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

Monday, March 20, 2017

Have You Ever Lived In Third Person

Empath ...
She was born in a nest
built from shadows, secrets, and tears.
A tiny girl old as yesterday’s locked tongue
was raw wired for channeling misery
before she took her first step.

(Have you ever lived in third person?
Every bump in the night carries whispers,
every scratch a wound, every battle
a knotted stomach, every failure a fall,
every they stripping I from your tongue.)

When a bird cracks through the egg
its an ugly little thing full of what if
and dreams of far flying wings.

With walls full of echoes and faces of ghosts
she never lived fairy tales other than Grimm.
Home wasn’t warm. Home wasn’t hope.
Home was a place she wished to escape.

©Susie Clevenger 2017

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Friday, March 17, 2017


Each day she welcomed
the knock at her door….
For a few short smiles
the world entered with kindness
carrying the scent of baked bread,
cinnamon, and roast beef.

She remembers the week silence began.
At first she thought it was a mistake.
There was snow, but her street was clear.
Monday was late. That’s all…Monday was just late.
But Tuesday forgot the soup, Friday the apple tart…
Days kept passing without a voice, the sound of a car door,
meals to keep life from surrendering to bone.

Now she listens to memories sing from the photographs on her wall.
A widow was once a wife, a dried womb a mother,
inked words turned poem, a soul led by compassion.

Weary, she sits by her kitchen window
dining on hunger pains, and lonely.
She had lived 80 Thanksgivings
to arrive at an empty cupboard on 81.

Her best lavender dress hangs in the doorway
so they will know it was her favorite color
when a knock returns to the front door.

©Susie Clevenger 2017

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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Blue Sky Without A Credit Card

He seems to be a match,
as close to perfect
as imperfect can get.
I’m leery of the hoodwink.
His wallet brag and brawn view
may broadcast more where there is less.

There can be a whole lot of heart
under a dollar, and stone in a thousand.
If he can handle blue sky without a credit card,
he just might own the truth.

I won’t say I’m cheap,
but romance by coupon
let’s me taste the frosting
before I buy the cake.
I like to test the change
to see if tomorrow
can afford the weight.

©Susie Clevenger 2017

This was inspired by this book title: Dating for Under a Dollar: 301 Ideas, by Blair Tolman

Real Toads ~ Title Tale
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Saturday, March 11, 2017

Twilight Pours Licorice

Photo: Alfred Cheney Johnston 

Twilight pours its licorice
across my tongue and I am
hostage to the bittersweet
taste of impetuous.

Romanced by starlight
sugaring the sky I let my body
learn the language of yours.

I never pack regrets
or salt wounds with weakness.
Tonight will write its memoir
in sandalwood and bergamot
across my skin…

Tomorrow is still a daydream.

©Susie Clevenger 2017

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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

I'd Own An Orchard

It’s been a little bleak lately.
If I had an apple for every alternate fact,
I’d own an orchard.

Now, I like dark comedy, but I am not fond of orange delivery.
That little blue bird T-boy keeps high jacking can’t get a feather dry
before he is putting more spit on hashtags.

There is so much blabbering about a slogan, Make America Great Again.
Yeah, I don’t know what that means either. I’d like them to get back
to making America a democracy again.

So much for swamp draining, government is looking more like
an alligator farm run by cannibals. For every dollar dropped
in the bid pot, T-boy is serving up favors. There just might be
some laughs though when golden wallets get emptied by association.

Yet I’m a sucker for hope. (Shoot, women been bringing it from the womb
since the very first baby bottom cry.) When faux tan drops another tweet,
snowflakes gather more frost. It may look a whole lot like midnight,
but the sun still crowns in the east.

©Susie Clevenger 2017

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Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Stench Of Extinction

Sumatran Tiger 5 (6964685356)

I am a tiger cursed with the stench of extinction.
My days are numbered by a bullet prophesy
spoken from the tip of a gun.

I’ve been robbed of generations
so I could be a trophy for egos
high on death and greed.

My DNA holds the glory of adaption,
water survival, isolation, bold stripes.
I am the glory of perseverance.

Sumatra, you are my home.
I cry you can’t save me from humans
infected with the myopic vision of blood lust. 

©Susie Clevenger 2017

You can read more about the Sumatran tiger here. This beautiful animal is nearing extinction. Poaching and deforestation are the enemies to their survival.

Photo credit: By Tony Hisgett from Birmingham, UK (Sumatran Tiger 5  Uploaded by tm) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Thursday, March 2, 2017


She is there, pillow deep,
jasmine, lily, nutmeg
scented skin….

With each breath reality
blends with dream,
and his eyes struggle
for truth in his satin sea.

Slowly empty weights his arms.
The chill of gone raises goose bumps
where her perfumed body
had poured sunlight across his chest.

He turns to the nightstand beside his bed.
She always leaves a note….
Gone….He doesn’t like how it feels.

©Susie Clevenger 2017

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