Thursday, October 8, 2020

The Scent of Unseen


Her perfume announces

her passage where eyes

don’t trust visions, and fear

twists imagination into a demon’s blink.


She was dance, April’s first bloom,

youth’s passion for invincible.


October came with skeletons,

and she carried their bones

until the beast’s breastbone

became the final cut.


She is now a ballet of narrow dreams,

the last chance haunting those

stuck in wandering spaces where timid

prefers the vinegar of same to wine

bubbling with temptation to change.


©Susie Clevenger 2020



  1. "She is now a ballet of narrow dreams" what an absolutely gorgeous line Susie! That first stanza knocked my socks off and the whole poem is alive with images that linger like a strong perfume. A stunning and evocative poem Susie! I love it!

  2. I was about to quote the same line quoted by Carrie. There is so much power in those words, so much knowing. The imagery in this one is just delicious. And I love the Phantom of the Opera feel of the piece.

  3. Nice! My favorite line is "...fear twists imagination into a demon’s blink."

  4. My bedroom in our last house had been the room of the previous owner's mother, long since deceased. During the 8 years we lived there, I would note on occasion the pleasant fragrance of delicate perfume when there was absolutely no source apparent. I came to welcome her presence. Your title reminded me of that.

  5. We often wish that such visions would appear to us confirming that there is a life after...after all.

  6. I love the darkness of ‘…fear / twists imagination into a demon’s blink’ and the October skeletons who bones she carried ‘until the beast’s breastbone / became the final cut’.

  7. Ah, poor sad ghost!
    I of course applaud those who would gulp the bubbly.

  8. Such poetic perfection in the month of ghosts, demons and pure scariness. Never one to announce my presence ... I spritz, carefully.

  9. The imagery here is so ethereal. I really like the cautionary feel to this, a literal haunting by the ghost of opportunities never taken.

  10. in our south-east asian culture, if we smell the scent of perfume but see no one around in the dark, be ready to feel afraid. :)
    your haunting poem reminds me of that.