Sunday, September 11, 2022

Banging Cup of Helter Skelter


“Chess is the gymnasium of the mind.” – Blaise Pascal

 Insanity is a cell,
a blind man’s bars
where thoughts
play with freedom,
but a key doesn’t fit the lock.

Who am I if not, where’s beyond
if a cage holds what it won’t free?
Days wither on the throat of a scream.
I hear what can’t be seen…See what can’t be heard.

Climbing out in the center of falling in
I play a black chessboard dressed
as a blood thorn queen.

Helter skelter, neither here nor there,
what falls rarely finds up.
Riddles and swirls, answers that can’t find questions.
I’m there but not here…Gone but never leave.

I’m a ghost that breathes, skeleton without bones,
a mind that searches, a searcher who never finds.
I fish for reality without bait or hook. 

©Susie Clevenger 2022

Friday, September 9, 2022

Symbols and Such


In the bizarre ritual
of dividing self
between reality
and gingerbread expectations
of love, I walk the island 
of my watch trusting
a vase of ecstasies 
filled with lilacs and peonies
(symbols and such)
will woo romance
to my door before time
robs them of their blush.

With all the romanticizing of romantic
there must be a tall, handsome (malleable)
male roaming his soul to find words
to proclaim (feebly) of his heart’s loyalty
to all things me.

Surely the astigmatism of a besotted eye
would find me so irresistible my kitchen 
of herbs and bones would not offend.

There are islands of letters I’ve collected
from the fallible inklings of masculine absurd
who think their bodies are Eve’s wonderland,
a place where submission would be my blessing.

Of course, no man is an island. 
He prefers a skulk where he can
thump and bluster he has the 
prowess to own any vixen he desires.

Oh, who would believe I’m a fainting goat
lying prone in dreams of Prince Charming.
Springes line my sidewalk to trap egos
silly enough to think a wink and muscle flex
are enough to reduce me to shivers of surrender.

I am a black widow of various talents who knows
how to protect her web from the dissection 
of her spirit to accept less to parade a perception of more.

©Susie Clevenger 2022

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Fighting for Balance


Mother Earth clings
to the throat of a chinaberry
praying she has enough hope
to escape the malevolence of humans.
Forced into a dying cocoon
she summons lightening
to ignite the wings of a phoenix
to bring resurrection from
the wreckage of failed dominion.
Lessons never learned; trust never earned
leave acid fingerprints of war and greed
on Mother Earth’s womb while she begs for salvation.

©Susie Clevenger 2022

The chinaberry tree symbolizes the balance between good and evil. It inspires us to find the right balance in life.

Monday, August 22, 2022

Black and Blue


I am more than a dress,
a blues song you clothe me in
so your darkness won’t feel
as heavy as your tongue.
Where there’s bone there’s wings.
I can fly a sky of notes you can’t write
because freedom is a place in me
you can’t find.
Will and weather, cloud and feather,
what you think you hold isn’t even in your hands.
This black and blue bird is a sister of crows.
When the spirit says go, a murder will grow.
©Susie Clevenger 2022

Sunday, July 24, 2022

From My Throne of Abandoned


“She says she glories in being abandoned”

― J. M. Barrie

 I am the once was,

the seat of forgotten

where lost dreams

are mice infested memories.


In my bones questions

pierce the eyes of those

brazen enough to walk

the spine of my decay.


From my urban throne

of abandoned the voices

of my remains crawl faded

wallpaper into the ear of fear

or into imagination that thinks

it can speak my unknown tongue.


My days tick toward an eraser,

urban lust to claim what it can never own.

When  my heart is the carrion eaten

by steel jaws, my dust delivered to

a toxic grave, my spirit will remain

where it was first planted.

I’ll be the dandelion in rosy,

the chill no one can explain.


 ©Susie Clevenger 2022

The Sunday Muse #220

I was feeing gothic today.



Sunday, June 12, 2022

Black Crow of the Highest Disorder


Her eyes are ice water and hell.

a devil’s handmaid dressed in her

bleakest Sunday best to pass judgement

as if it was holy sacrament.


A black crow of the highest disorder.

she carry’s her book of gossip straight

to the altar and opens her tongue

to foul every prayer.


It is what it is, but never should be.

A thousand hymns can’t be unsung

or sermons lead when there’s no reason to follow.

Her tar feathers can’t teach anyone how to fly.


©Susie Clevenger 2022

The Sunday Muse #214

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Crawling Across Jell-O


Fear salts wounds

knifed by zealots

who march in factory

parades of cloned

tongued pushers

of caustic positivity.


There are times

the rosy picture

can’t and shouldn’t

remain framed

on a face that

only wants to fall

into the snotty

blabbering of broken.


Strong doesn’t mean

you can always stand,

never doubt, never question.

It is feeling your knees give out,

the taste of bile, weary raging curses

at the rain of agony storming

through your spirit…It is crawling

across Jell-o circumstances

trying to breathe your way

into the next hour.

©Susie Clevenger 2022

 Shay's Word Garden Word List #7

It has been a long three weeks of agony with my oldest daughter's new health emergency and it continues. Poetry is my journal, so this is a page from mine.