Thursday, March 28, 2019

Thin Hope of Resurrection

Truth moans in the butterfly spine
pressed against my lips…
Chained to the thin hope of resurrection
my eyes walk gray smudged clouds
praying the sky doesn’t suffer
 a drought of wings.

While crows watch I dust shadows
for fingerprints of misery to collect
evidence roots are forced to grow
green with death so dinner plates
look pretty before obituaries.

Souls line plastic bowls mined with fork and spoon
so the wealthy can grow Eden in glass bubbles and
trust Flint’s river of Oz will never reach their faucets.

Little is done when no one leads.
I am one but louder when others join the chorus.

Insurrection stores matches in hollow eyes
until Karma signals results have almost
traveled full circle to reasons.

 ©Susie Clevenger 2019

Notes: I have watched my oldest daughter suffer health issues which I believe have roots in chemical exposure in the city where she lived and the chemical lab where she worked. The Flint reference and the Roundup reference are well known here in the United States as I imagine they are in other parts of the world. When my mind went to Oz, I decided to do a little research. I found a political interpretation of the book to be quite interesting.


  1. My heart goes out to you, Susie. This poem is incredibly powerful and poignant in its use of imagery and diction. Thank you so much for writing. Sending love and light ❤️

  2. I figured this was an evil to be dealt with in your poem. I don't know exactly where you live Suzie, but there are some bad spots areound When we first came we lived in Pasadena, it was called "Stinky Pasadena" for all the chemical smells released. It has gotten some better but my son lives in Deer Park, he could see the smoke easily from his front window. Here is hoping an praying for your daughter (an you), you guys have been on my prayer list for some time now.

  3. roots are forced to grow
    green with death so dinner plates
    look pretty before obituaries

    This is innovative Susie! It is resurrection. Like the unusual matching of good food to the dark days of obituaries. It makes death appear not that frightening more pleasant in fact.


  4. roots are forced to grow
    green with death so dinner plates
    look pretty before obituaries...

    These lines catch in my throat.. what a juxtaposition. Reminds me of The Emperor of Ice-cream - Wallace Stevens

  5. Chemicals with crops haa been going on for years. Round up down here is sold in the supermarket. It is used as a weed killer. I have never used it. I smother weeds with cardboard newspapers and weed matting. It works.I am sure a lot of illness is connected to chemicals in the air we breathe and the food we consume. I am sorry about your daughter's health problems. Even in rural areas now the air is contaminated. In Oz because we have had years of drought the roos and wallabies in search of food and water come into the farm properties which is something they don't normally do because they are shy animals. Their droppings ( and they are everywhere) it has been discovered, carry the q fever virus which is airborne....Also cigarette smoke is a killer. In NSW smoking is forbidden in public spaces and even in prisons but not in a private residences which means you can smoke within your own property on balconies and in back yards so you can kill your non smoking neighbours with impunity.We must keep battling against the onslaught in any way we can.

  6. "praying the sky doesn’t suffer
    a drought of wings."

    very potent lines Susie - our insect populations are the front line and being decimated quietly but certainly - the Silent Spring is coming I fear though I never use chemicals in the garden. Sparrows which were the epitome of London have all but left - so have I and found them here in my new locale

  7. "I am one but louder when others join the chorus" true and wise Susie. You have been through so much. When our children suffer, so do we.

  8. roots are forced to grow
    green with death so dinner plates
    look pretty before obituaries...this puts me in mind of the old school proper Southern women who disavow anything that isn't pretty or just right. I grew up among those people and was so glad to escape. Battling against an illness of a child is horrendous. I cannot imagine. I do not use chemicals in my yard or garden. I am sure you feel at times you are screaming inside a closet when you look at and deal with your daughter.

  9. Powerful stuff. Thanks for sharing.

  10. "Little is done when no one leads." Our plight exactly. Those pesticides are apparently now in everything we consume. I am so sorry they have impacted Dawn so horribly. More slowly, they impact us all. It is inconceivable to me that there is no legislation protecting the populace from this horribleness.

  11. "little is done when no one leads"
    "I am one but louder when others join the chorus"

    Strong statements, and imagery in this, Susie!

  12. ...yes, everything is plastic, the food is so very processed, and God forbid lawns aren't green and without a dandy-lion. Thank goodness our home we just bought backs up to the Blue Ridge Mtns and nobody cares what their grass looks like. Your poem packs a powerful punch and I could re-quote all the one liners above as well!