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

Friday, November 30, 2012

Tiny Acorn @NWCreativeUnion #WWUC

For the Wednesday Wake-Up Call Joanne Young Elliot asked us to go outside and pay attention with all our senses to the environment we found ourselves in. I stepped out my front door to see acorns scattered across the lawn. I stooped down to pick one up in my hand and it was as if it wrote this poem in my palm. It was a beautiful moment of being joined with nature. The acorns I had grumbled about yesterday became a thing of wonder and beauty. I looked up at the tree that dropped them to say thank you. Too often I find too much to complain about. Nature was telling me I should spend more time reciting joy.
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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Moonflower ~ for Leslie

pale trumpet
blooming in the night

light from your window
begs the stars to send
the sandman to comfort you.

I watch,
praying the panes will go dark.
Sleep is your escape.

©Susie Clevenger 2012

This is for my friend Leslie. We were neighbors in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma and she grieved the death of her parents so much that it affected her mental and physical health. She was plagued with insomnia. Leslie died in 2004 from complications after gastric by-pass surgery. She wanted to lose weight because she and her husband planned to go on a cruise with my husband and I. For so long I felt guilt for what happened; struggled with feeling that she would have been fine if I hadn’t moved, if I hadn’t told her about the cruise….too many “what ifs” plagued me for a long time.

Kerry at Real Toads introduced us to the poet, Ingrid Jonker, and challenged us to write a poem about a personal relationship as Ingrid did in her poetry.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Yesterday's Immortality

Come sit in my decay
and we will reminisce
about yesterday’s immortality.

I wish to raise the shades
on my cataract view
to see with clear
blue eyes again.

We once had supple legs--
perky breasts-- flaming hair.

Lust danced with us
until we said yes
and naïve disappeared
in one quick thrust.

I want to recall flight
without broken wings…
skin that was flushed pink…
memories when they
were first written.

©Susie Clevenger 2012
Inspired by The Mag ~ Mag 145

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Circa 1950

Circa 1950…She drank sweet tea
and ironed another’s clothes
thinking it ironic a pair of pants
saw more of the world than she.

Three kids…an apron…working
for nickels and dimes.

Glamour didn’t find its way
up three flights in a back alley.

©Susie Clevenger 2012
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Monday, November 26, 2012

Walking With an If #Sunday Snapshot with @JamesRainsford @NWCreativeUnion

"Seagulls and Shadows " © James Rainsford

If my shadow had wings,
it could fly free of
the ancient bones
my feet must carry.

I walk on brittle toes
wishing I could ride
the wind of my youth.

Guess I should be glad
my deaf ears can’t hear this cane
tapping me closer to eternity.

©Susie Clevenger 2012
we were blessed to have the photography of
James Rainsford as inspiration for our work.
I also linked my poem to Real Toads' Open Link Monday.

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hit That Blue Note

Doll by: Dionne Daniel

There honey, that’s the note.
Hit it hard ‘cause it’s the
exclamation point in my blues.

I want them to get it….
Don’t want no maybe…
They gotta feel it…

Play it child, just like the last
heartbreak that marched
right ‘cross your soul.

We all make mistakes…
It might be you or me
messin’ up in romance…

We got to make ‘em listen.
Love will come…love will go…
but we got to keep on lovin’…

There you go…I’m believin’ it now.
I hear your heart playin’ through those fingers…
You’ve turned those piano keys blue.

©Susie Clevenger 2012

 Margaret Bednar, along  with a little help from her daughter and daughter's classmates has
offered unique inspiration for our creativity at Real Toad's Sunday Mini-Challenge.  The students were given an assignment to create dolls that reflect a part of who they are.  They spent close to six weeks hand stitching and creating the backdrops for their creative and gorgeous works of art.

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Friday, November 23, 2012


Photo ~ Wikimedia Commons Texture ~ photonate.com

Laurie Kolp at Real Toads challenged us to use
 the word "burlap" in our our poems.  A Word With Laurie
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Can This Be Called Evolution #WWUC @NWCreativeUnion

Earth struggles to rebirth itself
from the disdain that plundered life.

