Thursday, September 15, 2016

It Takes A Woman


There’s a whole lot of noise in final.
The grim reaper has my bones
betting on rattles and dust
while my flesh still fantasizes
about a heartbeat.

Grim stands in the corner
dressed in a black cape and
broken tooth smile looking more
like a cousin to a jack o’ lantern
than the epitome of fearful.
He’s so eager to collect a shell
he can’t see the pearl in the satin lined box.

He is pepper spraying the room with so many tears
conversations can’t rally long enough to funnel stories
about my crazy into belly laughs loud enough
to offend proper etiquette.

If death were a woman, she’d introduce herself,
clear the room of morbid, light a lavender scented candle,
and edit my sins with just enough truth
to smooth the wrinkles in my obituary.

She would borrow a bit of my sense of humor,
uncork my favorite wine, invite visitors to enjoy
the dessert buffet with a satirical one liner,
“Death goes better with chocolate.”

Lady Death would pull up a chair next
to my guilt bought over priced crate, lean down
to whisper, “I thought you wanted to burn?”
and we’d create a list of those I wanted to haunt.

 ©Susie Clevenger 2016










Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A Bitch Carrying Stones

There’s a valley between
what she should say and
the salt she pours in wounds.

Somewhere there is sugar
to coat her tongue, the honey
of yesterday without the sting.

She’s become a bitch counting bruises.
There’s a whole lot of bitter to cross
before she learns forgiveness
carries no stones.


 ©Susie Clevenger 2016


I am leaving Thursday for Frisco, Texas to attend IndieVengeance Day 2016.
This is my third time to attend. It is such a blessing to be able to be included among such a talented group of authors. 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Remove The Ghost Smile


Sun that warms and lights the earth
share your gold in strands of hair.

I cry for vanity, scream at mirrors.
My head, bald as an eagle,
houses the language of Athena,
but my spirit rages at its nakedness.

Morning star burn night from scars,
restore gilded curls,  and remove
the ghost smile I lean on.


©Susie Clevenger 2016


This is for my daughter, Dawn. I have watched her face so many challenges with her health, a destructive marriage, battling setbacks to attain her college degree, but through all of it she had her beautiful hair. My poem is about her struggle when the autoimmune illness, Alopecia, took it from her.


September is Alopecia awareness month. Many people, including doctors, don't understand this autoimmune illness where your body just sheds your hair, and in my case my entire head, my eyebrows, my eyelashes and even the hair on my arms and legs. No, I don't have cancer (anymore, I am a kidney cancer survivor for almost 8 years now), but I've been dealing with hair loss for almost two years. Today, I have some blond hair growing back. I lost all my eyelashes, and they've come back in. But the truth is, I may never have a full head of hair again, or it may come back in and be really funky. OR I could have Farrah Fawcett hair.... :) What I do know is I can't hold on to the fear of living a life without hair. It's been a challenge to be sure! But....as with everything else that's happened in life...I've learned to roll with it. I am Wonder Woman, and I am a survivor. And I try to live life to the fullest, and I am forever thankful for my heroes, my loved ones, my life support. Thanks for listening to me, now go find out more about #Alopecia here:http://goo.gl/9hCHf5

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Yesterday Breaches Chilled Walls

Selena by Albert Aublet (1851-1938)

The glow of affection
shining in your eyes
burns my skin as it
trails from lips to heart.

Summer dreams threaten
ice winking against window panes
as our bodies return to ecstasy
written in silhouettes on July sand.

January wind blows through
brittle limbs arguing it owns the moon,
but Diana debates its frosty assumption
with ribbons of heat  gifted from Luna’s veil.

Passion pulses our flesh in waves stolen
from Bali’s sea…Yesterday breaches
the chilled walls that encircle us
urging today to write its own autobiography.

©Susie Clevenger 2016

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

When Shadows Grow Bold


In abandoned walls
where hope stores dreams
I collect words to armor
my spirit when shadows grow bold.

Dejected sheep dance
the world’s ballet of bleak,
but I refuse to dance its choreography.

I will stand on my toes
to reach for stars.
Optimism never surrenders.
It thrives in midnight light
where even the tenacious
dandelion cannot grow.

©Susie Clevenger 2016


Friday, September 2, 2016

Crescendo of Sighs


Lust has dark humor.
The sigh of death
sings from sated bodies
oblivious sunlight
will deliver their shroud.

In the crescendo of sighs
time has no bonds nor remorse.
Heaven is thighs entwined,
notes playing along flesh,
a world without a key to intrude.

Secrets spoil, divide conscience
between vow and reality,
but in the liar’s womb tomorrow
will never demand its ransom.

©Susie Clevenger 2016

Real Toads ~ Artistic Interpretations With Margaret

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Exhausted Moon

Solitude ~ Sir Fredrick Lord Leighton ~ 1890


An exhausted moon,
haunted by clouds
and August’s thermometer,
shines her shallow light
across my bedroom floor.

Joined in our communion
of melancholy we search
for erasers linked to lead
sharp enough to rewrite destiny.

Empathy’s drain has robbed
stars from our lanterns.
There is only so much darkness
a candle can illuminate
until sorrow burns away the wick.

Feeling another’s pain through
the thin bones of our own,
the moon and I peer toward the east
wondering how many new tears
sunlight will bring to our bell jar.

©Susie Clevenger 2016