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

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Warm and Fuzzy Morning

My morning is
warm and fuzzy,
soft edges
of dream walking.

A view from
the front window
shows a world
in slow motion.

Children move
with ghost quiet
on their way
to yellow busses.

Diamond dew
drips in sparkling
knitted chains
from budded limbs.

A cardinal chirps
In red relief,
bright color
midst the gray.

Within the fog
the day approaches.
I watch with thanksgiving
and anticipation.

©Susie Clevenger 2012
The fog picture was taken on a February morning
a couple of years a go. You can see more photos from that day here:
Leap Day Challenge at:

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Haiku Challenge Day #29 ~ Haiku Journey

writing through haiku
a journey of syllables
counted poetry


i followed the path
on my faithful counting walk
blessed inspiration


we began as one
to reach the end as many
haiku fellowship

©Susie Clevenger 2012
Photograph: Favim
29 Days of 29 Haiku
Theme: Journey
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Monday, February 27, 2012

The Haiku Challenge Day #28 ~ Laundry Goddess

I got my blog title from my oldest daughter. When she was in grade school she came home with a drawing. I asked her what it was about. She informed me it was a picture of me doing laundry. She also informed me the teacher had asked the class do a drawing of what their mothers did for a living. Well, I didn’t do laundry for a living although it seems I was always doing it. My daughter also shared the pictures had been displayed on the wall of their classroom. I could just see it. My drawing hung next to “My Mommy the Doctor” or “My Mommy the Lawyer.”  I decided to make the best of it and proclaimed myself as the deity, Laundry Goddess.

laundry confessions
a poetic potpourri
scattered through verses

Lift Your Pen

I know not the inspiration
when I sit down to write.
It may be the words
spoken in a photograph,
the melody of a wind chime,
the moon outside my window.
All I know is what
my spirit whispers.

life is a poem
just waiting to be written
lift your pen and speak

©Susie Clevenger 2012
Photograph: Iowa State 
29 Days of 29 Haiku
Theme: Your Blog Name

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Haiku Challenge Day #27 ~ Gate of David

bars against hatred
a gate feeble protection
faith persecution
the gate of david
a reminder to not forget
deadly holocaust
we open the gate
to remember all the lost
whom hatred slaughtered
rise star of david
your people have overcome
peace rest upon you

©Susie Clevenger 2012
29 Haiku in 29 Days
Theme: Paint the Image
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Mary's challenge on Real Toads was to take the first couplet or line from a poem by one of your favorite poets and begin an original poem of your own. I chose Maya Angelou's poem When You Come which begins "when you come to me, unbidden."

When you come
to me, unbidden,
with the words
that chastise
my self pity,
I marvel at a universe
that knows my need
and summons you
to dry my tears.

You take no time
in useless sympathy
or swaddle me
in a blanket of agreement.
With boldness
your voice pulls me from
my senseless drowning pool.

The darkness that has
been my plague
has not deterred you.
You know my need
when I can't or won't
state it.

I send no call
and you come.
You arrive, unbidden,
but not unwelcomed.
My vocabulary
seems inadequate
to merely say thank you.
You are my salvation,
my voice of reason,
my hope…my friend.

©Susie Clevenger 2012
Mary's Mixed Bag
Real Toads
Open link night ~ Week 39 ~ dVerse Poets Pub
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Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Haiku Challenge Day #26 ~ Poverty's Agony

a plaster pillow
cradles poverty dreaming
of a better life


homeless brotherhood
children caring for children
sad reality


no one notices 
desperation commonplace
hearts are so callous

©Susie Clevenger 2012
29 Days of 29 Haiku
Theme: Paint the Image
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Friday, February 24, 2012

The Haiku Challenge Day #25 ~ Tattoo Cult

tattooed skin
needle designed art
an ink cult

©Susie Clevenger 2012
29 Haiku in 29 Days
Theme: Cult

Yes that is me getting tattoos :)
And here they are.

