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

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Another Match On The Bonfire

Painting by Gerda Wegener

Oh screw the brimstoners who
cry for coals to burn my ass!
I’ve been straddling hell
on a paintbrush for so long
another match is only
a marshmallow on the bonfire.

Delicate sensibilities clamor
about offenses because their
closets are crowded with “SinS”
that don’t play well with Leviticus.

How tiring it is to hide in plain sight
while unconditional love drowns
in a collection plate earmarked charitable.

Oil speaks louder than repression so
I fill each canvas with brushstrokes
to carry truth to hungry eyes.

Although the long arms of judgment
try to push me a little closer to the fire
I will be me without apology until
hearts tire of living in ice houses
and welcome the thaw of Spring.

©Susie Clevenger 2015

Fireblossom over at Real Toads prompted us to write our poetry from the inspiration of artist Gerda Wegener whose story is currently being told by the movie, The Danish Girl. It is a fascinating story about living the life your soul speaks. Fireblossom Friday ~ The Art of Gerda Wegener
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Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Somewhere between
the light switch and nightmares
I cling to what I can’t forget.

The pulled threads of nothing
keeps knitting itself into a mountain
my eyelids can’t climb to reach sleep.

I tear the petals from reasons
thinking a dry stalk won’t
bring crows to ridicule me again.

My demons keep poking sleeping dogs,
and I add another link to their chains.

©Susie Clevenger 2015

Real Toads ~ The Tuesday Platform
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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Burning Bright

Karin over at Real Toads challenged us to write a poem from two consecutive words in a Christmas song. I chose "burning bright" from "That's Christmas To Me" by Pentatonix. 

"That's Christmas To Me"

The fireplace is burning bright, shining all on me
I see the presents underneath the good old Christmas tree
And I wait all night 'til Santa comes to wake me from my dreams
Oh, why? 'Cause that's Christmas to me

You can find the rest of the lyrics to the song here.

Real Toads ~ Take Two and Sing

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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Closer To The Edge

I’m dreaming
a little closer
to the edge.

Daytime voices
are invading
my eyelids
until all I can
see is red.

I roam the desert
looking for compassion,
but for as far as I can see
mercy is tongue nailed
to abandoned souls.

Why steams its question
into dry eyes until the mirror
turns its truth to capture my reflection.

I look deeply into my inner self,
beyond surface outrage to reasons.
The words I have released fail
to reach my hands…I can't judge
bigotry if I don’t carry compassion
to those who need its touch.

A nightmare needs a guiding light
not more tyranny to block each
route of escape.

©Susie Clevenger 2015

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

New Wings of Amnesty

Tomorrow pins its eraser
on the sun and I gather
all my mistakes around me
like wounded birds
waiting for new wings.

Watching for sunrise
to tap dance across
the horizon I feel today
run its fingers along my spine
drumming never at the
speed of chains.

Forgiveness begins to stir
my gut with trust renewal
is as close as my voice.
The lock of my self induced
condemning begins to bend
at the touch of the daylight key.

Heart humbled at the throne of error
I feel the weight of my wrongs
scrape my throat as they spill into
the collection plate of morning’s amnesty.

 ©Susie Clevenger 2015

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The Cry From Broken Glass

We’re not one bullet
closer to safe.
It doesn’t matter
how much you polish
bigotry with apple pie,
hate always leaves
a blood stain.

Peace cries from the other
side of broken glass,
“Hope will die from your apathy.”

Love is
words and arms
that lift when spirits
struggle to rise
above desperation.

©Susie Clevenger 2015

Real Toads Flash 55 Plus

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Friday, December 4, 2015

Dropping Ashes

They say you only live once,
so light me a cigarette and
let me swing without a net.

Lions and tigers and bare,
I’ll show enough leg and suggestion
to keep the boys in their seats.

I’m the queen of three rings
earning third billing,
but it’s a man’s world
in and outside of canvas.

I’m just dropping ashes.

©Susie Clevenger, 2015

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Dancing On A Wish

The back steps in a photograph
hold memories in each wooden plank.
I feel the vibrations of a hundred yesterdays
climb nearly forgotten to reach
a battered screen door where hands
opened and closed years of temporary
with the emphatic hope of escape.

Sitting in the future I listen
to ghosts roaming rooms
I can’t enter and sing
a survival song to the little girl
who still carries the pain of silence.

Quietly I speak,
“I made it to the end of dust.
You are free to go where
the wind doesn’t carry tears.”

Smiling, I look up at the stars
to let imagination watch
the child dancing on a wish.

©Susie Clevenger 2015

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