Saturday, November 08, 2014

An Unfamiliar Wind

Mark and Eva's
—Poems and Photos by D.R. Wagner, Locke, CA


I don’t suppose
Everything will be different
Because November is unwinding
Its weather, arguing against
Winter, but holding it in its arms
At night.  The yellow of the Aspen,
The red of the Maple, the browns
Gifted to so many trees show
Evidence of her liaisons.

It is colder than we imagine
It could be; breaking the ice
On the water pail, the barn
Steaming from its roof,
The lovely blessing of sunlight
Through the door, tall and responsible.

 Between Buildings


The flatness of the river with its perfect
Reflections.  It could be anything there
Just off the levee to the right.

The double yellow line firing light
Back into my eyes, unwinding
With great purpose before me.

There are black palm trees
Above the river oaks in
Their dark coats.  Spaces

Open up between them occasionally
And far away, lights appear on the horizon.
There is indeed someone living out there.

When houses do evidence themselves
It is only a cluster of yellow lights
Or a barn, bright fluorescent shrieking.

Hood, Courtland and then Locke
Coming up behind 35 miles-per-hour
Black-and-white signs.  I slow below that.

Across the river, phantom lights sit
In the air near the marinas.
The river remains black. 

The crunch of gravel as soon
As I cross Main Street down
From the levee.  Slow.  Slower.

The huge towers reaching up
So high, their red lights like rockets
Touching the top of the night.

And the moon.  Yes.  The moon.
It belongs here, has a hiding place.
Rises high above the garden, the towers. 



Passing the threshold of trance
Like flies in the Winter.
There comes a deer
With bells 'round its neck
That could speak words
As well as both you and I can.

And night still leans in
And the towers rise straight up
With their red lights blinking
On and off and their roots
Deep in the Delta, so deep
Only the sloughs know their roots
And then thread those roots
Back to the river and up
Once again to the mountains
Where first was made such perfect song
That dreams are still caught
On the hours, made to carry

The memory of magic and visions
Of lovers that hand them back down
To those waters we live by.

They push on the night, not far
From the morning but far enough
To wake me from my sleep
And warm as a fire on cold
Rainy nights, leap to my hand
And my voice and my mind.

Then all of the old, old things
From imagination to story
And from story to singing, to water
Again and bows to you each evening
In words full of mystery and words
Full of history and words full of beauty
To gather around you and sing you again.



What is bright
What is charming
What is made of time
What gets lost
What remains
What reflects the music

What to sing
What the river
What the fire that darkness loves
What behind the door
What is treasured
What is heaven
What are fish that swim

What are questions
Why are these
As important as before
What the mirror
What the dawning

What the open drawer

 Burglar Alarm


They put him in a room
To keep him from imagining.
Yet there was that Wintry glow.

The son of a bitch could fill
Anything up with that
Silver smoke of his.

That and his endless halls of look,
His goddamned mirrored labyrinths
And his gun.

He would answer the question,
Climb into his car, drive away.

I caught him in the middle
At the moment of his death
Still fucking life so hard
He made it squirm.

 Kid on Beach


Oh the broken stories
And the sound of the chimes,
The pain in awakening.
The darkness of the dream.

A dance on the whirl
Of clocks and time
With its imprecision
And its roomfuls of staring
And its keen wings
And stupid tales.

As if I would believe
Anything but your lips.
The birds of your speech.
The catastrophe of your
Private Earth and its dancing
Through the Winter
Through the Summer,
Fall and through the Spring.

I don’t believe in flowers, darling.
You are my throat
Exquisite with your secrets,
The brilliance of your lies
That lay upon your tongue.

And my believing in twilight.
Your breath upon my chest.
Your fingers on my body.



My hands are slit open.
A fragrance rises from them
That recalls
The Hall of One Hundred
Columns of Persepolis,
Countless ceremonies
Near the river Pulvar,
The One-Hundred-Eleven Steps
Which allowed me to retain
A dignity while ascending.

That recalls
The cold ocean spray
Of the Orkney Islands, of the Bay o’Skaill
In the West Mainland parish of Sandwick
And of Skara Brae being hidden
Beneath the sands
For four thousand years,
Its altars still in place
When sunlight finally
Unwrapped the rooms below.

No, I am not your lovely love.
I am the half-forgotten remains
That can barely describe the dreaming
Rising from deserts and sand dunes
To stand here in these forlorn, half-forgotten
Raiments, trembling in an unfamiliar wind.


Today's LittleNip:


I am no captain,
For I am the sea.
I know nothing that cannot be true.
You cannot deny my love,
My love.
You cannot deny that I’m you.