Thursday, April 28, 2011


[to Juan Ramon Jimenez (1881-1958)]

Juan Ramon standing amid blue flowers

did not hear me calling
small birds flew on every side

through chinks in a chain-link cloud and over

the scuttled rainbows of your sighs I picked up on the ground
to far-away laughter

oh but "not-it" I cried out from

the space left by your shadow
on the grass

like a child in a game of tag,

the last one left in the

blonde and feathered fields still

of starlight by the railroad tracks

and hotel rolls with real pats of butter-

at home in the pink stucco of "play-like" afternoons...

Sr. Jiminez bluer than the bluest

shadows could be,
could it be the earth is disenchanted?

will we grow apart?

stand still, I said, with a mouthful of pins
I will sew your shadow to the sky

and line it with pale green stars

it's strange while

I'm still trying to speak
in lilies and small roses

in blue diamonds secretly


oh why do you keep on
haunting your own poems

it hurts so much

even in my minted sleep or
is it, dream?

to be crumpling up the violet

of mimeographed vocabulary lists

and practicing

balletic leaps by the
persimmon trees

it's not that I'm that far

from all those merry dialogues
about butter about arroz con

pollo about beaten chocolate-

regarding time I find it hard to keep

the tenses straight:

do I keep breaking the heart of moonlight
without knowing why-
or is all that hushed?

and can I pray to God in
pure hibiscus, too?


a hundred years from home

no one recognized my speech
but the blue wind and God

and the tire-swing swung

in glittering silence by the
small girl dressed in

blue porous happiness...

mary angela douglas april 26-april 28, 2011

Thursday, April 07, 2011

The Rose-Red Sealing Wax On The Letter's Dry Now

the rose-red sealing wax on the letter's dry now;
the rose-red rose-white story comes to rest
like the see-saw on the frozen playground
like the rusted swings still floating in no wind at all.

frost-emulsed are the Christmas windows

and the glorious Holly and the Star we looked through to see:
the golden bears delivered from their worst selves
on such a cinnamon-sequined day as this.

but I can't tell you the end of the story

or why my cloud-shaped jigsaw piece won't fit
(not even on Christmas morning)

in the thin sky above the little house

swept penny-bright and latched.

I went a long cold way in my scuffed shoes

to fling a milk quartz crackly word into
the moss green pools of
something not remembered, but that shone.

don't tell your wishes ever or:

they'll not come true
was whispered in my every dream
but I'll tell you the Christmas angels cried:

though years of speaking only underwater
made it hard to see
their real words on the page.

I wished that God would turn

the snow-bright word my Mother packed
(along with her sandwiches of butter and sugar)
into a language only angel's hear.

mary angela douglas 5 october 2009 -

*references to the Brothers' Grimm fairy story: Rose Red, Rose White

The Childhood Of Marcel Proust

your teacup brims with starry light, rich
traceries of time - translucent as
fresh raspberries bought

on a day by M. Swann

heaped on fairytale plates that chime
when the scenes shine through

somewhat berry-stained.

bright doves float through your
stained glass hands through

opaline rosaries of the rain and

tuned to a strange cessation

in a dream we almost see
the glint of (home):

taking the madeline

dipped in snow
and a nectared universe...

your linden angels pause, mid-air

cognizant of a pale green rustling
but no one's there

just once to say:

Good night, dream's child,
you'll sleep the steeple

out of the sky's

late roses at Combray
and wonder how

it all turned into

stalactite colors overnight
dripping down winter walls

sweet candle-wax and pure

resurgences of rain.

but the 13th guest arrives

mid-scene to no
gold place setting

set with rubies

and who can still the lime-leafed - unrestrained-
lamentation of the rain...

your hawthorn branches

in the dusk
its storied snowy paths more dear

to lead you out of houses here-

this suddenly - no longer home.
but you're still writing when the angels come

the rose-torn chanson of the rain

scratched out, then blooming once again;
they wait for you to finish up

fanning themselves with their crystal haloes

distracted by your clouds of sheer Limoges...

mixing the pink or is it blue

tinctures of remaining skies
you turn to ask them

just to stall:

the peacock or mimosa?
but God turns down the flaring wick

color by color almost

the angels turn:

fiery medallions on their sleeves

like Christmas refractions
most intensely felt,

a silken step...

and mama comes
with a bunch of heliotrope

a fugitive smile then

blue violet banks off creamy distances.

prevail in Heaven now

when childhood fears are hushed
and the holy candles lit forever

from hawthorn petals in your hands

you clutched at the last moment
afraid to let go.

