Tuesday, September 13, 2016

De(e)p-ression De-funk

I haven't thought
of hollyhocks
in quite some time,

nor roses.

Stone flowers
gray my landscape—hard,

the way the light isn’t light anymore,
but an intrusion, an offense,
to the dark soil of my seedling,

nursing safe, until color is ready to form,
replacing stone,
crumbling statues,

bleak memorials of times past,
headstones of a previous life—

to reach, to grow,
to topple them,
with leaves and stem

and oh, the most glorious bloom.

© 2016 Jennifer Wagner

The Great Stone Church 
Photo © 2016 Jennifer Wagner

Friday, August 26, 2016


Resurgam “I Shall Rise Again”
Mission San Juan Capistrano
Photo © 2016 Jennifer Wagner

At Ricardo’s
our hostess tells us
the swallows do return yearly
from Argentina,

though most nest at the hospital
now it’s the highest building.

They don’t tell you that—over there,
she quips, with a smirk and a nod
toward Mission San Juan Capistrano
and the ruins of The Great Stone Church.

Funny she reveals it to us here,
sitting in its shadow,
netting foot traffic
from history and legend.

But I appreciate candor,
cool and featherless—like me,
here in the shadows, post-quake,
growing less blind and
getting ready to rise again.

© 2016 Jennifer Wagner

Note:  In 1806 The Great Stone Church at Mission San Juan Capistrano was completed.  It was devastated by an earthquake in 1812.  Migrating cliff swallows from Argentina return yearly in March to use the exposed eaves of the ruins and surrounding areas to nest until October.