Haunted by youthful dreams
Too late to reinvent myself
Island metaphor strongest
Easier to be alone

There was Java
Circumscribing a mineral world
Of left-over lava
Decorating via fatal eruptions
Merapi volcano cosmology
Of fire-breathing dragons
Would I exist on a moon-like world

There was Fiji
Divided by time
Could stand there with one foot in today
And one in tomorrow
Or is it yesterday
Where the international dateline
Bisects the 180th meridian

Pieces of land
Floating in oceans
A fish net
A water purification kit
A lifetime supply of Vitamin C
It could have been easy
Sand or dirt a magic slate
Whatever written washed away
By tidal spray

There were other islands
Of song and book
But now that I look back
It is clear that the island experience
Was lived as I moved through droves of
Endless people
Smiled. laughed, talked
But they all must have been
Particles of colorful matter
Because I, the deportee
Now see
That the island is me…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: posted on YouTube by Placers, Merapi Volcano


*scroll down for a YouTube video*


Doesn’t take a therapist to know why

I bond with exhausted, forsaken shacks

Nothing but the crows circling with a cry

Prowling, feral cats alert for live snacks.


Why empty so long? How did this house fail?

Dirty pink insulation leaking out

Of screaming mouths with crying walls so frail

Mold and dirt and shaky steps, cause for doubt.


What happened here in the maddened attic?

Ancient clothes and books hug the swollen floors

Tell me your secret, you ache brick by brick

Relinquish the mystery of closed doors.


No one deserves abandonment, ever

Helping lost and wrecked, lifetime’s endeavor.


© 2014 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja) from Poetic Alchemy:Talking Blues

(tweaking an old poem)

**YouTube video Ella Mai, Left Me https://youtu.be/yOVNS12CVqE

IMAGE: Abandoned House (public domain)









Almost impossible to be creative

When happy (in love)

Why take time away

From obsessing over the beloved


The heat of lust

Flesh, fire-roasted

Concentration of flavor

Tasting the sweetness

Like Valentine candy hearts

(I heart U in pink dye)

But rage is hot, too

Yet scribbling, screaming

Hearts’ heat, when alone

Is different

So was it all the wasted passion

Wasted womanhood

That worked for women writers?

Is that how Austen, Dickinson

Resisted tearing out their hair

Tripping down Georgian/Victorian streets

Screaming, steaming, shouting:

Oh, for the touch of a man!

For the meeting of eyes

Concerns that arise


Did Emily Bronte’s rage write

One of the most sexually-soaked books

Of the nineteenth century?

And was her sister Anne

Lonely governess in Scarborough

Seeking solace from the

Passing of her clergryman

Pining? Resigned? Enraged?

What hidden facial expression

Passivity or aggression?

How did these women

Continue to live



Is that why they died

So young?



© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

Image: 1880 Victorian hair, unidentified, Pinterest