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

Friday, June 29, 2012

Smile Marina

Life came loaded with its weapons
and shot down your youth.

There is no magic in a mirror
that reflects but doesn’t explain.

Make-up can’t cover the road map
pain has driven across your face.

Vulnerability met predator
when you were only sixteen.

He told you that love was proved
by walking in heels on dark city streets.

It’s never too late to start over
when it’s hell you’re leaving behind.

Dry your tears; the rainy season is over.
You’ve repented more than anyone in this town.

Smile Marina, get ready for life’s second act.
Let the beauty of your heart be seen on your face.

©Susie Clevenger 2012
Image: GoodWP.com
Marian at Real Toads gave us the music of the Jayhawks as inspiration to create our written piece.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012


Were I to shed this flesh
that is glued to bone
I would take flight
as a butterfly.

Scaled wings would
take me beyond
my darkened cocoon
to drink the spirit’s nectar
that flows from the river
of the sun.

In starlight night my bed
would be on emerald leaves,
the wind rocking me to sleep.

Look not upon me with your judgment;
let my heart wish and don’t condemn.
I know my feet keep me bound to earth.
It is my dreams that give me wings.

©Susie Clevenger 2012

Image: Google Images
Written for New World Creative Union's Wednesday Wake Up Call

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Confession of a Fool

Illustration by Jacque Cournoyer

“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” 
― William Shakespeare, As You Like It

I am but a fool
wrapped in my inadequacy
with a vocabulary that deceives.

I expose my scholarly ineptitude 
that pride would have my ego speak,
“I have nothing more to learn.”

Have caution on your tongue
that would hoist self upon a pedestal,
for many a fool thinks he is wise.

If there is nothing more to explore
then pull the curtain upon
the days that lie before me.

It is joy to see morning shine
upon my quest to follow knowledge
as far as my feeble brain will allow.

I confess I am a fool,
to speak otherwise would be
the noise of  bloated self esteem.

©Susie Clevenger 2012
Kerry's challenge at Real Roads was to go old school...old school as in Shakespeare.
She asked us to take a quote from William Shakespeare and use it as inspiration for a written piece or the title for a finished piece.

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Joy Is

is abandoned

dipping your
toes in

©Susie Clevenger 2012

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Bicycle

©Margaret Bednar

The Bicycle

It felt cobblestones under its wheels
on days when summer burnt the sky
and the sea disappeared into blue horizon.

Life wrapped itself in the bicycle’s spokes
rotating history with each petal push,
the tire tread worn smooth
by the grit of destinations.

Spontaneity had held the handle bars
to carry  picnic baskets in a tandem ride
with flirting hearts to a blanket on the sand.

Yesterday’s green paint still colors its metal frame.
Sea foam dreams and memories whisper
their nostalgia to those who pass by.

Though worn it sits as it always has on the shore.
It rests on patient wheels for the next generation
to discover the joy of etching secrets into the path
between sidewalk and sea.

©Susie Clevenger 2012

Real Toads was privileged to receive the gracious permission of Margaret Bednar to use her iPhone images as inspiration for this weekend's poetry writings. 

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Giggles and Daydreams

Giggles and Daydreams

Those hips made me blush,
wonder at the feeling
that warmed my core.

I plunged the depths
of infatuation wearing
giggles and daydreams.

The silver screen and song
were your heaven
where I longed to reside.

My prayers left lips
that longed for a kiss,
even if I was too young.

I placed you on a pedestal
made from paper hearts
and innocence.

My Adonis was not a Greek god,
but a rock in roll singer
birthed in Mississippi.

He belonged to the world.
He never knew he belonged to me.
He was my first love, Elvis Aaron Presley.

©Susie Clevenger 2012

The challenge for Fireblossom Friday was to get famous. We were to write a poem about someone famous so I listened to my young heartstrings and wrote on my first love, Elvis.
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Friday, June 22, 2012

Words Capsized Me

How does one
wrap a whole life
inside a bottle
begging salvation
from the inevitable?
Life is a sea that we will
all drown in one day.

I lie battered
against the rocks
of a broken spirit,
and lie bleeding
from the words that
capsized me.

I hadn’t given,
done enough,
My whole being
had been given
to see you succeed.

The salty taste
of misunderstanding
has parched my voice.
I thirst for resolution.

If I were to toss an S.O.S
into life’s broken sea,
it would be for love to come save me.
from the pain of severed faith.

Susie Clevenger 2012
This was written for Ella's Edge at Real Toads.

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dream Weaver

Dream Weaver

I ride waves of salty tears.
My heart thirsty, sunburned
by exposure to your deceit.

My left finger is weighted
with a gold ring that pulls
my heart into the abyss.

My voice screams for rescue,
“Please pull me up from the brine
that has swallowed me.”

I feel my dream weaver’s touch
on my eyelids as he carries
me to the safety of oblivion.

