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

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Tar And Feather Wings

If I could fly with these
tar and feather wings,
I would soar above the
shadows hiding beneath my bed.
It is the time of me,
but I haven’t the strength
to rise above the drowning
music of necessity’s plunder.

In this watered down version
of being I exist, breathe,
wait for the last shoe to drop.

For everything there is a season,
mine is shriveling hours clinging
to a vine that no longer has life.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

This is not me now, but it once was. I am good at hiding things, like thoughts and state of mind. I am grateful for the light that I now live in. I am blessed.

Grapeling's final Get Listed for the year provided us with these words to find poetry in: music, few, grip, feather, glove, steam, embrace, rise, fall, water, shadow, bed

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Breathing Ornaments

The trees used to be full of wings
rustling as leaves in a summer storm.
Language chirped from limbs strong
enough to hold murder and flock.

When autumn stripped the echo
from branches, an exodus dimmed
the sun until goodbye ceased its calling.

Now winter beards the forest with snow
and cardinals sit breathing ornaments
decorating barren limbs with crimson.

In this season of waiting brave throats
fill frozen air with music warming faith
spring is gathering feathers to arrive
when ice surrenders to budding.  

Susie Clevenger 2014

(photo credit: Steve took it via photopin cc)
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Monday, December 22, 2014

Rooted Grass

The moon drips its light
through the oak tree
in a candle path across my toes.

Entranced by the mystic glow
I imagine myself rooted grass
claiming my piece of earth.

Taking in each moment I share
with tonight I leave all thoughts
of tomorrow on the distant horizon.

Skin mottled by shadows
I stand as a soldier protecting
dreams from reality’s artillery.

 ©Susie Clevenger 2014

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Knives And Woody Guthrie

You don’t know how much
you can take until too much
puts steel in your spine.

There wasn’t much brand new
on the apple drop before one
child faced a knife and the other
channeled Woody Guthrie.

Putting miles on wings
my youngest brought
dust bowl determination
to see her sister safe
on the other side of the fog.

Planted in a garden of leather and clocks
prayers watched hours spin while faith
didn’t surrender a thought to negative.

When doctors’ hands had finished
chipping through stone to bring freedom
two sisters curled into giggles of healing.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

Over at Real Toads Marian asked us to reflect on 2014 and write about it. I think I could have written a book, but I kept it short. For those who don't know the journey my oldest daughter, Dawn, has been on with her health I will let you read it in her own words. Losing my hair, finding my faith

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Another Year

Life bore down with its ticking hell
and delivered fraternal twins
of love and hate.

Another year gone, war got top billing
while peace never made it to the stage.

Skin, religion, politics, money created
a mixed tape of incendiary words
to play on a continuous loop until
its badgering burnt civility to ashes.

Another year of breathing,
but forgetting to live…
of standing on a precipice
praying opposition will
take its leap to death.

More weapons, less security
More anger, less love
More words, less meaning
More tragedy, less joy

…A world imploding on repeated history…

Money, politics, religion…
humans manipulate
and the Devil gets the blame.

 ©Susie Clevenger 2014

Kerry Says ~ Ah, Mephistopheles
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Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Faux Death

I slept a faux death
on pristine grass
void of the claws
of spade or tears.

A mere three feet
from your marbled name
I lay comforted by the moon
in its cradle of night.

Taken to a place where
dreams are forbidden
I was free from last words,
sunburned wishes, lips
that teased with promises unkept.

For a few hours I didn’t mourn
you had wings; that gravity
had tied me with ropes of pain.

Now without my shield of sleep
I see wildflowers rioting in purple
across your grave; hear sparrows
sing of angels; breathe spring air
free of the scent of dying roses.

Encircled in living watercolor
I wonder if it is your brush
painting life across my irises.

My heart feels less a stone
and more like life drumming
inside my chest.

Can this be hope?

©Susie Clevenger 2014

 At Real Toads Grace provided the poetry of James Wright as inspiration for our writing. Sunday Mini Challenge ~ James Wright

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Bubble Gum Ocean

Summers have made
their march to the sea
leaving her one day
closer to winter.

Pretty pink waves
splash her leathered skin
and she forgets youth
has long made its retreat.

Arms wide, she floats
belly up on memories
bleached white by a
forgiving crayon sun.

In her bubble gum ocean
worries don’t add, years subtract,
and hope doesn’t dwell on calculations.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

The photo is from is Lake Hillier in Western Australia.
Hannah at Real Toads prompted our writing with this beautiful place.

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Sandpaper Stars

Sandpaper stars know
best is brighter than
the last surrender into
blemished expectations.

Callous words can not
steal light life has earned
from a baptism of fire.

Time lapsed rapture
left us sipping nicotine
from gamma rays where
we were fashioned in
a cloud of dust.

We hang tattered, but whole
in a sapphire universe,
forgiving, forgetting,
overcoming the sanded speech
that tried to strip away our radiance.

©Ben Ditmars & Susie Clevenger 2014

I am proud to have participated in this poetic collaboration with the talented Ben Ditmars. You can find more of his work here.

Real Toads ~ The Tuesday Platform
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Tinseled Merry

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Friday, December 5, 2014

Green Flesh Of A Swan

could steal 
enough  glitter
  from clicked heels,
  I would dance among
 swans and not breathe this 
tepid air of boiling pots and
 foul spells.   My bitter, green
 flesh curses me to fly on a stick
 of wood and weed when my feet
 wish to balance on satin toes with a 
princess's  grace. Even my spirit that  fears
 water's splash  would dare to spread its wings across a 
crystal lake unburdened by misery's reflection in its mirror. Free me
 from this land of Oz where I am tied to lies glistening in emerald stones.
 Let me dance on dreams to music that plays more than a melody of remorse.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

Fireblossom over at Real Toads has us doing mash-ups. She challenged us to take a well known character or actual person and placed them in a situation no one has thought to place them in before. I chose the unlikely scenario of the witch from the Wizard of Oz wishing she could dance in the ballet, Swan Lake

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Among Thorns

“ blooming is hard, and the most important thing is - to bloom. ― Yevgeny Zamyatin

Open palms gather
the night into petals
too fragile for the sun.

With a starlight audience
a flower breaks through its restraints
to steal a moment from eternity
and bloom among a sea of thorns.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

Written for my own challenge at Real Toads

Bits Of Inspiration ~ Queen Of The Night
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