Selected and New Poems

Selected and New Poems

by H. D. Wagener

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Overview

The poetry of H. D. Wagener has been written from several perspectives, including the skeptical Western scientist. an expatriate from the old South, an emigrant to Maine, and a long-term student of a Hindu age. Now, he presents this new compilation, sharing his best work from previous collections, plus his inspiring new poems.

Including poems from The Entire Packet and Gleanings and Giftings, Selected and New Poems follows Wagener's evolution as he travels the eastern seaboard and experiences eye-opening life changes. Using primarily free verse, Wagener provides his wisdom on man and man's relation to physical and spiritual reality.

The collection is eclectic, and follows a broad range of themes and subjects, from academic or metaphysical to the fate of Jews in Nazi Germany. In the midst of this, he travels to his own memory of a 1954 Chevy and a lost love. Intended to entertain and enliven, Wagener's poems paint life in bright colors.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781475928389
Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date: 06/25/2012
Pages: 268
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.61(d)

Read an Excerpt

Selected and New Poems


By H. D. Wagener

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2012 H. D. Wagener
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4759-2838-9


Chapter One

    Rain on Friday Afternoon

    Rain wets the chilled wind.
    Bathers desert the boardwalk.
    Strollers disappear.

    A woman walks in the wind
    wet hair blowing.
    She and the surf and the wind are one.

    Beneath the boardwalk
    a pebble drops from concrete
    leaving a chink.
    A hairline crack in the seawall
    darts another quarter of an inch.


    Cape Elizabeth

    Lashing with spray and salt-tinged sheets of rain
    pounding the headland with cobbles
    the gale struggled with bench and cliff
    half the night, all day, half the night again.
    In an afternoon break in the rain
    we fought the wind to the cliff head.
    Feet braced on rock, facing violent water
    we lay upon the wind
    and took great drafts of life
    while the bench encroached
    upon our everyday remoteness from the sea
    and the crescent in the cove received new sand
    the salt of our reliance on the land.


    Barrier Island

    With inaudible rustle
    or stinging whisper
    sand scuds in the wind
    from drifting shoals
    to the dune line, and rests.

    Advance of the flood enlarges upon
    or sweeps to sea work of the wind.
    The slipping ebb bares on its flanks
    a muddied reef, barren shoals
    and a scattering of the dying.

    The wind whines and moans.
    Water explodes against retreating dunes
    and claws the mud-lump roots of marsh.
    The wind subsides but the still-familiar
    shoreline lies transformed.

    Land owners are discomfited.
    Their stick-legged cabins crowd the dunes.
    Their music shatters the whispering
    rushing, vastness of the night.
    With pilings, timber and iron bolts
    they dam the flooding sand.

    Quartz, glittering mica, black sand trailing yellow
    sand-sized fragments of the dead
    each takes and then relinquishes its place
    as shoal and dune line drift apace as one.

    The timber bolts will follow
    and corrode, as the wind rises
    the shoal whitens, the dead collect
    in heaps behind the strand.

    The wind falls, the dead whiten, the sand drifts.


    April

    Black
    trunk of oak
    gray-green
    splotch of lichen.
    Trash of woodpile
    splintered
    scattered
    flat.

    Khaki lawn grass
    patch of green.
    Earth
    flat black
    puddled.

    Sharp
    line of wall
    length of log.
    Packed, brown
    leaves of woods
    ruffled.

    Splash of traffic
    drip of eaves;
    cold.


    ".... all that lot of land with the two-story
    wooden house thereon, distinguished in a
    plat of these lots duly recorded by the No.
    1, bounded and bordered by ...."

    wrinkled pane
    thin-worn treadle
    hand-blown cut glass
    tarnished metal

    brick-up cistern
    ivy-smothered
    opal bottles
    undiscovered.


    Winter Swash

    Tiny tidal bores
    lap over
    as coverlets
    in haste
    to shield
    them-
    selves against the cold.


    Waterfall

    Forty-thousand gallons a minute
    rip into the rock below
    excavate a pool in which to plunge
    then blackly boil along downstream
    as though the river were an afterthought.


    Primer on Oscillographic Lines
    in Walls of Marble Toilet Stalls

    Water and Light

    Light sparkled in a shallow sea.
    Oscillations of swells
    and white-topped turbulence
    cycled oxygen to the bottom
    where brachiopods extracted
    from the water calcium
    for valves of the carbonate of calcium.

    Storm surges darkened the water.
    Titanic seas bulldozed stunned brachiopods
    into malodorous heaps.
    Shells clacked emptily together.
    Fragments were distributed uniformly
    over the planed remains of older heaps
    that was then the floor of the sea.

    Generations buried preceding generations
    under the accumulations of their existence
    until the sea floor sagged beneath them.


    Water

    Beneath a hundred million years
    of dead weight of fragmented shells
    fragments dissolved at contact points
    precipitated in voids as interlocking crystals
    and vast accumulations
    of broken brachiopods became rock.

