Thursday, March 23, 2017

Bette

[for Bette Davis who cared about what she was doing
past all comprehension, a great actress because
she wanted it that way]

maybe she was like some improbable flower
exotic beyond the neighborhood
transplanted by the vagary of a wind

to a vegetable patch
Im an orchid she insists
don't turn me into mashed potatoes

chicken feed

and there she is up on the big screen
bigger somehow than the screen
than any role she ever played

the sand in the oyster

and the pearl at the same time
you thought you knew her
but later

who was ever like her before
her eyes like immense beacons
or like a doll's eyes watching

a doll's eyes that can never close
awake or asleep
a fixed something more than a little spooking

you gauging something
but you don't know what
like she sees ghosts over your shoulder

and is communing with them 
so that you are uncomfortable

in your theater seat
despite the plush velvet
even at home

in the safety of your apartment
living room with your own sofa cushions
you wonder what it is that 

incandescence
was she from Mars
another era, radioactive?

was she made of snow
and then the snow caught on fire
but its still permafrost

what is this element anyway

one we never learned in school
Bette with an e
so often imitated

what were they imitating then
they couldn't know
we didn't know you really

a few mannerisms
the makeup caking in the end
emphatically deep wrinkles

you fought on
not to be the same
apple in the bunch

of apples
they thought you were rotten
you just didn't want to be

small potatoes
but that isn't it either, is it

but the soul
staring us out of countenance
out of ourselves

who could know

a kind of largesse masquerading as temper
temperment
a voice like an ever crisp autumn near rasping

kind of raspberry coloured
eyes of ocean deep blue
wasted on black and white film

the voice again

etching itself into the mind
like the phonograph record
you think its scratched

something in you is irritated past endurance
change the record somebody
no wait, don't you say from your armchairs

nobody else can sound that way
like topaz speaking

deeply engraved.
her own medal
in the end

mary angela douglas 23 march 2017

Candyopia

(for of course, Roald Dahl, Hershey's Chocolates, Brachs and Cadbury's...and for the hard candies with the little roses on them,
rhe ribbon candies in the yellow glass jar.)

the praline creamery in the coconut toasted snow
with the cherry and custard layers on the horizon so aglow
is how they remembered the candiest dandyest

days out of their entire milk drenched childhoods
the butterscotch in the hidden pockets
found in emergencies

the nougat suprised by the fruit flavors
and the chewing gum that just was juicier
by the minute and the lemon drop jar

with plenty in it, or the candycorn cornucopia

spare for the in betweens or the caramel flares
the raspberry flings on a dare
packed into a school plaid satchel

with the buttercream chocolate

you just forgot and that hit the spot
on the day of the chemistry pop quiz.
gee whiz you think in candy

said the mind reader at the fair.
oh yes I do. its a candyworld everywhere
or could be even for you fresh toffee toffe

to go with coffee,

the United Nations of Candy
as far as I'm concerned

and orange sliced jellies and gumdrops gumdrops
spiced and sprinkled with crystalized sugar
or pound cake, with lemon curd.

mary angela douglas 23 march 2017

Rose Words In Carmine, The Delicate Tea Rose Shades...

a language with 500 words for pink
does the little girl think
especially on her birthday

or in her Easter dress
I confess it would be nice
in the parlance of gumdrops spiced

to be the first one
to sing and say
the tints of all roses

on any given day
and the roses would be glad
and fling their petals

in an uncommon way
across her path in the dubious wood
for having this once

been understood.

mary angela douglas 23 march 2017

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

It's Mango Gold In The Supermarket Of Dreams

it's mango gold in the supermarket of dreams
that keeps recurring with a juke song sheen
or it's strawberry kiwi tarts for the dollhouse queen

or the fizz of the raspberry pop on the run
you liked a lot when you were small
it's the wall of clementines, the orange rind candies,

marzipan and caramel flan

or gold pieces torn from the sun
enwrapping chocolates, every one
come see that it's the mango of your

dreams and the pure sure apricot nectar prize
or fill your baskests with the
bakery surprise the cake of

all cakes dressed up in whipped cream
with the lemon rosettes the dulce con leche scene
and oh you bet the breakfast hash

supreme in supersized cans
the vintage hams and the onions, peppers strung
and the whole thing in coloured lights

when the sun comes down on the bodega
and the angels hum by the ounces
it's saturday night with cerise flounces

it's mango gold in the supermarket of dreams

mary angela douglas 22 march 2017

Where We Live Now

in our old attic
Christmas bulbed or
stacked up with old

seed catalogues from
riotous Springs amid
the tinseled strings of

a universe of lost and found

in the backyards on our own
between birthdays of the pastel or

in between star and star
of the far sighted astronomers
at Court

in hiding from the Queen
in the pink stuccoed mansions
by the palms of the Unseen

of our favorite colouring books
or paper dolled,
wherever the children decide.

stepping on bride trains rhinestone gauzed
or in the board game closet
spooning the jam of persimmon or fig

passed by for the flower girl gig
the stigmata but not the need to live for

the verses of an early Spring,
gold spelling bees, the cloud regattas
the riddles on the wing of

our distracted angels

in the sod block under the wild rose sky
of the prairies floating by,
in lilac illusions gingered conclusions

in fairytale feasts and the table ware ruby set
like a sunset kingdom should be

on our knees
in the least sigh or silver whim of God
toward the sparkle of The End

mary angela douglas 22 march 2017

Could Forever Have Been

the flower face the face of snow
melts into the afterglow of Light
lit long ago

thus is the long ago of words
still seen a glimmering a
player piano roll of ghosts

still singing fata morganas
of the Christmas bells still ringing
past long julys and fortifications

past crumpled marigold reasons why and the sand pails.
the flower face the face of snow
misplaced in the land of the neon velvets

of the foundering city at night, displaced

while the babies looked on
whole kingdoms sobbing fractions
and birds and flowers doomed to repeat

and fated to flower again my sweet
on the nether side of discarded reasons why
in magnified rainbows in petaling skies

magnificats fantastically altered
fantastically altered kaleidoscope wise
as any language past melting

could be 
could have forever been.

mary angela douglas 22 march 2017

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Still Dreaming It All Up

how grown up we felt at our small desks
reading The Weekly Reader hot off the press
take one and pass it back

(with color illustrations, graphs)

the childsize news in brief;
the smell of newsprint like a kind of faith.
even if we weren't the hall monitors

the sugar plums in the play
we still had our allowance
for the book fairs in late may

like a renaissance on parade

so they seem to me, looking back
a lavish pagentry
or later ordering from the summer magazines

four paperbacks for a dollar choose carefully
like holiday candy sight unseen
but with thrilling pint sized blurbs

will you have orange, or raspberry creams?

imagine this adventure under leafy trees...
the high seas, the treasure kidnapped
Jane Eyre, when the lightning struck the oak

or rainsoaked on the road to who knows what...

while sipping lemonade or wearing your plastic shades
with rhinestones purchased at the five and dime.
could later riches ever measure up in Time

I would have thought had I been cognizant
in percale at the jr. high graduation
gardenias in my hair.

in a dress of cutwork percale
still dreaming it all up.

mary angela douglas 21 march 2017