Thursday, May 13, 2021

Diversions

at any moment in Time we may have been discontented

over things large or small;it is the small I like to thing about.

the doll sized teas and problems

the days it rained when you hung the washing on the line

when your shoes at the birthday party didnt fit right

so you couldnt enjoy the cake though possibly the strawberry ice 

cream

made you forget the hole in the safety net at the circus

looking at small problems even the fabricated makes me feel better

what if the lollipops no longer come in cherry

what if I have to take math over again and over again

for the rest of my days

what if it rains on all the parades

the king is in a terrible mood

and the golden dish is cracked 

what shall we do about that

or the paint peeling on the ceiling

and the ceiling is the Sistine

lets think about other things

from distant eras

anything to get away 

from what worries you now

and let the lights play over a sea somehow

no longer raging

watching the clouds that look for all the world

like Napoleon's horses, if his horses had been magenta.

mary angela douglas 13 may 2021

On Reading Belatedly Of the Immense Praise of the Irish Times Heaped on Bob Dylan For His Nobel Prize Award

some princess must have made a golden promise to a frog somewhere

she didnt keep for Bob Dylan to get the Nobel Prize for Literature I muttered in my sleep

what part of the Emperor's New Clothes do they not understand

I would wash my hands of it if I could, being part Irish:

light a million votive candles say even that many more prayers

to understand how unaware of anything beautiful I find them to be

the keepers of this kingdom of literature near to the Irish Sea

may bluebirds, linnets, lapwings escape their cages all at once and make a racket

because a racket a racket is what this is.

oh Irish Times this is not tis. nor temperate nor wise.

I wonder now about the Fates;did they stop spinning

to sanction this winning

and have three words to bring you to your senses

in all the golden tenses:

WILLIAM. BUTLER. YEATS.

mary angela douglas 13 may 2021

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Largo

(to Antonin Dvorak)

ten thousand firefly welcomes in the hyacinth dusk;

the trees that were rust are suddenly wanded gold.

the Soul in laddered moonlight steadied by angels

slowly, revolves toward Home.

mary angela douglas 12 may 2021

Where Is The Poem You Sent Out

your poem they have set like a lamentation before the glass

on which rain streaks and no silver pattern finds

the chill of the glass is overfine they reflect and turn away

your poem they have set on a desolate mountaintop in a storm

without a shawl to keep it warm under the nebula under the mists and the winds

your poem they pretend they can't get to just yet

while the dust collects on your waning soul they

suck the marrow of its honey out

and cultivate it as their own.

mary angela douglas 12 may7 2021

as if they were cannibals.

My Most Roseate Years

(to my mother, Mary Adalyn Young-Douglas in lieu of roses, now)


that poems should filter beauty as summer trees the light

was often in childhood my cherished hidden delight

to sing like this! my wish of all wishes.

a poet said full long ago I know the woods of Arcady are dead

and yet to me it seems not so whenever I turn like Keats

to the realms of gold

and spy again as through a pinhole  the quartz bright kingdoms

of my own bequeathed to me

all that was hoped for in my most roseate years

shining and shining in the imperiled rose gardens sans fear and

ignorant of the days to come.

mary angela douglas 12 may 2021

Writing The Poem You Long To Be

dreaming the poem you want to read

small birds come through the window

with ribbons curled of song, of the glossiest blue

festooning your room and even the closet

is full of stars, star closet God packed it so

to the brim you will never run out of light

nor the singing birds so gladsome in flight

write before Time, before history compiled its

book of radiant sorrows, write for Tomorrow

write toward the transfiguration, Christ illuminating

all the should have not beens

packed into one day where all the angels

just haul them away.

and the trees start blossoming, april whispering

you're all on the sweet Green page again.

mary angela douglas 12 may 2021

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Staff Picks

I never read the books recommended by the bohemian staff at the 

bookshops

I figured the books they liked were too morose as they never looked 

up

when I came in all happy I was in their little cul de sac of books

after work resenting me for interrupting their reading

so what they liked to read I figured would make me feel the same way.

maybe I missed out, I can't be sure.we all make mistakes and

I didnt see every employee.

