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

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Penciled Sails

Clearwater Beach ~ Image: Margaret Bednar
Artist: Chelsea Bednar

Morning rides
on seagull wings
around the face
of my watch, and
it goes unnoticed.

I am at sea on
a sloop with
penciled sails.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Blackberry Switch

Night sleeps,
but it never forgets.
The blackberry switch
will bruise dreams
until morning finds
wicked tied in bed sheets.

Beware if evil stains your palms.
It will be the blood map guiding
judgment to your doorstep.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

Izy at Real Toads has us contemplating curses.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Goodbye Grew Among Black Roses

I thought dying would
be less pain than lying
in your bed of black roses.

Your words cradled in dry petals
weaved a spell that kept me
bound in this house of flames.

I felt the thorns of your scorn
pierce all I believed until
I couldn’t carry another scar.

Desperate to be me
I carved a tiny spot in life
where I was free to bleed.

Goodbye grew deep roots
until I was strong enough
to speak the words.

With you gone this house
is now a home free of the
thorning of black roses.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

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Monday, May 26, 2014

The Mountain Fell

I used to climb the mountain
until the mountain fell,
lived in the light until
they made me mine
the bowels of hell.

Caught between a rock
and a hard life I breathed
death to keep my family alive.

I dodged fate for a while
with each pickaxe swing,
but on a December Monday
coal sent a demand it
needed more bones.

I used to climb the mountain
until the mountain fell.
lived in the light until
they made me mine
the bowels of hell.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

Revisiting Marian's prompt  for Real Toads Play It Again #5
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Friday, May 23, 2014

An Apple Falling Too Close To Truth

Random stiches held us
when discord plucked at
the thread of family ties.

Eyes blue, begging approval,
wished for rainbows to shine
after each storm of words.

Mama, I was an apple
falling too close to your truth,
a genetic mirror reflecting broken.

I now sing the song, you wouldn’t.
My heart strives for so much more
when yours settled for less.

In the silence I reach for your voice
to speak all you stored in regrets.
I write the truth your tears could never explain.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Virtual Blog Tour

I was asked by my friend and fellow creative, Kathryn Dyche  Dechairo, to participate in a virtual blog tour. Its goal is to introduce talented bloggers and have them share insight into their writing and creative process. You can visit her tour post at The Edge of Silence

Kathryn Dyche Dechairo is a self taught mixed media artist and poet living in South Ohio. Kathryn's work has been published in The Pulse of Mixed Media, Artful Blogging 2012, Poetry Nook Vol 3 with her debut collection of poetry and prose 'The Edge of Silence' self published this February.

So grab some coffee and I will share a little about my creative process....

What am I working on?

It’s hard to call it work when I am doing what I love, but there are moments when I put on too many hats. I am in the process of writing my second poetry collection, Insomnia’s Ink. Most of my writing is done in the wee hours of the morning while my second passion, photography takes up much of my daylight. Yes, you would be correct if you assume I don’t get much sleep.

Here is a sneak peek at Insomnia's Ink

Half Lidded Twilight

A few dreams shy of morning
I lie suspended between
the alarm clock and oblivion.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I am not sure how to answer that. The closest I could come is to say my poetry/writing is pretty upfront. The reader has little doubt as to its meaning. Since I began dedicating my time to writing poetry in 2009 it has gone through a metamorphosis. Those early poems came from learning to use my wings so to speak. Many of them referred to butterflies which is something I identify with. My current writing has much more grit and I am experimenting with storytelling. 

Why do I write/create what I do?

It is because I must. For so many years of my life I internalized pain. I am a talker and of course I spoke verbally of things that bothered me, but there was much I kept silent about. From sharing my work I began to see how many identified with it. I was giving voice to things people couldn’t say or didn’t know how to say. When I first started writing only one man read my blog, but with each poem he read he kept telling me to write another one. I can’t imagine life without poetry now.

How does your writing/creating process work?

Visual images are a big part of my creativity. Being an amateur photographer I am always looking at the world around me and hearing it speak through my lens. Whatever I write I feel. It might be joy, sorrow, anger, love or awe that bubbles up from my core to my pen. I can jot down phrases or ideas in the noisiest conditions, but it is usually quiet when I bring it all to completion.

Well, having written enough about me, I would like to present three very talented people you will want to visit on your tour of the blogosphere next Monday, May 26th.  Laurie, Ben, and Heidi will welcome you into their world of creativity and share their answers to the what, where and why of their art. 


Laurie Kolp lives in Southeast Texas with her husband, three kids and two dogs. She serves as vice-president of Texas Gulf Coast Writers, and contributes monthly to the online communities dVerse Poets and Poetry Jam. Laurie’s first full-length poetry collection is Upon the Blue Couch, published by Winter Goose Publishing in April 2014.
You can find Laurie's work at  Laurie Kolp Poetry.

