Mar 26, 2019

Battling Crows in My Throat

The Twila Series



There’s not much peace in the swamp tonight, at least not for me. I can’t hear the voices in my head because the bullfrogs swallow all the air as soon as night creeps through the mist. Mrs. Jackson is always harping at me to take my problems to the river bank where there aren’t any tongues to carry tales, but those frogs are so drunk on spring I’m not sure there’s a pencil’s width of moon able to see or hear me. I suppose that’s why ghosts decided to walk along my worry nerve.

Spring air thick as lust
snakes along my skin
searching for secrets
trying to escape my tongue.

The calendar is preaching
revival, but ghosts don’t
like wildflowers breaking chains.

Give worry a twig and it will build a nest.
I’m battling the crows in my throat.

©Susie Clevenger 2019



The Twila Series:

Devil's In the Moonlight

14 comments:

  1. Oh, I love that pencil width of dark between the moonbeams. This tells a story, as layered as anything I've read.

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  2. My grandmother used to tell me: Give worry a twig and it will build a nest....I like the image of the drunken frogs. that made me smile hugely.

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  3. "Give worry a twig and it will build a nest" is BRILLIANT! Wonderful, Susie!

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  4. I had to go back and read all the Twila pieces. Amazing! Please tell me you are going to gather these up to create a book, because I will totally get myself a copy. I'm in word lust over the imagery and mood you've created.

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  5. This is incredibly stunning, Susie!❤️ Especially love; " The calendar is preaching revival, but ghosts don’t like wildflowers breaking chains."

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  6. As always, your rock, Clevenger!

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  7. Ooh, it has quite an atmospheric imagery throughout, so dark and rich with layers and metaphors — I love the mood it evokes.
    This is so very wonderful: "but those frogs are so drunk on spring I’m not sure there’s a pencil’s width of moon able to see or hear me."

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  8. Give worry a twig...indeed. May all the wild flowers break their chains !

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  9. I just love this in a 'wish I wrote it' sort of way. The twig part was great.

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  10. Love that close... the twig and the crows..brilliant.

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  11. Reading this is like skipping stones in a swamp: it lifts, it lands, it skeeters. Did you ever read Cormac McCartney's early novel "Suttree"? Before he headed west he lived by a river I think in South Carolina, and swamped his Faulkner inheritance. Anyway it revels in the same sort of dank warm mouth of poetry water. Nice work.

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  12. This is dark and claustrophobic, Susie, especially with those bullfrogs swallowing all the air as soon as night creeps through the mist. I love the thought of it being so dark you’re ‘not sure there’s a pencil’s width of moon able to see’ and ghosts walking along your worry nerve, ghosts that ‘don’t like wildflowers breaking chains’. The final lines are fabulous!

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  13. This is wonderful! I love the unique phrases you come up with that lend an air of colloquial intimacy.

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  14. “Give worry a twig and it will build a nest.” How very true! :)

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