Wednesday, December 07, 2016

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

appearing,
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
undertaken
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

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

There Was A Language Before We Came

there was a language before we came
soft gold molten as the summer rains
and formed of mist

of the sough of branches
on a wind burned sky
and shadows in pre

conversation;
whose words were snow
and grew, opal by opal,

storied, and old
the jewels falling out of it
one by one

like something outworn?
have they torn my soul
I cried when I found it,

have they torn my page
from the book of life
that they have consigned my words

to the yellow flecked tides
in exile, every one?

mary angela douglas 6 december 2016

Saturday, December 03, 2016

I Remember The Pear Tree

I remember the pear tree
though you would not call it a golden thing now-
or even possible;

the partridge with its ruddy wing;
the swans upon their pond:
that they were spun of fine glass

like my escalating heart into
which God could pour in snow bright radio waves
deep colours

when I thought, it was only you, my late remembered
picture book of days.

oh that you had given me unnumbered ways,
His mirrors, the flocks of the stars.
many dancers danced to my door;

the wreathed singers under the windows
that I flung wide that day
in my amazement stunned.

though the pipers drove me mad at daybreak
till I sent them away to other foundlings.
how glad was I for the singing colours,

the rainbow ribands, floating tides

of some Divine clear victory decreed;
the inner scars branched into a cherry stealing;
the vivid air you christened with crystal.

and merriment, in waves.

now the castle is dun.
the dulcimer dimmed with dusk and
the way is shut to me,

littered with your fantastical presents.

so once upon!...
how will you answer me when I call,
dressed all in silver, caroling to the last;

unclasping the sunset colours.
no gold upon the tree.
with only the mourning doves for company.

mary angela douglas 29-30 november 2015 rev, 3 december 2016

Time And Motion Studies In The Factories Of Light

dream heads upon the chopping blocks
or delved into we manage in the day to day
to hide our tears in the deluge

may the rains sweep sorrow away
and we are the instruments of the GNP
the case studies

in the factories of light.
may we become proficient
they say and they say and they say

in doing what they have for us today
and we are measured incessantly.
somewhere there was a pastorale

where we lived, I  or you
as in the fairy tales of our wits
making the fair trade of the one and only

cow for the magic beans
and freeing the captive harp by degrees
from the giant's clasp.

and this is still
not far beyond our grasp
if only we could leave could leave could leave

without being seen to
or marked down for it,
the factories of light.

the inhibitors of flight.

mary angela douglas 3 december 2016

Friday, December 02, 2016

And In Their Dreams, The Sound Of Waters

awash in the colours of the befores and afters
we are awash the children sighed
and in their dreams, the sound of waters.

will we pass over
they asked the moon and stars
with the candles lit on the crown

of Christmas first and last 
will we glisten as in the past
but I, how could I more than listen

when dreams had no language
I could intercept
and the children crossed over

who can say how or hold regret
like the princess in the tower
and the children passed under

who can say when
and who was there to defend them,
if not God?

mary angela douglas 2 december 2016

The Colours Of The Tree Of Night

they cheated in cherry gardens of our years
the blind's men bluff and wringing out our tears
under starlight

we made do

with all the stories that we knew,
the ivory towered.

how have they come to raze it to the ground

speaking of peace and the colours of the Tree
of night?

now is the flight of all things holy

to the unseen countries bound.

mary angela douglas 2 december 2016

Thursday, December 01, 2016

On The Day After Kingdom Come

(a poem on my Mama's birthday, (Mary Adalyn Young-Douglas, still remembered)

on the day after Heaven opens
perhaps the sun will rise
unshuttered  like a rose so that

birds in their flight are cast
in a light never before seen or imagined
and children on stand by

get the day off from school
and go to the fair of all Fairs
and entwined with the Maypole

ribbons, their slippers petal coloured
dance in the dewy grasses
or in ballerina leaps 

we will succeed in crossing the creeks
as the legendary did in the floods
and there will be candy all around

ice cream to spare from the cherry freezers
dispensed on the porches of gladness
and lemonade passed down in the

surprafosted glasses of time recovered
cool as the bubbling springs and
Mothers in aprons of gold

in new dresses like Spring

will wipe new tears from the babies eyes
over enchanted with all the fairy tales
spilling out at once

and our hearts beating like drums
at the parade of the innocent
at the Kingdom come

set free.

mary angela douglas 1 december 2016