phone
When your time says 7 a.m.
I’m forever on Eastern Standard Time
Drifting in an early-morning dream…

(c) 2016 Miniature Worlds Sublime, Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Benjamin Franklin, creative commons


Time often interferes with the truth
Certain words cannot be spoken
Until the time is right
Safer to lock truth away
In a climate-controlled
Storage space
Until time catches up
To the truth
Or becomes a lie
Be a warrior
Do not frighten the living
Keep the secret
Denial is a good coping mechanism
But be sure to plan for the survivors
This is why music crowns words
Words are animated by music
Words are like zombies
Hated by some
Sneered at by others
Untidy corpses slouching mindlessly
Through streets of
Misunderstanding muck
Add music, though
And the flesh-dropping bodies
Become angels of light
Whole, holy, and so right
We now understand the words
And all is all right
Whether they be
Truth or lies…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Zombie Attack Guitar Wrap Skin by AxeDecals.com


Our lives are like a fossil record
The past built upon the corpses
Of who we were
Evolving in our lifetime
Age 10, age 20
Stages part of the record
Phases of impressions
Visible along the
Striations in different hues
Records of me and you
An old map relevance
Hope I remember
Life is merely a planned trip
Guiding me to me
Time synonymous with vertigo

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Fossils


The World is so much more
Than Earth and the visible
Night sky
Telescopes and space cameras
Transport us to galaxies unknown
When tarot cards were first shown
Although there were always a few souls
Who knew what was out there in the vastness
Of space

THE WORLD is the archaeology of our past
Moving us through the present
And showing us the future
Symbols on cards mimic
Symbols of everyday life
Like the day I found an engraved coin
With my name and home address
Of a place I lived before age seven
Lying in the mud near a shed of broken crates
My past zoomed in and saw myself
Winning tickets for Skee Ball
To use on the mechanical engraver
In an Atlantic City arcade
Before casinos wrecked the ambience
Of ocean and sand and fries in a paper cone
Of cinnamon donuts and black coffee at midnight
From Mammy’s with my Gran

I rediscovered the coin
After finding a feather
That pointed the way
Very small feather
From a Florida Black Vulture
Stripping the flesh
From a corpse so fresh
And so here is my future
I thought

To live in the now
Would be best
So I hauled out my tenor guitar
Music,the most beautiful part of
Anyone’s present
Although old songs transport us back
To the past
The words are seared in memory
Never to go
Always with us in the current phase

This trio reminds me
Of a wedding superstition:
Something old (coin)
Something new (guitar)
Something borrowed (feather)
Uh, oh, I’m blue
Because I
Always have
Always do
Always will
Need to find images of life
And force them into
Patterns that ease the chaos
Of my world

And like the moon
We go through the stages
As past, present, and future
Twirls like the Earth
Orbits the sun of our existence
And tilts with the seasons
The World
The tiny world that is ours
Our personal world of elation and sadness
Of terrible regrets but moments of gladness
We dream of space and vastness
But we are the microcosm
Like symbols imitating life
We mimic the macrocosm
Because the World is us…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGES: Arcade good luck medal, feather & guitar: zoom in to see my full name
and address on the coin/Photo of the arcade mechanical engraver

arcade stamped good luck coins machine SM PX