STAINED GLASS REALITY

 

Wings moving through humidity

Faux Monarch butterfly

Orange, black and white

Flutters around the pink blooms

Red Lady Bug

Paddling in the rain water

House on fire like the

Old singers sang

Twittering Love Dove

Preening gray feathers

Waiting for her mate

All attracted by the painted

Colorful flowers on the

New glass bird bath

Wings

A lesson from teachers

That appeared

Lesson of Elemental Air

Demanding logic, thought

Think this, my dear

Winged creatures

All that glitters

May merely be

Glass…

 

© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Bird Bath

TANKA (SAY IT!)

song-in-progress

Don’t hear you say much
Don’t hear much said anymore
What is said not heard
What’s heard may never be said
Lies in the lives of lovers

Regretting what said
Words avalanching your own
Opinionated
But your words sliced my sad soul
Lies in the lives of lovers

Where to go from here
Can’t listen to words of war
No need for wrong words
Why would you shipwreck our lives
Lies in the lives of lovers

Sin of silence worse
Can’t settle diversity
Eye contact and words
Helps heal health of broken hearts
Lies in the lives of lovers

Choose words carefully
Keeping quiet isolates
Words reverberate
Sweeping out emotion’s dust
Truth in the lives of lovers…

©2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: SAY IT!

TUNING: DGBE FOR BARITONE UKULELE

SIMPLE STRUMMING PATTERN BY LINE, ALL VERSES EXCEPT LAST:
D
A
G
DAG
DAGD

LAST VERSE IN LAST LINE: DGAGD

(TANKA LINE SCHEME: 5 syllables/7 syllables/5 syllables/7 syllables/7 syllables)

WRITING MORATORIUM

poeturja

Swore off writing today

Although the middle of the night

Ideas

Scrawled by cloudy moonlight

Kept coming

Words that are impossible

To decipher

In the aging dawn

Lines of words

Rudely bumping into each other

But no matter

What can I say

That hasn’t been said

Ad nauseum

(A little Latin is good for the soul

And maybe for the battered ego)

So

What can I say…?

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: stylepinner.com

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SERPENT-BEARER

Hubble Goes High Def to Revisit the Iconic 'Pillars of Creation'

Midnight south sky
Peering through mist and rain
Serpens Caput
Separated by Ophiuchus
The Serpent-Bearer
From Serpens Cauda
Severing gravitational pull
I drift to the 2nd Century
Imagining Ptolemy
Gazing at a pristine sky
On clear, Alexandrian nights
Naming three of the
88 constellations
That still seduce me
In this 21st Century
What were your dreams?
Did they extend past your
Actual titles of
Mathematician
Astronomer
Geographer
Astrologer
Did you compose music
Or paint
Or flirt with temple priestesses
Did you break the hearts
Of your poetic Muses?
Or did you crane your neck
Night after night
Seeing with your naked eye
But sadly missing a beauty
From lack of technology
The Hubble Telescope’s gift
Pillars of Creation
Part of that constellation
A colorful majesty
Unseen
But oh,
How you would have loved it
I suspect you’d have named it
The same as
Jean-Philippe Loys de Cheseaux
Swiss Astronomer
Who called the nursery for stars
The Eagle Nebula
But as I watch
Serpens Caput
Serpens Cauda
Who almost seem to be writhing around
Another serpent bearer
Asclepius
I am reminded of the caduceus
And take it as a sign
The healing time
Has come
For Earth and her children
And gravity
Once again restrains me
As I float down to the pre-dawn light
And know all will be all right…

© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGES: Ptolemy / Pillars of Creation / Serpent-Bearer Ophiuchus

Ptolemy

MAGICAL WEATHER MOMENTS

(3 sets of lyrical fragments for potential songs-in-progress)

ONE

first 10 hours with you
like a florida pre-storm
when the wind picks up
humidity and temps drop
and one’s body relaxes into
the coolness wrapped in warmth
sun mixed with clouds
frantic birds pecking off
the last feeder food
dogs racing around as
my face lifts to yours
long hair blowing, clinging
to espresso #955 lipstick
shirts and skirts billowing
and briefly I know
peace and contentment
that magical time
between the heat and thunder
between the dry and lightning
that magical time…

TWO

Poetic voice:
need to know about glaciation
now ends the frigid formation
a melting hydration
fighting this temptation
your smile giving me confirmation
as you move through the garden of my hibernation
heart rising through layers of convecting granulation
your words, expressions an infiltration
elemental air of heavenly respiration
as we touch among the vegetation
rain on skin an acceleration
as fire gives its final authentication
in this garden of capitulation…

THREE

NASA lesson
Reminds me of us
You are the rocket
I am the plume:
Space launch vehicle and its plume
Trigger lightning while ascending
Through clouds
At lower electrical fields
Than required for natural lightning
Conductors decreasing electrical strength
Needed for a lightning flash

You are the conductor
I am the lightning
Burning danger
Best left alone…

© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Tropical Storm Cristobal in the Gulf of Mexico

