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

Monday, December 31, 2012


She is always there
with a tin cup
and a homeless sign.
He drives by with judgment
keeping his windows
tightly closed.

When did a full stomach
and a warm bed
make him callous?

©Susie Clevenger 2012
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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Shaker Full of Bingo Numbers


Dementia, I hate the word.
It rattles in our family tree
like a shaker full of bingo numbers.

We sit around wondering
which name life will draw
to turn reality into nonsense.

The twisted miscreant
is a well-known villain
skewing our perspective

with its bottleneck
of nightmare visions
that play as unwanted re-runs.

Swimming in a turgid river
of what if’s, we seek escape
through avoidance.

Drunk on the effervescence
of bottled hysteria we gather
together to ignore ticking bombs.

With the line of demarcation drawn
there are moments of artificial Zen
where ethereal hope surrounds.

Damn the chaffing burlap of fear
that keeps us trying to forget there might
be tomorrows full of todays we can’t remember.

©Susie Clevenger 2012
 Laurie Kolp at Real Toads had us looking back on words she chose for inspiration over the last year. We could use one or more of the words to include in our piece. A Word With Laurie: Review

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Ride the Beat

Mind the Gap and Dubstep

Ride the beat
with thumping
inside your

Let it take
your heart
from its
tap dance
on wooden
to a mixed
of electric

Life is
too fleeting
in its
to stay
inside lines
by judgment's

If there is
no partner
who wishes
to dance
to a beat
of a
foreign drum,
break into
solo steps
that take
your feet

©Susie Clevenger 2012

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Tomorrow is Here

Tomorrow is here
and the world
stayed intact.

Rejoice and raise the prayer of peace.

Fear waved
its banner
but life raised its light.

Rejoice and raise the prayer of peace.

Hope is reborn
that love can
change a broken world.

Rejoice and raise the prayer of peace.

S Susie Clevenger 2012
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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cinderella's Clock

“Dream on
Dream until your dreams come true”

Touched by a fairytale's wand
her dress of ashes and abuse
is transformed into fashion couture
that bears a label of expiration.

Steps and stones may accommodate glass.
But feet must dance to a rule book’s tune
or a timekeeper’s gift of pseudo class
will be unveiled under a liar’s moon.

“Sing with me, sing for the years
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tears.”

Mysterious wears jewels well
in candle light and flirting.
Cinderella walks a fine line
of honesty and revelations.

The dour minutes continue to tick
upon the face of the jealous clock.
No dreams will unwind or trick
its mean pointed hands to balk.
“Sing with me, sing for the years
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tears.”

A midnight chime announces
it is time to return to soot and ashes.
A hasty retreat and tearful goodbye
leaves a prince with a shoe and no answers.

©Susie Clevenger 2012

Kerry at Real Toads challenged us to create a pastiche.

pastiche [pa-steesh, pah-]
1. a literary, musical, or artistic piece consisting wholly or chiefly of motifs or techniques borrowed from one or more sources.
2. an incongruous combination of materials, forms, motifs, etc. taken from different sources; hodgepodge.

For my hodgepodge I used Aerosmith's lyrics to dream on, a mixture of rhymed and non rhymed lines, photo art, and music.

Kerry's Wednesday Challenge ~ pastiche

At Real Toads Fireblossom asked us to repost one of our poems. She said something about choosing one of our best and give it another ride around the web track. I didn't know about best, but I chose this one because I actually wrote one with some rhyming that I thought worked pretty well. I am no fan of writing rhyme because I am not good at it. Every attempt sounds odd to me because it reads like...well, like I was simply trying to find words to rhyme. So with this one I give my pen a high five for effort!

Fireblossom Friday ~ Simply the Best
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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Feminine Shedding #WWUC @NWCreativeUnion

Mara Lets Down Her Hair ~ ©Charles Elliot

Tied to a cell phone and a schedule
I played the dollar game for ten hours.

