Thursday, October 27, 2011

All Music Then Was Fraught With Angels

all music then was fraught with angels
glittering on the winter air
and smocked with confetti tissue stars

and a stillness unlike any other.

how heralding my heart

still longs to be
as it was then

garlanded in cranberry or

in pine, in a gold or
silver largesse or

coated pink-silver apple clear

as my own mind was then
even when clouded with wishes

for the gifts hidden

in the opalescent instance
only you could find

when bending down so small to pick

the flowers of the invisible;

the word of filagreed pearl

I kept a long time through every last disaster.

may this glitter snow resolve itself

as if on a tiny wind carry me like chimes
over the red-ochre roofed village where
the kind people live

the one you held in your hands

like the ache of the Beautiful fearing to drop it
and sifting your song

on a sugar Globe shaken

as if by Eden caroling again
and not all that far away-

mary angela douglas 27 october 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Inexorable Rose

(Against the interrogations of the wounded:  to my mother, in memorium -  1927-1993)

“…the last rose of Summer.”
T. Moore
Inexorable rose
blocked from the site
where you bloomed only
in soft delight-

I think it may not matter yet
that I’m too clumsy, frightened,
locked out of the fete
and anguished beyond  anguish
when I hear:
familiar cartoon music
starting up again
at whose expense
are the backstage cackles
managed best behind the scenes?
let’s all be clear, out in the open:
that the finite poison arrows
missed  their mark;

and Your  sweet colors live. sheer loveliness beyond
the singeing, simpering order of their day
and The cafĂ©, corner-market  heat
of all the self-lit suns
not that inevitable…

it’s you with your one thorn left
till the jeering race is won
bloom out in the Watch of God – bloom on-
through this chill summer
linger, still
though petals curve to raindrops
In the end or to

remorseless  winds  that almost shatter you
yet they will not.
Oh rose fallen out of your legend
or pushed from behind on a playground slide
never  knowing when it will happen next
that petal’s torn from petal while you wait

for whose turn now
It is to speak
In the sold-out, sell-out play
and  spurious miscasting
dripping with monstrous rhinestones-

Diamond paste this on the wind, then:
and paper-crown it
that I’m  in the song I made for her repose
and myriad lovely others
In their fallen sparrow exits

dazzling into God.
Bloom on in Heaven free from care
and in the poems I leave you here-

mary angela douglas 25 october 2011/21 august 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ashputtel Has The Loveliest Dress

[to my mother, Mary Young-Douglas and my grandmother,
 Lucy White Young]

Ashputtel has the loveliest dress

made all of stars or tiny spangles
on a peach background;
against an aqua cloud
she leans, or aquamarine-
in my first Storybook.

how can she stop herself from dreaming

in tulle that is aglow with sudden

she's folding a sapphire fan just

like a cake, not wasting anything
humming "La Traviata".

or in a tarlatan whispering

"violets,  like the twilight hour"
that she believes in-
while I go on just reading,
lilies in a mist.

and everything she says

is only waiting to be:
A diamond or a
peridot embroidered on the air
in the distance between dream and dream.

it's God knows best

when she's blubbering over the parsnips
snipped too fine-
or snapping the clothespins off the
apricot crochet of clouds

or carnation petticoats-

how her shadow's pale pink silk

is dyed to match
His favorite orchids, orchards, sighs-

oh how could it be

any other way than this
when she glides out in the froth of
plinking moonlight unaccountable

that I have stored inside

to keep from crying
when the stitching's wrong-
the seed-pearls scattered-
and daybreak errands wounding
on a crooked-not a crystal,

she says, "God will take care of you"

and she should know.

before your melting vision soon

how gently she will step into the snows as into blue-belled meadows
holding on

in her glimmering house shoes;
decorative and true-
and spilling stardust as she goes
more beautiful than the mirroring sea
in my jump rope rhymes of green taffeta.

let the jeweled clock weep

the lucent tatters back-
the yellow gold pumpkin
crank itself up the hill
beside the little house with the rick-rack curtains and
the apple tree

let the raggedy rosebush

in the Mama's garden
burst into everlasting rubies
Raphael's cherubs gather still...

mary angela douglas 21 october 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Simple Interrogations Of The Rose, Case Number...

they interrogated the rose:
why are you-
who are you-

how dare you
did we say you could?

they could not hurt her-
freely, anyway,
her petals drift away

while they're all comparing notes
in another room:
and twisting the things how could she have said
(in all her pink unsayings):

into heavy unfestive balloon shapes.

they're stepping back
to see her after further considerations-

revealing only
the silvery outer shell of
a special  rose silence

with petals, too-

mary angela douglas 12 october 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

In A Year Of Japanese Enigmas

in a year of Japanese enigmas
the poets left home to see:
only the moon
floating on a lake=
abandoned by the sky.

it’s you who’ll brush away
this calligraphy of tears inscribed;
it’s what you always do-
so that the pearl-drop moment
stands effaced
and my living soul with it.

