Despite red tides and

Sewer plant pollution

Negative ions on the beach

Continue to work their magic

On my mood


Feeling okay with being alone

Feeling energized enough

To face the day

Perhaps when one of

Nature’s elements

Is endangered

The other three


Working extra hard to

Balance the Earth

And those of us rooted

Into the beach bleached loam

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Robert Rees Park, Green Key, Florida



Wow!  I’ve become

One cynical ol’ lady

Saw it all

But here I am

At Chasco Fiesta Parade

Enveloped by brass and percussion

As Marine Corps and high school

Marching bands

Stomp down the rain-swept street

And the floats follow

And here I am

Adrenalin pumping

Quiet, cynical me

Jumping up to reach flying plastic beads

Frisbees with marketing logos

And surprisingly

My main prize is a small American flag

I kinda softly bump a young teenager

To catch that flag

As I dive among people’s feet

To scoop up the other swag

Thrown from the floats

And the music makes me want to march

Makes me want to love everyone

Because we all are smiling, laughing

And hear each other’s heart beating

Strong as the brass


Now I move down to the amphitheatre

Afternoon rock and roll

Dead Serious, local group

Singer sounds like Janis Joplin

Has all her moves

Maybe sounds better

Although never heard Janis live

So may be wrong

But don’t think so

Electric guitars

Drum set


People dancing by the stage

Me bellowing out

“Take another little piece of my heart now baby”

I feel myself mellowing out

Absent-mindedly reaching in my backpack

For a cigarette

Forgetting it’s been over a decade since I quit

Makes me want to love everyone

Because we all are smiling, laughing

Drumming our laps and

Strumming air guitars


I walk along the river

To the Native American powwow

Watch a man with ten hooded raptors

Explaining their habits

They look healthy and used to

The little tethers

In a circle are the dancers

Not only the Native Americans

In gorgeous suede and feathers

But audience participants

In jeans and t-shirts

Trying to follow the steps

All to the beat

The rhythmic, pounding beat

Of drums

Oh, do I decompress

Feel no duress

Just a spiritual well-being

Makes me want to love everyone

Because we all are smiling, laughing

Hearing the Earth’s heartbeat

Echoing our own…


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: My hard-won Chasco parade swag