writing

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
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FIRST MEETING

 

Bestowing quirkiness
Should I show my best?
Try to impress?
Your face reveals
Flickers of annoyance
Boredom
Yet can’t stop
Self-putdowns
Weight, wrinkles
Evanescing clown
Embarrassed
Look at my lap
Hearing your sigh
I mustn’t cry
But then you say
Now that your self-negativity
Is swept away
We can be ourselves
I’m part of your tribe
Whatever the experts think
Caused our different social vibe
Let’s compare creative moments
Occurring every day
What thoughts you bring
To first light of morning
How to deal with chores
Interrupting the lures of fun
And I smile
Looking you full in the eyes
Knowing now you won’t spout lies
Or serve warmed-over pity
Just willingness to share
How witty
You can be
Expecting me
To respond in kind
Truly interested in my mind
No worry about words shallow
Like one so callow
Both our hearts aligned…

(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens
IMAGE: flamingos in swamp palm tree

WANTED: SERIOUS MUSE

 

Throw-away society

Planned obsolescence

Of material goods

Marriage and partnerships

Easy to toss, too

That includes

The all-important entity

Called Muse

Whose actions

Like the fabled soul mate

Are impossible to predict

Will he always be

Standing over my shoulder

While I type my poetry?

Keats, Byron

Even women like

Wheeler and Walker

Love, curse, cajole

But the Muse

Doesn’t always come through

And me, I’m modern

If he doesn’t work

Find one that will

So here’s my serious plea

If you’re looking for a new job

And you understand poetry

Send your application to me

I really can’t write without you…

(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

Photo: Nickolas Muray,  Frida Kahlo & her male muse

SINCERITY

 

It’s the little steps

Baby steps

That matter

Something we forgot

When toddlers ourselves

No need for all or nothing

No matter the time allotted in life

Just start small

Confessional poets tell it all

Isn’t there always

A bit of fiction, though?

How do we know?

We, today

Are luckier than Adam and Eve

Than Romeo and Juliet

Communication done with ease

No need to trek across turbulent seas

When writing can be

Between you and me

Just need to say

Can you see?

This is me

The true me

And begin

Tottering across the floor

Like babies ready to walk

Before they fly…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Sunshine Skyway Bridge, St. Pete, FL

BARDS AGAINST HUNGER

The Bards Against Hunger 5th Year Anniversary Book is now available through Amazon or the Bards Against Hunger organization.  The project has raised thousands of pounds of food over the last 5 years to help local charities and food shelters in many different states. You may help support them by buying a book or organizing an event in your state or country.

I am honored to have one of my poems included!  It is a true memoir written as a member of the working poor, who also go hungry, especially when money is needed for emergency situations.  One of our fellow-WordPress poets, Denise Fletcher, also has a poem included.  Check out her blog, especially what she calls “Mood Boards”:

https://poetrycurator2017.wordpress.com/

 

Here are the links for the book:

http://www.bardsagainsthunger.com/bards-against-hunger-5-year-book.html

https://www.amazon.com/dp/194615718X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1510504011&sr=1-1&keywords=bards+against+hunger

 

EXISTENTIAL ANGST

 

Was it Beckett who wrote

About the arbitrary chaos of life?

That man sure could pen-talk

Failing basic chit-chat, me

Goth Granny in glitzy lip gloss

Like a gamma ray burst

Taking billions of years

To see

The light

In this house-of-cards

Universe

As I stumble down a path

Far from capricious

More like destiny

Fate

Pre-determined

Theatre of rigid scripts

That never change

Over and over again

I write

I say

Tell me

I’m trustworthy

I won’t laugh

I won’t sneer

Say it without fear

Let words waft into the aether…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Alberto Sughi, Café Painting

STILL ANOTHER NEW POETRY BOOK

Hey all, after much suffering   the paperback version of my Plastic Lawn Flamingos and Other Poems is now available on Amazon for $5. The kindle version is nice, with lots of color illustrations, but this one has B&W ones. Still, to me, this is like my diary of a particular time. You’ve probably read all my poems anyway on FB and WP.  The link is below.

For those of you  who self-publish on Amazon, I used their new Beta program that is part of Kindle, rather than Create Space.  The interior was much easier to do, but I really dislike my cover.  Unfortunately, my phone did not take pictures higher than 1440 resolution and Kindle wants 300 dpi. Mine was much lower so I was limited in what I could use as a cover image. Also, I couldn’t understand a graphics program even if I was teetering on the top of the Rocky Mountains.  I’m sure, if you are PhotoShop-savvy, you could figure it out 😀