In a face filled with grief

Lives a man

Digging a front yard grave

Among vines of purple

Morning Glory

Stretching toward early sun

Lovingly placing his

Companion of fifteen years

Cat of black and white

Now out of pain and

Into peaceful relief


Watching a feat of prestidigitation

Withholding my tears

As man morphs into child

Burying Hampy the Hamster

So many solar years ago

Same lawn

Same grief

Same love from my eyes

Willing him to swiftly scab over

The anguish of loss…


© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Holland




(Scroll down for YouTube video)


Okay, I confess

I’m a lying, cheating bi**h

In my poems Unconsummated Guitar

And Take Me Back, Please?


I’d leave ukulele never more

But dang!

I love Janis Joplin

Will never have a voice like hers

But I’m haunted by her playing the


I wanna do it too!

I wanna look in my mirror and sing

Me and Bobby McGee

I do it with ukulele

But you know

Even though I’m old

(And maybe that’s the problem)

I can still have some dreams


So guess what I did?

Don’t guess

Went on Ebay


Well, no, so EXPENSIVE!

Went to Amazon

Same thing

Hmmm, maybe I should reconsider this move?

Nah!  Life is short

So it’s off to

Hoping that any day now

I’ll be looking in the mirror

And seeing not an ol’ silver-haired woman

But a rip-roaring Blues singer

Great writing, BTW, Kris Kristofferson

I could just hear me!

“Busted flat in Baton Rouge…”


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)


YouTube video:


Click here for Part 1 Unconsummated Guitar

Click here for Part 2 Take Me Back, Please?





Blood origin stains

Bucharest to Budapest corridor

I, a dusky cocktail shaker of Romani

Transylvanian Dragon

And a hint of Hun

Jewelry of choice

Pungent garlic garlands

Neckerchief hiding vulnerable spots

Wild wolves leaping

Through unshuttered windows

Where babies in baskets

Dream on the cold wood stove

Mother rarely sleeping

Until children of age

To self-protect

All those years

You stood outside

Waiting for me to be

Old enough for you

And I knew

How wrong

How good

Your lips felt

Secret bruise throbbing

Under my fringed shawl

Skin growing paler with each taste

Then one night

Unspeakable delight

Lying on icy stone

Never to return home

Eternal bliss with you…


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Budapest abandoned house (FB post)



Way down low

On the Southern horizon

According to my handy planisphere

Appears the Teapot

Eight-star “asterism”

Meaning a group of stars

Too big to be a cluster

Too small to be a constellation

Sagittarius, that mighty centaur

Traveling with his own kettle


Stumbling out at midnight

My infamous pack of hounds

Howling at the moon

My neighbors forced to open doors

Allowing their better-trained dogs

To join the joyful song


Groggy from sleep

I gaze at the teapot

Beautifully visible

Without my myopia-cursed glasses

I crave some Russian Caravan tea

Smoky from bamboo

Full of caffeine


Then imagine Scorpius

Swinging stinging tail

Watching Capricornus and Aquarius

Surrounding the Teapot

Thinking of the anomaly

Of winter constellations

Appearing in my 90 degree yard

Remembering that the Southern Hemisphere

Is deep in winter

Wondering if they see these

Or are they gazing at our summer ones

In their darkened sky


Lost in the vastness of space

A mystery I lovingly embrace


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)



Hiking around eternity’s habitat

And doing other stuff like that

Met a man I really liked

Every morning I felt psyched

He says, “I’ll be on the bayou with you, bebe”

I shrug and say, “Yeah, maybe”

Hands me an iridescent white glass flower

Trumpet shape blasting out musical power

“This is my promise, I’ll return for you”

I shrug and say, “Hope you do”

He made Odysseus look good

The Greek returned like he said he would

But bayou man seemed to forget

And I just choked down my regret

Blew on the tiny flower each day

But no real music did it play

Lipstick ring left an ugly imprint

Like a bloody gash from its daily tint

Just a symbol of another broken promise

So hard to find anyone who’s honest

Seven years crunching around on mirror shards

Dreading the threatening wind in this house of cards

Weaving and ripping out the stitches

Like Penelope yet without the riches

No suitors, no promises, broken or kept

Trying hard just to accept

Linda Ronstadt singing that song

I answer her saying, “Never” and I’m not wrong

Stomping around swampy grass

I bury the trumpet made of white glass

Over my left shoulder I spit three times

Then chant a few of my Romani rhymes

Never again will I fall in love

Nodding when I see a sign: one lone dove

Never again


© 2015 ViataMaja, Poezija

(Image: Broken Heart by crustycrab)


What herb is this

Growing in the wild

Despite the lack of water

And hostile sandy soil

Defying biological laws?

