Monday, December 31, 2012

Dreamwish 2013

Street art - Seattle, WA
photos © Jennifer Wagner


if your dream
doesn’t fit the page
color outside the lines


Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

Linking to imaginary garden with real toads and d'Verse.  Happy 2013!

Friday, December 28, 2012


in awe of His promise
to make all things new
even me

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

Happy New Year :)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Inspiring Blogger Award

The lovely and amazingly gifted poet Janet Martin, who writes at Another Porch, has nominated me for the Inspiring Blogger Award.  What an honor!  She inspires me. 

So if I understand this right I am to give 7 facts about myself and then I have the privilege of nominating some bloggers for the award as well.  

My 7 facts:

  1. I’m pretty good at Texas Hold ‘Em, if I do say so myself.
  2. In my opinion ‘I Love Lucy’ is one of the best TV shows.  Ever. 
  3. I enjoy Agatha Christie mystery novels.
  4. My favorite food is a tomato right off the vine.
  5. I (heart) baseball.
  6. I do not (heart) squirrels. (don’t ask…)
  7. book, blanket, fire = happy, happy me :)

You know how you get excited to see what some bloggers have come up with in every new post?  Here are a few I consider to be inspiring.  My nominations:

Margaret Bednar at Art Happens 365.  Poetry.  Photography.  Inspiration.  And she’s a mom of 6!  What can’t she do?  Amazingly brilliant lady.

Lolly at Look for a Lovely Thing.  Hers is a newly discovered blog for me.  She absolutely nails the ‘haiku moment’.  Her haiku are among the best I have ever read.

Yelena at moonlitpoetic.  Every time I read something she’s written I feel as though I’ve just witnessed something incredibly beautiful and delicate.  What a poetic gift she has.

So again, thank you Janet!  I’m honored and humbled and smiling straight from my heart!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Snowdrops and Sleigh Bells

snowdrops splashing
like citrus squeezed
onto feathered ice


dripping from the tongue
of the moon


sleigh bells
and a hush of snow
almost silent night


sleigh bells jingling
even the snowman
smiles and waves


the sky flinging snow today
just to hear
children laughing again

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

Friday, December 21, 2012

Winter Solstice

frost sparkles on
maple leaf confetti
autumn’s party ends

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

Thursday, December 20, 2012



weighing down
burnt orange leaves

and scooped
and heaped
in hardship

wishing now
to pull them out
turn them green

glue them back
one by one
onto trees

to rustle softly
an enchanted echo

in winter’s tide

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

For Three Word Wednesday where we were to use the words echo, hardship, and softly...and for  Poetry Jam where Brian had us take a walk and write.  Here's what I came up with.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


26 reasons
to remember why
He came

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

It’s Christmas, but I find it difficult to feel celebratory.  I know most are probably feeling the same way with hearts heavy and broken from last week’s devastation.  And yet I am reminded of why He came.  He came not because He wanted us to decorate trees and drink egg nog and rack up credit card debt giving gifts.  He came because we are in darkness, and He is the Light of the world.  John 8:12  Come, let us behold Him.  Perhaps we have never needed to more.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Frozen Yesterday

I tied his little-kid size 12 gray converse shoes
while he crunched almonds
and bragged between swallows
about beating me at Go Fish.
I hid my grin
and tried to look disappointed
for losing.

Zipping up his green hoodie
we left
for afternoon Kindergarten
at 11:55.
He was concerned
that his friend wouldn’t be at school—
he’d made a paper Christmas tree
and put it into an envelope,
scotch-taped a blue candy cane to the outside
for a little present.

Walking him to the line,
I said “have a great day, buddy,”
then waved and watched as he walked through the doors,
backpack almost as big as he is, bouncing.

I thought of how many parents did this today,
leaving their hearts
in a five year old body
on cold tile floors.

And I couldn’t leave the parking lot.

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner 

Dear God, dear God…more tears than words for all who are gripped in this horrific tragedy in Newtown, CT.
Got the jump on this prompt with Brian’s post yesterday.  Linking up with the amazing poets at dVerse Poetics.  I'll also be linking to The Poetry Pantry.

When words are few, perhaps there is a song.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ornament (Beauty for Ashes)

adorn me with your breath,
i will flower and grow

underneath the overgrowth
of black trees

that bear no fruit
and needle the ground

in winter’s graveyard

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

Friday, December 7, 2012

Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

The pizza delivery guy
drives the pizza to my house.
I tip him,
though he had nothing to do
with making it.
And I’m sure he keeps it all
for himself.

