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

Monday, September 30, 2013

Become The Light

Maybe you wish
to dream away
the pain the world
has brought you…

Lie in a bed
of forgetting
praying time
could be rewound…

The sun will rise
even in darkness…

When night overwhelms
become the light…

Many who love you
are there to lift you up,
but only you can stand.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Gather The Stories

You have to know
your how and why
before roots whither
into forgetting.

A head lain
on wisdom’s breast
will hear the drumbeat
of ancestry teaching
bones to dance.

Each of us has a purpose
in this rainbow life
where discord
tries to separate us
into colors without connection.

Gather the stories
of those who speak
through the ages
and store them
deep in the spirit
where they can
nurture who you are
when the world wants
to mold you into ordinary.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

My poem was inspired by the following quote:
“Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die,
we can't remember who we are or why we're here.”
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Ten Dollar Tour

Photograph: Margaret Bednar

Miss Annabelle Lee
once lived here,
for a ten dollar tour
feet cross hardwood
to stare at what remains.

A painting of her hangs
above the mantle
in the sitting room,
barely noticed among teacup
and furniture descriptions.

Microphoned ears
listen to the history
of a piano sitting
against the wall,
not caring the keys
were once played
to comfort a mother
whose son had been
lost to war.

Annabelle’s poetry
sits on the bookshelf
of a small rosewood desk.
The passion in her verses
relinquished to faded ink
and minds caught up
in flashing digital abbreviations.

Her accomplishments
reached far beyond
a life measured
by possessions
and not breath.

Contemporary eyes
give it a nod, but
appear more awed
by the sunlit sparkle
reflected by polished brass.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Nylon Admiral

It wasn’t character,
bravery or service
that earned the stars
upon his shirt.

It was fingers dipped in lives
mixed with the paste of lies
that created the mud
he floated upon to promotion.

Dubbed the Nylon Admiral
for his skill at discovering
digital stowaways in lace and affairs,
he commanded his fleet smugly
across his perilous sea of blackmail.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Solo In Silence

The Moth and the Lamp, Cesar Santos

yesterday’s words
graffiti my thoughts
moth wings take me
back to clutch their light
i tire of flying solo in silence

©Susie Clevenger 2013

Written for The Mag 187
Also shared with Real Toads Open Link Monday
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Autumn Tanka

diamond raindrops 
adorn autumn leaves
their curled palms
petitioning God
to cushion their fall


drunk on moonlight
autumn leaves tumble
across shadows pleading
with the ghosts of summer
to share a last dance

©Susie Clevenger

At Real Toads Kerry has prompted us to write tanka poems.
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Finally Reaching Someday

I was a middle child
pulled between
not old enough
and no longer the baby.

Divided until I learned
what it meant to be whole
left a path of teardrops
from heart to dreams.

Finally reaching someday
I no longer look back
at what was, but live
the joy of who I am.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Night Folds The Stars

Night folds the stars into
origami wings to fly secrets
across midnight galaxies
where beauty can’t
be twisted by jealous tongues.

Caught in the dry rain
of autumn leaves
the harvest moon dances
with the wind to erase
lovers’ steps from prying eyes.

Mystery keeps its shoulder
against the horizon to stall
sunrise long enough to allow
joy to erase forbidden.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

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Thursday, September 19, 2013


Mnemosyne by  Dante Gabriel Rossetti

I would abdicate my throne
for one day of forgetfulness.

My spirit grieves the words
I have had to form to catalog
man’s errors when I was birthed
to create language for beauty.

While I can’t forget they refuse
to remember the sky was once blue,
the water was fresh, and hunger
didn’t create zombie’s fighting for bread.

My immortality is weighted with stones
wrapped around my vocal chords.
I have rattled heaven with my shouts
at humanity to stop killing the very
place that gives them life, but they won’t abate.

Watching death imprint its face on my memory
is an eternal curse I can’t escape;
nor can I run from the vocabulary
I must create to describe it.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

Mnemosyne was the Titan goddess of memory and remembrance and the inventress of language and words.

Kerry's Wednesday Challenge ~ Gods In Nature

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Blue Eyes

Photo: Photobucket

baby blue eyes wink
where the sky and blossoms meet
clouds erase union

©Susie Clevenger 2013

  1. Nemophila is a genus found in the flowering plant family Hydrophyllaceae. Most of the species in Nemophila contain the phrase "baby blue-eyes" in their common names. N. menziesii has the common name of "Baby blue-eyes". Wikipedia
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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Open Palm

             Art by Kathryn Dyche Dechairo

Holding on with open palm to silence
I watch summer wither into brittle vines
wishing the wind would wait
until the last flower bloomed
before it stripped memories
from their stems.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Floral Emissaries

grooved by
pilgrim’s feet
snakes through blossoms.

Rainbows growing
as far as the eye can see
renew spirits weary
from war’s dirge
sung over marble stones.

Painted by divine brush strokes
the flowering emissaries of peace
reach into the soul to disarm anger
with seedlings of peace.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

Written for Hannah's Hungry and Haunted prompt at Real Toads

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Scales of Eight

Sow what
you wish to reap.

Tipping the scales of eight
to pad your pockets of power
will only be tolerated for a season.

When Karma tires of your game,
you will discover counterweights
can be a bitch.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

Mama Zen at Real Toads has us using the number 8 for inspiration. It could be used in whatever manner we desired. I chose to take a look at the meaning of the number 8 in numerology. I discovered the number is the great Karmic equalizer, a force that just as easily creates as it destroys. Many people tend to only look at its money and power properties and neglect it balances the material and immaterial worlds.(btw ~ my poem contains 38 words)
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Wishes on Stars

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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Studious Stripper

Go in there fully dressed
with all your the’s and a’s
buttoned tight in your verses.

Layer on thesaurus chosen words
to make readers wonder what
hides within your vocabulary
until they beg you to drop
that high collar phraseology
to expose your literary assets.

Shake your rhyming until
they pant with expectation
then give them an ending
that leaves your soul as bare
as the day you first thought
you could write.

Oh, Ok, I think I have it,
less words and more meaning.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

 Fireblossom at Real Toads gave us a list of words to build a title and poem from. (Don't tell anyone but I have been stalking Mama Zen to learn a few tricks on how to write.)  

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Sacrifice Left Empty Arms

The night rattles with dry leaves,
I hear summer gasp its final breath
and wonder how the days slipped
through my fingers while I was
clutching at straw hopes you would return.

War took you from me with its command
to march into hell where angels lay
broken upon soil polluted by greed.

Your sacrifice left my arms empty.
I know you did what you felt was right,
but I wonder how much truth
you were told by a government
well versed in lies.

I have no child with your smile,
or blue eyes shining with mischief.
Freedom’s price has chopped
limbs from our family tree.

Every night I petition the universe
to let me hear your voice fall from the stars
to tell me I am safer with you gone.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

I wrote this in response to my fear the United States is on the verge of military action in Syria.
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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Rust Colored Tongue

At Poetry Jam Laurie Kolp prompted us to write about rust.
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Swallowing Stones

She keeps swallowing stones,
smoothing their edges
with the river of secrets
flowing inside her.

A preacher once told her
to confess her sins,
but she prefers
the hell she knows to
a cauldron stirred
with gossip’s stick.

She lives with the unspoken
dodging questions tossed
from loaded tongues,
her spine standing straight
under a devil dealt burden
she prefers to carry alone.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

Peggy at Real Toads prompted us to write about things being carried.
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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

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