Sunday, December 10, 2017

When All Their Suns Have Set

fade, tales of lesser renown
lost tales of Arthur
all without a sound

they will not sound the lake
when you are gone
who know where the bodies

as they say, are buried,
those of a more acute ambition
muting their competitors.

but ah the soul
the soul was ferried elsewhere

so we have lost time without mind
the legends that more brightly shine
as Petrarch cried

some works for Heaven are made.
so they throw shade on them on earth
and Herod like at their birth

stand grim watch.
only in Heaven
shall their works be found

the overthrown
the true kings and not the pretenders
to the throne

and the muted strings play
outdistancing the day and the fretted stars
by far, when all their suns have set.

mary angela douglas 10 decenber 2017

Of All Things, Hold The Most Dear

they have tossed all the golden apples out
all the former trappings of the stage:
the pasteboard angels, diamond declarations made;

the evidence of the play.
was it written? did they say
well played

on a night scented with lilies
the lavish critics?
or something else, the surly

known for withholding praise
in the dimming days
more and more obscured

but then,
so highly feted with
extravagant little cakes,

select wines.
I ponder these sometimes, the vintage scenes
and album scripts

the Empire gowns
glass records found
recordings of another age

they seem dreamed,
chimerical, rather than lived.
and though I cannot sound it out,

lost phonics!
I hate to see them vanquished
and I don't fit in

because I pick the golden apples up
and put them in my pocket on a whim
a dare?

or in my locket is a wisp
of hair, perhaps Keat's,
a clasp with amethyst accents

and questions never asked,
never auctioned.
a fair copy I keep of a manuscript

that says:
of all things, hold the most dear
the language of dream

of insoluble tears.

mary angela douglas 10 december 2017.

Friday, December 08, 2017

December. And The Glaze Of The Hour

December. and the glaze of the hour.
and I am looking through it
as if I could see the 

world within the world
where nothing stirs
at a speed you'd recognize

only angels moving slowly
up the trapezoid of time
and time is a circus there

and the angels in the stands
eat peanuts and buy little dolls
with spangly dresses,

eating sweets out of small cups
and waiting for the elephants...

I'm a cotton candy prayer
late winter's child looking 
back at summer tracks in mud

and under the clay baking sun
no longer.
holly's on the doors

and the bright winds sweep through the cracks
while remaining sparrows sing
pecking at the ice

as though it were food.

yesterday I heard as if by mistake,
a friend died last april
to whom I had continued writing

and no dreams came to tell me otherwise.
no angels at the door
with something from that shore

no telegraph relay:

he cannot hear you anymore
he's in the wood beyond the world.

mary angela douglas 8 december 2017

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

FOR MARTIN BURKE: SNOW DREAMED

SNOW DREAMED

[for the fine Irish-Belgian poet, playwright Martin Burke, in memorium. 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

Thereby Turning The Hours Of Straw To Gold

your head full of clouds you venture out
with your roseate attitude intact
and find the footprints, tracks

of those who went before.
imagination's heralds
bit by bit you learn

for the most part
no one wants to talk about literature
and if they do,

it's mostly to put you down.
like Mary you ponder it in your heart.
the castles come back to the landscape

all flags flying.
you spend your money on books
thereby turning the hours of straw

to gold
so much so
they can't understand

why yelling doesn't work with you.
so prisoners found in gulag's cold
the uses of imagination

and now in growing old a lesser
chore than their's by far
I find it helps

to have at hand
a crystal stair or two
and more besides

a treasure trove of lore inside
only I explore.
(the way I do).

mary angela douglas 6 december 2017

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Sudden Illuminations

for my sister, Sharon...

perhaps in cherry velvet you would appear
a sudden illumination
practicing your Czereny as if it were Beethoven.

or in a room arranging the roses
asking again if your book report
on the paintings of Rosa Bonheur

was long enough yet.
we watched movies desultorily
on Saturday, the ones on T.V.

cooking up strawberry jello for dessert:
the historical ones with Errol Flynn
(resignedly)

when truly it seemed the costumes
were made of grade school felt.
and did all we could

to ignore the biology test on Monday,
memorizing the bones half heartedly.
I can't say that ever helped me

except that in the word tibula
we found a certain tintinnabulation
like Christmas glass bells.

nevermore

we thought going out the door
with our summer report cards
would we ever have to study that again

or the angel take off her hat
and fan herself
as our mother did

on the high school stage
in late May.
bringing down the house.

mary angela douglas 5 december 2017.

My Grandmother Speaks Of Heaven

loveliness does not alter there
nor the blossom slip from the branch
you can believe in this

when you are far from home
and we took our small suitcases then
from the closet

packed with the let's pretend
we will be coming back,
the last of the crackers

in her cabinet
a silver thirst for music

and the winds came up
and took us away
as though from Oz.

now I look through no crystal
gazing at her wringing her hands
for what happened on the way

but pray in Heaven she will know
I hear her say
in any storm

there will be peace there
purer than all ths snows
the magnolia opening slowly

in the silver bowl
when you are the blossom
slipping from the branch.

mary angela douglas 5 december 2017