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A Global Virtual Garden

I am honored to be part of this project. I want to thank Matthew Fry and Spaces of Nature for allowing me to take part in the first global community’s Virtual Garden. May your work be blessed and continue to thrive. I would also like to thank Kellie Elmore for letting me know about this beautiful opportunity.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Poems of Spring

i heard the birds sing
when the first lilacs blossomed
now silence consumes


winter is not done
snow has frozen the tulips
spring was too hasty


the scent of jasmine
announces winter’s ending
spring awakening


winter said goodbye
with its final kiss of frost
on the lips of spring

©Susie Clevenger 2012
Photograph: Patty Hankins
Writing Visuals

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The Haiku Challenge Day #24 ~ Dream Walks

the light of inspiration
dream walks through my mind

- 0 -

rippling wishing well
hope splashes as penny drops
love taking dream walks

- 0 -

hazy Jamaican mountains
captivated at first sight
i still take dream walks

©Susie Clevenger 2012
1st Photo: luvpublishing
2nd Photo: Wishing Well ~ Andre Orpinas
3rd Photo: Budget Travel
29 Days of 29 Haiku: Words ~ Dream Walks
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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Frostbite Flirtation

winter wears its ice
harsh as windblown grains of sand
a frozen sweater

quickly by the moon
it cloaks its peaks in crystals
feet buried in snow

its february
a flirtation with frostbite
determined commitment

©Susie Clevenger 2012
Photograph: Alpine Exposures
Real Toad's Kenia issued this Challenge:
Write a poem that keeps a dialogue with another poem, poet.
I chose Mama Zen's poem: Flirtation

Mine is the negative to her positive take on February snow. We all have those people. No matter how grand something looks to us there is that person who will rain on our parade. 
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The Haiku Challenge Day #23 ~ Giving Them Her Joy

the joy of my mom
loving hands creating
beautiful artwork

beautiful artwork
for trio of little girls
their blue eyes watching

their blue eyes watching
stitches with priceless memories
the joy of my mom

©Susie Clevenger 2012
For Mama and her trio
Sharon, Debby, and Susie
29 Days of 29 Haiku
Today's Challenge: The Joy of Giving
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Cobalt Memory

cobalt memory
a perfume of my childhood
drifting through my thoughts

a touch of paris
applied by my mother’s hand
scents my memory

what dreams did she dream
beyond that small country home
i wish i had asked

©Susie Clevenger 2012

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Haiku Challenge Day #22 ~ Movement in Dance

bollywood beckons   
contemporary movement
mixed with classical


a gypsy heartbeat
translated by rhythmic dance
bohemian joy


bells chime on ankles
a hypnotic flirtation
heart snared in its spell


©Susie Clevenger 2012
Photograph: Enosh Bandsode 
29 Days of 29 Haiku
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her eyes, kohl smudges
framing Aphrodite’s stare
seduction glistens

a finger brushing
pouting cherry blossom lips
his body responds

butterfly kisses
wing their way along her neck
her heart fluttering

fingertips brush lace
exploring satin ribbons
Adonis teasing

©Susie Clevenger 2012
Photograph:Valentine's Day Clipart
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Monday, February 20, 2012

The Haiku Challenge Day #21 ~ Dedication

 feeding the hungry
a soup kitchen’s caring hearts
the hands of service

- 0 -

fighting through her pain
a college degree her dream
diploma received

- 0 -

putting hands to hope
a home built by volunteers
paying it forward

©Susie Clevenger 2012

 There are many opportunities to volunteer. Check out the ones in your community. 
My oldest daughter fought illness to receive her college degree. It shows how the dedication to a dream can see it become a reality
29 Days of 29 Haiku
Today's theme: Dedication
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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Volcanic Silver Lining

Screams lie hidden in columns
that hold up an Italian sky.
Five families of the pillars,
an ancient genetics
tied to an empire of ash.
Life mummified in last breath
buried under cold lava.
A volcanic silver lining
that created a time capsule
of the day a city died.

