Sound the gathering, send
out the cry, let words tumble
and bounce in ragged
burlesque, fat and welcoming,
round as melons in the mouth.
Beat a rat–tat–tat
of drums, wind a ceremonial
drone sensuous and lithe
as dragon’s song though wild
wood caves. Back away
as fissures heave molten rock
and steam, tremble
with shifting bones of earth.
Come awake to wind and rain,
Snakes gathered by pools.
Open the dusty windows
of your skull, breathe in
stars and filtered beams of moon.

Collect the wealth in gleaming
piles–sun–dancing gold
and icy silver rods, close woven
cloth and lace, spices fine
ground, pungent in sweet spring
air. Tonight in flickering
firelight, we surrender it all,
empty our winter-chapped
hands of the world’s shadowy
goods. We’ll eat too much
and drink `til we can hardly stand,
stuff no food to keep in pouches
we wear gaping like starved mouths
at our hips. Here is the only command:
Forbid nothing, fling wide gates
and tear the locks off every door,
let new lambs bleat and open brooks
rush against mystical body of glistening stones.

Steve Klepetar

About the poet: Steve Klepetar teaches literature and writing at Saint Cloud State University in Minnesota . His work has been published in journals like Snakeskin, GHOTI, New Works Review and others, and over the past three years he has received nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Web.