Sunday, August 30, 2015

the smaller i become


Artist in his Studio by Rembrandt


expressionless…
as dull as ochre splattered walls
hissing create…

images paint splatter my thoughts,
but refuse to reach my brush…

the longer I stare at the canvas
the smaller I become…

art is the heroin(e) pumping
through my brain…

but empty white space
mocks my addiction…

©susie clevenger 2015

Real Toads Weekend Mini-Challenge ~ Ekphrasis

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Brittle

The moon wallows
in dust bin clouds.
August is a dragon
burning color from
the roses outside
my window.
I hate the scent
of brittle.

©Susie Clevenger 2015

I chose Mama Zen's power image. Mine is the moon.
Play It Again Toads!




Thursday, August 20, 2015

Trees Fat Bellied With Light

Photo - Douglas Salisbury

"Look, the trees are turning their
 own bodies into pillars  of light"
In Blackwater Woods - Mary Oliver

  I can’t see the trees for the forest.
Limbs eclipse light bulb definition
in my wilderness of lost dreams.
Foggy memories hang from paperclip
eyelashes rusted by swampy tears.

Knees weak from chasing horizons
I sit on the bones of subtraction
wondering who penned “less is more.”

Suddenly, well as fast as sudden
can arrive on turtle feet, trees
fat bellied with light break through
my self-pity tearing it into fireflies.

Splinter roots no longer burn
or brew bitter tea on my lips.
Home is (was) walls papered
in few expectations, but I am
a broken limb grafted on the sky.

©Susie Clevenger 2015







Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Few Chiseled Stones

I love you without
a list of reasons.
It is the days I hate you
the number of whys swell.

Arguments have us
setting up tents,
arming tongues,
forgetting the sun
climbs the horizon
brighter when we kiss.

Does the subtle
taking for granted
grow such deep roots
we become enemies?
Neglect has us seated
in the same room
plundering division
as if it were gold.

I love you, the unpolished gem,
the inappropriate laughter,
the patient saint waiting
as I fuss in front of the mirror.

It’s 4:00 a.m., I’ve chiseled
a few stones from the wall.
Hold me…I want to feel the sun.


©Susie Clevenger 2015

This poem appears in Poetry & Prose Magazine's Summer 2015 issue
as well as my poem Borrowed Dress Wedding.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Stained With Blackbird Wings


Morning stains the sky
with blackbird wings
carrying secrets pulled
from the summer moon.

Beneath feathered
oak limbs Trust sits
patient,  still…
waiting for answers
to interpret questions.

What was, is, can be
gathers notes from
caged throats to place on
tongues bold enough
to sing of freedom.



Saturday, August 15, 2015

Friday, August 14, 2015

Hint, Rattle, and Suggest


The strut, tail feather swag,
same wingspan different cage,
testosterone ego believes
a worn exhibition is
Romeo’s secret weapon.

Truth is when a hen
has needs she knows
which clueless lock to pick.

Drop a few hints,
rattle the bars,
pigeon superstition
will take the bait
with full flexed chest
bowing to suggestion.

©Susie Clevenger 2015

Real Toads ~ Pigeon Superstition

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Hem of Stars and Stripes

I cut my teeth on the stones
piled upon your chest.
War had made you a corpse
before I learned to speak.

Two towers fell on knife wings
and you raced to defend freedom
while I was yet cradled in the womb.

Fourteen feels ancient…I was born
in the hem of stars and stripes,
the chill of goodbye void of hello.

Father, you are photographs,
a uniform, mother’s tears.
Smiles I will never feel against my cheek.

Courage hangs on the living room wall
where medals salute morning sun.
A monument for a loved soldier
I’ll only know through scars.

©Susie Clevenger 2015

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Absolution's Thimble

The Danaides~ by John William Waterhouse

The pool of sin is too
shallow for forgiveness.

I cannot carry the sea
in a thimble or swim
in broken clay.

Error clings to
my flesh no matter
how fast my feet
race toward absolution. 

©Susie Clevenger 2015

Poem inspired by The Daughters of Danaus 
&

Italy, Glass Pitcher 19th century
Image : Courtesy of Margaret Bednar

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Fence


Gossip has a choir
eager for a new song
and scratches at my
throat to find the melody.

You pry, demand,
attempt to peel layers
from secrets etched on
my ribcage…

Trust is a coin earned in
the belly of intuition.
It’s evident you’ll never
earn a wage behind razor wire
marked No Trespassing.

©Susie Clevenger 2015