Maybe there were one or two who only worked in the back

and were exceedingly cheerful doing so.

and found books to recommend that bristled with gladness.

mary angela douglas 11 may 2021

To A Young Poet Digging An Early Grave

spite kills poetry

much else, besides;

the clever little asp

hidden in a line;

one tiny phrase

darting out its tongue,

give it up.

it's a bad habit;

killing cloudless beauty;

the insouciant young.

mary angela douglas 11 may 2021

Sunday, May 09, 2021

Hemispheres

in half of my mind it is snowing

in the other half, it is blooming

there is no bridge from one side to the other

set in mosaics so that you know it will hold

there is this shimmering I know as the Holy Spirit

a garment of soft greens 

a small footpath by a blue and white stream

this is set in pleasing stones and wondrously familiar

some day the curtains will blow straight up to the stars

I will see from the snow side the roses blooming

I will pluck one.

by that time, I will be Home;they will all be looking for me.

mary angela douglas 10 may 2021

Minimalism

they will edit the moon from the night skies

reduce all music to a blank extinguished cry

leaving the branches bare all summer long;

how shall I append my heart o where;

to a nest where the birds of silver

have never been?

mary angela douglas 9 may 2021


On The Deletion Of The Word God From The National Day Of Prayer Proclamation As Signed Off On By President Joe Biden May 6 2021

(to God, My Father)


Your name is a nest of lilies where my soul finds rest

from wild dogs tearing it apart your name is a green glade

where I breathe when overwhelmed by the lack of oxygen

in the rooms of those who think it a slight matter not to

mention you at all, even those who call You so many names in private

bowing down to the earth

I will not desert your name more precious to me than the

fragrance of all the roses, birdsong in the midnight crisis hour

than the storm in its violet creases who are they omitting your

name your name your name or letting it all go by

the core of the flame that lights our way

without which we are nil

and have no name at all ourselves.

mary angela douglas 9 may 2021

Thursday, May 06, 2021

The Flight Of The Libraries

(for Ray Bradbury)

if you came back today, a week from now, say
some golden morning before the dandelion fluff wears off
with the Sun still making taffied Light in the arboretums:
would you watch with us who await in the white dawn
the improbable sorrowful flight of the libraries?
for we need the apple comfort of all you meant in order to bear
this lift off of all the rarities. the secret files and piles on piles of

discarded classics no longer branded "relevant." my heart is rent;
they scoff in the May air
at anything I have to say of the fairest of the fair but I'm telling you that I was
there when it happened.
I dreamt a dream one day I stood on the crest the farthest crest
in town and saw them lifting off the ground like pirate ships
with a vast treasure, whirling and swirling like in a water tank
an experiment gone wrong from Mr. Wizard to show the children how tornados form
there they were bricks and mortar with their worlds on worlds soaring a little awkwardly
rickety above the fairgrounds
rackety by the abandoned railroad tracks the smokestacks
recalled by Heaven since no one used them for books anymore just for multipurpose
anything else though once they gleamed from shelf to shelf
like Great Grandma's sugar bowl when Maeterlinck's Sugar personified dropped by it makes me want to

cry;Goodbye to the books the ghosts of Chistmas last; we all got strange looks asking for

Robinson Crusoe just last Tuesday for Heidi with her flower wreathed goats
soon they will be gone mere motes in the sunlight we shall be bees no longer making honey;
like some of the characters in your stories
we shall have to rely on memory alone
remembering how it felt to let the lilacs go
when the snows came and the ice witch poems.
mary angela douglas 6 may 2021





Paper Horse

there is one horse left at the castle.

it is made of silver paper.

it remembers the child who smoothed out its creases,

sometimes it has a longing for oranges

an amethyst bridle then it softly neighs.

it is my horse.

it is the only one left of its kind.

it understands my sunsets more than I could confide;

my sudden departures.

where could I lead it, it would not willingly go.

soon  we may leave the courtyard.

the fragrant gardens behind.

putting the paper horse through its paces

among sad galaxies.

otherwise, what would it do here, alone.

I'm the only one who can ride it.

mary  angela douglas 6 may 2021

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

We Woud Not Be

I am my own puppet defiantly we say on any given day

not realizing how ludicrous we may appear to God;

any small animals watching.

what is freedom if we stray from you:

small clouds that will lose ourselves in rain

not ever immune to pain where can we flee

you would not be

for we would not be

without You.

mary angela douglas 5 may 2021

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

To Sharon My Sister On The Brink Of May

in between tornado warnings we played jacks

and laughed at the names of clouds nimbus wimbus

all mimsy were we, caroling the Carroll two Alices

in the blue meadows of early days wafting our bubble wands

near the clover our Grandfather hadn't yet mowed

why did we grow so fast away from our shadows

and can they be sewed back on when our mother Wendy is gone

dear grandmother too.

