Wednesday, September 18, 2019

For My Sister In Former Dreamlands

the good ravens lived in Hans Andersenville
they fetched wonder bread crumbs dipped
in lambs milk for lost children

I havent read that one yet
chimed my little sister
in a dream of home

you will I promised
but later on.
now it's time to sleep

within a sleep as if you were a rosebud again.
in my pnk party dress? she sighs
oh yes I say and pale blue

patent shoes.
that's all it takes for her to go
with her pink parasol into the land of naps

we hated so in the afternoons
in real life.
we'll go on a little while

and find the cottage in an evergreen wood
so that it seems like Christmas even in april
spreading honey butter on the toast

and never running out of loaves.
in real life sometimes it may have been different
at least in later life

but in the dream its not that way.
you wake up in a parenthesis
a dream within a dream

to strawberry malteds
and everything you say in school
merits a gold star

you play on a translucent piano and on the monkey bars
so that the stars 
never can, fade away.

mary angela douglas 18 september 2019

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

In The Arkansas Woods

the bridge is broken where it stood
the bridge of stone
the mill wheel will not turn again

and I miss home.
November's startled leaves by some mysterious angel, jinn
by some weird turning of the wind

will lift in random flight

the earth, rich loam, it seems my own
the skies filled with their ransomed light.
I used to feel with every leaf

like Shelley, my whole soul could lift
and in far childhood with a small wagon
i carried whatever I could of drifts

time has drifted now
I am the same somehow 
sifted by love and grief
for this little bit

in the woods at dusk
but turn I must
through all this gold that now has set
and the leaf mold's beauty

I can't forget.

mary angela douglas 17 september 2019

Monday, September 16, 2019

After Years

you with your bent wings
trying to float through the empyrean
who dreamed the traffic would be this bad
you ,looking so sad out the rain streaked windows
how bad can it be in school
all the schools you remember
you went forth with a lilied smile
after awhile an aeon or so
it comes back to you
how happy you were at home
in between chilling sessions
heartfelt in all your lessons
why was it always so cold
even with the windows closed at school
the furnace bellowing.
in a blue uniform you dreamed resigned to the seating
not so uniform there.
who cares now.
it has slipped like the moon through thin clouds
all the things you would not say out loud
within anyone's hearing
in a green language
you can say now.
sweet and clear.

mary angela douglas 16 september 2019

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Making It All Up By Moonlight


What is going on I said wondering how or why
everything I try to say keeps drifting toward the sky
and wont allow, somehow somehow
a single second seen from now
to blossom like the paper flowers
in fingerbowls set by the hours
by lanterns holding just the moon
my making up this rhyme for you.

mary angela douglas 15 september 2019

Friday, September 13, 2019

Herr Rilke's High School Reunion

oh to the drill and the picking apart of the heart remembered
at dinner is poetry's orphan picking at his food
impossible to imagine the perjuries

in the drawing room
where pupils learn manners
and how to cloak mockery

beneath it all. fall in.
its the fall of the year
he walks the footpaths endlessly

and the leaves are with him sympathetically
and the roots of trees
the stars, far from military occupations.

robot student expectations

click heels. it comes again
endless misery to the dreamer
perched as if before death

on an unseen branch
that weeps in the constellations
only for him.

mary angela douglas 13 september 2019

To William Butler Yeats

as far as day is from night then
you would be tuning your harp
near the rills down to Benbulbin

or where I cannot wind
because I've never been there.
but I have been in poetry

thick as field flowers up to my chin
in it so that the gold rubs off
and I would remember clouds

and their roselit aftermaths
and so much then
that could not be said 

any longer, in words.
where has the treasure gone 
and who has filched it now.

who will find them again
the lost longings crystallized
the music, measure by measure recalled

the strains of immortal language
falling on the air
like thundering pearl.

and the awe of it all.

mary angela douglas 13 september 2019

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

So What If We Threw Words Into The Air

so what if we threw words into the air
repairing nothing
they were all we had

aspirant jugglers that we were
but sometimes merry
spinning our plates

while Time waits at the Gate,
the garden one.
beyond it are the Fates

spinning the gold of Shakespeare,
Keats, the clarion greens of Rilke,
all those letters.

from high towers he called the angels
and his words grew little wings
and they have gone so far

into my heart
as to become a landscape
littered with stars.

we wrote in cloud breath on the panes
of Christmas;
punctuated in offices on our own

keeping the dream of appled home
amid the tiny exiles.
the sword upraised from the Lady's lake.

brush your rosebud tears away
for what seems to have come to you

too late. the amber birds of Mahler rise
to stay your executions.
maybe the heart gives out,

but Music remains

like the golden ball in the well
the frog kept fetching back
alas alack the goose queen, princess, cried

stepping out in the moonlight on the Other Side
where she never can grow wise
because she can't leave lace like

wonder, ever, behind.

mary angela douglas 11 september 2019

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Age Isnt At All What Youd Expect


