Monday, November 19, 2012
[“Ah, Christ I love you rings to the wild sky”
-Allen Tate (from Sonnets to Christmas)]
climbing His laddered orchards to the sky,
Christ is the wound I live in till I die;
the one of pure gold, the one
why is the why I keep on asking still so
hard to find among all orphaned syllables in disguise;
the thing you did far better than
anyone has ever done on the tumbreled way: leaning into
our eyes, you rose.
why do they want to drag you back each time of day
again and again to that same hill – skeptical of
Glory; eyeing your splintered heart with the old surmise
of the selfsame jackdaw disorders: reprised
and everything is
as though you had never finished what you started.
I’m climbing your gleaming orchards to the sky-
the ladders kicked out from under-
following the deep marks in the snow the
deep marks in the snow the
ghost of water beckoning in the sun-
the chivalrous pall-
the starry storied passage through the endless ruins-
to the only country I can recognize
mary angela douglas november 18, 19 2012
Thursday, November 15, 2012
[to Maurice Maeterlinck author of "The Bluebird"]
there is a soul in light you said
and blue birds nestled in the folds of night that you may find.
why then are we still weeping on the shores so near the floods
that took it all away
before we learned to carry it all inside
from kingdom to kingdom,
In the Land of Memory dear Shades of the long ago
fall away, beseeching, please turn aside down this
folkloric lane, won’t you?
we’ll have bread and cherries
under late summer's trees, or
toasted cheese on a fork
near the winter hearth and bowls
brimful of cream or is it dream in an Alpine spring
and then, dream more...
a history made of lead weighs down on the heart too
imperceptibly so that we do not know we do not hear you
rustling the raspberries.
now they will slam the door on you
as if you were a cheap peddler
if they even see you at all,
stamping with a modern library’s stamp:
but I can see the shine of something, still not dead
all made of fantastic speaking twined
from a rubied thread
children leaving home may still find, sometime,
tangling them in the woods again
in golden gazing up or
whenever they spill the sugar for the Tea
imagining they are grown-up now, irretrievably-
they may remember suddenly,
exactly why they came
and, like a flash of something brilliant
in the world they only think they see-
Who sent them
mary angela douglas 3, 10 november 2012
I did not imagine the hush of the holly stars.
the crunch of the white alphabet
newly fallen from heaven
the enchanted glass surfaces crackling
after the ice storms or
the blue-gold icicled xylophone tears-
near the lavender eaves.
it’s not that peripherally dreamed that
in an ivory wind my soul was gathered,
in hidden vespers written on a crystal slate
in firm handwriting with a Christmas fountain pen.
oh why did you not look back, forgetful child
so used to hearing the angels sing and making the
emerald no, the ruby partridges scatter just by moving your arms
as though they were wings.
or what made you later than late
when the golden pear
slipped shadowy from its branch
in your plain sight glittering
(it would have been if you hadn’t dawdled over your cereal
said your sister)
and before sifting under
the drifts of cream you found out were unsugared
you could have scooped up everything then
and brought it back into the house for Mama,
where we would have been suddenly rich with Forever.
mary angela douglas 10 november 2012
Monday, November 05, 2012
[prelude for the left-hand]
I lost one wing and one wing only
torn from the skies in a raven snow.
how could I go back to find it all alone
who could not find the space between the letters
though they were made of gold.
I lost more than this: the sun
the keening of a larger wind caught claw-like
in a cramped style and then let go to fend or not at all.
how bright the berries from low lying shrubs appeared
on that dim holiday
inedible as tears.
begin to fall from the high angelic distances you loved
the ancient mockers call, harp stinging
as the white bees fly, finding the wounds they were meant to find and
live in for a season.
my words you have broken in two for no Godly reason
and sewn them into a frozen stone
so that they will not fly from here
mary angela douglas 3-4 november 2012
Note on the poem: this poem appears to be dark. look again and you will find an escape clause in it so to speak.I always have light and hope in my poem built in. the key in this poem among others is "for a season"
I also want to mention another inspiration for this poem was a pianist who started transcribing music for the left hand only when he lost the use of the right. Incidentally I typed, composed and felt this poem with my left hand only (and right hand index finger) as my right hand has swollen up. Not important just a foot note or a hand note. And there is a famous poet perhaps in translation who once wrote of a blizzard as a swarming of white bees though I can't remember his name. What an image straight from the Snow Queen's Palace. In my poem the white bees are not necessarily bees as they are so ineffectual as to have to find previous wounds to lodge in rather than being able to sting on their own. It is all about appearances.
It appears flight, music, life are no lomger possible. And yet, they are. This is both my experience and my holy faith. (in God. in Christ)