Saturday, December 18, 2021

What the Ink Sees


Flying Outside the Wire

Freedom is an oily key,

a dangerous walk across

the ear of sanity searching

for the sound of your own breath.


Programmed by wire boundaries,

and wingspan of hell’s generosity

I am a wildling crow learning to fly

a sky that doesn’t stink of vengeance.

©Susie Clevenger 2021

Testing a Theory


Dressed to the nines,

the tail and spur of it,

I prance vanity’s sidewalk

testing the cracks in pavement

to see if my shadow will choose

to add or subtract.


Dear god, it is annoying

 to have fate boast

 it own’s the calculator.

©Susie Clevenger 2021

Flying Without an Airbrush


Stop staring!

I’ve been in enough kettles

to know the price of fire.


While you whine and photoshop

I’m flying where I choose

without the weight of airbrushing

myself into fiction.

©Susie Clevenger 2021

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

River of Eyes

“Bone by bone, hair by hair, Wild Woman comes back. Through night dreams, through events, half understood, and half remembered...” ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés

With the moon hanging from a question mark,

and the wolf drinking from a river of eyes,

I walk the shore of shadows searching for answers

among star shells at my feet.


Christened with the name Impatient

by Pew Huggers of the Worst Intent,

I am tongue slapped with I don’t

have enough faith if I keep dropping why

into the offering plate of affliction.  


Caught in a murder of crowing

I pace in circles trying to find my escape.


In the pfft and hiss of judgement’s posturing

the wolf howls and then speaks,

“A clock doesn’t hear, nor a calendar predict.

There are questions that will always question.

Answers you wish to never know.

Understand the flame of human will only

burn as bright as the one who strikes the match.” 

©Susie Clevenger 2021

The Sunday Muse #189

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Blackberry Bruised Moon


I’m daddy’s girl,

blackberry bruised

moon shadow of dread.


I never speak because

the walls listen and

tattle tale to ears

that grow fists.


Inside my head words

walk my teeth trying

to find an exit, but

any sound they risk

would open a river of blood.


Hell has a cradle, a salt thread quilt.

Daddy owns a Bible…I hold the truth.


For everything there’s a season,

Now’s the time for Daddy's blackberry bruised moon

to shine light on his guilt.

©Susie Clevenger 2021

May the Turpin children never know horror again.

House of Horrors

Created from Shay's Word Garden Word List #2 (Plath)

Words I chose are highlighted in list

Word List: blackberries, brag, coiled, counterfeit, daddydithers, exitgobbledygoo,

hearing, idiot, lilies, lioness, mailed, maniacs, mend, moon, peacocks, shadows, space, water

Sunday, October 31, 2021

The Impatience of Learning Patience


I roam the dark side of the moon

teeth grinding flint hoping fire

will burn the last thread that

binds me to his eyes.


Their black mirror has stolen

my secrets, and dances their demons

across the black ice of revelation.


How foolish to surrender my skeletons

to stars thinking they would deliver them

to Luna’s heart where trust would keep them safe.


Sinful light hungry to roam the veins of hidden

carried my words as bounty to enter the valley of night,

but the dark orb swallowed their candles, and

hung my confessions on his iris of nightmares.


In the impatience of learning patience, I study

every wink, weigh every word, and wait for

any cracks in eternity where I can place a match

to start the fire of my unbinding. 

©Susie Clevenger 2021

The Sunday Muse #184

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Mapping Silver


Be pretty…

Paint yourself

into the shape of his eyes.


Are you kidding?

Conjuring my mirror

into his vision to erase mine

is silvered hell I won’t enter.


Does the moon dress in fear

or kohl its face to appease

night devils who stalk light with evil?


I have lines on my face mapping

the journey of calendars I’ve traveled,

dark hours I’ve survived, bright days I’ve danced.


My face is my face.

It holds gifts of my mother and father, ancestors,

shapeshifting, joining the unique reflection I possess.


Bare or painted, smile or frown, it’s taken several wrong exits

to finally reach the truth, the only voice in the mirror

that matters is mine.  

©Susie Clevenger 2021

The Sunday Muse #180




Saturday, September 4, 2021

Wherever Mascara Takes Me


I’m drunk on neon and chasing yellow lines to my next thrill,

too many empty Tuesdays, too many nights to fill.


Still pretty when the light is right,

still pretty when the glass is spilled,

a thousand miles past heaven’s exit,

one parking lot closer to hell.