TWIST OF THE KALEIDOSCOPE

35 years ago
I did not know
Setting into motion
A political cat’s paw
Becoming the personal downfall
Of a way of life
Became a tester
For the Fair Housing Council
To stop racial steering
Me and a male member
Posed as white house hunters
Shown the best neighborhoods
While a black couple steered
To a burgeoning ghetto
Our counterparts
Same education
Same yearly salary
Federal testimonies later
Myriad court cases
I’d made a difference
Truth, Justice and
The American Way
The all-white neighborhoods
Integrating by social class
Secretaries like me
Attending the Community college
Night classes to be
Teachers, writers, and social workers
To change society
For the better
Men off to work
Their blue collars rising through the ranks
Humanity mixed
Neighborhoods fixed to function in
Truth, Justice and
The American Way
But one day
The whites ran away
Unwilling to admit
All working perfectly
And a drug ghetto comes to be
No Truth, Justice or
The American Way
And 35 years later
My child refusing to run
Sits awake all night
With two guns
Anxiety meds fueling
Paranoia and anger
The beautiful dream I had
My sense of reality
Shatters
And the city burns
Phil Ochs’ long-dead voice
Rising from my youth
“In the heat of the summer”
A ghostly echo of those days
Thought long gone
His song, topical again
And the kaleidoscope of reality
Shifts suddenly
While the burning fever of pandemic
Fails to unite humanity
As thousands of miles away
The miracle Dragon clicks onto
An orbiting space station
Manned by the children of
A long-gone Cold War
Science and technology
At its best
While cities burn as they did
Decades ago when I was young
Because the stirring words
Of Doctor King’s dream
Just wasn’t enough
For all colors
For all religions
For all Homo sapiens
Insisting
On perpetuating
A nightmare
So I say:
PROTESTS? YES PLEASE!
RIOTING? PLEASE NO!
Because
Who can believe in
Truth, Justice and
The American Way?
No one today
Texting my sons
Breathing the fire of injustice
While I watch the wave of
Another future
A possibility of humankind
Sharing science and the beauty of
The mind
The brains that enable us
To overcome
And I text my worry
And I watch the possibility
As the coin of the future
Teeters on the edge
Like some I Ching chapter:
Wind Above
Fire Below
Tears not quenching
The dirt of our Earth
Will the colorful chips of
The kaleidoscope
Fall into a peace mandala
What is the reality
Was it caused by me
35 years ago?
I would do it all again
Because it is the right thing to do
Because like Superman I believe in
Truth, Justice and The American Way…

© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Outlawing of School Segregation

Two Winged Entities Walked Into a Bar . . . , a poem by Clarissa Simmens

Thanks so much Jamie Dedes and The Poet By Day for publishing my dream poem Two Winged Entities… ❤

Jamie Dedes' THE POET BY DAY Webzine

Illustration courtesy of The British Museum via Unsplash

“…whenever a new, especially successful form of an infection emerges, it will spread rapidly around the globe.”  William H. McNeill, Plagues and Peoples



The current pandemic is a disquieting influence, but an influence it is. COVID-19 is inspiring dreams that are wishful, fearful, and often surreal. Such is Clarissa’s dream reported in this poem. It reflects the yearning, anxiety, and concern we all feel and, not unlike our experience of this pandemic, it contains elements of the surreal.  / J.D.

DREAMING:

Two wings touching
Dark and light
Not very opposite
Never did they fight

The archangels Raphael and Lucifer

Walked into a bar together

Both ordered Southern Comfort Rocks

Needing respite from frantic Root Workers

Overworked simplers and herbalists

Calling upon Raphael for assistance

In the healing of an ailing global populace

While Lucifer himself was busy with

Contracts multiplying each…

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RESURRECTION: ROSE OF JERICHO (Selaginella lepidophylla)

Daily dream
End of pandemic
Changes?
Developmental stages
Of humans
Dictate reactions:

Children will be children
Just a blip
Extended school vacations
Now over
Life
Like a salty wave on sand
Continues obeying the
Moon’s command
And life
Returns to normal

Teens always immortal
Meeting and greeting
Strength pumping
No fear from a
Casual cough
A sneeze
It is once again
Friendship
As hormones float on the breeze

Young adults
See cracks in the
Mirror of Immortality
But nothing serious
As careers and caresses
Determine the future
Of long life ahead

And now the mid-forty-somethings
Begin to sense
The beginnings of pain
Bones creaking in bed
Hearing whispered warnings
In their head
Post-pandemic protocol
Lingers longer in daily lives
But still
The watchword
It can’t happen to me
…can it?

And what of the elderly?
Dreaming day as well as night
Drifting under a
Black starless sky
Wedge of white moon
Gleaming on a trellis
Of ruby-red roses
Thorns
The elderly see the thorns
The elderly feel the thorns
As we rock out to our
Beloved music
Dressed in jeans
Dressed in Goth black
Carefully avoiding mirrors
In bright rooms
The pandemic never left
We live in fear of death
Death by disease
Or whatever the reaper may please

So I lovingly place
A tumbleweed of
Rose of Jericho
In spiritual water
And as the seemingly-dead roots
Begin to turn green
I can say I have touched and seen
Resurrection…

© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Before & After Rose of Jericho
(Heirloom Reviews)

PANDEMIC PANIC

some black boots

Allowed to do 5 stupid things during a pandemic.

#1 buy a concertina that I cannot play
#2 buy overpriced alcohol wipes and plastic masks
That never arrive
#3 toss out a dozen pairs of black boots and then
Buy another pair because there are
No black boots left to wear
#4 buy ramen to hoard as emergency food and instead
Eat them for breakfast and dinner every day because
The noodles in salty MSG are addictive
#5 write crazy poetry and worse, post it, because
Maybe it’s the end of the world anyway
But if it’s not, someone please,
Cut up my credit card…

© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGES: 20-button Anglo Concertina / boots / ramen / lipsticked mask

RAMEN, MASK & MUSIC