Friday, February 28, 2014

clouded leopard

at the zoo
for me
there is only
the clouded leopard
its fishbowl cage.

her sad eyes,
her muscles, taut—
to be on display.

now, this isn’t popular
or proper.
come on, baby.
let us see you,
exploit you,
measure you.
we’ll feed you, promise.
you don’t want to be gregarious?
on facebook?
you must have your head
and spots examined.

there’s a reason
she climbs,
the best at it of her kind—
she’s designed to be

by day
she wants to rest
among the trees
and hunt at night,

she keeps her pelt and cubs
and her sanity.

break the glass
and let her out, let her out—
she’s me.

© 2014 Jennifer Wagner

Linking with other poets at Poets United:  The Poetry Pantry this weekend.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


if only
they all were nuzzles
on the neck,
sweet nothings
at the lobe and ridge—

that none
were the black tar kind/unkind
to speaker
and hearer both—
like virus
from the vector’s mouth

if only
the cure could spread
as fast as the disease.

up to you and me?

© 2014 Jennifer Wagner

Monday, February 24, 2014

Dreams and Poems and Relativity

Poet's Sleep, 1989, by Chang Houg Ahn, image via The Mag 208

in time’s elbow,
drifting toward
Escher’s labyrinth

the joint bends
the dark,
the light,

I follow
neither burn me,
they already have.

© 2014 Jennifer Wagner

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Catching Foxes

Hedge the rows
where the birdnote grows,
lark a tune
‘neath the fiddlehead moon,
tip the wine glass,
burn the firegrass,
bellow and croak
at the midnight stroke,

thatch the stormroof,
squall and rainproofed—

and all the other
rhymes and metaphors
it takes to build and protect
something worth something.

© 2014 Jennifer Wagner

*title taken from Song of Solomon 2:15

sharing with dVerse at OLN

Sunday, February 16, 2014


i don’t want to be cute!
i hate being adorable!

when you want to
have muscles
and body hair
and drive a car

this is,
to a boy of six
with three older brothers—

a curse.

the curse of cuteness.

what do you
want to be?

with no hesitation,
all gumption and flash,
the reply: 


i laugh, and quickly try to stifle it—

because he really means it
i do

get what he’s saying—

he wants to be taken seriously
around here,

a mustachioed man/ninja/t-rex
to be reckoned with,

even if i do still help him
to put on his belt
and slick down the cowlick
on the back of his head.

i nod,
as somber and intent
as if i am making
a most grave and
solemn vow.

just between you and me—

he’s still so cute

it’s scary.

© 2014 Jennifer Wagner

shared at poets united poetry pantry

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

it may not be wildstyle graffiti but…

photo © 2014 jennifer wagner

maybe it’s both

and an art
the way you scribbled
and scratched
past my walls

with your heart

© 2014 Jennifer Wagner

Photo:  My hubby tried his hand at some love proclamation graffiti—inside our house -ha.  We’re painting the interior walls this week.

*Wildstyle graffiti is a complicated and intricate form of graffiti.

P.S. J hearts I too.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Haiku Chocolate

lunchtime, snow falls
as we leave the restaurant,
i put my arm through yours
and catch a flake on my tongue

the rich scent of smoking salmon
is carried on the cold, salt air,
as if it were on the ashes
of long-ago village fires
dotting the shore behind us

just a few blocks up from the landing,
and a stroll through the courtyard
past northwest carvings of
lighthouses, natives—
to the red cup cafĂ© and the perfect cup—
and on to mukilteo chocolate co. for dessert

you pull the door open, and i say
“what do you think i should i get?”
you smile—suggestive,
“you can get whatever you want”

over the counter the owner
overhears, teases— “that’s dangerous
to tell a woman in a chocolate shop”

a seated man hears, too “or smart”
he’s right, we all laugh—together,
strangers in a shared moment

“well, i have to get the haiku
dark chocolate, ginger,
hint of wasabi, candied ginger on top—
“i just made triple wasabi,
it’s in the back, i can get you some
“no thanks, i’ll go easy and try this first”

we select some amazing flavors,
sip coffee, look out at the view of the sound,
savoring them, and each other
and all the little things that become
the best kind of poetry

© 2014 Jennifer Wagner

Claudia at dVerse has us writing sketchbook poetry.  As she puts it, “poetry that captures a scene — poetry that is immediate and in the moment.”  With my husband’s schedule and the kids off at school we get to take dates midweek, midday sometimes.  It snowed briefly as we left one of our favorite places on Tuesday and it seemed the perfect moment to capture on paper.  And yes, Haiku Chocolate Truffle is delicious!

Thursday, February 6, 2014


I cue moonlight,
light tealights,

trail petals
to my heart,

but you,
pornblind and hooked,

don’t even know
where to start.

© 2014 Jennifer Wagner

Pornography addiction, especially via the internet, is a relationship killer.  If you or someone you know is struggling, there is help.  Lots of resources out there, Celebrate Recovery and Pure Desire among them.

Monday, February 3, 2014

XII: The Beaufort Wind Force Scale

oh, you know it’s real.  my neighbor’s window. 
photo © 2014 Jennifer Wagner

Twelve basic hues
in the color wheel.

Twelve steps
in recovery.

Twelve inches
in a foot.

Twelve people
on the moon.

Twelve baskets
of fragments.

Twelve days
of Christmas.

Twelve tribes.
Twelve disciples.

Twelve months.
A dozen.

And it’s also

the maximum
wind speed
of a hurricane,


© 2014 Jennifer Wagner

Seahawks and the power of the 12th man win Super Bowl XLVIII!  Check it out:  12th Night: Number Featured in Win.