ukulele

FRAGMENT FOR A BARITONE UKULELE (or mandolin) SONG:

fog-wrapped palm by my swamp 2 yrs ago

DECIDED TO ADD ON A ROUGH DRAFT OF WHAT WILL BE THE BODY OF THE SONG:

Year after year

Our lives so dear

You disappeared

Taking my heart

We’re forever apart

As you stay locked

In the wood of the tree

Never to be free

Lost hearts of Palm…

 

Playing one day

Polished obsidian ball

Our two faces reflected

Happiness and perfection

 

You invented words

In a foreign tongue

I laughed, joined in

We chanted, having fun

 

Suddenly gone…

You are suddenly gone

Suddenly gone from me

 

Never did I dream

You’d be so close

Locked away in wood

Brown and gray

 

I thought I’d dreamed you

And then awoke

Until one foggy morning

I heard your voice

 

So far away

And yet so close

Heard your voice

Calling my name

 

Found an axe

But you shouted “No!”

The bark, the leaves, the heart of palm

Part of you

 

Found that old obsidian ball

Polished, washed, sun drenched

Held it next to my heart

Whispered my love

 

Nothing, nothing

(Please, please)

Silence from the swamp trees

 

Words, what words

Did we say

That terrible day

I ask, but you no longer answer

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Two views of my palm tree 2015 & 2017

(it sure did grow/as if it holds the key/to my happiness)

 

 

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MIXED METAPHOR

 

Playing my ukulele

Enormous desire

To do a pilgrimage

Across the country:

Haight Ashbury

Although no Janis Joplin

No Grateful Dead

Maybe a crashed and scattered

Jefferson Airplane

Maybe something more

Emerging from a door

In San Francisco…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: My newest baritone ukulele in the shadows

ELEVATION 2

 

Riding backwards

Seeing what was

Appropriate for a memoir scribbler

So, have roadside trees

Changed instantly

Shedding leaves in Florida Autumn?

Clouds are following me

Heading North

 

Playing air ukulele for amusement

Since train WiFi silent

Refusing to share

The outside world

Just me

In a womb room

Now chugging through

A little-known station

In Denmark, South Carolina

 

Last year, first time in a train roomette

Was magical

Besotted with the tracks

Circuitously leading locomotives

Through the East Coast’s elevation*

True, I’d learned to play

“City of New Orleans”

On the ukulele

And oh, those chords

And words

Seduced me into forsaking airplanes

Now, it’s like footprinting through

Scattered stardust

Alone on a Magician’s stage

As if he’d hypnotized and then left me half alive

Alone

An abandoned

Dusty old platform

House lights on

Revealing faded curtains

Sprung springed seats

Alone

 

Looking through the large-view window

Recognizing the same-as-last-year flooded

Roadside thickets

Litter scattered among the deciduous trees

As we race between Rocky Mount, NC

And Petersburg, VA

 

Gazing at trucks piled with logs

Mongrel architecture of cottages

Half  Great Depression rural facades

Hiding a post-1960s add-on

When wardrobes grew

Requiring more closet space

Plural bathrooms needed

To accommodate the cult of the

Nacirema**

 

Suddenly Washington, DC

Water marked overpass walls

Dripping with graffiti

Resembling a vellum book

With aging endpapers

Hidden shelf, second hand shop

Marbled designs disguise

Deterioration

 

Do I feel less enthusiastic

Because last year

The sun rose in Virgo,

This time in Libra?

Was it because last year

The virgin voyage was fresh,

This time it is post-honeymoon?

Was it because I was a year younger?

