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

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Lure of Fishnet

thigh high fishnets lure
tentative to swim closer
to temptation’s edge

lure sets its hook in the flesh
then reels in the heart

© Susie Clevenger 2013

At Real Toads Peggy had us talking "fish." She let us go wherever our muse took us. Mine was wearing heels and hose. :) 
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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bleeding Contrition With Guitar Strings

He strums his guitar
thinking he can sing her away
but she is stuck to the blue chords.

Red hair, high heels, and a seductive smile
swim through a Crown bottle
to six strings thumping tears.

How many sad songs can whiskey drink
before pain walks away from another encore?

Mistakes pour from his smoky voice
into a microphone confession
bleeding contrition on the dance floor.

With closing time hurrying the clock
he shouts for the crowd to swallow
down another round and finishes draining
his heart singing a Jeff Buckley song.

 ©Susie Clevenger 2013

Poetry Share ~Prompt 14 ~ "The Music of Jeff Buckley"

Real Toads Open Link Monday
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Monday, July 29, 2013

Naive's Ending

ended when
seventeen felt the
beading droplets of budding
sensuality bubble upon its skin
with chills that burned a hole
in what it thought it knew about
blue eyes, a kiss, a touch, the ability
to stop a flood once the dam is breached,
and love being a pretty fairytale where pain doesn’t exist.

© Susie Clevenger 2013

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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Jealous Clouds

© Diana Matisz, All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

soaked in
coffee stains
jealously chase
the moon through August
nights hoping Van Gogh’s ghost
will take brush to canvas to
paint their image with romantic
strokes rivaling moonlight’s hypnotic
spell on poets seeking inspiration.

© Susie Clevenger 2013

At Real Toads Hedgewitch prompted us to write an Etheree poem.

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Friday, July 26, 2013

The Reach of White Petals

Sun texture used in my art ~ Phatpuppy
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Scratched 45 of Humilty

It was hard living
in four small rooms
with mama talking shit
and dad two arms
holding a newspaper.

My sisters and I crawled
through that one way
conversation collecting stones
for our baggage.

Dad didn’t always keep his silence.
He had expert aim with his rifle words
that could hit mama’s last nerve every time.

A volume up radio tuned
to WHB was target practice
when dad shot sniper fire from the lip,
“Rock n roll isn’t music,”
Mama would look down her gun barrel
to pull the trigger with, “Shut the hell up.”

Our family only had one family tradition,
an annual Christmas fight.
Mama hated the season of pine needles
dropping from a scrawny tree
and two weeks wrapped in lights.

Words would fly in the frosted back and forth
until dad would proclaim,  “I think we all
should go our separate ways!”

Shell shocked by the expected
we girls would wipe tears
while thinking, “I wonder if Santa
will leave us a doll before
we leave for separate ways?”

Life was shouts lived behind
the sound proof glass of neighbors
too far away to hear it.
My sisters and I were too young
to know reasons, our parents 
too wounded to find healing.
As I think back I can hear, be it ever so humble….
Scratch that 45, humility might have been
in the plaster, but it didn’t live in flesh
glued to baggage a family didn't know how to unpack.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

Ok, over at Real Toads Herotomost ( Corey Rowley) wanted us to write something he could feel. Real Toads ~ Friday Night Raw
I need to clarify that in the poem the reference to Mama's gun barrel was a verbal one. It wasn't until my parents passing that we found out about circumstances in their lives that contributed to their pain and tension. Most people carry baggage. There are those of us who are blessed enough to find ways to no longer carry it.

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Secrets Fury and Growl

Come tell secrets
that fury and growl
and let curious
feel their bite.

Shake their perch
in gossip’s tree
until they fall upon
their own sliced tongues.

Black licorice root
bind shrill pleas
seeking escape from
consequence’s curse.

Beneath a summer moon
Justice sings and dances
to celebrate quidnunc
must drink bitter bile of regrets.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

At Real Toads Kerry challenged us with a list of words  from our fellow poet Grapeling. Get Listed ~ The Grapeling Way

Yes, quidnunc is a word. "a person who is eager to know the latest news and gossip; a gossip or busybody" Those who play scrabble can thank me. :)
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Monday, July 22, 2013

Speed of Escape

Raindrops muddy our cars
to the beat of windshield wipers,
swish, swish, swish …….

Hands gripping steering wheels
we maneuver the maze
of steel, plastic, and rage
with destination’s tunnel vision.

Buffeted by the storm inside and out
life rides on inflated tires turning
at the speed of escape.

