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 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.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

After The Gaelic

[to Turlough O Carolan for his songs in Heaven(1670-25 March 1738)]


I could not see through the crystal page

I was ever that lost
and wandering through the

dream you dreamed

how could I spell
the moon, the stars-

let it not be said

I wandered there in vain
when Christ was on my left

and on my right

when bright through the
thickets of dim sleep

his kindliest name appeared all candlelit

in reels of rose, in my own sky-
never to be forgotten.

it was then I saw

through the crystal
men called poetry

straight through to the guardian green

of abiding song-then I knew

there is no farewell to music.

and God gave me

the names of the moon and stars
and the harp of perfect stillness-

jeweled

mary angela douglas 12 july 2011



Despues del Gaelico

Yo no podia ver a traves de la pagina de cristal
yo estaba cada vez tan perdido
y vagando por el sueno que sonaste
como podria hechizo de la luna, las
estrellas
que no se diga que vagaba en vano
cuando Cristo estaba a mi izquierda y a mi derecha
cuando brilla a traves de la espesura
del sueno oscuro
su nombre mas simple de la rosa
hay que no olvidar jamas.
entonces fue que vi a traves del cristal
que los hombres se llama "la poesia"
directamente a traves
del angel de la guarda verde
de cancion constante-
entonces supe que no hay ninguna despedida
a la musica
y Dios me dio los nombres de
la luna y las estrellas
y el arpa de quietud perfecta-
de piedras preciosas-
  
mary angela douglas 12 july 2011/Spanish translation 1 august 2011

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

I Sent A Letter To The Russian Poets

I sent a letter to the russian poets
not expecting a reply
on an ordinary day when tulip

trees touched the last of

a winter sky.
I did not stand in my

own light, but I knelt down to pray-

thinking of the russian poets.
I saw the angelic orders rise

above the broken mirrors of the world

when I cried out, I want to stay-
here in the wounded wilderness of those

who only wanted to keep singing-

across the star-swept gorge of time

through fire, through flood
through rampant mysteries unfolding,

clearer in these returning years,

like them, I learn to
stand inside the music with the Lord

while the bullets fly past-

while in my soul
a lone bird's song

echoes and reechoes:

silver-sad as rain or missing planets-
yet with a mysterious gladness
on and on forever
like the Russian poets-

mary angela douglas 1-4 july, 2011



Envie Una Carta a Los Poetas Rusos
envie una carta a los poetas rusos
y no esperaba a una respuesta
en un dia ordinario
cuando tocan los arboles de tulipan
el ultimo del cielo
de invierno.
no estaba en mi propia luz
pero me arrodille a orar
pensando en los poetas rusos.
he visto los ordenes angelicos
elevarse por encima
de los espejos rotos del mundo
cuano grite "quiero quedarme aqui
en el desierto herido de aquellas
que solo queria seguir cantando".
a traves del desfiladero de estrellas
barrido de tiempo
a traves del fuego, a traves de inundaciones
a traves de los misterios desenfrenado
desarrollo-
mas claro en estos anos de regresar
como ellos aprendo a permanecer
dentro de la musica con El Senor
mientras las balas pasan volando
mientras que en mi alma
el cancion de un ave solitario
se hace eco y resuena
plata triste como la lluvia
o los planetas que faltan
que como una alegria misteriosa.
una y otra vez para siempre
como los poetas rusos.

mary angela douglas 1-4 july 2011 Spanish translation 1 august 2011