Friday, February 28, 2014

Another Shop On The Street With Mary Poppins

hard words with a candy center,
can such things be?
queried the wanderers fresh off the bus.

I went with them to see:
hard words with a candy center
and more, besides

in a sweet shoppe off the beaten way.
where egg whites were beaten
40 times a day to freshen the

peaks imaginations slid down
hard words with a candy center
lined up in apothecary jars

and here's a handful of the lemon
the caramel twirled the raspberry

indented shells overflowing with
hazelnut (reserved for the poets
or children after school.)

or blue ribboned ribbon candies
for the vocabulary builders
in the back of the books;

aurora bright, day long
lollipops and sundries
the sugar dusted conversation starters

glasslike, made with honey,
pink vanilla fudged
my and my again we sighed

taking some of each
till the last bell chimed
taking pink sackfuls back with us

and, at christmas time
red and green sacks of mince pie words
for those who never minced them

what a surprise 
ginger orange peeled snug under the Tree
"where did you get these?" 

(keeping the key lime answers for ourselves)

mary angela douglas 28 february 2014

And I Was Alive In The Cherry-Sprigged Day

and I was alive in the cherry-sprigged day
she said to herself, smoothing her rose taffeta-
before the recitals dissolved and just when

the sprinklers were on and we went out
secretly into the side yard
plucking the sunset gardenias
my shadow and I

in our familiar glade.
and will it lengthen 
in the blue blue grass

my soul's flounced dress
pink as the azalea shrubery
with God forever
taking out the hem.

and will the dusk settle
like a summer snow
like a summer snow

on all you know
tinting the ice cream
and the moonlight that
was then and can I live there

ever again

mary angela douglas 28 february 2014

Oh God Let There Be No More False Alarms

"underneath are the Everlasting Arms..."
-The Holy Bible

oh God let there be no more false alarms

ever widening the fissures of the surviving soul;
though flowers be massed on sudden graves
and the edged winds blow sharp frost around

quenching each radiant corner of the mind.

let your fierce kindness stand:
bearing the small injustices away that hurt
as much as the great- assay
Eternal Spring after the short winter of the world
that we live daily.

forgetting to turn the page

we are locked in it still
not seeing there is no door now
and no guard
the winds having blown it all away.

our backs to the ruins

we can just walk free

mary angela douglas 28 february 2014

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

It Is Astonishing The Princess Said

it is astonishing the Princess said
seeing the bent twig flower after all
through cool disdain
through monkey puzzle maze

through pea-soup rains and the
sticky sun; whole summers without

sipping the air of home I would
have run in pale green skirts
forever; not even in fairytales

that kind of freedom shines.
see how the bent twig flowered after all
perfumed as all the rest,
but deeply different.

I pick this one for my portrait
done in tearose chalks:
the center of the nosegay-
mainstay of my heart
through cool disdain.

mary angela douglas 26 february 2014

Friday, February 21, 2014

Bright As The Census Of His Golden Pears

bright as the census of His golden pears
about to glitter from the branch of moonlight
when all has been accounted for-

that bright the day could be.
or cherry deep in stories we've not
heard before, we'd wander and we'd wonder

why the colour red is so delicious
so that small girls dreaming Christmas dreams
imagine only cherry silk or velvet
trimmed with clouds
each lay me down to sleep

so bright the day that hasn't been yet
and the creek behind the house.

a casket of jewels, just found
the breaking apart of dewdrop hearts on
dawn spoked grass and ground

or on the vivid rose.
and clover perfumed
we would go, our baskets full
of pink cakes, fizzy drinks

and snow...

mary angela douglas 21 february 2014

Note on Poem:  There is a fairytale that begins with the King requiring, in turn, each of his sons to guard the pear (or the apple, or the plum, I can't remember which) orchard
because the golden fruit in the morning is always missing from some branch or other-and in childhood I used to be transfixed just by the beginning of that fairytale, never mind the rest of the story.

Also, the phrase "lay me down to sleep" refers to the children's prayer before bedtime:

"now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take."

which does not seem to me like a bad prayer to pray as an older person, either.

