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COFFEEHOUSE ON NEW YORK AV

(ANOTHER PRE-CASINO, ATLANTIC CITY MEMOIR)

Troubadour in dark room
Singing and strumming
“Go away from my window…”
Thinks he can tell me
What I need
Coffee grinding ten steps away
Strings strangling a heart
Fibrillating to future rejections
“It ain’t me, babe” soaring through
The smoky room
Zinging in, trying to make me cry
With his lying eyes
So why’d he pursue me
Take me to his room and
Almost ruin me
Thinks he can croon
By the light of the
Not-yet-landed-upon-Moon
Me nervously twirling my spoon
Roiling the brew
To read a few escaped coffee grounds
What is my future
Another tall, dark stranger
I’ll love and lose?
Caffeine finally affects
The saddened brain
Venomously I think
He’s not even a quarter good as Dylan
Can’t help wondering, though
When I’ll be an adult
So to all you young girls,
Yeah, not really women
We’re fragile little girls
When it comes to secret chambers
Of the heart
Here to tell you
Lived despite the pain
But can’t say
I ever used the label
“Adult”
Because
For the very sensitive
Adulthood is merely in the
Eyes of children
And the memory comes through
When I’ve sipped a few
Double-shot espressos…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: kava3

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FLYING FINGERS IN A STORM

DEDICATED TO DENISE FLETCHER & JAMES CORBESIA

 

Resonator road
Tin shack swamped
Sinking beneath
Vines and moss
Dueling guitars
Electronic sizzling
Thrift store treasure
Shoulda stayed there
But it competes against
Lightning spears
Searching the ground
In a wet backyard
Here’s the star
My acoustic tenor guitar
Smug and safe
No connections with
The storm
Although thunder roars louder
Than metal strings
But electric unplugs
Acoustic wins the
Aging game
With a hot patch
On osteo knobs
And now the music
Under the aegis of
Modern medical heat
Allows delicate fingers and tendons
To play and sing
For at least an hour
Lost in the bower
Of the space time forgot…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Dueling guitars

 

 

ME FOR YOU

Who says we’re the “Me” generation?
“Free” definitely
But remember all we did
For the Cosmos?
Some went to war
Some protested same
Learning the game
Of politics
Trying to save
Earth and clean up
Acid Rain
Not easy

Indulgence?
Yes, we were teens
Milestone to adulthood
Looming like a shadowy
Twist of steam
Competing with our
Psychedelic auras
So we indulged
But remember, we didn’t know
That drugs, cigarettes
And even sunshine
Were traps of death

Indulgence?
Oh, the music
Need I say more?
the melody of
Make love not war
Thrumming in our heads
Never to be forgotten
Decades after the first riffs
Of incomparable songs
Echoed along the
Space-time continuum

Me
And you
My lovely cohorts
(No matter our politics)
We made a splendid skydive
Into time
Ticking to the
Rhythm of
Rampaging, riotous
Life
All for the benefit of
You, the future generations…

(c) 2018 clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: MUSHROOM & PEACE UKULELE

A BRIEF HISTORY

Tripartite divisions
Time wounds all healing
Historic time unchanged
Lives still worth stealing

First tree struck by lightning
Branch fell on singed earth
Potential for weapons
Anger now gave birth

Wooden equalizer
Swing it through the air
Smash the enemy’s head
In war, all is fair

Stones are so much stronger
But they still can break
Blazing fires shape bronze
Blood lust now to slake

Iron changes the game
Scissors-paper-rock
Right through the techno age
Add lizards and Spock*

Childish games teach us well
So why work for peace
The world is so crowded
War aids that decrease

Songs of peace resounding
Through harsh centuries
Voices must continue
Profound harmonies

*The Big Bang Theory quantum addition to old game

(C) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: My peace ukulele

 

 

CHROMA COURSE

My one hundred year plan
First quarter life in
Gray, cement city
Hot music spots
Gourmet eating from trendy pots
Life and noise
Adrenaline high
Suddenly an end

Second quarter life in
Green, overgrown swamp
Heat and dangling moss
Trees of invisible webs
Clinging to my face
Slowly feeling out of place
As I disconnect from people
And the working rat race

Third quarter life in
Brown, desert hills
Forest petrifying me
As I move among fossils
Dying to be free
Sun unbelievably
Morphing all into arid shells
Not much here, not even the sea

Fourth quarter life in
Voided, swirling, clouds
Darkness, vacuumed space
Leaving without a trace
Who can guess
Heaven, hell
Or maybe nothing
One big coalesce?

 

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Chroma Intensity

 

HAND PRINTS

Grimoire
Magic spell book
But aren’t most books
Enticingly magical?
Most writers want to
Weave a spell
Enchant the reader
An alphabet put together
Interpreting the
Arcane codes
True, some are more
Grimoire-y than others
But the hope is always the same
Book of Shadows
For memories to reclaim

 

Anyone could make a
Physical book
Cutting, pasting
Dreaming
Mine contains words
Pictures
Photos
And amulets in drawstring pouches
What will you make?
It is the book that will
Define your legacy
The hand prints on
The door of our universe
Saying, “I WAS HERE”

(Air)

I took a trip
To learn why
Writers stifle colors
And artists go for blank
Turned the page
Explaining how to fly
Instructions specific
For a heady trip
Here was I
Looping through the sky
Thought I’d die
Scared to be so high
But relaxed into the rhythm
Balancing on the cold
Atmospheric road
Where the night sky
Anchors us to life
But the silver cord tugged
And back I fluttered
Merely a feather
Drifting onto my bed

 

(WATER)

