Saturday, January 31, 2015

Pacific Northwest

Green winter notes
in January
bleed into February--
scent of pine, lavender,
           honey in my tea.

We slice lemon,
bake salmon, peppery
and warm

           like you,
a wild, wild rose,
no hint of snow--
grow 'round my calves,
up my thighs,
hug my hips
a little tighter,

hold me
to spring.

© 2015 Jennifer Wagner

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Yes, it's a real place, and we stayed near it for a night. Well, almost. We stayed until shots rang out way too close and we packed it up, and packed it in the RV, deciding it may be safer to put some miles between us and some teens or good ol' boys shooting at 'coons and beer cans in the near dark. But, I'm getting ahead of myself. This is about hair. “Tommy's mohawk” in a Ziploc bag hung from the ceiling of the cluttered bar/restaurant, which also served as an office in which to reserve your camping space. It hung there with a whole mix of curios we gaped at and yet, were afraid to see. While, I'll call him “McGruff,” due to the gruff manner in which he lent his aid, instructed us on how to locate our spot near the river. And then I saw the sign just above his bald head, which read: “Show off your naked!” And I lost it. I got a case of the 8th grade giggles and could not speak intelligibly. So I let my husband do the talking, while the kids kept asking, “What? Mom, what? What's so funny?” Obviously they had not seen it, and I wasn't about to point it out. I think it was the long drive and the sheer absurdity of the place, but let's just say, at this stage of my life it's good I maintained bladder control (hey, I've had four kids, okay? I was impressed it held). So, long story short, we set up camp, went for a dip, had dinner, roasted marshmallows, it began to rain. . . and then, Boom, Bang, Boom, Bang, Boom. And my husband and I looked at each other, and he said, “We're outta here.” So the moral of this story is:

you don't have to
fish naked
to have a hair-raising time

© 2015 Jennifer Wagner

A haibun for Anthony's challenge at dVerse: Excuse, Me, There's a Hair in My Poem!

True story.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Our Birds

Townsend's Warbler,
the Pileated Woodpecker,
Varied Thrush.

Red-breasted Nuthatches,
Black-capped Chickadees,
Chestnut-backed, too.

Pine Siskins,
a Red-winged Blackbird,
the Steller's Jays.

Dark-eyed Juncos,
Broad-tailed Hummingbirds,
Band-tailed Pigeons--yes, it's true!

Northwestern Crows,
crow, crow, crow--
the No-doubt Seahawks
are going to go
go, go!

© 2015 Jennifer Wagner

image © 2015 Jennifer Wagner

"No doubt" Seahawks and the 12's return to the Superbowl as defending champs (and the 12th team to do it).

For my boys. A list poem with all the birds we have identified in our yard.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

after the long hours

write me a song
with your eyes
like you do

hang up your helmet,
your axe,


© 2015 Jennifer Wagner

Image © 2015 Jennifer Wagner

Two tenWord poems. Over at dVerse this week we were offered to play with the tenWord form. These two can be read together as one little love poem.

For Ian,
for Poets U,
and for all the spouses of firefighters...may the hours quicken!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Resurgences (2 tenWords)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

winter garden
tiny grave beds
(tu)lips are whispering,
come, spring”

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

tracing her scars
like braille, mouthing,


© 2015 Jennifer Wagner

For dVerse, the tenWord, a form created by Brian Miller.

Friday, January 9, 2015

mercy, please

image © 2015 jennifer wagner

a red blossom, bloodied burqa,

stoning hole shadows
awaiting execution
press my heart,
within me

© 2015 Jennifer Wagner

For dVerse MTB. Bjorn has invited us to do some blackout poetry. I used a book I am currently reading, Stone Crossings, by L.L. Barkat. This particular page/segment from her book brought to mind the the film The Stoning of Soraya M. If you haven't seen it, it's gut-wrenching. Honestly, I couldn't sit through all of the stoning scene.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


I won't play your eggshell game.

It's a drag
and you can't hold me hostage

from who I am,
from who I am meant to be,

from happiness.

Honestly, it's rude,
and you continue to behave childishly,

demanding things
on your own selfish terms.

I am making new loves

and they don't require that I tiptoe,

they say,
give it all you got, girl,

go ahead,

© 2015 Jennifer Wagner

For Poetry Jam: One Word. My word is “Freedom,” written about obliquely.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Saturday Morning Cartoons (with Oreos and Milk)

A father wakes up
before everybody else

and sets the world whistling.

Except on Saturday,
when he's supposed to get to sleep in,
but you jump on his belly
and pry his eyes open
to watch cartoons with you.

He doesn't mind, though,
because you're his.

© 2015 Jennifer Wagner

For my daddy.

Dad, remember Oreos and milk for breakfast with Saturday morning cartoons? I do. Good times. :)

Friday, January 2, 2015



Snowflakes pressed in indigo,
for a coming new year.

I know you will read this.
I know you will not understand.

But, the sky is ready.

Snowflakes pressed in violet,
warming up
for a coming new year.

Haven't you gotten
your pound of flesh,
and then some?


                          violet                                                              blush-burst

indigo                                                                                                                      magenta

The sun
has arrived

but you don't see
the new year,
the melt,
the new day.

You're too blindly busy
thinking of
the next
crimson cut.

the sky is ready,

trade your warfare
for wings,
come fly with me.

© 2015 Jennifer Wagner

What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year.” - Vern McLellan

For the challenge at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads