Sunday, August 07, 2022


every line, incredibly beautiful and acute

like brands pulled from a raging fire

I remember ancient poetry this way

the reverence for the graves of the unseen,

the assumed dead, the assumed thrown into mass pits

the assumed turned out of all shelter, Space and Time

the fleeting rhymes on a charred wind


the consummation of unearthly gold.

mary angela douglas 7 august 2022

Saturday, August 06, 2022


[to my father, in memorium, Robert R. "Bob" Douglas, newspaperman]
[4 october 1924 - 7 april 2002]
and to The Arkansas Gazette {November 20, 1819-October 18, 1991)
there's an angel for going out
when candle flame wavers
and one for coming in,
in a shifting of scarlet leaves;
dreaming, I was that song
in jeweled octobers, all along
all garnet to the very heart...
the one that puts violet creases
in the wind: then it is Spring
and the weights are lifted
the ones balancing grief with
the justice of well made stories.
the broadsheets corrected.
we don't often speak in headlines
of the angels of the end;
of endings in gold leaf
amid Sunday coloured comics
I want to think as if
in a blind snowstorm of thinking
through these too humid summers
the Pavillions at Petit Jean
favoring the angel of the cooling winds;
of the angel of returns, returning again
to first beginnings and the angels of light
in linotype scattered and snowy quiet.
like the names of Crosett,Kenset.Paragould..Magnolia,
Arkansas names like diamond mines on hold
hold the press, it thunders in my dreams that
we have lost certain angels, with roses bedight
gathering the children on rickety bridges;
under the red clay sun and by favorite creeks or
slipping out of our pockets at noon, on deadline.
at night the moon like a milky quartz
in city deserts, public squares and in the cypress gloom
of old paintings. there was a refuge I thought
or in a Proustian bar of exquisite music.
Macarthur Park 'melting in the dark' and our
commentary then; who leaves cakes out in the rain
hold your horses,green icing??
here is the melody and the land I lived in then
the gardenias in the fluted vase
when we were at home the last summer,
amidst the emblematic mockingbird, the applebloom daylight
the angel of stars and staircases descending
into the Unknown, the banishing one
of disenchantments. disabused;the cowboys in old
movies once more, the heroes, the Depression era glass with a corny radiance
rainbowed, the angel near the throne
who suddenly called you:not by your newspaper name
one crystal bell resounding
among all the others. passing now,the railroad tracks, the small
towns made suddenly infinite as you are leaving
and on the waves,unedited, old destinies unscroll
painted, printed on the silk screen of skies
above cherished pines and the hidden fault lines,
the angel of the mariners
of the soldier-chroniclers of Time.
mary angela douglas 17 may 2018;6 august 2022

Thursday, August 04, 2022


(Whither shall I go from thy spirit?
or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there:
if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there
PSALM 139:7-8)
I saw crown molding tip the walls
of an unbelievable stage-set, real, at the time-
set the table
they will tell you everything
you’re entitled to know
while sipping their rubicund tea
on a lush and leafy afternoon you dream
is still your very own-
with your whole life ahead of you
as the saying goes
and still so near your own real
childhood home you could walk back there and be done with this
Why didn’t you
before they trained you not to love
or even be, as if they could…
and to fill their hands with your heirloom pearls
meant just for them….
but I learned slow and never
to believe
all their lost lovely angels far from home and
to fight the battles only
I could see –to know what’s mine
not underwritten by game theorists
or Pavlov’s pirates, looting my bright way…
as from the beginning of clowns-
and mesalliance
oh all my faceless springs in the name of God,
my God, unused and lilac-
I’d teach the children not to ride
that monochromatic ferris standing by
the carnival children modified to sell: flowers waxen friendship-
and world peace...
I'll sing you the song my mother lent me
as she died:
I saw the cream of God
brim at the top
and those who skimmed and skimmed
rich bubbles from my only Soul and from my rainbow
hallowed, haloed home
I saw their skinflint empires rise
and the parties they threw each other
at each eclipse
who could explain
the vacancies of cranes, the heart's accustomed numbness
on the tilting horizons that they owned
and all the summers subcontracted out and
what made me turn around
to find
the trapdoor in the Night and
it was God up late, still
counting the tears of those waylaid
as if they never stopped being:
His own embroidery forever-
“Here’s your doll finery,” He whispered.
in the voice of all rosepetals-
“I’ve hidden it here.”
You are -pure life - I cried - I’ll never give away-
as if I could…
reward the kidnappers
oh my King where wishes turn to palms if we endure;
I’ll buy fresh groceries, pay the rent and
find the playground where they’re waiting still:
all my tin soldiers whirring in the dust-
I’m caught in
the lace of the day
and cannot leave You-
mary angela douglas 1-2 october 2011;4 august 2022

Tuesday, August 02, 2022



Song For The Last Interview

'it will flame out like shining from shook foil'
-Gerard Manley Hopkins

for Dr. Robert Joseph Connelly, San Antonio, in memorium

this is for the Word born whole
for the poetry-riven sky
for the strength to recognize a lie

for the breakable language
unbroken still
by the bent word

built for profit,
not for truth.

this is my sigh in the glass blown
air for the glass blown disappearing act of
stars in the last nights

disarming, chiming in the wind
that only angels bring

the pause (finally, in excoriating speech,
-your very own-)
where you collect yourself
if not your things

from one last day at work
or home
picking your report card up

in June from the ghost school,
from the ghosts.

this is for cornbread heirlooms,
for afternoons of strawberries
and cream -

for the Holy Ghost dressed in pale green
for the whole world seen
through stereoscopic Disney,

Christmas stenciled windows;
the least view of small
pink flowers bordering the front

sidewalk, goodbye...

this is for God
who hears and sees the
honey tinged questions'

finding fault
so that permanent records
continue to reflect
your waywardness in
never having the exact

amount of change
this is for the second you know

you have to leave
the home you love
so much earlier than you planned
with only three dresses packed
in a

walnut, and the Lord's prayer on a dime:
fixing the hall clock in your memory
the jelly glasses
and the willow-ware, the brightness of pennies

over other denominations...

repairing your chiffon shadow
on the way with your personal sewing kit
to honor those who raised you
and read you fairytales

as though from great distances.

this is for
no safe-houses on the horizon
least of all the yellow brick one
across the street

where children climb trees
and eat the whole summer
an entire orchard of homeade

peach ice cream...

this is for the deep-starred journey
for the fools errands
for the straw that will never never

ever turn into gold
no matter how the Rumplestiltskins scream.
listen to me:

questionable friends
make the journey a million times
harder and give you the wrong
directions to the castle so
that you never find
the singing bird.
this is for trudging on alone

for crossing the border and
not looking back even when
the person coming with you
changes their mind at sunrise
and runs to tell on you.

this is for living
like the silence of the moon
and soon and soon

you will withdraw from a tiny shell
at the exact right moment in the interview, a
shining like shook foil shaken-
three dresses of compressed splendor
kept against the rain and
wrapped in violet tissue:

the one of vivid stars
the one of ornate flame
the one of cloudless cloudless blue

and, as if on cue, the opal angels move-
scattering the inquisitors;
settling old accounts
in scripts of gold

with not one scintilla of
asking anyone for permission.
for you were watched over
even while crocodiles wept
my child my child at
every nightmare's exit

by the Word unbroken:
by music heard in the wake of angels,
by undetainable Light...

mary angela douglas 30 june 2009 rev.7 december 2016




[to Christ in his sorrowful incarnations
(and after the film by Jean Cocteau)]

the teardrop diamonds in your hand

rueful rubies can't be spent
who are you really

do we even know

bearing our disfigurement
in the desolate garden,

most desolate Rose

is it too late?

are you still there?
turning the ring three times I pray

for the ancient fairytale trumpets

the snow-glitter ready to descend-

mary angela douglas 1 june 2010





[for the fine Irish-Belgian poet, playwright Martin Burke, in memoriam. and for his Marie-Anne

snow dreamed.

dreamed it could become white roses, 

lost brides

sudden angels.

snow dreamed it was something else besides

still somehow, snow

the flower without stem

the pause in music; 

waiting to begin

floating it longed to fly

flying it longed to lie on fences, 

rooftops, to become the town

the plains

never to turn to rain

and weeping.

snow dreamed and dreamed and dreamed

it was our sleeping

in bouquets extravagantly cold

and danced on the mittens of little children.

of ship avowals it dreamed at sea

and floating with the waves

it disappeared and who could tell it then

from foam

from Praise

and still, it dreamed until we all were snow

and delicate and forevers

branching and branching...

mary angela douglas 6 december 2017

Saturday, June 18, 2022


(with ref.  to the "a mon seul desir" Lady with The Unicorn medieval tapestry at the Cluny Museum in Paris i only saw in a book, but nevertheless, cherish)

 shed no tears, fond Unicorn

golden are the tapestries, still,
I leave you to inhabit, shyly on these

museum walls,
in rooms with gilded conversations
guided tours-

beyond burgundy ropes of velvet
graze on, continually - with good will.

your hoof in my hand:
I hope you'll be discreet
munching the shadows of

departing guests
only a little
and the pastel mints at party's end.

Be brave, always.

I'm braiding my primrose stories
just for You
and the farther fields of honour.

mary angela douglas 30 may; 1 june 2010

Monday, August 01, 2022



the rain in her prismed sonnets speaks to me

though you'd hardly believe it

gushing down drain pipes

and from the eaves

and from the summer leaves

so much so that I wonder why their

green watercolour does not drip off

and stain the pavements,

rippling the harps of ponds and hidden lakes.

wave after wave the sibilant rains recall

the feeling of comfort when I was small

or home from school for months

having come to term with all terms.

the air is shining

and I feel shining within

even now, as much as then

and christened.

mary angela douglas 1 august 2022





in loving memory to my mother, Mary Adalyn Douglas-Young (1927-1993)


to Sara Teasdale (1894-1933) , with abiding respect

pink marigold suns have slipped away

like the cameo cares of Sara Teasdale

but I am here

with the dove-lapsed valentine

folded up I always meant to

send her, across time-

and the air of St. Louis

crumples like rose parchment

kindling lost kingdomes: 

are you there? 

as I hold out one cream starched

dawn's particular corner

for you to catch- dim orchards washed-

green rains...

forget-me-nots at tea

I'm dreaming a cloud

like an envelope. sepia-dipped

twice over. filled

with your manifold

weeping harps your sunbursts

but it's delayed, misplaced, 

and where

will I really be that

ringed with light again

sustaining when I can

the fleeting imprint of so many violet skies...

here at the orphaned window still

I trace your leaves and lilies through the mist

in tinctured starlight

scrapbook cherished

wishing you were here: 

weighing in scales of pearl the clockface moon

but the afternoon grows older, after all

the tide of wishes turns...

above the noise of mere battlefields

every singed and salvaged word

I praise

and look past

the garnet consolations of the epic dead

to see

white wave on wave

of your delight

bright words

never blind, inlaid

like fires in opal


the rainbowed startled reveries (of God)    


and on - at last-

the unclasped fairytale page unwavering

the heart stenciled postscript of the child

who cried for Beauty

and was heard-

mary angela douglas 13-14 march 2011


*'Latin, remember to live'