Friday, March 27, 2015


Image by Dawn Hudson
I'm a patchwork sketch
with patchouli rest
between my breasts---
and you
press, indent,
your heart
around me.

And this,
keeps me here---clear,

as each window lilac breeze,
each fringe and tassel,
wisp of candle flame,
needs a frame.

© 2015 Jennifer Wagner

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Wedding Gift

The chime is engraved
with a lighthouse,
a harbor,
a ship on the sea.

It hangs from the eaves
above our deck

and has, for nearly
seventeen years,
sprinkled its tune
at every house
we've called home.

It fell
in a major storm,

was never broken, but
lay serenely
at our feet

ready to give light, melody.

And though
I tire of wind,
of storms,
it's taught me to listen,
                       trust light
play on.

© 2015 Jennifer Wagner

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Friday, March 6, 2015


Toril “Smells Like Rain”

Winter moans elsewhere ---but here
within me,
yesterdays roam,

Like spring rain. Staccato.

My poems are wet ash.
My skin, sand through hourglass.

I make
for shelter,
a grain too late---

in clouds of least favorable reflection.
And though I'm determined to at least pace them,

I know
I can never outrun
the rain.

© 2015 Jennifer Wagner

For Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Art with Toril.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

the best bouquet

smells like
            of glue

stuck to
            red tissue paper
green pipe cleaners

in a chubby fist

just below


© 2015 Jennifer Wagner

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

semper augustus

a garnet-streaked tulip, valentine,

in a field of daffodils
more yellow
than the newborn springtime sun

more welcome
than my favorite denim, softest sweater,
my cowgirl boots

and, seeming
like lace and pearls
by the bed, on the floor
come morning

is found,
           and flaming,

between us

© 2015 Jennifer Wagner

a little bit of a late valentine...smiles. for ian.

the semper augustus was the most rare and valuable tulip at the height of tulipomania in the 17th century ($5,700 for a single bulb!).

Friday, February 13, 2015

Cannot Stop It

It sickles out a living
when you're not looking,

takes a piece of you,
leaves a part of it
on you, in certain scars,
you can never shake.

Sometimes it's something
you hope you'll get
to sleep through,
like when the babies
finally keep bellies
full enough
for you to miss midnight--
your circadian rhythm,

But even though
you think
you're ready,
you're not yet ready-ready,
and tend to say,
it's coming, one day,

though you know enough
to know
it's already here.

© 2015 Jennifer Wagner

Title spun from Emily Dickinson's “Because I Could Not Stop for Death.”

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


I want to search your depths
and find veils
and smoke,
that will vanish at last in flame.
           --from Eve's Discourse, by Carilda Oliver Labra

after first frost,
gypsy lips,
to your molten touch, erupt--

ignite the slumbering zest,
exotic scent,
hidden in white ginger flame,

burns us up
and leaves
            to ash
the petal nest
of our broken names.

We'll sleep like murderers
who've saved themselves
by bonding together in incomparable blossoming.
            --from Eve's Discourse, by Carilda Oliver Labra

© 2015 Jennifer Wagner

For the Sunday Mini-challenge at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads. Grace offered us the work of Cuban poet Carilda Oliver Labra for inspiration.

Mariposa is the national flower of Cuba (white ginger lily, “butterfly”).

Friday, February 6, 2015

Gather Round

Harmonica in hand, fedora tipped,
he sits
on the curb
at Pike Place,
           a glass at his side.

I don't question
what's in it,
I don't judge.

He lifts metal to mouth,
we tune out, but--

like the President
in a State of the Union Address
after tragedy to the nation,

the street
becomes his,
all ears
to the tomcat

and we come,
we come.

© 2015 Jennifer Wagner

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

he forgot the (r) in togethe(r)

i didn't point it out
actually, i didn't even notice
but that's how love is,

© 2015 Jennifer Wagner

Poem © 2014 Andrew Romero
Photo © 2014 Jennifer Wagner

My eldest son wrote this concrete poem and put it on the door of my room last Mother's Day (on wide strips of tape, not right on the door itself, ha). I have yet to take it down because, well, why take it down? And it is the month of love!