Monday, January 27, 2020

Their Caroling Voices

children will ask pourquoi in their caroling voices
starting to feel that the round may begin again
sweet as the gum trees are their choices

dropping the notes in the tisket tasket wind.
I would go back only I cant find a driver
I would go back the sand castles just to mend

I would go back in a penny valentine instant
if only the golden horseshoe toss to win.
I look at trees outside my grownup windows

wishing they were the trees from way back when
the angel trees and the guardians
the pine cone ornaments gilded again.

who ever knows what time is
wish they had left their notes
everything they recorded

everything that they wrote.
swift are the days in their passing
though it wont seem so when

you are a child in summer
with ice cream money to spend.


On This Delectable Day

on the waters of the white daffodil sun
we awoke to dreaming drifting
no more categories

the summer alphabets had come
the ones of berries, of the broad leafed
swish of raindrops showering us all silver

as we passed. and the rainbow fixed in
the ever altering skies.
the sound of mowers in the afternoon

by this we know it is Saturday
we wont have to consult the sun dial
and Grandfather makes kites for us

out of brown wrapping paper the kind
that parcels come in
homework is far away

but not the Lone Ranger on TV
nor the aroma of grilled cheese

we could do anything I think
I know we will

on this delectable day
I'm writing you this way
in clouds of ink.

mary angela douglas 27 january 2020

Sunday, January 26, 2020

EPHEMERAL

it is ephemeral
and twilight
girls in the blueness
pale in their summer's
unknowing
weep into my consciousness
but they do not mourn
for the subtle deaths
of their own shadows.

As
carnation-coloured the sun
bleeds softly into night
they are bleached with wonder
carelessly in the last lights
blurred shining as the sheen
of unpetaled flowers
dreamed of, yet unsought
they move, holding carefully
the velvet of themselves.

this moonblazing
diminishes everything
something has unclosed my heart
and let some darkness in

I am inarticulate
clanging madly
(but not ungentle)
at the gated stars.
because it was ephemeral and twilight
and the universe has unstrung me.

Mary Angela Douglas
Fontbonne College, St. Louis
April 8, 1970

Whatever It Is

perhaps He is somewhere juggling doves and prisms
or we will go there later to see the orange grove turn to gold
in the next chapter

or in the rose or is it the cerise moment no one knows
if You ask them, he could suddenly be by your side.
you feel like a wedding bouquet

as if you were painted by Chagall
or in the museum the slightest ray of pink on the wall
let's you know no painting is ever finished.

still they try to bar him banish Him from the arts.
But He is art. whatever it is they think they dream in error
they may accomplish without Him

who made the Sun.

mary angela douglas 26 january 2020

Saturday, January 25, 2020

When Happiness Comes To Stay

we can't live in history
we have to live somewhere else
I know we decided very young

well live in clouds or underground
like hobbits in basement apartments
where all we can see are the shoes

of the fanciful villagers out the low windows
and we'll tell ghost stories 
if we please

living among ferns and heirloom roses.
we'll strike poses like the grand dames
and avoid the flim flams

wear dresses that trail the flower beds
when all is said we will not live where
people get blown away because a king

one day with a rusty sword says suddenly: Im bored
we'll have a war.

instead we will live in a magic cottage
with fine dishes in the cupboards
honey and butter

and we will pray to be far away
and mold our clay and sing old songs
and right old wrongs by just dancing

when happiness comes to stay.

mary angela douglas 25 january 2020

THE APOTHEOSIS OF JOHN KEATS


o bright ascension!


still to our untuned ears you play


the unheard melodies beyond the ragged cough


of the every day


the blood on the kerchief showing death is near


but still but still the nightingales hold sway


captive in your rain soaked gardens and glad to be singing


in the mulberry branches of your poems your fervid dreams


the ecstacy of timbrels cool quiet of the lilies.


what was the wine press of your soul to leave


such shattering odes at the door of death for


who can transpose in our day even one degree of your
measure


perfect as it is. the pearl of forever.


the embroidered lines grow wings and would depart


such was your art transfiguring but something, someone bids them stay


to remind us in a minimal age nothing beautiful can die


when it was made that way.


mary angela douglas 25 january 2020

Friday, January 24, 2020

How To Endure A Circus

how to endure a circus, one that never ends
the candy turned sour and the lights grow dim

and the showpiece is you

turning on all wheels
with no appeal.
how to address an atmosphere

as soon as you speak, it isn't there
you must be dreaming the monitors say
no one here would treat you that way

so you find your place in the nearest ditch
but the storm stays put and it's always like this

at the flick of the switch;
when company comes
oh suddenly everything's kingdom come

confetti descends and they all pretend

and the guests depart saying isn't it swell
they treat the residents here so well.

or it's your turn to take the long green walk
to solve the equation but there's no chalk

and nothing makes sense but you pay the rent
and you pay and you pay in belittling ways
and you try to say oh you cant do this

but what can you say to a face like a fist
and who would believe you anyway
when the management crowns you

clown of the day.