©Susie Clevenger 2012
Photographic inspiration provided by Reena Walkling at Missing Moments
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The Haiku Challenge Day #20 ~ Imagination - History

stop reminiscing
close your history book
you can’t rewrite it


empties yesterday’s suitcase
to dream the future


so much history
born from imagination
continue to dream

©Susie Clevenger 2012
29 Days of 29 Haiku
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Clapboard Monument

A gray, clapboard monument
rises from its cemetery of weeds.
The only thing keeping it upright
is the memory of dreams.
Hope nailed the walls
to build a home, but
despair eroded it into
an empty house.

©Susie Clevenger 2012
Poem inspired by the photography of: Mary Ann Potter
The Sunday Challenge at Real Toads
Thursday Poet's Rally
The Poetry Palace
Thanks so much for the Perfect Poet Award. I am honored

My nomination for The Perfect Poet Award is:
Raven's Press
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Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Haiku Challenge Day #19 ~ The Joy of Seasons

pastel hunting ground
giggles search for painted eggs
easter tradition

- 0 -

firework picnics
america celebrates
under july sun
- 0 -

jack o’ lanterns smile
as they watch geese flying south
ghouls rustle the leaves
- 0 -

skates dance on the ice
a ballet of figure eights
mittens clap applause

©Susie Clevenger 2012

1st Photograph: Mark Psoras
2nd Photograph: The Family Groove
3rd Photograph: Martha Stewart
4th photograph: Google
29 Days of 29 Haiku
Theme: Seasons Type Kigo

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Friday, February 17, 2012

The Haiku Challenge Day #18 ~ The Bones of Famine

skin stretched across bones
another stomach craves food
a mother must choose


tears no longer fall
the time of crying long past
bones wait for their death


we step over bones
on the way to our excess
eyes blind to starving

©Susie Clevenger 2012
29 Days of 29 Haiku
Theme: Famine
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Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Haiku Challenge Day #17 ~ And She Waits

market still asleep
a mother hoping for food
starvation too near

if patience was coins
she would be very wealthy
stoically she waits

a tourist snapshot
nothing but a souvenir
poverty ignored

©Susie Clevenger 2012
 29 Days of 29 Haiku
Paint the Image ~ Theme : Wait

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Haiku Touch of Spring

the melting winter
waters sleeping daffodils
spring rocks the cradle

- 0 -

 robin melody
nature sings the song of spring
winter breathes a sigh

- 0 -

 lilacs tease the air
with their delicate perfume
the bouquet of spring

©Susie Clevenger 2012
1st Photograph: Favim
2nd Photograph: Anne Cook
3rd Photograph: Photobucket
Real Toads Haiku
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The Haiku Challenge Day #16 ~ Sin

Judging lips spout their condemnation using a bible as their law book.  Hypocrisy lists the sins of others while turning a blind eye to its own. I sat in the pew and sang in the choir dressed in religion. I now cast the first stone at myself for casting stones at others. My heart repentant, I ask forgiveness for believing it was ever my right to be your judge.

stones are the judgment
thrown by hypocrisy’s hands
love, heal the broken


A voice summons the shadow to come to the bed of death. A soul cannot sleep in eternal peace with sin’s bread lying upon its chest. Bony fingers take the bread and lift a glass of wine:

these sins I now eat
they will not enter your grave
peace will be your rest

The term sin-eater refers to a person, who through ritual means, would take on by means of food and drink the sins of a household, often because of a recent death, thus absolving the soul and allowing that person to rest in peace. In the study of folklore sin-eating is considered a form of religious magic.

©Susie Clevenger 2012
29 Days of 29 Haiku
Poetry Prompt: Sin Form: Haibun
The Haiku Challenge
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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Haiku Challenge Day #15 ~ Mud Puddle Rainbows

mud puddle rainbows
splashes of hope in darkness
optimism’s smile

©Susie Clevenger 2012
 29 Days of 29 Haiku
Today's Prompt: Paint the Image
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I called his name
when I was afraid
and you were
there to comfort me.

