Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Music And Chains

I dreamed of an infinite music: in chains.
The chains grew stronger
they made little arrangements
the chains were acclaimed
they went on stage
music was dragged clink clink to a broom closet
and gagged. Chains yanked free.
poor music. we were so sad.
those of us who noticed
things got this bad.
chains went on to make a name for themselves.
the darling of the world. unfurled.
music hid in God.
in the flights of angels.
in the songs of birds
in the ionosphere.
deep in the snows
before they disappeared
in poorly lamented years
and in the trees in flower
in the hidden streams
and under stones
and in the unknown hour
finishing old symphonies.
variations, turning on a dime.
and waiting it out, in 3/4 time.
,mary angela douglas 14 november 2018

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Christmas At The End Of It

we could have borne anything

had we known Christmas would be at the end of it

an orange like the sun rolling down the hill from us

until the whole earth caught fire

the candy canes absconded in the waiting after school

the lump in the throat not knowing which rule you

broke this time,

since there's no telling though everyone's telling on you.

the swelling in the head that comes

from being left in the rain between buses.

and you, such a small doll, too.

with your collar of lace.

when the sun comes out

they blame you for being faded.


thus we trudged on.

in our cotton stuffed ways

our red headed yarn in disarray

bearing fixed smiles

and a mysterious radiance

in our appliqued aprons.

so that you always say

it's the vintage music box

always just slightly off

that's struck, replaying

in a mournful way

the crepe paper bells

born with no sound

I, loving music

cannot explain away.

how we foraged on

sponging it all in, in water colours

if we may,

for the classroom murals

and the roundelay rounds

to illustrate the Beautiful

being burned down.


mary angela douglas 13 november 2018

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Reveille Or Something Like


(for the dead of World War I...in eternal life)

is he the one standing there trying to recall
was it Camelot or Avalon he loved when he was small;
Atlantis?
have words grown underground, no longer to be found
the blocks he played with as a boy
each letter like a castle he could capture toy by toy
what was warfare then
the game of let's pretend a fortress in a garden close
the Christmas leaden soldiers out for a stroll
by the piano with the piano rolls
out for a lark. if not a song.
is he the one waiting there so long
for the gas lights to come on
like pale green swamp gas, just a spark
it flickers and it's gone into the Dark
the slogging through the mud
the gaping wounded and the life to come
suddenly made real, from all our zeal
jagged as pure lightning
on a filmstruck reel
we're off lads we're off the planet now
and vivid as you please
and sorry for the way we took our leave, somehow,
Time out of mind...the sweethearts kind;
from grief, they're blind and cannot feel us near
and do not see us in the starry spheres,
the ghosts we left behind.
mary angela douglas 11 november 2018
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Veering Off From Homework, Studying For The Test

the phoenix scratching in the dust may be deciphered yet
veering off from homework to stories of E. Nesbit or

from facts and figures we forget so merrily rowed

when we write in Tyrian purple on the Phoenician clouds
and the gold mines are reopened

the miners vindicated for their fools gold dreams
coming back on the scene and Sutter's Mill.
there we shall build in noveau greens

the blessed world again
the banished once upons.
I with my long lost crayon

you in your last tiara harried on
no more no more from the stage door may we
maytime restore the playhouse to the semblance

of what it never was before...Resphigi,
the ancient pines remembered
and the ones outside our door by us

soft, in our summer appellations

our fondest constellations
Segovia, srumming the red rose days
holy is that music, all we had to say:

Time like a premium Lemonade
at our mythical Stand
sipped slowly

mary angela douglas 10 november 2018

Stone Upon Stone And Then, The Rose Windows

edicts of kings or councils of clerics
no wonder I looked out the classroom window
and thought of Hans Andersen instead

lining up his tin soldiers for marginal wars
and illusory dead.
stone upon stone and then, the rose windows

and coming home where it is always Christmas
the fir tree highly decorative and not cast out.

or I am looking on a world of glass not doubt
after the ice storms and everything is shining
and the Snow Queen will not last

the puzzle will be solved, the puzzle being Love,
Divine love...the Dove high flown from the Ark the
deep bells rung out from the Dark the necklaces of stars all

candlelit in every colour...fantastical, the babies coo
and clap! in the morning dew, shutters flung open

the posies in the window box will dance
once again the dreamy narrator will soothe:

the hard things were past.

it was summer, it was glorious summer
for all of them, at last.

mary angela douglas 10 november 2018


Friday, November 09, 2018

Art Song 1

because you sang of the moon impearled
as if you held all pearls in your hands
they banished you from the Music Room

and exiled you to a foreign land
where strange birds caw from the chinaberry trees.
but all your songs come back to me

come back to me on a variable wind
and I transcribe from the tone deaf world
scorned beauty's skirls.

and witness the shining retinue
the gold leafed trees
in a variable wind.

mary angela douglas 9 november 2018

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Still. On The Map Of The World

still on the map of the world
or floating off the side
of sidereal wonderments 

illumined on the tides
o my ship of comfits of the gold wrapped doubloons
of the Christmas counting backwards

and the ancient runes
o fir tree of the magnitudes
I am holding out

for the rifling through the evenings
of the exiled doubts
and the red gold shouts

of the angels in marine

and the green blue fishing out
architectures of our dreams
and the hull made out of rubies

and the mast of opaled light
and the journey undertaken
and the Magi's flight

is returning and returning
in a single teardrop life
that refracts the weeping rainbows

and the ships gone down at night.


mary angela douglas 8 november 2018