Saturday, January 23, 2016

Jars Full of Delight

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


I’ve gone out to gather

These words and have brought

Them back, so many of them that

They have become hard to carry

With their meanings and nuances

Attached like so many ideas in

The head of a genius playing.

Right here they cluster together

To say I love you and could do it

A thousand times if I let

Them all go as they wish to be 

Let go.  They look up at you.

Enthralled by being seen,

Explaining themselves in row

Upon row of letters, forms,

Shadows on the mouth of knowledge.

Eventually they will lie down

Properly and go to sleep.

Even dreaming is here,

A warm bed, tenderness,

The night finally quiet

As they wait on the edge.



There is little colder than those red

Eyes gazing at an electronic brain.

Not even the idea of wind visits here.

The lines from a lost poem written

During yet another war are sealed

In this heart but none shall ever
Open that vessel to see those expanding

Circles.  All communication breaks

Off just beyond the edge of the solar

System but the gold surface

Continues to reflect something, a star

Or an icy tail of some forgotten comet

Come by with information for no one.


We have been walking out here

For a very long time.  The dark

Colored glass of this valley

Was making us sick.  It might
Have been the smell that roiled

Through, dressed like a five-year

Yearning for blind angels to

Minister to us about the great


God, she looked

So beautiful as the ornaments

Of sleep crept into her face.

We couldn’t stay here any longer

Let alone wait for the great

Wings to show us what was

Really meant by those circles

Beaten into the stones telling

Us to love all things.  There was

Unrest in the weather.



That trembling was
Like your lip but was
So much deeper.  I could
Not hold anything in
My hands.  I didn't even
Want to think about speaking
To you.

It hastens and chastens
The will to make known.

That small fire, mostly
Charcoal.  I carried it
Around from room to room
Thinking it would keep
Me warm.

I stopped to pick up a
Sunset; thought I'd
Bring it to you like
A cup of tea on a day
That discovered it has
To follow me because
It knew I was
Going to see you.

If you need me, I'll be on my bed
Looking out the window.


I dreamed you beside me in the morning,

The winds of sleep still rolling through

Your muscles, fields of diamonds cascading

Your dreams, white water on the white of oblivion.

You did not see me as I lay beside you, watching

Dawn slip across your skin.  You did not know

I kissed you then or that you were other than

Your present self.  I know, and only I can know for sure.

I was surprised in this dreaming, dreaming that

You dreamed about me.  Who knows what highways

Sleep will let us travel?  All our lovers in their cars,

Zipping through the chemicals that unlock door

Upon door and let us see these loved ones again,

Living or dead.  I dreamed that we were loving,

Making love with all attendant skies and being touched

By angels as we were there together, again and again,

Falling in and out of sleep, first you there and then

Again you not.  I spread my hands upon the whiteness

Of the sheets and they were flat and cool, not you at all

And of more substance than such dreams.

This morning you were gone.  You were birdsong

On the electric wires, the net of energy that surrounds

Us in our cities.  You were slow breezes off the delta,

A dancing in the leaves of the trees, the sound of the mind

As it clears all sleep from its fine sifting screens, a moment

When, before the water hit my face, you were truly

Real and I did not know that such a thing as this was dreaming.


Do you remember me?  I asked the tree

which had grown in my absence.

So much water had rushed under the bridges

at Remagen, Corazon, Kyoto (cherry trees

in blossom in the spring!) and it was only

a tactical decision to fail to mete out a memory
of bridges near a hospital once visited repeatedly

on a day much like today, when nothing

hung in the balance or asked anything of us

beyond the most complete and humbled attention.

Do you remember me?  Why should it?

I only watched as it was carried away, its veins

leaking from the bag I had bundled them up in

when I dug them back out of the ground—

I gave the whole tree away to someone

who promised to take care of it through winter

and flood—and someone must have heard

my thoughts as I stood there and begged it

to remember because she came and stood with me,

and we looked at each other and admitted,

at least with our eyes, that this was more

than could be asked of a tree—the briefest glance—

and then I had the impression again I was standing

alone and it was true, she had left—and at this moment

a wind came up through the leaves of the tree
which had grown crooked because no one had bound it

when it was still young—silver—I should like to have

such silver in reserve for border crossings to come—

silver of the type it does no one good to hoard

and one only remembers and gives it away.


The palaces of the night,

Made of fireflies and moonbeams,

Ropes one hundred thousand

Strong, the night birds thronging

The parapets and gliding along

The chimneys with their dark smoke.

Actaeon becoming the stag on the edge

Of the forest, his hounds seeing his

Coat glisten and become fur.

Poor, the weeping that comes

From the great cities.  Lame,

Tired and with wings of pity,

Tied to the coattails of change

So that nothing is recognized 

When we pass a place.

“This was your home as a child

And it is a grocery store,” the lights

Depending on our feeble memory.

They even record and play thunder-

Storms when the sprays of water

Turn on and wash the vegetables.

We are outside.  The world is ours.

 Let us run through the garden.

The thin strips of wood that made

Up apple baskets are gone now.

Entire trees are draped in torn

Plastic fluttering with the wind

Alongside of every highway.

Sweet prayers rise from our throats.

Saint Theresa joins us with armloads

Of roses.  She tells us about Actaeon,

Gathers the stag in her arms.


Today’s LittleNip:


These stars don’t have names.

They wander around heaven

Praising God and nothingness

Alike.  They are like you are.

Rumi tells us every object,

Every being is a jar full of delight.

Are we not nobler than the angels,

For we walk upon the earth, sing

Songs to one another, embrace.

We have bodies that reflect the

Mind of God.  Reflect.

We do not have to talk any longer.

We are light.  We make color

Visible.  We can see the Spirit

Jump higher than the tiger.


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

 D.R. with Michael McClure, 2006