Christ on Calvary understood
the nooks and crannies of the neighborhood
and the gleaming cup and the horror within

and all those mocked on a wheel that spins
and spins and spins

till you grow dizzy in your tears
the target of the prefab years
where they file the reports

and collect their pay
all in the name of the working day
and no one believes a word you say

but Christ on the cross who saw it too
and bides his time and comforts you
and knows the greasepaint isn't real

knows every single nail you feel.

mary angela douglas 24 january 2020

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Feeling Transparent, Nearer to Forever

the more I try to be some part of things
the more transparent I feel
I feel.

so many things.
transparency being foremost.
this has been going on for some time

out of Time I mean to say, beyond Time.
perhaps it is knowing Spirit is paramount
the undying heart that doesnt read the news

feeling apart in that sense is correct.
on all the tests about transcendence.
turning the dial on a time machine that is aging

and then not.
what have I forgot what did I leave on the bus
of the last century

in dreams I ask
unaccountably
and with no records

written in the language of the everyday.
this day.
that holds no familiar spires.

perhaps I feel now closer to God.
now that I am glass.
and can welcome the sun

as though nothing else
ever happened here.

mary angela douglas 23 january 2020

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

I DREAMED THAT GOD WORE A WOUNDED SKIN

I dreamed that God wore a wounded skin
almost an animal skin comprised
of all the wounds that were ever felt of

you and I or devised
like peacock eyes the wounds were open
and ongoing. majestic and terrible

I dreamed this was a cloak he wore
that fused to His invisibility and Light and more
that could not be burned off because he would not let it be

until each child's misery came to an end even the smallest
bird brambled cut
and this was his defense against 

the taunts of the Enemy of those

who thought he was the origin of pain and willed it so
so He carried Himself and was His own mystery

by His own perfection by his all seeing Heart
and Eye 
and this was the coat he wore in season and out

that kept on growing and that he felt what we felt
all of us each of us and all the time and so specifically
each recorded in His skin: lash of the day

eruption within, uprising chained and muted
so that the coat kept growing through all
the sad disputes of his existence and our wars

He was our scars completely

and He moved through time and space this way so slowly
with the wounds seeping and each one fresh as the
day it was made

and that it became Him more and more
He was so one with it 
in such a specific way

that when we prayed oh Father help me here
all the wounds sprung fresh tears
and He named them, name by name.

mary angela douglas 22 january 2020

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

I Don't Mind

it isnt wrong to write about home
to care about that more than any cause
or arent you still both a citizen of Oz

and Kansas too.
the you that is the real you whether or not
the skies be emerald now or blue

is there so much you have forgot?
all things are there. even the dream you dream
is rooted there after all the lullabies

have gone by. what men live by Tolstoy wrote about.
and others too.
but as for you

home is everything.
if they think me a fool for saying that
I don't mind.

mary angela douglas 21 january 2020

NO MATTER WHAT LANGUAGE

we sought the far language
the one spelled out in stars
the one of outposts

the gap between telegrams
in the never ending wars.
the polar stillness.

it's not for glory or to relinquish old scars
when scars are deeper than the crevasse
you could have fallen into.

why didn't you. you know it must God
who kept your soul from breaking into two
in the ice storms

where He shielded you
but who will believe you
that this really happened

no matter what language you mine.

mary angela douglas 21 january 2020

Saturday, January 18, 2020

To The New Ray Bradbury Review I Just Found Out About Yesterday

the first month in the New Year
we knew this was going to be a  crackling good one
bringing the dandelion wine up from a certain basement


from The New Ray Bradbury Review
the dandelions called home
their seeds reconnoitered


back to their constellations, white and gold
law and order not among the crab apple trees
but character amid the circuses


a little molten honey from the beekeeper


reprieved;


again the green diffusions from the window shades


and canyon mirages overstaying their welcome
look at that he says and disappears.