© Susie Clevenger 2013

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Haiku Heights #266 ~ Time

hands race to erase
life’s moments with obsession
time leaves us unwound

© Susie Clevenger

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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Prompt 13 ~ Photo Inspiration

Photograph: mindlovemisery

branches implore clouds
to spare them from Thor’s thunder
lightning their answer

Photograph: mindlovemisery

blushing pink blossoms
send their scent to flirt with June
the breath of summer

© Susie Clevenger

At mindlovemisery we were offered her beautiful photography for inspiration for our writing. Prompt 13 ~ Photo Inspiration
Real Toads Open Link Monday
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Sometimes You Risk the Melt

How can you love me
when I am such
an oddity?
My skin is
warm to the touch,
but my heartbeat
is measured in icicles.

Each time I look across
the room into your
porcelain eyes I read
desire in their blue flames
and I feel my insecurity
melt in your gaze.

I must admit there are times
I fear love has an expiration date
that only fate knows.
The frost in my veins
writes each precious day
with you into my memory
and to think there could be
circumstances looming
that could separate us haunts me.

Oh darling, today is our
only certainty and I musn’t spoil it
with searching the darkness for ghosts.

It doesn’t matter
if we are fire and ice.
I would rather risk
death by flames than
to live my days
in frozen seclusion
without you.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

Kerry at Real Toads had us writing about love between two inanimate objects. For some reason I went with stove and refrigerator. Could that sound even less romantic? The Sunday Mini-Challenge ~ A Love Letter
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Friday, July 19, 2013

Thoughts Turned to Summer

Summer peals open
the magnolia blossoms
one white petal at a time
to scent the southern breeze
with thoughts of romance.

a she is a June bride
        dressed in white lace and bold dreams
        the church bell silent a

its flight among clouds
the pelican eyes the sea
for ripples in glass

A marble Venus adorns
the garden with seductive splendor.
Wrapped in arms that cannot reach
lovers sit flushed by her stone suggestions
to shed shyness and bask in summer lust.

© Susie Clevenger 2013

At Real Toads Margaret Bednar offered her beautiful photography as inspiration for summer poems. Artistic Interpretation ~ "Dog Days of Summer" with Margaret
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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Impracticality of Duct Tape

Here I stand a silhouette
flirting with life in the pull
of a window shade.

Holed up in this broken heart
I try to duct tape on a happy face,
but glue won’t stick to tears.

He was mine and now he isn’t.
I can’t change the verbs trailing
through my thoughts along with mistakes.

Get busy living, or get busy dying.
That’s the black and white of it.
Do I want to smell the roses or lie beneath them?

My violets do better when I water them…..
The stars still hang with the moon….
I can let go of pain and be me again….

©Susie Clevenger 2013

Izy at Real Toads has us quoting movie lines and growing poetry from them. 
"Get busy living, or get busy dying" - Morgan Freeman - "The Shawshank Redemption" (1994).  Out Of Standard With Izy

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Obituary in Yellow

He saw Jesus
In a gun flash.
A bullet ended

There is no sun
shining through
the red
stained glass

Fifteen has its
obituary written
with yellow tape.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

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Monday, July 15, 2013

Difference, Dandelions and Love

Climb upon the notes
and we shall sing a morning song.
You are the daylight in darkness
with your sunflower smiles.

Sing hearts that are different.
Sing eyes that bloom in dandelions.
Sing hands that reach with love.

Music wings will take us
beyond bullies, doubters
and definitions to open fields
where we can blossom as who we are.

We are the rainbow formed from tears
we no longer have to shed,
together we are a tapestry created
by coloring outside the lines.

Sing hearts blessed to be different.
Sing eyes that see the beauty in dandelions.
Sing hands that heal with the touch of love.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

This is another poem inspired by the music of Veda Hille.

Real Toads Open Link Monday

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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Baby Boomer Milk and Strings

Jimmy Dorsey lullabies
rocked me to sleep in the womb
in a 1950’s Missouri small town.

As soon as my toddler shoes
could tap on a wooden dance floor
my baby boomer milk and strings
became Saturday night dosey does
dodging boots and beer bottles.

Puberty brought a 60’s appetite
for Beatles, Stones, and Hendrix
taking me to a new dance floor
vibrating with teenage rebellion.

Jumping the notes to 2013 music
finds me covered in blues, guitar strings,
and testing my body on a dance floor
where age disappears in rhythm.

Notes pulse in my blood
feeding a music addiction
swimming in my DNA
that desires no rehabilitation. 

Strung out on sound I snap, clap, tap and move
through days bursting with appreciation for talent
that continues to fuel my obsession.                 


