flea markets



Early morning flea market trip

No second hand art, poetry or

Musical instruments

No nothing

Except an AK-47 for sale

And T-shirts stating

“Deplorable And Proud Of It”

(Spelled correctly, at least)



Scented candles

Outdoor “café” serving

Strong coffee and fried eggs

Important for me, the breakfast person

At the dollar store bought another

Stone mortar and pestle

And scissors shaped like a Crane

Love katja (scissors) and churi (knives)

Not because books and movies

Stereotypically insist that the Romani (Gypsies)

Indulge in knife fights

They are weapons but also used peacefully:

Cutting herbs and weeds for medicines

Cutting fabric for clothes

Paper dolls for toys

What peace-related function has an AK-47?

Did I mention the AK-47 for sale on a table?


Yeah, sure, if I was in Tampa or Miami

Would probably find stuff related to

Music, art, literature

But once upon a time

When I wandered into the rural fleas

There was the “good” side of red-neck shopping:

Bought many a cast iron kettle and pot

Books on dehydrating and edible flowers

Farming implements, non-poisonous planting seeds

And homemade honey from local bees


I guess we all have a different opinion about

How to make America great “again”


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: The spoils of peace



Aisles of tables crammed high

Smell of bacon mingling with musky perfume

Morning coughing from the smokers as they

Sneak their fifth one of the day, hunched outside the doors

Coffee scent, the morning sustenance, dominates

The aisle of dollar breakfast booths.

Slinky long dresses promise me admiration

As they shimmy off the hangers to the floor

Colorful pottery chipped by careless buyers

Glitters in the morning sun, begging to host a plant

Tattoo parlors and gun shops, coin and pawn booths

Harley boots and leather vests alongside polished crystals

Nestling in sachets of smudging sage

Layers of masks litter the bargain table

But who cares what they are concealing?

I have an objective in this endless flea market

Crowded with shoppers who walk the aisles disguising

Hopes and dreams and the need to spend money

To make the pain go away.

There she is, waiting for me, I just know she knows

I saw her sitting there last week looking tired and discouraged

Her sister was taken away and she was in mourning

Three months old in a cage quickly becoming too small

I didn’t rescue her last week because I could hear the refrain

“Boycott puppy mills”

But where do these puppies go if we do not rescue them?

Testing labs? Euthanasia-oven-ashes-in-the-trash?

Her eyes haunted me all week and here I am

She is on sale today. When I ask to hold her she gives me her best

Face licking, smiling, staring into my eyes: Take me, please!

And I do.

What a healthy, happy girl she is

Type B, not really interested in living up to her breed

Or her name: Kali the Rat Terrier, the Warrior Goddess?

No. But definitely a sacred clown

Knowing the right laugh buttons to push

Born under the sign of Leo, yes, she is a classic Leo

The biggest surprise was when

Her Mom DNA kicked in

Rescued two puppies last year

And she mothered them as if her own

Happy Fantastic Fourth birthday, dearest dog Kali

I cannot imagine life without you.


© 2014. 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja), Poetry of Memory: Six Decades From the Space-Time Continuum

IMAGE: Kali & ginger plant