No one approaches

The edge of the swamp

I, alone

Am the sojourner…


© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Edge Of My Swamp





“Dentates masticate”

Says I

Suddenly envisioning

Small frogs

On their backs in boxes

Awaiting Biology students

To make their first Y incision

In High School labs across America

The girly girls ewwwwwwing

But not me

I wanted to see

But I don’t remember

Whether frogs have teeth


Studying the digestive system

It would be

Important to know

If they have teeth

Whether digestion begins

In the mouth

So here it is

“X” number of years later

As I toss and turn

In my oh-so-uncomfortable bed

Wondering whether

Frogs have teeth

Because they love dog food

And so I ponder:

Do they chew the crunchy food

Or stereotypically

Shoot out the tongue

And swallow whole

All this can be easily solved

By reaching on my night table

Home of the Smart phone and Kindle

Just a Google away

But no, too easy

Have to imagine scenarios

Why can’t the frogs stay in the swamp

My dogs chase and sometimes catch them

Get poisoned and although I keep down the hysteria

Must spritz hydrogen peroxide through a dropper

To encourage puking

They just won’t learn!!!

I do put away the bowls

Yet, the odd piece of kibble

Escapes under the deck boards

Know what?

I’m bored

Who cares if they have teeth?

Time to sleep…


© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Frogs like my cat food too



*scroll down for a YouTube video*



Whether talking



Suddenly feel

The wheels of a train

Rolling under me

Gentle whistle

Bed and pillow under my head

As I rock in rhythm

With the Industrial Age’s

Lines of Ley

Hammered into the earth


The continent

Wheels, always wheels

Wearing lines in the Earth


Wheels on Earth

In my DNA

Hearing my ancestors

In their rolling wagons

Encouraging the horses

To get to the nearest stream

And I a baby

Rock to the clopping

Rock in rhythm

Wheels, always wheels

Wearing lines in the Earth


Was a difficult baby

Per the lore of the past

Wrapped in a blanket

Midnight car rides

Through dimly-lit city streets

Trying to get me to sleep

Wheels, always wheels

Wearing lines in the Earth


But I now know

Rocking in rhythm

Is the only way

To get me to stay

Relaxed and asleep


No doubt, Earth-bound

No desire, alternatives


Planes have wheels

Brief Earth contact

Without wearing deep lines


We hope they don’t rock


Boats? They rock, but

No wheels

No Earth

Just lines

Wearing invisibly through water

Scary concept

To leave the Earth

Yet I wonder

Would it work…?


YouTube video Dionne Warwick, Trains and Boats and Planes https://youtu.be/yQ-gmK25TDg


© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Saint Laurent Stiletto Wheels




Sometimes I can smell Philadelphia

But I’m really scenting my youth

Tasting it

Feeling all my senses

Reaching out

For the city I love


Sitting behind the Gothic pile

Known as City Hall

Skyscrapers towering above it all

Unknown but should-be known

Rock band serenading us for free


So much human life

In contrast to my swamp so rife

With four-legged dwellers

Fascinating to watch

Lacking, though, in conversational skills


Wish I could live in both

Out the front door, city

Out the back door, swamp


And like Tarot’s Temperance

I’d have one foot in the mire

One foot in the asphalt

Perfectly balanced…


Dilworth Park Philly trip Oct 2017

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGES:  Dilworth Park & Philadelphia City Hall/My photo in Dilworth Park with skyscrapers





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



Every year

I place your vines

In a different site

Along the fence

Waiting in suspense

To see if you will grow


You have chosen not to

Share your passion

The embodiment of my longing

But I am stubborn

Will not give up


One more time

I bid you climb

Calm my three-beat heart…


© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE:  Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata) for insomnia




Daydreamed owning

A magic spatula

Carefully dug a circle

Around the back yard,

Adjacent swamp

And like a pancake

Slid and lifted

(Didn’t flip it, though)

Then placed it

In your world

A piece of me

In you


Keeps me safe

But willing to walk out the gate

When you ask…


© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Hard Rock Café Guitar Spatula