"I am hearing poetry when awake, dreaming poetry when asleep, breathing poetry with each breath, I am living in a poem."

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Image ~ Wiki Commons

Winter walks in its icicle boots
through the gray morning
leaving tufted snow footprints.

Hot chocolate smiles
decorate frosted glass
as children peer out windows.

The brown grass of yesterday
hides under piles of snowflakes,
their glitter blinding the eye.

First snow a celebration,
voices cry, “Come see,
Mother Nature is dressed in white!”

©Susie Clevenger 2011
 Real Toads Open Link Monday

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Christmas Is Over

Christmas is over
Tinsel dulled
Ornaments broken
Ribbons tangled
Smiling photographs
Reminding me
We were happy

©Susie Clevenger 2010
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Absence of Sun

Sun shine in me again
I am afraid of the dark.
My soul is wandering
without a light to
lead it.


Sunshine has left my soul
I sit in the dark kicking
the dust stirred by my grief.

©Susie Clevenger 2010
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I Love You Diminished

The grandeur of
I love you
By the hand
At a cell phone
Leaving it
A minimalist
Luv U

©Susie Clevenger 2010
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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Profanity

The profanity
Of a belief system
That spreads fear
By judging
Skin color
Weapons gathered
To fight a war
Where all
Flesh will
Turn red

©Susie Clevenger 2010
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You Are the Sun

You are the sun,
illuminate yellow
marching through
the darkness in me.

My soul walks
out of its solitude
to breathe the fresh air
of your encouragement.

Your words rattling
the chains of my secrets,
their metallic noise
ringing in my ears.

My ghosts retreat
in your sunshine,
afraid I will evict them
when strengthened
by your freedom song.

© Copyright Susie Clevenger 2010
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Serengeti

The Serengeti,
its beauty
the contemporary
postcard of scenery
The grandeur of migration heard
in the hooves of Wildebeest
and Zebra.
An ancient ecosystem
holding its breath
it will remain unmarred
by its guardians.
But rumbles of greed
vibrate the land.
Progress desires
to plow a road
through paradise.
The cell phone
in the pocket of man
ringing death.
Humanity would
rather hear a ring tone
than the call of the wild.

Susie Clevenger 2011
In the pursuit of financial gain there are plans to build a highway through the Serengeti. The reason:  coltan, a metal vital to the production of cell phones and computers. 
To read more about this I have provided a link:
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Monday, December 27, 2010


Where is the magic
Of your days
If you cease to dream

There is a dream knocking
Open your heart
And welcome it home


Dreams are the diamonds
That sparkle in your soul


I am a dreamer
I see yes
When the world
Is covered in no


I dream with my heart open


Why shouldn’t I dream
Someone needs to remove
Impossible from the dictionary


Dreams are my wings
To carry me away
From those who
Have stopped dreaming

©Susie Clevenger 2010
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Hours A Parade

Days have passed
in sunrise and moon.
Their hours a parade
marching across my soul.
Time has passed too quickly.
Life has no rewind.
My quilt of calendar pages
growing with each day.
Each square stitched
with the thread
of my memories.

©Susie Clevenger 2010
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Word's Cold

Betrayal’s confession
Words cold
Their frosty breath
Hanging in the air
Love now
A winter landscape
Leaving the heart frozen in ice

©Susie Clevenger 2010
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A New Year

A new year
Upon which
I can place
The hope
That my
Will not
Follow me
With the
Turning of
The calendar

©Susie Clevenger 2011
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Love Is Not Prepackaged

Why do you think love
should come prepackaged
and all you have to do
is open it and pop it
into your heart like
it is a frozen dinner?

Love springs from a seed
planted in the heart,
full of first moments,
a glance, a kiss, a touch.

It is the change that
turns selfishness into generosity.
Love shares the ecstasy of joy.
Helps to carry the burden of sorrow.

It is the emotion that brings
the strong to tears,
gives the timid a voice,
leaves the verbose speechless.

Love is not a microwave emotion
where you can program it,
push a button and its done.
It takes rolling up the sleeves of your heart
to tend love’s garden to watch it grow.

©Susie Clevenger 2010
Open link Monday at Real Toads
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Inspiration's Cat and Mouse




© Copyright Susie Clevenger 2011

Real Toads Open Link Monday
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Monday, December 20, 2010

What Does Bitterness Taste Like

What does bitterness taste like
I know how it feels
Your fangs struck with
A list of my supposed offenses
Sending venom through the
Arms that were always
There to lift you up

©Susie Clevenger 2010
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Saturday, December 18, 2010

My Heart

My heart will never
stare with vacant eyes
rocking in a chair
draped in winter memories.
Love will have it
dancing in the street,
eyes twinkling,
dressed in a summer smile.

©Susie Clevenger 2010
Open Link Monday at Real Toads
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Thursday, December 16, 2010

I Held A Lottery

I held a lottery and my creditors won
Their hand plucking my earnings
Before the ink was dry on my check

I live in the land of plenty
Where it takes plenty to live
My cost of living beyond
The green coming through my door

My selfish heart does not want
To live a simpler life
I would rather stress about
Trying to have it all

Telephones, televisions, gadgets galore
A new car, new boat, new house
A gardener, a maid, a psychiatrist
All paid for with plastic money

Exhausted I eat I sleep I work
A rat race I keep running
Trying to earn enough money
To hold another lottery
Already knowing who will win

©Susie Clevenger 2010
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Sunday, December 12, 2010


Boredom cuts with its dull blade
Cutting away life’s enthusiasm
Slices of creativity fall to scatter
Across the mind leaving a puzzle
With no desire to connect the pieces

Tedium’s eyes stare blank
No light shining behind shuttered eyelids
Moments repeated exactly as those before
In a listless spiral the spirit plummets

Apathy has plenty of solitude
It does not attract companionship
Enthusiasm seeks sunshine
Not the gray clouds of indifference

©Susie Clevenger 2010
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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Soul Stained

My soul stained ebony
I haven’t the means to clean it
A reminder of my sins
This fingerprint of my past
Presses upon my spirit
My heart wanting
To confess but my mind
Screams you can’t face
The consequences

©Susie Clevenger 2010
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Hope Breathes Faintly

The cradle is robbed to find soldiers
to march off to a war,
cherub faces dying in battles
while greed profits from
weapons that spill blood.