how would you ever leave them here-

all your white orchards,
where Beauty's often not revered

along the via dolorosa

and breaks the thin importunate glaze
on a lake of half-way frozen


and lost and lost

where mirrors on the
other side

can't give the key-light back

of cherished nacre


but the phrase in rainbow clarity appears

through veils and veils of summer rain
and this gardenia darkness knows that

every time the music's played.

it rushes on...

mary angela douglas 29-31 may; 1 june 2010

Van Gogh To His Brother, Undated Letter, Summer, 1891

[to my brother, Alan Leslie Douglas]

the yellow leaves were falling
I could not catch them with my hands
the yellow stars and the pastel haloes
round them, ringing like colored glass
and every shade, a sound:
I was painting them mid-flight-
rosettes, like medals pinned against
the night, my
Legion of Honor-

you know, we always knew the
time of orchards was so brief, remember?
the pink and the mauve - the
apricot light - the moment's lightening.

I have a new studio; the walls are iris,

touched with snow.
I'm painting in colors we never
dreamed existed - without haste.
Dear Theo.
nothing is wasted.

mary angela douglas 23 april 2009

Note on the poem: I do know that Van Gogh died in 1890. I wrote this poem imagining what might have happened if he had lived for another year as it often happens in life that unexpected good happens after tremendous difficulty. 

Or the poem can be understood as a message to Theo from Van Gogh in the afterlife where he understands his art completely and is allowed to continue in it.

Shed No Tears, Fond Unicorn

shed no tears, fond Unicorn
golden are the tapestries, still,
I leave you to inhabit, shyly on these

museum walls,

in rooms with gilded conversations
guided tours-

beyond burgundy ropes of velvet

graze on, continually - with good will.

your hoof in my hand:

I hope you'll be discreet

munching the shadows of
departing guests

only a little

and the pastel mints at party's end.

Be brave, always.

I'm braiding my primrose stories

just for You

and the farther fields of onour.

mary angela douglas 30 may; 1 june 2010

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Around The Fairytale's Gemstoned Page

[to my Grandmother, Lucy W. Young, my Grandfather Milton B. and to Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm, among others...thank you! and thanks are due to God since as a friend once said, "God gives us the fairytales to show us the way home... "(P.S. To my mother too, of course who spoke in syllables of strawberry and utter diamond all the time. really.) 

around the fairytale's gem-stoned page are sun splattered leaves and berries softening the borders ferny angels lightly penciled in beyond the trees that shift like pedaled dreams 

on the dream piano of the pale blue country lined with gold I pray to someday rescue if I can- pure swansdown drifts down these elaborate Capitals on every sunset's page the 

swans revert to children and are saved on the one rock left in the watercoloured whirlpools of their sea- and I skip backwards to a small green house with spearmint strip-ed 

awnings or a pink- beige brick with picture windows and mimosa trees... you can't fade away along the borders flushed with glaced roses I won't let you- and every time 

i close my eyes the skies are pleated with your swans the ruby candlestick in Beauty's room drips very lime-green wax all over my small table with the circus scenes. maybe 

for childhood's jam-spooned days, alone, they gathered all those startling coronations, words of best green velvet, I don't know how else the carriage came to be cut from the 

creamy rind of citrus afternoons as if with the golden scissors of a King Hans Christian Andersen it's still me wavering in a pink embroidered dress and golden slippers, 

wobbling near the icy angels with their candlespun whispering as they say: rework the hidden brocades now of all lost feelings, places, courtiers, things- in snowy silence 

heaped with silver lilies...shine... I can't break faith with the fairytale task till vaster kingdoms come and my sister's perfect Chopin bubble clears the pink-white-red azaleaed 

fence while the clouds keep billowing out beneath their clothespins the milk makes butter islands in the oatmeal until- the last sweet early peas are sorted satisfactorily 

from the Milky Way and kept in the stoppered bottle on our etagere, the one the colour of ashes of roses... but will they turn to diamonds in the end or chicken pie you may well 

wonder when the curtains close... Grandmother's playing Liebestraum again in her rose taffeta on a rose taffeta staff she turned to diamond music in the end taking my 

Grandfather's arm and heading upward without her pearl opera glasses but with the Psalms all double scored in moonlight... the day winds down like antique toys in soft 

yellow chenille- the jeweled heart sifts in the furnace the tin soldier cannot reach the tabletop... someday I will learn to live expecting better swans and in your name I'll find the 

lemon latitudes so fine of the summers everywhere now- of the hidden mermaids with a sainted love dissolving into foam... 

mary angela douglas 5 april 2011