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

Friday, May 31, 2013


It’s only a stone
yet you covet its sparkle
vanity’s display

        ~ + ~

casting the first stone
to deflect introspection
fingers bruised by lies

© Susie Clevenger

Haiku Heights #252 Stone

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The Weathered Rails to Love

(Image Via Photobucket: vivianandrea22)

I placed my heart
on weathered rails
to let it follow
their ancient path to love.

With hungry eyes I traveled
infatuation’s twists and turns
through spirit and flesh
feasting on desire with each glance.

My heart knew you were
its final destination
when doubt made its exit.

Tunneled in our dreams
the world turned
while we escaped
its wearied revolutions
in each other’s arms.

When life tore away
seclusion’s umbrella
love continued to grow
among trials, disappointment
and the grief of loss.

Today we travel
those weathered rails
with just as much passion
as when hungry eyes
first feasted on budding fascination.

 ©Susie Clevenger 2013

Today at Real Toads Hannah offered the Tunnel of Love in Kleven Ukraine as inspiration for our writing. I chose to write about the love my husband, Charlie, and I have experienced over the past 45 years. Many have asked us the secret to our longevity. There are so many answers but I will simply say we have loved one another unconditionally.
Real Toads ~ Hungry Eyes
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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Midnight Noon

A midnight noon
tore the world
outside our windows
into shredded lives.

Glued to your heartbeat
two little girls and I
watched your eyes
for the first sign of a rainbow.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

Mama Zen challenged us at Real Toads with these words, "Imagine yourself in
the safest place you've ever known. Let yourself sink into the details. Feel the texture, the temperature. See the angle of the light. Breathe Deep...and tell me about it in 53 words or less." 

My family experienced our first hurricane after moving to Texas, Alicia, in 1983. In the midst of that horrific storm my husband, Charlie, was the rock that made us feel safe. 

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Insomnia's Sea

We pass each other
in the night…
two ships on
insomnia’s sea
seeking the same
illusive horizon.

Silence is the swells
that batter us…..
but neither
will calm the waves
with repentance.

We wander bottled
in our pain and anger
letting it ferment into
sleepless hours driving
us further from absolution.

©Susie Clevenger 2013
Real Toads Open Link Monday
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Monday, May 27, 2013

Hope's Reflection

 Photo: L. Diane Wolfe

I hold a single raindrop
within my green palm
to let hope see its reflection.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Inked Doves In A Thoughtless World

Sitting in foot traffic bursting with words
she sells her poetry under a San Juan sky
trying to make enough money to eat.

Broken pavement and blue cobblestones
are the stage where she plants her feet
to listen to life vibrating through her toes.

Suggestions for verse are tossed with dollar bills
by passing tourists who miss the beauty of art
stamped out by typewriter keys and a poet’s heart.

She is a novelty, another snapshot to fill a photo album.
No one asks her name or about the dreams inside her.
Many see her as another beggar reaching for coins.

The poetess braves the sun and rejection to leave
her mark in a world that devalues her without a blink.
She releases her poetry like inked doves to fly
 as hope among thoughtless interjection.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

Today Fireblossom at Real Toads challenged us to write about location. I chose my recent trip to Puerto Rico where I came upon a young poet selling her craft for a few dollars and a smile. Sadly I didn't get to buy any of her work. 

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Creative Nexus Café™

Stop by The Creative Nexus Cafe this evening. I have the pleasure of being interviewed on tonight's show. Grab a cup of coffee and listen and chat! 

✺ IT'S HAPPENING THIS EVENING! May 9, 2013 | The Creative Nexus Café™ will be on the air LIVE at 6:00 pm EDT ✺

✺ Stop in for some music, poetry, prose, interpretive readings, and SoundCloud presentations! We have several excellent poets who have provided us with some of their work for you this evening! | Take a peek in our blog to find out who they all are! ✺

✺ See what Djs and producers Natasha Lynn Head and Roger Allen Baut have in store for you this evening! | Might be a few other surprises along the way, too! ✺

✺ Tune in and find out why The Creative Nexus Café has had almost 30,000 listeners to our shows! ✺

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Smell of Smoke

You stir cigarette ashes
into my coffee because
I hate the smell of smoke.

I should hate you,
but I can’t spare the emotion.

Please tell me you’ll be working late.

© Susie Clevenger 2013

Real Toads Open Link Monday
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Failure's Hope

Painted with the shadow
of another’s art she prepares
to feel the spotlight’s heat.

You can’t attempts to weary her faith,
but she has climbed each stone
of failure’s stairway to reach
this last chance for success.

Risking it all on her toes
she stretches each muscle into grace
while she awaits the curtain call
to unwind her nerves into Swan Lake.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

Kerry at Real Toads has challenged us with the poetic inspiration of TS Elliot to write a prelude. Kerry's Wednesday Challenge ~ Prelude
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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Swim

In a sea of faces
I swam to you.

I didn’t care that
I might drown
as long as it was you
that took me under.

Love didn’t reach the shore.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

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Sunday, May 5, 2013

A Parrot's Regret

There once was a selfish parrot given a cracker but would not share it.
A jealous cat bit its wing and now all the bird sings
is, “Feed the kitty or you will regret it.”

©Susie Clevenger 2013

Kerry at Real Toads has us celebrating Edward Lear's birthday by challenging us to use his written and artistic work as inspiration for our own creativity. To learn more about him visit Real Toads ~ A Birthday in May ~ Edward Lear

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Friday, May 3, 2013

The Wire of Confinement

The Wire of Confinement

Stolen from my canopy home
I live behind wire and human stares
in solitary confinement.

Cameras snap while hands reach to steal dignity
with demands I not be the wild animal I am,
but a tamed pet to assuage curiosity.

I am prodded to howl, but ears are deaf
to the rumble of my plea to return
where blue sky winks through a green umbrella.

Like every prisoner I dream of escape,
to flee from this alien sand burning beneath my cage
and find the breadfruit tree where I can climb to peace.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

At Real Toads Hannah has prompted us to visit the rainforest to find one of the creatures living there and give it a voice. Transforming Friday

I have actually been to rainforests in Panama and in Costa Rica. It is a breathtaking experience. The photo of the Howler monkey is actually one of my own. I took it at a private island in Belize. The poor thing was locked in a small cage with a wooden latch. Three teenage boys decided to set it free and it raced across the hot sand to a tree. I was taking pictures of the tree when I spotted it. The boys were on the other side of the tree pestering it and it jumped from the tree to my shoulder to eventually slide down to my left ankle. My husband, Charlie, came across the sand yelling for me to get the monkey off. I just gently shook my leg and that is when I received a bite from the Howler. In the whole sequence of events the monkey was never in attack mode. I believe it jumped on me for security because its handler was female. It was like a frightened cat so when I shook my leg it reacted by biting to try and prevent me from making it face those three boys.

Because of the bite I received it turned into an international incident. The bite wasn't bad, but I had it treated by first aide on the island, later on the cruise ship I was traveling on and when I returned home I had to talk to Houston's CDC which directed me to a  Dr. of Zoology. He asked me a series of questions about whether it had a tail for climbing, etc. He said that if it had been one without a tail there would be cause to worry, but since it didn't and I had been assured it had received its vaccinations; all should be fine. I had the number of the island in Belize and he told me he would call it. If I didn't hear from him then everything would be alright. So as you can see I am here writing poetry with nothing but compassion for an animal who just wanted to be free.

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Black Lace of Misconceptions

Mama Zen has given us "unprompted" as our theme for writing. It seems lately I have had many unprompted conversations with narrow minds.

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