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

Monday, November 25, 2013

This I Am

I am the clouds,
the rain, the rose,
the face that was
and the face that will be.

From my dust
that drinks the lake
life will fall in drops
from heaven
to water spring.

I am a child
of earth,
sister to the ocean,
hope’s hand
the desert’s march
to the sea.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

Pondering the environment...

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Papa Oil

I believe Woody Guthrie would have had a lot to say about global warming if he was alive today and the conditions of our environment. He wrote This Land Is Your Land in response to Irving Berlin's God Bless America which he felt was unrealistic and complacent. Thanks Woody for inspiring so many who came after you to raise their voices and use their art to speak out about issues where there is need for change.

Photograph: Sebastio Salgado

Was it not enough greed turned grass into a dustbowl?

Big men with diamond lies
now rape the countryside
because money means more than life.

Blue collars hammered by white
are too hungry to fight
the death plunge into black gold.

Papa oil doesn’t care about soil
or whether the sky turns
from bright blue to ash gray.

The innocent are now stuck
breathing the polluted muck
from lungs never exposed to clean air.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Across A Red Sea

Photo ~ China Travel Go

I am not a sailor
who has sailed
upon an ocean
painted turquoise,
but I once found
my way across
a crimson sea.

Upon its blood red
I gloried in the irony
that freedom sang
a birdsong and not
a funeral hymn 
written by guns of war.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

 At Real Toads Hannah introduced us to the beautiful Red Beach in Panjin, China to use as inspiration for our writing. 
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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Unequaled Mastery

Hell’s hunt on pounding hooves
rattles leaves in its quest
to slaughter mystery.

Ego thinks bravado’s noise
will scare sly into misfortune,
but cunning wears silence well.

Man, horse or hounds are no match
for the fox’s unequaled mastery of using
another’s bluster as a cloak for disappearing.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

What the fox actually sounds like.

At Real Toads Mama Zen challenged us with, "What does the fox say?" She wanted us to use 43 words or less to communicate it, but I broke the rules by five extra words.  Words Count With Mama Zen ~ Sleepover Edition
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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Paper and Penny Thoughts

Paper and penny thoughts
fade inside an envelope.

She once knew how
to speak with a pen.

but the glory of vocabulary
has dwindled into silence.

Now all her hand can do
is chase shadows through yesterday’s ink.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

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Another Sunset ~ tanka

Another sunset scurries
across the horizon
to take daylight to someone else.
Alone, I watch twilight expose stars
and wonder if lies still sparkle in his eyes.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Voice In A Painting

The Trouble With Time ~ A painting by Mike Worrall

My marble windowsill
of prosperity must become
more than a calloused perch
for viewing the destitute
caught in poverty’s whirlpool.

Wealth means nothing
if I spend it on selfishness
while the world drowns.

Unlace my corset of arrogance
that constrains compassion
and let me breathe generosity.

I can no longer feed
at the silver breast of greed.
Life is more than counting coins.
It is the open palms of giving
wherever there is need.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

This painting also inspired the following.

The trouble with time
is it drowns life
just when you’ve
learned how to swim.

 Poets Corner ~ Painting by Mike Worrall

She plays fantasy’s strings
with lust rosined bow
for an audience of
double standards.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

Grace at Real Toads offered us the beautiful art of Mike Worrall as inspiration for our creativity. Sunday Challenge Featuring ~ Mike Worrall

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Friday, November 8, 2013

From Splinters to Moon

No one is sure
if his name
is humor or truth,
but people like
this poet’s brass.

Spinning poems
on a turntable,
he mixes Mexico
with New Orleans
until it speaks
his brand of blues.

There’s not many
tears in his ink bottle,
just margarita shots
thrown down
in tell it like it is verse.

If the reader rides in on
a literary high horse,
his poetry will boot scuff
their attitude until their whining,
 “I wish the hell I’d written that.”

Hero doesn’t always
write with splinters.
There are times
his muse will sit him
under a cantina star sky
to ponder whether lovers
prefer their romance steamed
with a little Cozumel sand
or Crescent City moon.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

Corey Rowley, better known as Herotomost, challenged us at Real Toads to write about him. I am not sure if he is brave or insane or perhaps both. :)

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Poetry of Touch

I wonder what verses
the moon is tattooing
on our flesh with its shadow pen.

Does it really matter?

Your hands murmur poetry
and I know the language they speak.

It is ancient.. universal.. carnal…
My body responds in exclamation
to the love sonnet yours speaks against mine.

Adrift on a breathy ocean
we let time splash among the stars
and ignore daylight will soon arrive
to edit moonlit shadows.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

At Real Toads Ed Pilolla gave us a list of words to spark our creativity.

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Monday, November 4, 2013

blogblast4peace ~ November 4, 2013

Today Kerry O’Conner has asked us to take part in a special day for bloggers around the world. November 4 marks the annual Blogblast 4 Peace. This initiative was launched by Mimi Lenox in 2006 and has grown to an extraordinary degree, spanning 6 continents and 182 countries. Her theme this year is "What do I want my world to look like?" and she invites bloggers to join together today to spread the message of peace as a single unified gesture.

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

My Choice of Crazy

Don’t send me party invitations
that demand I only wear a right shoe.
I would rather drink tea with Alice
than sip from a patriot’s cup.

I care not for flag waving conversations
about the disaster of affordable
while demanding legislation
that rewrites my rights after rape.

If I am to drink tea with crazy,
let it be in the garden of my choice,
where a mad hatter, a mouse
and a rabbit are entertaining
with their lips spouting nonsense.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

I am in such a writing struggle lately. I am producing mediocre, darn it! I have read through my fellow toads pieces for this challenge and they are wonderful!! Kay, your blog hates me. Just wanted you to know I read yours and it is a strong piece of unfortunate truth!! Kudos!!

Real Toads ~ A Birthday in November ~ Marianne Moore

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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Visual Poetry Set to Words

I quilted summer and hung
its sunflower colors on the wind,
a rebel flag defying winter’s gray.

My fingers draw
a daisy postcard
on the frosted window…
Spring daydreams blossom in winter snow…

Margaret Bednar at Real Toads challenged us to write words to the beautiful visual poems of Maria Wulf.  Artistic Interpretations With Margaret

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Friday, November 1, 2013

Small Stone ~ Mindful Writing Day

A clock ticks in the library…
Disconnected from a schedule
I reap quiet with
ink stained fingers
and an empty coffee cup.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

Written for Satya Robyn's Mindful Writing Day November 1, 2013
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