Three Poems – Steven Klepetar

Suspended Sentence

From the corner of my eye, a gray hare

leaps into   my only concern is where

your promise will    lead me to that final

question, the one I must answer   Yes, yes,

if that will get you to go to   the ground

opens and I see   nothing will ever be the

same ol’ same   old as I am, there could be

gentle persuasions that would    make me

this promise that you will always   be my

friend    I have seen you   waking in the cold

night, he turned to her and said   broken,

I have to admit, the   function of any translation

is not only to set before the reader    a loaf

of bread, a jug of wine and   you will never

send me back to Germany, where the Rhine

flows across   mountains where the gods

are said  to feast on   pigeons and gold

and the sable fur of the panther   who

will serve until your sentence    until the sun

a winking globe, warning of terror

in the coming    year after year I tell you this






Bright  Leaf

shallow in stream, dark in silver

swirling rapids, spinning like seed

puffs raining on oceans of grass


embraced by light. Bright the song

sung to the leaf,  ballad woven

from blades of sun: melody


in oak, harmony in cool, white birch.






Cuckoo’s Song

“What’s on your mind?” the cuckoo sang.

“Carve it out on a thick oak branch

glistening with ice on this November day.”


Chimes ring out the hour, walkers crunch

along cobblestones, young and brazen,

not afraid to fall.  A comet races through space


touched by a metal hand. Everywhere

tanks roll, borders shrink and shift

and disappear.  The wind is ripe with smoke.


What’s on your mind, friend, on this day

of work and cold? Is yours a cuckoo’s

mouth, echoing orifice breathing clouds?





Steven Klepetar’s work has appeared in nine countries, in such journals as Boston Literary Magazine, Deep Water, Antiphon, Red River Review, Snakeskin, Ygdrasil, and many others. Several of his poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Recent collections include Speaking to the Field Mice (Sweats Hoppe Publications, 2013), My Son Writes a Report on the Warsaw Ghetto (Flutter Press, 2013) and Return of the Bride of Frankenstein (Kind of a Hurricane Press).

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