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

Friday, January 31, 2014

Camouflaged By Someday

I struggle so with words
and with each stitch of thread
you tell a story in their chains.

Why are we so different dear sister?
I am a recluse peering through
the curtains at life outside my window.

You wrap yourself in your knitted wool
and face the world with a smile
whether it is friend or foe that greets you.

With tongue glued by secrets I whither
on a vine I nurture each time I retreat
into the cracked shell of childhood.

You were there for each strike of word and palm,
but father was never able to beat
your spirit into submission.

You are a lesson I have yet to learn.
I paint myself with someday praying
I can move beyond its camouflage into freedom.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

(Written for a friend)
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Thursday, January 30, 2014


We are a desert
where hunger stalks
our lips searching
for a crumb of kindness.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

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Optic Tweets

I am glassy eyed midnight
watching insomnia
waterboarding slumber.


I prefer less
worst case scenario
with my eye prescription…


I am all wide eyed and blind.
Do those drops predict my future?

©Susie Clevenger 2014

Mama Zen at Real Toads has us tweeting poetry. I had a trip to the eye doctor today so  (eye) was inspired by it. 

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Every Corner In A Box

I am the odd among predictable…
Urban sheep play follow the leader
while I chase dreams with ink.

I see questions in the middle of answers,
moonlight on a sunny day, bouquets in drought…

For every corner in a box
my muse has a route of escape.

Insane performs the same failure
believing next time will bring success….

Perhaps I am the new normal?

 ©Susie Clevenger 2014

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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Southern Candles


August tears
for the death
of a king cried
the delta into
your spirit.

No matter
how many lights
shine in the city….
southern back roads
are the candles
to lead you home.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Aint No Raggedy Dress Sunday

“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.”  ― Alice Walker, The Color Purple

Sunday’s are for dressin’ your best.
Aint no time for a raggedy dress
full of wrinkles and smellin’
like last night’s Juke Joint.

Yes, Josie I saw you
paradin’ down Main Street
with that red skirt barely
coverin’ imagination.

I swear the twist in your bottom
had the devil hopin’ you’d
side step a little closer to hell.

Go on now…put on that purple dress,
Every time I see those pearl buttons
shinin’ on the sleeves and the white lace
peekin’ from the collar I remember
the hours your mama put in to makin’ it.

She didn’t want no plain cotton dress
for her girl when she went to God’s house.
Those pintucks gracin’ the front of your dress
made her smile with each stitch ‘cause
no other mama she knew could sew as straight.

That was the last thing she sewed before
Jesus picked her up from her fever bed
and carried her to heaven…
When she was so sick she couldn’t sit up,
she told me to hang the dress in the doorway
so God would know she’d picked his favorite color.

So Josie put on your purple dress and stand tall.
Your mama gonna be peekin’ through the clouds
to watch you walkin’ into church, and if 
you got any repentin’ to do that’s between
you and the Lord... Speak it in his ear.
He’s got a big heart just ready for forgivin’.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

Over at Real Toads Fireblossom gave us these instructions: What I want you to do is write a poem in which clothes play a significant part. Immediately the above quote from The Color Purple popped into my head. It slipped me into the time period of the story and I created my inadequate tribute to the style of Alice Walker.

Fireblossom Friday ~ Clothes Make The Woman
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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Frozen City

A hibiscus is robbed
of its scent by the gray
anger of winter.

This land of sun
withers under
an invasion of ice.

In a city frozen in place
eyes look out upon
an alien world

where ice skating
was once just blades
cutting across artificial.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

Houston does not do winter, but we are under a winter storm watch...ice and strong winds are in the forecast.

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Swim In Flames

I knew there
would be fire
when I saw the spark.

Bewitched by a wink
I swam in the flames
until I felt the first scarring.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

Peggy at Real Toads prompted us to write about eyes.
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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Ground Into Forgotten

Fallen leaves rattle their grief
under booted feet grinding
them into forgotten.
Glory comes on warm sunbursts
only to surrender to the icy teeth of frost.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

Real Toads ~ When I Write Tanka (Part 2) ~ Hisashi Nakamura

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Bloom of Flashbacks

Dark walnut skin
and a moon split smile
bring Jamaica back to me.