An enemy has a face of all colors,
evil a passport stamped inhumane.

Doves carry backpacks labeled fragile.
Their road to peace
blocked by bombed bridges.

Can there be a victor
when the world is covered in blood?

Hope breathes faintly,
a weak heartbeat in the
chest of those praying for
a tomorrow without war

©Susie Clevenger 2010
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I Hear the Rain

I hear the rain on my window
almost like it is asking to come in,
its watery fingers knocking on the glass.

Thunder grumbles in the distance
walking ever closer with
with its cane of lighting bolts.

I sit my heart broken glass in my chest
cutting my soul into pieces,
the artery of trust severed.

The downpour outside my door
feels the tempest inside of me,
wailing its sympathy in the wind.

In lightening flash the storm
and I share communion.
Mother Nature’s tears join with mine

Huddled in the darkness
I thank her for her empathy,
a sisterhood of heartbreak sharing pain.

©Susie Clevenger  2011
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Why Am I Here

I stare at the sky,
infinity layered in stars.
The reason I am here
must be somewhere
beyond the Milky Way.
I know the answer is not
in the moon smiling at me.

©Susie Clevenger 2010
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My Heartbeat a Lullaby

Lie your head upon my heart
Let its beating be a lullaby
To comfort and bring sleep

Peace wooed by heartstrings
Come carry my love to dreamland
Daylight’s candle snuffed by the moon

Eyelashes flutter with feathery kiss
Slumber comes with sweet sigh
My heart song playing until morning

©Susie Clevenger 2010
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Friday, December 10, 2010

I Lie Down In Tears

I lie down in tears,
my heart broken,
but my resolve certain.
The pain at saying goodbye
less affliction than
to have my spirit die
by remaining with you.

I had buried myself under
what you wanted,
building you up,
while tearing myself down.

I can not be your salvation,
my sacrifice never enough.
The road to your healing
must take steps through
the hell I had no part in.

I toss and turn among questions
as to what my future will bring,
but I am taking my second chance.
Life began again with my goodbye.

©Susie Clevenger 2010
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We Are Tiny Pieces

We are tiny pieces of the universe.
A puzzle forming a picture
our eyes can not fully see,
Our edges shaped by life.
We are not connected
by our uniformity
but by our difference.

©Susie Clevenger 2010
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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I Saw Music Drown

Rain relentless,
the river is rising.
We will be fine,
it has never flooded
here before.

Sky still dark,
the rain keeps falling.
How long can
the river stay
from my door?

Wait! I hear music,
instruments playing
in the wind.
I don’t recognize
the tune.

The Cumberland
has spilled over
its banks.
The music
is not in the wind;
it is coming down river.

History changed,
it is flooding here.
Violin, guitar, mandolin
are swallowed in its surge.

Death is in the river,
but I am safe.
I will forever remember
the day I saw music drown.

© Copyright Susie Clevenger 2010

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Do You Know Love

Do you know love
How it feels
What it tastes like
The perfume of it

A warm intoxication
That floods through
Your veins
Heating your soul

Breath that catches
In the throat
A delicious surrender
Of all you are
Into the hands of another

Love is beautiful
It walks with you
When the sun is shining
And carries you
In the darkness

Time or heaven
Can not say
All that love is
It is the glory of today
The majesty of infinity

Love doesn’t seek
An explanation
It wants only to
Touch the heart
A question simple
Yet is asks everything
Do you know love

©Susie Clevenger 2010
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Monday, December 6, 2010

Conformity Not My Path

A path before me
Well marked
Followed by
So many
Security in
Guiding my
Feet to walk it

My spirit holds
Its breath
Surely I
Who can
Be a parade of one
Would not
Choose conformity

I take a step
To only veer
From the known path
My feet creating
An avenue where
No one has walked
My soul singing
Come follow ME

©Susie Clevenger 2010
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A Gold Circle

A gold circle
No beginning
No end
I am his
He is mine
Vows before God
Until death
Do us part
Until deception
Tarnished love
Turning forever
Into temporary

©Susie Clevenger 2011
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Monday, November 29, 2010

Sir Do You Know Your Age

The day sad
A smile childish
In its bravado
A decorated
World War II veteran
Taking a test
To determine competence

Sir can you count
What day is it
Do you know your age
Can you tell me your name

Children rage at nature
That their once strong father
Sat confused
Giving answers
Confirming his inadequacy

He had once been a young man
Who went off to war
Fighting to preserve
Freedom for his generation
And the ones that would follow

Now he sat an elderly man
Believing he has the mind
And strength of his yesterdays
When his legs barely
Have strength to stand

Documents signed
And placed in a folder
A war veteran no longer
In charge of his financial affairs

Hearts heavy the children
Glance from one to another
Knowing that the time has come
To become the caretakers of their father

They must stand together
To protect and honor a father
Who had fought a war
To protect them

©Susie Clevenger 2010
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Friday, November 26, 2010

Don't Plan to Be Happy

Tomorrow it will be here
Over the next horizon
The next full moon
Then I will be happy

A plan for happiness
Written as an itinerary
The heart engaged
In the destination
Missing the joy
In the journey

Inhale with thanksgiving
And exhale with praise
For the moment
You are given

Look toward tomorrow
But don’t miss today
Stop your planning
Happiness is already here
Open your soul
And let it in

©Susie Clevenger 2010

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I Am My Beginning

I am my beginning
My Halloween past
With its grim reaper
Who left a childhood slain
Has been purged
From my spirit

I am walking away
From what I have been
A tormented adult
Locked the secret
Of a young child

I am not looking back
To view the anguish
Too many years were spent
Swimming in tears

I am my freedom
The bonds that
Held me to my history
Cut by my hand

©Susie Clevenger 2010
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I Don't Have a Religion

Ask what is my religion
I must answer I don’t have one
I was once tied to the mainstream
Submerged in an interpretation
That left me with more questions
I wrestled with a label
That confined my soul
Sitting in four walls of hypocrisy
I had an epiphany
I must walk away from religion
To set my spirit free

