Wrestling With Gray

Ribbon highways tempt with destinations, bright electric exits without melancholy brooding in the rear-view mirror. I normally don’t look back,mind rake my yesterdaysto garden good times, butstuck in non-directioneven images of my overweight selfare sunlight on a monochrome Sunday. Sitting at my table of wishes I watcha cardinal through my window, drink another cup of tea, and ponderif a journey begins with a single step,how do I reach Shambala by pacing quicksand?
©Susie Clevenger 2020

I was honored to have my photo as inspiration to spark poetry at The Sunday Muse.
The Sunday Muse #116

Poets and Storytellers United ~ Writer's Pantry #28

The Art of My Sanctuary

The walls around me feel tighteragainst my spirit like blue jeansthat no longer fit because I fed my feelings. Anxiety flushes my skin forcing meto attempt to shake it off with pacing.My erratic walk takes me to my librarywhere brightly colored art greets mefrom every wall in the room.I slowly turn letting my eyes feaston brush strokes, dancing images,fantasy figures sailing a paper moon sky. My mood shifts with electric shocksof inspiration as I absorb the energyof hope, talent, vision, each artist poured into their paintbrushes.The binding rope of dark emotionsI carried into the room slips away,and I feel the creative strengthof others lift me, encourage metoday is the only door I need to open.
©Susie Clevenger 2020

Poets and Storytellers United ~ Writer's Pantry #26

When All Else Fails


Slivers of Rage

You torch our ears with promises,gaslight flames to burn us in a cornerto camp beneath light we can never own.Streets are littered with dreams no one can fix and hearts that can’t unbreak,while pulpits and podiums prey on us with pyramid schemes.What about us … the slivers of rage living on the edge of shadows, torn hearts withoutneedle or desire to stich a country into a flag.We are different colors…different lovers…different souls…broken bones walking the knife blade of those who are moretender with their prejudices than the humans who suffer at their feet.
©Susie Clevenger 2020

Poets and Storytellers United ~ Weekly Scribblings #23

My Garden of Matches

I hold back on the let go,chase words to the cornerof my cheek so they can’treach my tongue. It isn’t easy in the pressure cookerwhen pain reaches the boiling point.Tamp it down…Lock it up…The agony of other soulsdoesn’t need the added weight of my struggle.When withers in its question like yesterday’s cut roses.For now, I must water the matches, prune the flamesfrom patience until it is my time to be heard.©Susie Clevenger 2020
Poets and Storytellers United - Weekly Scribblings #22

Ink of My Shelter

Oh, a storm is threat'ning my very life today...If I don't get some shelter Oh yeah, I'm gonna fade away - Rolling Stones

I crawl into ink where pain has no blood stains and agony is anesthetized with poetry.
Torment penned on confession’s diary shelters me from the needle points of terrifying silence.
Folded into butterflies I send my voice on wings praying the world outside my prison will rescue me.
©Susie Clevenger 2020
For all those who must shelter in place with abusers...May you be heard...May you be rescued.
Inspired by Carrie Thackeray Van Horn's Shelter prompt at Word Crafters

Aztec Survivor

She’s an old girl, feather ruffled with echoes of every show that haunts her stage.
The march to modern tagged her eyesore, but she held the historical ace close to her breast, and winked her glass paned eyes when the wrecking ball played its losing hand.
When the 1920’s danced its way to the bottom, she was wearing crystal sparkles and singing tomorrow will rise from the speculation of hell.
Youth likes to rattle its dimes to put age in its place, but the Aztec is a San Antonio Rose in the swamp sprawl of condos proving money can’t buy what seasoned grace can deliver.
©Susie Clevenger 2020

The Sunday Muse #108