Friday, September 28, 2012

Falling - A Set of Haiku

old country road
blanket of pine needles
your cheeks ruddy


my cold hand
in yours


smoke rising
flames bursting
scent of leaves


sweeping over
shades of dusk
black crow moon


cattle lowing
a song
for autumn


cinnamon swizzle stick
hints on my lips


crème brûlée,
and the salt in your kiss


Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

recuerda mi corazon and Poetry Pantry

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Newly Fallen White

Her skirt of scarlet pulled
from the ankle;

as she hastened her steps
breath rose in forms of smoky blue.

Stopping cold on broken twigs
frozen in fairy tale,

she peered upward. Snow fell
with no cloud in the sky.

How soon lovers forsake the
faithful whispers of moonlight;

cooing birds shutter, flutter
and blur the lines with tears.

She’d only wanted one to love her,
but tragic oaths of mutilated promise                 

breed an anemic beast hungry for
a burning, scorching bite.

The milky air
washed invisible the copse of antiquity

while her lips turned aubergine
against the newly fallen white of frosty vows.

She squeezed the fruit and
licked the juice of indiscretion

with no pleasure.

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

dVerse OpenLinkNight Opening 12pm Pacific Time

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9:11 am

Shift ends at 8am
and I look over at the clock

It’s odd to me he often arrives
at 9:11, post commute

I try not to think about
that nightmare

I had struggled to get
out of my mouth

Shaking and choking
as I tried to tell him about it;

The one where I am at his funeral
with our sons beside me

I just enjoy the moment
of being a firefighter’s wife

Enjoy his smile and laugh
full, when he bursts in the door

Sounding like the Ghost of Christmas Present
rich and deep, full of all things good

Today is the day I think about those photographs
with the towers in calamity

The firefighters rushing to, and in
while others are running away, and out

The looks on their faces
telling bravery is not without fear

It is committing to give
in spite of it

Not withdrawing
courage to save someone else’s spouse,

Someone else’s children
while praying someone will remember theirs

And I do

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner 

Posted to dVerse Poets

Friday, September 7, 2012

Russet and Gold

russet dreams
in flax and gold
spun through my fingers

crisp and cool
and bright
the mornings of disappearing mist

crunch of apples
sliced and sprinkled
cinnamon and sugar

little fingers
licked clean
i kiss their cowlicked heads

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

Autumn Series Haiku 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Purple Shoelaces

She is
hiding behind black everything—
hair protruding from a black hoodie,
covering all but one eye.

Headphones are pumping sounds
into the darkly shrouded form;
I see the wires that must lead to an iPod
—hidden somewhere.

Staring down, so as not to
greet the oft-dismissing world, she walks
with slow purpose, counting the steps,
within the walls
where she keeps her fear of rejection.

She looks at me, despite herself,
as if she doesn’t want to be seen, but does—
and she can’t hide it
soon enough
that she is happy
to be noticed.

Hers eyes are pools of wounded gray,
deep, and soulful.
And I keep looking—eyes tell stories,
and dreams,
and everyone should have one.

Then I spot them—her black Converse shoes
have purple shoelaces,
and this bespeaks
the truth.
She doesn’t want to be disregarded.
is just waiting
until it’s safe
to be seen.

I smile, at them, at her;
and she grins, lifts her chin,
and walks on.
While it occurs to me
we’re all
wearing purple shoelaces.

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

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