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. 


  1. So many great lines in this Susie. I can relate to the sentiments and especially "I am the assigned joker with a mop" I think being to tell the truth even when it is darker than we care for is a brilliant thing. So glad you joined us my friend! I hope the week ahead is filled with poetry and simple pleasures of life.

  2. I love ‘first person’ poems! This one made me want to join you at the bar .. pour two glasses of optimism and kick sarcasm to the curb. Cheers.

  3. That last stanza kind of sums up how I feel right now, too, Susie. What is going on with this production--we're up here on stage with our mops while the playwright has committed suicide and the director's in his office harassing starlets. You manage to give us both a sense of optimism and fatigue here, and I think that says a lot about where this poem comes from. Enjoyed it very much.

  4. I want to join you and Helen, so let's order a third glass of optimism. I'm certainly all for that

  5. Loved all of this - may the cellar always have plenty of vintage optimism.

  6. "A toast for the empty glass…

    the swill of optimism flooding

    the back of my throat

    to water down sarcasm."

    loved that first stanza, and with your ends made for a nice frame around the madness... well done!