Tuesday 4 October 2022

Three Poems by Steve Klepetar


On the Ferry


Faroe Islands 


We couldn’t find a seat on the top deck, 

so we waited below, craning our necks 

out the portholes, trying to get a glimpse 

of seabirds - puffins, storm petrels, arctic terns. 

Wind picked up, and people streamed down 

into the warm, so we waited, climbed the stairs. 


We had the upper deck to ourselves, just us 

and a young Icelandic couple in form fitting 

weather gear. We had sweatshirts 

and our Minnesota blood, so we were good,

as the boat sailed past white cliffs


where we saw gannets and goldeneye, auk 

and Iceland gulls, even a golden plover 

and a black-legged kittiwake.

“Not cold?” the young man asked, his eyes 

the same ice shade of blue as the woman 

whose hand he held, and who looked straight ahead, 

where birds circled and dove, fishing in the frigid surf. 



City Bus


Bus drivers don’t like answering questions.

I never ask, afraid they’ll scowl 

and mutter something I don’t hear, 

the line behind me swelling with resentment. 

I get on and ride, hoping it gets me downtown, 

or somewhere close. 

When I like the neighbourhood,

I reach up, pull the cord and scramble off. 

Sometimes I enter a building, sometimes I walk 

until I see a park. 

Once I asked a cop, but he growled 

“Get a map sonny” and I backed off. 

By then I was hungry, and there was food 

for sale all up and down the road. 

I shopped for tee shirts and hats. 

I was lost until I saw signs for the zoo, 

and then I was glad to know exactly where I was. 

My fingers were sore and red, but my feet felt wonderful. 

I went to the monkey house, I fed peanuts  

to the elephants, I watched a sailor take a swipe 

at a bear, which ripped a long cut on his outstretched hand.



Until the Light Returns


Look out on the empty road. 

Is that someone walking, a shadow 


on the puddle of streetlight, 

or just the shrug of night? 


There goes the wind. 

Clouds drape the crescent moon, 


and there in patches, a few faint stars.

Your hair has grown long, 


and it’s lovely this way,

pulled back in braids. 


Outside, trees bend in the gale. 

Dark shapes fly over the pond. 


We are safe here, so we believe, 

with windows polished and fine. 


If we could find our way 

to the bedroom, trace a path 


through the dark hall, we might

sleep in peace until the light returns.

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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Three Poems by Steve Klepetar

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