Saturday, August 31, 2013

Drowning Sound Waves

There are
so many
love songs
drowning
sound waves
with tears.

She hums the melodies
with a damaged heart
and seeks a one night stand
to be her bandage.

Temporary, pseudo affection
will placate her until morning
re-wraps her in grief.


©Susie Clevenger 2013


Kerry at Real Toads challenged us to write in the  poetry style of Imagists.

Breaking News ~ Theft in the Garden
















Toad Garden invaded by
pilfering plagiarism,
a light fingered bandit
handy with a right click
copied another’s words
to paste as his/her own.

Details are sketchy, but
there are rumors of confessions,
pointing fingers, and
the victim leading authorities
on a foot chase through the
New Orleans’ French Quarter.

Poetry experts are examining
the original poem and the supposed
copy for clues to the identity of the thief.

Reporters are on the scene
and we will update as soon
as there is any new information.



©Susie Clevenger 2013


Herotomost over in the Real Toads garden has us writing about poetry thievery.  I chose not to identify the thief, but Herotomost's sudden departure to the Big Easy has me suspicious. :)  

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Storm of Words

In the salt and pepper night
of moon and shadows
I hear crickets play
calypso music in the reeds.

Alone tickles my skin with comfort
as I lay in the grass watching fireflies
and listen to the drumbeat of my heart.

Fifteen is a precipice I wish
to leap from to end the sound
of voices trying to change me.

Described with so many if’s,
“If she would lose weight”
“If she wasn’t such a tomboy”
“If she wasn’t so broken”
“if she wasn’t so odd”
I just want to hear someone say,
“She is exactly who she needs to be.”

There is a whole world in me
I travel with my pen…..
ink escapes lined with poetry
where words don’t have
sharp edges to hurt me.

It seems strange words are my savior
when it is words that cause me such pain.


©Susie Clevenger 2013

At Real Toads we were given a list of words by Timoteo to use as inspiration for our poetry. For some reason the word list took me back to when I was fifteen.  Get Listed ~ Of Catnip & Moons

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Well Traveled Patchwork

I Follow the Wind by Judith Clay
Painting ~ "I Follow the Wind" by Judith Clay

I
pedal
through fairytales
watching the cards
fall not knowing if
a house will seek my
head to fall upon or fortune
will turn its weary pinwheel into luck.
The well-traveled road of patch work dreams
rattles through my misplaced thoughts breaking childhood into reality.




©Susie Clevenger 2013

Hedgewitch at Real Toads had us writing Fibonnaci poems. Mine isn't true to the definition. I did a word count and ended up with ten lines. At dverse Poets Pub Claudia offered the artistic works of Judith Clay as inspiration to write.


Camouflaged by Someday


Susan Macdowell Eakins "Portrait of Mary
& Elizabeth Macdowell" (detail) 1879


I struggle so with words
and with each stitch of thread
you tell a story in their chains.

Why are we so different dear sister?
I am a recluse peering through
the curtains at life outside my window.

You wrap yourself in your knitted wool
and face the world with a smile
whether it is friend or foe that greets you.

With tongue glued by secrets I whither
on a vine I nurture each time I retreat
into the cracked shell of childhood.

You were there for each strike of word and palm,
but father was never able to beat
your spirit into submission.

You are a lesson I have yet to learn.
I paint myself with someday praying
I can move beyond its camouflage into freedom.



©Susie Clevenger 2013

At Real Toads Margaret offered beautiful artwork as inspiration for our poetry. The above painting by Susan Macdowell Eakins inspired my poem.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Writing Without Inspiration

Today I thought words would flow
freely, brilliantly, abundantly,
but I scratched and clawed
the paper with nouns, verbs,
adjectives, punctuation,
and all I could accomplish
were senseless phrases
wandering around the clock
eating up minutes I couldn’t reclaim
or write into rewind the moment
I jumped in with effort
instead of waiting for inspiration.


©Susie Clevenger 2013


Monday, August 19, 2013

Functioning Insanity

My brain is a womb
birthing triplets.

My thoughts labor
to deliver one conclusion,
but they waver like
a politician chasing votes.

From the same lips
I speak of a water glass
half empty, half full,
or simply something
to quench my thirst.

Perhaps it is because
I am a middle sister
pulled between this
and that until I am
more question than answer.

Divided between black,
white and gray I am functioning
insanity directed by the voices in my head.
  


©Susie Clevenger 2013

Written for MindLoveMisery's prompt 17 Optimist, Pessimist, Realist

Saturday, August 17, 2013

East End Black and White

            Photograph by Ken Russell ~  "Last of the Teddy Girls"

Edwardian fashion revival
clung to hips working
the east end black and white.

Grabbing “teddy” from boys
girls snubbed their noses at austerity
and wiggled into pencil chic.
                                                         
The 1950’s delivered a new
brand of British feminine
along with rock n roll.

Attitude struck a pose
to flick cigarette ashes
along with I don’t give a damn.

With not much more than
a handful of photographs to mark their passage
this gang still instills confidence girls can change the world.



