Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Second Thoughts In The Season Of Mists, Etc.

[to my poem with sincere apologies]

oh dear, don't you sometimes feel

when mailing a poem out to some magazine
or contest in the wilderness
all sight unseen

oh no, it forgot its galoshes and

it looks like rain.
or what if it gets on the wrong bus

after school or if it's too short

to reach the bell to be let off.
what if it never comes back?

never mind never mind

you want to say quite loudly
but the postman's already been.

goodbye, little poem.

fare thee well.
next time we'll just stay home

watch old cartoons

or movies on t.v.
or view the drizzle from the porch

of deep antiquities

or flit, like Keatses nightingale;

pure dazzlement-

in the trees

mary angela douglas 29 october 2013

Flowers For Thomas Leland

to Thomas Leland Murphy, my cousin
 (August 1983-April 2013)]

you seemed to smile kindly on the few friends

who knew you
who dared to leave comments before

comments were closed.

but what do I know
having been far from home

for such a long time now

I've probably disappeared
from all the albums.

a dry wit, they said.

a kind of gallantry implied
in yearbook autographs.

twenty nine years old

in love with cinema
self-effacing I am sure
conscientious at the supermarket

with a sunlit word or two

for a customer near
the early strawberries-

a friend to everyone on break.

don't send flowers the
notice read

in a typeface fit for a wedding.

Thomas Leland, here
I leave for you I lay

before your dreaming now

who never met you in life
the choicest bouquet
of all the emerald Aprils you have bereaved

and heaped up, shining-without stint-

every flower of the impearled fields...

mary angela douglas 29 october 2013

Bridals Of The Plum, Sweet Cherry Or Apple

bridals of the plum
sweet cherry or apple
who would not want to live
in such a kingdom

where it snows flowers
when only the wind blows
and by no command

let velvet trumpets sound
white velvet murmured the syringa
near a childhood home, dissolved.
we are wreathed very fine
only walking by you

and in all the neighborhoods
of white and green
sometimes a pale pink blushing
toward the stars lifts the wayward

longing to be constellations

mary angela douglas 29 october 2013

Sunday, October 27, 2013

In A Swan Boat While Plum Blossoms Fall

in a swan boat
on a children's pond
I saw the flowers falling.

they were like stars.
petals of plum white
scattered like the heart

of all fragrance
they are landing on me
it means I am queen of the flowers
maybe it feels that way

and Grandfather is on shore.
while I, in a swan boat,
such a small I, am
drifting on childhood's waters

as in the dark green mirror
underneath it all the
rippling raindrops fall
and can I catch their silver

if I try I try to wonder but
I don't know why
in a swan boat I am drifting farther out

and Grandfather waves to me-
I am drifting farther out
then if I were at sea...

mary angela douglas 27 October 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Gold Meshed Bags Held The Chocolate Money

[to my stick-horse, Trilby, the ruby-eyed]

gold meshed bags held the chocolate money;

at parties the pirate chest was filled with them
(a centerpiece for the bride-doll feted)-
small cookies with ruby jam and shaped like stars.

must  I imagine everything for the dolls,

including the tea set?
never mind said the shadows of stick horses

appliqued with ruby sequined bridles;

anyway, magically, they're  faster than National Velvet
down the Milky Way.
I should know.  I trained them at recess

I'll bring in gold mesh bags our provender

for a day and a tangelo sun and the
fairy princess sings rhe rose lights into the
sky when everything is still
and no one's looking...

I know you don't believe this;

but, I will

mary angela douglas 24 october 2013

It's Cherry Coloratura Said The French Doll Decisively

it's cherry coloratura said the French doll decisively
it being one past-time of our dolls to assign
fruit flavors to various opera singers.

when are they coming home from school.

we're tired of this game.that's
over too soon since we're

not musically trained and when

have we really tasted anything
complained complained complained
the jack-in-the box jester

in his mustard outfit.

orange slices, sprinkled with snow...

lime lime lime crooned the bride doll

careless of her curls, her over-fine veil.
raspberry creams dipped in chocolate chocolate

sighed the marionette princess

and the wind through the pale blue window
lifted her strings above the gramophone

and she looked down on everything

mary angela douglas 24 october 2013

Pink Candles Flare On A Rose Decked Cake (Before Dripless Candles)

pink candles flare on a rose decked cake
how quickly you must wish so the buttercream
roses won't taste like wax.

