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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/…

SOJMO (HAWK)

ANNUAL REPOST FOR FATHER’S DAY: My father loved telling stories, so although this starts out as a poem about him, it turns into one about me.  No doubt though, it was his predilection for oral history that influenced my love of writing (especially loooooooong poems).

 

Dad was a great story teller

A bard who hoarded words

And plots, heard in the kitchen

Where he slept on the ledge of a stove

In old Romani slave quarters

Surrounded by the rich earth

Of what is now Moldova

Somewhat drunk by the wine

The children consumed

Because the water was poisonous

And it was thirsty work to be

Stomping grapes for the winery

Where he was born

Grandson of a slave

Free yet not

***

His favorite story

Was about the Sojmo

The Hawk

Also called Turul

A Hungarian word

Learned from his cousins

Who migrated to Roumania

Turul, the shamanic hawk

Perched on the Tree of Life

That strongly-rooted tree

Connecting Earth with the skies

And the Netherworld

Turul, who saved the Hungarians

From Attila the Hun

And other conquerors

Making them a powerful people

My dad liked the name Hun because

His name was Huna

His mother said he

Approached life like a savage

Like a conqueror

And Huna felt proud

***

Sojmo has been a part of my life

For many decades

I never saw one while living in Philly

But once I moved to Florida

Nature claimed me as a personal fan

And I observed birds and trees

Plants and clouds

Lightning and rainbows

So lonely, though, for a friend

Although I worked daily and met

Good people

So lonely for a man

One day, sitting by a lake

I cried out to the universe

A hawk flew at me

Sitting frozen, mesmerized

At the last second it swooped up

But we had read the eyes of the other

And I knew all would be well

A few months later I met a man named

Hawk

***

Years passed

First good

Then very bad

Then better

Then simply years

No expectations

Simply years

***

Life’s happiness

Feeding and watching

Backyard cardinals,

Woodpeckers, blue jays

Mourning doves and finches

Feeding and watching the antics

Of my dogs, sitting by the graves

Of older dogs who

Crossed the Rainbow Bridge

Then the crows came

Korako

And ate the fledglings and eggs

While I shouted, while the dogs barked

And one day they disappeared

Never returning

Occasionally circling the yard to remind me

So I imagined

That they have the power to return

And destroy the backyard birds

***

Envision my surprise

When instead of korako

I heard a whistle and saw

Five hawks

Sojmo

Repeating the savagery

That korako displayed

Last summer

Half-heartedly I shouted

Banged the metal trashcan lid

With a Live Oak branch

Fallen on the ground

From the wind and rain

The previous evening

The dogs half-heartedly barked

The man named Hawk

Refused to chase them

Siding with Sojmo

Because, I guess,

They are his totem, after all

***

Ah, do I make anything out of this?

Just birds of prey following their instinct

Looking to feast upon birds well fed

From my feeder?

Or is the appearance of Sojmo

The other bookend

The other end of the promise

And now the taking

None of the five hawks

Flew toward my face

To look me in the eye

What do I make of this

Mind-tableau

Sojmo sitting on a Live Oak

That could be the Tree of Life

Reminding me of the connection

Of the Earth and Sky

With the Netherworld

***

Sojmo

Ending another chapter

Of a life…

© 2015 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

 

PSYCHEDELIC CHIAROSCURO

 

Cardinals, Woodpeckers, Blue Jays

Chirping the dawn away

Dogs barking at squirrels

Tail shaking like chattering maracas

Me gasping “Black coffee!”

To offset rainbow shades

As I create a silent music

Of the tapping of text messages

FB posts

Twitterings

A cacophony of hello and love

With the underlying message

That we made it through the night

We’re all still here

Crowded day

Music plays

Background

Soundtrack

Of our busy lives

Weather hot, humid,

A suddenly damaging deluge

Lightning landing in the already scorched garden

Tin house shakes as

A discordant percussionist–

The drummer of the sky–

Goes control-freaky

Nothing to do until he tires

And the calming flute begins

Ah, here it is

Birds bathing in the after-drizzle

Drying feathers echo xylophone tunes

Dogs sniffing the lightning trail

Me singing to the battered mint

Grateful that the soundtrack

Of the day

Welcomes a glowing

Late afternoon

Bright blue and yellow

A precursor to the

Sun of the Solstice…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

Image: abstract quirky sun, free image

IMPERMANENCE 2

I follow this wonderful WordPress blog that visually records some of the finest street art ever seen.  I noticed a section titled “RIP” and was sad to see that so many of these wonderful paintings are destroyed.  Please see and like Resa’s blog at https://graffitiluxandmurals.com/r-i-p/comment-page-1/#comment-15254

 

Adapted from my poem “IMPERMANENCE” published in Parallel Universe Café and Other Poems 2015

 

We are all merely a Buddhist sand painting

A created, colorful mandala

Years in the making

Seconds in the melding

Of individual grains

With the earth, water, wind and fire

Anicca

Existence is

Transient

Evanescent

Inconstant

I understand the analogy

Just cannot accept it…

 

© 2015 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja) Parallel Universe Café and Other Poems

IMAGE: Even Teenage Vampires Cry (artists unknown)

R.I.P.

 

 

SIMPLY THE SUN

(MAGICAL REPOST TO COUNTERACT THUNDER STORMS)

 

The sun is not mysterious enough

To rate writing about

Moon mystique is endlessly

Fascinating

Appearing in the darkness

Drawing our blood, tides

And ruling our emotions

Contrast the sun

A necessity for all life

Dosing us with Vitamin D

Nothing enigmatic though

Just there

Even if it seems invisible

Like during polar winters

Of utter darkness

Or on stormy sub-tropical noons

Even on cloudy beaches

Evidenced by the wind-blown skin damage

It is there on twilight evenings

As night-bloomers like Evening Primrose

Open and stretch

Toward its sleepy rays

Dark or light

Dim or bright

The sun is always there

No, nothing mysterious about it

Just a burning ball having

Occasional tantrums

As the spots explode

We understand its punishment

On desert roads

Our bodies mercilessly drying

There are so many moon songs

But not many sun ones

So what’s to write about?

Yet, my favorite time of day is dawn

When the sun sails above the Earth

Breaking through the horizon’s rim

My heart thuds loudly because another day

Another chance for a good day

Is once again hovering in the dawn

Let it be today, I think longingly

Let it be today…

 

© 2015 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Morning Sun June 2016

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