©Susie Clevenger 2010
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Monday, November 22, 2010

How Beautiful

How beautiful your face
The beauty within paints your cheeks
To see your heart is full
A soul not hollow

Your kindness not a pretense
An act of love overflowing
No value system to elevate
One person above another

A diamond of rare value
Your sparkle the reflection
Of the joy you bring
Life enriched by just being you

Blessed are those who
Hear the words from your lips
I love you
Because heaven has just touched them

©Susie Clevenger 2010
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The Flower and Man

The flower blooms no more
Petals fallen to join earth
So is the life of man
A hurrah for a season
To end his journey
United with the dust

©Susie Clevenger 2010
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Hello's Smile Goodbye's Tears

I smiled at hello
And cried at goodbye
Perhaps I got it wrong

My tears would have
Come much sooner
Had I known my heart
Would be broken

But I can not tell the future
Today holds secrets yet untold
To love is to risk

Amour you can be cruel
Life without it empty
I will love again

Tonight I will dream
Praying you will no longer
Visit me when I am sleeping

©Susie Clevenger 2010
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Friday, November 19, 2010

Come to Me Night

Come to me night
Agony was delivered by the sun
I want to curl up in your oblivion

Wrap your shadow quilt around me
I don’t want to be seen
My ears weary from empty platitudes

Grief has walked across my soul
Scarring my joy
With its spiked shoes

My empty heart finds comfort
In your blackness
I hate sunlight’s delight in showing my pain
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Death By Words

We sacrifice those we profess to love
The moment our feelings become
More important than truth

Emotions are fickle influenced
By whatever breeze of opinion
Blows across our hearing

I love you unconditionally
Until we disagree
Then eye and voice send daggers

Some are weapons specialists
Having an arsenal held in reserve
To unleash the moment of disharmony

A list of supposed offenses
Are shot with a verbal cannon
Aimed at the center of the heart
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Poetry Litter

A waste basket sees
more of my poetry
than a reader does.
It is a process
of false starts,
incomplete passages,
crumpled thoughts
creating poetry litter
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Confession at a Price

A therapist seeks my confession
The release of the darkness
Hidden deep in my psyche
All for a price
A clock ticking dollar signs

I refuse to sit and be prodded
To delve into my pain
Wounds opened without a bandage
Why what where how
My soul’s laundry to be sorted
And hung on a rusty clothesline

If Pandora’s box is to be opened
It will be by my hand
A couch of paper and pen
Exposing the monsters in my mind
Poetic therapy cleansing me of agony
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Music Spoke Her Name

A child afraid
Of shadows
That warred
Across the ceiling
Hid in bed sheets
Crying until sleep
Rescued her

Morning brought light
But no comfort
Fear followed her
Into the sunshine

Secrets whispered
You must not tell
Dark playmates
Bullying her

Friends were few
Her giggles hollow
She cried more
Than she spoke

Full of despair
Her tiny heart trampled
She was lost
Until she heard
Music call her name

A radio her fairy godmother
It touched her soul with
Melodies magic wand
Taking her away from her pain
The darkness pushed back
Her smiles became real

Nights no longer a theater of ghosts
She sang herself to sleep
Music her night watchman
Keeping her safe as she dreamed
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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Anger's Snarling Fingers

Anger you wrap your snarling fingers
Around me turning me into a shrew
Bitterness pours from my lips
Poisoning the air with my harping
My own ears tire at the sound of my voice

I have a list of my reasons for outrage
Thumb tacked to my memory
Obscuring the teaching
To be angry and sin not

I must find a way to forgive
Resentment a cancer destroying
The integrity I once possessed
I pray I can take baby steps
The first being to keep my mouth shut
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I Paid With My Heart

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Veined Electric Hand

Night shroud
Pulled back
By lightening
Secrets revealed
By the veined
Electric hand

Startled eyes
Stare from
Their revelation
Anonymity lost
They attempt
To crawl back
Into their mystery

Zeus angered
Fires his thunderbolts
To destroy
The deceivers refuge
Lies stripped
Their souls
Stand naked

Skeletons dance
In the wind
Their bony appendages
Beckoning those
Who dared
To sing a liar’s song
To lie in the abode
Of the dead

Lightening and thunder
Shout a warning
To those who
Contemplate deceit
Lies have no
Hiding place
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A clock ticks
But not fast enough
Hating this moment
Wishing for the next

Impatience taps it foot
Inside my brain
Joined with thoughts
That pace among questions

My heart sits on the edge
It wants to leap into love
I gave an ultimatum
Destiny waiting on a phone call
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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day

Election day
Political parties
Full of promises
Their feet mired in mud
Democracy standing
At the polls
Voters weathered
By a storm of negativity
Poised to give
Their yes or no
Wondering if
This United States
Will be any closer
To the indivisible hope
That rings from the
Noble words of
Its pledge of allegiance
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Among Miracles

I sit among miracles
They are as close
As my heart
And as far as my unbelief

At times my faith sees them
At others I am blinded
By my doubt

Too often I am Thomas
Needing a miracle
And doubting I will
Receive one
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Monday, October 25, 2010

A Question

A question asked
An elephant sitting
In the room
Its weight crushing
The answer
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If A Curse

If it is a curse you will speak
Speak it now
I stand here hoping
I love you
Will come from your lips

I am the fool waiting on you
To decide if you care
I hate the feeling
My pride removed like a cloak
And thrown at your feet

Once I felt warmed by
The sunshine of your smile
Now winter stares at me
From your eyes
Coldness seeps into my soul
My heart as brittle as glass

Blessing or curse
I have gone beyond caring
My dignity has risen to its feet
I give my own answer
It is goodbye
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Hate or Hope

Desire of flesh
Wants no restraint
Red hot succumbing
To immediate pleasure
Its price deferred
Until it must be paid

Religion engaged
In condemning
Love absent
The Spirit’s exit
Fingers busy
Pointing out
The other’s sins

Humanity boils in
A black cauldron
Skin color divides
Unity impossible
As long as hate remains

Gentle voices of peace
Murmur in rotting cities
Survival dependent
On the end to war
Hope joining hands
With love
Praying they can succeed
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The wind blowing color away,
orange, yellow and red
scattered across the ground,
brilliance turning brown.