I will remember you at the piano, Chopin and the world at your

amber command relentless the beautiful music you played then

an autumn wind most sere has taken it all away.

but the angels have harvested it I hear my mother say with tears

into such a golden hereater.

mary angela douglas 4 may 2021

O We Write Poetry

(to my Grandmother, widowed young}

in the room where the wedding gifts mourn

on the table that was festive, adorned with flowers

because the wedding has been called off

we still linger waiting for someone to say

let us be merry as at the Capulets and fetch

our unreeled feelings from the day before

wrapped in the sateen, the brocade appropriate

to the occasion or with little seed pearls

so life seems sometimes for the early widows

who cannot put the blue back in the skies the cerulean

as it was before, the treble of birdsong in the selfsame tree

what do we do with happiness derailed when the honey on

our tongue freezes mid speech oh we write poetry lavish

with the orange blossoms, the myrtle, the tiny rosebuds of

pure cream, and recover almost

everything.

mary angela douglas 4 may 2021

Monday, May 03, 2021

On The Futility Of Intellectualizing About Ray Bradbury Thank God/My Unopened Letter To The Academics

I mean the man keeps telling you he's still playing with dinosaurs

and isn't it grand but you can't stand who he really is compared I guess to you

with his lightning wand and his blue electric wish for foreverland and so

you endeavor to make his work inaccessible with your furrowed brows

there must be a way, somehow you mutter into your exquisite soup

but Bradbury's doing loop the loops and the crowd is cheering

they can't hear you what you fear most

but Bradbury's with the Holy Ghost, Lon Chaney, and the way back

whens and it just sends me the way that you pretend he's dealing

with cosmic themes when he told you over and over

he just wanted to pay for another hot dog, spin on the merry go round

of time, and time , and time again

grab a pantry donut, and split like a banana split

make jokes about what's in the dank the spooky jar while

grabbing a fistful of stars on the way out.

shouting LIVE FOREVER YOU DODO BIRDS YOU CLOWNS

I told you I was just dreaming and then

writing it all down.

mary angela douglas 3 may 2021



The Heart Folded Under

once we had roots of gold, dreams of gold, light,

peach light, the light of long ago stars 

the clouds in magenta, the sudden flare of meteors, 

autumns, the berries in cream 

the heart folded under the dovelike quilts of childhood.

once we had windows into the panoramic Easter eggs

one rose guarded by one swan and Grandmother played the

record of Peter and the Wolf as a lullaby to somehow let us know

that golden days are few and must be guarded

that the oboe warns

and the wolves are gathering.

I know that she was right in her rose taffeta dress playing Liebestraum

love's dream as if she were dreaming it up right there at her piano

for my  Grandfather listening in the living room

I wonder did this happen, were we really there

what golden age can compare with the least moment the moon sailed slowly

over our brick house. or Telstar, or when the pine trees rained down their pine cones

or gum trees the sweet gum balls

so that we might spray them gold and silver to adorn the Christmas tree

I am woven on the loom of the past not quite Alice through the looking glass

I wander in the world of trains that cannot leave the station

I know that memory is real and fairy tales.

it is the news that is made up now.

mary angela douglas 3 may 2021


Sunday, May 02, 2021

Let's Call Everything Poetry Because We Can't Write The Real Stuff Worth A Tinker's Dam, Sam

this is meat and potatoes.

this is a full meal

with buttered biscuits on the side.

yep. this is the real deal 

they will tell you this is poetry.

but I knew better when I was five.

this is not cherry alive.

this is meat and potatoes.

you cut it with a knife and fork.

this is not Shakespeare on the Duke of York

this is a bunch of people who got together one day

and couldn't decide what to say to make it be poetry

so they all voted on it and just decided

that anything they said no matter what is was

was going to be called poetry anyway from now on.

like little kids when they're losing the board games

all summer long and tump over all the pieces and say:

new rules now. let's start over. and be in clover.

that's what they did. out of their Id 

they made that Cinderella slipper fit

by cutting off their toes.