    Water squeezed along planar invertebrate generations
    irregularly dissolving mottled rock
    leaving behind on the now oscillographic seams
    insoluble residua: feces of brachiopods;
    carbon from the soft parts;
    terrestrial and cosmic dust.


    Darkness

    Having quarried, cut and polished a miracle
    we sit in semi-darkness, scratching obscenities
    across the marbled face of Earth.


    Interstate 26

      I

    The meadow that reaches from spring to winter
    beckons, with quilts and tufts of flowers
    and concrete warping skyward
    as leaves regress into buds.

      II

    In heavy warmth of lowland spring in early afternoon
    a man blacker than the loam turned by any harrow
    plows and sweats behind a mule.
    In the shadow of a lean-to
    half a mile away beside the access road
    his wife weaves sweet grass into baskets.

    Children disperse from a school bus
    like ants from a kicked mound.
    Three of assorted ages amble through wisteria
    arched in bloom and leaf
    and thump across a loose-plank porch
    to the cool interior of the plowman's house
    where Jesus, framed in gold
    hangs alone on dark walls.
    They head for an icebox
    of yellowed enamel, rough from scrubbing
    down colored sugar water
    cavort briefly in front-room shadows
    and report to the weaving shed.
    They will not see their father before dark.

      III

    A wisp of dust, rising beyond the arc
    of a swell in grain land
    traces the course of a tractor.
    The tires will dwarf the driver's children
    when they engulf him at the barn at evening.
    But now, in the late afternoon
    of dogwood and red bud time
    two children play at homework;
    a third idles talent at the piano.
    A hired cook prepares the evening meal
    over which the driver's wife will preside
    making it her own.

      IV

    Mists billow and cling to the ridge crest.
    Black crags rend a lace of whitened twigs.
    In a trough in the sea of ridges, a man
    bent and frosted as the twigs
    works his mule and plow around a rock
    he would have carted off not twenty years before.
    In a cabin crimped into a flat between ridge and creek
    his wife unseals the last jar of blackberry jam
    and muses; the children would have been upset
    at running out of jelly stores before the first buds open.

    She calls her husband in for eggs and grits.
    They breakfast with the Bible
    reading or remembering to each other.

      V

    The meadow that reaches from spring to winter
    or winter to spring as easily
    as a change of direction, beckons.


    A Rhombohedron of Calcium Carbonate

    I slowly rotate in my hand
    the angled spar
    and stare down surfaces
    of internal fracture planes
    fixed in space, parallel
    to each rhombic prism facet.

    The planes reflect as silvered glass
    throw out spectra
    and disappear on edge
    in describing symmetrical corridors
    reaching infinitely inward.


    Forty-acre Rock

    Earth lay balding at Forty-acre Rock
    despite restorative attempts by sedum
    rotting out potholes
    and blowing grass seed
    which made a saltant entrance
    and came to rest
    to roast in reflected radiation.

    On the crown of the rock
    in the radiance of autumn
    lay a boy of Taxahaw
    spread-eagle, bare to the waist
    skin against crystal-pocked smoothness.

    In the half-sleep, a vision troubled his consciousness:
    tremors of Andean eruptions undulated his skin;
    electromagnetic pikes entered his heart, the rock and the Earth
    whose interior surged beneath him
    sealing the destiny of the stone.

    From caverns concealed in furrows in the granite cranium
    unnumbered braves tumbled toward unremembrance
    and the cyclic furrowing of corn land
    amid crashing of exfoliating rock
    and excesses of water
    that tugged the dermal roots
    and removed the sand of sedum.

    The boy revealed his vision to the Elders
    who spoke among themselves;
    "There are no mountains higher than the sun
    from which the surging bowels of the Earth spew fiery waters.
    Father of Rock, great shoot of Earth's heart
    works up slowly, as sand and soil fall from his brow.
    Who would have warriors stoop with women, tending corn?
    And as to rocks and men, pinioned to the Earth
    by spears like silent lightning from the Sun....
    This is the vision of an unschooled boy, or a fool."

    The boy learned his lesson well.
    He never lay on the rock again
    but shunned the place, and kept to his quiver.

    To the rhythm of thunder
    sheets of water sweep the Father of Rock
    and carry its sands to the timeless river
    which swept the boy into the caverns of the cosmos.


    Class Break

    Reverberations of a bell
    fade in an empty hall
    alerting my awareness.

    A stream begins to cascade
    down and up the stairwell
    and overfills the hall
    surging, yielding, braiding
    momentarily interlocking
    a tumult of consciousness
    always oncoming
    year after year
    as points of awareness;
    their family lines hold
    fade and reappear
    like memories recycling.

    Here is one standing
    wistfully gazing
    at crystalline whiteness
    that reaches to mountains
    fronted by chasms:
    the depths of longing
    the black rejection
    the scuttled hope.