©Susie Clevenger 2013

Fireblossom challenged us at Real Toads to write about what we live to do. Well, I answered with one of my passions outside of poetry.

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Haiku Heights #264 Swing

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Saturday, July 13, 2013

She Made Her Bed

She made her bed
but doesn’t lie in it.
The days of love
left her widowed.

Satin sheets have
turned to burlap
scratching skin
raw with alone.

Today is curtains hung
to block tomorrow’s light
and waiting for final tears.

She borrowed time,
but spent it on anger.
Jealousy was a vice
she couldn’t return.

She made her bed
but doesn’t lie in it.
The days of love
left her with empty arms.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

Marian at Real Toads provided the music of Veda Hille as inspiration for our writings. Beautiful Mother
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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Rent To Own Rhapsody

You bring the flowers and romance
and I will bring happy until I am bored.
I so love vases of blooming spur of the moment
placed on the counter along with your beer.

We met on a high note…
the bang , the sizzle, the hell yeah
pumped us into we got love right this time!

Once the fireworks exploded it was a sulfur street
of blackened debris littering speculation with…
What’s next?

There’s still a few sparklers in our hands
 when you pull yourself from your sports obsession
and I push back thoughts of an empty checkbook from my head.

Our bare skin hip to hip reads the fantasies behind closed eyes
to let us ride lake splashes of passion until our bodies respond
to the wish burning our insides…!...!

Today is a day of grocery store roses dropping stale petals,
you snoring through the last touchdown running along
the sidelines of our rent to own T.V. 
and me picking up beer cans
littering the carpet soiled 
with this is as good as it gets.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

Kerry at Real Toads prompted us to write a rhapsody. 

Rhapsody (noun)

1. Exalted or excessively enthusiastic expression of feeling in speech or writing.
2. A literary work written in an impassioned or exalted style.
3. A state of elated bliss; ecstasy.
4. Music A usually instrumental composition of irregular form that often incorporates improvisation.
5. An ancient Greek epic poem or a portion of one suitable for uninterrupted recitation. 

Mine is more a red neck rhapsody. :)

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Squawking Measure

Wrap your crazy
around you
and cuddle
in its warmth.

Squawking voices tend
to measure brilliance by their

©Susie Clevenger 2013

Haiku Heights #263 ~ Measure
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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Curled Love Notes in Glass

We crush sea shells into the sand
and the feathers of passion take our pain.
The galaxy shining in your eyes plays with the moon
and I wander its star points forgetting to breathe.

Night moves along the beach nudging shadows
to blind lurking eyes determined to judge
ebony sighs upon bare breasts of ivory.
Turquoise waves splash their applause across our skin.

Lost in the depths of you and I we seek no rescue
for our drowning hearts tossed from intolerance’s ship.
We are curled love notes in glass floating on uncertainty.

We watch the horizon for the sun’s knife to slice
through our rendezvous to leave us bleeding in goodbyes.
Before we are stone we kiss the lips of life to seal its memory.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

 Kerry at Real Toads prompted us to write a love sonnet in either the style of  Francesco Petrach or Pablo Neruda. I chose to attempt the sytle of Neruda.
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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Rainbows On The Ground

The ground blooms in rainbows
and I lay a faded white rose
in a padded garden growing insanity.

I can’t remember the scent of spring.
Bleach drinks the tiles on the floors
burning my nose with helpless.

I am here to get better, but I can’t find better.
It is not in the pills poured from a witch’s hand
or the shadow puppets stealing them from under my tongue.

The elusive “they” tell me I am here for my own good.
What is good about numbness and prying voices
that ask so many questions but have no ears to listen?

Beyond the stones I am buried in is my freedom,
because I can see birds flying across the sky from my window.
I know I could reach them 
if someone would just give me back my wings.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

Hannah at Real Toads gave us tulip pictures for inspiration. I took a cue from the title for the prompt and went with "dark" colors.

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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Road Trip

At Real Toads Mama Zen prompted us to write on a vaction theme using 60 words or less. Words Count With Mama Zen
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Growling Hunger

image by Musin Yohan

It is not the storm clouds
I fear, but the empty fields
that will starve my children.

I pray the dehydrated earth
below my feet will drink its fill
and then let flooded lips drown famine.

I rob bloated anguish to carry
the last sheaves of harvest
to feed hope to growling hunger.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

Written for The Mag #175 . Image was provided by Tess Kincaid. 
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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Fingerprint ~ Haiku Heights #261

all I have of you
is the fingerprint of words
inked in a notebook


tiny fingerprints
left on a dusty table
toddler’s signature

©Susie Clevenger 2013

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