AGE ISN'T AT ALL WHAT YOU'D EXPECT

its moonrise and sunset all at the same time
maybe you dont want it to be this evergreen
the door opening out
the window coming in

counting the clouds
from way back when
the lost wish for gold

you dont recognize the planet that you're on
the songs you sing are carols
but it's only Spring

your soul is straight as arrows
they don't know a thing to ask you
so you let them 

tell you whatever they want to.
they say you are old.
how could they know you

intend to live centuries
and that you already have
wearing down some path for them

until its smooth as pearl
you're still a girl inside
you might take flight at

any moment, a shy bird
singing the invention of song
the whole thing

by memory
and from a green heart.

mary angela douglas 10 september 2019

Christ Died For

there are angels with flaming swords
at all the exits and entrances of the lies that can be told
to justify throwing people out in the cold

who have no where else to go
you may talk of the founding founders
get mad at the out of towners, out of bounders

I am telling you
you will be full of rue
if you continue in this vein

leaving out in the rain
the lowly and the disdained
Christ died for

mary angela douglas 10 september 2019

Monday, September 09, 2019

A Few Metaphors On Working For A Living

"Work is Love, made visible" Kahlil Gibran

we have felt half measures, quarter measures
and measured words, too
slogging through rain, or sleet, or snow
almost as soldiers do or simmering summer parking lots
like deserts
to make up the city plotted distance from the bus
to where our warehoused duties wait.
probationed like prisoners from the word go
in some places
you know, to show us who's in control.
and you're on trial, or even, on loan.
and don't know anyone this far from home...
oh, my soul by planetary wars be not disturbed
the poet wrote. I add as a footnote.
this is what is called
working for a living and we are grateful
and forgiving
considering the alternatives.
yet when push comes to shoving us out the door
because you know they want to make more
and the easiest way is to cut your job
whatever it is
to make a Merry Christmas for the shareholders.
how can we not have a stake in this
when our lives are at risk, our families too
or maybe, only, our modest hobbies.
what we consider our life. our shabby home library,
more than shabby chic;
astronomy, keeping the goldfish fed.
other countries, torn by strife
by bloody civil unrest we know, we know
and children on their own
in every kind of zone
have suffered more than we, than me,
in the land of the nearly free on weekends
and I bow down and on my knees
for them.
but one small hymn
I sing for all my peers
who are counted failures.
wait. wait for the Gate swinging open
for your tears are heard
despite your being herded.
by the one who is the Word
that cannot be broken
who won't use you like a token
to barge through the golden turnstiles.
though from the time that we sign on
each day survived seems like a miracle.
still to be there.
but for how long.
each day feels a little
like the French Revolution.
new heads may roll.
so you perfect your role
in the enterprise avoiding the tumbrils
the best you can
being pretty far out
from the chain of command
and they're not sending the
Coast Guard
to find you in the flood.
though the One they crucified will.
_________________________
(the poet I cited is Elinor Wylie)
P.S. may God truly bless companies, managers,
coworkers who still retain the milk of human kindness.
and forgive those who dont.And may we do all, endure all for Divine Love
has surely done the same for us.
mary angela douglas 9 september 2019


Saturday, September 07, 2019

From Which He Cannot Hide

He is Who He is.
we didnt create Him.
how backwards the story

has become
and inside out
how will we wear our souls

how small are we seen from the other side
seen in the mirrors of our antlike pride
and gnatlike in the frame how long

will we remain

the Ice Queen's tiny puzzle
on a chain, the least

of all that He has made
in our ridiculous disdain.
how large His tears

that could all oceans make
and from all glaciers flow
flooding the stars

who do we think we are to barter him
for anything at all
who gave us everything

and never asked for it back
who flows beyond reason into the stupid cul de sac
where we abide and chide and chide Him

who is only Love
hurling our insults from which He cannot hide.

mary angela douglas 7 september 2019

So Many Singing Birds

I loved the pinwheel breezes, tufting clouds
the clover cream and purple tufted below, the earth,
an echo of the sky

my only country till I die

and then the ones in books
strange geographies, enchantments, look!
alchemies forever turning us into gold,

rose gold, white gold the story told, the myriads
the rose red rose white soliloquies
what are you what are you

turning to be while the windmills grind
the darkness into light
the sands of mystic time run through

Senor Quixote's dreams, the dolorous.

like him, I loved books too,
their after mirages...my affinities
the ones with winding steps and

and their infinities,
plateaus of flowers

the knights and ladies of the hours
upon their fretted stage and page by page
the thick rose borders grew, I cried at the

half steps in music, Grandmother, with you

all castles slept. when will we awaken
what will we awaken to:
when we wandered through, so many vignettes

in a cloudless country far from the neighborhoods
we knew

and yet so clear in notes of blue on the staff line:
mazurkas of the printed word

how can it be so much is still unheard;
there are so many left
within us in the waning light:

so many singing birds

mary angela douglas 7 september 2019

Thursday, September 05, 2019

I Was Writing In The Book Of Trees

I was writing in the book of trees
about the memory of clouds
the explosions out loud

small flowers at the base of the seeing roots and refuge,
the foliation of stars, the dreaming boughs.
concentric circles sparked to the living ground.