looking back, under the duress of this

how could you know what wish to make?
maybe the way it's all turned out

depends on that

as much as on anything else.
let fresh cakes be ordered thundered

the king or queen

in a diamond anniversary epiphany
trying to make up finally

for all the wishes made imperfectly

just to not ruin the frosting.

mary angela douglas 24 october 2013

Prima Ballerina Assoluta

pale orchid assoluta shimmering on the stage:
in tulle, beyond the demi-glittering waltz length dress
your soul was made for jeweled breezes,
sequined to perfection.

what difference can it make what role you play;

it's only the difference between rose and rose
in an heirloom garden of poses
perfectly realized.

pale orchid assoluta, in colours of vanishing

for a moment, stay-mid-air-
in the pearlized daydream of the little girl

in a peach sundress who is

taking flying leaps by herself 
all over the summer carport
dreaming she is like you,

assolutely beautiful

mary angela douglas 24 october 2013

The Dream Of The Overland China

[to Bess Streeter Aldrich, author of the
incredibly lyrical novel "A Lantern In Her Hand"]

there should be coral rosebuds round it

she said softly speaking of her dream-china
that could not be carried overland.

so many things we left behind

because we could not carry them:
the moon with the rainbow ring

the music of the spheres and

walled in gardens.
the penny novel thoughts the


the ochre in the trees how long
I have longed to see dark
honey crusted on an
afternoon's leisurely canvas-

and plumed chivalries.

yet I have seen the green wind on the

prairies limitlessly, the coolness of God
in underground springs

and round as a wagon wheel, the yellow-gold

loaves of Heaven.

mary angela douglas 24 october 2013

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Flat Out Soliloquy In The Old Folks Home/Her Parakeet Said So

butter rum candy you're my dream
crunched in the mouth while
buttercups gleam

or daisies pinken in the Himalayas;
while parakeets in a tiny room, rose-curtained-
learn to throw shadows peacock blue
in every corner oh, it's noon:

I'll lunch on butter-rum candy-
while flipping through old magazines
for postcard inserts from the 1940s book

guilds.  I'll send them in all postage paid
5 hardbacks for a dollar :
classics with vintage covers

and a roll or two of butternut candy
to bribe the
time-warped publishers and God, perhaps
so I can stay on earth to eat 

just one more piece
of butter rum candy.
and have something good to read, finally.

mary angela douglas 20 october 2013

Note to Reader: No, it's not a typo I did mean to say butternut candy inthe part about the bribe.  Either she wasn't going to give away the butter rum candy to anyone or her mind slipped a little turning butternut ice cream, her favorite into a new candy flavor. Possibly if this were a novel or short story she would patent the new candy flavor, become extremely wealthy and live in a mansion with time-warped cheap editions of the classics purchased from
goodness knows, where else...

In The Shoemaker's Shop

[once more, to The Brothers Grimm]

how marvelous it seemed to you then

the cobbler asleep at his bench
too tired to dream

of the work still left to do

the leathern apron's torn
his own shoes full of holes

are fit for scorn

his tools are not the best but
he has hammered gold into slippers

in his time embroidered with

the thread of rose
and never glanced at the clock

painted light green, perhaps with red tulips

all around the edge
a wooden taskmaster with a shrill cuckoo

10 o' clock, the mayor comes at noon

or sooner if there's bad luck
how can one room contain

so much misfortune.

he sighs to his wife
munching a little toast and cheese

as if they were mice.

the snow flying. it is Christmas Eve
the dancers from the pantomime
in valentine tulle tap their toes

impatiently, en pointe*

backstage for slippers new,
encrusted with rubies, ribbons

in the sheen of cherries

he hasn't seen for breakfast ever.
he slumbers on while

midnight's moon floods the shop

not caring if  business is better.
then wonder of wonders and none too soon

the green clock  ticks the elves in

one by well-skilled one to cobble
in fairy princess stitching

never seen

the rag tag edges of his dream
he will remember this in daylight hours

mary angela douglas 20 october 2013

Note to Reader: in case you wonder how the ballerinas in red tulle could tap their toes and be en pointe at the same time, remember, this is a dream or just pretend it's Balanchine's choreography (who was always asking the impossible to occur as if it were nothing)

if you're wondering where the punctuation is in the above poem it may be I have my elves too, who skipped the punctuation in order not to be caught (since I get up very early...)

