Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Saints And Those Who Knew Them

what if they were caught in the thickets of the stars
(the saints and those who knew them)
so that the heart could shine somewhere else

not here where fears arise to be cut down

and then arise again the rank and file displaced
by the rank and file.
and all the bills due at once.

and the 3 a.m.'s rising and setting
setting and rising
gloom on gloom

in a perpetual fog
so that the soul is launched-
it must be-

from another site

where the colours of dreams
flow over the canvas of Night
and there it is Spring

and the fantastic
while down below
what was left of you

in a continual wake.
thinking mistakenly

 that God had departed.

mary angela douglas `15 august 2017

Saturday, August 12, 2017


how do you make your eclipse velvet
and not the jangling of bells
o my distraught angels

even the stars are caught in it
they will eventually fade
yet send their light ahead anyway,

to the living and the dead
and in the green of summer shade
we have gathered our wits about us

and repaired the damage

how do you make your eclipse shine
so that no one realizes

well, this is it
Jesus was eclipsed
and still is

by the cognescenti of
everything but Light
it's a long night they say

and turn over
or write another play
no new leaf

but in my grief

for what cannot be otherwise
maybe it's only a momentary angle of vision
light is eclipsed or light is disguised

but light is not gone
you said to me once upon
even in broad daylight

the stars are still there.
or God writes I still care
in invisible ink o don't despair

mary angela douglas 12 august 2017

Friday, August 11, 2017

Where We Are Now

where we are now
I couldn't tell you
anyway not in words
paint with light my mother said
and disappeared

into infinitude of angels.
where we are now
in which summer

it's confused like a dream
when you recognize the scene
emotionally speaking

but couldn't say
the longitude or latitude
or if there is a bus

that stops at the corner.
in dream neighborhoods
its the country of the vague

is that where we are now
my seconding soul rings out
in a room of crystal

but there's no crowd to answer
there's no one left at all
when the scene stealers bear it away

and get on
with the next show.

mary angela douglas 11 august 2017

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

The High Things Of The Heart

the high things of the heart 
and those who believed in them
these things I found

in the old books not on display
and I know that what I read there
was no lie

that these things lived
though not before my eyes
when scanning the landscape

it seemed to me in vain for present evidence.
the books piled high as the poet said
fantastic with heraldry and dreams,

nobility, life lived for some grand thing
and self renounced
and in my mind I saw

as when a chlld

the light of Heaven bend kindly
refracted through the stained glass
the Chistmas angels in the clouds

the powerful star.
and in between God's face and ours
so little remained

so little
to keep us apart.

mary angela douglas 10 august 2017

Tuesday, August 08, 2017


it is a silver wood, a castle of gold,
a diamond pond.
that much is certain

to those who know
the oldest version of the story.
well, if I turn it round

one somersault and a half
in the summer grass, spring muddy ground,
will I be found wanting?

say, it is a diamond wood.
it looks that way in the school day dawn
waiting for the bus to come on.

why shouldn't the pond be gold
when the sun rose that way
is all I can think of to say

when the teacher frowns:
no, you've got the hat on backwards.
flowers to the front.

will they send flowers to the front
some silver day that's wept clean through?
some countries managed to;

some centuries

when we closed the book
and ventured out
to see what the shouting was all about...

some day the books will be closed on
all nations,
some day made of crystal,

of the mirrored glazed cakes...

may it not fall apart.
when the heart figures out its own 
version of the story.

mary angela douglas 8 august 2017

Note on the poem: Images are taken from the Russian fairy tale: To Your Good Health.
that is, I borrowed one silver wood, one golden castle, and one pond made of diamonds.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Platinum Over Gold The Sunset Charms

platinum over gold the sunset charms are stored,
the cameo snows.
hand over hand on the monkey bar playgrounds

we grow cold
the leaves scuttle near the swings
that sway

ghost children,
on their way
to the snow clouds.

Christmas can't too soon.

come and play
said the winds in the poem we learned in grade school
by apple tart light and cream enlightened

sometimes it seems only yesterday
we dreamed it all up
coming in from the side door

from our play
to a fine supper,
tomorrow's spiraling homework.

mary angela douglas 7 august 2017

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Leave Your Songs At The Door

[for Anna Akhmatova and the others]

leave your songs at the door
some guard or other should have roared
at the prison doors, the in extremis gulags

where the hair was shorn, the clothing grey dispensing
with all colours anyway in everything sorrow trans sorrow
two sizes too large the shoes without shoelaces.

something distracted them, say,

an angel or two
sent by God and Grace itself lingered
so that the poets kept something

a something indefinable stowed away
according to the rules for such transits
perhaps recurring dreams of lilac

unchecked, certain musical passages, regrets,
the tracks of beauty in the hard snows
 a waxen pair

of wings or, who knows,
the memory of Orpheus looking back.

mary angela douglas 6 august 2017