popping up again in alternate years, issues with
a half cheese sandwich filed under "c"


fragments of stories from the diffident cabinets
the old jester


Jack in the box here's another one


in huckleberry shadows half begun
or the folios of fragrance from blue hills
a few bills overdue marked paid


and juxtaposed do you suppose
the rivers can run backwards


in the shade of Song
the Shade remarking "Present


and accounted for".


try to understand.
its like finding gold
when the Mine is no more.


mary angela douglas 18 januar 2020

Who Moved The Sun

is terrror the drifting of beauty
beauty that cannot remain is it the
shepherds on the plain

blinded by the blazing in the skies
illuminated by angels
or the Magi before the Child

the star appearing within them now

everywhere else, it is Winter for a long Time.

or we are children walking across the plains
of our backyard in our new overshoes
so that the snow has become the imprint

our imprint upon it
so that the snow is no longer itself
or your shadow grows on the sidewalk

leafy as summers

you dont even know enough to say
who moved the sun
who moved the day out of the way

now it is night
and the jeweled tree darkens
the jeweled tree of the sky

you are asleep.
but you dont know why.

mary angela douglas 18 january 2020

Friday, January 17, 2020

With Pound Cake

could we turn in a jewel box world
and could we twirl in tulle, too
we wondered in our mama's room

the pink one like  a rose that bloomed
even when she wasn't there.
the one with the tune,

"Enchanted Evening.", the box I mean
with sweet costume jewelry that princess gleamed.
or Queen.

then we wondered many things
why Midnight In Paris in deep blue

glass was a consolation prize on TV
and if Samsonite luggage would hold up
should we be invited to tea by

Princess Margaret and Lillibet too

why drinking cocoa from a cup

made it taste better and if THEY knew
why Grandmother in any weather would say
dont forget your sweater today

when you go outside girls.
unless it was summer
when she would admonish

your nose, dont forget to put
zinc oxide on it.

these were riddles like forget me knots
that twined in the embroidery of our knots of our
thinking a lot

and where is the prism that shines on the wall
like in Pollyana and will we fall too like she did
when rescuing our dolls, into the grass

in all our dramatic reenactments
of an early Spring.when we saw Disney

on the Rialto screen
and drank Coca Cola in every scene
iced in the jelly glass

and with a fizzy sound
poured in the afternoons 
with pound cake.

mary angela douglas 17 january 2020


On The Death of Christopher Tolkien and His Return to the Shire of Shires

I saw Eternity the other night,
like a great ring of pure and endless light.,,
Henry Vaughn, The World


what do I know of hobbits on my own
I never could get past their pantries and
the delicious feeling of being home forever

after hundreds of years under a turfy dome.
and second breakfasts suited me
not wandering.

not one for venturing
not even in Tolkien's tomes too much
I wanted to know I guess

I had never finished them that the lay of that land
lay still before me near at hand
and I  could take the little footpaths

whenever I chose. savoring a hobbit rose or two in an
industriously cheerfully worked garden or so.
as a way perhaps to stay here longer in my own shire laughing

to have a reason to stay

so I could say when the angels show up some day
Look, look where the bookmark is.
Just leave me here

from year to year and wont you have some second breakfast
or three or four.
I didnt like Gollum

and I would have preferred
to hear from friends how it all came out
to know the Riders from a distance.

but now the last emissary is gone.
and suddenly I want to learn every silver sylvan song
on the pages left the passageways to

that wholly invented world and creep.even to the ravines.
the Misty Mountains misted more now
and regret spills over into the terra incognitas.

of my sleep and deep and deeper dreams

weep on. still woven though the weavers are gone

and yet let Spring time bud at such reunions
peremptorily envisioned. and all the stars in Henry Vaughn's ring too
sing and sing for Christopher and his father and all lore

the ring of eternity the ring of Divine Love moves ever on though
that harvest of such stories now is done.

mary angela douglas 17 january 2020

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Blue-Starred, It's The Corner Lot

blue starred it's the corner lot
where Christmas trees were
blue firs I imagine


under the bulbs that seem to me
that seemed to me then strung on their illuminating wires
bulbs of pale moonlight


the moon in pieces then
splintered from the ice or
the pale bulbs of flowers growing underground


could they emerge in this leftover snow Eurydice,
suddenly; lemon coloured, cream
the sine qua non of dreams a kind of Della Robbia.robin's egg blue


