Sunday, July 17, 2016

Poet Steve Klepater Responds to Robert Rhodes' Paintings

How will I find you 
Night Painting: Where will I find you when you’re gone 
(the river in starlight)? by Robert Rhodes. Oil on Canvas

in this tangle of brush
and mist?  Soft lips

whisper, hair cascades
over the falls of your back,

but last night I missed
a turn, followed

a will o’ the wisp
down some dead end

path, mistook an owl’s
call for a friend’s advice.

Bring me your breath,
the touch of open hands.

I have kept your shadow
near the lining of my coat.

Up to my knees
in ice-melt pools, I listen

for your welcoming song
above shivering spruce and oak.


Spring Storm 
Spring Storm: Hills Near Exton by Robert Rhodes.
Oil and charcoal on Arches paper


A gash, blood line knifing 
spring sky in a wild dance
of grass, trees, and wind.

Hills tumble to the sea
in a rush of rain:
odor of worms and mud, 

ozone taste at the back 
of the tongue. Air rips apart, 
the world broken and reborn.

White and green waves shake
dry, dead bones of winter,
breaking to songs of roaring clouds.


Steve Klepetar’s work has appeared worldwide, in such journals as Boston Literary Magazine, Chiron, Deep Water, Expound, The Muse: India, Red River Review, Snakeskin, Voices Israel, Ygdrasil, and many others.  Several of his poems have been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize (including three in 2015). Recent collections include My Son Writes a Report on the Warsaw Ghetto and The Li Bo Poems, both from Flutter Press. His full-length collection Family Reunion is forthcoming from Big Table Publishing.


Robert Rhodes grew up in the Mississippi River delta region of eastern Arkansas, near Memphis, TN, and now lives in Lancaster, PA. He has painted since he was 12, and for nearly 20 years was a newspaper journalist. He has published three poetry chapbooks and the 2009 nonfiction book Nightwatch: Alone on the Prairie with the Hutterites

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