Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sweet Tooth Season



In the sweet tooth season my family’s iron skillet
transformed into a raisin black moon
dusted with sugared apple stars.

A song of grandmothers’ sang through my mother’s spoon
in cinnamon dust notes and yellow butter sun
until the melody of ancestors would reach the final note, “enough.”

Apple scented thoughts of ladder climbs
to reach heavy fruited limbs, wicker baskets, harvest,
promised growling tummies honest labor brought rewards.

On the crescendo of giggle questions mother
extinguished the sun beneath our iron skillet moon,
and dropped apple blessings into bowls even heaven wished to taste.

 ©Susie Clevenger 2016






Sunday, November 20, 2016

I'm No Dorothy


Dorothy skipped
her way to OZ
with her feet
buried in Kansas.

It will take a few more
city lights before I can dance
the memory of sunflowers
from my heels.

Gossip keeps opening a diary
truth is never allowed to erase.


©Susie Clevenger 2016

Photographer ~ Alfred Cheney Johnston



Friday, November 18, 2016

Clowder

Hold on to me
Don't let me go
Who cares what they see?
Who cares what they know?
Your first name is Free
Last name is Dom
We choose to believe
In where we're from

Man's red flower
It's in every living thing
Mind, use your power
Spirit, use your wings

__________________________________

Clowder

When predators rattle cages
freedom’s prey sharpens its cause.

Street cats fighting white sheets
are multiplying faster than the
orange peal demagogue
piss staining civil rights.

The clowder can’t be lured
to eat poisoned meat
or nibble on lies to make peace.

A rainbow howl has more volume
than the thin lipped screeching
of raptors spewing hate.

©Susie Clevenger 2016



Clowder : a group or cluster of cats

Real Toads ~ Music With Meow

To answer Jim's question I have never participated in a riot nor would I. I have participated in peaceful protests and stood up to the bullying of an uncle who was a member of the KKK and The American Nazi Party when he verbally attacked me about the religion and race of my friends. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Dropping A Match


She lights a cigarette,
smokes a few dreams,
and grinds ashes
on the glass ceiling.

Close isn’t close enough,
but dropping a match
into stubborn throats
will keep the bonfire growing.

Wound tight in a man’s world
she collects loose ends to braid rope
so the girls who follow won’t lose their way.

For every struggle another star earns her light.
While masculine energy huddles around coins,
she rallies women to rise and fracture glass.


©Susie Clevenger 2016


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Where Butterflies Pray
















Yesterday’s cart of sorrows
disappears with the last evening star
as sunrise welcomes me into its halo
of psalms radiating a new day into my spirit.

Nesting where the butterflies pray
hope anoints my broken hallelujah
with the truth love still grows where thorns gather.

Peace sings in a bird wing choir
and I add my voice to the chorus,
“Today is too swift with its hours
for my lips to only offer pain.”

©Susie Clevenger 2016

Image: Pixabay



Thursday, November 10, 2016

Sticky Note Conversion

August ‘83 brought a devil in a hurricane
and the church keeps singing amen.

Heroine evangelist hopped the gravy train
with a sticky note conversion lip synced
with words stolen from a dead brother’s life.

Don’t air the truth in public....shhhhh
We have a billboard revival and
a Papa Sam mentor teaching Junior
how to change tears into cash for a new suit.

Some lies never die if they keep paying for the show.
Add another chorus to the hurricane hymn,
but the sand will shift when truth spills from the right tongue.


©Susie Clevenger 2016


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

My Last Give A Damn Note


In this place of old crows
I wear my peacock smile
while I pluck their tongues
from my feathers.

In the downbeat of my own drum
I play my last give a damn note.
Opinions nest on dead limbs.
My wings fly where there’s no winter.


©Susie Clevenger 2016


Image: Gloria Swanson ~ Photographer ~ Alfred Cheney Johnston