Sunday, September 27, 2020



The buttercream sunset

spills across the horizon

camouflaging footprints

of wild sapphire shapeshifters.


Across the field bovine dreamers

lie dreaming of green grass,

and sunny days without slaughter.


In my human form I wait and watch,

an angel of sorts who counts the sacred breath

of life a gift no horror should trespass.


Alone in the valley of bones I am cradled

in the arms of stars candling courage from

their DNA pulsing through my veins.


The weight of hours builds its wall, and I pray

my charges and I will not suffer the knife’s wrath

or carry another scar when the Aubade sings us into morning.

©Susie Clevenger 2020

Aubade: a poem or piece of music appropriate to the dawn or early morning

The Sunday Muse #127

Poets and Storytellers United ~ Writer's Pantry #39


  1. Ah - protector of animals from the butcher. This moved me, but of course I can't bear to eat meat, not for many years.

  2. That first stanza is a wonderment! I shall hope the bovine dreamers are all milk cows and safe the slaughterhouse.

  3. Great work, SC! I esp appreciate the closing (masterful) stanza. Salute!

  4. How stunning the first stanza! And how heartbreaking all that follows.

  5. Buttercream and sapphire shapeshifters took me away, but now I too am worried about the knife and the waking.

  6. This is heart stirring Susie and spectacular in imagery. The last stanza packs a punch I won't soon forget. Amazing poetry my friend!

  7. I like the quiet fierceness of the guardian. There's a quiet recognition that she has taken her share for cuts in her line of work and is willing to take them again, if it keeps her charges safe.

  8. "Alone in the valley of bones I am cradled" - wow, that's terrific. And so is this: "when the Aubade sings us into morning"

  9. If you have not read about Cincy (Cincinnati Freedom) the cow who escaped slaughter by leaping a six-foot fence, I highly recommend it. She was moved to Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen NY and bonded with four other escapees. When Cincy was diagnosed with end stage cancer, the ladies gathered around her ... licking her face and her back to provide tactile reassurance and to say goodbye. Your beautifully crafted poem reminded me of her story.

  10. I love the ‘buttercream sunset’ and ‘bovine dreamers’ and, after the idyllic opening, was horrified at the thought of slaughter – I’ve been a vegetarian since I was a teenager – and a ‘valley of bones’.

  11. Wow Susie, this just keeps getting better and better as it moves along. I often contemplate why one creature must die so another can live. It seems an uncommonly cruel system and I find it hard to reconcile.

  12. What a scrumptious portion of words you have used. I am sated with the language of images.

  13. Cows aren't alone. I, too, dream of "sunny days without slaughter". Heck, I would take cloudy days! As long as the blood stops flowing.

  14. I believe I too would always carry another "scar when the Aubade sings us into morning" as the knife will be fatal. Surely that morning sing will not be that bad. Perhaps "Listen to the mockingbird?"

  15. i like how the poem builds up from an idyllic scene to a sense of foreboding.
    i may never look at a steak the same way again.

  16. I just want to weep for a little while and then go hug things (probably dogs). Beautiful.

  17. Sadly human being relationship with animals is one of couldn't acre less all the time we make something out of our animal friends. But nothing is worse than killing wild animals that we can't but are merely great trophies to brag about. Great post Susie.