Sunday, July 22, 2018

The Poets Boarding The Ship Relinquish Their Images

to Francis Thompson

we would return to you dear Lord what if,
the images of all things we hoarded
as Keats said, in the realms of gold

that we might free them from the cursed
and lose them no more because, to you
we would return them all only to save them

from the hordes on earth our useless pride.

ah for they are fading anyway in this arrogant day
flowers set in amber to no avail.
the sad, curled ferns.

how may we bring to you our borrowed finery
the clues we left you in the forest that You
might find us anew

so that we can finally go home with light luggage
no longer carrying small stones in our pockets
dreading the trails that disappear without a trace.

to you all things must flee
or else lose liberty, lose the wings
we thought we had made 

you sewed for us in the shade of Eden.

now under a pale and ever a paler moon
we have wept in various guises
setting the invisible looms up for

the invisible costumes
no one will buy.

through the long noons
that withered the grasses
yet, not You, the giver of dews

and rose refreshments. can Wither with the worlds.
from childhood I remember asking You
what does it mean to give you glory

who are glory and my angel whispered
even then
give the thing you love the most to Him

give it back that's all you need to do.
yet it is hard. but harder to resist the truth
all things were made by You, not us

we only borrowed the moon and stars
we even borrowed love
and what can be said of beauty

except it's the hardest to lose and yet we
lose it everyday disappearing into you
whole fields of flowers and those that we have loved.

dropping off suddenly

the edge of continents, all our fears
dissolving through the years.
we ask of you take all our verses too

and winnow them in the Winds.

mary angela douglas 22 july 2018

Chekovian, My Cherry Jubilee

how happy I was on  certain cerise afternoons
reading Chekov's Cherry Orchards endlessly
up to the point the first axe felled...

for me perhaps for you in your Heavenly dacha
watching the lacework clouds
the sound of the axe is stilled

and the cherry orchards bloom
and bloom. I send this note to you
if it may be

your saints would entertain the thought to pass it on
as couriers of song

no matter what happened in Russia later on
at least on your earlier pages the orchards remain.

this is the power of literature
I think.
surrendered to blossoms of pink.

mary angela douglas 22 july 2018

My Last Testament To The Jewel Encrusted Skies

to my sister Sharon (again!)

we thought the skies in fairy tales were  jewel encrusted 
and should rain down sequins, crystals, the little pearls
diamonds, emeralds and sapphires squirrled away

by the pirates on a summery shipwrecked day, revealed:
let it all rain down we caused our doll queens to say,
the princesses too

even the ladies in waiting in their puzzling satin
dunce caps
down,down on a discouraged world

heaped up now in glitter in every shade
evading the giant Vacuums.
or at least we made our mark

leaving a trail of glitter on our Grandmother's carpet
in our paper crowns, our wands of faux stars. in pretend evening gowns
(the best kind)

seeking the ribboned candies in the yellow glass jar
that candy Grail on the living room maple table.

our roles in the secret plays we played unheralded,
but that's o.k.
our house the stage

and our backyard.

while the dog played the other parts
with a willing and a fluffy heart
and didn't mind as long as we played with her.

I still think glitter is as good as diamonds.

and rhinestones will do for a coronation or two
in any emergency. also rose taffeta rayon.
and we were the true, the original

glitterati.from the Kingdom of Crayon.
I think that too.
I really do.

mary angela douglas 22 july 2018

Mothlike, Lacunae.. The Poets Gone.

mothlike, lacunae, I dreamed of that pale green shade
the hushed rose scented evenings of a former age
the truth plighted to love

and wrote it all down in a fragmentary way
dipped in silver:

when will the clouds awake let Shelley say
and then the wind comes through
laden with God.

after days I wait.
the burnished emblems sigh
orphaned after Yeats.

and his unmooring verses fly
to vaster worlds, Away!

to whom shall I cry
give notice to the violet skies, the shires,
the torch is gone.

the one they carried for so long
from ministering hand to hand

by God recalled.
men build tinkertoy walls, towers
what they will or may

out of the last few sticks, or clay

to wall it all though this had never been...
to bury them again.
and leave us to technical English.

the minimal parings. the lacklustre kings.
the public shearing of wings.

mary angela douglas 22 july 2018

Dark Ages. Where Is The Stained Glass Moon

perhaps we brushed through the webs of God
carelessly, in our going
leaving the silken shreds behind

the unexpected gold of evenings wounded.
how will we know when golden words are slayed
the picture book of memory fades

the mail of the heart is shattered through.
we wandered through Arden forgetting old names
the pearl of it all discarded

the rains washing all of it away
and then in a time of drought,
not even the rains were singing

not even the birds.of the pale Emperor.

mary angela douglas 22 july 2018

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Things As They Are In Our Town, Your Town Too

they're bleeding all colours dry I dreamed
let's go from here before they've dried us all up too
what's left of me or you

I do not like the words they use

the way they use the words I used to love at home
before they got ahold of them and droned
and tamed them down

with a world weary sound resounding
I am sophisticated look at me
what can the child know about mystery, rainbows...

only, they're somehow there for joy, for glee
I would have thought defensively and striking back
that way from my small desk  though wordlessly

if I had an inkling then what was going on there
since then we are ruled by mobs and learn to disguise
our fingerpainted sobs early on.

isn' t that the most that can be known, we're here for joy
and that's the code
not to be dragged by the ear

and made to memorize from year to year the rules colors
really are not there; we only think we see them,
phenomenon,deplaned- over and oversville explained,

trick of the eye exult the masters
it made me cry 

to see the magic drain from it all
under a stern unflinching eye.
I still wake up to the dazzling day,

my rudimentary skies,
feeling that way.
me and my rainbows, packed to go.

mary angela douglas 21 july 2018

Friday, July 20, 2018

I Wonder

I wonder if the angels sit around reading poetry
on their days off
the poetry that no one reads on earth

that no one read.

piling up remaindered in the odd basement, pastorale shed, unheralded.or in the attics, next to the Morris Chair.
of course they don't have days in Heaven

it's all just one golden glare
off the burnished streets
of Everywhere

you might miss moonrise.
perhaps they wait at the Gate
for poems about the moon.

with Yeats, for his purple noons.
it's hard to picture angels sitting.
really, I can't do it.

what about the wings?
maybe a folding chair.
or do the wings fold down.

haha. wing back chairs...

perhaps they read while flying
their attendant breezes turning a page
or do they lose their place that way.

I'd like to know from age to age

and if we're good
will we at least be understood there
for what we meant to say when we had words.

I picture the secret poems in clouds,
that rain publishes on the pavement
so that children splash through rainbows

mirrored. are we the mirrorng ones
after we've gone? catching
what travels There in sound,

in opal waves, from the lost and founds
of half remembered pink afternoons

from Eden's formal gardens, guarded.
from the lisp of children lost in their parades

their lilied dreams
brimming with rhyme schemes.
twirling in their velvet shoes
with the pom-poms.

mary angela douglas 20 july 2018