Hate raised its volume and humans
numbed their hearts to the sound of love.

Poverty lifted its eyes to those
who could alleviate its pain.

But greed clung to gold with selfish fists
and watched the hungry die.

Nations lay gutted craters with bones the
bleached cobblestone placed by hands of war.

Can this be called evolution
when our resolution of conflict is death?

Yet peace flies on white wings
turning the clouds into prayers.

Faith that change can come still has
seeds blowing in the desert dust.

There is a remnant of humanity that continues to believe
blackened hearts can beat with love again.

©Susie Clevenger 2012

Natasha Head has made the clarion call to ponder our world 1000 years backward/ 1000 years forward - how can we learn from the past, how can we change the present trends? Please join us in considering...
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Thursday, November 22, 2012


The hills of Kentucky
where apple pie
flows from a bottle
and a glock rides
securely on a hip.

The stance, the look, the heat….
Raylan Givens doesn’t sound
like a hero’s name…..too south,
too backwoods, too country.

A silver star and an attitude,
Raylan is more wild west
than 21st century…….
He serves and protects
with his own set of rules.

(Shhhh…..don’t tell my husband
I am enamored with a cowboy
who rides in on horsepower
instead of a horse.

Flushed cheeks…..a smile
each week I look forward
to Tuesdays and being Justified.)

©Susie Clevenger 2012

Ok Izy at Real Toads' Out of Standard wanted us to write on our dark, guilty pleasures. 
Well Timothy Olyphant is one of mine and his Raylan Givens character
in particular. No one is judging are they? :)  
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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gypsy Shell

My mind keeps its luggage packed
in order to travel at a moment’s notice.

Caught in a gypsy shell,
it hangs memories with thumbtacks
to be easily removed when thoughts
invade to redecorate.

©Susie Clevenger 2012

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hell Laughs at Your Intervention

Love---you love me!
This is what you call love?
I am not a Piñata to beat
with verbal jabs about
how much I hurt you.

My skin crawls with pain
from all the ways you have
shown me love…..
Black eyes and bruises
were my Hallmark card…
You know…
”When you care enough
to send the very best.”

Each high takes me further
from my memories…
I can’t hate while feeling euphoric.

I want out of this nightmare……
Pat yourself on your egos that
you did all you could do to help me.

Hell laughs at your intervention.
Eat another piece of cake
and smile for the camera.

©Susie Clevenger 2012

Marian Kent at Real Toads provided Aimee Mann's music
as inspiration to create our work for Soon EnoughI took the
viewpoint of an intervention by people who are in denial
they were the reason behind many of the problems
of the addicted family member. Working with youth
I have seen this happen numerous times.
I have also watched desperate family members attempt  
everything they could to pull their loved one from the clutches of addiction.
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Light's Path Awaits #WWUC @NWCreativeUnion

We are
tipping in

we pray
 for signs
and miss
The path
 into light
has always
 been there.

Look to 
the moon.
She sits in
 the night sky
Illuminating the
 spirit’s passage
to revelation.

Her sister stars turn
in a kaleidoscopic
 dance inviting 
the seeker to
let go of inhibitions
that block understanding.

To be restored we must
discern what fractures our souls.
The light is there, constant, embracing.
Breathe in life and step into its glowing.

©Susie Clevenger 2012
Roger Allen Baut 
challenged us to select at least three 
of the five items provided to fit into
a single presentation by using the
art form of our choosing.
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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Plagiarism's Paranoia

Look at her!
She is writing
my words ---
stealing my voice
to ink it as her own.

I would scream,
but she has cut
my vocal chords
into plagiarism.

Even this nudge
on her shoulder
won’t dislodge her pen.
She just keeps copying
my thoughts across
the lined pages.

Is there nothing new
under the sun?
Or are we caught in
a spiral of cosmic
verbal recycling?

She says her muse
is the inspiration
for her work……
Why does this
artificial poet
look just like me?