    She awaits a leap of awareness
    imagines the fleeting brilliance
    of a hand on a shoulder, unexpected
    smiles merging, fingers entwining
    eyes electrifying the air.

    Where do they go at last
    these ever-blossoming seed?
    Down and out the doorway
    in and up the stairs
    rippling, augmenting, refining
    the consciousness of a nation
    a deva rose diffusing
    over the surface of God.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Selected and New Poems by H. D. Wagener Copyright © 2012 by H. D. Wagener. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Preface....................ix
Part 1: Poems from the Entire Packet....................1
Rain on Friday Afternoon....................3
Cape Elizabeth....................4
Barrier Island....................5
April....................7
".... all that lot of land with the two-story wooden house thereon, distinguished in a plat of these lots duly recorded by the No. 1, bounded and bordered by ...."....................8
Winter Swash....................9
Waterfall....................10
Primer on Oscillographic Lines in Walls of Marble Toilet Stalls....................11
Interstate 26....................13
A Rhombohedron of Calcium Carbonate....................16
Forty-acre Rock....................17
Class Break....................19
Clifford Eubanks....................21
The Nameless Messenger....................26
Classic....................27
Architecture 201....................29
Evelyn Absalom....................30
The Cleric of Clinton Avenue....................31
I Have Observed....................33
Decision....................34
Fragment....................35
How the Deck is Stacked....................38
The Floor of the Indian Ocean....................39
Truth/Self/self....................41
Easter Message....................42
Escher and the Night....................45
Before the Race....................46
Stroke....................48
Edging from the Unreal Toward the Real....................51
Narrative and Psalm....................53
Christmas Day....................55
Eightball....................56
Summer Concert in the Square....................58
A Two-dimensional Fragment of the Universe....................62
Pete and the Cap'n....................64
Essay: Modern Mythology....................67
September 18, 2001....................69
Two Photographs....................71
Glory in the Grass....................73
The Predation of Innocence....................75
Perspective....................77
Essay on Nothing New....................81
Effacing the Separate Ego in Performing Schumann....................82
Mantrum Walk....................84
Meeting the Master....................86
The Rosenstrasse Protest....................89
Nikolai....................91
Fear Dreams....................95
Bottom Fishing....................98
Maximilian Mary Kolbe....................101
Self-Reliance....................103
The Latter Part of Spring....................105
Silence....................106
Elizabeth Leddy....................107
Cumberland County, Maine....................109
The Maiden....................111
March 20, 2003....................113
The Purposes of Patterns....................115
On Being Sketched....................117
West Bank, Palestine, 2003....................119
Herb....................121
The Secret of Work....................125
Ramana Maharshi's Question....................126
Yeshua Ben Miriam Converses with Saul of Tarsus....................128
Bowing to You....................132
Part 2: Poems from Gleanings and Giftings....................133
The Apostles' Creed....................135
Graffiti....................136
Low Priority....................138
Homo Faber....................139
Augustine and Einstein....................140
Contemplating Marion....................143
Acceptance....................146
Change....................147
Pigeon Class....................148
Bat Mitzvah....................150
A Display of Nineteenth-Century Glass....................152
Flights of Reverberation....................153
Therapy Session....................154
Ray Charles....................155
Prenatal State....................158
February Sunrise....................159
Dinner at the Brunswick Diner....................161
American Legacy....................164
Ruth Farabee Clark....................166
Darkness and Light....................168
The Pulling....................171
In a Photograph....................173
The Tower of Emptiness....................174
That Which Is....................176
Speculation....................177
Street Ball....................180
Healing the Thumb....................182
A Replacement for Hanley Denning....................184
Gleanings and Giftings....................186
Photograph on the Prairie....................189
Epiphany of a Physicist....................190
Euclidian and Other Dreams....................193
Girl Child....................196
Lesson in Patience in April....................199
J. Sherrard Rice, Churchman....................200
Intelligent Design....................204
Luna....................206
God Is....................207
Cards and Other Games....................208
Bringers of New Things....................210
August Morning....................212
Part 3: New Poems....................213
Bicycle Trellis....................215
The In Is the Out....................216
Moran's Market....................218
Inventory....................222
I Speak As One Guilty....................225
Fran Steals the Peas....................226
How to Accept that Fran Stole the Peas?....................228
To Myself at Age Four in a Family Photograph on the Lawn Above the Rappahannock....................229
Night....................232
Zip....................234
Celebration....................235
Gleanings and Giftings....................236
Still Life: Juxtaposed Antitheses....................238
After the Movie....................240
The Storm of Life....................241
Disembodied Dynamics....................243
Eknath Easwaran....................244
The Techies....................245
In God We Trust....................247
The Birds....................248
The Brain and God....................249
Motiveless Malignity....................251
Thought Beyond Thought....................252
Train Lines....................254
John Woolman Walked Among my Predecessors in Virginia, 1757....................255
Last Stop Before Home....................256

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