Trees stand naked under the sun.
Limbs wrapped around trunks
trying to keep warm.

Fall is in its final gasp.
Its glory rattling in piles
raked knee deep.
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Saturday, October 23, 2010

My Midnight Monologue

A clock ticks minutes leaving
The tick tock punctuating
This too will end

Grabbing my voice I speak
My midnight monologue
To gray cats curled at my feet

Another day retreating
I have spent it alone
The sun saying hello
The moon yawning goodbye

Friends with four legs
Dressed in fur coats
My only companions

I am as absent in my own life
As the humanity that never
Walks through my front door

I am the isolation I reside in
A recluse as blank
As a chalkboard wiped clean

If I am ever to have a life
I must begin to live
There can’t be one more day
Of locking myself away

Dear cats you are comfort
But you can not speak
Sunshine has to find me
Walking out of my exile
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Friday, October 22, 2010

Leave Me Not Alone

Leave me not alone
For a moment away
Is an eternity I can’t reclaim

Your heart is the life of mine
A valentine beating
Inside my chest

The blue of your eyes
The ocean I want
To drown in
Knowing their twinkle
Is my salvation

Your arms my comfort
When I need it
Your touch erotic
When passion ignites

Tomorrow seems so far away
Today feels like forever
My love implores you
Leave me not alone
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Winter Stars Blind

Winter stars blind,
opaque eyes staring
across bright moon snow.

Nights watching ice ballets
of secrets across the meadow
has taken their sight.

They listen to lovers
and respond with twinkles.
Their vision gone
but their soul shining.

Stars join in smiles
whispering to the moon,
"We may not see love,
but we know it is there.

©Susie Clevenger 2010
Painting: Starry Night-Van Gogh 
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I Made My Bed

I made my bed
I must lie in it
Rumpled sheets
Of unforgiving
Tossing and turning
On a mattress of regret
Lonely keeping me awake
When I should be dreaming
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Spring to a Winter Heart

The melody of a feathered songstress
Floats on the sunshine
Bringing spring to a winter heart

Too many yesterdays had gathered
Causing snow to replace raven hair
Living more in memories than today

With the song of a tiny bird
Life begins to shine in dulled eyes
A smile breaking the ice of grief

Another season a gift not a burden
Looking at a beginning not an ending
Fragile hands joined with the strength of hope
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Et Cetera

My night the same
As every one
Before it
I eat dinner
I do the dishes
I feed my cats
I read
Et cetera

Etc. a grandiose
Latin term I use
To give an impression
My evening was
So busy I couldn’t
List all my activities

The truth being
My list ends with
I brush my teeth
I go to bed

I don’t live
A simple life
My life is moments
Encapsulated in dull
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Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Two o’clock
In the morning
The page bare
Fingers poised
To write
I can’t
To open my heart
Would leave
My soul exposed
I am afraid
My fear yellow in
The moonlight
With the sun I will
Be Brave
Daylight drag your feet
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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Snow Night

Snow night as bright as noon
The winter moon dances
Across a frozen lake

Air chilled without a breeze
Has trees standing silent
Limbs ebony silhouettes
Against a crystal sky

The breath of angels floats
Across the ground
As they call to one another
Bidding welcome and
Speak of the miracles
They will convey before morning

Peace walks through snow dreams
Leaving its footprints
On the hearts of a world sleeping
Praying it can remain when
Humanity awakens
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Joy of Unwritten and Unsung

Music heard and learned is a treat to the soul
But what joy the anticipation of a song
Yet unwritten and unsung

Emotions sit at a piano waiting
To move the hands of a composer
To convey rapture or sorrow

In imagination’s birthing room
Lyrics wait to be delivered
By the pen of a song writer

Melodies, harmonies, choruses
Join in inspiration’s dance
Through the mind of a musician

Soon a new song will be sung
And with its singing
Another one waits to be written
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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sunlight Goodbye

Let night come
I wish to hide
In sunlight my love said goodbye

A starlight comforter to cover me
No haunting sunbeams
To shine a yellow smile

Sweet words from lying lips
Spoken too easily
In a blue sky day

Escape comes in black muffling
Where dreams appear in shadows
Reality’s edges softened

Night please stay with me
Hold back the sun
I don’t want it to see my tears
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Monday, October 11, 2010

Tears Of Peace

The tears of Peace
Fall on the hands
Of a soldier clinging
To a weapon
Weeping that governments
Bring death as a mediator
Bodies negotiating
The terms of surrender
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Monday, October 4, 2010

My Sins

Alone in black ink night
My sins dance
In daylight colors
Through my brain

Growing tired of
Hiding in the desolate
Rooms of my soul
They flirt with my lips
Tempting me to confess

Veiled transgressions
Cast aside their
Covering to wink
At me with seductive
Promises that
Confession is freedom

Confusion fills me
To be unburdened
Would bring release
But with revelation
Comes agony
My night only getting darker
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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Pride A Lonely Companion

My heart beats regret
That I let love say goodbye
Pride a lonely companion

I held on to I was right
Without considering
I could be wrong

Standing so absolute
Has me now absolutely alone
The silence deafening
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My Lack of Ambition

I arose to greet the morning
With one brilliant thought
And promptly forgot it
Why complicate my day
With expectancy
I would rather lounge
On my lack of ambition
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Elvis On a Street Corner

Elvis on a street corner
Hard life stamped on his face
A cigarette halo
Above a black hair pompadour
Aviator sunglasses cover eyes
Praying to be noticed
Cheap rings circle each finger
Tiny stature trying to stand tall
A dime store king
Spending his waking hours
Paying homage to his idol
In caricature impersonation
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Summer Bloom

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Nature's Hand Mirror

I walked down to the river
to view nature’s hand mirror,
a watery reflection making
its way to the sea.

Life and death have seen
their likeness in its water,
smiles floating on the surface
as tears drown in the dark.

The vain sun view’s its shining
in sparkles of rainbow droplets,
while the moon glimpses
its romantic face at midnight.

Blue sky adjusts its appearance
with a scattering of cotton clouds
as geese erase their likeness
by the flapping of wings.

