ukulele

NEW IN PAPER

Here’s the link to my new paperback.  This book has been a Kindle-only edition since January but I was finally able to publish it in paper.  The cost is $5.50 but all of these poems are on Facebook and WordPress so if you follow me, you’ve probably read them 🙂

 

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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/ 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)

BABA O’RILEY NAKED

 

*scroll down for YouTube video*

 

Strumming The Who’s

Baba O’Riley

(Or Teenage Wasteland

As I always called it)

On an acoustic ukulele

Is like eating grapes

Rather than drinking wine

Yet the unfermented fruit

Intoxicates me anyway…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: My baritone ukulele

 

YouTube video: The Who, Baba O’Riley (with violin solo)

BARITONE UKULELE HAIKU STACK W-I-P

(those flamingos are at it again)

 

G7/ Lonely lifetime search

A/ Wandering through corridors

G7/ Turning the wrong way

 

A/ So close, I sense you

G7/ Separated labyrinth

A/ Blind inside a maze

 

Em/ Mysteriously

A/ Life’s ancient map has appeared

Em/ Atlas of my love

 

A/ Our hearts synchronized

G7/ Earth, water, air and fire

A/ Magic words to meet

 

G7/ Fantasies and dreams

A/ Fevered shadows of the real

G7/ Now dispelled by A/ you

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Tenor Turned Baritone (DGBE) simple strumming

FISHING LINE ANTHEM

 

What a way

To cost-effectively play

Ukulele

Why buy strings

That stretch and break

When Walmart sells

The key to unending fun

In a magical reel

Like the discovery of the wheel

Something to change my life

So I string my Tenor

Like a Baritone

DGBE

Like a 4-string guitar

(Who needs bass?)

And plunk

Strum

Sing in the silence of a

Swampy womb

Or an air-conditioned room

Fishing string producing

Musica Universalis

Music of the Spheres

Do you hear?

I do…

2 closeup with fishline sm px

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

 

Images: RockStar & fishing line & ukulele / fishing line & ukulele

SONG OF THE SOLSTICE (for baritone ukulele)

FOR THE SUMMER SOLSTICE (Northern Hemisphere) and WINTER SOLSTICE (Southern Hemisphere) & Global MAKE MUSIC DAY (6-21-17)

 

 

C/ Today no peppermint Em/ tea

C/ No espresso Em/ coffee

G/ Best is the Em/ extraction

G/ Dripping from aromatic Em/ skin

A/ Xanthos-lemon Em/ juice

A/ Pressed between pomegranate Em/ lips

 

C/ Slipping through sultry G/ water

G/ Fresh from the Earth’s C/ sluice

C/ And I offer to G/ you

G/ This catholicon of C/ love

 

C/ Blind taste test Em/ seen through

C/ The sun above Em/ sparkling

G/ Lighting up the Em/ longest day

G/ While indelible Em/ music plays

A/ Fine-tuned strings Em/ echoing

A/ Through circle-of-life Em/ holes of sound

 

C/ And the day G/ Fades away

G/ Into tie-dyed black C/ denim

C/ The matching color of  G/ your eyes

G/Lemon and pomegranate C/ until sunrise

 

C/ Dew filtered through G/ you C/G

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja), words & chords

IMAGE: My Baritone Ukulele, Roses & Lemons

 

These chords for baritone ukulele or guitar (DGBE)

Can substitute Am for Em for tenor, concert or soprano ukulele (GCEA)

Can substitute A with D for tenor, concert or soprano ukulele (GCEA)

Make Music Day June 21!  http://www.makemusicday.org/…

ST. JAMES INFIRMARY GHOST

New baritone ukulele has guitar chords, so re-learning it.  Been living with the words all week. Arlo Guthrie’s version is the only one (I’ve ever heard)  with the verse about “7 girls going to the graveyard/only 6 of them coming back.” Made his “baby” so real to me then. Had to write a Point-Of-View from one who is Everywoman and will remain nameless although I’m partial to “Baby”

*scroll down for a YouTube video*

 

What the hell?

Where am I?

Is that Big Joe McKennedy?

Red eyes, pulled an all-nighter

Card and dice cheater

Last I remember

He was trying to take my ring

It’s just a cheap, cracker-jack one

But mine

From better times

When he was winning

Now he’s a losing gambler

Already lost my mama’s

Dipped-in-gold locket

My papa’s silver watch chain

No, refused him

Where’s he going?

Joe!

Last I remember

He shoved me into the wall

Hit my head

On the brass bed

Then pushed into

The porcelain wash stand

What a man

Been out til I woke up

On this cold, white table

Dead!

I’m dead!

I’m so young, so cold, so still

But there he goes

Singing about himself

It’s always about him

About his funeral

About his blues

About his cheating heart

With chorus girls

And look, my finger’s bare

He got my ring anyway!

Seven of us going to the cemetery

Only six will return

But one is my cousin

The one who talks to ghosts

She sees me!

She knows!

No funeral for you

Big Joe McKennedy

Just a hanging tree…

 

* https://youtu.be/JsPLpt9jVvs

Arlo Guthrie version (singing begins 2:28)

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: St. James Infirmary, Brew Lite Jazz Tales

IF ONLY

chords notebook 3

 

What is the exact moment

I’d return to

If possible?

So many times

Need to be changed

Like not saying

“I do”

But now

In my oldness

The key to happiness

Lies in wood and strings

So if I could go back

To 8 months after

My sixteenth birthday

The day I said,

“I’m quitting guitar lessons”

I’d think

I’d persevere

I’d be a guitar player

In addition to hack writing

Beloved blogetry

I’d compose

I’d stop smoking and sing daily

I’d learn all those chords

I would

I would do

I would do what it takes

To get over that

Learning curve

Vision of me then

Long black hair

Freshly ironed straight

Almost to the waist

Yet not pretty enough to be

A performer

But smart enough to understand

Music tames the sadness

That savages the psyche

And who knows

Maybe I would have written

The Grammy song of the year

Deciphering musical notation

Acquiring the discipline

Dreams require

But it is today

And in celebration of

My newest

A baritone ukulele

D, G, B, E

Guitar chords!

I’ve written a

Haiku:

Whole new set of chords

Baritone ukulele

Bridge to a guitar…

 

baritone ukulele june 2017

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGES: My chord notebook & my new Baritone Ukulele