nyc street


Adrenalin drains

Life becomes empty


Traversing ocean paths

Between hidden boulders

Safety is the plea:

Let the chaos end

After securely ported

What is next?


Negotiating dark asphalt

Menacing cadence of footsteps

Almost at home’s door

Safety is the plea:

Let the chaos end

After securely fortressed

Outside went away.


You, you in my life

Veiled threats, silent treatment

Safety is the plea:

Let the chaos end

Your rage spent, serenity reasserts.


Outside danger, shouting voices,

As motivation to write?

That shaking, adrenalin-charged urge to write

That welcome mood that drags the words and emotions

From inside my soul

Only happens when I am unsafe.


Then the words are packaged

Neatly in a book, no longer my worry

Where are the dramatics from friends and family?

No more danger emanating from unknown boundaries?

What then?


When the adrenalin drains

Life becomes empty

So once again I seek the drug.


 (c) 2014 C. Simmens, Poetic Alchemy 2


Music & Poe-try

A day that requires mass quantities of music. Here is Sarah Jarosz doing Edgar Allan Poe’s Annabelle Lee:


Here is Phil Ochs doing Edgar Allan Poe’s The Bells


Yes, sure do have a thing for Poe (he’s Phoebe Snow’s The Poetry Man, to me)

Thanks to Karen from Arberth Studios, I have now added The Raven by The Alan Parsons Project.  Don’t know how I ever missed this one!






Wrapped myself in red from toes to head

Spit over my left shoulder three times

Your eyes: blue, brown, green?

No matter. They are searching me out

But in an angry way and I don’t know why

Jakhalo, Evil Eye, curses return, do not curse!

I repeat three times, like a mantra

“Iril trivar tu…dragosta!”

“Back to you triple…with kindness!”


At a time when our Earth is in turmoil

When we virtually unfriend and unfollow

Those whose political, cultural and religious views

Differ from ours

The aethers do not need more anger

Let’s put a little love in our hearts

Or at least a little tolerance

Most of us are lost

But trying to find our path

The old-fashioned way

Via celestial navigation…


© C. Simmens, Poetic Alchemy 2

12-Sap disk

12 – Sap (Serpent)

The #12 Card

From my version of the tarot

The Drom Ek Romani


(Similar to the Hanged Man: sacrifice. Odin hung for 9 days on Yggdrasil to learn wisdom that he later shared with the mortals)


The Romani word for snake is contained in

The English word “sapience” (or wisdom)

Primeval serpents exemplified “sin”

But caduceus mocks that position.


Sacrifice, delayed gratification

Is the appropriate key to learning

Delaying one’s plans may bring frustration

With endless periods of deep yearning.


Senselessly concerned with acquisition

Lining our fortress with useless plunder

Ignores the purpose of life: cognition

As we forget elemental wonder.


Earth, Water, Air and Fire united

All our lives need to keep us delighted.


© 2014 Clarissa Simmens, Madame Sosostris Explains (a poetry patchwork)

Kali Aug 2013


Aisles of tables crammed high

Smell of bacon mingling with musky perfume

Morning coughing from the smokers as they

Sneak their fifth one of the day, hunched outside the doors

Coffee scent, the morning sustenance, dominates

The aisle of dollar breakfast carts.


Slinky long dresses promise me admiration

As they shimmy off the hangars to the floor

Colorful pottery chipped by careless buyers

Glitters in the morning sun, begging to host a plant

Tattoo parlors and gun shops, coin and pawn booths

Harley boots and leather vests alongside polished crystals

Layers of masks litter the bargain table

But who cares what they are concealing?

I have an objective in this endless flea market

Crowded with shoppers who walk the aisles disguising

Hopes and dreams and the need to spend money

To make the pain go away.


There she is, waiting for me, I just know she knows

I saw her sitting there last week looking tired and discouraged

Her sister was taken away and she was in mourning

Three months old in a cage quickly becoming too small

I didn’t rescue her last week because I could hear the refrain

“Boycott puppy mills”

But where do these puppies go if we do not rescue them?

Testing labs? Euthanasia-oven-ashes-in-the-trash?

Her eyes haunted me all week and here I am

She is on sale today. When I ask to hold her she gives me her best

Face licking, smiling, staring into my eyes: Take me, please!

And I do.


What a healthy, happy girl she is

Type B, not really interested in living up to her breed

Or her name: Kali the Rat Terrier, the Warrior Goddess?

No. But definitely a sacred clown

Knowing the right laugh buttons to push

Born under the sign of Leo, yes, she is a classic Leo

Happy Terrible Twos Birthday, dearest dog Kali

I cannot imagine life without you.


© 2014 Poetic Alchemy 2

Hot Dog 02


(A true Talking Blues story)

Hard to glamourize being poor

Especially when shopping at the Scratch & Dent store


My hourly wage was four twenty five

Just barely enough to keep us alive


Two teenagers eat a lot…


We couldn’t afford the air conditioner

No help from the county commissioner


Didn’t know about free food and power

Just lived from second to minute to hour


But I was out of icy Philly and in Florida…


My sons wanted to see the beach

An hour’s drive, certainly in reach


But no money for charcoal and BBQ-ing

Wanted to impress them for family renewing


Why don’t they like peanut butter and jelly, my favorite…?


Bought cheap hot dogs and wrapped in buns and foil

Couldn’t afford ice and didn’t want them to spoil


Opened up the hood of my dusty old car

Saw the engine block and had an idea so bizarre


To us trailer trash, engines are for cooking…


Parked by the Gulf, sat on the seaweedy beach

That day my sons learned what I was trying to teach


Stay in school and never, ever be poor…


(c) 2014 C. Simmens, Poetic Alchemy 2









Community College Students



Here is a reblog of my feelings about Community College students.  Growing up poor affects education, too.  In fourth grade my teacher could not be bothered to teach so I never learned fractions or grammar.  I am first generation American so had to teach myself.  Lucky for me I loved to read.  Became a poet at age 3, my first book:  A Bird Can Fly And So Can I.  (My OCD was born that day as I gleefully counted off the syllables on my fingers).  I memorized the book and everyone thought I could read but by age four I read and never stopped.  Accessible poetry leads to the hardcore, if we are interested.  Accessible poetry exposes others to the possibilities.  Accessible education, with the help of financial aid and community colleges educates the masses.  If one person out of a thousand benefits, it has been worthwhile.

Originally posted on Drabarni's Drom Romani:



Being the product of a community college

Then having the good fortune

(baxt, in Romanes)

To work at a community college

I write this in tribute

To all the struggling students:


I met students

Who were economically disadvantaged

Who were learning disabled

Who were physically disabled


I met students

Who cut themselves in the privacy of their darkness

Who came home from war and shook at my desk from PTSD

Who struggled with the English language

Who suffered from Math Anxiety and could not graduate


I met a student

Who was beaten to death by her fiancé

Oh, what a lovely young woman she was

A veteran of a desert war

Beautiful. Ethereal

One day she saw a picture of Led Zeppelin on my bulletin board

The next day she brought me a book about them from the library

I will never recover…

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