Friday, November 9, 2018

Hell in My Sweet Tea

I’ve put another flower on my handbasket
and another no in where... If love brought
you to my door, why pamphlet me with judgement?

Mix a little hell in my sweet tea.
The Bible belt likes sin cinched tight
across the ribs so misery words
are easier to spill, but I prefer a little
sugar coat on venom before I strike.

©Susie Clevenger 2018

Friday, October 5, 2018

Match to Water

I hear the water cry,
“I am your safety”,
but drowning sings
its dirge across my chest.

Hope urges faith
can walk across the sea…
My wounds burn in brine’s no
as I bleed another tear into the tempest.

Memory’s mutiny has unleashed suppressed,
and I feel the anchor of ghosts freed
from Davy Jones’ locker.

I am a fish forced to once again
swim a dead sea I thought I’d conquered.
I pray the demon’s spear will pierce the last revelation
so I will no longer fear a shadow will come to snuff my candle.

 ©Susie Clevenger 2018

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Agony of the Moon

Howling moonlight walks the horizon
searching for souls of brave poets
to feed the monochrome night
love is both torture and
ecstatic freedom,
a heart walk through
the how and
why of

©Susie Clevenger 2018

Thursday, August 23, 2018


rain threatens the sky
and i wonder how
long the moon can swim
before it drowns in the
love sonnets pooling
on my lips

alone sits on a windowsill
begging a warm hand
to break the chill…
i fold a verse conjured
from dead poets into
his palm and whisper,
“love stays when you
give it away”

i melt into the shadow of echoes…
there’s no rest in a city of open wounds

©susie clevenger

Friday, August 17, 2018

August Requiem

Outside my window
the sun boils summer
into rotted tea.

I ice cube a prayer
across my brow and
wonder how many
pretty words will survive
the sorrow of dying petals.

Autumn will be a bitter queen
when she learns there are
no brilliant colors to weave into
her crown.
©Susie Clevenger 2018

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Pray Answers Won't Smell Like Alcohol

I’m over there in the corner
of a dive bar, quiet tongued
and soul eyed.

I pinch my arm to bruise present
on my skin, but thirty years a go
blinks beneath neon.

Reluctant, terrified, sober as a crucifix,
I walk questions to an empty chair
and pray answers won’t smell like alcohol.

Silence beads little droplets on my skin
until I’m feverish enough to gurgle who
from my throat in a semblance of language.

Frowning she places a finger on my lips
and speaks, Don’t ask…I just came
to learn how I can change my future.

©Susie Clevenger 2018

Written from some tough news I recently received. No, it isn't me or my family.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Too Close to the Edge

The midnight lake puts its lips
to my eyes and drinks every
starlight wish swimming in hazel.

Not satisfied with the brew of visions
it sends watery death into my lungs
to flood my last breath of July.

Thrashing in waves of lost I am tossed
the life preserver of 1:00 am and a cat
purring rescue across my chest.

Shaken I reach for pen and paper
beside my bed and pray my muse
has escaped the drowning pool of empty.

©Susie Clevenger 2018