but everybody still knows

who the true bride is orwho was.

mary angela douglas 2 may 2021

Invisible Threads

 INVISIBLE THREADS

invisible threads have bound me to the moon
it's the fairy spinners I assume as Shakespeare did
though I'm not supposed to think that anymore
say the deplorers the ones who would rather the
poem be about political radishes, or how mold grows given time on
Uncle Ray's birthday cake
or slime or who won who or what this time
oh run and see the endless litany of prizes
but I'm immune
invisible threads have tied me to the moon, the trees, a foundling
innocent among the sweet sweet greenery. leaves, occasional blooms
so that I believe I am emerald too, like Daphne becoming
roots and bark of necessity and forgotten birds of lore
will come and nest in me, the nightingale for sure
the Firebird, Phoenix still as starlight
beyond the grinding mills of language minced for common use, abuse
where words are serfs and I despair ;only I hear a distant interstellar
music, everywhere could it be Eternity there at the pearl gate of listening
and Poetry itself the Word so vastly pure
the enduring Word
if God so will, shuttering the Dead.
signaling the return of the language heard by Angels
the Beautiful in flight
when there was Light. when it was spoken into Being.
mary angela douglas 2 may 2021

Saturday, May 01, 2021

As They Were In The Original

some have their kingdoms, their personal empires

more people than you would think

their cottage industries

when it comes to art and poetry on the brink

(of extinction) for which they will gain distinction

when it comes to being known for thinking deeply

when thinking is for show and who you know know know it comes to those who know

what to read when what time the train

is leaving the station for the prize winning orations 

it is necessary

to maintain a brittle attitude

a certain savoir faire

to give themselves airs according to the newly minted 

customs of the time  from just five minutes ago or so

to shine 

with borrowed light and never acknowledge the burrowing.


on the other hand, one person looking at the moon on a June night

without agenda with no need to impress

lives all alone in a kingdom of silver

and owes no one anything

but God.

and grandparents who told them fairytales

as they were, in the original.

mary angela douglas 2 may 2021


Friday, April 30, 2021

To The Emerald Flies On The Window Screen That They May Depart

blind on the glass in a sudden shaft of fifth floor reaching sunlight  seemingly locked by the screen the small flies newly hatched have gathered

I feel such unease made helpless

by things so small as these unsummoned by me and I think perhaps a metaphor for the nagging

worries has come to be for my Divine illustration, illumination

this last day of April

why do I have such unreasoning fear of the small winged creatures clutching here in the updrafting winds

I fear they will breach the latch and uncontrolled

fly my low vaulted ceilings and disturb my soul. my fragile sense of order

yet once inside they leave me alone seeming to seek the heights

such as they are in aerial displays ballets

some navigational pattern home.

I don't know how to regard them half caught half maybe not

on their seemingly summering breaks

if there is some warp in the window frame some gap unseen

they may overwhelm my small dwelling but that

Thou Oh Lord keepest them at bay and all the crouching winged

and lingering fears

and make their path away from me on tiny wings of tulle

more clear.

that they may find their Heaven too.

mary angela douglas 30 april 2021;rev. 6 may 2021


Thursday, April 29, 2021

Goodbye To Poetry;The Spoken Word Is a Bare Cupboard

everyone is smiling here

the room is thick with the word "poetry"

I cannot smile;despite the refreshments

the congenial crowd  honey sweet with masked enthusiasm

the golden linnet has flown away

I know that it won't return

but everyone will go on speaking anyway

saying something

smiling tenderly at the end with a question mark

as their voice recedes I take to mean

you will accept this as a poem won't you

I know that I would like to

if only I had not seen the snares laid

for my linnet

if only it had not flown away into the clouds of violet

never to return at least not here

in the green shade unmade.

mary angela douglas 29 april 2021



Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Sometimes It Is Difficult To Understand

sometimes it is difficult to understand

why a kind word merits no reply

why birds fly against the current of the wind

and the sky appears empty

I dont have a philosophy for this

I say to myself in quiet corners

looking out through the window at

the friendly trees which do seem

to hear me in the rustling of their leaves

why are the kind so often shunned

is the world that contrarian?

even in Heaven I will still be asking why

why were the cruel so prevalent

making others cry.