My own image caught for a moment
stood looking up at me,
a grown woman daydreaming
about a mirror’s trip to the sea.

©Susie Clevenger 2010
Poetry Palace

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Peace Can Not Be Bought

Peace can not be bought with war
A heart that seeks a battle
Has anger in its core

Forgiveness is the foundation
On which peace is built
If not we will lose a generation

Young men and women who will pay
The price for hatred between nations
A world without hope burned gray
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Hollow Halls

Wandering the hollow halls of my lonely heart
Footsteps echo among broken dreams
Why following me to torment

Faded photographs hang
On the walls of my memory
Smiles haunting me with their joy

I raise my voice to rage at fate
How cruel you have left me alone
Days too long with thoughts too painful

My conscience prodding me to be silent
Its voice breaking through my self pity
Fate hasn’t left you abandoned
You are the reason for your desolation

Useless to argue with myself
Pride has turned love and friendship away
Forgiveness must be asked
Humility my salvation
Read More

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I Pray

Knees pressed to the ground
Hands palm to palm
Eyes lifted to heaven
I pray

Lord are you there
Am I just speaking to the wind
Please do you hear me

We are killing each other
In your name because
We have drawn lines
Separating mankind
And we call it religion

Each system
Proclaiming they are
The correct path to You
While love is sacrificed
On an altar littered
With conditions

Lord save us from our division
That has religion bearing weapons
In an attempt to force
One belief on another
Touting their desire is peace
Peace is not peace
When it is covered in blood

My knees tired
My hands weak
My eyes raised to heaven
I continue to pray
Read More

If You Are Serving Misery

If you are going to serve me misery
Please provide music so it will be easier to swallow
Nothing is as dry as the crust of bitterness
A melody would help me to tune it out
Read More

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Living On The Net

Living on the net
Words communicated in print
Acronym messages
A 21st century shorthand
Speaking to photographs
We call friends
The sound of a voice
Rare almost extinct
Creating a cyber identify
With reality in question
Technology birthing
A world void of human touch
Read More

Friday, September 24, 2010

Banality Or Avant-garde

The brain becomes a stagnant pool
When not challenged or inspired
Perception murky in monotony

Vision impaired without a dream
No sight beyond mundane
Eyes blank their light dulled

Originality swims against the tide
In orthodox’s sea to reach
The shores of ingenuity

Once there it explores to find
That which has never been
Mapping a course to brilliance

Reflection should be given
To see in which domain you reside
Banality littered with dull
Or Avant-garde sparkling in imagination
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There Will Be Disappointment

Disappointment comes
No magic wand to stop it
There are no’s planted
Among the yes’s

Adversity knocks you down
It shows your character
On how you rise up

Life is a series of lessons
Your success comes
From being willing to learn
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

What Can I Give You

I am poor what can I give you
My pockets empty
The only thing I possess is my dreams

Some are tattered from years
Of trying to see them fulfilled
There are those brand new
Shiny with hope
And dreams I have yet to dream

I haven’t any money
May I give you my dreams
Wrapped in my soul
And tied with my heartstrings
That say I love you
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Risen From Ashes of Neglect

Truth harsh-honest
Must be said
Ears don’t want to hear

Words with no buffer
Poured out with heat
Burn the soul

You knew this evil
Found me each night
You did nothing to stop it

I was a child unprotected
A sacrifice by your indifference
My body and mind scarred

Questions strike the conscience
Why did you allow it
Was it easier to pretend ignorance

No longer can you turn from it
You must look at me
A survivor risen from the ashes of your neglect
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Enlightenment

Selfishness cages the spirit
In walls of bloated ego
A self centered solitary confinement

In its daily rations of conceit
A skeletal soul rattles its chains
Of self absorption

Altruism is the key to unlock
This prison of vanity
The enlightenment
It is not all about me
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Moon My Joy

Moon you are my joy
Light shining into my soul
Dreams come on your moonbeams

In your brightness I know freedom
My cloak of insecurity tossed
I can be whomever I wish

Arms thrown wide I dance
For a few precious moments
A ballerina performing in starlight

Night creatures sing among the grass
A chorus to accompany my arias
I lift to a midnight sky

The poems from my heart
Speaking of a love I keep hidden
Can be recited without censor

Dear moon stay with me
Remain in my spirit
That I might be the me I am in your shining
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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Moonless Summer Night

Summer night
Dark without the moon
Shadows haunt
In midnight robes
Heat burning
Its delirium into the soul
Causing faces to melt
Into unrecognizable specters
Fright buries its fingers
Into the brain
Mixing reality with unreality
As torrid insanity
Takes peace prisoner
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

You Are My Love

There is no light
Except that in your eyes
The sun a darkened star
Rising at your request
Gathering its luminance
From your smile

My love sonnets inspired
By your effect upon my heart
There must be a thousand ways
To say I love you
I am still counting

I hear my heartbeat
And know it beats for you
Your perfume scents
The air I breathe
You are so deep in my soul
I know not where I end
And where you begin

Passion for you an eternal flame
I beg for its heat to burn me
No one has ever touched me
The way that you have
You are my love my heart my destiny
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Monday, September 6, 2010

I Am A Butterfly

I am a butterfly
Cocooned in restlessness
My wings beating
Against my chest

I wish to fly
But I am held
Inside the thousand
Reasons I shouldn’t

How can I be free
When I am tethered
To what others
Expect of me

I spend my days
Flying only as far
As the limit of
My restraint

Freedom’s nectar
Just beyond my reach
My wings must get stronger
If I am ever to escape
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Love Sweet Insanity

Love is sweet insanity
The irrational act
Of giving your heart
To another to cherish
Or have it returned
To you broken

Such madness creates a song
Inspires the hand of a painter
Touches the soul to write a poem
Moves the body in dance

It matters not if love soars
Or crashes to the depths
The heart will take the risk
That for a moment or forever
It might know the touch
Of exquisite passion
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I know I am leaving
In my lucid moments
I realize I am losing myself

I have to say goodbye
Please stay with me
I recognize your face

Let me hold you
Feel the knowing for a moment
Before I turn around and it is gone

This journey is frightening
I know I won’t return
I have always hated to say goodbye