The wind gently caresses

Encouraging it to brush me, tenderly

And the need to return the touch

Is stronger than the life force itself.

Thick leaves signal

One will not be missed

I break it from its branch

Crush the leaf between my trembling fingers

Releasing its fragrance

And I am able to identify the unique name:

Pirano, it is you…

© 2014 ViataMaja, Laminas


I thought that

If you were mine

I’d sizzle oceans

Letting you rest

In the hot tub of my love

After meeting you I knew

Tumbling into a different world

A place to remain safe

Encased in warmth and passion

Three days of nakedness

Of our souls, our skin

Riding a comet, forgetting

That the radiation of space

Burns like the sun on

A cloudy beach day

A burn so incinerating

Producing fever and pain

But I loved you when

You were a collection of pixels

Loved you more when we met

Love you still now that you

Melted out of my life…

(c) 2014 ViataMaja, Laminas


Wandering in gentle madness

Something is wrong

Something is wrong

Who changed the reality?

My mind tells me

Using subtle hints

That there was a different script

A better outcome

To our lives

Who came and changed it?

Crept inside our minds?

Made us believe our love never was?

Subtext of a song

Plays on repeat

Over and over and over

And I hear your voice

As it sings the words

Shouting, crying out

A subliminal message

Searching for me

Do you know you’re asking?

Can you hear yourself?

I am unable to get to you

Through the music

That soothes sorrows

But drowns the sound

Of a cry…

Image: deChirico The Anxious Journey

© 2014 ViataMaja


Hunting was traded for an herb garden

Civilizing ploy, hoping to win

A matching diamond for the solitaire

Swapping solitude for an earth-bound twin

Herbs craved nourishment

Water dammed, yet how easy to cleave

Dead tree flowing through the stream

So grateful to finally leave

Feathers drifted from above

Monogamous birds nesting in tall pines

The air, blue backdrop for clouds

The sun and moon part of the designs

A fire of warming embers

Steadily began to grow

A fire raged between them

Faces now aglow

So many reasons to curl up and die

A landslide of unprovable facts

Yet holes of the thudding heart

May be sealed with paraffin wax

Loneliness has an



Keeps relationships afloat

© 2014 ViataMaja, Laminas


I no longer accept the myth of the soul mate

Although many do believe

They’ve met theirs

If so, very happy for you

But most of us

Have not even approached a facsimile

And so…?

So maybe a useful method would be

Serial soul mate searching by present age

See, I once believed in elemental increments and

That makes sense in pairing.

Beginning with Earth, when we’re young

We may be interested in

Materialism and safety

The type of mate who can supply these will keep us secure

And we can now live happily ever after

Time passes…

Um, looks like that didn’t work very well

Surely the second person is the soul mate

There’s no one better sexually, visually

Not much else needed

But we’re really only at the Water stage: emotions

Love is an emotion and undoubtedly this is love

And this time we will live happily ever after

Time advances…

Well, they say three time’s a charm

Here is the REAL soul mate, true?

Air: logic, intelligence

A mature way to match up

We’ve left the silly thoughts of fortune behind

Sex is great, but not ALL that important, right?

Intellectually, we once again know

That we will live happily ever after

Tempus fugit…

Ok, I admit it, I give up

I’m at the element of Fire: spirituality

Yet I don’t believe all will be perfect

I don’t believe in soul mates

I don’t believe in happily ever after

Actually, I’m not sure about anyone or anything anymore

Is that a by-product of wisdom or old age?

© 2014 ViataMaja, Laminas