Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Loom Time Makes

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


The circus intermittently illuminated

As if by the light that visits us

When the danger has passed but is still

Close enough to our blood that it

Chills and releases us, chills and releases.

The wagons clank by.  We want water,

Its sound, its taste, the feel of it

Upon our faces as it pours from

The sky, tears of the sightless who

Sit in the presence of the most high.

Some of the others had gathered by the waterfall.

As the sun was going down, they lit
Lanterns and began to move in the ways

The old dances described, lift to the sky, 

Step.  Bow to the earth.  Step.  Make the sound

That conversation has when most

Important things are being acclaimed.

There will be a way that is safe.  We

Continue our circus well into the night,

Until the children fall asleep one by one,

Until the rain slows,
Until it becomes too dark to see.



So I’m walking through the place

And I keep finding all these pieces

Of things that don’t seem to make

Much sense, a picnic in late July

At the lake, you were maybe six

Years old and were in love with red 

Shoes and a dress covered with sunflowers,

An old blanket, blue, that looked

Handmade and loved, a song that I 

Recall from just before going to sleep,

A quiet part of a walk along the edge

Of the park where we could usually see

Fireflies on those precious summer evenings,

A short ride up to the store for milk

And ice cream, the evening had already

Gathered its finest things and was

Preparing to leave so that night could

Set up the tents and shows, a glass

Of water brought to a bedside in the

Middle of that night because someone

Was coughing or had cried out for it.

This was most unusual.  I didn’t leave

Things like this lying around the house.

There were lots more.  I finally decided

They were landing lights. 

Everything was coming home. 


The sand has the name of the journey

For it has known the seas, can speak

Their names and tell the storms

The secret places where the wind hides

Its stormy jewels and sings its terrible

Songs.  Oh the night.  Oh the night.

And we hold the sand within our hands

And we let it go between our fingers

Making patterns with its soft body,

Its gleaming eyes, the mantle of

The waves.  Oh hear, we die in seas

So cold the ice itself grows teeth

And spells our ship till it

Commands and we, even climbing

High into the masts, can see no

Land and fall, oh yes we fall

For twenty leagues and call

One to another across the loom

Time makes with water and here

You came, and they, dear friend,

My dear, dear friend are made of sand

Are made of sand.



I can always hold you in the thrall

Where your own dreams are the commander,

Where the drums lighting the frames of waking

Trip across your legs and your eyes and pull

You down closer to the earth, to smell the actual 

Dirt of the Renaissance of understanding

That comes with our waking in the morning:

“Look, look the beautiful red breast is making

The thrush song just above our bed where we

Are loving such as never has been seen before."

This will drain our blood, make us remark to

Our loved ones that words such as these are

Dark and without attempt to make them beat

Upon the doors of our daily lives and resonate

With the perfect clarity they might bring to any

Literary situation.  "Psst...take this gun, may it

Serve you well.”  But we do not adopt this kind

Of reason, instead we use our lips and loins to

Describe to one another the thrill as it moves

Into these very dreams.  It is here

I will disarm you finally, look across the gadget

That is time, past this pathetic renaissance

I will speak to you purely here.  Come here!

Here, hold me as I tell you to, believe

That we can actually communicate this way.

I will touch you where you most desire to be

Touched and you will do the same.  We will work 

Our mouths to elicit this intensity of contact.

We will grind together like the graphite against

Paper that made the drawings of Piranesi

Those very things within which we wished to be lost.  


When will it stop?  The sun shakes

Itself through the water and makes

The river leap to see us once again.

We have been gone a long time.

Both the river and ourselves have known

No rest.  We looked everywhere,

Explored every place there was to look.

Now this was our joy in being with the river
Where it ran flat, these lands are blessed

With light and we consume it as if it were

The finest food, the perfect line, the

Breath of harmony held together

By rings of stars, and we may walk 

Along the river banks and it will be

Our lover and it will hold the power

To destroy and it will find our balance,

Filling us with the virtue that the weeds,

The flowers of the field possess.  We

Gather them to ourselves, take

Them home to show these gifts,

Keep them in vases filled with river water

For as long as life lasts in the petals.

May we never stray too far from these

Banks again.


Many thanks to D.R. Wagner, who managed to send us his post despite his recent health issues (see his Facebook page for info).

Road trip! Feel like going down to Cal-Ber-zerkly to hear Billie Collins? Sun. (4/24), 7pm: Cal Performances presents former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins and Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Aimee Mann, together for a rare evening of poetry, acoustic music, and conversation about the creative process. 101 Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley, Berkeley. Tx start at $18: or 510-642-9988. 


Today’s LittleNip:

—D.R. Wagner

Getting out of the way so I could see

The children once again when they

Were babies.  Able to pick them up

Hold them, say things to them in

Secret language and fly them

Around the room as if they were dreams.

Hello kids.  Here we are again.

Shall we go for a walk and see

If we find any tigers or elephants

Tonight?  Don’t let the watermelons bite.



 April is National Poetry Month!
Celebrate today at Sat. (4/16), 4:30pm, as 
Sacramento Voices presents Taylor Graham 
and her new book, Uplift, from Cold River Press. 
Sac. Poetry Center, 25th & R Sts., Sac. 
Host: Phillip Larrea. 
Then hang around for the release of
Electroblacknetic: CODE BLUE
featuring Brother Hypnotic, 
Nancy Aidé González, theSource, Joy Elan, 
Captain Gimpy and the Chicanas
Sac. Poetry Center, 25th & R Sts., Sac. 
Host: Rhony Bhopla. Info:
(Anonymous Photo)