Next year I’m writing to the elves.

New Perspective

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

For Words Count with Mama Zen at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.  The challenge:  A 50 words or less letter to the big guy.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Slave (The Calling of Manumit)

One lung full while the other

crushed beneath this weight
I can’t think, can’t  resist,
by the purchase of screws
I held myself down for
and bled my tears
listening to the
sweet sound
of mourning doves.

I have forgotten You
and I confess
sometimes I think You are gone,
abandoned me
for greener fields
of those more faithful.

But You say I am Your temple—
chained as I am to memory,
so please keep holding out keys
to this puzzle of wings

I am putting together
to fly away from ghostly apparitions
that visit me in my dreams.
They kiss me on the forehead

and keep me from the tiny living temples
that matter at all to me.

Serpent of haunting,
you’ve bitten, but you are crushed,

and I, while breathing in a whisper from the moon
through windows
streaming enlightened threads

in reflection of daylight,
in the back of my mind
I hear it

in each pump of blood
from my heart
I know
I know

I was meant to be free.

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

I'll be linking this to Poets United Poetry Pantry


chestnut-backed chickadee
on the hemlock branch
chatters my arrival

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

for haiku my heart friday at recuerda mi corazon

Sunday, December 2, 2012


deep in the wintergreens
of twilight
it grows
 where birds of song
vacate homes in season’s passing,
gathering shadows of keeping;
 and berries, frozen—
are bejeweling 
the trampled floor
of the forest wide and deep
 of her glacial heart

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

Thursday, November 29, 2012


a dusting of diamonds
sparkling on evergreens
winter’s oracle

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

Sunday, November 25, 2012

In Winter's Sights

she placed snowshoes on the mountain,
a shine to the lips of heaven

in a musical crunching of white
with peek-a-boo pine cones and twigs

it was in moments like this she felt it,
breathed it

when douglas firs and lodgepole pines
held a shimmering of frost

and a barn owl’s low hoot
gave her a sense of mulled cider

when the fire is just right
and so is the world

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

Offerings:  The Poetry Pantry and dVerse

Monday, November 19, 2012

Interview at Poets United

I've had the honor of being interviewed by the talented Sherry of Poets United for the Life of a Poet Series.  If you would like to read it, go here:  Life of a Poet - Jennifer Wagner.  Thanks Sherry, I was truly surprised and honored to be featured!

Thursday, November 15, 2012


is a notion
of half-closed lids
in yellow flicks
of candlelight
against your bluegreen eyes
despite or because of
that lonely space between us
you pull me into
reaching for that tender
part you save for me
until i believe
i am the jewel
upon your hand
you always say i am
and melt like gold
in your palms

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Not a Circus Fan

Circus me a frown
clown in neon blue
with stripes
I see in my sleep

Oscillating, like a cyclone
like that time
after too many mango margaritas
in Cabo

pirate clown
black and white
and stubbly beard

I hope he won’t hug me
scratches, Patches
and his scent
like bourbon on Santa’s breath

Now there’s a clown

asking if “mommy” would like to sit
on his lap too

Watery eyes, seen too many
of glasses

And cigar smoke
fingering the suit

I make for
the other end of the sleigh
feeling a bit like sequins and legs

and hope for more
of stale popcorn
and less of
the inexplicable circus peanut

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Storytellers, Poets, Dreamers

shining, twinkling—
winking morse code
in the cold clear of night
peering toward hills
graced by tempered moon
and gathering breaths like visions
in baskets of words

holding gold, like dust—fragments
in upheld palms
releasing them to jump gracefully
spin, twirl like fireflies

climbing in the tenebrosity
and falling like stars 
on shoulders
whispering to hungry ears
a glittering of seasons

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

dVerse OpenLinkNight

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Truce

sitting in the dust
accusers round her, thick—

with pride and spittle
dribbling their bearded chins

fingers pointing, fists shaking, rocks in hand—
the ground trembling with cries for justice

‘such women’ they yell, violent distaste rolling
off their tongues

one by one, they felt the mirrored shame in His words
until only one accuser remained

as she waited for the airless moment to pass
and a stone to pierce her

the two of them breathed slowly together, seconds ticking, until
she put it down, rose up, and began to pardon herself

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Settling Upon November

The artistry of SueAnn.  Used with permission.