I stood confused
not knowing how
to put on my shoes
and gently you
placed them on my feet.

I became agitated
when sunset came
and you took my hand
to wait beside me
as the shadows settled
across the wall.

I no longer knew
how to dance
and you gently took me
In your arms
to guide me
through the steps.

I forgot so many things
in those sorrowful last days,
but you were there
to hold me in the fog,
a devoted husband
all the memories I had lost.

©Susie Clevenger 2012

 Someday when we meet up yonder
We’ll stroll hand in hand again
In a land that knows no parting
Blue eyes crying in the rain.

                           Fred Rose

For my Mama and Pappy 
The last time I saw them dance was to this song.

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Monday, February 13, 2012

The Haiku Challenge Day #14 ~ A Day of Valentines

a room full of hearts
seeking a valentine
the shyness of love


nervous valentine
to be or not to be mine
a question lingers


winter turns crimson
february valentines
fall as confetti


joyous I love you
spoken with conviction’s lips
valentine amen

©Susie Clevenger 2012
29 Days of 29 Haiku
Today's prompt: Valentine/love
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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Death of Prejudice

The obituary of prejudice
written across pale skin,
a foul opinion slain
by enlightenment.
Body and mind free
from the bondage
of generational conceit
that one skin color
possesses superiority.
Peace flows through
souls now joined
and nirvana rises
from the broken
chains of hate.

©Susie Clevenger 2012
Image: Christophe Gilbert
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The Haiku Challenge Day #13 ~ To Be A Child Again

expression of amazement
beauty of childhood


unleash inner child
abandon yourself to joy
smiles are healing gifts


dreams sparkle in eyes
that don’t doubt they can come true
believe as a child

©Susie Clevenger 2012
29 days of 29 Haiku
Today's prompt: Paint the Image
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New World Creative Union

A Creative Union of the Arts
Discover the purpose and pledge of the New World Creative Union

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Feline Warrior

Sharpened claws
and whiskered nose,
a feline  warrior
keeps watch with
sleepy eye camouflage.
Each shadow noise
reaches attentive ears,
Ninja paws ready to strike.
In the carpeted wild
of the domestic jungle
this striped fur ball
is queen.

©Susie Clevenger 2012
 Photograph: Talon
Real Toads photographic challenge
My apologies to Stripey if you are male, if so I crown you king.
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Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Haiku Challenge # 12 ~ The Sunshine of Butterflies

my world turned yellow
with fluttering butterflies
joy arrived on wings

the sunshine of butterflies

joy arrived on wings
with fluttering butterflies
my world turned yellow

©Susie Clevenger 2012
Image: popularscreensaver.com
29 days of 29 Haiku prompt: colors
Poetry Form: Naisaiku
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Stained Glass Spin (Inspired by Patti Smith’s Dancing Barefoot)

The prayers turn
with stained glass spin.
Accepted words
fall on ears
that have tuned
them out.

Count the beads,
drink the sacrifice,
eat the bread,
Closet confessions
absolved by formulas.

The knees of guilt
can rise from
their posturing.
Heaven hears
another amen.

The prayers turn with stained glass spin.

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Friday, February 10, 2012

The Door

Aged by boot kicks,
hands puling and pushing,
raindrops rotting its strength,
the door still waits to welcome
to keep secrets, to say goodbye.

Rusty hinges sing their moaning chorus
as they strain under openings and closings.
People young and old make their assumption
the weathered wood will always
respond at their command.

A patina bridge between past and present,
it bears the weight of crumbling brick
and mortar tears.
A stoic entrance that awaits a future
dependent on reaching hands.

©Susie Clevenger 2012

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The Haiku Challenge Day #11 ~ The Gift of Sight

i see with your eyes
a gift when life said goodbye
thank you seems so small


brown eyes with blue sight
the veil of darkness removed
her gift humbling him


a simple checkmark
priceless statement of intent
blind eyes now have sight

©Susie Clevenger 2012
 29 Days of 29 Haiku #11: Paint the Image
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