Saturday, August 05, 2017

An Immense Poetry

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


This room of bright morning,
Full of the drift come down from
The ways we have learned to speak with one
And another.  Oh yes, there were times
When one could stand upon the ramparts,
Whistling the rain down the windows, not
Caring what might be blown in to our
Sad feet.  Now, it seems, things are different.

The cat crosses the alley.  It has no mind
For the dealings of man.  It has
Seen the light of oceans of fish.  They pour
Past its nose and fill the doorways of the piers
With a kind of knowledge you and I can only
Dream of, a wishing for the smells of our ancestors.

Oh sweet burden of standing this way
Before the morning.  Full of each other, the way
We want to be.  I look out past the rain and its pools,
Past the drift of song caught in the puddles.  I am
Here with you once again.  We seem to understand
The language all this world noise makes.
It has a clarity known only to those who have
Loved a long time.  I do not recall any time ever
Being like this one.  Perhaps I am mistaken.
Perhaps this music is only the sound of being
Ignorantly profound.  Listen to the heart.


Who was it joined the hurricane
To the canticle describing wonder?
Clipping it to centuries long gone
And a hand constantly thought of
As a tree pulled from a landscape
Martyrs might enjoy, notes torn away
From the piano, working temporarily as birds.

A glittering air formed of an immense poetry
Where nothing appears but a singular
Consciousness in the form of an umbrella,
A green mind, then changed by metaphor
To a clear spot in the forest loaded
With medieval trappings and a presence.

A bell-like sound across the square
Where we sit on green chairs
And pretend to be waiting for something.

We watch the hurricane unlock itself
And deliver a blank wall of pure rain.
We have forgotten all about words.  We join
Hands and sway side to side, humming.


When I pressed myself toward waking
I discovered that some of the rooms
Of my dream had been eaten away,
Large chunks had gone missing.

The parts with the steep steps leading
To the sea, the twilit room where the
Lady sat crying, holding the long-tailed lamb,
The hills where one could see how large
The fires were as they swept toward the towns,
Nothing on earth able to stop them.

A hunger was left in my bones because of this.
I could hear a historic wind wind through my skull
As I reached for coffee, searched to find where
The window looking upon the fields had gone.

Holes in the sky, something peering through
Them from speechless realms, carrying weapons
The likes of which I had never seen before,
Clouded with forgetfulness and trailheads that
I had seen once in youth that had been stolen,
Used to make fires to cook food upon, the smell
Of roasting meat swelling the morning air.

And now this, an aching within my body
Overarching all but the eyes of the highest
Hawk, the screeching bird, seeking thoughts
Smaller than voles to feed upon and I tried
To run back to the sheds of sleep and the coolness
Of streams hurrying down the hillsides
Eager to see the sea, to join the endless tides.


Creeping out among the branches
To know your name.  I am above you now.
This is like breathing.
The support we feel when
We recognize our name on
A list of things that may be
Eternal, a whispering in a hallway
That we do not understand.

We watch the lightning strike
The trees in the garden,
The fountain.  Oh who will tell
Me if I am dreaming?

I look through the long lists of the saints.
They had no idea at all if they were
Dreaming.  I discover my face
In a book of rare engravings kept by
The captain of a long-ago disappeared ship.

 Window and the Sea


I am sunlight on the surface of the ocean.
I too am the ocean itself,
Streaming to the very bottom
And tracking all that moves within me.

I am the tears of children.
I am the fjords leaning deeply into
The land.  I can see the high cliffs.
I am the the songs of the beasts within my body.

And I can speak their words.
And I can know their language.
And I can move with storms.
And I can move with romantic calmness.
And I can carry the burden of the loveliest
Of breezes within my wave troughs.

I can capture the light of the lighthouses and guide
The ship and soul back to the rooms
Away from the wind to sit before
The fire while night rages against
Everything and I can tell you of these
Things for I am the sunlight on the surface
Of the ocean.

 Window and the Sea II


Music in a basket, taken to make a room
And then a dwelling and then a palace.
It has proven itself to be no
Architecture for living.  There is no
Inside.  The rooms are beautiful
But without doors.  There is only
Sound at the end of an arm or a
Stepping across a threshold trying
To direct the forward motion of the whole

We live in the crescendos and
Diminuendos.  Legato to the
Edge of the cliffside
To see the view and there,
To once again discover the
Woven basket,
Capable of any season,
Full of song and placed beside
The clearest water of a Spring.


—D.R. Wagner

You can wait outside this place forever
And never see the same poem that went in the front door.
It was so shiny and full of order, clean metaphors,
Dancing rhythms.

Here comes one now.  It is tired and hurt.
It looks like it got into an argument with Charles Bukowski
About a race horse.  Thing with poems though,
They have been everywhere.  They are like fire.

They are all our senses, these are poems after all.
They go everywhere, they see everything.
They see as well as the Buddha, for crying
Out loud.  They might be the Buddha.

Later, when you finally get in the door and go
Looking for it, you will find thousands of them,
Most of them attached to poets however.
If you find one without an ego it just might
Be the Buddha.  Or maybe it's just Charles Bukowski.


Today’s LittleNip:

—D.R. Wagner

Tte traveling t.
Tht traveling t.
The traveling t.
The ttaveling t.
The trtveling t.
The trateling t.
The travtling t.
The traveting t.
The traveltng t.
The travelitg t.
The travelint t.
The traveling t.


Our thanks to D.R. Wagner for today’s poems and photos, all of which have appeared in Medusa’s Kitchen previously (2012-2013). D.R.’s health is improved, but he reports that that improvement is coming slowly.

A recent calendar addition: tomorrow (Sunday), from 1-2:30pm, Anita Dash at the Sac. Public Library will present “Dulce et Decorum est”, a review and discussion of poetry that came out of World War 1. That’s at the Central Library, 828 I St., Sacramento. Scroll down to the blue column (under the green column at the right) for info about this and other upcoming poetry events in our area—and note that more may be added at the last minute.


 It’s all a matter of balance…
Celebrate poetry!
(Anonymous photo)

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.