Star book and amulet
In this plastic box
For those nights
We need to dream
Our ancestors gazed above
Saw many of
The same stars we see
Did they dream, too
Most importantly, who
Was able to time travel
Take quantum leaps
Through fabled worm holes
Are we warned about black holes
Swallowing us whole
Like early explorers
Were warned about
Falling off the flat Earth
A time-honored way
To control
By those inside the
Moneyed walls
Against us the have-nots
But thinkers, all
Yes we are
So who really has the best
That life can offer
If you are reading this
A charm, a book, a song of freedom
Is yours
My darling descendants
Be bold
Let your mind search the aethers
Through dark and cold
Following the dim light
Of possibilities…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)



Daydreamed owning

A magic spatula

Carefully dug a circle

Around the back yard,

Adjacent swamp

And like a pancake

Slid and lifted

(Didn’t flip it, though)

Then placed it

In your world

A piece of me

In you


Keeps me safe

But willing to walk out the gate

When you ask…


© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Hard Rock Café Guitar Spatula


My Book Review (Amazon and Goodreads)

When I saw the illustrations for Karen Engelmann’s The Stockholm Octavo: A Novel, I tore open my bedside drawer.  Yes!  There was my obscure deck, bought from an online historical games site several years ago.  As a long time cartomancer, I thought this would be an interesting deck to use.  I must confess, however, that I did not have the imagination that the author has and tossed them out of my sight.  Descriptions of the plot and characters are available from the other reviews.  I will just say that the story is Magical and Wise: a cauldron of History, Culture and best of all, Sacred Geometry.  I quote from the book:  “The Octavo is the architecture of relationships that we build ourselves, and with which we build the world.”

(Image: my personal copy of the 1588 deck by German Renaissance artist Jost Amman)







You came into my life

Last year

April to May

Then you were gone

After Mother’s Day

Now like an annual

Birthday gift

You appeared


Dark dove

Flying out of

A tall top hat

Landing on my

Salient breasts

Gently pecking at my

Lonely lips

Spreading your feathers

Chanting your spell

While my eyes seek

The magic wand

To combine you

With the shadowy man

But the month flies

And you follow


On Mother’s Day


Flown away

You never stay

And I wonder

Are you a resurrection deity

Ruling the kingdom of my heart

For one short month

Go away

Do not stay

Above all, do not return

My fiery body

Can no longer withstand

The burning mystery of you…


© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Dove & Magician pinterest non-attributed



Virginids a week early

Or April’s Sigma Leonids?

Lift my eyes

To the skies

And there they explode

Into the darkness

Bits and pieces

Winding their way down

Into my net of stars

Floating atop my

Cauldron of warmth

Capturing the space debris

A gift for me

A wish

Whatever I fancy

Will appear within the year…


© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Virginids Meteor Shower, Ad Astra La Palma



So many meanings for gris-gris

Little cloth bag of thirteen charms

Used as an amulet or for a curse or

As a method of birth control

Vodoun the religion

Voodoo-Hoodoo stereotypes

Black magic or good luck

Zombies, chicken bones

Dolls with pins

What is the truth, the head spins

I think of it as the original French word: gray*

I see it as a swirl of black and white

I see it as day and night

I see it as yang and yin

I see it as the divine curtain

Separating hell and heaven

Gray, like the Grateful Dead say

Everything has a touch of gray

Including magic

My gris-gris bag was too powerful

Syncretized with my own Gypsy culture

It now sits at the bottom of my closet

In my backpack of cremation clothes

To my sons:

Tie it around my neck

As I go into the flames

This is a last request

In sound mind I proclaim…   touch of grey, grateful dead, youtube

The “a” in “gray” is US English and the “e” in “grey” is British although the GDead used the British spelling  (just a bit of boring trivia)

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

Image: flickriver textures creative commons



So here’s a slew of

Ibis in search of Friday morning breakfast

Ceasing their scouring

As I peel a banana

But more polite than seagulls and squirrels

Receiving no invitation

They good-naturedly poke along the riverside

Eating whatever is hidden in the mud

Thinking of Ibis-headed Thoth

Egyptian god of knowledge, art and magic

I wonder if this foraging flock

Is a communique

My totems for the day

A message that says

Happiness is creativity…


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Foraging Ibis on the Pithlachascotee




Good things come in threes

Shibboleth of a trinity

Three-step waltz

Or cha-cha-cha

Diagnosis of heart arrhythmia


Three times the charm

So they say in marriage

But how about

Three on a match

Three’s a crowd

Three beats to a heart

Not allowed


Numerology of three

Tarot Empress of cartomancy

Magical trio of music

The master key

Click your heels three times

No place like home

When will we three meet again

Stirring the hearts of bats

Drink now and then


Three beats instead of two

Beta blocker wants you

To be in step

Marching in two

Waltzing in two

Two hearts beat as one

When will I be done

Return to me my adrenaline…


© 2015 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: #3 RWS Tarot, The Empress


Cloudy, dark night

Invisible meteors

Scorching the sky

Uninterested dogs

Perimeter sniffing

Distracted by possum and coon


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



Eyes closed

Show me ME, say I


Coiling, blazing

A divine divination

What do I see???

Nothing that looks right

Perhaps I need help tonight


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



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



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


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



When that thin gossamer veil

Between the worlds

Shreds impatiently

To let the alive and dead

Have their meet-and-greet

Be careful what you wish

Be aware of what you say

Trust no spirit if they be unknown

Dump salt from a neck pouch if tingly scalp

Light white candles if black ones flicker and flare

Carve smiley orange kirbiso

And fish-feed your inky cats


Unless you crave

(If you are brave)

Excitement that may turn into


Because the spirits are bored

Powerful and jealous

And they may overcome

Whatever you believe

Who has the control?

Not us, my fellow-living

We can train, memorize, pray

But spirits have that spectral power

A necromantic way with words and wands

No, we’re no match


Unless you are blessed

With wisdom and purity

And you know the runes to

The banish spell

Do I know them?

Will I share?

Perhaps if you give me your candy corn

I can be persuaded to bare my soul to you…


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: MzScarlett