Earth

BOARDWALK

 

Frog trap contains a surprise

‘Possum sitting amid dog kibble

Take him to the Preserve of James Grey

Re-homing works well

As he struts into the wild woods

 

I go to the Boardwalk

Winding my way

Through scrubs and pine

Palm and bush

Hearing DeSoto and his men

Clanking in armor

Ninety-five degree summer

Humidity drenching their

Proud mustaches and beards

 

A narrow but magical boardwalk

Taking me from gulf to ocean

Spooling across the Bermuda Triangle

As I hear

Creaking oars and rusty motors

Of ghost ships and planes

Caught in the mysterious vortex

 

I walk until the boards

Under my feet

Pass haunted abbeys

Destroyed by the Eighth Henry

Who changed the face of religion

Merely because he could

Woe to the women

Witches, so was claimed

When it was really about sex

And male progeny

Although we now know

The XY chromosomes of males

Determine the gender

Not the XX of women

 

The Boardwalk continues

Across ranges of mountains

Quiescent volcanoes

Pyrenees, Vesuvius, Alps

Carpathians, Himalayas

And I hear Hannibal

Urging his men and elephants

Through rain and snow

They must conquer

As I must walk

To quell the need for change

The greed to live one’s desires

 

I pass above lands of dynastic tyranny

Exotic islands and animals

In a different hemisphere

And I meet no one

See no one

Only those ectoplasmic shapes

Hearing voices in the language of Babel

Burning oil rigs, and the echo of screams

As terrorism clashes with soldiers

Mere teens

 

Then suddenly the walk

Is spanning the Pacific

A word meaning peaceful

And I continue

As whales and dolphins

Fight the fish nets

Imprisoning them along with

Other food of the sea

Supply and demand

For a horribly over-populated land

The land called Earth

As organized religions

Insist on the outdated

Be fruitful and multiply

Stop it!

We’re already overly-fruitful!

 

I walk, so tired now

Breathing deeply

Wanting to feel

Negative ions that comfort me

As the Boardwalk approaches

The other smog-shrouded coast

Of my homeland

 

And I walk

And I breathe

And I smell

And I hear

The fear

Of the world

And oh

I just want to be alone

Because

All this distills down to

A coarse social media acronym

Burned on my retinas

From overly-surfing

And I say it aloud:

WTH????

 

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: James E. Grey Preserve Boardwalk

 

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A MAGNIFICENT MOVEMENT

 

He belongs to a raincloud

Part of a gang of raindrops

Sometimes stormy, discontented

But also part of a harmonious whole

Drops fall

Quench Mother Earth

And he joins them in their move

To the ocean

Evaporating

Recycling into another cloud

Another storm

Passing along the power

Like magical words

That can often heal

A heart of thorns…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: In between clouds over swamp

COMPASS ROSE

 

Four directions

Places of spiritual power

Matching the elements

Representing strengthening towers

 

Those close to Nature

Traditionally mark

North as Earth

East as Air

South as Fire

West as water

 

Romani personalize

Cardinal directions

So to me

On the edge of the swamp

I think about my own life

And let it ripple out toward others

 

North as Fire

Direction of continental mountains

Metaphorically moving up

Element of Spirit

 

East as Earth

Growing across the peninsula

Over the dirt, farms, orchards

Element of Grounding

 

South as Air

Constellations clearly visible

Opening the Swamp trees curtain

Element of Communication

 

West as Water

Gulf of Mexico tidal pull

Sea and sand as one

Element of Emotions

 

Ceraunomancy requires familiarity

With symbolic directions

The interpretation of lightning

A natural phenomena

That recently became a

Source of terror

 

Yet I calmly walk outside

Avoiding the cloud-to-ground bolts

Asking it to dissipate

Sometimes it does

Sometimes it stays

On those days

I study the direction

Hoping for a connection

The message telling me

What I need to see

And perhaps fix:

 

Coming from the East?

Anchor yourself to the ground

Importance of roots

 

Coming from the West?

Then remain in harmony

Balance is the key

 

Coming from the South?

Celestial messages

The beauty of life

 

Coming from the North?

Reach to the highest power

No matter beliefs

 

Nature presents choices

Chanting her musical voices

Pointing the way, if we would only see…

 

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE:  Compass Rose Cantino, Wikimedia Commons

PENINSULA

 

No earth here

Peninsula of sand

Swampy

Awash in water

Mutable

Change from one

To one hundred in seconds

Over-abundance of fire

Flat and florid

Baking, broiling, lasering the land

Dangerous air tornadoing

Thunder and lightning deluging

Interfering with civilization’s

Grids and grand plans

For living on a land devoid

Of vibrations

Stone, rock

Thrumming to hearts

That need the gentle jolt

Rich soil imported,

Bagged for the DIY stores

But only coquina

Limestone and long-dead

Fossilized remains

Of shelled food for fish and fowl

For humans too

Only coquina

Is underfoot

But that’s not natural earth

And so imbalance reigns

In the state of torrential rains

Where’s the grounding of  Earth…?