I’m tripping on easy, counting dimes I don’t own.

just another blond in Vegas where wild glitter is sown.


Still pretty when the light is right,

still pretty when the glass is spilled,

a thousand miles past heaven’s exit,

one parking lot closer to hell.


The house owns all the gold, the bar bottles of red wine,

I’m betting on mascara the next win will be mine.


Still pretty when the light is right,

still pretty when the glass is spilled,

a thousand miles past heaven’s exit,

one parking lot closer to hell.

©Susie Clevenger 2021

After seeing today's image I searched Google for things about Las Vegas and it led me to INXS's song Pretty Vegas...So my poem sort of has the song's rhythm and no, it is not about me. :)  

Monday, August 30, 2021

Breaking a Concrete God


We drink the last drops

of sun from the lips

of the horizon as a sea of ravens

crash their wings against our ribs.


Our roots grown deep in the broken hip

of a concrete god we stretch our limbs

into descending sapphire to greet stars.


Ancestors of the White Oak and Mother Earth’s promise

we sing the canticum of leaves into the night wind

to stir the blood of wild sprouts to revolt against

the damning fingerprint of humans.


Quietly the moon runs her hand along our spines

to send light into our scars and strikes the match of tomorrows

to give us visions of what we must do to defeat man’s

knife blade of sorrows.


 ©Susie Clevenger 2021

 The Sunday Muse #175

Monday, August 23, 2021

Umbrella Lemons

A toast for the empty glass…

the swill of optimism flooding

the back of my throat

to water down sarcasm.


Reduced to a moment’s purr

I plant my chin on the bright sunny

and catnap on warm fuzzies.


Before I slip too far into escape

umbrella lemons test the tightrope

my mind walks to see how much rope

they can walk before they trigger

the last straw.


In the background Pandora’s clock

taunts hell’s picnic is still messy

and I’m the assigned joker with a mop.


Like an automaton I stir in my rewinding,

stare at my empty glass, and wonder

how much work it will take

to portray Eris’s chaos as comedy. 

©Susie Clevenger 2021

Eris (Ερις) is the goddess of discord and strife. 

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Sky Beyond Wire


“Let me love you. I will hold your brittle bones together.”

             ~    Rigoberto González


A child of cages and dark dreams

I listen to the haunting ring of rain upon wire.


Every wingless yesterday stalks my dreams

to pry the wind from hope, yet the butterfly

inside me speaks the language of sky.


Weighted with drowning I drink light

from liquid blue shimmers pooling

on the stars beyond my reach, and

hold on to what I can’t see to lead me

through the obsidian eye of frantic. 

©Susie Clevenger 2021

The Sunday Muse #172

Saturday, July 31, 2021

The Garden Feminine


"Roots" 1943 by Frida Kahlo

Where the sea died, and the mind shriveled,

I rooted myself in the dire tread of human footprints,

and defied misogyny to regenerate the heart of Eve’s Garden. 

©Susie Clevenger 2021

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Treading Plastic


"Hello (Hello)
I'll tell you all the people I know (I know)
Sell you somethin' that you already own (You own)
I can be whoever you want me to be"
Plastic Hearts ~ Miley Cyrus

I feel at arm’s length,

close enough to see,

but far enough away

to not be smothered in plastic.


On the dance floor where

everyone calls me baby

I laugh and turn, step and misstep

to shrill notes of she’s the

life of the party.


In the glitter of bedazzled blind spots

I can appear to be what I’m not so the shallow

can swim without a lifeguard.

 ©Susie Clevenger 2021

The Sunday Muse #170

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Concrete Flesh of Morning


Photography by Artist, Jasper James

I am the face of the city,

eyes pressed into morning

holding my breath.


Alarm clocks pound migraine drums

through my head to announce the rise and whine

of humans crawling into a new day.


With a bold broom

sunlight sweeps my doorsteps

into moldy gray glitter so

caffeinated souls can see

what they can’t feel.


Vehicles begin their rumble crawl

in asthmatic gasps of engine and oil

through streets hatching across my ribs.


In the widening iris of hours

I exhale yesterday’s weight

and breathe in the hope

today’s politics won’t cripple me.

 ©Susie Clevenger 2021

The Sunday Muse #168




Sunday, June 27, 2021

Finding Myself in the Moon


Treading water in the river of moons

I drink gulps of light from my own reflection.


Baptized in visions I see tomorrow’s woe

stalking me on the horizon.

A wolf spirit speaks through my bones,

“Let yourself feel fear. It’s the first seed of courage.”

