How I want to move and start a new life
Scrape off the old paint with a palette knife
Meet new people who accept my little quirks
Those able to see the quilt through the patchworks

Maybe a place in the mountains or desert or by the sea
With different palms or spreading chestnut trees
On hard cement or lush condo lawns
Or a musty city stage, shivering before a walk-on

But then I realize no matter where I go
The place may look different but still I know
It will be populated with the same old archetypes
Like a disaster movie full of stereotypes

I’m told boredom is better than being frantic
Unfortunately, being alone isn’t very romantic
Socializing, as I age, has become so hard
Sometimes it’s best to stay in the backyard…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Back Fence Move


(fragment of a larger poem-in-progress)

Already begun the process
The return to the Earth
As wildness
Wraps me in Nature’s
Grass skirt, floral cape and leafy hair
Doorway to the
Evolutionary passage
Of conjecture and mystery
Chording my name…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Transiting baritone with wildflowers


Daylight Savings time
Urges a spring forward
Optimists insist we grow
But I’ve learned to step back
Blocking my shadow
Momentarily confused
But then she gets it
And follows through
We do tend to strive
Upwardly mobile
So when I made my move
From ukulele to baritone
Planning on a guitar solo
Within a year
Found myself in a dark nook
Described in the Peter Principle book
Of not moving
Instrument too big
Chord complexity obvious
So from GCEA strings
Practiced happily hours a day
Plucked DGBE ones
Barely fifteen minutes
Absolutely no fun
I tried
I did try
Didn’t cry
Just took the advice of a friend
When you’re stuck,
Step back
As long as there’s no gaping pit
Behind you
Like the mnemonics of time
Spring forward or
Fall back
No shame
Make it a game
And I did
And I played
On this Spring Equinox Day
Although it tried to discourage me
Got through the afternoon
With a Tornado Watch
It’s finally removed
As if the Spring wind approved
Of my decision to fight its force
So glad…

(nothing to do with Spring, but happy Spring Equinox!)
(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)



It’s like my body moved

Into a new neighborhood

Life has changed so much

Old friends gone

Family far away

New puppies

New situations

Only the birds look familiar

Moved so much these many decades

Should be used to starting over

Must remind myself

I’m a warrior

Living in the 8th continent

Senescent Land


No exploration ship

No way to cross back into

Familiar territory

Unlike Campbell’s Hero

The threshold crossing is blocked

Nothing left to do

But smile at the thought

Of a new adventure…


© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Marco Polo Exploration Ship




Earth above

Sky below

Reversals are good

Like sound from a bow

Above the violin’s bridge

Music rains upward

Spreads across the universe

Gently multiplying

Wrapping itself around the many

What say the Ancients

Designers of the I Ching

A time of peace may weaken resolve

At the Center of things

Change is necessary

The Tarot calls #11 Justice

Eyes closed

The Drom ek Romani calls #11 Chachimos

Eyes wide opened

All three warn against the belief

That good fortune lasts forever

But always remember


Will not completely abandon

Those whose inner abundance

Remains superior

To the workings of fate…


© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Chachimos altered art from my Drom Ek Romani



Moving away from the city that day

No longer able to tolerate cement suffocating the earth

Never seeing the universe’s nightly planetarium

Hiding out in the country

Ostriching my head

As the daily news counted the dead

Telling myself, I’m safe

But I know now it is the absolute end

Glass face of the moral compass


If there was still a molecule of belief

In love and peace

It has been sucked into a

Bottomless vacuum

And nothing

Not a speck

Not an iota

Can ever be seen

No matter how strong the

Scanning electron microscope


Seeking an image

Gone, all gone…


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: pollen molecules under scanning electron microscope



Changing, changing,

Sixth sense sounding

Like a warning siren

Me, like the Earth,

Fracked into fragments

Pieces of ice

Like spilled trays from the freezer

Broken up

Reflecting burning

UV rays from fiery space

Water leaking over

An aging landscape

The elements rebelling

Changing, changing,

Nothing will ever be the same…


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Break up of Arctic, Discover Magazine Blog





Days deep in the desert transformed me

From owning a weepy black aura

To observing a bleaching

By sand, silt, petrified crystal

And one-hundred-and-twelve-degree heat


Caked with dust

From newly-dug dinosaur bones

My aura

Soaking in arid Arizona’s

Silence and solitude

Altered me

(Forever, I thought)



Stared at the motel room’s mirror

Revealing my new emanation


Angelic purity raining down

On thoughts

Caressing every atom

Creating my universe

Blameless me

Blameless you


Carried the aura through

For several years

But not quite sure

Whether the daily deluge of life

Now in the swamp, not the desert

Staining the body halo with

Sodden algae and other organisms

Percolating in humidity

Darkening the white

Was the reason why

The absence of color

Mutated into








And finally Black


Bleak years

Mirror of Melancholy reflecting back

Oh, make it go away

I no longer know how to fix it…


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)