Saturday, March 12, 2016

Angels of the Sun

Stuart Walthall & D.R. Wagner Playing 
at Moon Café Gallery, Locke (joe chan photos)
—Poems and Other Photos by D.R. Wagner, Locke, CA


At seventy, recognizing a particular star

As known since adolescence.  Seen at

The edge of the horizon.  Perhaps

It beckoned or perhaps it was just

A flash of green light right at sunset

Over a flat plane, over water, over

A sudden calm that came to the sands

As we reached them for the evening,

Dropped a sea anchor and sat upon

The deck of the ship as onions

Were being sautéed, and as far as we knew

We were close to nothing

That we had ever seen before.

Osiris sitting at the desk writing;

He will not notice that we have 

Entered the room.

We are here for instruction from the angels

Of the sun.  They tell us what we already

Know of childhood and leave behind

The litter of fairy tales and the

Brilliance of these dreams

To us, as solid a fluid as mercury.

 Mike's Front Door, Locke


The moon is working with some other

Material.  It is making shrines,

The kind children would notice.

I cannot have a presence

To speak this way, but I will speak

My way into existence.  You may

Hold me as your own child

Or build a room in which I may

Suddenly appear as part of your past.

Someone you know from another

Poem who hadn't yet developed

A body, a voice that could call

Out to you out of near darkness.

Ah, but you do know my voice?

And you know I am not a pretender,

But a wandering of your mind

As you enjoy the coming of the twilight.

Give me a moment.  I will erase

That emotion, that thought, so that
I may hold you close to me, tell

You stories you may only hear

On the darkest of nights.

 Garden, Locke


She can catch a soul

As the sea foam curls

Into the wave and licks

The soft curve of the water,

Surrounds anything that might

Be language—a reflection

On the wave tops from a single lamp,

Kept lit to show the ship’s wheel

Where to grip the dream.



That this could in any way matter.

Counting waves that continue to write

Over one another, palimpsest, 

With my breathing on each one.

And, of course, you.  You touching

My skin.  Knowing your fingers

Will find thread in my memory,

Then wave and write, a leg

Or a caress or changing a shirt,

Pulling down a shade, looking out

A late-night window at the few 

Lights left on this late in such

A tiny town.  A chair scrapes

The floor, moving away from the table.

Wave, looking through the wave.

I no longer can read your name.

Your are the beloved and your eyes

Color the wave upon wave, your walking

The sands once again.  I touch

Your back and it is sand.

The wave comes over my hand

And I can see through it but cannot read it.

 Intersection, Locke


Here, where I am gray into white

Eros spreads my fingers and wraps

Them around the root as a flaming

Joke, lights a candle

To see if one can still see

That light from the back row

Of the garden and perhaps

Find it interesting enough

To find a way through the

Darkness, through the gates, to the

Door, up the stairs

To where there is a bright

Old man lying naked in

A lovely bed, singing to

Himself transfixed by

The song, the lovely beauty

Of the visitor and the howling

Of the wind through the open doorway

 My Front Yard, Locke


And they went, “Wrong, wrong, wrong.

You know that’s not your song.

We haven’t given voice

That you should sing it.

Your words are strong, strong, strong.

Not just some tiny gong

And we gave you words

Enough to sing it.

Open the door, door, door.

That’s exactly what it’s for.

Start the dance,

And mind your step

And bring it.”

We’ve all been here a thousand times before;

I may not know your name or call your harbor,

But we’re still upon the ship

And we know can sail it.

So off we go to find 

The morning’s brightness.

 Owl, Locke


Do you know who your are?


Yes, you do.  What is this?

I ask lifting his right arm

As he lies in his bed.

It is Borges.

Tell me what you would have,


Water.  Water and a rose.

And nothing else?

He closes his eyes.

No, nothing.

Is there no longer Borges?

The room is empty.  Anyone

May look out this window now.

I will use this, Borges, I whisper.

He exhales quietly, then not at all.

Wash his body, please.

It is vacant now.

 Alley, Locke


It is between Pacific storms.

The sun never uncovered its blade

All day.  It was a lone guitar

In A minor.  Everything had been

Touched by time or was made of metal.

I am without a name.

Not enough wind to slope

The evening into anything but

Its quiet infinite labyrinth.

I was standing beneath a sky

Populated by memories I could

See but did not recognize.

They were not my memories.

The sky was a backwater of wrack

And echoes with a cadence 

Coupled to a particular tide.

The clouds were libraries without

Catalogs.  This the way of a day

Single before the looming shadow

Of what will be a great storm.

I will sit in my small apartment and dream.


Today’s LittleNip:


“I had no sure talent about

What poetry was.”

It was the words that were 

Luminous in the dark.

But I knew I was not alone

In dreaming.


—Medusa, with many thanks to D.R. Wagner for his fine poems and pix today!

 D.R. Self-Portrait, 3/10/16