©Susie Clevenger 2021

Saturday, May 29, 2021

There's Something in the Water


In the river of moons

the voice of a raven

guides mortals

to the path of light.


Dancing out of shadows

mystics part the cerulean curtain

with palms filled with stars

to feed visions.


The bloated corpse of narrow minds

opens its tongue of wounds

to release treasured thorns

into the eye of revelation.


Luna winks her cloudless eye to stir

watered stones to sing the song of knowing

into ears that must listen and weigh

every word before they speak.

 ©Susie Clevenger 2021

The Sunday Muse #162

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Athena's Rose


He winked his commands

along my body until he reached

the iron curve of my hips.


A cutting from Athena’s rose

I owned the yes of my blooming

and the thorny reach of my no.


He thought he’d dance me through

the devil’s garden only to find

he wasn’t given the power to lead.


 ©Susie Clevenger 2021

The Sunday Muse #160

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Scissoring the Wind


Out on the steel of bright blue sky

I carry the moon on my lips.


I dance between my light and dark,

hold sunshine on my fingertips

while my toes search shadows.


Freedom is taking scissors to the wind

to cut my own map before I’m caught

in the choice of someone else’s direction.

©Susie Clevenger 2021

The Sunday Muse #158



Sunday, March 28, 2021

More Than Likely I’m Not the Feather in Your Tea


I am thought to be a devil,

running wild among wings and curses.


Muddy clay, oak limbs, and blue sky

hold me in their spell where words

are formed in feather strokes of ink.


Grown from roots of ancestors who survived

on plucking impossible from stone scarred bare feet

I trust the voice of earth more than the tongues of humans.


I am as old as yesterday’s eternity and as young

as the first rays of sun on a new day.


Beware or rejoice…It isn’t my journey to make

you feel comfortable with my freedom.


©Susie Clevenger 2021

The Sunday Muse #153

Monday, March 22, 2021

Escaping the Window


What offense your eyes hold when you look through me

to a window that mirrors only your reflection.


Anger shapeshifts through the sea of blue dreams that sail

my eyes where tomorrow is not our horizon.


Does love expire like moldy bread ignored on a shelf

or fade when sunlight turns bitter on your lips?


The coldness of detachment marches cigarette burns

through my mind as I fight demons dancing on scars.


I hate goodbyes, the breathless lingering hope feeds

that one more hour can rewind a broken clock.


I am enough…more than enough…Your blindness

is not my curse, not a sentence to serve because fear is my familiar.

©Susie Clevenger2021

The Sunday Muse #152

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Not Every Cage Has Bars


Why look before you leap?

The fall may give you wings

to flee the glass they insist

you walk to pacify their bitter.


Wise is the one who trusts escape

is a better journey than pasting smiles

on a circle that never ends.

©Susie Clevenger 2021

The Sunday Muse #151

Saturday, March 6, 2021



Sunday was turned inside out

like a favorite sweater abandoned to shadows.


Expected comfort, the monotone of routine

became a scream in the cocoon of my wingless day.


There was no escape in a Zombie world of locked doors

and words funneled through lips wearied by counting days.


Stay safe, stay safe, stay safe… It’s crowing rant squawked

from the nest built of torn hours rooted in the back of my mind.


Madness sat its chair in my palms taunting me with careless

until my ancestor spirit tapped my spine with drumbeats.


Gnashing teeth and broken eye tears pulsed freedom

into the wounds I’d handcuffed to my spirit.


With fingers pressed against the river of my pulse

I let hope into the dark mirror I’d lived in for months.


 ©Susie Clevenger 2021

Word Crafter Prompt


Friday, February 12, 2021

Ink of Wings

 I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

“I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word.
 Sometimes I write one, and I look at it, until it begins to shine.”
― Emily Dickinson

I place a word on the tip of my pen

to test the wind that will give it wings.


Do I dare let it be a crow, inky bitter,

dark prophecy wrestled from my tongue

where silence debates with consequence?


Or should it be hope’s feather plucked

from sunlight’s robin singing from

the timid limbs of spring?


Light flirts with sapphire strokes of ink

as I shuffle through the alphabet wondering

which words I’ll draw from poet’s tarot.

©Susie Clevenger 2021

Word Crafters Prompt

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Bitter Apple


The apple doesn’t fall far from the teeth

or sweeten the mirror when the tongue

draws blood. 

©Susie Clevenger 2021

The Sunday Muse #142