Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Root Cause

My Front Door
—Poems and Photos by D.R. Wagner, Locke


Soon the music will begin.
Long cases hold instruments.
There is so much activity
Around the stage.

They begin to hang the lights.
Small golden insects begin
To blink silver lights, finding places
In the air.

From above the cliffs someone
Has gathered dark clouds,
Distributing them just over our heads.

We have seen lavender-colored snakes
Moving through the foxglove and the
Daylilies.  We can hear the sound
Of breaking glass.

“Remember why we are here,” says Ramon.

We couldn’t see very far into the caves,
But they appear very beautiful,
Full of promises one can hear
Only with the heart.

We are on the path where the spirits
Come.  The music is about to begin.



Caught in a small rain
Long "before music
Had grown too proud
To be the garment
Of words”, I can hear
The night sounds
Fill my ears as I step
Outside into the rustling
Wind.  The blinking owl
On his high branch
Stares down at my
Mortal form below
And flaps aloft.

I thought he was a bird
Who told me everything.
I thought he was the herald
Of daybreak, but night
Is all around me, silver
With the late Autumn moon
Taking possession of the oak
Grove at the end of the garden.

The rain stops before the ground
Is even damp.  I go back inside.
The whole house is motionless.
I feel myself tenuous in my
Breathing, afraid to do it too
Deeply.  Trying to hold
This shadow as if it had
Any real substance.



We wait for the Winter.
It is still nearly over
Two months away,
Standing at its window
Watching the Autumn,
Full now of stillness
And the changing color
Of its clothing.

I try to recall as many
Autumns as I am able,
Feeling somehow I can
Keep these perfect days
Against my skin a bit longer,
Hear the scraping of the leaves
Across the gravel more clearly.

I know this is not possible.
I understand too clearly
What this season means,
What the root cause of change
Is to all living things.

A clear call of longing
In the air.  At first I thought
It was a cry for help, but no.
This drowning in the field
Time will have us wander
Through is too understandable.
I watch the cranes pass high
Overhead making their long calls. 

—Photo by Katy Brown, Davis


I will not talk to you just because
You are talking to me. 
I’ve heard a lot of what
You have said regarding
Crows in general.

None of you people
Have any idea of what
We do everyday.

We often do the final
Job, when the buzzards
Aren’t interested or the
Work is too much
Of a bother for them.

We find you interesting
At best and a real pain
Most of the time.

We do belong to the night.
You’ve noticed our beautiful
Color.  All us black birds
Belong to the night.

We are here to remind you.
When you remember things
You may now know
It is because of us.

Look up to the morning sky.
Look up to the evening sky.
We pass in great numbers.
Beware of what you dream,
Should we visit you there.



We held the horns of the steer
As it moved from the forest.
We had made hats of fur and sinew
And rode our horses
Well and with cloth,
Bearing drums in our boots,
Under our saddles and upon our tongues.

We are of the plains
And of the forest.  We are salt.
We wear jewels upon our faces.
We hold the daggers.

Snakes and lions.
Our helmets bore plumes.

Our friends offer plans for us
To travel through the bloodstream.



Near the end of the story
We could see that there was fire
On the mountains.  The air itself
Was a gray-blue shroud tossed
Over our heads, a demon,
A full-rigged ship of clouds and smoke.

We struggled to complete the story
Before it was too late.  I was not brave.
I can see my shadow on the ground.
It too looks like smoke.  I thought of killing
Myself but I could not leave my shadow
Here alone.  The waters began to overtake
Me.  I would not wait for the end of the story.

The whole story is dripping with blood,
A mythology canonized by yesterdays,
Hints of nothingness, whispered over
And over again without end.  Only
The fire persists as the ashes fall
From the sky, as the ocean too
Becomes a gray mask, its own oblivion.

 Shrimp Cloud


What does one mix with tears
If not a curtain made of yesterdays.
Smiles in a closed box
No one is able to open again.
Piles of twigs heaped together,
Each pile with a dream
At its center.

One of birds.
One of the voices of fire.
One of the names of the stars.
One of broken promises.
One of decks of playing cards,
Each one lacking all aces.

I will take them all.
I will put them with my tears.
Later we will weave blankets of them.

They will keep us warm.
They will help us recall
The lovely horses,
The miles that we rode
Just to be here and see these things.

I’m skipping to the ending.
We wash our bodies,
Close our eyes,
Sleep in each other's arms.

Today's LittleNip:

Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light.

—Theodore Roethke



 Zombie, Zombie