Forgetting The Looking Glass We Left Behind

"for now we see through a glass darkly, 
but then, face to face."
-The Holy Bible

forgetting the looking glass we left behind
how will we pass through when the
moon slips by the open casement

of the fairy windows and
the Ship arrives?
take what you can carry on your back
even old fairy tales advise

but even they leave out, sometimes,
the caves of the mind where inner opulence 
survives, if at all and if

the fires are tended to
they will blaze up in the bleak counties
of the outside world when you are late to work

or cannot find your shoe at the right moment
to prove that you were there
where everything shone
when Eden was still Eden.

sad world, eating the candy hearts that
say "I love you" till nothing is left.
you cry you cry like a child bereft

and can't understand
the looking glass, the key to the Other side
where Love abides is

what you must pack
even more than the bread and butter
to be happy

mary angela douglas 21 february 2014

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

They Will Arise Parting The Dark Green Velvet Portieres

they will arise: parting the dark green velvet portieres
at first, on a vacant Christmas stage
with delicate stealth.

no longer adored.

still they pass muster to defend
their ancient playmate's children's children.
how rich their estate, with candy stripings

fresh cut boughs of pine of fir.

missing no starlight, candlelit and strange.
they will arise again and again

tucking into old sugarplums, nougat well

preserved, this army's provender.
splendid in scarlet trimmed with a gold
language barely spoken anymore.

in a flourish of bisque, rose-hatted

over the modern lawns they march
squashing the crew-cut dubious grass

where once were whole meadows
flower full. (and "cowslips" piped a little girl
in organza, colour of orangeade
"don't leave them out of the story.")

and it is spring in the techno-centric world

where fairytales hardly count anymore.
your shutters will not keep them out,

taking the babies by surprise and

bringing back the fairy gifts stolen
at cradle-side.
they will arise

heading over the violet hills to the metro areas

and taking charge of the scraggly grounds,
the fruitless enterprise and (after dark),
rattling the windows of the office park
dispensing lollipops all around.

mary angela douglas 19 february 2014

Old Poetry, Torn Pocket Where The Diamond Dust Is Seeping

old poetry, torn pocket where the diamond dust is seeping
on the trail and will the children nestle near the soughing trees, little dreaming no one will come for them.

still, cherry-cheeked and making the best of things.

old poetry. scraps of butterfly wings a little gilded.
seldom seen  by anyone now,
the buttercup light beneath their chins.
small dinner table games remembered.
here's the pink rabbit made of the damask napkin.
the Easter jellybeans in stained glass sticky melting;
in between the lint in the wounded pocket
sing your lost angels out of sight

all night she dreamed of a pink apron

fantastic with a blueberry thread.
white rolls sugared.
will they awake where there is singing

old poetry.  here's my apple tart for you

with cream. forgive all departures
from the the crystal stream.
I weep for your seeping diamonds, still.

mary angela douglas 19 february 2014

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Etched In The Fossil Of Time Are The Tears

etched in the fossil of time are the tears
of those who went before on this
revolving stage-set; silver the vein

of laughter; caught, the gold of

kneeling on the childhood floor
fastened in a fleck of moonlight.

dear God. are You near?

I know you are.
because you were
on this revolving stage set

where we haunt their mirrors

and stand where others stood
the petal drifting springs;
the heavy rains at the bus-stop.
we tread on their amber shadows

on the train. in old apartments,

on cracked linoleum
or worrying about work
we stand at their windows.

even in the grocery aisle, 

it's already started.

how richly the fern and the rose

have darkened, held in Your hand
while the sorrows burned.

and You preserved,

a little sentimental
this crease in, the snows.

mary angela douglas 19 february 2014

The Mermaid Predictions, The Future of Snow

the mermaid predictions, the future of snow
is this my future thought the smallest one
a pearl dissolving only on the surface of the seas.

I have left everything and still, I am alone...

Hans Anderson dipped his pen in the foam
and thought of the future of snow.

how does it feel to melt not knowing

if anyone remembers
the fireworks over the castle
the whole of Denmark dancing.

am I the future of snow the poet mourned

and tempered her future.
she will glide on light into the chambers
of good children.

and that, forever

mary angela douglas 18 february 2014

Note on the Poem: I went to Amazon today to see if it would be possible to order a ten pound bag of pinto beans so I won't have to think about what's for dinner for a longish time and a momentary ad for Porter Fox's Book "DEEP: on Skiing and the Future of Snow" caught my eye - especially the incredibly poetic, evocative phrase "the future of snow".

The phrase did not originate with me, then, but it did trigger this poem on Hans Christian Anderson and his deep (as deep as the future of snow) fairytale on sacrificial love,The Little Mermaid...  Thank you Porter Fox for such an incredible phrase.

