Saturday, May 21, 2016

Escaping the Asylum

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


The boat has shipped
Too much water.

Yes, it looks like love
But there is so little left
That I may not describe
What figure stands before me.

I will hold you in my arms,
All of you.
Even as we stand upon the cliff edge
High above the village.

We watch the light upon the water;
An infinite variety
Borne like a dream
Carried in a pouch so no one
May see it until the last moment
And because of this remains a miracle.
I stand before you.



A million wings.
The dreams of the stars
Treading like a Christ across
The water,

Mountain of skulls
Crawling on hands and knees.
Look what we own.

A dance of graces?
The song of zephyrs.

I was once Donatello’s David
But I have pulled my arm
To raise this Christ from a tomb.

“We cannot start the darkness.”
I am flanked by one hundred saints.

Dante kisses my mouth and I kiss his.
I am the stories in the Books of Hours,
The hand that stays the angels.

Death brings its carnival
With beautiful flowers and tapestries.

I will read to you from an illuminated scroll.


Nothing has happened here for centuries.
You took me home to your tired room
With adobe walls and painted
Canvas carpet on a dirt floor,
Pulled me to your bed.

I held your arms just above
Your armpits.  Lifted them above
Your head and made love to your
Breasts for a long time.

“You are from the north,”
You said in the morning.
“I have never heard of any of these
Places you speak of except for
Niagara Falls.”

“I was born there,”  I tell you.
“I can tell,” you said.  “This morning
I could hear the springs gurgling.”



I told you that I loved you.
A thousand bees stung me
At the same time.
It was like inhaling.

Holding you in my arms.
Silence, except for the
Buzzing of wings
That never stopped,
While I traveled that dream
Upon your skin

Believing I had crossed
Great distances
To unknown islands.


Upon the stage
I lift my hand
To my ear
And hear Blake
Sigh as the chariot
Does indeed draw near.

It is a language, no?
I declare myself the wisdom
Of elegance, the Peace
Upon us all, the sun
Upon the city and the vineyards
And your body and your lips
And that song you recall
Late at night, just before
One falls asleep with perfect
Clarity, upon the sheets
Woven so finely as to challenge
The grace of the angels.


Your tiny heart
Just above the curl
The moon attempts.

I wait for you to speak.
In true love this never
Happens.  We reply to
One anther across all
Imagined distances.

I can’t even leave the
Room and there is no


A silver peach
Like the soul outside
The body, waiting on the edge
Of a river full of brown waves
Dancing.  The sun just coming up.

Having escaped the asylum
We settle close around the fire,
Anxious with ten-thousand stories
Burning more brightly than
Any night full of magic.

Today’s LittleNip(s) from Dante Alighieri, 1265-1321:

In the middle of the journey of our life, I came to myself within a dark wood where the straight way was lost.


I wept not, so to stone within I grew.


The sad souls of those who lived without blame and without praise.


And we came forth to contemplate the stars.


—Medusa, with thanks to D.R. Wagner for today’s enchanting poems and photos!

(For more information about Dante and his Divine Comedy, see


 Celebrate poetry today by heading up to Placerville 
at 2pm for the monthly poetry read-around, Poetic License, 
then back to Sac. by 4:30pm to hear Dr. Andy Jones at 
Sacramento Voices. Scroll down to the blue box (under the 
green box at the right) for info about this and other 
 upcoming readings in our area.

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.