How to Keep Calm When Evening Comes
Find the Enchantress.
She’s the one who searches
in high grass for newts and frogs.
She might be a sleeper
who dreams in shades of tangerine
as cold rain sweeps in,
or a painter with a large glass eye
swimming like a lost fish beneath her brow.
Her spell might be nothing
but a bundle of sticks,
or a handful of hay.
It might only be a small dog
sniffing at the base of a pine,
or two riders galloping from the mist,
their wild hair swinging in the rising wind.
The Long Night
Here is a message from the hot springs:
the earth is boiling over.
Tonight angels twitter in the bushes.
Their noses have turned blue, their wings
scratch at the sky. Everything is falling,
all at once. How soon this summer has come
to an end. My mother once sent a post card
to her sister, on which she had written Wait.
And now the earth bubbles and roils.
Or is that only what we hear when the lights
go out and clouds gather in the dark sky?
Yes, it’s raining again, and the village
must be pulled back, pushed up on stilts.
There is thunder this time. A small girl
runs into the house crying. She is adamant
and won’t be calmed. We hide in the basement.
Someone has thought to bring drinks and snacks.
Last time we were here, the air raid sirens
blared but nothing exploded on our street.
Now the angels have flown away,
leaving torn skin strung on the rocks and thorns.
When Darkness Comes
I keep seeing small winged
things flitting at the edge
of sight. A car thunders past,
nearly driving me into the ditch.
For a moment I feel the heat
of anger. Fingers form
into fists on the wheel,
but I calm down as blood
drains slowly from my brain.
The only thing I’ve learned
from this is to go out slowly
when darkness comes,
one foot before the other,
the way the ancients did
when the earth was alive with gods.
Steve Klepetar lives in the Shire (Berkshire County, in Massachusetts, that is). His work has appeared widely and has received several nominations for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. He is the author of fourteen poetry collections, including Family Reunion and The Li Bo Poems.
SteveKlepetar is waiting out the winter and the pandemic in Berkshire County, Massachusetts.
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