Word Cut Diamond, Diamond Cut Word

word cut diamond
diamond cut word
I heard an angel say

in a dismal time

what have they done
with the heart encrusted with pearls
the lily asides

the gilding of the trees;

have they banished light?
word cut diamond

diamond cut word

like a nursery rhyme I never heard
will the clouds part

revealing the Sun

or will we wander on-
intoning to the end

word cut diamond

diamond cut word
all hearts are cut so

in the end whispered the angel,

friend or no friend?
queried the children out of sight

or mind to a tune

they didn't know yet, really

mary angela douglas 20 october 2013


Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Eighth Day (With Heavy Hors D'oeuvres)

[to Ralph Waldo Emerson and all the poets before us]

everything has  been stolen

I said to myself
in a waking dream:
the sound of your own words
in a rushing stream 

the tempera sun from the baby's painting

before the paint has dried.
the moon behind the trees; the nursery snack and
fireside stories and other glories: thee and the
bridge that arched the flood's in a jeweled jail.*

mere beauty is derailed and made to serve
while the flood itself is squabbled over-
the laurel stripped from true competitors 
by the advance teams well on their way
and music's jerked from the music stand

in luminous auditions before your eyes
by illiterate juries compromised
before the scherzo's even finished..
while the cufflinks of the kings,
the signet rings on either hand

the very short reigns I understand
the seal on the books of the non-essential dead
furnish all endowments behind closed doors
scooped out like a Cracker-Jack prize
awarded to whom  they will,

with heavy hors d'oeuvres!!!
while poached like fish from a diamond stream-
fried up snazzy in a copper pan:
sizzle the redeemed,

the months from the calendar year
you counted on;
purloined, the baby's tear
and any dream you had.
someone's beckoning night and day

and highly paid for it, shoveling
pink night-lighted illusions
over the fiscal cliffs of home-grown Dread
they think they own-
riffing on freedom, not to be believed.

write what you know I write what
I see:  imagination's burnished towers stoned
and the fire of former poets trampled out
as though they had not lived and your own words
in their sunset's after glow alive, alive o

disgraced in school
or barred from the programs...
how long they have tossed like a greasy salad
this crumpled heart and more
on the horn of their new day

dismissing God from his own gardens
as if that were possible

mary angela douglas 20 october 2013

Note: the line: the bridge that arched the flood's in ajeweled jailis an allusion to the famous poem below by

RRalph Waldo Emerson, "The Concord Hymn"

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,

Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.

The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set to-day a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

Spirit, that made those heroes dare,
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, October 18, 2013

Angel With Ferns In A Far Landscape

a little Italianate the violet twilight
in the background sets off the shimmering of the ivory pillars
on either side-
you know that easily don't you? 
but who notices the

ivory shadows on the far snows

the rustling of trees in the olive groves
you hear as though it were real 
while gazing at the
unfinished portrait of the angel with

ferns, with stately roses
the quizzical angel of the far landscape
in between Christmases and cirrus clouds
with a lemon grove to watch over

maybe an infanta in a burgundy gown
the baby princess with a pearl smile
but that's in the next painting
isn't it?

mary angela douglas 18 october 2013

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fall Back Into A Farther Snow

fall back into a farther snow
the ones before this one
glimmered her heart as it

was melting.

spring with its white violet 
shine is leaving me 


the colour of lingering
sighed the snow maiden
slipping into

white-rosed unconsciousness

lost sparkling, overnight

and murmuring what was Christmas
where is evergreen

mary angela douglas 16 october 2013

Origami, Thought The Tongue-Cut Sparrow, Wordlessly

I cannot fly from here said the tongue-cut sparrow
or would have if it were still possible,
 if it were a dream.

let the green fronds bend their wings

on the fine trees in the storm;
they are anchored, too-

alas, let go. and torn like me.