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Can that tropical storm get any closer to me?

SPRING FEVER

 

Cure for Spring fever:

Plant Peppermint for tea

Rub on the dogs’ fleas

Releasing the aroma

Digging dirt glove-free

Earth-stained fingers

Enhancing ukulele-string calluses

That make the music

That sing to the grasses

Youthful madness approaching soon

Sun in Aries

Mars in the Moon

Strengthening me as I whisper farewell

While Orion shifts west

And Crux appears to bless

Earth

Water

Air

Fire

Elements that never fail to

Inspire…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: My new peppermint plants

 

THE RIGHTNESS OF BROWN

 

Not quite visible on the color spectrum

Rarely discussed in chakra circles

Yet brown is everywhere I gaze:

Brown eyes in a morning ritual mirror

Brown curls, waves

Shading the page

Of my sons bent over

A shared book

Silky brown cheek

Of my laughing granddaughter

Calling for kisses…

Food for the hungry soul

Shiny brown espresso beans

Jumpstarting the day

Star Anise twinkling in tea

Cinnamon sticks in brown apple cider

Warming cold bones

And oh, chocolate

Beckoning from a cream pie…

Walking in the backyard earth

Brown Live Oak leaves weave

A magic carpet interspersed with

Acorns attracting arguing squirrels and dogs

Rough and twisted trees

Offering branches and twigs

For kindling fires on nights needing the flames

To prompt meditation and dreams

Wood recycled for mortar and pestle

Curing the body by herbal means

Wood salvaged lovingly

For music coaxed out of a ukulele

Brown…an unsung color of beauty for me…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

Image:  Some of my brown loves

 

 

 

RECLAMATION

 

Raindrops in a discarded walmart mug

Tinkling like the finest crystal

Winter sun glittering through humid silence

Bouncing off a tin shed roof housing abandoned treasures

Cobwebs decorating half-gnawed boxes of once-important IRS receipts

Do not be fooled

Nature allows us the illusion of civilization

And the poisonous tinkering of her gifts

But it is merely misdirection

As we pay attention

To our minor defecation on today’s interests

Nature is reclaiming, unnoticed, in other parts

Performing her illusions

Like making the Statue of Liberty disappear

While we gape like the apes we are

While our children die from chemicals

While our wildlife fades into history

Nature waves her vengeful wand…

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Gaia, Anselm Feuerbach 1875

ELEMEN-CY

Cloudy, dark night

Invisible meteors

Scorching the sky

Uninterested dogs

Perimeter sniffing

Distracted by possum and coon

Spoor

So I am ignored

Flaming cauldron calls

Quite easy to set a match

To the balled paper

Twigs and branches

Oh, how I need guidance

This P’habengi Rat night

Elemental divination

Jag–Fire the base

For this burning Aries

Wrapped in a black caftan

Trimmed in salsa-red

To match lonely lips

Studying shapes of flames

Hungrily consuming

Combustibles

Pyromancy

Eyes closed

Show me ME, say I

Emphatically

Coiling, blazing

A divine divination

What do I see???

Nothing that looks right

Perhaps I need help tonight

Phu—Earth

Geomancy assisted by salt

Tossed in the flames

Unclear alteration

The Earth recoils

From the wounds of the soil

What do I see???

A rumbling of rock and stone

Horror-struck, I suppress a groan

Haburo—Air

Aeromancy

Wind conveniently blowing strong

Flames shift

Father Sky leers

Tell me!

No answer, so I sigh

What do I see???

Tornado, trying to lift me unto death

Frightened, I fight, holding my breath

Paj—Water

Hydromancy

Sprinkling water from the hose

Hand naturally cupped to change

The flames

Thirsting for self-knowledge

I call the wetness

Staining Mother Earth’s robe

What do I see???

Monsoons showering down on me

Yet the fire remains water-free

How to tie disparate forces together

Alomancy

Pouring remaining salt on the ground

Finding an unburnt branch

Eyes closed

Kneeling on the grass

Owl hooting

Bats flying

Cats crying

Dogs howling

Stick in the salt

Open the eyes

Jittery automatic writing

Symbols similar to tasseomancy

Tea leaf augury

Next I’ll be stirring up entrails

Oh, what do I see???

I see ghostly forms

Swirling around the fire

I see an open doorway

To a world I no longer trust

I see the elements rebelling

I see fists shaking in my face

I hear demands calling for my disgrace

Where is the center

Where is the ground

Heavily anchored by a swollen heart

I close my eyes and turn around

Where is the circle of protection

How could I forget…?

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE:  Backyard Pyromancy

DISINTEGRATION

 

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