With sundown, I shed my corporate persona
like a snake crawling out of its skin.

Climbing the ladder in spiked heels
is an exhausting shuffle between

exercising my feminine intuition
and proving I have the “balls” to get things done.

All I want for the next couple of hours
is to stare into the bottom of a wine glass

to forget there is a good ole boy food chain
and let my hair down to the music of Samantha Fish.

©Susie Clevenger 2012

Joanne Elliot provided the amazing photography
of her husband, Charles Elliot as inspiration for our creativity.
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Scuff Marks of Pretend

Artist ~ Rachel Pentergrass

I reached far beyond
who I was to try
and grasp the “me”
others wished I would be,
but I grew tired of scuffing
original with pretend.

©Susie Clevenger 2012
 Real Toads ~ Sunday Mini-Challenge ~ Dolls Revisited

Margaret Bednar, along  with a little help from her daughter and daughter's classmates has
offered unique inspiration for our creativity at Real Toad's Sunday Mini-Challenge.  The students were given an assignment to create dolls that reflect a part of who they are.  They spent close to six weeks hand stitching and creating the backdrops for their creative and gorgeous works of art.

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Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Prairie's Heartbreak

(Wiki Photograph of Pulsatilla patens growing in Boulder, Colorado.)

The flower grieves.
Petals bowed,
it shed’s tears
for the prairie
that has disappeared.

,~ hhh ~

I once gathered
prairie smoke
to lay upon
the breast
of my love.

only stones
grow in the
where flowers

~ hhh ~

There was a time
when the wind
bloomed blue
under the prairie sun.

Yesterday was
wildflower bouquets
held in cherub fingers.

Today is rock clouds
of a steel plow
devouring stems
with gritted teeth.

The Pulsatilla patens
 is also known as
prairie smoke, 
 and anemones. 
Alot of the prarie
 is disappearing
 under the blades
 of a plow.
at Real Toads
 has us writing
of prairie wild things. 

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The Light of Compassion

We are the petals
that bloom when
pain would have
us wither in despair.

Love gathers the broken
in its arms to strengthen,
to heal, to demonstrate
evil will not have its victory.

There is light at midnight
in comfort’s candle carried
in the hands of the compassionate.

Let peace be the miracle
that rises from the tragedy
of those who left us too soon.

©Susie Clevenger 2012

For all those who have been taken
too soon by violence.
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Friday, December 14, 2012

Blue Mountain Mist

You rise from the sea
in blue mountain mist
calling me to return.

Somewhere within
the tropical green
my spirit was ensnared.

You were only meant
to be snapshots
in a photo album,

not the paradise
I ventured to
that stole my heart.

I know not if angels
play steel drums,
but you are heaven’s landscape.

This unrest inside me
will only find peace
when I shed my concrete view

and return to the land
that kept part of me
wrapped in blue mountain mist.

©Susie Clevenger 2012
 Ella at Poets United has us taking a trip around the world via written verse. The ticket requires we don't reveal our location. Can you guess where I traveled to?

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Creative Insomnia #WWUC @NWCreativeUnion

The moon melts.
The stars wink.
The clock ticks.

Ink stained fingers
travel from pen to keyboard.

Scribbles are transcribed
in a cursor’s chase
on white light.

A poet’s night is
as long as her muse’s
dance among the alphabet.

Creative insomnia

© Susie Clevenger 2012

Natasha Head at New Word Creative Union prompted us to write on our nights in the creative manner of our choice. I chose to write mine since that is what I do most every night :)  Night Calls #WWUC @NWCreativeUnion

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An Awful Knowing

An evening like any other
a phone call…..

“Jackie’s dead.
An accident,
he was crushed.

An awful knowing,
my spirit plunges
over the cliff.

NO starts it climb
from horror to my lips.

It isn’t Jackie!
It’s David! It’s David!
David’s dead!! David’s dead!
God, no, it’s David………

A voice tries to comfort me,
“Calm down. She said it was Jackie.”
I knew it wasn’t….