.  Ben is a bestselling author of gnomes, plays, poetry and more. He was first published in his college publications the Cornfield Review and KAPOW. Since then he has been featured in several online literary journals including: Flurries of Words, Samizdat Literary Journal, and Shine Journal. Ben lives in Marion, Ohio and is currently working toward his Master's Degree in education at the University of Findlay while substitute teaching. He hopes to instruct high school social studies full-time within the next year. He loves historical documentaries and all things gnome. You can find Ben's work at Nice Old Spice

 Alabama, Depression, Sweetie-pies, Farts, and Profanity. These are the inspiration of a southerner, Heidi Helmer.  She is on a continuing mission to explore strange, new forms; to seek out new prompts and new blogs; to boldly write what she's never written before. Roll Tide! You can find Heidi's work at Bigger Than A Lasagna.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The String Is Cut

Those teeth, horsey and belligerent
were forever grinning their
 “ I got my way smirk.”

I bit my tongue to play nice
because the battle was not my war.

But now the string is cut…..
If you corner my child again,
you will be scarred by mama’s claws.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

The first stanza is dedicated to a particular ex son-in-law. The last two stanzas are dedicated to both ex son-in-laws. Thank goodness my daughters are now free of abusive dead weight.

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Monday, May 12, 2014

Self-inflicted Wound

My lips know too well
the path of apology.

Error lays its stumbling blocks
word deep in my vocal chords,
and I spout what my thoughts
trip over before it passes
through editing.

Scrolling through excuses
will not open a door for forgiveness.
Honesty prods truth to forgo a lie.
Saying I am sorry may not be enough,
but failing you is my self-inflicted wound.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

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Sunday, May 11, 2014

So Many I’s In Who I am

    Pages of Me by Susie McMahon

I leaf
the book of me contains
and I feel their weight
stretching my spine.

So many I’s
make me
who I am,
each bookmarked
with twigs of
sprouted beginnings.

Uniquely complicated
I paste myself upon
every sunrise
wondering what new lines
life will ink into my story.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

Grace at Real Toads provided us the art and dolls of talented artist 
Susie McMahon as inspiration for our poetry.

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Friday, May 9, 2014

Birth On Canvas

The canvas, open thighed
with birthing pains begs
my brush to be its midwife.

Inadequate but inspired
I deliver the newborn
with strokes of paint
across pallor’s cheek.

Rooted in burnt umber,
a trunk sprouts leaves of gold
and peach nippled fruit.

When my muse speaks
it is finished, I feel relief,
but in this brief respite
I hear the first moans
calling from another womb.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

At Real Toads Fireblossom provided the beautiful art of Seraphine Louis as inspiration for our poetry. Fireblossom Friday ~ Seraphine Louis
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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Blind Lace

Delicate thread needles blinding eyes into vanity’s lace.

Young girls’ dreams drown
in watered light to insure
wrists and throats are adorned.

Fashion raises a haughty cheek
to the lips of coin and demand
without concern its frills sentence
youth to a prison cell of shadows.

On pillowed laps feminine hands
twist and cross until vision
is threaded into ruins of lace.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

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Monday, May 5, 2014

I Avoid The High Horse

Vultures sit
bib breasted

But I avoid
the hooves
of the high horse…

So thankful
peace prepared me
for days like this.

I’ve learned
storm clouds
don’t always drown.

There’s going to be
days like this…
frustrating days
like this…

They’ll try to chew
on me, pull at me,
roll me in their muck.

I choose to look on the
bright side of the lemon
and remember most
of my days are nothing like this.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

I was inspired by Van Morrison's song, Days Like This.

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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sticky Notes Or Dreams

Chance has no history
to learn from, or prayers
to answer. It can’t predict
the who and when of favor.

It’s the thin air of possibility
where we attach sticky notes
hoping fate can read
our handwriting.

Dreams on the other hand
require sturdy boots
and resolve to trek the
stony ground of question marks.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

At Real Toads Fireblossom is requesting 55 words of poetry or flash fiction.

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Friday, May 2, 2014

Beneath The Atchafalaya Moon

Hoping shadows were blind
beneath the Atchafalaya moon
I knelt among the Cyprus knees
letting their prayers into my bones.

Fear had a hunger for my flesh
and I could feel it raking
its raspy tongue along my arms
seeking a weak vein it could drink from.

Above my head the night priest
speaks my name through the moss
letting me know he wasn’t going
to leave until I surrendered my amen.

Feeling the swamp air reach
for my lungs I hold my breath
to keep my soul light from
being snuffed by its moldy fingers.

I could hear mama speaking in my thoughts,
Twila, the devil doesn’t like you knowing his secrets.
You’re the bridge he’s determined to set a match to,
so be strong when you smell his sulfur.

The thing about being brave is you can’t study
for the testing. There’s a whole lot of what you should do
pumped into words, but it’s a different matter
when you feel the burning, but can’t find the flames.

 ©Susie Clevenger 2014

 This is another poem about my fictitious character Twila.  The first one is Dark Hymns Of The Live Oak

 Kerry at Real Toads had us writing Vignettes. 

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