(For my mother who had Alzheimer’s)
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My Limitations

Words don’t always do justice
To what the soul is speaking
I just write with my limitations
Taking my pen to attempt to translate
The language of my spirit
A quickening that reaches into my heart
Turning inspiration into a paintbrush
Creating a verbal painting on printed canvas
To be hung in a reader’s gallery
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Tuesday, August 31, 2010


A bookmark saving the place
Where I last read
A bright red tassel against white pages

I should pick up the book to read again
But how do you read love sonnets
With a broken heart

Black ink speaking love
Can step into a storm and not be shaken
From its course of happily ever after

My forever didn’t survive the tempest
I am surrounded with the debris of love’s end
Tears burning the torn edges of my soul

I feel nothing but the stone in my chest
A heart no longer beating joy
But an erratic thumping of loneliness

I stare at the bookmark wondering
What sonnet I last read
Perhaps one day I will have the courage to look
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Monday, August 30, 2010

Thoughts Rattle

Thoughts rattle through me,
a collection of dry memories
haunting me in their shrouds.
There is no reason for their torture.
I had buried my love for you
inside the tomb that is now my heart.
I want no Lazarus resurrection
of that pain to torment me.
I wish only to erase you from my soul.
Read More

A Life Inside Quotation Marks

Have you ever looked in the mirror and wondered
Am I just a collection of someone else’s thoughts
Living my life inside quotation marks
Leaving my own soul unexplored
Passion no more than a photocopy
Of the inspiration born in another
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It is easy to be brave when you don’t need to be
To brag you can face anything without fear
In the moments your life is filled with ordinary

Courage comes when the unthinkable
Bursts upon you with all its agony
Your heart crushed in fear’s fingertips

Life’s pop quiz for which you are unprepared
Crying out prayers -seeking answers
When heaven remains silent

True bravery comes when you need it
A rushing in of your soul to assist you
When your humanity can’t bear the weight
Read More

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tortured Territory

The past a tortured territory
The eyes begging blindness
The ears praying to be deaf

This could not be the place
That formed me
A bitter land of pain

I thought to have escaped it
My memory cauterized
To keep yesterday from
Escaping to torment

To remember now --why
My smile removed
By the march of evil
A hideous slide show

Time does not alleviate pain
It only manages
To stuff the horrid into a closet
To wait until something triggers
The memory to unlock its door
Read More

I Let Music

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Wine Bottle Empty

The wine bottle empty
I can’t drink you away
Behind closed eyelids
I see your face
Your kiss a memory
I can still taste

The dance in my heart stilled
Lonely steps now my waltz
Parting is not sweet sorrow
It is a tearing of the soul

I have no tears
I have cried my heart dry
Reflection has gone
From a blessing to my curse

I sit alone staring at a glass
Trying to rally hope
Amongst the red stains
Of wine splattered on the table
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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Inspiration a Journey

You can’t sit in a chair
Waiting for inspiration
To sit down beside you
Rise to your feet and
And walk in its steps
Inspiration is a journey
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010


If your desire can be caught and domesticated
You were without it to begin with
There should be a wildness in your soul
That stirs you to want something with
Such urgency you can’t rest until it is met
Desire can not be satisfied with maybe
Or a weak replica of the dream in the heart
Gather your hope your want your need
Keep persevering until you have what you seek
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Quiet's Silent Steps

Quiet took its silent steps
Across my heart leaving
Footprints of peace
The noise that had suffocated
My tranquility subdued
When I stopped running
And stood still
Read More

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Doors of Contenment

Behind the doors of contentment
lie turmoil’s memories,
days of uncertainty lived in upset.

Lessons learned at the feet of chaotic
leave the psyche fractured,
but survival gives an appreciation of peace.

Set aside assumptions when seeing
a soul residing in quiet.
It knows well the journey through discontent.

©Susie Clevenger 2010
Photograph: Favim
Read More

Tiny Smudges

It is not a perfect day
that brings me joy.
It is a day filled
with imperfection,
those tiny smudges
across the hours
that bring the unexpected.

©Susie Clevenger 2010
Read More

Summer's Final Days

Summer has burnt into its final days
Leaving a haze to blanket blue skies
Life hiding in shade to escape the swelter

Memories new ---wrapped in smiles
Will be placed in daydream gift boxes
To be opened when winter stands outside the door

School bells poised to ring will announce
The end to Summer’s intermission
As the year enters its third act

But Summer in its last hurrah will dance naked
Under the August moon
In a celebration of heat before Fall comes
To bring its golden chill
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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I Tried To Be Quiet

I tried to be quiet
dressed in a sweater
knitted in silence,
but it didn’t fit.
I felt like I was
dressed for my
own funeral,
lain joyless in
a coffin made
from planks
of conventional.
I am noise and life,
giggles and spontaneity.
I don’t want to be
anyone else.
I just want to be me.

© Copyright Susie Clevenger 2010
Read More

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

Just Drink From It

Life is to be lived
Not put on hold
While you discuss
Your philosophy

Why attend endless
Seminars on how
To have a better life
And return to
What you have
Always done

Stop just saying
Positive affirmations
And begin
Believing them

Instead of buying
A book on how
To express yourself
Just open your
Heart and speak

What does it matter
If the glass is half full
Or if it is half empty
Just drink from it
Read More

Sunlit Kisses In Midnight Moonlight

Sunlit kisses in midnight moonlight
Bright joy reaching the soul
As lips meet under a lunar canopy
Love’s question answered
In the language of a kiss
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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Poem's Key

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Raindrops My Hiding Place

If I were to cry in the rain
no one would know my tears,
raindrops my hiding place.

Grief breaks my heart,
saying goodbye hurts
but living is more pain.
You are in heaven’s arms;
I am bound to earth.

My ears are closed to
the simplistic sentiment time heals.
Please rain fall so I can hide
from those who keep telling me
I will be all right.

