Why cry
When playing and singing
O Holy Night
I miss my high soprano
Soaring above the All City Choir
I cry for my youth
But hey
Think of that time
Tenth grade
I was being bullied in the girl’s bathroom
Bus tokens stolen
No boyfriend
Unknown autism making me
The school alien
Social Misfit of teenage hell
But that was then
And today, my voice
O Holy Voice
So I’m strumming the song
Didn’t know how to play
Ukulele in Tenth grade


And this is a positive
can play it now

Cracked singing
Like some boy entering puberty
Yet O Holy Night
Makes me cry
And I can’t see the chords
On the songbook by the time
I finish it
But WHY cry
Lost youth
My life is better than it was
In tenth grade
Yeah, I’m old
Yeah, really don’t do
Social niceties now or then
But a mere thousand miles away
Live my sons and granddaughter
Got enough money
To eat and dress and buy songbooks
So why
Why cry
For times past
When the truth is
Tenth grade sucked
Except for the voice
Soaring into the aethers
O Holy Memory…
(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Baritone, songbook, sunflower (planted by birds)



Another year passed

Still not invited to the

New Orleans Jazz Fest

So I did my own

With sparkling performances

Of new material

Never before sung


My incredible

“Five Planets and a Full-Hunger Moon”

Strumming plaintive chords

On the concert ukulele

Singing between mezzo soprano

And a forced contralto

Doesn’t get any better than this

In between my own work

I sang all our old favorites:

“Jet Plane,”  “Blowing in the Wind”

“John Riley,”  “The Boxer”

Well, ok, folky but kinda

Jazzy Folk

And then a Talking Blues

My own “Engine Block Hotdogs”

“Joe Hill,”  “Rebel Girl”

“City of New Orleans” brought down the house

Thanks, Arlo, for a great song

They begged me for an encore

So I did “Channeling”

The very first song I wrote

Yeah, had my own Jazz Fest

In an air conditioned Florida trailer

Then ate and slept with the audience

My ever-polite dogs

Who says I don’t know how to have fun?


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: My Peace Ukulele