Joe Kleponis Poetry

Writer, Poet

My book, Truth’s Truth: Poetic Portraits, was published by Kelsay Books in 2021. It is available through Kelsay Books, at Andover Bookshop 74 Main St. Andover, MA,, and Indie Books.

My poetry has appeared in journals in print and online, including Aurorean, Boston Literary Magazine, Eucalypt, Leaflet: the Journal of the New England Teachers of English, Methuen Life, Muddy River Poetry Review, Penman Review of Southern New Hampshire University, Pendemics Journal, paperwasp, and Wilderness House Literary Review. 
  • Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Contact me for signed copy of my book Truth’s Truth. Also, I am available for readings or lectures.

Balancing Act

(after Balance Rock, Bar Harbor, Maine) 

Away from the shore,

 raised on edge,

one rock balances

upon another. 

Tides sweep over it;

storms batter it;

yet it remains, poised,

in mid-stance steady,

unmoving, like a tai chi masteron one leg,

lost in contemplation before striking. 

We wonder what magic

 keeps the rock in its place. 

We are awed,

knowing that under a mere drizzle of words

we can weaken and list,

sometimes, far from our core.

 The sight of the rock

resting on its edge,

weathering the weather,leads us to speculate: 

Where is the center?

Is the fulcrum upon which we rest

solid? How shall we set our weight

in just the right proportion –

not too far to the right,

nor too much to the left?

What is the sweet spot,

so, we, like a rock on edge in the ocean,

can stand fast, never tipping

as the waves of these times wash over us? 

 - Wilderness House Literary Review, Vol. 15, No. 4, 2021.


Truth’s Truth: Poetic Portraits, Kelsay Books, 2021.

Publications in Literary Journals

Amethyst Review: "A Springtime Meditation," "Contrapuntal Progression," "Skipping Stone

the Aurorean: “Epiphany for Period 2,” “Epiphany for Period 2,” “Portrait of Improvisation,” “Season of Dissolution,” “What Relief” 

Boston Literary Magazine:\ “Autumn Still Life,” Heat Wave,” “Men I Did Not Know” 

the Ekphrastic Review: “Piano Notes and Dance,” “The Peasant’s Dance (Suktinis)” 

Eucalypt, A Tanka Journal:“old men on benches,” “on this autumn night,” “must there be meaning,” “snow lingers” 

First Literary Review East: “Winter Still Life: Hampton, NH,” “Your Music,” “Vernal Equinox” 

Indiana Voice Journal:“Leaving,” “Love’s Call,” “Love’s Odyssey”

Lawrence Eagle Tribune: “Spring Vision” 

Magnapoets: “Crossing Fiedler Footbridge,” “To My Friends” 

Methuen Life: “Social Distancing” 

Modern English Tanka: “Your Presence,” and other Tanka 

Muddy River Poetry Review: “Daily Games,” “Louie’s,” “The Quarries,” “Vinny Criss’s Teeth” 

Ribbons: Journal of Tanka Society of America: “The Juggler,” and other tanka 

Street Light Magazine: "Old News"

The Leaflet: Journal of the New England Association of Teachers of English: A Still Life: Frozen Afternoon,” “Portrait in Blues” 

Pendemics Journal:“Still Life in the Time of the Virus,” “The Space Between Us” 

The Penmen Review of Southern New Hampshire University: “Duets of Violence in the Park,”“Ode to the Merrimack River,” “The Big Dig”

Wilderness House Literary Review: “Balancing Act,” “Celebration,” “Forest Bathing,” “Light in the Morning,” “Matins”

Example Text

Example This stunning artwork “How Do You Feel About Red?” Was created by
Kristen DeLillo in response to my tanka “morning red sky.” It was presented at Poetry Art Collaboration at Nevins Library.

the tanka on which the artwork is based is…

a morning red sky
portending a stormy day
reminds me of you
wrapped in your colorful scarves -
alluring yet dangerous

-J. Kleponis, Modern English Tanka, Vol. 2, No. 3, Spring 2008.

Art: “How Do You Feel About Red?” ©️ Kristen DeLillo