blogetry

THE BLOGETRESSA

Who influenced me
To write?
Anne Frank
Her diary!
Begged for one
And then, on my tenth birthday
There it was
Waiting for me
To add to the history
Of young women writers
But somehow
In the post second world war atmosphere
And the beginnings of the madness
Called a police action
Soon to take place
In a place
Not yet in our history books
Vietnam
My diary fell short
Of Anne’s writing
So I switched to mystery novels
And wrote my first
At age ten
But then
Never got past descriptions of
The heroine’s food
And although I was in love with Sherlock
It came as a shock
How difficult to write a novel could be
So then the sixties
Writing poetry shadows of Ginsberg
And then Dylan-ish songs
Didn’t pick up my pen
For another two decades
But told I was too old to be published
By some, um, poetry journal “editor”
And now, thanks to social media sites
I’m a poet! Self-proclaimed, I know
And to some of you who sneer at me
The Blogetressa
Nonetheless a
Poet I be…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Tools of the trade

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KORAKO (CROW)

(This blogetry was in a book I wrote in 2014. Adding it to WP although I was so sure it once was posted.  Not my best, just an emotional rant  😦  but I like to keep an online “diary” of my work.)

 

We Romani in both ancestral tribes
Kalderash and Sinti
Believe Korako (crow)
Is exceptionally wise and intelligent
Living 30 years
Bringing us signs that we must obey:
One korako is sorrow
Two korakos are joy
Korako in the road is a happy journey
Korako dead in the the road, turn around!

I cheered for the Raven in Poe’s poem
My life improved when a friend sent me
a 10-inch raven’s feather
Fluttering around New Mexican rocks
I love the swaggering tricksters
Their intense eye contact
The caw-caw-caw on the wind

What I did not know
(Because, unlike my Gran
Did not live on the road
Lived in the concrete forest
Missed a lot in my cultural education)
So what I did not know
Is the true meaning of the flock word
A “murder” of crows

Since age three, my first memory
Has been of birds
My aging pleasure is to sit in the yard
Sipping burning black coffee
While cardinals and finches
Woodpeckers and jays
Twitter away at the feeder
Sometimes korako will come
When the smaller birds are sated
And clean out the remaining seeds

A few weeks ago
I saw a crow
Sitting on the swamp’s dead oak
Korako caw-caw-cawed and four more
Joined the dark herald

Such a nervous clatter
As red and brown cardinals
Fluttered around, attacking them
When the sixth korako appeared
Dive bombing the mated couples
The other five flew into
The surrounding trees
Routing the rowdy teens
And finding the fledglings
No! Baby birds in merciless beaks!

Shocked. Electrified. Stunned.
A massacre with no warning
Stormtroopers raiding the homes
Ridding the homes of a new generation
We all know that birdsong
Is not always a carefree tune
But why now?
Summer is a time of abundance

Next day used the metal trash can lid
And a large branch
Percussion to drive away the returning five korakos
Persecution in the backyard not welcome
Decimation of propagation!

The dogs barked, korakos took heed and flew
To the next set of trees on another street
I thought of those little birds with guilt
But glad! Glad my birds were spared!

How do I welcome korako into my life now?
Is there a way to overlook the violence?
The Survival of the Fittest truism?
The meek not inheriting the earth?
The might makes right credo?
How can I ever look at korako with fondness again?

Perhaps it would be similar to those people,
Those soul-murderers, self-esteem scythers
Whom I have sometimes let back into my life
Remaining alert via an underlying lack of trust
Korako…Mardari…Murderer…

(c) 2014 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
Poetry of Memory: Six Decades from the Space-Time Continuum
IMAGE: Crow Amulet

BLACK FRIDAY (AGAIN)

So many theories
About the name
Retailers accounting ledgers
Finally in the “black”
19th Century name for the day
The U.S. Gold market crashed
Philadelphia (yay! my home town)
Coined the word from the chaos
Caused by shopping the day before
The traditional Army-Navy game
Held on Saturday
My favorite was also Philly-based
It was a day the nuns were given
To shop for their Christmas gifts
And dressed in their medieval black gowns
White whimples framing their excited faces
They descended upon Center City
Buying, dining out
Clogging the trolleys, els, subways and buses
Me?
I always held it in disdain
Who wanted to stand in line for a few dollars?
Who wanted to regress to reptilian habits?
Fighting with others for the one toy left
And I have seen people punch each other
Over something so sickening
Anyway, Black Friday starts a week in advance
At my favorite shopping venues
The internet!
(Yay! I can buy night and day!)
Most importantly
I’m feeling a bit blue
So the choice is
Eat chocolate
Or pay, pay, pay
For fun stuff
Just a few clicks away
To get happy on
Black Friday…