Another lonely night
Riffling through pages
Scanning the list
Of Love Potions
Devastated from rejection
Needed him back
But would I want him
Under magical circumstances?
No, I want real love
Equal partnership
No controlling
No binding
Free choice
As I expect it for me
So I rejected that conjuration
For whomever needed to put
General love into their life
And splashed through the
Outgoing tides
Searching for the Sea Henge
Upside down tree of life
Teach me, I breathed
How to survive
Alone

(Earth)

Sick next day but not in bed
Probably sadness put it in my head
Sat shivering over my Grimoire
And there
In plain English
Well, mostly
Was the Ena Drab Farmeko*
Nine-herb charm
The secret cure
In my backyard
Or in fields and forests
Swamps and even health food stores
Found bits and pieces of the herbs
Stirred, sieved, suffused
Sipped, slept
Earth’s magic
Strengthening my resolve
To evolve into
A perfect balance
Of marbleized black and white
A swirling mixture
Of Yin and Yang
As my voice sang out
In harmony

(FIRE)

Oh, the spirit
Belief, relief
In caring about the world
And all contributing to
The Buzz
Of a vibrant planet
Paper, wood
Instant campfire
Envy of embers
Help us see
Each other as real
Blazing through the dark
Bright, straight, strong
But alone
Hoping it will smoulder
Giving the cold heat shoulder
Resentful hot hatred
Scorches, sears, singes
In order to extinguish
A lone flame
What price incandescence…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: My Grimoire

*ENA DRAB FARMEKO (for those interested in simple herbs)
https://poeturja.wordpress.com/2015/07/16/ena-drab-farmeko-nine-herb-charm-2/

THE MAGPIE’S SECRET

Sky above
Yard below
Personal aviary
What’s that rhyme
About magpies?
Seven for a secret
Never to be told…
Past winter
Sand Hill Cranes
Soaring in sevens
So I wonder
About the message
Whose secret,
Mine or yours?
If yours, I’ll never know,
Or mine, never to reveal?
Sand Hills hanging out
At another swamp now
One with lots of water
I miss their honking
But this morning
I hear the worried call
And see a lone male
So big and tall
Frantically calling his
Missing mate
Can we be like the Sand Hills
Monogamous
Caring
In love
Guarding while the other eats
Never parted
Unless one mysteriously disappears
Or, worse, dies
Find her! I sing
As he flies above me
Tracking him with my eyes
And then I hear
A faint answer
She lives!
Wheeling
Skyrocketing
To join his one true love
They both know
The Magpie’s secret of life
Everlasting…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Sand Hill Cranes taking a break with me

 

 

SOMETHING PRIMAL

REPOST OF MY SONG FOR MAKE MUSIC DAY

Make Music Day 6-21-18       http://www.makemusicday.org/

C/Never been in love or D7/loved
D7/Struggled to stay C/afloat
C/Can any man be so D7/perfect
D7/As a series of musical G6/notes?

F/Something primal G6/making it sing
Em7/Slapping bongos or F/tambourines
F/Skin aglow D7/feeling the sting

C/Fantasy in D7/chords of blue
D7/How will I ever Am/find you

C/Flavor of a D7/good man
D7/Like eating chocolate C/Ice cream
C/As taste buds revived D7/deliciously
D7/In a piquant G6/dream

F/Something primal G6/making it sing
Em7/Blowing horns hot as a F/thermal spring
F/Pumping blood rides D7/an upward swing

C/Fantasy of D7/honeyed kiss
D7/Craving a present Am/life of bliss

C/Longing for a D7/reality
D7/Consigning all the C/nightmares
C/Back to the D7/dreaded past
D7/Of implacable ghosts of G6/despair

F/Something primal G6/making it sing
Em7/Fast picking of guitar’s F/heart strings
F/Spiraling out on strong D7/beating wings

C/Fantasy of love D7/in the now
D7/Intending to live the Am/myth somehow

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja) words and chords
Written for GCEA ukulele but should work on Baritone Ukulele & Guitar (DGBE)

 

SIMPLE SONG OF THE SOLSTICE

REPOST OF A SONG WRITTEN FOR THE SUMMER SOLSTICE and Make Music Day

 

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 C/ black denim
C/ The matching color G/ of your eyes
G/ Lemon and pomegranate C/ until sunrise

C/ Dew filtered through G/ you C/G

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja, words & chords)
IMAGE: Baritone ukulele & sunflowers

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)

FOR GRATUITIES (SONG IN PROGRESS)

I KNOW, SAID I’D NEVER ATTEMPT MUSIC AGAIN BUT IT’S FUN! HERE’S ONE ABOUT BUSKIN’

(for baritone ukulele or guitar tuned DGBE)

A/ Busking in old D/ age
D/ Once fairly E/ successful
A/ Won an award or D/ two or G/ three
G/ Made some E/ money
C/ But now younger
C/ More F/ “relevant” acts
E/ Replaced me
A/ Find myself D/ wandering
D/ Into non-smoky E/ clubs
A/ Sad-sounding strings in G/ hand
A/ Hoping to G /land
D/ An invitation to E/ sit in
A/ With a more current G/ band
D/ Please recognize E/ me!
D/ Play? Oh, I  E/ couldn’t
A/ But the applause
D/ Polite, at least
G/ Encourages my walk
D/ To the stage
A/ All false modesty D/ forgotten
D/ And when finished
E/ I’m all the rage
C/ But no one F/ hiring
C/ More like F/ firing
D/ Most old guys like E/ me
A/ Now busk
D/ For a smile and a G/ clap
G/ Pathetic D/ sap?
C/ Nah, just miss it F/ so
D/ Retirement not in my E/ future
E/ But dare not D/ think
D/ What A/ is…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: sunflowers & baritone ukulele