A call to a funeral home
confirmed the empty
place in my heart.
David was gone.

©Susie Clevenger 2012

Fireblossom at Real Toads' Fireblossom Friday (On Wednesday asked us to write about calamities. This one is about a young man who I thought of as my son. My husband and I met him through working with the youth at church and through my husband coaching the church's co-ed softball team. David idolized Charlie. He thought Charlie hung the sun and the moon. Our girls were small at the time and they thought of David as their big brother. It was so hard when we had to move from Missouri to Texas and leave David and his family. I was really good friends with David's mom and after we moved we got a letter that she had cancer. She died just a few months before David's accident. Jackie was David's older brother. It would have been a horrible loss no matter who it was, but as soon as I was told it was Jackie, my heart slammed against my chest because I knew it was David. He was only nineteen. His picture sits on the desk my father built. I have designated that area as my space for writing love letters. I feel David would be pleased to know I am doing my small part to share love with others....most of whom I will never meet. Here are a couple of links that will explain it if you are interested.  Susie's Sentences and moreloveletters.com

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Gypsy Bedazzled ~ #poem #poetry

Serendipity floats in butterfly dreams
where briar patches are mine fields
to a curious paw.

Gypsy bedazzled, the mind doesn’t
care if the night’s slumber doesn’t make sense.

It slides across magical linoleum with socked feet
elated it won’t be caught by prying eyes
in a dance of risky business.

©Susie Clevenger 2012

At Real Toads Kerry gave us an ink-stained word list to use as inspiration to write from.

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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Glass Wild West

 ©  Daryl Edelstein

A neon cowboy
rides a glass
Wild West….

The clink of spurs
replaced by a
cash register’s
Ka- ching

Devoid of horse and saddle
he straddles a corporate sales pitch
in a rodeo designed
to separate consumers
from their dollars.

©Susie Clevenger 2012

For Real Toads' Sunday Mini-Challenge  we were provided the wonderful photography of Daryl Edelstein as inspiration for our poems. You can find more of Daryl's work on her websites, Out and About in New York City and Through My Eyes.
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Friday, December 7, 2012

My Christmas List

Dear Santa,

Really, do I have to get
phone calls from Ann Coulter?
Could you get me off her list?

I’ve been naughty…couldn’t
help myself…I know you brought me
that new diabetic meter a couple
of years ago…but that coconut
cream pie with that huge meringue
kept flirting with me…he..ummm …
it disappeared without a trace.

That’s about it…wait…bless all
the toads in the garden with
the gifts they have on their
Christmas lists…Have you ever
heard grumpy croaking? Not good.


P.S. Sorry there won’t be any cookies this year,
but enjoy the glass of skim milk.

Mama Zen at Real Toads had us writing to Santa. 
Looking forward to seeing if he delivers. :)

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Empty streets…
the noise of the city market
now the echo of a tomb…

Scattered children’s toys
still hold memories of giggles.

We once lived here
with open windows
and kind words.

Can joy be resurrected
from a battlefield?
The debris lies sullen.

©Susie Clevenger 2012

Shared on Real Toads ~ Open Link Monday
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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Home Reveal ~ You Guessed it.

Good morning Toads . Yes, you guessed it. The home I visited yesterday through verse was our dear Sherry Blue Sky. She is such a beautiful person and over the past months has been such an encouragement to me as I have walked through medical issues with my daughter. Each time I stop by her blog it brightens my day. Thanks Sherry for being you...we need so many more of you in this world.

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1999 ~ Yep, I Was There ~ @NWCreativeUnion #WWUC

1999……lived in the middle of the Bible belt,
winds sweeping across the plains….red dirt.

A choir of chicken littles pestered my ears
with the end is near, computers will die,
the golden arches will fall.