Monday, February 17, 2014


and if there's a shine like abalone
in rainbow puddles after rain
she will stoop down I know she will

and scoop the remnants with her gaze
and all the way to school walking slowly
her soft eyes contain the spokes of

many rainbows.
though she does not speak that often
nor is spoken to.

for this she is marked down in red
in the archives of the school
the ones that no one needs to dust.
the ones perused.

in later life and home from work
on any weekend you can't imagine
she will part the sunrise curtains slightly

and the same pink and blue
swirled with mint with mother of pearl

will appear to her:
as if in a waking dream.

mary angela douglas 17 february 2014

Attic On A Summer Day Dusting Off Old Catalogs In Disarray

sprigged are the clouds of the summer dresses
pleated down the front of the sky
pin-tucked with eyelet
tears of joy for the

poufy petticoats, crinolines of the rose
or layered sherbet stand-alone.
who will ever wear them again in lemon

grove paintings long ago,
done like the hats with mysterious veiling
discreet flowers

and will we watch their angels lifting off
with wings cut out by the serious children
from Simplicity Pattern No.
1 billion and one

mary angela douglas 17 february 2014

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Maypole Dancing Dulcet As Spring

["Sweet spring, full of sweet dayes and roses,
A box where sweets compacted lie;"
-George Herbert, Vertue

maypole dancing dulcet as spring

streamers of pink, of green of lemon
like the sun, of violet, pale

cerise and candy spun and spinning

as if we are flowers flowers themselves
and first of the illustrations first of May

in a book of old stories inscribed carefully

in someone else's april handwriting
sloping, violet-fed. sighed the princess,
in every colour.

and she's in a dotted swiss, pale green

and a rose rose riband of velvet

it's green we are dancing holding onto

the sun (to a lemon drop one) and
taffy pulling the pink and the green
and the pale cerise, cerise.

compacted sweets she decided on

for a birthday in a silver box,
wide with a ribbon of lavender sheen and I
want that dress in every colour, please;

oh sheerly

pleasingly holding onto the light the Princess
dreamed: imploring the Flower Queen

getting lost in the spectrum and laughing.

and this is where wishes were granted-
pastel, with softest slippers to match...

mary angela douglas 16 february 2014

Floretti Of The Hidden Stars Who Has

floretti of the hidden stars who has
carved you into my heart
that the blue and the gold of you

should not be turned away

from the fine fair fairytale doorstep
swept clean of sorrows.

for all the fairytales are truth

down to the least detail.
This I learned to say.

let the debris of exile

castaway, on a ship of no devising
be only the ghost ship sailing away from you,

Beauty in exile,

even after Christ!
floretti floretti I murmured to
bright children sleeping
to the ghost of their tears

in the curve of your canticle, moonlight;

Your broken silver candle still not quenched
though many have thought otherwise:

stringing their Mays like pearls and
forgetting the Jeweler.

mary angela douglas 16 february 2014

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Amaryllis Ah The Lily Light

[to Edgar Allen Poe]

amaryllis ah the lily light
when will the spent wing flame
lifting the sky that's fallen down
on those with sudden fame

rose was the colour of the sigh
before the bent knights came
flauting the codes that shone like stars
above the winter's plain

amaryllis ah the lily light
and, will you come down the glen
to shine like music in our hearts
and let us bloom again

mary angela douglas 15 february 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Things They Think You Ought to Know

the things they think you ought to know
could fill a room of any size with
cloudbanks holding back the lies
they'll tell when you're not in the room

but you walk under a yellow moon
in a landscape of primary colours
and only hear the crystal angels.

fee simple what is owed and
fait accompli feeling more alone
ragtag mornings in school halls
are raveling still; who cares.
there's still a beauty everywhere
unravaged and

some of the sparkle won't wear off the starlight
in your mind and in your mind, walking away
from them still you'll start
mixing the yellows and blues
into the greenest day where
they won't find you

mary angela douglas 15 february 2014

A Cream-Coloured Sigh From God And...

a cream coloured sigh from God and
it began to snow.
oh my white valentine unscrolling
the only one

from pole to pole
yet just for me it's hushed its filmy
twirling in space, ballerina like
with the redolence of heavenly lace
vanished into the ballet blanc

and the chill parfait of a sky layered
pink and violet, light blue
a lemon curd yellow striped between
won't you stay for tea

I'll unwrap the Little Debbie cakes
frosted white (inside they're pink)
I was going to buy but I bought Tennyson
instead on abe books...the Complete Poetical
Works of...

now sleeps the crimson heart in a white
petaled border we'll have
snow cream instead
there's so much of it everywhere

mary angela douglas 14 february 2014

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Pale Pink Camellia Addressing The Soul Of Dumas

to Alexandre Dumas, asleep over the manuscript of The Lady of the Camellias...

why of all flowers was I chosen for tragedy.
did I linger near your childhood
did your mama pick huge bouquets of me

or did you in a looking glass moment
overcast, decide against the rose:
too often used in allegory,
against the iris, too remote