©Susie Clevenger  2010
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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

So Many Words

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Barefoot Thoughts

Warm summer night
Lazy thoughts walking
Barefoot through my brain
Hazy images trying to form
Dressed in casual verse
The heat making intellectual
Commentary too much effort
My poetry preferring to
Recline on short vocabulary
And flip through the pages
Of my memory viewing poems
I have already written
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Happy that choice beyond
What circumstance dictates
Chasing the negative
Out of your heart
With the determination
Of a runner preparing
For a marathon

Depression would rather
Have you in the midst
Of a life storm being
Pelted with hailstones
Than see you rise up
And seek shelter
From those who would
Lift your spirits

Expect the worst and
You just might find life
Will meet your expectation
Pessimism is the rust
That corrodes your joy

Choosing to be happy
Doesn’t mean
You look at life through rose
Colored glasses
It means you don’t let
The gray in your skies
Leave you living blue
Read More

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Goodbye My Friend

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My Dance

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Saturday, July 31, 2010


Passion flares for a breath
Its burning consuming
Then life pours its
Water of reality on it

The every day cools the flame
With the need to go to work
Can you fix the leaking faucet
Children crying at the door

Passion has it moments of glory
To bring excitement to the soul
But intimacy grows bonds of love
Sealing heart to heart
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Friday, July 30, 2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Moonlight On Two Wheels

Moonlight summer on two wheels
Starlight reflection in chrome
As your heart listens to the road song

A machine animal prowling the night
Eating miles of pavement
Hungry for speed and freedom

Bike and body joined
Hands gliding through gears
In a ride with the wind

Hours pass unnoticed
Lost in an asphalt rumble
Just you the road and the moon
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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Freedom In The Rain

Drops of rain splattering on the sidewalk
A drumming invitation to come out and play
To let the child inside me have freedom

The adult arguing with the child
Grownups don’t do such nonsense
Tossing work aside the child wins

Shoes off splashing through mud puddles
Smelling the air washed clean
I toss my head back to catch raindrops on my tongue

Troubles recede as I dance in the rain
A few moments of feeling lighter than air
Enjoying the child within
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Friday, July 23, 2010

In A Sea Of Identical

There was a time when
I attempted to stuff
All that made me different
Inside a trunk in my soul

I wanted to escape into average
So I would not be noticed
One in a sea of identical

But once named an oddity
I could not escape it
Whispers followed me
On gossip’s wings

Lie’s arrows hit me
With wounds deep
Average was filled with
Vicious packs of peers
With an agenda
Of seek and destroy

Left to die on the battlefield
I could not stop the words
That were thrown at me
But I could stop trying
To become someone
I was never meant to be
Read More

A Good Book

There is nothing like a good book
Corners turned down where favorite
Passages are marked to be reread

An old friend who has something
New to say each time you meet
And doesn’t mind that you
Curl up with a blanket

A story to draw you in
And close the world out
Minutes of escape where
Your imagination leaves
Behind the routine of your day
Read More

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Teenager 4

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Teenager 3 (Pieces of Thought Continued)

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Teenager 2

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Written When I Was A Teenager

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Thoughts Once Printed

Your thoughts once printed
Can not be taken back
Their freedom should
Be considered well
Before they are unleashed
Chances are you won’t be
Sitting next to the reader
To give explanation of your intent
Read More

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Love Planted

Flowers now bloom inside my soul
A vibrant garden planted by a butterfly
Her wings bearing love’s seeds
To grow in stony ground

Bitterness was the soil of my heart
Nothing could thrive in that cold place
I didn’t care to ever love again

The butterfly took no offense at my rejection
She continued to come near
Joy surrounding in the beating of her wings

By coincidence or design I began to
Feel my vow to not love again crumble
My heart going from Winter to Spring

I never wanted to love again
But my heart could not resist
The flight into my soul of a butterfly
Read More

Midnight Hour

Midnight hour come quickly
Evening is exhausted
From chasing away
The fireflies with their lanterns

Darkness whispers as to not
Wake the humans tucked
Inside their dreams

The twelve strokes of night
Will summon the unknown from
Their hiding place in the shadows

They have much to accomplish
Placing imaginations’ clues
At each doorstep before
The night gives way to dawn

It is in the midnight hour
That today hands the torch to tomorrow
Hoping the new day will
Continue the work of seeing imagination thrive
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Saturday, July 17, 2010

My Diary

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Mama I Miss You

Mama I sat and looked at you
Wanting to scream
Please remember me
Come back from that
Horrible land of unknowing
Your tears broke my heart
As you looked at me
Not recognizing my face

I couldn’t help you find home again
It was a place in your mind
Where I could not travel
Today was not real to you
You were lost in the past

I didn’t know that September day
Would be the last time
I would hear your voice
Or hold your hand
Feel your arms around me

Mama I miss you
Sometimes I feel like
That little girl
You were searching for
Wanting you to kiss my forehead
And tell me everything will be fine
Read More

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Goodbye On The Telephone

I don’t want to see you
I don’t want you to
See the pain in my face
I won’t take the chance
I might change my mind

I am tired so tired
Tired from loving you
Weary of feeling
My heart torn

I am saying goodbye
Goodbye to you on the telephone
Tears staining your number

Hearing it ring
One two three rings
I am not sure
You will even answer

Your voice saying hello
It hurts to hear you
Say my name
I know it is for the
Last time

My heart crying
I speak to you
This is the last time
I will say I love you
I’m saying goodbye
Goodbye on the telephone
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My Thoughts A Gypsy Caravan

Sleep again you evade me
I lie awake my thoughts
A gypsy caravan
Stopping for a moment
To entertain and then
Leaving for the next

Like a moth to light
I am drawn to sit
At a bohemian campfire
Illuminated with memories
I had hoped to leave behind

Daydreams dance
Through my heart
Seductive with the recall
Of my love’s touch on my skin

My musings nomadic
A restless search
For somewhere
He does not inhabit
A land void of
His face his voice

At every turn I find him
My soul snared
My thoughts a gypsy caravan
Keeping me awake
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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

You Can But Will You

It is not can you dream
It is will you dream
Have you slain imagination
With your bitter sword
Of apathy

You no longer care
It is easier than dreaming
To be blank
Thinking they will never come true
Dreams only die if you
Are the one giving them the
Death sentence

Everyone fails
The greatest invention
Did not come from a
Single attempt
Failures are stepping stones
That will take you to success

Take a deep breath
Let go of your unbelief
Look inside your soul
And start dreaming again
Read More

