Friday, 15 October 2021

Three Poems by Steve Klepetar


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.

Steve Klepetar is waiting out the winter and the pandemic in Berkshire County, Massachusetts.

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