Saturday, April 30, 2016

New Magic

After the Storm
—Poems and Photos by D.R. Wagner, Locke, CA


The place was described to us
By the blind.  A thoroughfare

Of winds named by the Ancient Greeks.

We were given wings to aid our understanding.

Rooms filled with guitar music.

Signals from our nerve endings.

We were gathered for a Pentecost.

A bridge to Pentecost.

A kind of still sound found

Its way away from us and back

To the edge of the river at the base

Of the holy mountain.  The water

Was white and a marvelous green.

Its voice was huge and there was

No bridge.  We began the dreaming

As there was no other way to return home.

The shapes of the clouds changed

And eventually devoured us.

We could see the fields from

The tops of the clouds.  The yaks

Remained quiet the entire time.

We knew the songs of reassurance.

No one would notice us here.

This place was quite easily found

But to be still for such a long

Time was beyond even the waiting

Of the snow leopard.

Two days later I walked the streets

Of Kathmandu.  Our herd was well

And we had over twelve new calves.

Our clothing had turned a steel gray.

We had enough firewood to stay

For a week near the highland herds.

Just to keep the night open,

Two or three of us played guitars.

We were filled with the gift

Of many tongues.  So I speak 

To you now and you will understand. 

 Mamalaria Flower


Breaking through the magic until

There was only you, alone, in

Your own room again.

Butterflies from the carts in

Your closet where you kept the dreams.

I see them there, their moon 

Shadows, the listeners in the perfect

Stillness of the late Spring night.

We were not supposed to come here.

While I was holding you, kissing your

Lips, your breasts, the pearly rooms

Of your thighs, I came to know this

Meaning; could see it attached

To language all the way back to Sappho.

The breeze mumbling incredibly ancient

Stories quickly, as if we were late

Arriving.  The wine had been poured.

The music already making its own

New magic.

 Locke China Imports


The boards creak, but they know my names.

I can sit up in the line of light

That lies between the hall and the bedroom.

There is a charm about being lost here,

Like a saxophone being played in a darkened room.

Handling pearls as if they were smiles,

I can see veils lift and resettle

As the heater moves back and forth in the room.

The boards know the heater as if it were

A fox and they behold it as I do;

A wild heart unfolding beneath me,

Begging me to walk down stairs I can

Barely see.  I unfold as if I were

Pure breath, wind upon rocks,

The sound of the sea coming in
Through the window at two A.M.

I am unable to tell this story.

You probably know it anyway.

Remember that Summer night when you looked

Out of the window and it wasn’t your back

Yard any longer?  You had never been there

Before.  You were sure the creaking of the floor

Boards had woken you up,

That they had something important to say.

 Winter Vines


Torn by understanding not quite

Enough.  Pound’s Cantos could

Be molded into particular bullets

Not used to kill but to trick

A meaning out of a dark thicket,

A hell, the lope of a battle

Horse long without a rider,

Finding its way back into a twilight

Hardly anyone believed in anymore.

I’ve heard jazz tell fairy tales

And enjoyed that there were no words

To explain the wee folk

Seen from time to time again on

Obscure hills deep in the memory

Of the long dead.

“My grandfather saw them dancing.”

“That was probably Duke Ellington, my dear.

He loves you madly.”

A blank state over a cup of tea.

The landscape squealing an ensemble so fine

One hopes it might never end.

 Locke View


All of the objects in the mirrors

Have grown old.  Bouquets of bones

Are heaped upon the tables,

Gathered from what used to be

Distant universes.  All are

Without names.  They do not 

Wish to be remembered

As having a destiny.

They will not meet your eyes.

They will never know a genius,

A mouth upon salty skin,

A lifting of hips toward a lover.

They echo, longing for a kind of hunger

No longer useful for anything but

A soft and translated poetry.  Fingernails

Traced across a nipple or

The swelling of a sex rising

With the breath.

Mirrors do not breathe.

I run my tongue across the glass.

I will myself to forget your name too.

 The Apartment


There will be nothing but words

And I will be dreaming once again

And you will be my love and

Nothing will come true but

Magic and music and poetry.

I shouldn’t have to tell you how I got

Around in the late evening and waited

For the rooms to arrive.

It is so beautiful here, the fire,

The music filling the corners of this room.

The tiny heater moving the air against

The silk scarf tied to the floor lamp.

The entire house collecting stillness

Around itself being as important

As it might be, lacking any substance


So, tonight I will miss the warmth

Of your body against mine.  I will

Visualize the far hills, knowing you are

Riding them.  I will imagine a deeper quiet

Just so it is.


Today’s LittleNip:

—D.R. Wagner

All objects are nothing 

But what we attach to them.

The poet boat has slipped its mooring.

The dream so close to touching morning

It has skin that moves

Over the body like a lover.

A brilliant green line that

Has to become the horizon

No matter what else happens.

The late evening light so like your voice

At the time of the sky departing.


—Medusa, thanking D.R. Wagner for today’s fine poems and pix, and grateful that he is feeling better these days than in the recent past.

 Today is the final day of Poetry Month, 2016. 
Celebrate by going to Senior Readers Speak 
at 2pm, featuring Dr. Chaka Muhammed at 
the GOS” Art Gallery Studio, 1825 Del Paso Blvd. (Ste. 2), 
Sacramento. Then come home and read some of Pound’s Cantos at

Photos in this column can be enlarged by clicking on them once;
then click on the X in the top right corner to come back
to Medusa.