Friday, August 31, 2012

You Had A Locket And An Antique Smile

you had a locket and an antique smile
a way of turning your head in the shade
fading into the green

you had a ring of milky jade

a doorbell chime like a carillon
it seemed to me then
a smile like crushed pink


I remember.
no one will say that what I

remember is true.

no one will come to the wedding
after all this time:
looping the ribbons of pearl

to good effect

under the one rose window remaining.

but you had a locket and an

antique smile.
what did they have

mary angela douglas 31 august 2012

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Latest Dulac Illustrations

[to Edmund Dulac ]

spooning out the ambrosia of late afternoon
for the stepsisters’ snack, so
Cinderella spilled the sunlight on
the floor and was reprimanded.

later, in moonlight, after they’d gone,
fluttering their rococo fans
way off in a lavendered distance-
while sweeping up the crumbs
of a frilled disdain that lingered…
she heard enchantment’s music rise
turning her blue gown roseate on the instant.

spun out on  a dewdrop’s galaxy alone-


pure gladness danced on a bird note-call
(bright pomegranate, after all)
from the mystically star-showered gardens
perfectly rendered

mary angela douglas 27 august 2012

Mermaid Pearled On The Parquet Prismed Sea Floor

could unaccustomed radiance be returning?

you asked yourself

at the intersection

of so much green in the tidal pools

with your reverie of

the strawberry moon.

maybe it’s not that far away

murmured the captain so

near the golden iceburg,

veering off-course.

a child just waking up too fast half

saw the laddered moonlight

reaching into far angels;

Rilke, at his ease, and freed from the

nervous tea party with Edith Wharton

in her new rose rapture of a hat Henry James

failed to notice at dinner. 

among far rosebuds, nectar bright,

when will we be home I

wondered, not for the first time ever

rinsing the frothy whitecaps out

of a Sunday night’s kitchen sink-

mary angela douglas 26 august 2012

Saturday, August 25, 2012

And If God Drops Us Down A Golden

and if God drops us down a golden
well, still He is the one retrieving
us and

we will shine

I sang to the golden air so late it seemed
in blooming on the Tree of Years-

and if the seams of the stars split

open just as you begin to see
so that you no longer find

your violet footing in the dark

still it is you in the Perseid showers or something else
and no one else

and you will shine even

lost amid bright disasters unfolding you
unfortunate fortunate one
where He is making more

more light more


mary angela douglas 25 august 2012

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Note From Home, Years Later, In Reply To A Note From School

[to my mother and my grandmother,  for perfect understanding]

we were the ones who look for faery gold
for the sheen on the petals that’s scarcely there
but breathtaking when you find it.

there is the maiden on her way
to draw bright waters from the springs,
glad to be out of the house for a day,

(though gladder, still, within it)

on a summer’s day with a breeze-
with the lilting trees leafing over
a something lovelier, greener,

than any green you may have seen
over a lifetime’s cawing, dissatisfied-
with an enchantment that won’t wear thin for you…

there is the maiden returning home
with pailfuls of stars and rich with berries
and kept inside and home from school

well past these many
Septembers scudding violets through
the lavish clouds-upon-clouds:

so that no one in the unanimous classrooms’ ever-after
or on the job, red-pencil ready-
slamming the tea-kettle down a little too hard on the trivet-
could be offended again or call to complain  

the sweet next day and the next, even sweeter
about the faery symphonies pouring
heedlessly, heart-first-

indelible beauty from our blind windows…
then, caught in a may basket, excitedly pinned with Grandmother’s
pearly hat pins (only two of them, Grandmother)  and
pinkly offered up last Monday for Show-and-Tell…

and the exquisite secret my mother kept for me
my whole life long that I learned from that given hour
not yet to tell

(translated for this latter-day song),
I fold and fling to you now-
adown!  a paper airplane current’s turquoise
so that you may have it, too, a little tardily:

speak in diamonds, never toads
speak in diamonds, never toads

in diamonds. so that God may hear you…

mary angela douglas 6 august 2012