I bent down to find to glean in the rare skimmed puddles.
reflections;
the branches broken twigs of pine snapped off


still redolent and fine crushed between my finger tips
ever more fragrant, oh my evergreens
from the trees cracked off in a rush a sleeting glaze


to grace some family home.
I gather many of the leavings
a gleaner of them


and decorate my later Christmas
as no afterthought
in a multicoloured glow that can't let go of me haze


even when the starlight
has spilled its last tinsel
on this frozen ground.


and all my winter angels
sighing in unison their sky blue sighs,
leave.


mary angela douglas 16 january 2020

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

For Sharon In Her Musical Displays

I wonder if we'll be on the other side of music one day
ushered in with pink programmes
or you will swing on the gate of it

as you did before, roller skating
in preludes, wading through scales., Scarlatti
geranium coloured.

will the notes sound like crystals

falling;will we still admire the azaleas?
will Grandmother spell out tone poems
while we listen to small records

of the great composers;
remember, when we're away

the reticence of Beethoven

how he was charged with Light
after the rains, the wind shaking the leaves free of raindrops.

will the sheet music  be scattered through the rose garden
because we left the windows open

or glimpsed in the pink nightlight

short songs on the page, arranged.
our faces in cameo infant profile;the toy pianos at rest
and then, the nocturnes.the almond trees somewhere,

blossoming.

it seems so distant now
the way we dreamed it then:
both hands on the keys

the gardenias, scented through the back screen door

now we are carried each on such a wave
through portals on a ship that wasn't there before

we never booked passage on.
you said in your sleep a baby corsage!
I know you must have in your rabbit dreams

with the guardian angels and the metronome;

this is Heaven

this is home where
music goes on and Mama sings our birthdays
rose light through the curtains in the afternoons.

may it always be.and near the pines.
after a dry season
you will lift the piano lid

like a sunrise.
and small bouquets will arrive
for the recital.

mary angela douglas 14 january 2020

Monday, January 13, 2020

Read Like You Did When You Were A Child

read like you did when you were a child
with sunset bookmarks
thirsty after awhile

for lemonade or lime.
go back to the picture every time
to the green chair in the rose garden

and rest your chin on the windowsill
of way back then
read read freely without clocks.

read and carry the tune within
or carry the one of let's begin
and begin again.

read for the colours for the pink roof's slope
read for the music without a note.
read for the heart's enchantment then

switch off the light
and dream it again.

mary angela douglas 13 january 2020

The Sins Against The Elephants

somewhere though no one could point to it on a map
the ghost of someone remembers
the sins against the elephants

where ghost children play
or with sacks full of jaw breakers
spend the eternal day

throwing pebbles

rippling the circus of Time
someone hears a trumpeting trampling
the scatter shot applause

the oohs and ahs
someone remembers under a tawny
and tempestuous tent flap flung wide revealing

its own rude universe
the elephant tired at the end of its tether
enough to make the angels cry. the elephant kneeling

as though in prayer; the whip lash and the trembling hide.

someone witnessed the sins against the elephants
imagination spurred this way the grey stampede of rain clouds
and forked lightning

the glitter for a moment...dissolve and fade;

and then they went away trundling softly swaying
to farther fields no longer boxcar bound
and garlands of flowers flung about their necks

and they were happy then;sweet recompense was theirs
yet in the tall grasses in the train yards where their small town griefs were sown

amid the deceit of sawdust and over painted clowns

in the tall grasses combed over the tracks of ghost towns bearing the mournful regal sounds
audio ambient upon the air the kind and gracious sounds they made for little children in the great parades or the turning around and around

wounds the spectacle forever and ever 

so plaintivly...


when ghosts of the children we may have been then or some of our kin
chew on peppermints and remember when

counting between slow tears; oh for years and years
the sins against the elephants
who loved us.

mary angela douglas 13 january 2020

Till We Are Not Ourselves

to William Blake

some miracles lance the heart of God
his children striving after bread
when they on manna long had fed

or choosing wilderness instead
some miracles in the circus bred.
sustained by grace, dissatisfied

departing from the Shepherd's side
to seek false sponsors as our guide
wed to denial as a bride;

unleashed His tears, in our floodtide

the wave the wave going over.
thus does the course of history wind
and choke the living tree to death

and cloud and cloud the mirror's breath
till we are not ourselves.