mary angela douglas 28 april 2021

As Though A Pebble Should Speak To A Star

as though a pebble should speak to a Star

so I have prayed to you , Lord God

a mud puddle to the Sea

remember me the wild grasses cry

when the  wind roves

one petal of the Infinite Rose

I was 

if that at all remember the raindrop

over the Falls or at least, Niagra freezing

and I with them all, the other drops composing the Whole

or under the microscope a mere glint of mica

from the vast and cosmic field

regard me accounted so I may be: 

no matter how small

how retrograde a stone

still accounted as your own.

mary angela douglas 28 april 2021











Monday, April 26, 2021

Reference Work

(to Hans Christian Andersen)


we shall consult the Encyclopedia of Snow

things written, seen, enacted that have somehow been effaced

for instance: the entry for Orange

slightly glazed

though a wedding fragrance lingers in the air

on the page with the entry for orange blossoms, lily of the valley

and there is the entry for jade things made

in several centuries, and the milky jade

does look pale emerald sheerly in the pages of snow remembered

clearly

the soul's impression very young

so how did they say it, once upon

let us not rifle through the songs of the disappearing

catalogued here 

the Emperor's nightingale in the fabled garden

may yet appear among the creamy rose buds where

Death lets go its hold weeping, at the song 

that holds such sweet repose

and the flight of swans transposed 

once more into men may yet regale

as the legend of the hour the evil enchantments ceased.

God holds all in His power

the princess from the tower released, the  princes too

it's not too late the clock of all clocks is chiming here

the angel cherishing of the Child's tear

the clock of fate remember what you will

though half the world forgets

the reason for the violets, the incomprehensible stars

choosing instead the trivialities and the trinket tournaments

slighting again the noble dead.

treading the ghosts of beauty down.


mary angela douglas 26 april 2021


NOTE ON THE POEM: I miss old encyclopedias so much. I have some in my own personal collection quite a few but I miss the mystical feeling I had as a child and in gradeschool especially leafing through all the entries and that kind of aimless but in a good way opening to different passages. For some time now I have been writing poems dedicated to what I call the book of snow and it means different things to me at different times but this time, after the last person on the internet insulted me for still loving the dewey decimal system and the library card catalogue system to distraction, the book of snow in my head suddenly turned into an encyclopedia of snow where things disappeared that you used to love and then among the things I thought of my grandmother's milky jade ring and of course of course the fairytales of Hans Christian Andersen. And the oranges kind of as a reference to children's picture book encyclopedias back in the day which would of course have next to the word orange almost always a very cheering bright orange illustration of an Orange.

Every Moment On Earth

every moment on earth its gold is ticking away


gold of the sun, gold underlay of the beggar disguise

the worn carnation petticoat of the shepherdess,
her jewels tucked into the seams, the goose girl
and the wandering gander dreams, wither wherever they wander

downheel, downhill in any weather;no more the wedding silver
ware
royalty in a plain disguise
learn to factor in enterprise

the figurine on the mantle with the subtle smile

ceramic, will be gone in a little while with the seeming sheep in the

meadow...

children have heard time out of mind consumed with their

applesauce apprehensions

the soft receding of fairy tale dimensions

when they were young mixed in with the wind

in the fitful playing of let's pretend

the fern leaning out of the window

toward the lilies blowing more orangely in the sun

I'm the only one in the world thinking this right now

said I in the how and why of it AND setting my small boats afloat

underneath the piano, its geranium stillness in late afternoon

and are you going away so soon

I quarreled mildly with my sister over

which rose leaf really did Thumbelina sleep beneath

and I mourn the candles of their going:

these tribes of the fleetingly beautiful:

this diamond diaspora of the morning dews

I mourn every leaf of what we never knew ,

blew over us, never to return

declensions, enumerations of the painted clouds

over everything we ever wondered outloud

look, I am saying it now that I

tocked the wonders, the waters away

the fingerpaint ridges, the dwarf star midges

the blue waters, blue violet of my watercolour set.

the wedding setting of radiance, the piloted angels over

all this crystal etching of

the planet dreaming in mists of the scratch art

layers of our wistfulness;

the rubied gleanings of the hours no longer in retreat

for it is meet:

this interdiction of Christ for the disappearing...
...
the sunflowered door, then the pouring rain of our tears;

the birds of forevermore, singing.

mary angela douglas 24 april 2021