Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cherry Coated Angels*

outside the schools of everywhere
I cried:
God opened the book of stars

and I looked up
he opened the book of roses
and I wept, the book of snows

and each, in turn, to me, disclosed
where quarter notes drifted at the
edge of the seas and washed away in

music I breathed in
fond colors stay
like rainbows, melting in a spinning top

on my Grandmother's carpet
just before dinner.
it's the earthenware emblems I know now

and the near-blaze still on spring-fed alphabets
greening the glade where hidden
tigers came to drink

the topaz ripples off the everyday
and my Grandfather sharpened pencils fresh
for the appled school day as if he were
carving marble

oh you who must
in every age deny
the clouded and dreaming child as one deluded

who must be changed or die
with his or her petaled forehead pressed
against cool windowpanes of frost-tinged

faery-novas or cherry coated angels-

I won't tell you why
God opened the buttercup
clavier of the sun

and let me play-

mary angela douglas 22-24 august 2010

*my image is meant to be angels wearing cherry coloured jackets, not cherry coated as in candy.  It was hard if not impossible to make this clear in English without a footnote.  I would like to find a language where it would be easy to say this, it must have other wonderful things in it, as well.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Princess Cried Real Sequins

the princess cried real sequins
in the play:
I saw her

from a mauve-lit distance
fall away into sudden
nearness there

where the violet curtain,
tied-back, slightly

and a small hand
made of moments
cast an ivory

obliviousness, or a

somewhere else
where it was snowing
and children laughed whole coins
of silver-

bent on her deliverance-

mary angela douglas 21 august 2010

Here's The Vivid Crayon Of The Sun

here's the vivid crayon of the sun
the one that's not broken
the very one you could peel

instead of oranges
if the fairytale required it-
to survive

and the gold foil
chocolate coins in
nets of confetti-stars

fall out of the cupboards
of old houses
whenever you yank the

little glass knobs too hard-
just in time for supper
in your new thrift-store

dress with a second-best
stiff-starch magenta petticoat;
it's fine as Christmas wrapping,
pleated like a star
only God could summon

even as another interview falls through
or simply melts away...

there's still the lemon-waxy streetlight where
the last bus waits for you only

slightly transformed

mary angela douglas 21 august 2010

Copious Weeping

["those were pearls that were his eyes..."]
- William Shakespeare

[to Isak Dinesen-
and especially to Mrs. Alma Harris, my speech teacher...]

the rubies falling down your face
were pearls
and now

they're emeralds
past flood-stage
drowned and

drowning the
remains of the

dredging up the
every color of
the rose, of tigers

flecked beyond expected
topaz seen and

I see
-oh vast encyclical-
the veritable amethyst Beyond and

the lies told about those
discredited by lies further and further into doom
the formidable arras the kingdom of weeping
the quirks of the free in tragic situations

your arresting angels waiting for the next story

mary angela douglas 21 august 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

Lost At The Altar Of

lost at the altar of
your clouds
as in a dream

far gone I stray
above the rooftops of
late changing leaves;

it leans on the heart
with a trace of sadness
almost monumental-
but I'm at play
under the staircase
in your opal storehouse.

you're too roseate in
your dilemmas-
odd-coloured, shifting

caravan my song
I'm leaving your
violet shadows

on the sands

I'm leaving
hoping that you won't
see the

glare from my lost
mirrors scattered


mary angela douglas 13 august 2010

Monday, August 09, 2010

A Silver Branch Is Broken From

[to the Russian Poets: past, present and future with deep hope and gratitude-and, most directly to the poets of the Silver Age]

a silver branch is broken from

a golden tree.

in the upper atmosphere

are many angels
and clouds of shimmering
radiant symbols

if it were colder it would be

snowing angels
and Christmas could come early

but you lose your way in

the fairytale forest
forgetting to be
on your guard-

plucking a rose in the

fatal hour-
turning to stone.

all blazing kingdoms


the same victory on the same day

and there is world-wide entertainment

and sherbert in 10,000 flavors

but the milk-white sky pours out

pitchers of sorrow

the sun on its own bakes

bitter loaves
and like children unjustly punished

we can't stop weeping for

the silver branch

cut from the golden tree-

mary angela douglas 13 june 2005/30 august 2005/copyright 2006

Painted Ephemera Of The Rose

we'll drive our cloud-sheep
into mists of the rose:

the one of legend

the one you can't dismiss

over a city of trees

let it rain down jewels
anyway, on my flowered hat

if the neighbors don't mind

and downtown artists
sip black coffee

and dreamy cream so

out of the long-ago

on a summer day

in Winston-Salem
a little girl

in the Library

painted a swirl of rose
like the rose itself

and was happy...

mary angela douglas 2 august 2010

[on the visuallibraries.com seminar ("Leave Your Mark") in Winston-Salem, North Carolina presented by
Dr. Marueen O'Neill and Claire Sambrook
July 2010 at the Forsyth County Central Library.]

Monday, August 02, 2010

Fra Angelico, It's The Rose And Gold

["some works are for the earth, some for heaven."
-Fra Angelico]

Fra Angelico, it's the rose and gold

I want to say
rude shadows chide me,

"don't say" - but I

find words the colors of
your angels' sleeves

and hold in my hand the

quartz of your music that won't fall apart.
I lose the way and chandelier branches

in quiet rain

mislaid in some other poem.
procure the fairytale brocades you

must have left in a Florentine summer

and never got around to using

my impoverished reverence

made rich again-

mary angela douglas 2 august 2010

Waving From The Dock This Time

[to Emily Dickinson]

waving from the dock this time

where no ships ever come
I fold my handkerchief into

a sudden snowflake

or a single tear mislaid-
forbidding winter's music...

sew poems like stars.

then let the darkness come.
can you hear

the ghost ships surging

in an apple wind?
I can

see clouds like lapidary ships descending

through a
fifth-floor window descant

mary angela douglas 2 august 2010