Daylight is swallowed by the moon.
The nightmare that stalks me
cannot find me in the shadows.

I float on angel wings of escape
where thoughts have no power
to send their shards of torture.

Sleep has come as my white knight
to defend my heart against morning
where tears wait to take me under again.

©Susie Clevenger 2012

 Mary at Real Toads challenged us to write on dreams and nightmares.

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Where Is The Love

Where Is the Love by The Black Eyed Peas on Grooveshark

Where Is The Love

Harmony's spring
rained red hearts.

Love fell unconditional,
free, passionate.

It was to be planted in purity
to dispel hate.

But it was harvested by philosophies stipulations…
believe like me…my way is the only way….

Hate’s weeds were seeded in love’s garden.
Its thorny words destroying tender hearts.

Strip away religion’s garments to bare its iniquity.
A people of peace cannot wear the armor of war.

Stop laying the blame on they and speak the truth of I.
I have failed love by the words of my prejudice.

Cleanse your voice of its division
and speak words to encourage unity.

If we are the world, then we must be its salvation.
Look down at your own feet to see where the road to peace begins.

Let us be the hands of compassion to reseed hope.
that love will grow once again without conditions.

©Susie Clevenger

Written for New World Creative Union's

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Holding On To Your Cape

Holding On To Your Cape

I have watched
you go through pain,
hiding all of it under your
Super Woman Cape.

Arms that felt fear
for all you faced,
would surround you
and you became their comforter.

I never thought
I would be your student.
Yet I sat at your feet
learning how to step
over rocks in my path
while you climbed mountains.

You have not let
illness define or deter you.
If there was a star
 you wished to hang your dreams on,
you soared to reach it.

My words are inadequate,
but they are all I have.
I am so glad I am
 learning how to fly
by holding on to your cape.

©Susie Clevenger 2012

This was written for my daughter, Dawn, who is my Super Woman.
It was inspired by Kenia who challenged us to do more than just post a poem to our page.

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Perhaps If I Burn

This was inspired by Kenia's Wednesday Challenge at Real Toads
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Monday, June 11, 2012

A Beautiful Blessing

I woke up this morning to find this blessing. My humble thanks to New World Creative Union for this award for my piece My Dear John
y Designate for Creativ 06.06.12

Our New World Creative Union
Award for Creativity for 06.06.12
goes to Susie Clevenger
(aka @wingaobutterfy)

"I am hearing poetry when awake
Dreaming poetry when asleep
Breathing poetry with each breathe
I am living in a poem." Susie Clevenger

Congratulations go out this week, to Susie Clevenger, on receiving our 5th NWCU Award for Creativity. I am sure many of you know her, her friendly demeanor, and fine poetry; if not it's easy to get acquainted!


Susie started writing in high school, but for most of her adult life she took a haitus from her writing. In 2006, Susie's life took an abrupt turn for her, as she was injured in an automobile accident. After a period of time, the poet was reawakened within Susie, and she began writing again in 2009.

Susie's writing has been featured in such online publications as The Brinks GalleryThe New Writersand Poetry and Prose Magazine. Now Susie can add our Award of Creativity to her various blogs and pages.

Susie's work and and connections may be found at:

A butterfly for the Butterfly Poet
[Baut Images: Zebra Swallowtail]

Natasha Head and Roger Allen Baut

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Changing Brushes

Changing Brushes

The beauty
of a woman’s face
has been painted
with the changing
brushes of history.
The only constant
is the mystery
peering through
feminine eyes.

©Susie Clevenger 2012

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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Defiant Sentries

Copy Right ©2012 Hanna Gosselin ~ Pier Post Persisting

Defiant Sentries

Wooden posts rise from the water,
 defiant sentries guarding
the memory of their crumbled pier.

The young and the old had stood
upon the weathered planks
to view their reflections
in the mirror glass lake.

Fishermen had looked
over its edge to cast poles
 into the lake womb
to hook its offspring
for their dinner table.

Giggles had pierced the sun
on sunny summers as children
leapt from the pier to spell
their joy in sparkling ripples.

There were dreams initialed in the wood
of whispered love and promises
scattered in petrified bones
on the shore.

The posts had it all, life, love, secrets
tattooed in their splinters.
The lake’s rage had tried to erase
their memories in a flooded bath,
but had underestimated the echo of life
that refused to surrender.

©Susie Clevenger 2012
 The Sunday Challenge at Real Toads was to use the beautiful photography
 of Hannah Gosselin as inspiration for our poetry.

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Friday, June 8, 2012

Pirates of Sanity

Voices plunder
his thoughts
stealing his sanity.

He laughs
at what others
can’t hear.

Runs from gargoyles
that speak
from marble throats.

Breaks mirrors
that taunt
with silver lips.

He stares at his walls
searching for faces
in the paint.

Lavender shadows
beckon him
with the voice of his wife.

He reaches to touch her face
only to find his hands
holding the dining room curtains.