Time stamped in my memory
are moments of joy filled
with the music of your voice.

You are mist filled mountains
in a tropical world so foreign
to the concrete dust I breathe.

Untethered from my electronic world
my thoughts walk with you
on flower lined paths of peace.

We are forgotten names blooming
in a photo album of flashbacks…
reunited when sunlight turns its pages.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Where The Yew Needles The Moon

My mind climbs the mountain of dreams
where the yew needles the moon
to drip candle light into the blackness.

Dressed in the garments of sin and lies
night breaks the lock of my weakness
and seduces resistance with glittered tongue.

In a sea of broken bottles I drink the foam
splashing against amber glass until
I forget I ever cried for rescue.

Lying half drowned in the wilds of sapphire I cling white knuckled
to excuses burning their way across my lips and pray
they will silence the condemnation of conscience.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

Brendan at Real Toads offered us a list of words from Sylvia Plath's The Moon and the Yew Tree as inspiration for our poetry. Get Listed With Brendan ~ Moon Madness

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Rooted to Promises

Tree Orb
The beautiful photographic art of Deborah Glessner ~ Lark Photography

He said he would never leave…
so I buried him beneath the oak
where roots would pierce his heart
to keep him bound to promises.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

Margaret Bednar at Real Toads provided the orb images of Deborah Glessner as inspiration for our writing. Artistic Interpretations With Margaret ~ Orbs
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Shriveled Faith

A dirge plays
on rusted chains
in a city of abandonment.

Disaster came one April
on a radioactive wind
discounted by airborne lies.

Cement skeletons line
vacant streets paved
with the echoes of ghosts.

Through the night
dreams walk with shriveled faith
hope will ever call this home.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

At Real Toads Izy asked us to write about a location we would never want to travel to. I chose the city of Pripyat which was evacuated after the catastrophic nuclear disaster at Chernobyl on April 26, 1986.

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Monday, January 6, 2014

Bricks of Jaded

                           New York at Night, Vivienne Gucwa

A sleepless city roams the mist
chasing dreams through the shadows.

Somewhere in the night vibrations
hope stumbles across bricks
wearied by shoes seeking unattainable.

Streetlights blink their starlight eyes
as they watch naïve stretch its limbs
believing it can outrun jaded.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

Written for The Mag 201
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Cigarette Afterglow

Rose flesh
softens the glare
of white sheets.

In the cigarette
we are silent.

No words
can transcend
the poetry

our bodies spoke
in the velvet trance
of ecstasy’s oblivion.

I will drink the wine
of our silence
until I am inebriated

with the delusion
a ticking clock isn’t racing
toward goodbye.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Blabbering Blibbering Mistrust

“You used to be much more..."muchier." You've lost your muchness.” 
Alice in Wonderland ~ Lewis Carroll 

When did you become the queen of boredom?
You are as unfun as the Tinsel Toed Tizzy
who whirls in black fits while she spits conundrums.

Your pigtails are always tied in a naysayers knot
with all your spouting I should and you should not.

Wiggle Rots and Ziggle Goats are much more fun.
they jiggle and giggle under the marmalade sun.

Be gone with your bloated I musts…..
all your blabbering blibbering mistrust….

I wish much less of your more.
Please go back to how you were before
your nitpicking snipping morphed you into a bore.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

Ok, Kerry over at Real Toads challenged us to write fantasy.  I am not sure were this came from. I rarely write poems that rhyme because I am not good at it. I am sure this piece will just prove that point, but my muddled brain so needs a touch of fun. :) Birthdays in January ~ Tolkien, Milne, Carroll
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Friday, January 3, 2014

Jali - Kora

Jali - Kora
play the song
of our ancestors.

Write yesterday
on my heart
so I won’t forget

the blood hymn
of those who
formed my lips.

Let me hear
the sun playing
through strings

carrying the melodies
of Mother Africa’s
fertile womb.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

Sabu Yerkoy means thanks to God

Real Toads ~ Sabu Yerkoy
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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Breathe In Brand New

There will be no more
recycled resolutions
leaving their muddy stamp
on my new year.

I have no list, no plan, no must do.
All of that will come when it needs to come.

This is my moment
to breathe in brand new
without the stench of I failed
filling my nostrils.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

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