Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Few Friends at Midnight

April Roses
—Photo by D.R. Wagner 

—D.R. Wagner, Elk Grove

Breaking everything we know as worthwhile.
The coming of dreams perhaps
Unannounced or surrounded by choruses.
Voices chanting jungle sounds
Lean down toward us to surround

Us, touching us as if we were flowers,
Not just meat to be torn and
Tossed into battle with the glazed
Eyes of greed surrounding and surrendering.
Every move made as some sort of dance
To that greed and domination.


Listen.  I was given a blue tube
About three-and-a-half feet long
And less than an inch around.  It hummed
When touched and emitted a glow
That felt as if it was emotion
Touching her children.
It was hollow through and through.
When one looked in one end
One could see the stars and
The mysteries of the night.

When one looked through the other end
One could see the pleasant lands,
Now the ocean, cattle grazing,
A kind of peace there,
The most grandiose of gestures
To carry us beyond what we have forgotten.

We were able to speak in tongues
And sing with a certain madness
That is enraptured by our resemblance
To that world of emotions.  We became
The listeners for an apotheosis
That is complete understanding.

Our private genius escaped us and
We heard the 'clack clack' of railroad
Cars move through the night.
We begin the dance, counting as children
Might count 'One, two, One, two.'
The tube twirling high above our heads.

Completely exhausted we
Wait for warmth, the kiss of a love,
The gift of happiness
With everything upon the earth.
We begin to weep.

The weeping begins to sound
Like the oceans at their shorelines.
Then this sound becomes that selfsame event
And we stand together, staring at the seas.


—D.R. Wagner

Standing with the torch blazing
Once again at the end of the cave,
Staring at the wall.  Every time 
The image reveals itself to be different.

My breath has become a liturgy
Composed for some half-forgotten
Saint. The choruses swelling,
Wriggling through the choir
As if wearing a garment made of
Seeking.  We keep falling asleep
Trying to understand the maniac creators
Who keep changing the horizon.

I have a million birds here
Waiting under my coat and I will
Release them all, weeping into
The face of rain or so I say,
When the rain kisses my face,
Opens my mouth and stuffs its thick
Fingers down my throat.  I notice
Owls leaving the cave through the end wall.

I’ll never understand it.  I will
Return here time and time again.
I will see you here.  We will
Talk about the things that change.

The words of the liturgy will
Manifest in other forms.
The cave will always demand
Everything of us, everything.


—D.R. Wagner

Sail in a dream will not be forgiven.
Sail in the sea will be forever driven.

And hard to starboard,
Hard to port, the imagined
Weather sorts itself out
With or without us at the helm
To bite full into the sea
Or feel it welt beneath our touch
And develop apart from the white and red,
Of Spring’s renewal or Winter’s dread
Wrapped in cloth as kindling,
Left outside for dead.

I will not try to explain a sail catching wind,
An abstraction much like blood in a thought
Or a thought loosened totally
To have these wings.
I will remain trapped in an idea
Of rhyme that has no intention
Of letting the poem continue
Wearing the silly cloth it insists upon.

Rather it become laborious as
Speech does when we doubt the word
Can carry us beyond ourselves
Dressed as in crystal and perfection
And eventually becoming a habit of thinking.

No, it is only an apotheosis
Where language buys a few friends
At midnight and hides itself
In an imagined infection that
Never allows the hand to drift
Back to the breast, “mea culpa, mea
Culpa, mea maxima culpa.”  A cloudless
Morning would mean more than
Anything we could implore to be a muse.

Curtains fall across a metaphysical heart.


Today's LittleNip: 

A poem need not have a meaning and like most things in nature often does not have. 

—Wallace Stevens 


—Medusa (with thanks to D.R. Wagner for today's photos, poetry, and LittleNip)

Tiger at Les's
—Photo by D.R. Wagner