(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

 

 

NERDY BLOGETRY

 

*scroll down for a Joan Baez YouTube video*

 

A friend did send

An article about

Thracian deities

Thrace part of

Bulgaria, Turkey, and Greece

Just south of Romania

My father’s birthplace

My friend did send

When I complained

That her Celtic gods and goddesses

Were so much more interesting

Than the Romani ones

Of course, the Romani ones are from India

But there is the Eastern European part of my blood

That calls out to other deities

 

So being a Fire sign

I was interested in the Fire goddess

Later to become St. Marina

Daughter of Domna (Queen)

Who comes with her own folk song:

“Oh, Domna, Domna, Domna queen!

Domna queen and swallow!”

And the nerd in me

The wannabe folksinger in me

Can suddenly see

Can suddenly hear

The high trilling of none other

Than Joan Baez

Singing and strumming

“Dona, Dona, Dona, Dona”

A song claiming to be a Yiddish folksong

Even though the words

Match up with the Thracian mythology

Of a black sheep being sacrificed

To the Domna

And a swallow, like the swallows

Of San Juan Capistrano

Are elements echoed in the song

“On a wagon, bound for market

Is a calf with a mournful eye…”

And

“Why don’t you have wings to fly with

Like the swallow so proud and free?”

Most interesting of all

After the Eastern European countries shifted

Joan Baez performed her song in

The new country with

The old name of Czechoslovakia

Many of the people saying they were

Long-familiar with the myth

 

So I apologize to some of you

Wading through my nerdy piece of blogetry

But hoping that my fellow nerds

Will feel the delight

Of discovering cultural insight

Of history repeating itself

But in a lovely way

Not a doom but a boon

Of the beat going on…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Swallow (Pinterest, no attribution)

 

https://youtu.be/BqzGZ5AaeSs   YouTube video, Joan Baez singing Dona, Dona, Dona (spelling changed to Donna somewhere along the years)

INSOMNIAC SELF-CONVERSATION

(ANOTHER PIECE OF BLOGETRY)

 

“Dentates masticate”

Says I

Suddenly envisioning

Small frogs

On their backs in boxes

Awaiting Biology students

To make their first Y incision

In High School labs across America

The girly girls ewwwwwwing

But not me

I wanted to see

But I don’t remember

Whether frogs have teeth

Surely,

Studying the digestive system

It would be

Important to know

If they have teeth

Whether digestion begins

In the mouth

So here it is

“X” number of years later

As I toss and turn

In my oh-so-uncomfortable bed

Wondering whether

Frogs have teeth

Because they love dog food

And so I ponder:

Do they chew the crunchy food

Or stereotypically

Shoot out the tongue

And swallow whole

All this can be easily solved

By reaching on my night table

Home of the Smart phone and Kindle

Just a Google away

But no, too easy

Have to imagine scenarios

Why can’t the frogs stay in the swamp

My dogs chase and sometimes catch them

Get poisoned and although I keep down the hysteria

Must spritz hydrogen peroxide through a dropper

To encourage puking

They just won’t learn!!!

I do put away the bowls

Yet, the odd piece of kibble

Escapes under the deck boards

Know what?

I’m bored

Who cares if they have teeth?

Time to sleep…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Frogs like my cat food too

JONI AND ROBERT OF THE CANYON (Bit of Blogetry)

*scroll down for YouTube videos*

I don’t know

Call it poetic license

Intuition

Just received my vintage copy

The Music of Joni Mitchell

For guitar (and baritone ukulele)

Forgot the words to

Ladies of the Canyon

And, well, am I making this up

Or is it the same canyon

Robert Plant sings about

In Going to California?

If so, I see clashing perspectives

Joni wrote a lovely, accepting song

About three “ladies”

Living the hippie ideal

Robert wrote a song and

In the Zeppelin IV album

He sings, with dread,

“Canyons started to tremble and shake

As the children of the sun begin to awake.

Watch out…”

She embracing the scene

He totally overwhelmed

By the experience

By the vastness

By the teenage liberation

Of the American West

Of the guitars and sun

Of the eagles and sky

Let freedom fly

(Just thought I’d mention it)

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: My newest song book

 

YouTube videos:

https://youtu.be/jft55QBkE6o?list=RDjft55QBkE6o Joni Mitchell 12:25 begins Ladies of the Canyon

https://youtu.be/PDIz4talyQk Led Zeppelin (Robert Plant singing)