mary angela douglas 13 january 2020

Sunday, January 12, 2020

On Their Days Off

inset with jewels the uncommon day arrives
for the common reader filled with rose surmise
surveying the field of books, his fold, his kingdom

bold, her castles set with pennants, ships
with a crystal hold all held within
though modern times deny, think it's a sin

to reed and read imagination's hoard and to spend
every cent on what in ages past
to only kings was lent

the beauty of a bordered page
the soul recaptured
though the landlords rage

at such inspected clutter;
hazard the waves the renter 
thinks I will

as soon as this pale diatribe 
fades into far hills
a mariner of words I will return

to everything since childhood
I could not help but learn
and learn and learn

sheer beauty on the friendly page.
the snowy one from age to age.
the one that kept me from the world's dim cage

since I began
will light my path beyond The Very End.

mary angela douglas 12 january 2020



Saturday, January 11, 2020

I Face Today

the tinkertoy, the cone shaped fir  along the track
the lincoln log oh all of that a few game pieces strewn
I remember from a childhood room

and if I were my own fairy godmother still
a wand I'd wave and recreate them at my at my will
into some vast architectural wonder

where I'd live and suffer no ills or thunder
no cherry faked out medicines
no sugar pills

and most of all, no bills.
from small magic acorns oaks will grow
or beanstalks glittering row on row

ah zirconium...

perhaps a ship on which I'd stow myself

a few silk dresses from a dream
culled from some wayward closet;
from first light until now:

all that music has endowed

but oh that Spring has disappeared
the schillings wrapped in gold,
oh chocolate

but not with those the remnant fears,
the sudden bouquets of white roses, tulips
lily of the valley sprays

the still odd moments aggravating tears not praise
and tears in the paper where once I wrote

inaccurately of stars spoken into light
or is it the other way around
how do I know am I queen of the Lost and Found

who only kept a few small charms in disarray
in jewelbox velour and out of the way
to meet the exigencies they say:
I face today.

mary angela douglas 11 january 2020

Mr. Tin In The Years Prior To

he recollected tin toys, the woodman,
tin pie plates, lots of fun.
a shiny childhood,

then, no one.
and years of gazing at the stars
knowing they were silver, not

tin at all.not titanium.
who, then, should he have been
he pondered when he could not win

in realms of rust
with the moonlight out
for sure the brightest object in the woods.

perhaps I am a planet dowering light
he thought. perhaps not.
what orbit is mine.

these were the years the years before
he knew what he was looking for
without the looking glass his mother made him.

almost, without a past
before the yellow path appeared
the emerald place

the heart endearing and endeared.

mary angela douglas 11 january 2020

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Never, Never Melting

we were holding the train of the Snow Queen
as if the snows were Alencon lace
and above the sleet the sliding traffic always

on the glass mountain.
are you half asleep I asked my sister
and she always said oh not now

and that made me laugh.
how could I know the Snow Queen
bided Time

and the sweep of the snow
could obliterate the dream time too
all those tracks we made

in the silver realms.

we could always be new I thought

with every Spring.
but in the Spring we were chilled quite through.
never mind

chimed the cloisonne clock,
old jewelry and the flasks of perfume
on Grandmother's dresser.

we will get better at dressing for the weather
and we will forget our servitude.
knowing we are silver too

in our dresses and with their endless veils
of moonlight, perpetual lilac, deep in our thoughts
deep wells ourselves with the arc of the white gold flowers branching over us

all those stories we used to tell ourselves,
never never melting.

mary angela douglas 9 january 2020

Different People Live There Now

beyond the lemon border of the stars
we had coloured in our robin's egg blue day
and this was perpetual Easter

and in our Easter dresses and with the backyard lilies in our hands
we would stand on the green and within the dark green shadows.
having our pictures made by a smiling Grandfather.

this was our circumference then; all april weather
when Grandmother tied our sashes perfectly
and Mama was replete, springlike in conversation

we could not measure;only live within.
I know this happened even though the violet storms rolled in
even though that house so solid then is the house is a house of memory now

and though I would visit it somehow
through a thousand thousand blizzards
and the way most treacherous

even in rags
I know the door is locked now.
and different people live there

who do not know me.

mary angela douglas 9 january 2020