I’m thumbing through my
Frommer’s Pop-up Book of Stars
not sure of  what to say-
I’ll ask you softly
so that you do not hear:
in the white jade mountains

with such a biting wind-
how did they find
the courage to write

about the plum blossoms
mary angela douglas 10 october 2011

Emily, It Is Getting Late

[for Mary Adalyn Young-Douglas]
Emily, it is getting late:
the blaze on the trees and

the blaze on the  poems are one;
the snow clouds tick the towns away
and I am on my own to stare
at the wall that  readily turns to stars.
I know that you would understand
the quatrains of this early moon
the open question of the wind

the quotidian you somehow find
an open window through which shines
so close at hand your own Sublime

and then I hear from distant years
a background music suitable to you
it's something from Charles Ives*
that moves

over the same bent fields...

while in a golden age we think
we may have many years to see
but the maple’ s  ensign warns us
you are nearer than
these  silver riddles fluttering from your hands

we still can read:
inscribed with their own answers
as God’s may be -  I'd like to think

He’s  pouring over them again
tipping back His amethyst chair
as any fond Father would

but in my sleep
an unnamed orb  keeps bleeding ivory words

and disappearing
as it did, (I think) so many times for you-

the lamp’s unlit…
and it’s nothing’s  set upon the household candlestick now:
vivid for a nation or a world within a world;
within each  secret’s  secret self
to counter  the miniature glorias set in pearl
you well remember as flame-
since it was just you  singing, singeing them...

I can’t dispel  the sense of something blamed  or
someone radiant lingering here
with somewhat more to say on these lost subjects…
I stand stock -still by the mossy door
where Beauty’s shadow seems to veer
and wonder only to myself

just who in the glittering days ahead

will comprehend

as if by  heart-

as if they wrote the words themselves-
the least hue in your brightening palm
the gleaming instant caught out in surmise:
I seem to clasp,
so briefly, meadow-sweet-
and vastly-then, as now-

before the first

or the last snows of Poetry itself-

mary angela douglas 9-10 october 2011

*reference to Charles Ives ( American New England composer) musical composition: “The Unanswered Question” which he refused to identify. 

Monday, October 03, 2011



[“whither shall I flee from Thy Spirit?” from the Psalms...]

I saw crown molding tip the walls
of an unbelievable stage-set, real, at the time-
set the table
they will tell you everything
you’re entitled to know 

while sipping their rubicund tea
on a lush and leafy afternoon you dream
is still your very own-
with your whole life ahead of you
as the saying goes

and still so near your own real
childhood home you could walk back there and be done with this 

Why didn’t you
before they trained you not to love
or even be, as if they could…
and to fill your hands with pearls meant just for them….
but I learned slow and never
to believe 

all their lost lovely angels far from home and
to fight the battles only

I could see –to know what’s mine 
not underwritten by game theorists
or Pavlov’s pirates, looting my bright way…

as from the beginning of clowns-
and mesalliance

oh all my faceless springs in the name of God,
my God, unused and lilac-
I’d teach the children not to ride
that monochromatic ferris standing by

the carnival children modified to sell: flowers waxen friendship-
and world peace...

I'll sing you the song my mother lent me
as she died:
I saw the cream of God
brim at the top
and those who skimmed and skimmed
rich bubbles from my only Soul and from my rainbowed home

I saw their skinflint empires rise
and the parties they threw each other
at each eclipse 

who could explain 
the vacancies of cranes
on the tilting horizons that they owned

and all the summers subcontracted out and

what made me turn around
to find
the trapdoor in the Night and
it was God up late, still
counting the tears of those waylaid 
as if they never stopped being:
His own embroidery forever-

“Here’s your doll finery,” He whispered.
in the voice of all rosepetals-
“I’ve hidden it here.”

You are -pure life - I cried - I’ll never give away- 

as if I could…

reward the kidnappers
oh my King where wishes turn to palms if we endure; 

I’ll buy fresh groceries, pay the rent and
find the playground where they’re waiting still:
all my tin soldiers whirring in the dust-

I’m caught in

the lace of the day
and cannot leave You-

mary angela douglas 1-2 october 2011