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Grass May Be Greener

I looked over the fence into my neighbor’s yard
It is true the grass is greener there
The most beautiful emerald

There is perfection in its manicured landscaping
Flowers blooming in bright color
A shrub cut and shaped into an angel

I imagine there isn’t even an insect
There that wasn’t given a gilded invitation
To come play among the greenery

I turn to look at my own yard
The grass is a dull green with
The occasional weed waving in the wind

My flower gardens have yet to be planted
Cracked pottery mud splashed
Sits abandoned on the patio

As I stood bemoaning my lack of a green thumb
Giggles played through my thoughts
Visions of my little girls making mud pies

The very gardens without flowers were the fairy kingdoms
Where my little princesses held court
Dressed in ball gowns they found in their toy box

The grass on my yard my not be as green
But the memories planted there
Are more precious than a plaque reading
Yard of the month
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Monday, July 12, 2010

The Legibility of Your Signature

Signing your name
That specific penmanship
Indicating your agreement

Documents in black and white
With endless clauses
All as clear as swamp mud

Smile pasted on your face
You just wanted to buy a car
Not promise to forfeit your soul

Press down hard enough
To reach all the copies
Duplicates no triplicates

Finally you are handed the keys
With a stack of papers
You head out the door

The drive home should be happy
But all you can think of
Is the legibility of your signature
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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Liar's Lips

From a liar’s lips comes untruth
As does the argument
No one can be believed

Dishonesty’s paranoia that
All are just like him
Deceivers twisting truth
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Please One Step

My feet are paralyzed
One step please one step
I want to move closer to you

Your smile is so enticing
It must be fate
You are in my favorite coffee shop

Give me the boldness to speak
I hear that song playing in my head
Hello I love you

There should be birds singing
Fireworks going off around me
Not the grind of the coffee machine

Please feet move
Just one step
One step will bring me
Closer to you
Read More

Friday, July 9, 2010

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Prudence Not Creativity's Approach

Prudence is not creativity’s approach
Indulge your thought to spend
All it can on artistry

It should not be clothed as a beggar
When imagination is rich
Dress it in your best

To leave the world part of your soul
Let it not be said you gave less
Than all you had to give
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Secrets Are Bondage

Secrets are bondage
Chains wrapped around
Your spirit by the one
You have shared it with

Freedom sacrificed
Fear your prison
Walls erected with
Bricks of please don’t tell

Better to know liberty
By telling the world
Your secret with
Your own mouth
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What Did I Just Say

What did I just say
My mother’s words
Surely not

The sayings I mocked
Begged to not hear again
Now coming from my lips

I won’t tell her
I know she would laugh
Say I told you so

But the words were perfect
Even sounded wise
Have I been passed a verbal baton

To impart the very
Words of wisdom
That my mother once said
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Room to Imagine

Days spent living in ordinary
Suffocate the dreamer
To breathe she must
Have room to imagine

Generic constant sits on her
Like a cosmic paperweight
Holding her down
When she wants to fly

She won’t be contained
In a box marked routine
Allow her to daydream
And she might let you
Have a glimpse of the
Joy in her world
Read More

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I Am The Only Me

I look at myself too often
As the least of these
Everyone else having
More importance

To value others
Without first finding
Value in myself
Is my failure

In basic pronouncement
I am the only me
That will ever be
My fingerprint on life
Like no other
Read More


Family are those you run to
When life gives you
Lessons you don’t
Want to learn

They hold you long enough
To catch your breath
And then push you
Out the front door
Into the world again
Read More

Monday, July 5, 2010

Hidden In Plain Sight

So many words about self
An endless litany of
What you do
Where you go
Who you know

Yet nothing personal
The emotions
The dreams
The hurt

Animated with your verbosity
You give a persona of being open
No one realizing it is not so

Hidden in plain sight
Your talking a camouflage
To keep others from
Actually knowing you
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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Music My Drug

Music is my drug.
I am lost in its addiction,
a junkie seeking a daily fix.

My drug paraphernalia my ipod,
I search through the music
finding the tune to give me
my next high.

My portable drug dealer in my ear
I dance to whatever is my drug of choice,
Blues, Rock, Latin, Reggae.

Guitar chords pump through my soul
as I give myself to the rhythm,
my body lost in movement.

Rehab for me is not an option.
I am caught in music’s clutches
with no desire to escape.

©Susie Clevenger 2010
Read More

Saturday, July 3, 2010

First Love

I loved you
I was only fifteen
My innocence showing
You were much older

Starry eyed first love
Planning on forever
Your plans carnal
Another notch on
Your virgin belt

Maturity came quickly
The stars in my eyes gone
I said no you said goodbye

I still have your memory
Stored in my heart
You were my first love
Thank God you were not my last
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Anger Drunk

Anger drunk on its own poison
Seeks to rally disagreement
To make such noise
That peace can not be heard

Fists clenched it marches
Right past logic
On its way to insanity

Calm must hold its ground
Against discords barrage
To surrender to anger
Leaves peace war’s casualty
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Friday, July 2, 2010

What Conceit

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Cat Nap

To be a cat
No worries
Just the joy
Of a nap

But not
So with
Me I

My best
Be learned
My cat

My eyes
To the
For a
Take a

Read More

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Let Me Be the Sunshine

I see the clouds in your sky
The pain that has you
In the middle of a storm
Why charges the air with
Its lightening strikes
Burning its agony into your spirit
Run to me I will be your shelter
To stand with you against the wind
That buffets your heart in its blowing
Let me be the sunshine
To bring a rainbow
From the tears you shed

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Silent Agony

Silence is agony
To the soul
When it has
A story to tell

Words sitting
On the tongue
Waiting to be said

Their message
Not to free the listener
But the spirit of
The storyteller
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The Fiddles of The Moon

The fiddles of the moon
Their strings played
With mystery's bows

A Siren’s song bidding
The insomniac to come
Dance with temptation

Throw off your inhibitions
Night has pulled its shade
No one but the stars as witness

The music whispers come closer
Feel my touch on your soul
A drug like no other

Caught in a lunar addiction
The insomniac can not find sleep
He just wanders craving the next new moon

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