Friday, December 13, 2019

The Raven You No Longer Silence


Does it burn, my dear? Does it trouble you
I have become the ink breeding scars
in the starless hours you can’t escape?

You were the cat who owned my tongue,
forced me to live by fist and bruise,
prowl night for one sip of light.

It isn’t pretty when chains break into truth,
when daylight burns away the shroud of threat.

Today is the future you thought would never come.
I have found wings; feel the wind of blue sky.

The irony is the cage you thought would always hold me
is now yours to pace and defend with teeth that no longer have claws.  

©Susie Clevenger 2019

The first line of my poem " Does it burn my dear? Does it trouble you" is from Kerry O'Conner's poem Firefly  I had several conversations about abuse this week, and when I read that line all those conversations began to mold into a poem. 

Saturday, December 7, 2019

The Darkness in Light

Pharos ~ The Lighthouse
Kerry O'Connor
Used With Permission

Her gnarled light holds
the passage of dreams,
the last words of water
lullabies sung to souls
who trusted the sea
wouldn’t betray them.

In her catacomb of candles
ghosts climb stairs of wailing threads
searching for the key of gods
to free them from the breast of stones
that makes them hunt fog to deliver death.

©Susie Clevenger 2019

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Pilling (If only Risperidone was a Greek Goddess)



I woke this morning
with lemons on my tongue
and groans gurgling
in the pit of my brain.

How I wish I could remain
in sleep’s nightmare that
doesn’t require a pill
to keep me on the fringe
of normal.

My warden rests on its glass shelf
demanding I open the lid of my cage
and swallow the chain to hold
me to chemical sanity.

I argue the cinnamon elocution
of tempered mania robs me
of artistry, but the order of things
requires I swim with the tide.

Rebellion waits at Nyx-door
like the sheathed claws of a cat
waiting to shred perceptions
wild things can ever be tamed.

©Susie Clevenger 2019

A delicious list of words provided for poetic inspiration:
onyx,  groan, lemon, sticks, elocution, shelves, cinnamon, Twix, risperidone,
Nyx-door, warden, plunge, esthesis


Sunday, November 10, 2019

Woke Up Change

Photograph: Sarolta Ban


Oh, don’t play that song,
a bluesy never grow tune.

My roots are deep, earthy bold.
I’ve sung duets with eternity,
written music with stardust.

I can grow a family from a seed,
hold communion with wild things,
stitch a quilt with sun thread and dry leaves.

You thought I would die because you cut me,
surrender to dust because you burned me,
but all you did was wake up change.

I’ll be life when you are empty,
breath when you can’t breathe,
grow when you’re dying in your words.

©Susie Clevenger 2019


Friday, November 1, 2019

Crisp Counsel

Jason Limberg
Used With Permission

Moon blood and urges
is the tea to create enemies.

In the cold season of heat
nothing matters but winning.

Be warned… Kinship won’t
keep me from bringing war.

©Susie Clevenger 2019




Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Butterflies and Bullies



I sleep wide awake between
butterflies and bullies
counting sheep morphed into tribes.

With the new social of antisocial
agree is God and truth is the devil
when it survives the river of lies.

Mining hope from empty, finding
beauty in bare, I fly what could be
instead of a sky polluted with dead air.

In the If Not Now Then When,
The Gray of Blind, even a flicker of peace
can feed a spirit who faces another mountain to climb.

©Susie Clevenger 2019




Friday, October 25, 2019

Nigrum Somnium Dicat



I use a spoonful of light to feed my darkness,
bits of glitter to bedazzle dread.

In the hollow of abandoned I place my ribs,
drink dust of tears, spin fantasies in my head.

Fear has a scent my nose can detect,
cloying ammonia, musty stench of deflect.

Like it or not I know what you fear.
I’m the whisper sting stalking your ear.

Lilies bloom in shallow breath,
graying skin, cackling death.

The candle wick will make shadows larger,
conjure secrets, burn lies through your armor.

I’m the nightmare ruling your dreams,
burning your peace, courting your screams.

©Susie Clevenger 2019

It is October so my mythical twist is pure Halloween.