©Susie Clevenger 2013

At Real Toads I led the challenge to write about girl gangs and in particular, The Teddy Girls. Read about them and the poems inspired by my fellow toads here:




Friday, August 16, 2013

Iron Prayer


Bent knees in iron prayer,
I am in hell’s merry-go-round
that spins but never stops.

My hands that once held you
cling to prison bars wishing
the moon wasn’t stained with rust.

Sorrow raises its bitter fist
to strike my heart with loneliness.
Days pass, but I have lost the ability to count.

Each moment rides the darkness
of the one before trying to blind me.
My sanity hangs upon your name.

Regret wishes to cinch my neck,
but I reject its noose to walk
the other side of Eden.

I care not what others speak of me.
What I have done and what has been done to me
pour into my spirit to be absorbed and resurrected in peace.

Words have been my vehicle, but I tire
of the articulate sentences of men.
Nature is the mystic I now listen to.

I feel you leaving my spirit, my love.
Clinging to love time has divided
has broken our bond and I must release you.

Once I leave these prison walls society
will have no place for me at its table of rules,
but nature will wash me clean and hide me in her bosom.

My stumbling footprints of pain will succumb
to the wind and there will be no trail to follow.
I will weep under the stars until I am whole again.

  
©Susie Clevenger 2013

My poem was inspired by Oscar Wilde's De Profundis

You can find Marian Kent's poetic prompt at Real Toads ~ Freedom for Love

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Only a Summer Story

I will sing to you
from a wrinkled love note
until you forget about me.

Let tears dry before they fall.
We were only a random meeting
meant for an interlude not devotion.

Unchain your heart from me
and let it know freedom.
I am only a summer story to tell when you’re old.

Take everything that makes you smile.
This song will be ours until
real love erases the melody.

Goodbye was already written
in the firefly stars the moment we met
so we wouldn’t need to say it when romance ended.



©Susie Clevenger 2013




The translation for Chanson Triste which inspired my poem can be found here.

Kerry at Real Toads challenged us with popular songs from the Romantic Era of the 19th century as inspiration for our poetry. Kerry's Wednesday Challenge ~ Songs

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Ignored

I ignored a homeless woman,
hungry, dirty, begging for money.
If not for grace, I could be her?
If not for grace, I could be her,
hungry, dirty, begging for money.
I ignored a homeless woman.



©Susie Clevenger 2013

At Real Toads Grace challenged us to write Palindromes also known as mirror poetry. Sunday Mini Challenge ~ Palindromes

Friday, August 9, 2013

Pickled Thoughts Without Fins

Salar de Uyuni photo: Salar de Uyuni ocuyuni.jpg
Image ~ Photobucket


I ice skate
on a salt mirror
chasing clouds

while drops
of blue sky splash
my ankles with summer.

Lost in the mirage
of pickled thoughts
without fins I skim

the briney surface wishing
I could dive into its glass reflection
to swim through the yellow sun.



©Susie Clevenger 2013

At Real Toads Hannah has provided us with images from the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia as inspiration for our poetry. Hungry and Haunted

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

This Aint Disney


Bokeh Texture ~ regularjane

Bibbity, bobbity……
This aint Disney….
I’ll cut to the chase.

Mix moon wink, cheap wine
and a cigarette,
with three breaths of delusion
until he looks like Johnny Depp.

Make use of preplanned party favors
when steam rises from flesh or inebriation
mistakes groping for romance.

Warning!

Spell’s possible side effects:
A morning after headache and
spontaneous questioning of
“What the hell am I doing naked
with a troll wrapped around my legs!?!”
  

©Susie Clevenger 2013

Over at Real Toads Mama Zen has us writing spells in 73 words or less...I came in at 73. Words Count With Mama Zen

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Urban ~ Haiku Heights #268

animal noises
echo in concrete mountains
humans prowl the night

-0-

bright lights jewel posts
urban electric starlight shines
in a neon sky


©Susie Clevenger 2013


Friday, August 2, 2013

I Am Left With Keats

I wish I could be a bright star
with eyelids blinking eternity
instead of this dullness more
bone than flesh.

I curl into Keats and feel
the oil on the book’s frayed corners
from my fingers stealing words
for my memory.

My head was once pillowed
upon love’s breast in its
glory and fire that burned
away all thoughts of temporary.

A flame unfed by air dies
as did my heart when
you stopped breathing.

Now I cling to Keats to keep
you from disappearing.
Together we feasted on his words
while winter melted into spring
and if I lose him you will slip from me.

Odes, Lines, songs are the food
that I eat to pass my days.
I am brailed to his words
waiting until life unties their ropes
to let me use my wings.




©Susie Clevenger 2013

At Real Toads Fireblossom challenged us to write about a book within the story within the poem....book, poet, story, poem....Thank goodness she wrote one as an example. :) I chose John Keat's poem Bright Star as the basis for my poem, but also referred to his odes, lines and songs.

Brailed: to bind (the wings of a bird) in order to prevent it from flying