Saturday, July 09, 2016

Hoping For Wings

Some Night Light
—Anonymous Painting
—Poems and Photos by D. R. Wagner, Locke, CA


They never should have asked
Us to listen to these songs.

We knew them, yes, we knew
They were the ones that had
Flown away from here just
As the sun forgot the horizon.

The cool voices of the ghosts
Passing through our bodies,
Full of the reminders that made
Us want to remain here,
Sliding across this earth,
Trying to make us forget
This was not our home.
We were but the moment
Challenged by fire dragons.

Children standing in the doorways
On the street corners next
To the never-ending murders
That have become Stockton,
California, its police cars
Circling the blocks for hours,
Service dogs reflecting neon
And porch lights in their eyes.

“Where is the boy?  Go find
Him.  He smells like this.”

On the high altars on Fridays
We hear the stories of a lovely
Christ, his body striped
With hatred and holes
Driven into the hands that
Raised the dead, made food
For thousands, blessed bread
And fishes and showed himself
As able to ride the clouds,
Surround himself with angels,
Weep, prostrate among ancient
Olive trees, begging, begging.

The hour finds itself standing
In front of a gate, locked,
Guarded and patrolled
By guards who have no idea
Why they might be there.

We pull into the parking lot,
Bring them colas and sandwiches,
Ask if they are okay.
Try to sing them a song.

They never should have asked
Us to listen to their songs.

We are the coordinators.
We do not intend to bring
Harm but we are sought out,
For we are still able to
Describe the beautiful.

The guns chatter, tires
Squealing around the corners.

Details at eleven.

 4th of July Music Fest, Locke (Stuart, Joe, Patrick)


I have never known anyone
More beautiful than you.
The night slopes down to carry you
High above the sea to entertain
The stars, to teach them to shine
And ah, it brings such happiness
As if you were a library
Full of books that mirror
The hours of the day and night.

You touch them as a celebration
Touches willow trees on ridge tops,
As flowers are your name
And gather into bouquets just
To greet your speech.
That comes like rain across
The desert.

The humming of a million drops
As they ride down from the dance
You are, your breath, flying.



I have the turtle comb
That combed the hair
Of my love like a musical instrument.

Each tooth of that comb is
A street in the night
That wanders the earth.
A ribbon of light.

All headed for exile
To live near the shore
Of the seas one can
Never cross over.

With its glorious cadence
Of waves full of infinitesimal
Rooms that die within these waves
While we wait upon the shore
Till we are shadows combing
Shadows’ hair, while the sun
Behind a wall slips a sad way down
And we exhale fully, losing all that
Was our names to echoes
And dull metaphors.



You light the lamps with your smile.
Angels reach to kiss your lips
That they may taste the words
And know your tongue.

I can but slide beneath
The clouds, captivated by
Your laugh, your form, your
Glance that spills across
The streets you walk.

All music they become
And these poor words
Try to make a dance,
Hoping for wings, hoping
For your arms about my body.

Come full to me to make
Of everything a gentle story,
Full of clouds and sweet,
Sweet horizons.



The moonlight is watered,
Wet upon the pond.
The breathing of the night.
Crickets floating through trees.

I dream your thighs, ivory
In the way July makes all things
In its purview quiver long
Into the twilight.  Then, raven
Dark, the quiet brought
On owl’s wings.  The scurrying
Voles and deep bump of moles
Into the edges of the garden.

I awake to the hard metallic
Slap of the mole trap snapping
Shut.  I reach across the bed,
Still full of sleep, touch your shoulder,
Find your breast to grasp it.
Settle closer to your back and
Wrap my legs into its lovely curve.

 Chinese Demonstration Garden, Locke

Today’s LittleNip:

—D.R. Wagner

Pretty boy, pretty boy
Sliding across the grace
Of the sloughs.  They are
All made of tears.

I’ll break the early evening into little
Pieces.  I can’t fit the words
Into my mouth.

Evening stripes the sky
Above the garden.
The trees stand tall
As any bass line.

Pretty boy dances out
From the oaks, shows his
Face for a full moment
Retires back into July.

 Locke Fire, 7/3/16

—Medusa, with thanks to D.R. Wagner for today’s fine poems and pix. Our thoughts are with him during this time of his brother’s illness.

There was a fire in Locke last weekend, and small towns reverberate with concern when such events take place. Later in the week,
The Sacramento Bee published an editorial about the town of Locke; see

 Celebrate poetry today by heading down to 
Crocker Art Museum’s Block by Block Party III 
from 12-7pm for a dayload of poets, writing exercises, 
 open mic and spoken word artists, music and dancers 
at the Colonial Heights Library, Stockton Blvd. 
& 21st Ave., Sac. Free! Hosted by Straight Out Scribes. 
 for details. The schedule for the day is:

Sister Sheba, Hurricane (Steven Clark), Frank Graham 

and Lawrence E. Dinkins, Jr., followed by 
writing exercises and open mic

  JoAnn Anglin, Richard Jackson (Black Star),
Anna Marie and Joey Garcia, followed by 

writing exercises and open mic

 Terrance Taylor, Alex Rashad Thomas (Artyfactz), 
Angela Mays and Allahiya Shabazz with a special 
appearance from Sac High student Akosua Boateng

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.