Monday, July 25, 2011

To The Beautiful Kingdom Of Norway

[and on an installation by the artist Ilya Kabakov,
Where Is Our Place?]

they'll bend down to see

as if to pray
it may be

the lily or the rose

invisibly wound
like a music box music

you'll begin to hear if you

are careful.

it seems so hidden, out of sight-

but it's just hidden in Easter grass-
glistening, multicolored always

waiting to be found

and it's a candlewick's wonder,

thread of delicate intent
that you can't follow, yet-

beyond the baseboard's curve or Hamelin's artisan

at floor level
the exhibit you waited all your life to see:

the one explaining everything so high

and yet, so low I see
a mirrored pond in lingering blues and greens

closer to Heaven, as you go

the very mirror's mirror on the shore-
the one you knew they'd leave behind-
edged in pink sapphires...

careless, cherished children

it may be hard to find the day before the day

before white flowers at the cathedral and
in between,

tears of the King and Queen

am I too small?
could I get in for free

midsommer's island's drifting out to sea

beyond the waves in the picture
you still might find the

children picking berries on the other side

of a small day with no candles in it yet
with smaller clouds floating by they

may not hear you they will find rest

in such a patch of shade:


fitted for a petal's scar

or to cirrus, lovely nothing at all
no longer wounded-

having found refuge under a rose leaf

rosebud stillness who could
understand...

a brief flash like crystal and a

splash "oh no!" you almost see
pure fairytale sorrow

stumbling past annulled in a pale

blue music fleeing

everything Large.

I've one doll slipper, satin-beaded,

left with a glittering shoelace broken
in trying to find the Museum with the

Giant's Installation: can you help me, please-

can clemency be granted to one
so small who can't find anything at all

among small flowers hidden in the grass

when words turn into stones
before the unbearable

I pray in a voice you will not hear but

you stare through in beautiful blindness

the keyhole, knothole to a deeper world

at rest
where gondolas drift always

upon the violet waters

under nectarine stars.

mary angela douglas 22 july-25 july 2011


Note on the poem: the origin of this poem is the tragedy in the summer of 2011 on the island of Utoya ain Tyrifijorden, Buskerud.  That same day I had received in the mail a book of Russian artist Ilya Kabakov's installation, Where Is Our Place? which impinged emotionally on the grief I felt for Norway over this event unfolding over several days as the coverage noted quite movingly the tears of the King and Queen of Norway which I also noted in my poem as a tribute.