God knows you couldn't pick a weed,
wild flowers are best, they really care less
what poet weaves them in and out of
the song or the chorus, only.
they're so folkloric.

thank God for pete seeger kindly
choosing the generic.
Dear Monsieur, your heroine was great.
I am a waxen pale pink flower in distress.

where is my story?

mary angela douglas 13 february 2014

Poem In Deep Winter/Dream Of The Baker's Daughter

white chocolate shredded snows enhanced
the Cake of her dreams
but it tasted like pink and green
with a hint of the orange

you drew out of the Christmas stocking toe
thinking gifts were over now.
oh may it snow in candied wonder
for those who are famished
over long time

who yearn for the trumpets and the silver
flourish: their names in silver (edible) beads
across blue silks of a summer sky

mary angela douglas 13 february 2014

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Goodbye, Shirley Temple In The Lollipop Ship Absconding

goodbye, Shirley Temple, in the lollipop ship absconding
(it may be) with the last elusive charms of childhood
oh goodbye I remember you best

grown up and hostess of the Fairy Tale Theatre
in gold and pink frothy gowns delineating
"this magic space" before my 8 year old eyes

(they had to be pink: I decoded the black and white)
the diplomat of faerie and
your storybook with its border of roses, birds,

and crowns on pages I lived in like a
secret house within a house. 
or in Heidi, happy at home with the Grandfather

singing and making your bed of straw already
golden, no need for spinning then.
or in sweet replica, my sister's doll in pink and blue organza

I threw one day in a fit and then repented
I was so untrue but true again God heard
me say: I love my sister truly and we

were colouring again the day in which
our living room tv zebra striped and then
working again would show (and we'd drop

Little Miss Marker, Now and Forever
forever, honour bright and later Bluebird bright,
many years after you acted your heart out

missing the ruby slippers by a mile
but stalwart.
what is art but the blending of lollipop colours

seen through the long ago at best? goodbye, Shirley
Temple, be at rest

amid many flowers
and my small bouquet

mary angela douglas 11 february 2014

Monday, February 10, 2014

Blue Starred In The Blue Grass Spring Lullay

[to e.e. cummings]

blue-starred in the blue grass
bell floating are the flowers
in the land of before not after

blue starred is the laughter
of the small clouds above the

violet strewn and is the moss
beside all else in green velveteens
right up to the small oak door
of the fairy queen invisible?
so it seems in

the blue starred in the blue grass
in the cream of the day frothing over
the rim the deep blue rim
of the before not after

of the wafting of the white rosed
in the bubbling of forever just
starting to be

a little blue starred (sleepy, aren't you)
in the blue grass almost
tumbling over into april
that can't exactly walk yet

floating with little stars and dreams
toppling over into the
pink mysterious

mary angela douglas 11 february 2014 

Saturday, February 08, 2014

I Saw The White Knight Shining In A Farther Dream

to Lewis Carroll

I saw the white knight shining in a farther dream

said Alice, over the turnstile and he was not
as broken as before mused Alice.

I have no defense, he said.

and bowed his head where the silver birds
had nested forgetting how to sing oh so
at home.

have you wandered too? he asked me.

how could I say when I saw the castles in the distance
not that far away

mary angela douglas 8 february 2014

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

I Want To Find The Gold Lining Of The Lines

I want to find the gold lining of the lines
thought Ellen Terry while the world is mine-
and do blossoms fall down the balcony scene

or is it the shadow of snows to come
freezing the heart suddenly?

I could turn to other things

housekeeping, the stars,
keeping the galaxies in order

except that the draperies of odd speeches
will not leave me until I dream them all aloud.
forgive me Shakespeare:

anyone at all caught sliding down the banisters

of the fustian stage should realize
Time cannot be cheated of

the best role in the end
who puts to sleep
ah very deeply through negligent ages

oh dearth of merriment and the greenwood

rhymes-can no one hear?
the golden lining of all the lines
I have ever found on earth.

mary angela douglas 5 february 2014

Leading The Children Home Through A Blue Washed Twilight

leading the children home through a blue washed twilight
I wished that I could be
their fairy godmother at the very least perhaps

the founder of the feast.

as it is written.
it was lily painted on the moonlight, covers
of a book I used to know that

wishing was a possible thing

the only career I ever wanted.
so God, too, when he tipped the roses
melon coloured, baby pink in dew 
must have realized how it would feel

because he wished it so

the first time we breathed roses
all by ourselves
when the world was spanking new

mary angela douglas 5 february 2014