LESSON NOT LEARNED (my thin-skinned reply to a negative reviewer)

Imparting lore, knowledge

To others with love

Plainly stating

This is NOT an herbal reference book

So many of those already available

All different cultures


This is 4-planes medicine

Physical, yes, a bit

But also




Roma—Gypsies—did not travel

With huge herbariums

Have you ever lived in a trailer?

I lived in a Fifth Wheel for two years

I lived in a 15-foot travel trailer for more years

There is barely room for everyday necessities

So why would readers/reviewers think

We should copy the great herbals

For your viewing pleasure?

The Gypsy herbarium was in the surrounding forests

In the wild flower fields

In the rivers and streams

But all that changed

I’d never recommend wildcrafting

When plentiful poisons threaten the land

Only basics are tucked lovingly away

In the vurdon—wagon—that is home

No detailed grimoires exist

Most didn’t know how to read or write

The oral tradition served for everyday cures

If more serious, the Witch-in-the-hole

Was consulted

Or the Vrezitorka  (so say my Sinte family)

Or the Chovaxani (so say my Kalderash side)

If the town hid one

There was no pantheon of gods and goddesses

Although sprung from India

Speaking a bastardized version of Sanskrit

Now named “Romanes”

Gypsy Chib

But Mother Earth

Father Sky

And a few household helps

Like the Domovoi

Lived alongside the Gypsies

Whether they traveled or

Unfortunately became slaves

In Eastern Europe

No collection of pharmaceuticals

The lesson is


What can be carried on the back

Is most important

Even today

Many of us grow

To adulthood

Learning that lesson


Magic Words?

Future paths

To live life joyfully

Contained in the 22 numbers

Of the Drom Ek Romani

That some call the tarot

The day of birth

Reveals your lifetime study

15 is mine

Temptation down the wrong path

Add to get 6

Love thrown in the mix

Read the book

It’s all explained

This past week

It was useful for me to be ill

Helping me remember

The simple cures

Seeing that they still work

That’s the other lesson

Less is better, always…


© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

Re: Drab Lil: A Gypsy’s Medicine Book © 2014



Okay, I’m childish, but I really dislike trolls (or maybe rude know-it-alls). So I wrote this Amazon review for my newest songbook in protest to another reviewer’s put-down.  It turned into a poem, then I got carried away and added in Beach Boy titles.  Not my greatest work but here it is, for your morning smile (I hope):

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PROUD TO BE A “CAMPFIRE” UKULELE-IST, June 3, 2016
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: The Beach Boys For Ukulele (Paperback)
A troll or just rude, reviewed this songbook, sneering at chorders, so I took a look. How lucky am I that ukulele chords are in? I can’t read music, is that such a sin? He called us some names (we’re the “campfire crowd”), we strum our babies, we’re all so proud. How lucky am I to have taught myself to play! Having fun, fun, fun even though he says nay! This book is perfect for advanced or new. Don’t worry baby, just play, and remember, to your school be true. God only knows how hard we newbies go. I hide out in my room, wishing to be in Kokomo. If you want a challenge rewrite the musical translation. But I’ll stick with the original because I feel those good vibrations!