MIXED METAPHOR

 

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

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PASSIFLORA INCARNATA

 

Every year

I place your vines

In a different site

Along the fence

Waiting in suspense

To see if you will grow

No

You have chosen not to

Share your passion

The embodiment of my longing

But I am stubborn

Will not give up

Yet

One more time

I bid you climb

Calm my three-beat heart…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE:  Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata) for insomnia

 

TRANSFERENCE

 

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

Familiarity

Keeps me safe

But willing to walk out the gate

When you ask…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Hard Rock Café Guitar Spatula

CHUCK E. CHEESE’S ACTION

(To Eliana)

 

In a face filled with joy

Lives a young girl

Eyes shining

While skipping through

The empyrean

Glowing in heavenly lights

(Oh, my blinded eyes)

Music of the spheres

(Isn’t the noise level above the legal decibel limit?)

Wall to wall gameland

(Don’t know if I can stand in line much longer)

Scents of cheese, dough and tomato

(Finally! Gimme some pizza and caffeine!)

Yet I smile and laugh and snap pictures

With my phone that is so smart

Because it knows

Childhood passes, never lasts

And I lovingly watch my little granddaughter

Realizing she will  invariably remember

This enchanted evening

That will live and grow

In her imagination

Forever…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Chuck E. Cheese’s somewhere in the US

HOLLAND

 

In a face filled with grief

Lives a man

Digging a front yard grave

Among vines of purple

Morning Glory

Stretching toward early sun

Lovingly placing his

Companion of fifteen years

Cat of black and white

Now out of pain and

Into peaceful relief

 

Watching a feat of prestidigitation

Withholding my tears

As man morphs into child

Burying Hampy the Hamster

So many solar years ago

Same lawn

Same grief

Same love from my eyes

Willing him to swiftly scab over

The anguish of loss…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Holland

 

ELEVATION 2

 

Riding backwards

Seeing what was

Appropriate for a memoir scribbler

So, have roadside trees

Changed instantly

Shedding leaves in Florida Autumn?

Clouds are following me

Heading North

 

Playing air ukulele for amusement

Since train WiFi silent

Refusing to share

The outside world

Just me

In a womb room

Now chugging through

A little-known station

In Denmark, South Carolina

 

Last year, first time in a train roomette

Was magical

Besotted with the tracks

Circuitously leading locomotives

Through the East Coast’s elevation*

True, I’d learned to play

“City of New Orleans”

On the ukulele

And oh, those chords

And words

Seduced me into forsaking airplanes

Now, it’s like footprinting through

Scattered stardust

Alone on a Magician’s stage

As if he’d hypnotized and then left me half alive

Alone

An abandoned

Dusty old platform

House lights on

Revealing faded curtains

Sprung springed seats

Alone

 

Looking through the large-view window

Recognizing the same-as-last-year flooded

Roadside thickets

Litter scattered among the deciduous trees

As we race between Rocky Mount, NC

And Petersburg, VA

 

Gazing at trucks piled with logs

Mongrel architecture of cottages

Half  Great Depression rural facades

Hiding a post-1960s add-on

When wardrobes grew

Requiring more closet space

Plural bathrooms needed

To accommodate the cult of the

Nacirema**

 

Suddenly Washington, DC

Water marked overpass walls

Dripping with graffiti

Resembling a vellum book

With aging endpapers

Hidden shelf, second hand shop

Marbled designs disguise

Deterioration

 

Do I feel less enthusiastic

Because last year

The sun rose in Virgo,

This time in Libra?

Was it because last year

The virgin voyage was fresh,

This time it is post-honeymoon?

Was it because I was a year younger?

Wish it was like the inaugural trek

Year after year

In life

In love

In mystery…

 

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE:  heritage railroad

 

*Compare to last year’s poem, same train trip https://poeturja.wordpress.com/2016/09/04/elevation-but-still-wouldnt-swap-my-swamp/

 

**American spelled backwards (term used in Sociology and Anthropology depicting specific behavior)

ELIXIR OF FAMILY BONDING

 

Flanked by big, brash progeny

The plucky baritone ukulele

Holds her own

Amid clamorous sons

Sensing no time elapsed

Between early motherhood and retirement

Removing their eyeglasses

Myopically peering at each other

It is 1989

All is fine

As life-long love

Picks up at the point

It left off

Long ago and far away…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGES: My baritone ukulele and their guitars/Halloween in the 1980s

 

(I’m back, WordPress!  Will check out your stuff this coming week)

B, C & M 80s Halloween cropped

OVERPACKERS’ ANONYMOUS

 

I’m pretending that I’m going to repack and leave some of my clothes home but I know I won’t.  I sure hope I don’t tip over:  huge wheeled suitcase (including 10 bras and panties…why???), backpacker’s pack with food (train only has a snack bar with salt & fat & sugar foods), and a regular backpack with my meds, vitamins & herbal first aid kit (OMG, do I take a lot!), change of clothes in case I get separated from my suitcase and the necessaries like phone, kindle and money.  I always identified with the Hobbits but man, I sure would have slowed them down for the ring quest…

 

(If there’s WIFI on the train, will keep in touch)

 

Here’s a haiku:

 

Call Overpackers’

Anonymous for me, please

Desperate for help!

Sastimos!

Clarissa

Image: my stuff