words

FALIKA FALLS (WORDS) #1 MAGICIAN

Last night I
Over-the-counter-drug-dreamed
My return to Falika Falls
It was dried and gone
Fifty-foot unwatered wasteland
Of dead rocks , pulse quietly faded out
In my trembling hands
Once greedy grass glowed but now burned
As I see predator birds, Brown and Gold
Color awakening a long-gone junior high song
Flitting around my mossy memory
While more owls
Than in a Harry Potter novel
Converge on burnt-out trees
Where was the water?
Smoked air clawing at me
Chemically fumed

Want to escape
Nowhere to go
Which way
My autistic compass needle
Uselessly pointing south, then west
Old Harley boots crunching dead earth
Which way is out
And then in the distance
Slowly approaching
Black denim jacket ragged with blood
You in a windy dirt flood
Tarot cards raining down
Broken amulets of chakras
Fall from my pockets:
Wolf for Protection
Moon phases for Emotion
Crow as Power and Mystery
Art for Healthy byways
Music of Secret Communication
Archangels of Arcanic Ascension
And a Universe as above, so below

We sit on a petrified wood log
Discordant music assaulting the ears
Until it sorts itself out
As another memory of school assembly
Assails me, playing Ferde Grofe’s
Grand Canyon Suite
“Suite”
How I’d loved that word
Eagerly checking my dictionary
So many meanings
So I hold onto the words
Words are the key
To free me
From this dark dream
The word “word”
Word, world, wild
Wish, wander, wonder
The free association
Strengthens me
And suddenly
The falls are no longer dry
Water thunders down
Grass grows green
Drumming vibrations of rocks
Rhyming, connecting our pulses
And you and me
Reach out, grasping hands
Your pen appears in mine
And I write…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Chakra amulets

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BOOKS NOT BRAS

Women!
Don’t toss your bras
At musical concerts
Fling those books
Of poetry
You spent time writing
Revealing your agony
Of love and life and fantasy
That rarely, if ever, comes true
Toss that lacy, black book
Of rhythmic suffering
Or cast that hard-living
Denim tome
Of your broken heart and home
Aim those pages
Potential songs
Maybe they’ll like your words
Maybe they’ll use their
Talented fingers
To set your soul to
Music seducing you
But be strong
I’ve done it before
And I’m quite sure
Those men up there
Prefer bras flung
Because the words they sung
Were never mine…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: My bra, books & guitar

IN THE SHADOW OF SCRIBBLERS

Shakespeare covered
Every human emotion
In existence
Turned them inside out
Shook them over the
Straw-strewn floor
And we learned life from him

Woolf and Joyce revealed
The constant stream of consciousness
Speeding through our brain
Tunneling like a dark train
Finding form in summer fields
And we learned thought from them

Plath confessed it all
Words tinkling against
The cracked bell jar
Climbing the bars of poetry
Hearing Shakespeare’s
Be true to yourself
She was
And we learned about the fine line
Between fiction and reality
From her

Ginsberg and the Beats
Howled all over the world
Shoving ugliness down our throats
As they ushered in love and peace
Bleeding all over in City Lights books
Ideas never in print before
Overcoming obscenity trials
Changing the word itself
And we learned emotion from them

So what is left to teach?
What can we writers do
To make life easier for you?
To make you see
That we, like you
Suffer and love
Cry and sing
Hurtle through life
Slowly uncoiling
Writing:
A lifetime search
An outreach
To teach
And learn from you…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: My notebooks & guitar

LATIN LESSON (MEMOIR)