I want to live in forest shade seeking the words
of shade this is foremost in my mind
and in green handwriting deepening

the darker greens in pools the forgotten mosses
we will count all losses negligible
from the branch ourselves falling lightly

as the leaves, the leaves on a lost wind
weathervane crumpled in the end
there is no end

there is only branching farther out...

mary angela douglas 5 september 2019

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Linger For A While Yet In the Ghost Blue Dawn

to my Grandfather, Milton B. Young

they lived until the cup ran dry
as it to the lees, I think it was said
and my grandfather showed us the Big Dipper

does it dip out the everlasting waters
for all the sons and daughters
I wish I could have asked him then

when he put out his pail after supper for the meteors,
meteor showers he said would come.

I dont know about that.
but they should have.
he loved the stars

the idea of them.
and lost Orion best
so, I did too;

so many years later
walking down the service road to the bus
and in the bright darkness

I saw angels by the hydrants
the ghost of his face, his smile.

mary angela douglas 3 september 2019

I'd Rather Be Warm Than Trendy: A Cheerful Winter's Tale

I want a winter coat that sweeps the ground
no matter what they say to me in town
when they dart out in shirt sleeves

even though they're freezing;
endow me with their fasionista frowns.
well, it's alright.

I want a hat that covers up my ears so tight
though I will not be counted as your peer.
two hats, or three and I'll be filled with glee

and then I'll be a happier me
though you think I look so absurd
and then a scarf that winds around the moon, the earth,

or could, woolly, woolly
good good good  good good
I'll be warm as toast

confident in the Holy Ghost
with cherry mittens on and then some.
warm all day.

no matter what you say!
jingely jingle all the way.
as if Im in the month of May.

mary angela douglas 3 september 2019

Monday, September 02, 2019

The Autobiography Of Small Flowers (Final Version)

children came across them first

pink and starred with dew

and bent down entranced

to see their reticent sparkle

as if they knew they were made

for them

lemon butterflies dart near

it is clear it was clear to me then

this was the playhouse of outdoors

the azure ceiling

the sprigged grass

the trees arching over

a lake of glass

and pine cones scattered

where nothing else mattered.

and then the picture books,

with their may apples.

and clouds would pass

like fleece of angels

time, what was time then.

coming across wild violets

on the walk from school

and the violets understood

who we were too.

in their small dignity enwrapped,

enrapturing

and perfumes.

and everything after the rains

making us silver inside

as if we were made of stars

and we were.

we are.

mary angela douglas 2 september 2019

The Autobiography Of Small Flowers

children came across them first
pink and starred with dew
and bent down entranced

to see their reticent sparkle
as if they knew they were made
for them

lemon butterflies dart near
it is clear it was clear to me then
this was the playhouse of outdoors

the azure ceiling
the sprigged grass
the trees arching over

a lake of glass

and pine cones scattered
where nothing else mattered.
and clouds would pass

like fleece of angels
time, what was time then.
coming across wild violets

on the walk from school

and the violets understood
who we were too.
in their small dignity enwrapped,

enrapturing

and perfumes.
and everything after the rains
making us silver inside

as if we were made of stars
and we were.
we are.

mary angela douglas 2 september 2019

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Used That Way (Final Version)

I would like to be treated as an individual
and not as an anecdotal source
written up in a magazine a journal
of great repute reviewed by someone's peers
making the career of someone
far younger, even brilliant
or shown upon the screen
of the ultimate power point presentation Machine
making the scene as a sliver of the pie chart
though it's art Im sure of that, of a certain sort
to undergird someone's mission statement
so the voiceless can be heard and really
when does that ever happen but snap to it
to applaud the populations sewn in half
and magically restored ; or those who manage them
final theses by the score on the subject full of buzz.
my life having furnished details on the above
in places I myself would most likely
not be welcome, much less hired.
to earn another praise is perhaps the
action of saints. to use another's lifetime
to grind out statistical reports so you can
visit all the resorts
I cant have any mercy for.
or fellow feeling.
forgive me if I am wrong.
but all of us here not so collegially
really don't want our anguish mined
so you can flourish in the daily grind yourself
while we're on parade:
clear examples of everything
wrong with our country
so some say; or props of the progress you've made
while given props for throwing shade on us
in turning our lives around but
in the wrong lane. forgive me if I complain.
and may I just say, having found my own voice by myself
we just dont want to be used that way.
mary angela douglas 1 september 2019

Used That Way

I would like to be treated like an individual
and not as an anecdotal source
written up in a magazine a journal

of great repute reviewed by someone's peers
making the career of someone
far younger, even brilliant

or shown upon the screen
of the ultimate power point presentation
making the scene as a sliver of the pie chart

though it's art Im sure of that, of a certain sort

to undergird someone's mission statement
final thesis on the subject.
my life having furnished details

in places I myself would most likely
not be welcomed much less hired.
to earn another praise is perhaps the

action of saints. to use another's lifetime
to grind out statistical reports
I cant have any mercy for.

or fellow feeling.

forgive me if I am wrong.
but all of us here
clear examples of everything

wrong with our country
so some say
just dont want to be used that way.

mary angela douglas 1 september 2019