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Thursday, March 24, 2011


This poem is for Saint Therese of Lisieux. the photograph is an actual funeral photograph of Saint Therese .


We were not supposed to compare

The miracles when they occurred.

One was certainly not better than another;

The roses of Juan Diego to those of Theresa

of Lisieux. We were not to crumple at the

Tiniest comment. What of tears anyway?

We should be able to rise up to the very

Top of buildings without moving our legs.

Surely there would be the burning that carries

Us higher and higher to where finally

We could finally become less and less.

So we spill over and flush the earth

With our tears and quiet sorrows.

We will open the serape of Juan Diego

To see the face of the Virgin, we will find

Joy in the smallest things as we watch our

Hearts empty and fill with love like the locks

On a canal, lifting us up or lowering us

To the clear way around all obstacles,

The way singing does or looking into the eyes

of the beloved, the light reflecting, souls dancing.

Relative to the speed of the past

This is a poem about my mother's twin brother Bob Bellreng. The photograph of Bob was taken by my father Ray Wagner.


My mother’s twin brother was killed

At Normandy Beach while hanging

A telephone line from a pole. Never

Saw it coming. Came back in the

Late summer. The funeral was at home.

He was a handsome man, young and

Beautiful with a kind voice and a bright

Future. There were so many who did

Not come back. Every small town had

Some kind of board listing their dead sons.

Faster than that his nephews and nieces

Were growing old and laughing at how

They looked in the nineteen sixties, how

Long their hair was, how idealistic they were.

Even younger, their children are showing

Off their new babies and are being fussed

Over by relatives. There is still a war. It

Is much more informal these days. No

Boards with names on them in elementary

Schools. Now there are national monuments

With names on them. One must go to Washington

D.C. or the state capitol to see who these people were.

They still gave the same thing as their relatives,

Their lives. It isn’t legal, or barely so, to show

the boxes of the dead coming home.

The speed of the past is wildly furious.

Soon it will be lost again as it always is.

Soon we will stand in the fields of dead

And not one name will carry us away.

We will know nothing once again, implicitly.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Bach-some images etc.

The Orchestral Suites by Bach are gems, full of light and so solid. They are irresistible every time.


Here I am compelled to leave you.

I can see the pale violet light

Where the far mountains speak in secret

To the cumulus clouds and bunch

Them together for those afternoons

Where Bach becomes the perfect

Measure for all thought and we can

But follow, traipsing through

His math matrices with our feelings

Out where everyone can see them.

All music without words commands

The altar and demands respect.

Despite great declensions of information

It is simply not accessible.

Forever, make it part of our speech

Keep it under our fingertips

For as long as possible to recreate

At will a partita or a prelude and fugue

Or the incredible joy a conversation

Might have when we discover

Bach in a new and perfectly sensible