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

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Wee Hours Of Together

Dance with the Ghosts of Tomorrow
© Kelly Letky

We are arms reaching
for last moments before
goodbye has burnt the air.

In the wee hours of together
we dance with tomorrow’s ghosts
that are still warm with memory’s flesh.

Let the promises remain unspoken.
There is no need to ask why because
the answer arrived with our first mistake.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

At Real Toads Kerry provided us with the beautiful photography art of
Kelly Letky as inspiration for our writing. You can find more of her work
on her Etsy page Blue Muse Art.

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The Knife Edge is the granite
high wire where adventurers
risk life to walk on awe.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

Hannah's prompt: Real Toads Transforming Friday With Nature's Wonder
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Wednesday, August 27, 2014


You shouldn’t have…
Well, I did…

Tattoos are disgusting.
Have you seen mine?

You’re the only one on the dance floor!
I don’t care…

What’s with all those pens?
I love ink.

Act your age!
Is this an audition?

You’re so strange.
Thank you for noticing!

©Susie Clevenger 2014

 Mama Zen at Real Toads wanted us to discuss our weird in 46 words or less.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Evade: A Politician's Handbook

If I were to be,
well you see,
I’d rather be you
than me.

Because a rabbit chase
through the sky
will end in a stubbed toe
fall into reality.

If I talk out of the right
side of my mouth,
I bite my left cheek
which doesn’t matter
unless I don’t have
a leg to stand on.

Does that answer
your question?

©Susie Clevenger 2014

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Until Death ~ Or Nearly

“It's like a storm that cuts a path
It's breaks your will, it feels like that
You think you're lost, but you're not lost
On your own, you're not alone" *

My love watched me
be overtaken by pain
that had no cause,
no relief, no cure.

The agony of my bones
turned on its match
to burn my flesh,
and death wooed me
with its painless sleep.

When I was too weak to speak,
he was my voice…
When I couldn’t stand,
he was my legs…
When I couldn’t hope,
he was my prayer.

Why hung itself like
a black wreath on my spirit.
I was an enigma passed
from physician to physician.

While I was holding on to thin air
midnight lit a lamp to expose
death had planted its seed
in a prescription bottle.

Though I had an answer, it wasn’t a rainbow’s
ride out of hell…My mind medicated
into despair was a tough jumpstart
into believing life was better than death.

When I was too weak to speak,
my husband was my voice…
When I couldn’t stand,
my husband was my legs…
When I couldn’t hope,
my husband was my prayer.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

The beginning quote is from the song, I Will Stand By You, written by Jason Sellers, and Steve Robson; performed by Rascal Flatts.

In 2012 I was prescribed the prescription drug, Cozar. What began with a high fever and pain progressed to agonizing pain, only being able to feed myself, and the darkest depression I have ever experienced. I have been warned by a cardiologist I am never to take that class of drugs again because there is every likelihood next time it would kill me. The list of side effects can be found here.

During this hell few people knew what was really happening to me. I asked Charlie to only post on my Facebook page that I wasn't feeling well. I was dependent on Charlie to bathe me, dress me and assist me in going to the bathroom.The only thing I could do was feed myself which took extreme effort because I had to wear neoprene gloves to try and stabilize the joints in my hands to reduce pain. 

I was bounced between doctors who didn't have a clue as to what was happening to me. My primary doctor was going to send me to a infectious disease specialist because he thought I had contracted a virus that was attacking the bones. Somehow through the physical pain and my mind surrendering to death a light bulb flashed and I realized I had began taking Cozar the month before. Charlie and I started digging deeper into the drug's side effects and found it was the demon killing me. I stopped taking it and physically I began to rebound, but mentally I was still shrouded in the belief I would die. Charlie had to tell me every day I was getting better. I had the song, I Will Stand By You, on my iPod and I listened to it over and over, clung to the words because I knew Charlie was there for me and many friends who didn't know the real extent of my illness were praying and speaking positive words on my behalf. 

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Take The Moon

My heart is a ticking clock
dividing time with your smile
and the barrenness of your anger.

Take the moon, the last rose,
the lust memories I have stored
in my flesh, but don’t rob me
of my reflection in your blue eyes.

We are two souls wrapped into
one eternity. Forgive me for stepping
into the starlight of another’s arms.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

Margaret at Real Toads had us revisiting previous challenges. I chose one from Kerry, Jorge Luis Borges

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Six Chances With YouTube

Stay With me
(Give them)Something To Talk About
It don’t make any difference to me
(Because) Love Is The Answer
We Can Work It Out

©Susie Clevenger 2014

Fireblossom at Real Toads is has us making lists.

Fireblossom Friday ~ Lists

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mother Sky

Mother Sky, send your nightlight stars
to candle our way out of darkness.

Let us hear the voices of our ancestors
who spoke the language of  the trees.

We have walked across the forest
in our stone moccasins for so long
we can longer hear the roots cry.

In the noise of our tongues speaking
iron and glass we became deaf.