*scroll down for a YouTube video*

“Gallia est omnis divisa in partes quattuor”
Only Latin offered at the junior high school
I’d wanted to learn French or even Russian
But here we were, with a dead language
Can’t remember what the book looked like
Hardback, small, all in Latin
But the first lesson was
“All of Gaul is divided into four parts”
And the words seized me
Black letters on white background seduced me
I needed to know
What was its meaning
As I marched with the Centurions
Proudly carrying a flag
Emblazoned with huge letters
SPQR
“Senate and People of Rome”
Words opening a new world
Togas and bloody gladiators
Pounding their chests
“We Who Are About to Die Salute You”
Pre-AC/DC days who sang
To my delight
“For those about to rock we salute you”
And now, so many decades later
When I can’t remember
Where I put something
Or what I was saying
Five minutes ago
I still see Mrs. Layton
Who brought life to the dead words
I still feel that book in my hands
I still remember sitting in my bedroom
Memorizing Latin vocabulary
I still remember the magical days
Of learning and
Being part of the Legion
That would conquer the world
A mere year or two
Before I’d be carrying signs
With a new–English language–flag
Reminding us all that
War is not healthy for children or
Other living things…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Wikipedia Commons

https://youtu.be/8fPf6L0XNvM AC/DC YouTube video

 

PANDORA’S MORE FORTUNATE DAUGHTER

Working

Mothering

All the usuals

Happiness

Sadness

All the emotions

The real me

Kept boxed up

Until one day

Retirement

What to do?

Collection of boxes

Containing nothing but

Sparkly dust

Poured a bit into my palm

A sonnet appeared

Oh, sure, not Shakespeare-worthy

But each day it grew

Until there were twenty-two

One for each symbol

Of the Major Arcana

Then there were twelve

Terza Rima

For each Zodiac sign

And each box

Had its own lines

Until there was a

Rima Royale

Of birds

And a tiny box of Haiku

Slightly larger box of Tanka

But in a special box

Of the loveliest cloisonne

Shone silver Moon dust

Mixed with golden Sunlight

And Stars of blue and every hue

They whirled above me

Then gently drizzled down

Covering my head, lips, shoulders

And as I grew older

I became bolder

Free

Free at last

Poetry that had no use for rhyme

Stream-of-consciousness

Confessional

Memoirs

Gutter talk

A touch of erotica

Words made up

Words spilling from a box

Filling ten books

Of words hidden inside

For decades

The real me

Then one day

Those magical boxes

Were empty

I’d open the lids

In the three A.M. shadows

Whispering, “Where’d you go?”

So, I bought more boxes

My collection growing

And one cloudy morning

Something sang out

From a new box

And there

As I hastily opened the lock

Was a different dust

Sparkling? Not quite

Sparking!

Like electricity

And poetry melded

With musical chords

And songs were born

Euterpe with her magic flute

Pushed open the lids

Danced with her sister

Terpsichore

And I wrote

And strummed

And sang

And hummed

But I see

The magical dust

In my box collection

Is once again disappearing

And so I say

Today is the day

I shop for a new box

And begin an unknown

Collection…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Some of my magic boxes

“HOW MANY TIMES…?”

 

Oh, the outcry

About Dylan’s lack of

Poetic language

Since when

Has HOW something is said

Become more important

Than WHAT is being said?

Beautifully-crafted words

Versus

The convocation

Leading to freedom

Perhaps a national trait

At least, since 1776

What good are Wordsworth’s words

About Daffodils

If they are poisoned by

Monsanto?

For biblical fans

You’ll understand

There is a time for beauty

But also

A time for action…

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Troubadour (thuleanperspective.com)

OCD-ING FROM A THOUGHTLESS SENTENCE

 

In the space between the moment you say,

“You probably won’t like this but…”

And the actual telling of what I won’t like

A blink of the second hand:

I am crawling through honey

Tiptoeing past the angry bees

Avoiding the hell-bent-on-death lightning

Headlight-struck like a deer crossing a new highway

Paralyzed from a dirt-encrusted boulder tumbling

Down the crest of a craggy hill

Mushroom cloud sucking the oxygen

From all surrounding life

As I mentally stumble from the

Potential catastrophes

Your sentence awakens

In my imagination

I hear you, from an indiscernible distance say,

“I have too much to do

And can’t go with you

To the supermarket”

Does he do this purposely?

I ask my mirror image

Suddenly noticing the additional gray hairs

And rutted crow’s feet

Etching my aging skin

Signs that weren’t there

A minute ago…

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)