Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Listening For The Beginning Of Snows, White Flowers, Celesta


[for the poet Elinor Wylie (1885-1928)]

listening for the beginning of snows, white flowers, celesta-

I bowed my head far down
into the very velvet of God;

putting the jeweled sword back in the cupboard, carefully-

by the last of the fairytale cheese-
the plum-starred jam.

who knows what music held

for those who appear no longer;
wind the music box anyway
and don't despair,

your heart like a cloud

still does not drift
and it is a wonder

just to breathe the air

that later, snow will inhabit-

mary angela douglas 22 december 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Weeping Coins Of Chocolate In The Snow

weeping coins of chocolate in the snow
the sugar-plum tree still shimmers
with its long-ago.

I've castled all my castled

on the checkerboard afternoon
and all the pieces are

pure crystal.

I can't begin to say how
much I've missed

the flurries of hard candies

with raspberry centers-
the lemon sun.

open the window

so the pink light
on the floor

will grow into a rose

we will not trample.

mary angela douglas 15 december 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

Speaking English

courting the fair lost wonder of the skies
the ghosts of English poets stood out in the rain
wondering what happened
to the world edged all around in gold;

edged all around in gold,
who bartered what for what
and keyed  it all down
so softly, by degrees, in the pearl smudged day

we hardly noticed when the Word
left glistening, alone
as though it had never been
spoken into green.
let the fairy ferns bend down their fronds through
these wrecked  dells, now out-of-the-way
and the musk roses sigh in the Borderlands-
that even light dwindles, dividing itself
into itself and praising nothing.

O eglantine! O mild musk roses blowing…
brief Tyrian clouds above  the foaming cliffs
were mine, but they swept by my childhood’s aching   
that denied-not real enough, was said.
leaving me nothing more to say at school but
to hobble on, ever-after with the

clipped birds from my hocked fairytales
small scissors sawed part-through
I’ll never be
real without them-

who wants to be baked inside a very tasty gingerbread
by the witchy experts
stealing the names that color the soul - this has always been,
oh my little little child

pretending to grow wiser you’ll escape
even further into the woods of gold and silver embossing-
pure silence gathers stars
and treasured there, you're a better country without bitterness…
this is the part of the story where you disappear, like a pearl
in the pearl of mist or cloud still owned by God
and safe from lies. it shall be so.

till the day you can come back
with all the light-rescinded years, the hollowed out rinds of suns
and snows, the wayward sparrows glinting in the shadows not in vogue
oh God what’s singing for
or speaking-
if it isn't this:
to brand on the wasted heart incessant amazement-
to be leased by God-

you’ll wake to wonder, too, so  all- at-once to see

each  drowsing castle in familiar mists of  rose :

ever after,  having been spoken-

the small house in the clearing
brimmed with Christmas lights,
the bright fields sown
of the full-throated music you did not disown-

mary angela douglas 11-12 december 2011