1999…..I was obese….my poetry was asleep….
I bought some bottled water in case the tap went dry…
took $200.00 out of the bank…..

Wondered how it would feel to step
into the 21st century....then stumbled
across the calendar with a yawn.

Susie Clevenger 2012
Natasha Head over at New World Creative Union has us in a time warp and headed back to 1999. The most I remember about it was all the frenzy at the end of the year. There was so much chatter of doom....wait this is 2012...Am I living in a time warp rerun? People are stockpiling food, buying guns and ....well, all the things one does when the sky is falling.....I am looking forward to 2013.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ms. Nature's Door

Every time the world has me tied into despair
my feet find the path to Ms. Nature’s door.

“Sit…stay. Would you like a treat?
Excuse the fur. Do you love animals?”

I can’t decide if Ms. Nature’s d├ęcor
is hinterland, Buddhist Temple, or Bohemian.

There is a peaceful wildness in her style.
Animal prints roam among the floral patterns
blooming on the seat cushions of her sofa.

Every available space is lined with photographs
of smiling faces and wagging tails…..
It is hard to tell which is more beloved, human or beast.

The view through the dream catcher hanging
from her window is splashes of blue waves
in a sunlit sky with occasional glimpses of moon soaked sand.

A shadow wolf roams from room to room
watching, protecting, stirring the spirit
to leave concrete and steel for forest and wind.

Ms. Nature is always patient…has time to serve tea,
wipe the tears from my cheek, or share her
misadventures that have me giggling into my cup.

When it is time for me to leave, she gives a hug
and tells me, “Please come again. The welcome mat
always lays at my front door. Bring a guest. I have plenty of room.”

©Susie Clevenger 2012

 Ella's Post at Real Toads challenged us to write a Dickens' inspired
poem about a fellow toads' home. I didn't write a sonnet
but I had a nice time visiting and admiring the decor in my
 my toad friend's home. Can you guess who?

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Waiting In A Song


I see you through the hazed memories
of cigarette smoke and cheap wine.
Bill Withers singing Lean on Me
always brings your ghost to visit.

You are the glue that holds me
to the careless summer nights of 1972.
We rode motorcycles, toked weed
and didn’t think beyond the moment.

You were my best friend, full of mischief,
with a big heart and fierce loyalty.
We lived in a bubble we thought
life would never burst.

I don’t dwell on the last time I saw you
with an oxygen tank and hollow eyes.
Hell, we hated goodbyes…tried our best
to never say them….see you later was enough.

Besides you are always there waiting in a song
to erase the years and let me live for a while
In the hot August nights of 1972 where tomorrow
didn’t matter as much as just living in today.

©Susie Clevenger 2012

Stuart McPherson over at dVerse ~ Poets Pub had us writing about missing you. I wrote this about my husband Charlie, and his friend Gary. Charlie didn't get to spend very many years with his best friend, but it created a bond that keeps them connected even though Gary is gone. Neither of us can hear the song Lean on Me  and not think of Gary and all he meant to us. Poetics: Missing You

Also at Real Toads Mary gave us the prompt of connections to use for our inspiration to write. This fits that idea also. Charlie and Gary are forever connected. Mary's Mixed Bag ~ Connection
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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Concerto In Stone

A blackbird
takes flight
with string
and bow.
Concerto played
in stone.

©Susie Clevenger

File:The Blackbird. On Red Velvet!.jpg
The violin Blackbird.
Credit: Gabriel Urbanek

The Blackbird, also called the Black Stone Violin, is a full-size playable violin made of black diabase after drawings by Antonio Stradivari (Stradivarius), but with technical modifications to allow it to be played. The violin was conceived and designed by the Swedish artist Lars Widenfalk. It was named the Blackbird after theCommon Blackbird (Turdus merula) because of its colouring. Stradivarius himself often gave his violins names related to birds. 
Wikipedia ~ Blackbird Violin
Shared with Real Toads ~ Open Link Monday
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