Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Whispering of Songs

The Chicken Coop—A Caravan
—Poems and Photos by D.R. Wagner, Locke, CA


It smelled like the waiting room
In a train station
Where the train would be two hours late.

Nobody wanted to talk
To anybody.  Two hours late
Was a long time.

After awhile the flies
Began to look like stars.
The children began to fall asleep.

It wasn’t even a train station any longer.
I was standing outside a castle
Arguing about how long a horse ride
Actually took.
“Fuck you,” the guy I was talking to said.
“You don’t even live around here.
Why did you come here anyway?”

 Evening Light


Tonight there were mountains
To the South of Locke.
I could do nothing but watch
Them rise higher and higher
In the night air, massive
As a plan to overrun a country.

And gathered so gently
They lifted past the thunder
Like snow on the quietest of mornings.

I lay on my bed looking out the window.
What would I see at the darkened
Limits of my life?

I will forget the order of things.
Breathing will become inaccessible
And gallop with a strangeness
That is beyond accident.

I must be more modest at my dreams.
It is foolish to tell one of such mountains.

Even as I watch as the streams
Pouring from the precipices
Run with a dark water, darker
Than blood, even while the strangeness
Of this vision returns, night after night
And tears cloud my eyes,
As every stream is golden.
As I rush to the window,
It becomes a patient mirror
Blazing past all the heavens
Fitting each piece together
As if it were to be a great ship.

 Gourds on Fence


On the stony road
the whispering of songs
beneath the breath.

In the cool air of the coach
the weapons ride, jostling
each other, chewing huge
quids of tobacco.  No
one can see inside to them
so there is no touching.

They squint their eyes
like old-time bandidos
and let their hand
sweat upon the blue metal.

Soon the trains will stop
in European cities and
the fire priests, the soldiers,
will leave, puzzled by
the rain on their sombreros
the chill that makes
their skin steam and
the absence of horses
with their dusty hooves.

(first pub. in Kaleidoscope Newspaper, 1969)



across the room
a dog is sitting
on top of the couch
holding a man
in his mouth.

The dog thinks
it is a bird
for the man wears
feathers around
his waist.

The dog is very proud
of himself.  His eyes
are proud, ears straight,
walking on through an
endless flower field
holding a man, a
limp doll of a man
so as not to damage it.

(first pub. in Kaleidoscope Newspaper, 1969)



In Mark's room there is
                 this little box
                 with a man in it
                 and the man is
                 screaming and
sometimes you can see his mouth or his eye
through the little hole   
                        nothing else
                  just his mouth
                  or his eye
Mark says:
        ‘There is nobody
                In that little box
         and it must be your

And all the while he’s talking, this little
man is pressing his eye up to that hole
and I listen to him
              and sometimes I can hear him

Mark says:
          THAT LITTLE BOX.
          THAT LITTLE BOX.’

but there is.

(first pub. in Kaleidoscope Newspaper, 1969)

  Russell Ooms in the Garden


A tent once lived in my house.
It found some space in the back
Bedroom and refused to leave.

You have good food here
And it doesn’t rain, it said.

This is no place for a tent.

Maybe not, the tent replied
But at least here I can wear
A fedora and no one will
Laugh at me because of my poles.



The tallest structure
In the Sacramento valley,
The Walnut Grove transmission tower
Hasn’t had a single light
On at night for over
A week now.

I think someone is trying
To hide it.


Today's LittleNip:


I can’t spell
Said the which.


—Medusa, with thanks to D.R. Wagner for this morning's poems and pix to kickstart our weekend!   

The Sentinel