death

ROCKSTAR’S MESSAGE

What is the message
From RockStar
As he circles the exact contours
Of Max’s buried body
Pushing the dirt
With his snout
Then digging a small hole
Placing inside
A recycled gift of
Semi-digested jerky
Ouroboros
Circle of life
Message to Max
Message to human
And canine survivors
Here you are, Max,
Says RockStar
We will never forget
And you will have
Eternal life
In our memory…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: RockStar’s circle done by snout
(NOT A GOOD PHOTO BUT LOOK ABOVE–or is it below–THE HOLE AND YOU WILL SEE THE DEEPEST PART OF THE CIRCLE ROCKY DREW AROUND THE GRAVE WITH
HIS SNOUT).  Top of photo (RockStar on the right, Bandit on the left)

TO MAX (AND HIS SPIRIT GUIDE)

MAX August 11, 2006-April 26, 2019

On a newly-dug grave, glitters blue glass
Flicker of black, crow cawing on the grass
I pick up the gift as he heads for the burning sky
So much history between him and I
But he likes when I sing and strum
And although I’ve been given crow glass before
Never has it been obvious like this
Crow knows my pain
After burying another dog again
Crow knows I’m blue
Crow knows my woe
Crow knows…

max in his hole 2

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGEs: Max’s grave with crow glass / Max

#13 DEATH/TRANSITION

#13 DEATH (TRANSITION)

My mind’s Table of Elements
Contains merely four that matter
In my primitive, unscientific way
Folding them like dry laundry
One for each drawer

We swim in Water
Fly in Air
But Earth smothers
While Fire flays us to the bone
Do I prefer Air and Water
Because, interestingly,
Earth and Fire are the
Final bed for the dead
Unless one dies in mid-ocean
Or is lost in space
Then the body’s chucked out the hatch
To float unmatched
In silent darkness

Space is the cleanest
Space doesn’t eat you like
Sea creatures
Blazes or
Worms of the soil
Death is messy
That is why I
Call it “Transition”
Just a biological stage
To something better

Death comes to all
Jim Morrison said it best
“No one gets out of here alive”
If I have strength
And know my time of rest
Will rent storage space
And decorate with streamers
Also a sign saying
“A beautiful death”
My small elephant table
Holding bottles of juice
And music to encourage
Stiff family members
To let loose
My piddling possessions:
Dollar store container of Grimoires
One with self published books
Tarot cards and amulets
Junky wampum stored with much affection
Tiny boxes and spoon collections
With a prized key earned in mid life education
Despite being a writer
Will only have one sealed note for each

Yes, death is transition
Because surely our heart and brain
Our passion and spirit
Cannot fade
Leaving it all as the
Nihilists claim, a life with
No intrinsic meaning
No, that is
Not my philosophical leaning…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: #13 Death/Transition

CHAMBER

In the room of life
We come and go
Sometimes speaking
Of Michelangelo *
Enter the door
Screaming in distress
No! No! We protest
For many of us
The room is warm and safe
We learn to navigate
Evading the sharks
Growing older with sparks
Of knowledge, love
And often power
But before too long
Trying not to whimper
Turning the denial into a song
We murmur
No… No…
I do not want to go
But we walk through the door
Formerly invisible
No-nonsense beckoning
To accept the reckoning
Of our so very short stay
In the room of life…

*see T.S. Eliot’s Prufrock and Dylan’s Watchtower

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: TIME, LIFE & DEATH

MUSICAL METEMPSYCHOSIS

I like to think
That Jimi-Janis-Jim
All J’s
All 27
And, well, let’s add John
Older, but still a J
And then Kurt
27, but one letter over
And, yeah, Amy also 27
I like to think
They all transmigrated
And don’t remember
But because their music is
Timeless
Classical
It would play
On the radio everyday
Or come up first on an internet search
As THE song of the singer
And one day they’d stop
Then shrug and think
Deja Vu
(I know, a misused word)
But when they sit still and listen
A feeling of happiness
Of love
For the music and words
Of maybe
Purple Haze
Kozmic Blues
Riders on the Storm
Imagine
Smells Like Teen Spirit
Back to Black
And although they may not be
Singers, musicians, songwriters
This time
They are in the right place
To hear and see
Results of their legacy
So all you people
Born after their deaths
Have a one in a–
Well, I was never good at Math
But a one in a something chance
Of housing a musical soul
Maybe we would all appreciate life
If we thought of who we may have been
Of who we will be
Sometimes so hard
To love ourselves the proper way
I define the proper way
As loving oneself
And by extension
Others
Without the intention of doing harm
Love fully
Love non-violently
Because
All we really do need is love…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Creative Commons

THE QUILTER (Aunt Roberta)

 

The big sister I never had
Sanest in our family
Probably why she sewed crazy quilts
In a room piled high with fabric
Zig-zagging the thread
Sad songs pounding through her head
Stitching craziness into beauty
Always kind and generous
Her birth
And death
In March
But visited me as a
Florida Great Egret
The week after leaving life
Because her love for all the family
Lives on
How we miss you…

 

Aunt Roberta & CS

 

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGES: Steppenwolf on Roberta’s quilt/Roberta & CS long ago

 

WAKING-UP DREAM

 

Holding the Book of Illusion

Tied with nine knots

Containing the secrets

Of the Conqueror Worm

Welcoming me

Shades of Poe!

Human mortality

Inevitability of death

Is this a message?

Acculturation of dragons

The blood in my body:

German slave owners

Planting their seed

As the Gypsies stripped grapes

From the vines for wine

Further cross-cultural symbols

Existing for Romani, too

Maternal Kalderash word: Azdaja

Paternal Sinti word: Draxo

Oh, Poe!

Why do you bedevil me

In my sleep

With dragons, serpents, worms?

Once again I study the knots

What thoughts

Emotions

Incantations

Are woven throughout?

Binding the dance

Between life and death

But there is no depth

To the dream

After all, it doesn’t have to be a

Warning

Merely a reminder

Immortality spawned from

Fiction, rhyme

Live the best you can

Within finite time

A never-long-enough

Lifespan…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: book & knot (cs)

 

 

OVERTIME

 

Twilight crows

Where will they go

In the last seconds before

Cobalt deepens into Navy

Cardinals and Woodpeckers

Tucked into vulnerable nests

But crows

Almost like postulant predators

Fly cawing across the twilit sky

Blurring the line

Bisecting nature’s decree

Of fair play for prey

Separating the day from the night shift

Crows on overtime

In a world where diminished habitat

Demands a late-night murder

Owls begin protesting

Hooting in my backyard

As I herd my little dogs inside

Because danger never sleeps…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: My sundown Live Oak

PSYCHONEUROIMMUNOLOGY

 

How’d we move from pole to pole

Ignoring the all-important balance

Shaman shaking feather-trimmed

Rattler’s tails

Singing up to the skies

Suddenly, like time-warping,

Doctors with prescription meds

Creating multiple walking deads

Where’s the balance?

 

I don’t really see auras

I see life force

And I see it in your eyes

You really don’t want to die

But you continue to commit suicide

By prescription drugs

 

Chemicals are not always the answer

To better living

Break it down

Use your intelligence

Trust in yourself

Doses are meant to be adjusted

Not necessarily by the medical gods

 

I know so well

How hard life is

How sweet the soma from

Little white pills

How banishing reality

By swallowing chemical cocktails

Brings us into the okay world

Especially when we are the working poor

Agoraphobically, we must go out the door

Please, don’t give in

 

Where’s the balance?

WE are the balance

What’s right for our bodies

Isn’t necessarily right for others

Please don’t die

Psychoneuroimmunology…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Live Science, prescription drug medicine