Saturday, June 10, 2017

Dressed in Birdsong

Telling Tales
—Poems by D.R. Wagner, Locke, CA
—Visuals Provided by D.R. Wagner


There really isn’t any turning back.
I keep looking down the hallway
Out to the park across
The way.  Broken pavement on the streets
Below the window.  The cars keep complaining
About the way they fall into time and are suddenly
Gone.  Every year a new model.

We don’t notice much of this anymore.
Our friends fall and disappear,
We suddenly are unable to find
The way things move to fit together
As they used to do.

The cars complaining with loud
Horns and a squeal of brakes,
Tires becoming tongues.  We
Must find other ways of understanding
Them.  Erotica made of wood.

Christ on the cross. A ringing in the
Ears that never seems to stop.

 Scotty Dog and Fairies


In a rage to know all things,
Or as many things as it is possible
To know when one is eleven years old.

The divine walking amongst
Our friends, choosing this one
And that one, taking them away.

Unlacing their memories,
Giving their recognition of others
To the winds, to the birds,
Both flying away in a flurry of noise.

Electrical storms across the brain
At any time; just sitting there,
Getting out of bed, walking from one
Room to another.

All that was familiar
Suddenly not at all

Time without borders.
Anything could happen
At any instant,
Or perhaps not happen at all.

Waking from a summer nap.
The light, enchanting, over everything,
Temperature and sound engaged
In a magnificence of waking.
The world, yes!

Rulers of the mind,
All chemicals and fires
In the neurons and synapses.

More and more information
Beyond explanation.
The half-remarkable question:
"What is it that we are part of,
And what is it that we are?"


The delight of the dance,
The endless business of water.
That which is love,
Beneath the stars,
Inside all of sleeping,
Surrounded by its
Insistence on forever

Waking once again in the same
Room.  Still here upon the Earth.
Doing things that become familiar
To us.  No longer surprised
By every act, by each event.

Moving through the day,
Learning laughter and
Helping one another to
Understand how something
Works.  Finding the old
Language, the color, the
Limited means of expression.

—Illustration by Margaret Tarrant


These dreams that were our children,
We bury them in the silver of the seas.

I will ask you to dance with me for awhile.
And the music will be a waltz.
We will see Christmas when we were small
And the music was all around us and the magic
Was even in our clothing as well as our bodies.

I will ask you to stand on the top of the hill
On the North side of that copse of trees
We use for firewood in the Winter.
The wind will have at our coats and scarves,
Make them flutter about us as if they would leave
Our bodies, as our souls do when we have lost
All of our dreams and our memories are distributed
To those who might find them in their own dreams.

And I will ask you to walk with me awhile
As Ebenezer Scrooge did in his night of troubled
Sleep, that we too may gaze upon the children
One last time before the sea swallows them entire
And we are left in our little boat bouncing
Above the top of the waves, the sun glinting
Across their lips almost as if they could speak.

 "Dance With Me..."


In the wet of the lands.
In the bridle of the night.
In the glow of the lamp.
In the sound of the water.
In the light of dreaming.
Breath clouding the glass.
Touch, a weapon of knowing.
Speech, the servant of feeling.
Time, losing its claim on love,
Reduced to rhythm only,
The wish, the desire, el deseo,
In the jungle, hidden from the street.
Handfuls of coals glowing
On the water, in the water,
A deep weather unloading
As a turtle does its eggs
Into the night.
Everywhere, bent to surround
It so it may have this form.

 "It Is You We Seek..."


The boats with their angels,
Some ugly, some thin, some songs,
Some, indeed, towers that lean
Against the clouds and hold
The heavens to a course
Heaven would not otherwise know.

Occasionally, one or another reaches
Down and we are touched by a wing,
Or, even less so, a word, a churning
That once belonged to a song no one
Remembers, but the boat itself
Is recognized and I can hear
The beat of waves against the hull.
The rising of great storms still
Far away, but surely on their way, coming
With our names in their painted winds.

“It is you we seek,” the vessels speak
And we nod understanding.  We cannot speak
Aloud but gaze into their eyes
As sonnets have the beloved do

Our mouths, awaiting a kiss.
Angels not knowing why we would
Want to be touched in this particular way.

 Planting Tomatoes, Locke, CA


We never left the mountain.
The light across our bare feet.
We must have been lost all
Our lives.  Someone was calling.

It seems they have made a night
Only for us.  A drift of precious
Animals gazing upon a marvelous
There were children
Weeping in a pale blue room.

Why is it things are able to be
Exactly like this?  I’ve seen a hand
Open and pearls as beautiful
As the world pour out across

The shore.  Here even is the moon.
I told you about this morning.
Everything dressed in birdsong.

 Mice Singing

Today’s LittleNip:

What do you want a meaning for? Life is a desire, not a meaning.

—Charlie Chaplin


—Medusa, with thanks to D.R. Wagner for today’s fine feast of poetry and visuals!

 Stephen Fleming, Artist, and D.R. Wagner, 2017
Celebrate poetry! And don’t forget Sac. Poetry Center’s 
Second Saturday Art Reception tonight from 5-8pm, 
featuring Inosculated, a showing by Bethanie Humphreys 
and Heather Judy.

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.