Saturday, November 30, 2013

Believe the Wind

—Poems and Photos by D.R. Wagner, Locke


I have told the children that it was still raining.
I asked them to come to the window and see how this is.

Look at these cards I have been given.  They are neither
Playing cards or Tarot.  They may be a marked deck.
This one has an image of a coyote on it.

While we were speaking, a bird with a wren-like sound
Landed on my head and tapped my head lightly.
It came as a surprise.  I suspected this for the bird as well.

It wasn’t like it never happened that I saw you
Out on the trail, just at the ridge top.  You had binoculars.
You were looking toward the fire.  It was still a mile or so away.

I knew I could never reach you.  I asked the angels for help.
They told me to keep walking.  I wavered in my belief.

Later, I set up a crêche decorated with bright candles.
Something was moving in the corner of my eye.

I could no longer understand why I had to be on this
Road all alone.  It was the wrong season.  The weather made
Travel nearly impassable.  The rain streaked the windows.
I continued to stand with the children and watch it.



Your ship came by.
I could see it at the edge
Of the harbor.  I thought
I could forget that it was yours.

I sat upon the hill and watched
The colored sails unfurl and lose
This port.  I thought
I could forget that it was yours.

The masts flashed strobe light
White into the cool of evening.
I thought
I could forget that it was yours.

Sunset orange-red glowed
Through the gun ports on
The gun deck.  I thought
I could forget that it was yours.

The bowsprit was a dragon.
The dolphin striker electric
Blue.  I thought
I could forget that it was yours.

I came apart at twilight.
I rose like vapor in the air.
I can still see the depths
In your eyes, their trails
Across the seas.  The albatross,
The glaucous gull, the pelican.
I thought I could forget all these
But never was this true,
Not for a moment was it true.
I am your wake, I am your star.
I never could forget that you
Were the ship, the frigate,
The barque, the clipper,
The ward of the sea so blue.


At the end of the gardens, a pomegranate tree
Still holds tightly to its fruit.  Red balls hanging
Above the fence, the garden guarding just-planted
Cold weather crops.  A lemon tree stands close by.

At the other end of the fence, a fig tree, finished
With its fruit for the season, begins to work on
Its Winter dress, a display of branches anxious
To please any passing wind with its leaves.

A woman with a bucket searches for the last
Figs around the tree.  The wind flutters her scarf,
Unleashes a few more leaves.

The sky is a brilliant blue.  It too has cleaned up
For the new cotton of cumulus clouds.  The
Sun, a late Autumn clear light.  Our own star.
I watch from my window, read a poem about sheep.



Pours in through the window this afternoon
To where I am working; painting watercolors
Of wild-grape vines, criss-crossing that same light,
Trying to catch it before it slips across the rock tailings.
I look back towards the light.  There are people moving
In it but they are vague shadows.  I think “Perhaps
They are making maps for someone to guide them
To this place.”  But by the time they arrive
All of this will be gone.

The buzzards will circle in, carrying away the last
Chunks of anything resembling an evening.
I’ll keep painting as long as I am able.
The wind has given me the idea that this is possible.
I always believe the wind.



He was unable to pull his arm
Out of the wall of his dream.
The tigers sat near the end
Of his bed.  Their eyes fixed
On his struggle.
“Like a goat,” he thought.
“They will come for me soon.”

It’s when things get this transparent
That so much else manifests itself.
The tigers were paintings created
By an old Chinese monk who
Lived in the fifth century.
He laughed seeing his tigers
Could still frighten after all this time.

His arm in the wall held a vajra.
The perfect weapon.  It would
Always do the job and always return
To the hand.

The weary traveler begins to see
The lights of the village
Flicker in the distance,
But it is long until morning.
Treading through dream after dream
Once can occasionally observe him
Moving through our own dreams,
Lifting his lantern to gaze at us
And offering a moment of clarity.



We cannot move any closer
To the edge of this pool.
We have seen what kinds
Of things are possible.  They lurk
Around the edges of understanding,
Almost blind, but without a plan.

The reality of the situation
Becomes too clear.

“He felt a dull pain in his chest,
not exactly pain, but more
like a difference in air pressure
at the point where the material
and the immaterial meet.”
            —Haruki Murahami

I dive into the pool.
My heartbeats consume my hearing.
I go deeper and deeper.
I should come out the other side.

“Well, what will you sell me?”’
“I have nothing to sell.”
Yellow caught in the twist of the air
Above me.

You think you are different
Than all men.  Look at
Your hands.  That red stuff
Is blood.  Scabs of war
Form on them.

This place was once so beautiful.
Now a sickness infects men.
They stand around and shoot
One another as easily as asking
What they think of the weather.

Let’s look for the king.
We slip closer and closer.
Soon we are going to sleep
And our bodies will call
To the angels.  We will be
Their bells.

A pretty village.
Let us not go mad again.


Today's LittleNip:


Does the kestrel always turn like that
When it passes over the pond?

The clouds are water looking at water
Below them.  Is there always wishing for
A constant transformation of form?

We stand between the sky and pond.
The water is both the commonality
And the mirror.  I look up.  I look down.
I have strange power of speech.
It is totally without words. Hear it.