A picture makes it worthwhile
To read a thousand words
But it’s hard to reconcile
Tiny marine organisms
Cranking out the oxygen
In Earth’s atmosphere
Good things come in small packages
Mom said when I complained about
Height, or the lack of it
Maybe if Mars
Or some lone planet
Light-light-light years away
Would have life
As we know it
Tilling the dirt
Salting the seas
Firing away the ice
Scenting the sky
With an invisible aroma
Of after-rain cleanliness
Or pre-lightning electrical fire
But for each positive theory
A negative one exists
Science has discovered
Oxygen can now be generated
In the absence of life named
“An alien imposter”
Maybe it’s not a pretender, though
Maybe like me
Suffering from Imposter Syndrome
(Am I really a poet, for instance?)
But it can be
Merely an alien phytoplankton
We all wear masks
Whether aware of them or not
So I say
Let’s give it the benefit of the doubt
So what if they were produced
(Like that word?
Or am I being “pretentious”
As some say?)
Abiotically in multiple simulations
Phony! Made up!
My laywoman’s thought is
You may produce oxygen
But what side effects will occur
In years to come
Life as we know it may surely be alien
The real false positive for life
Phytoplankton forever
Keep your simulations
Give me the sweet air we sometimes can see
Through your polluted sky
And nurse the phytoplankton
Making sure they do not die…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Phytoplankton,


*scroll down for a YouTube video*

In 1761
A famous founding father
Gave a gift to the world
Delicate beauty of sound
Invented while he watched
Children playing water-filled
Crystal bowls
Franklin and a glassblower
Created the Glass Armonica
Traveling around Europe
Revealing its secrets for free
No patent, says he
Inventions are made to be shared
Discovering that the instrument
Is banned in a few towns
Some so sure
High-pitched, ethereal notes
Must be ghost-evoked or they
Magically appeared
From the swami of souls
Playing the glass-like bowls
In his underground kingdom
To me, hearing this
Crystalline enchantment
A heavenly enhancement
Harmony emanates from my heart
Music soothing composed by
Mozart, Beethoven and others
So I feel sure that the USA’s
First scientist
Benjamin Franklin
Not only lived in the
Elemental kingdoms of
Earth, Water and Air
But also the Fire of Spirit
Sending a prayer of thanks
Through our emotional savior

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Glass Armonica, Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, PA

*YouTube video–g
Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy William Zeitler



Subject line from a gmail email: “Add your name if you believe in Science”

*scroll down for a YouTube video*

Today I signed a petition

To admit I believe in Science


Is that like believing

In unicorns?

In elves?

Oh, yeah, I signed

But can’t help waiting for the punchline

Or have I been dropped down the rabbit hole

Ousted from Logic World

Because I lived my life

Believing in truth, justice

And the American way

What would Benjamin Franklin say?

I hate waking up

With cold water flung in my face…


© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Benjamin Franklin Scientist

YouTube video Thomas Dolby, She Blinded Me With Science





My bio teacher once pointed out

While we studied the Reproductive System

That the fetus resembled

Many of the evolutionary stages

Single cell, fish, amphibian, etc.

Known as the

“Recapitulation Theory”

It is still considered plausible

But largely discredited by

Religious fundamentalists


Aging is full-circle

In that we return to being

A giant infant

By the time Time does its thing to us

Loss of hair, teeth and teetering walk

In some cases talk

As in senility nonsense syllables


For some, we become

Frankenstein monsters

But instead of human parts

We resemble the beasts:

Turkey wattle

Bat wing arms

Camel hump

And a duck’s big butt waddle

O, can’t bear to continue


The Media parades Centenarians

To reassure us that we can

Keep living one more year

We see them posing in their rocking chairs

Claiming yogurt or even smoking

Is the secret to longevity

I say it’s DNA

If you want me to feel better about aging

Showing me one-hundred-year-olds

Born in 1920

Then let them be

Do-whack-a-do-ing a Charleston

Or show me Oracles of wisdom

Pontificating on how to survive stress

Unhappiness, loneliness


Swore I’d forget about aging

I should be grateful

Should be folking out on my ukulele

Intended to learn how to read music

How to finger pick instead of strum

But words are my lover

They come, come, come

So I mostly write, um, I mean, rant…


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Haeckel drawings of the Recapitulation Theory






1.2 million galaxies mapped out

That’s a lot of suns both alive and dead

It’s made me feel completely overwhelmed

As possibilities scream through my head


The 3-D map may unlock the secrets

Of a mysterious dark energy

Relating to universe expansion

Buttressing theories of gravity


World-wide group of scientists met in peace

Mapping space billions of light years away

Measurements taken over a decade

Expanding our minds with this news today


Can you look at this map and still pretend

That all war and hatred is a godsend?


(c) 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: 3-D map of 1.2 million galaxies (IFLS article)





A quote re Paleolithic paintings In Chauvet Cave

Southern France

Scientists learned their lesson

Opening up Lascaux Cave

In the name of sharing knowledge

Yet wall paintings there

Destroyed by bacteria and mold

Introduced by visiting tourists

So a vast replica was built

Just for tourists to view

Incredible animal paintings

Originating 35,000 years ago

Who were the artists sketching

With charcoal and red ochre

Etching the stones

Exploiting the relief of the rock

To create forms, shadows

Expressing the animals

Roaming beyond the entrance fire

Who were those talented, fur-clad artists

Ancestors of today’s painters,

Poets, musicians

Who must produce

No matter the cost

Did they feel alienated

Or were they prized by

The tribe

As holy illusionists

Revealing, interpreting

Life through their

Intuitive hearts…


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)