MUSIC

SOMETHING ABOUT A CITY

 

Sometimes I can smell Philadelphia

But I’m really scenting my youth

Tasting it

Feeling all my senses

Reaching out

For the city I love

 

Sitting behind the Gothic pile

Known as City Hall

Skyscrapers towering above it all

Unknown but should-be known

Rock band serenading us for free

 

So much human life

In contrast to my swamp so rife

With four-legged dwellers

Fascinating to watch

Lacking, though, in conversational skills

 

Wish I could live in both

Out the front door, city

Out the back door, swamp

 

And like Tarot’s Temperance

I’d have one foot in the mire

One foot in the asphalt

Perfectly balanced…

 

Dilworth Park Philly trip Oct 2017

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGES:  Dilworth Park & Philadelphia City Hall/My photo in Dilworth Park with skyscrapers

 

 

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MELANCHOLIA

 

Now I know why

Van Gogh

Did yellow

Dressed in black

Like the crows

I seek succor

From the sun

Or at least

Its result of

Photosynthesis

Corn

Planted by Corvus

As they compete

With the squirrels

Dodge my dogs

Dropping kernels

That sink into the rainy

Earth

And I try to remember

This darkness will pass

I will see yellow again

As my aura soaks in

The balance of

Magical spectrums of

Vibrant colors…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Music and Madness

 

TOGETHER AGAIN

(scroll down for a musical YouTube video)

Time slyly approaches us

Then runs screaming into the night

Because

We are stardust*

We are golden*

Never before or since

Has there been

Such a magical generation

And although some were financially seduced

Mistaking the original meaning

Of the word “golden”

Many will never forget

The definition of love-and-peace

Despite bouts of anger

Against each other

Squabbling siblings who easily forgive

Because

When it comes to standing together

We will

Just like once upon a time

We did

 

*Joni Mitchell, Woodstock

 

YouTube:  https://youtu.be/q3SjqGfe-yM

 

© Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: CS & dog Tarot camping in Pennsylvania

 

 

 

COLOSSAL COINCIDENCE?

 

Privately told

To you solely

Arcane instructions

Involving an

Idiosyncratic

Grimoire

Lost on a local airline

To my chagrin

A puerile flaunting

Appeared in print

Revealing the location

Of the long-sought scroll

Do you now feel manly

And in control?

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Lambenore Grimoire White Magic

DEATH WAIL

I.

Women keening

Seemingly without meaning

Here I am at eleven

Beloved grandfather

Sleeping in satin

Soon to be under the earth

Family gathered

For a solemn funeral

II.

When suddenly

Two of my aunts

Dad’s oldest sisters

Begin an eerie lament

These unobtrusive women

Wailing into the darkened morning

Teetering dangerously

On the grave’s edge

Covering the noise

Of the hydraulic mortuary lift

Lowering the coffin

Like lowering a car at the mechanic’s

III.

Eleven year old me

Trying not to cry

As their voices tore

The fabric of the sky

Suddenly the aunts

Throw themselves atop the coffin

Screaming in their native tongue

Their husbands and brothers

My dad included

Pulling them away

And here is me

Suddenly

Beginning to giggle

A nervous hiccupping

Trying to stifle it

Before mom sees and slaps my face

She, however, face buried in lacy hanky

Shoulders shaking in grief-struck crying

Looks at me

And I saw her eyes

Through dark lenses

Eyes crinkled in her own nervous laughter

And we hold hands trying not to laugh

Trying not to cry

We are a disgrace

But nerves care not who has died

And the machinery and keening and prayers

Drown out our insane sadness

Because crying and laughter

Are twin emotions

IV.

Later, dad says

I hope you laugh at my funeral

Much better to laugh than cry

But I think he didn’t understand

Despite his kindness

That keening wasn’t only a shrieking

But an ancient emotion

Tangled in female DNA

Tears or snorting laughter

Hysteria, like the word

Hysterectomy

A double X chromosome

Related to reproduction

Love, birth and death

V.

And some years later

Listening to Janis Joplin

Wailing at Monterrey

My neck hair tingling electrically

As I recognized her keening

For lost love, a lost man

And decades later

As Brittany Howard

Let out her wail

Not wanting to fight no more

I recognize that chain

As I keen with my sisters

Crying

Laughing

Singing

To release the pain

Of female loss…

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

THE RIGHTNESS OF BROWN

 

Not quite visible on the color spectrum

Rarely discussed in chakra circles

Yet brown is everywhere I gaze:

Brown eyes in a morning ritual mirror

Brown curls, waves

Shading the page

Of my sons bent over

A shared book

Silky brown cheek

Of my laughing granddaughter

Calling for kisses…

Food for the hungry soul

Shiny brown espresso beans

Jumpstarting the day

Star Anise twinkling in tea

Cinnamon sticks in brown apple cider

Warming cold bones

And oh, chocolate

Beckoning from a cream pie…

Walking in the backyard earth

Brown Live Oak leaves weave

A magic carpet interspersed with

Acorns attracting arguing squirrels and dogs

Rough and twisted trees

Offering branches and twigs

For kindling fires on nights needing the flames

To prompt meditation and dreams

Wood recycled for mortar and pestle

Curing the body by herbal means

Wood salvaged lovingly

For music coaxed out of a ukulele

Brown…an unsung color of beauty for me…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

Image:  Some of my brown loves

 

 

 

BIKE FEST TO MAKE IT ALL GO AWAY

HOPE EVERYONE SAFE. I FEEL VERY LUCKY BUT I KNOW THERE WAS A LOT OF DESTRUCTION. GRATEFUL TO BE ALIVE AND CELEBRATED A BIT!  WILL READ AND COMMENT ABOUT YOUR EXCEPTIONAL BLOGS/POETRY TOMORROW…

(scroll down for YouTube video)

High on the wind

Stumbling a crooked trajectory

Feel drunken, drugged

Decompressed

Sitting through the Bike Fest set-up

Blown palm branches to be avoided

Heat, clouds

AC/DC’s TNT blasts

I shout along

Bopping my head

Food aroma

Crustacean sandwiches

Philly steaks

Funnel cakes

Coffee beans permeate

My eyes so sandman-heavy

With post-hurricane

Cauldrons of assaulting scents

Christina Rossetti asked

“Who has seen the wind

Neither I nor you”

But we have seen what the wind can do

Tired yet alive!

Undefeated champion of another storm…

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: 2016 Hurricane Matthew

YouTube video, AC/DC TNT  https://youtu.be/kR6pxe8jaMs

EVOLUTION OF MUSIC

 

(scroll down for David Garrett playing “Summer” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons)

 

When modern pop fails

We look for alternatives

World music

Multi-cultural music

Refurbished rock

Fortunately, Classical music

Continues to evolve

Individually

We wordlessly sing

We may not physically dance

But we take flight

Wrapped in a world

Of ecstatic emotions

Enriching the soul…

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

 

https://www.facebook.com/Artists.Without.Borders/videos/10150659877199291/

 

GIPSY KINGS CONCERT

 

(Mahaffey Theater 5-2-16)

*Scroll down for video*

 

Stranded

In a perverse time and place

DNA sings to me

In crystal-breaking tones:

Find the forest

Where your people camped

Among the trees

Guitars and violins

And percussive seas

Remember the dance

Slow movement among embers

All to the backdrop of music

Inhaled, with the smoke,

Then released

With the vanishing of pain…

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

https://youtu.be/mifnMC_Kn1Q