Monday, June 28, 2010

Lament of Leonardo On A Lost Notebook

my fair copy of the rings around the moon
got into the wrong hands-
stashed in the pirate's hoard

next door to rubies and a retrograde coinage

and the key to that lock was thrown
by a vagrant hand for no reason at all

into silver-pointed dawn.

now in a lime-leafed summer, once again,

brocaded planets spin so unredeemed
but not for that much longer-

mary angela douglas 20 december 2009/28 june 2010

Monday, June 21, 2010

Palm Sundays

[to Boris Pasternak]


In the thickets toy wolves are gazing
with terrifying eyes.

O my prophetic sadness

O my silent freedom.

[-Osip Mandelstam, 1908]

some shout Your name

to talk to You dear Christ
whom I hear

like a pale green whispering.

dew-bright are Your rowan stars

like tears remitted

in a honied wilderness;

the lily days passed by me, pearl by pearl.

but like the pieta, behind glass-

or fairytale burnished pears
the King keeps counting-

something's missing

something or someone*
and ink is weeping everywhere now

drowning in things to say.

oh You who guard the merest shadow

of the Rose where thieves cannot break
through nor steal guard my rose sadness

falling lightning-struck and seared

by the gossip of seeming multitudes-
when all the words too late to say

surge over the fronds of

nova-bright insomnia;

acute are digits queing up

for yesterday's lotteries-

for a momentary phone call-

but Giotto's angel, weeping blood,
won't be consoled by me.

beneath the glittering surpluses

of horsehead nebulae neighing.
I bring the foundling songs of Your unutterable beauty-

knowing at last what crowds can do

or the heart with no compass in an age of luminous wolves

pierrot lunaire** my God-  my God


mary angela douglas 20-21 june 2010

*reference to the poet Osip Mandelstam

**musical composition by Arnold Schoenberg

The phone call in the poem is the infamous one placed by Stalin to Pasternak after he discovered Pasternak was upset by the poet Osip Mandelstam's arrest. Stalin hung up on Pasternak when he said he wanted to meet with him to talk about life and death and could not be reached for further comment. Mandelstam died it is supposed in 1937 of a heart attack en route to a prison camp. But his poetry survived gloriously, thanks to his widow, Nadezhda and in part, to Anna Akhmatova.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Even When Words Are Cloth Of Gold

even when words are cloth of gold
cut to the fairytale's sheerest pattern
in a world that shoves these things

down the well

to whom shall bright words be spoken?
progress keeps its own carriages,

its own parks well paved

and serviceable
for rolling over well enough

and rolling over again.

but the bright word leaps

in its own fountain
and won't be quenched-

mary angela douglas 17 june 2010

Rain Affects Incident Light

in light that streams paradisical
through trees rustling in old movies, films-
there must be so many

soughing angels

or why does the light caught forever
in these branches-

even in black and white-

reel in my heart
with holy shadows cast

in strange familiar distances

I seem to know.

cinema. cinematique

quarto shadowed suddenly
to me it seems your

dreams are woven in dreams are

woven but the golden loop
slips from your hands and

childhood hoops spin backwards into night.

say you're sorry to the brothers Lumiere
if not to God my pearly fountainhead

it's Yours.

but the guardians of these images sleep.
the moon drops from its murky frame.

expatriate angels

sought no more
sit in the pouring rain and cry-

mary angela douglas 17 june 2010

[*incident light is a film term refering to light that shines directly on objects rather than

reflected light. I am trying to say - in the arts - if you lose the light that comes from God you lose everything, because only with that is an extra dimension woven into what you do that you could never produce on your own]

*brother Lumiere, very poetic film pioneers in France experimenting in color in the early 1900s.

Friday, June 04, 2010


the Blackguard's phone rings on and on
into a strange infinity
but no one's there to take the call.

a Mobius sun stands still-
like the hushed instant before Fatima.
you're not that far from home anymore:

for true friends there's the
Father, Son, the Holy Ghost.

you take your basket from its peg
with its pot of honey-butter, elderberry
jam and rolls; its fine napkin
embroidered with the universe.

your rose-red cape
becomes you so.
and straight out on the

flower-strewn road, this
engulfed by the waiting Shadow of the King-

the muzzled wolf's delayed-

mary angela douglas 4 june 2010

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Snow Globe Vision Of La Belle Et La Bete


[to Christ in his sorrowful incarnations
(and after the film by Jean Cocteau)]

the teardrop diamonds in your hand

rueful rubies can't be spent
who are you really

do we even know?

bearing our disfigurement
in the desolate garden,

most desolate Rose

is it too late?

are you still there?
turning the ring three times I pray

for the ancient fairytale trumpets

the snow-glitter ready to descend-

mary angela douglas 1 june 2010