Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Abuse of Power, Power of Abuse

Leave me to solve riddles,
in the dark ruminations

puzzling with pieces
slipping through my fingers.

They have long legs and,
until now, ran faster than I could;

but I have sprouted legs of my own, and

the caramel is dripping
from your polluted apple

revealing a leprous underbelly
and the twists of your myths.

Since released
I write my farewell to arms,

though I know it will not pierce your heart.

I have learned the impossible
remain impossible, impervious,

and must rule

without question,
without consequence.

I write to pierce my own
and release your venom

to drip, to flow,
to collect in puddles at my feet.

While ash and toxicity
paint bleak the petrified forest

where once hearts of
children tried to play,

before you caught them, taught them,
deftly smothered them in your decay.

I have escaped, but intermittently I
perchance upon your minions,

try as I may, when near,
I cannot blind the stench from my nostrils

from the blood
on their hands.

My blood

mind you, cries out for justice,
and like Abel’s,

is heard.

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

Thursday, August 23, 2012


I see them
most every week
when I’m driving.

The little man
with his little wife
going for their afternoon stroll
on the sidewalk
in our neighborhood,
holding hands.

They must be 75
years old, at least, and
his leg is bad—
the knee, I think.
His other hand
holds a cane,
but he doesn’t use it—holds it
parallel to the ground. 
Just in case.

And she,
with her opposing hand,
carries an umbrella,
It is Seattle, you know,
better to be prepared. 
Just in case.

I love this scene,
supporting each other,
ready in case of stumbling,
ready in case the rain comes.
They’ve been blessed
to have weathered
life together—so long.

I imagine that will be us.

I know one day
I will see only one of them
going on that walk…

Then I picture you,
tomorrow, in your bunker gear,
and rush home
to kiss you
until we’re 75, 
at least.

Just in case.

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

dVerse: Characters  Nonfiction

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Laughing Hills

in August rise frozen
against the setting sun

a glass of chardonnay
perspiring at the table
of summers
she doesn’t drink

In her laughter, a reminder
of the best medicine,

and the lesson she lived—

no one can beat you
when you’ve learned
how to laugh

at yourself.

R.I.P. Phyllis Diller, Comedic Genius (July 17, 1917 – August 20, 2012) 
Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

Friday, August 17, 2012


through table legs
painted toenails coquet
the edge of denim

lemon, sea salt
and baby arugula
eaten with fingertips

candlelight flutter
a catch in her breath
traced in his own

sicilian jazz
the subtle intensity
composing their story

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Judging Game

watching them with her orange eyes
looking through their glass house
she opens the window
for fresh air          

her clipped wings
grow with the lilting song
“Don’t listen,” they say,
“…the luring…”  with that head-shake and tsk-tsk
of controlling, condescending tone

but she is sick with love
from their poisoned, pressure well
too eager to drink
when she’d been wilting

holding the beat of
their ridiculous freudisms
in her head on bloodied neck
she whispers “jung may have more substance for me
anyway,” so—

from the place where stained glass
is beautiful again
she waves goodbye
with tar-dipped feathers in her teeth  

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Stepping with bare toes across
meadows of balsamroot
I glide swiftly on grasses
soft from last night’s rain.

Quietly slipping between rocks
I meet the gush of spray;
with full pupils down,
tiny rivulets cascade my bare shoulders.

Droplets form and cling precariously
to my hair, responding as I shiver;
a flirty audience of aquilegia formosa
quivers with the steady rush.

The voice of the waterfall
is a mighty quenching of everything;
a gushing spray of explosion and tranquility, reverberating
like the sound of a mother’s heart in a growing womb.

I didn’t come here to grieve, only to soak
in the majesty of a paradisiacal place;
but my heart remembers and wishes I could have buried you here,
instead of where you ended up, in pieces, on porcelain.

I feel embryonic in the moment, wholly enveloped, naked, treasured.
Coming alive in the lusty boom, I scream, and moan,
and grieve, leaving everything here on these ancient stones—
laboring with the violent echo of women’s loss before mine.

I hold hands with the knowing barren wombs
and weep the deficit that will never feel your sigh at my breast,
your pink mouth to my skin, see the shine of accomplishment in your eyes.
They know how I feel—you were brief, but you were mine.

I let you go, but still carry you with me as I push through;
emerging back into the sun of life, weaker and stronger,
spent, and refreshed, sprinkled with pure minerals,
with lilac and wild lavender, and just a hint of baby’s breath.

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

found in The Beautiful Sadness, dVerse and Poets United: Poetry Pantry

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tide Pools

discordant and black,
scattered the hillside of late warmth,
a cadaver benumbed of cherishment.

defeated, we wondered
what happened to us—
and how we had viciously squandered
our landscape in chimerical hue.

laying down our weapons,
prisoners of our own war;
in the tide pools of aftermath,
we beheld it together.

in harmony
we choked back the sobs of rue,
gathering the tiniest,
brightest, glimmer of tomorrows unwritten.

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner
linked to Vice Versa and dVerse

Friday, August 3, 2012

Chelan Haiku

on the vineyard
the bees smell sweet

blue dragonflies
tango above
the lake in sea green

white birch night
the heady scent of you
in bent ryegrass

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner  

Linked to Poets United #109 Poetry Pantry