Wish it was like the inaugural trek

Year after year

In life

In love

In mystery…

 

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE:  heritage railroad

 

*Compare to last year’s poem, same train trip https://poeturja.wordpress.com/2016/09/04/elevation-but-still-wouldnt-swap-my-swamp/

 

**American spelled backwards (term used in Sociology and Anthropology depicting specific behavior)

ELIXIR OF FAMILY BONDING

 

Flanked by big, brash progeny

The plucky baritone ukulele

Holds her own

Amid clamorous sons

Sensing no time elapsed

Between early motherhood and retirement

Removing their eyeglasses

Myopically peering at each other

It is 1989

All is fine

As life-long love

Picks up at the point

It left off

Long ago and far away…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGES: My baritone ukulele and their guitars/Halloween in the 1980s

 

(I’m back, WordPress!  Will check out your stuff this coming week)

B, C & M 80s Halloween cropped

PEACE AND LOVE REDEMPTION

(8th Annual Global Hate-Free Day 9-22-17)

 

A/ Could not think of a Em/ poem

Em/ With the words A/ love and peace

D6// That was a youthful Em/dream

Em/ Fading into the D6/ dawn’s release

 

C/ Where’s the kindness G/ in your heart

G/ Why must loving E7/ fall apart

 

A/ But my mind won’t Em/ let me rest

Em/ Surely anger is A/ not our fate

D6/ There must be an Em/ alteration

Em/ Don’t want a world D6/ full of hate

 

C/ To old and new G/  I say to you

G/ Let love and peace be part of  E7/ each  day

 

A/ Protesting and Em/ marching

Em/ Once part of A/ my past

D6/ Now I’m terribly Em/ old

Em/ Searching for what D6/ will last

 

C/Words and music G/ into the skies

G/ Allow a new world to C/ crystallize

C/ Allow a new world to G/ crystallize

© 2017  Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja), chords & words

IMAGE: My Luna Peace Ukulele

(For baritone ukulele tuned DGBE:  just a strumming song by an amateur)

 

 

JONI AND ROBERT OF THE CANYON (Bit of Blogetry)

*scroll down for YouTube videos*

I don’t know

Call it poetic license

Intuition

Just received my vintage copy

The Music of Joni Mitchell

For guitar (and baritone ukulele)

Forgot the words to

Ladies of the Canyon

And, well, am I making this up

Or is it the same canyon

Robert Plant sings about

In Going to California?

If so, I see clashing perspectives

Joni wrote a lovely, accepting song

About three “ladies”

Living the hippie ideal

Robert wrote a song and

In the Zeppelin IV album

He sings, with dread,

“Canyons started to tremble and shake

As the children of the sun begin to awake.

Watch out…”

She embracing the scene

He totally overwhelmed

By the experience

By the vastness

By the teenage liberation

Of the American West

Of the guitars and sun

Of the eagles and sky

Let freedom fly

(Just thought I’d mention it)

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: My newest song book

 

YouTube videos:

https://youtu.be/jft55QBkE6o?list=RDjft55QBkE6o Joni Mitchell 12:25 begins Ladies of the Canyon

https://youtu.be/PDIz4talyQk Led Zeppelin (Robert Plant singing)

GOOGLE-MANCY

 

So growing up with cartomancy

Consulting the cards

Or tasseomancy

Consulting the tea leaves

Or any of those other mancies

Ouija boarding the spirit world

Maybe even tipping the magic eight ball

For a quickie answer

Has now morphed

For me

Into querying

The O-Great-Google

For answers

Seriously

I said to myself

Why are you asking this question?

But here it is:

Is it ok to prefer strumming

Over what I think is the

More-difficult fingerstyle

Or is that a cop out?

And lo!

I’m not the only one who needs to know!

Forums about it all over the net

And my favorite answer is:

The Beatles preferred it

When playing acoustic

And strumming songs of fame

Are associated with Bob Dylan’s early name

On Google

Most everyone said learn both

Most everyone said strumming’s

Not necessarily the easy way out

It’s ok!

Whew!

But then…

I confess

I can guiltily see

A tempting retreat for lazy me

Hmmm, I wonder if I can ask Google

Who my Prince Charming, um,

Who my Ol’ King Charming

Will be…

 

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Victorian Tasseomancy (NPR unattributed)