I cannot fly thought the tongue cut sparrow
and I cannot sing:

"let the wing of the yellow gold light

dip down to me
let small children still write delightful

poems on gilt and butterfly paper in the schoolrooms

bending the edges down till I can see
the paper flights of something on the breeze

the plum blossom fall of it".

mary angela douglas 16 october 2013

Lilliput Or Something Like It Somewhere

oh tiny country
built to scale
once you were writ large;

now you're a favorite charm
on a charm bracelet shaken
by infinitesimal barley breezes

or if someone sneezes

setting off alarms
in my heart for you
I will stand guard in
my nonentity

since I love it goes without saying
your amethyst ant hills,still.

your small pears' windfall

in a golden heap
disturbs the sleep of gnats

and I long to kick

all your toy barricades down
knowing God is the owner of
the Great and minuscule

and how have you withered, then from

what He had made?

but I remember, once, the sheer

undulating  and the free
 emerald of your plains

sustained my childlike song and not
the woe and weal of these your
 roped in
ripped off
fields, your fields, your fields

mary angela douglas 15 october 2013

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Postcard For The Tin Soldier In Tintypes Of The Rose

[to Hans Christian Andersen, of course!]

how beautifully you remembered that room;

sailing back from doom it seemed far lovelier
than when the something snatched you from it.

stately, the Christmas castle on the nursery tabletop

imparts a rosier glow;
amid the evergreens and swans
the pink dancer perfectly pink
is balanced still on the mere spangle of her heart.
how long you had floated in the gutters 
gnawed by the water rats-
never wavering in the dark-

still musket bright

though who would have seen you there
being brave in the dream
of not one toy coronet flourish
to sustain you.

and now you're home ah, so it seems

but the wind will find you
turning it all to snow  
outside the elaborate windowpanes

till not one flake of you remains.

the nursery fire dissolves
and you are gone.

beyond the storyline I see each time: 

each of them, stalwart not pretending
and my toy coronet surprises
not ever the green, gold,
crimsoning angels
with its small Christmas 
epitaph, at last, for you: 

here blooms an Eternity of

floating on pink waters-
mirroring the rose gardens of Heaven

mary angela douglas 15 october 2013;revised 18 october 2013

Waterford, Crystaled, Broken Is the Heart; In Pieces

oh save us from the tin glare of the sky;
the vessels in distress flailing on pink sands;
the gaily wrapped catastrophes;
the heart that withers, turning aside,
from the glass-like smiles again.

oh lead us out another way from the gold mined mirage

mined to the last;
from the blizzard of lies; the floes that wrecked
just floating past
so bright, bedecked, the boat of my life.

avert these sorrows and the piercing of them-

beyond the clock-work sands sifting
into the blue green visions of the night
when we watched for Your hand. then- 
I will not cry aloud though myriads depose 

wither and command 

the heart in its blossoming
that cannot understand
that never understands

the carefully wounding mind in time-

mary angela douglas 15 october 2013;revised 18 october 2013;24 november 2014

Monday, October 14, 2013

I Never Pretended, A Fairy Godmother Said

I never pretended, a fairy godmother said.
someone's, perhaps yours.
it's all golden anyway

everywhere you're in the light.
look carefully, and not just for the dust.
motes can be apokes and spokes can turn

in a golden twinkling and now
we are getting somewhere
and if your gown is merely blue stand

under a rose window or two in a shaft of light
at least it will turn lavender, then, and closer to
the regal side of things..
and don't complain the pumpkin's heavy on

the vine or that there's not enough time
when time is all around you golden to be spent
if only you could see rain falls through the hole

in the garret
jeweling the cobwebs suddenly

that's all there is to it, really.

mary angela douglas 14 october 2013

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Advice From Certain Fairies On Foreclosure: Shutdown? Shrink Down.

with your last twenty dollars
(ten at the dollar store)
buy the best doll house you can
(preferably furnished and with vintage wallpaper)

go out to the woods and set it down,

preferably, not on an ant hill.

put all your groceries outside on the moss

with the fridge so they'll still be giant size later.
next, turn three times round and pray

to shrink down to fit inside.

(be sure to hold the dog in your arms
when you do this,

your children by the hands).


open your eyes.

you're home.

mary angela douglas 13 october 2013

Eating Off Flower-Sprigged Dishes

eating off flower-sprigged dishes
my last crust of bread
(it may be, for awhile)
You  are the honey butter spread

on hill and vale.
and cherry are the Sunday bells
deep cherry is the sound

and this is music and I am glad
for the garnet globule of jam in the jam jar
the last  few pickle chips floating in brine.

who cares let's all wear cherry velvet in our minds
and lap the cream from the clouds You send 
it's more than manna to be this alive

enamoured of the cherry sounds
when the honey butter's spread this thickly round the town.
and words feel like the cherry-cheese center of the pastry 
of the world when You 

first dreamed it

mary angela douglas 13 october 2013