Reality is tiny moments
that flash with recognition’s eyes
to then be swallowed in the mist.

He is sailing with pirates
on dementia’s ship
taking him further from today.

©Susie Clevenger 2012
This was written for A Word With Laurie: Dementia at Real Toads
Laurie challenged us to write on dementia. It is a topic I am personally familiar with. I have referred to my mother's Alzheimer's disease numerous times. In this piece I decided to write from the voice of a man.
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Thursday, June 7, 2012

My Dear John

This video is the prompt for the New World Creative Union's Wednesday Wake-Up Call

My Dear John

I feel empty,
a mannequin
painted with
a smile,
but has no heart.

When did I become cold?
Winter has stayed with me
when I should be celebrating spring.

You are there as constant
as the sun’s rising.
Your moments tick off
the same way each day.

“We” used to work.
Our dreams were
matching bookends.

I still feel your care, but I can’t respond.
Questions are piling up inside of me,
driving me to seek who I am.

I know it sounds cliché
to leave you a Dear John letter,
but there is no other way.

Walking away is taking all my courage.
I am too much of a coward to face you
and hear you tell me, “This wasn’t our plan.”
This hurts but so does the feeling
I am on a train desperate
to know its destination.

I don’t doubt you will be fine.
Your world will turn as it always does.
I just won’t be next to you
spinning out of control in mine.

©Susie Clevenger 2012

Real Toads Open Link Monday
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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Take Another Piece

Piece Of My Heart (Take Another) by Janis Joplin on Grooveshark

Take Another Piece

You fear I am fragile
because tears come
too often to my eyes.

Strength doesn’t always
equate facing the world
with gritted teeth.

It is through tears I wash
grief from me before
it becomes a stone in my chest.

I cry when joy overwhelms,
when beauty takes my breath,
when I say I love you.

Take another piece of my heart.
I am willing to break it
to make us whole.

I am not afraid to love you.
It doesn’t matter what was,
just what will be.

Let my tears be your strength
to let go of the armor
you have placed around your heart.

©Susie Clevenger 2012
Image: Favim
Over at Real Toads Izy has challenged us to take our favorite break up song and rewrite our favorite lyric from it and re-invent our personal anthem. Whew! Well, this was mine. :)
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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Irony of Flight

A dragonfly flies
with screen wire wings
through the garden
unaware of the irony of its flight.

©Susie Clevenger 2012

Dragonflies spend most of their lives in the larva stage(up to three years, depending on the species). The adult, winged stage only lasts a few weeks. Mating is the primary reason for their winged stage. So when you see a winged dragonfly, you know it’s toward the end of its lifespan.

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Sunday, June 3, 2012

That It Could Be Me

That it could be me
that gathers lilies
to my breast.

to smell the scent
of innocence and not
my bitter temperament.

How can one’s spirit
be pure again when
it has wallowed in corruption?

I beseech you Mother Nature
to show me how you rise
from humanity’s befoulment.

Daily we beset your purity
with our pollution
and have no remorse.

Yet you feed us
with the milk of your breasts
and sustenance of your loins.

Only a broken heart
torments me
and I rail of injustice.
I plant seeds of discontent
by my unforgiving spirit
and harping tongue.

Mother Nature, you are victimized
and you send your seed child
to bloom in the desert.

Show me the way of your footpath
that I may walk away from my bile
and see kindness restored.

©Susie Clevenger 2012
   Written for Magpie Tales Mag 120

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Glad That It's Over

Kerry has us singing/writing the blues at Real Toads. I used Etta James I'd Rather Go Blind as inspiration for my blues piece.


Glad That It’s Over

I’m so glad that it’s over.
Thank god that it’s over.
My heart doesn’t have to break
when I hear your name any more.

You said you loved me
so, so many  times,
I got good at believing your lies.
But it all came to a head
when I found her necklace in our bed.
 I told you to pack your stuff and be gone.

I used to cry like there’d
be no more tomorrows,
break down in my sorrow,
reliving when you told me goodbye
and walked out the front door into her arms.

Now my blue days are gone.
I sang them far too long.
You were never worth
even one of my tears.

I’m so glad that it’s over.
Thank God that it’s over.
My heart doesn’t have to break
when I hear your name any more.

©Susie Clevenger 2012

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Friday, June 1, 2012

Riding a Knife

We were challenged at Real Toads to Rock Hard using the music of Suzi Quatro as our inspiration. I don't usually do rhyme since I do it so poorly, but I bit the rock bullet and gave it a chance.

Love is riding a knife…

It is the edge of glory
when it is brand new….
It can cut your heart out
when it is through.

I’m no magician
I can’t tell you
if this will end.

 I’m taking a chance
we will survive this romance.

Give me a yes or give me a no.
Love me or let me go.

Love is riding a knife…

It is the edge of glory
when it is brand new…
It can cut your heart out
when it is through.

©Susie Clevenger 2012

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