Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Who Would Count All The

who would count all the
dreams around your head
bright angels islands always

hovering near

the pink-winged thoughts that dart out
the window

unperceived by your employers

who will take stock
of the fabulous light

no one in any age has

captured yet even in trials with no errors
shining all around you

each season's particular favorite

wherever you stand
flee from anyone who tries

mary angela douglas 22 december 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Let Poetry Be Crowned Again With Flowers

[to the very green memory of Edmund Spencer, John Keats, and Percy Bysshe Shelley.]

let Poetry be crowned again with flowers

with twining leaves
with irrepressible roses

let the antique page appear

with the afternoon mail
Maypole ribbons wrapped around it

with curious insignias with God's own

diamond sealing wax and the stamp of it
on your heart, unmistakable.

let violet curtains on a ghost-ridden stage

part on a scene of filmy wonder
revisited like Christmas.

let the Fairy Queen glide in impearled

and the sparkle in the air be newly minted.
and the angels hoisted on

unseen wires

sing sing sing

mary angela douglas 21 december 2009

I Saw The Ghost Of Walter De La Mare

["why fade these children of the spring?'
-William Blake, Thel]

I saw the ghost of Walter de la Mare

leaning on an April curve of music,

I saw his hands of tender glass

and the thin china he was drinking from,
reflective, the dark raspberry stillwaters

of Beauty he drew up in pailfulls

the silver pooling stars

at his beck and call-

the curio cabinets bedizened,
strongholds of childhood jams-
and the apricot laughter of the cherubim
by his side.

now acorn cups half-brim from twilight rain:

the fairy feast's abandoned he complained
"Is there anybody there?"*

he said, answering his own soul, alone:

"the whispering trees of Eden."**
he wept.

they pour the ocean into a thimble-

our golden ships may founder in the moss.
there are other losses-

song is made desolate, Walter de la Mare,

long years since your flag was lowered to the ground.
rust from the muted region's flaking;

your antique tears I've brushed away.

no one's watercolour for so long---

mary angela douglas 20-21 december 2009

*line from his poem, "The Listeners"

**line from his poem, "Goodbye"

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Lives Of The Hunger Artists

["This is my letter to the world"
-Emily Dickinson

"O Jerusalem, stoning the prophets,

how often I would have gathered...'
Jesus Christ

"This living hand, warm and capable"

-John Keats

I am sending you a last letter:

written on snow
by moonlight.

you do not answer

when I ask:
you do not

honor what I honor.

you leave thorns
instead of roses
thinking yourself a
charitable person

you let me starve;

then you expect a feast.

you leave me friendless

then demean my friendlessness to others.
and let me freeze

"why is he/she shaking?"

I am writing this letter

like a bloodless revolution
like a smile, - a simile-
broken in two
by those who abandon with
no conscience

what others died for-

chasing all evictions down
rushing in to steal
whatever's left behind they can

carry off in truckloads

after I'm dead you'll build an

edifice of Criticism
and furnish it like Versailles;
you will live comfortably

pilfering old letters

first drafts scouring
earliest sketchbooks like

munching on the windfall apples

of ghost-written libels

here is your fair copy

with no envelope
like a night with no stars
a summer with no breeze
a Heaven with no God-

a gallery with no paintings O

Jerusalem, stoning and stoning
what you'll never understand

yet God Himself is

with me, His starry
hand on my right shoulder:
writing with me in invisible ink

this winter telegram to you O

Jerusalem I only wanted to
tell you how beautiful it could be-

to live

mary angela douglas 10 december 2009

Friday, December 04, 2009

Kabakovian Wonders Filled My Eyes

[on the installations of Ilya Kabakov]

Kabakovian wonders filled my eyes

like the varnish on a history I could not recall
confetti marches round the
kitchen table
with forgotten spoons upraised
a secret roof-blown catapult to

a cloud with hardly any
the paintings of a milder climate
set up against old walls to dry
someone singing off in the distance
the mystical simple means to save

a friend far-gone:

you will succeed at magic, if you try

it's up to you
Cezanne like interruptions of
the Party line
someone saved everything for
not everyone can live like this
managing sudden snowfalls in
the corridors

finding the hidden gardens in
white walls whispering dreams
to the baseboards painted

only brown or green-

the parapets are leaning
though I don't know when
the rooftop studio will
telescope again

into far clouds and the spiral
staircase between star
and star will seem to hold no one
at all

angels off in the distance somewhere
are lining up for this new exhibition
passing you by

near the velvet ropes they sigh
crumpled up like paper roses I know
you won't forget the brittle bright accounts of
your mama

toast and tea in a broom closet off to the side
while the angels gather light and wait for you

the last one out
to close the door

mary angela douglas 4 december 2009

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Hers Was The Calla Star [carol]

hers was the calla Star
over the manger, bending;
the diamond refraction
of ultimate stillness.

mere breathing causes

the air to chime but angel feathers
cannot quell us;
jangling childhood's mismatched bells,

we stop bewildered, at the halo round
our footsteps in the snow.looking straight up:

we'll keep forever

all the lilies in the night sky
all the lilies-

mary angela douglas 3 december 2009

Beauty Asks For A Rose

[to the Saviour of all saviours]

only bring me the Rose of all roses

clouded pink in winter's storms
the Artic rose no one can comprehend

or reconfigure

the high serene silver

rose confounding moonlight
recovered by kings in flight

from their lost kingdoms

the one that is mirrored in

the starry triptych
whenever I close my eyes

only bring me the cardinal Rose, the rose of

hidden music, scrolled and scrolled the

wounded Rose

the silence of petals streaming

the heart within the heart within the heart

mary angela douglas 3 december 2009

La Belleza Pide Una Rosa

[al Salvador de todos los salvadores]

sólo me trae la rosa de todas las rosas

rosa empañado por las tormentas de invierno

la rosa del Ártico que nadie puede comprender
o reconfigurar
la plata sereno alta
se levantó la luna de confusión
recuperado por los reyes en vuelo
de sus reinos perdidos
el que se refleja en
el tríptico de estrellas
cada vez que cierro mis ojos
sólo me trae la rosa cardenal, la rosa de
música oculta, para desplazar y desplazar la
Rosa herida
el silencio de los pétalos que ondeaban

el corazón dentro del corazón dentro del corazón

mary angela douglas 3 december 2009

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Phrase Where God Is Glad To Appear

[on the music of Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, premier violinist]


looking out on the hills of glass
the angel of yearning cried
it is time only

we were not ready only
holding in one hand
a brief flare of music

in the other a cloud too
dense with dreams

looking out on the hills of glass
the warriors of beauty

in one eye, a tear:
to drown the whole earth;

in the other,
a brief flare of music
a brief flare of music

mary angela douglas 1 december 2009

The Merchant Returns To Beauty

here is the rose that cost me everything
he said
if only you had asked for peacock

diamonds, castles of aftermirage-sweet

dresses of orchid embroidery from the floss of
hummingbird wings, Viennese

tortes for breakfast lunch and dinner-

a brace of Firebirds
the end of human suffering;

one more golden breath...

here is the rose red as blood

that should not mean
what it means now

how could you know

what I know
and still live

tomorrow is a rose-red ship

breaking apart mid-

on a calm day.

while spectators gather

mary angela douglas 30 november 2009