Author's Note: I offer these poems in deep appreciation for Firestone and for the community he has created. Thanks also to Jim Lewis and Donna Hilbert for the work they have done on behalf of us all.
Facing my wine, I did not see the dusk…
I saw neither mist over the lake
nor the bird with gray chest,
the bird with black crown
who shrieks at his rivals
and thinks he owns my deck.
Occupied with my glass,
swirling and sipping the rough
country wine, I failed to observe
how green mountains slipped
behind the curtain of night
and how the river birch gleamed
a moment in the fading day.
My tongue burned, gradually my face
glowed orange, then red, my scarlet
nose a triangle jutting like a cliff
above my mustache and quivering lips.
If You Wait
They say if you wait, something always occurs.
Maybe just wind stirring late summer leaves,
a few already turning orange and red,
maybe clouds on a cold, rainy day.
But sometimes there’s a leap into darkness,
a sudden rift and you’re off, spinning
into some other world.
Here you are, face to face with shadows,
a legion arrayed on a field, and then a rabbit
scattering those shapes into bits of mist.
Or maybe you are climbing, hand over hand,
dangling out over a long drop into a river
steaming white in the noonday sun.
Suddenly you have wings and you soar
among cliffs, plummet, then swim against
the current until you topple onto shore,
half broken, lungs heaving in the burning air.
Hand to Hand
In the silence of this hour, with darkness pouring down,
we find each other hand to hand.
We find each other and we do not speak,
or if we do, we speak of trivial things — new linens
we bought or a play our grandchildren were in,
or how good the toasted goat cheese tasted
at the tapas place we love.
Darkness pours down from the hills, from the sky,
and together we let down the shades.
We sit in this lighted room, hand to hand,
without music playing, just our breath,
our voices braiding around ordinary things.
Maybe we share an apple or a cold drink,
passing the can back and forth, sipping,
sliding from murmurs to silence,
and then to the strange moaning of our yawns
until we slip into bed ready to sail
through the sea of longing into morning’s wide lagoon.
©2020 Steve Klepetar
Editor's Note: If this poem(s) moves you please consider writing to the author (email address above) to tell him or her. You might say what it is about the poem that moves you. Writing to the author is the beginning of community at Verse Virtual. It is very important. -FF