©Susie Clevenger 2012
The "fourth wall" refers to the imaginary barrier which exists between the "open box" of a theatrical stage and the people gathered below in the seats. "Breaking the fourth wall" is a literary trope in which a character, in a play, cartoon strip, movie or novel, acknowledges their fictionality by directly addressing the reader, making eye contact with the audience or acknowledging their role as a presentation of reality. 

Kerry O'Conner at Real Toad's posed the question : Can the fourth wall be broken in poetry for rhetorical or dramatic effect?"  This is my attempt to prove it can be done

Kerry's Wednesday Challenge ~ Breaking the Fourth Wall

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

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Monday, November 12, 2012

The Frost of Forgetting #Sunday Snap Shot @NWCreativeUnion

©Cynthia Dawn Clevenger

A name abandoned,
to lay in winter,
covered in the frost
of forgetting.

A poor boy born
into sadness
grown into a man
who died in tears.

On a tiny plot of land
he walked through his dreams.
His voice locked in secrets
his lips could never speak.

An oak tree cries its grief
into the northern wind
that the man who tenderly pruned it
now lays an erased memory
confined to frozen dust.

©Susie Clevenger 2012
Created for the Sunday Snap Shot 11/11/12 at New World Creative Union.
 Leslie Moon challenged us to develop our art from the words or art of another.
The photograph was taken by my daughter. It is my father's nameplate that sat
on top of his mailbox for years. He was 91 when he died and outlived almost
everyone he knew. The poem comes from the sadness that soon no one will
remember the man who spent over fifty years of his life living on  a tiny piece
 of real estate in rural Missouri.
Also shared with Real Toads Open Link Monday
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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Love Questions

© Ellen Wilson

Can this single key unleash
heartbreak with one turn,
or will it only tighten
heartstrings to have me yearn
to feel the burn
of cupid’s arrow released?

©Susie Clevenger 2012

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

behold the wild stag
in hoofed drumbeats of summer
antlered majesty


man and beast sharing
the same space on planet earth
nature must survive


spirit of the deer
teach humanity kindness
break our stony hearts

©Susie Clevenger2012
"Hi! It’s Hannah with your fourth round of ecoregion exploration and a call to stretch your poet-voices to express the point of view of wildlife that inhabits the Temperate Forest."
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Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Woman's Vote

I had no desire
to rewind the clock
to wear an apron
and lose my voice.

My vote counted.

©Susie Clevenger 2012

Mama Zen at Real Toads wanted us to state who won
the election in twenty words or less.
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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Silence Is

Silence is the voice
that reaffirms
who you are
when noise
badgers with
who it wishes
you to be.


Silence is the music of peace
sung in harmony with your spirit.


Silence is a poet
sitting in the dark
praying inspiration
will turn the light on.


Silence is the inhaling of hope
when hopeless sends its
drowning waves.

©Susie Clevenger 2012

 Today the challenge is to explore silence at
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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Dona Nobis Pacem ~ #blogblast4peace

the breath of prayer
can be seen in morning frost
may today bring peace

peace begins with me
i cannot pray for war’s end
with a bitter voice

©Susie Clevenger 2012

the stars are covered
by the smoke of our weapons
earth longs to know peace


earth and man as one
meditate on unity

two forces in peace

 ©Susie Clevenger 2012

Peace Will Come

I refuse to believe
that peace will not come.

Too many have lain
upon war’s pillow
of death.

If I let seeds of doubt
grow roots in my spirit,
my tongue will speak despair.

Peace will come.
It is the hope
where I have hung my faith.

©Susie Clevenger 2012
Also linked to Real Toads Sunday Mini Challenge

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Spam by Any Other Name

Recipient’s delight,
email graced with
the title of Spam.

Credit card rewards,
money in a foreign bank,
invitations to view the risqué,
are welcome distractions
when searching to find
a dreaded doctor’s note.

The heart swells with joy
that these digital messages
make their way through
cyber space to inbox.

What soul wouldn’t
find pleasure in receiving mail
that has been granted
the same name as a
meat product covered
in a gelatinous glaze?

©Susie Clevenger 2012
At Real Toads Shay challenged us to write a poem 
that does not reflect our true feelings. I think you can rightfully assume
I am not a fan of Spam in letter or food.

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