Mother Sky, we are listening,
the days of stealing years from limbs are ending.

Our hands will nurse the great oak while you
water seedlings from tears of joy instead of pain.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

This poem was inspired by the following Native American quotes.

"We are all one child spinning through Mother Sky." – Shawnee
"Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf." - Tribe Unknown
"All plants are our brothers and sisters. They talk to us and if we listen, we can hear them." – Arapaho

This is the source for the Native American Quotes:
Native American Proverbs and Wisdom

Real Toads Bits Of Inspiration ~ Spirit Nature
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Monday, August 18, 2014

A Most Uncivil War

We are most uncivil in our war.
I think this. You think that…
an angry rain of exclamation marks
has muddied the common ground.

Our anger is a status update begging for
the “like” minded to hit a button
to validate our discord.

Rapid fire opinions shoot from fingertips
made bold from their daily feeding
of bias served on a party’s plate.

Foxes aren’t subtle and peacocks turn left
as both blink their bite on screens
with volume turned up to evangelize division.

We are most uncivil in our war.
I think this. You think that…
an angry rain of exclamation marks
has muddied the common ground.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

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Prying Moon ~ Triquain

Prying moon,
your neon bled across
the lawn until it discovered me
burying forgiveness among summer roses.
I wasn’t ready for repentance,
but you knew I couldn’t
deny you.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

At Real Toads Kerry challenged us to write using the triquain form,
seven lines with syllables counted in multiples of three.

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Desperation Is The Worm

The laughter is so close to madness
I can’t tell if sanity has made
the final scissor cut or if I am
merely balancing on the razor’s edge.

Desperation is the worm eating
the delicate flesh of coping and
I wonder if there is enough life
to carry another scar.

Carpe diem? Am I to seize this day
that is as dead as the hours that
preceded it? Is there anything noble
about clawing the side of a rabbit hole
which is too deep for me to escape?

H O P E …. Be everything you are
to steer me away from everything
I am not…I want to taste life without
the bitter twist of lemons.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

 With Robin William's death it has caused me to sit with my demons of the past and reflect on their effect on me. This piece is written from that dark place I lived in for years. 

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Dust Calls

Tomorrow is a closed gate
vined with wilting dreams
my tears can no longer water.

Joy and sorrow are sisters
standing at my bedside
counting breaths until
dust calls for flesh and bone.

I feel my life fleeing hushed and
gentle like the gazelle
to a soon chiseled epitaph.

I am not afraid…the moon
waits to cradle me in its smile.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

Grace at Real Toads offered the poetry of Gabriela Mistral as inspiration for our writings. I chose this line "I feel my life fleeing hushed and gentle like the gazelle" from Gabriela's poem, Dusk, as the muse for my poem.

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Sunday, August 10, 2014



I am beak and bone
in a wingless world
staring into an eternity
dotted with camera winks.

No more do I live halcyon days
blessed with blue sky, clutch and sea.

Trapped in glass,
void of my brilliant plumage,
I sit glued to my perch
like a stone angel
carved to adorn my
kingfisher headstone.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

Halcyon: Etymology

From Latin Alcyone, daughter of Aeolus and wife of Ceyx. When her husband died in a shipwreck, Alcyone threw herself into the sea whereupon the gods transformed them both into halcyon birds (kingfishers). When Alcyone made her nest on the beach, waves threatened to destroy it. Aeolus restrained his winds and made the waves be calm during seven days in each year, so she could lay her eggs. These became known as the "halcyon days", when storms never occur.

Image: Free Wide Wallpapers

At Real Toads Margaret Bednar provided her skeleton photography as inspiration for our poetry.  Artistic Interpretations ~ Skeleton Poetry
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Thursday, August 7, 2014


The world spins on a mother’s comfort, 
breathes her words of encouragement, 
dies when she sits with empty arms.

Joined with her heartbeat in the womb
we hear it pulse throughout our lives
with each step that takes us further from her.


Notes: I got this far and hit a wall. I am not sure how to continue. Do I write about when we lose our mothers? The strength she gives/gave? I began with the world and went to we...Does that work? 

Izy at Real Toads asked us to post an unfinished poem and ask for feedback on how to complete it.

Poems In Progress
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Monday, August 4, 2014

Only So Many Minutes

Tardiness made a table for two
a desert island where alone
wore her best heels.

There are only so many
minutes in faith...

A glassy eyed clock ticks
to the end of her rope.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

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Friday, August 1, 2014

We Can't See Heaven For The Blood

We can’t see heaven for the blood.
Redemption didn’t buy its bullets
from the right god … toe tags keep
piling up an eye for an eye.

How much death is enough?

Hell isn’t a deterrent when
live lungs are breathing ash.

A broken winged child looks the same
in every race, in every mother’s tears.

Yet… still peace waits….It hopes…
It believes each mirror will speak,
“You are the answer to ending war.”

©Susie Clevenger 2014

At Real Toads Marian prompted us to respond poetically to Steve Earle's moving song Jerusalem.

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