Damp yellow leaves
and a hanging gray

settled upon November

with sharp scents of burning wood
and smoke encircling chimneys.

Head down, she trudged ‘home’

rain splattering her jacket
and hiding bright tears.

November, the month

she knew more than leaves
were dying.

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

Monday, October 29, 2012

Night Witches (Nachthexen)

They flew in the cold,
in the pitch-blackness of an evil sky,
riddled with bullets.

No radios.

No parachutes.

2 bombs.

Engines cut
on the Polikarpov U-2,
to creep
up on sleeping monsters,

to visit their dreams
with light,
and bring the Reich and Reign
closer to hell.

Started them up
in mission, resolute,
crawling out on the wings,
on a limb,

for the rest of us.

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner


Did you know women flew airplanes in combat in WWII?  I didn’t until I visited the Flying Heritage Museum recently.  The 588th Night Bomber Regiment was made entirely of women who flew the PO-2.  They would sneak up on the enemy by cutting their engines, drop bombs, and then restart their engines to get away; even crawling out on the wings, mid-flight when necessary, to get the props going.  And then go and do it all over again throughout the freezing night.  Truly heroic.  The Nazis began to refer to them as Night Witches because of the terror this tactic inflicted.  Seemed like the right time of year to write about them.

The photos:  (top) a few of these amazing aviators.   And (right) the PO-2, the tail number honors the 23 who earned "Hero of the Soviet Union" citations. And (left) the lettering on the fuselage translates into "Revenge for Dusya," a tribute to the first Night Witch to be killed in combat.  30 of them were lost in all.  If you click any of the links here I recommend the "Revenge for Dusya"...really some fascinating reading from the book A Dance with Death.

Linking up to OpenLinkNight at dVerse, an amazing site for poetry.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


cobwebs thick upon your hands
dirt underneath your nails
embedded deep


you feel the crust
of tears and dirt
stuck to your lashes
            your nostrils

you make shallow breaths
repeat your name

you are

not                   dead                 yet

remind yourself
to come back
to the living

keep scratching and clawing


someone will need

your survival story one day

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Wild Peaches and the River

 She tucked me into bed,
wrapped me in
an age-worn quilt
and I slept like the baby I nearly was.

When I woke,
I pulled the quilt around me
and tiptoed across the old wood floors
covered with braided rugs.

Rubbing sleep from my eyes,
I entered the kitchen
and watched her sitting at the farm table,
with a cup of steaming coffee, slicing a wild peach.

Her hands were still strong then;
and even now I never see a peach,
smell one, taste one,
without thinking of her.

She laughed, her mellow way, eyes crinkling,
when I said how much I liked the sweetness
but not the fuzzy skin which poked
like a prickly moustache against my mouth.

Overheard her saying, later
that she ‘got tickled’
when I’d said the pigs rooting in the pen
looked like they had ribbons in their tails.

When I’d trailed her
to the rabbit cages
and saw a mama rabbit
eat her own baby

she didn’t shield me
from the horror of it,
but let me ask the hard questions
and answered them, best she knew.

‘Fascinating’ is what I’d called it,
when asked about it back home.
And she was, too,
though I never said it.

Except at the cemetery overlooking the river
when I wished her back
to see me enjoy the sweetness in my life,
to bring lightness when it poked;

and because the questions
have only gotten harder.
But mostly, to hear her ‘tickled’ laughter
one more time.

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

For Grandma.  Rest in peace, we so often rested in yours.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday, October 12, 2012

Troll Bridge

facing the winter
of a hearse driven life
you soldier on
with skeletons in the closet
clacking along

the last frost covered leaf
curled and brown, laced with silver,
blows away in the wind

the wind,
there to bite you
sting you,
 remind you

of regrets and demons without, within—cackling
in the still-deadness
where your still-living questions
ask if you have left
them behind

they pick lustily
at your flesh, with tempting,
at your mind, with amoebic doubts—
troll-like, in a present-day quagmire
on one side of the bridge; whereupon crossing
you hear a voice
which says to Call This

The Bridge Where You Rename Yourself

                                                    And Forgiven, And Worth

                       Overcomer                                                                        Being

Names like                                                                                                                  Loved

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

Inspiration: Isaiah 62, Revelation 2, and a dream that woke me up

For the prompt at Poetry Jam and for  Poets United Poetry Pantry

*Note: this piece doesn't read right on most hand-held devices.  For accuracy read on a larger screen.