Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Making The Lost Things Right

to the children lost in the ether
or to sudden fevers
or taken away in  prairie fires

in unexpected blizzards.
to the ghost haunted:
with aching hands on the spinet
and no sheet music

to those who never had
fairy stories read to them;
were never tucked in
under the eiderdown
unless it were everlasting snows.

or who didn't live live long enough
to roll doll carriages in the sunlight
as though they were fine ladies

or to play with pink silk parasols.
or let the chocolate "melt in their hands".
to those who color crayoned only

wars of the everyday
and lived in the Land
of the sudden things thrown
barely missing their target;

recipients of the skewed valentines at School;
the unmistakable eye roll.
unreturned greetings;

who wept for ribbon candy

under a molasses sun
that could not dry, not ever,
the honey of their tears-

to those, for years
skirting the bright red maples
in hand-me-down dresses
two sizes too small

who never saw blue frocks on birthdays
all the way from Paris
with huge bows at the back;
sweet collars of lace.

or cap and ball in summer.
or a lemonade palace,a Christmas tree
glittering in the front room
with expectation of more...

who had no tickets to the World Fairs.

to those left out at school
who fought with the cave shadows
and could not win at marbles, tiddliwinks

who wore out the earth
with the soles of their feet
running from trouble with a sinking feeling.

to those not sung to sleep
may your summons from Heaven one day come true:
glad roses and gladiola be flung before your feet
and all the crystal clear birds sing
 in the larch trees

only only for you through a transparent greenness
of the home with bright curtains floating in the wind-
with honeysuckle in old mysterious jars
and gilded gingerbread forever

mary angela douglas 29 april 2014

The Lacework Of The Day Remains

the lacework of the day remains
the curtains shine
the apples on the table of

the still life that is mine.

the anjou pears unwrapped
in winter sunlight.
I never bought-

steam rising from the coffee cup

with scant cream.
but there is nothing scant
about the things I dream.

mary angela douglas 29 april 2014

Blue Words Were Spoken From A Golden Book

blue words were spoken from a golden book:
aqua blue, colour of summers, or aqua green
(mystic, the colour of repainted bookshelves

in the living room;)
pure gold of the honeycomb dream that
graced our summer table, peach ice cream

and constellations with improbable names,
zinnia bold-
in daylight invisible. you said they were

still there.
star forms. color forms. the jigsaw names
I remember, tar papered, the little room we

played was a playhouse and it's rick-rack curtains,
stored antiques. the bells of bicycles, the afternoons
lush with ice cream trucks.

scholastic paperbacks in the mail
crisp in brown paper, crackling.
more extravagant than school reading.

the infinite swish of sprinklers on the lawns.
the Monopoly days, the afternoon clues
from Nancy Drew. the humid roses, boiled.

the summer camped rains
and orangeade. with hamburgers on the side.
the sound of the back screen door-

worth more to me now
than many kingdoms....

mary angela douglas 29 april 2014

Daydream Of The Sequined School Assembly With Pale Pink Programmes

caught in the sequined rains of every colour
we longed to be brighter than the brightness
of all things

and all at the same time.

and sorting paper roses for the play
of course, in every pastel ever made
you said, maybe your costume should

be made of stars

(real ones) or liquid as waterfalls
and they will call you Princess Many Waters,
your secret Indian Name

or you will wear a dress of tulle in every shade of the rose
that flares out when you dance as if you were blossoming
for the whole Garden

or you can't imagine anything but chiffon
for the Waltz of the Flowers
and crackerjack tiaras from the Lost and Found

mary angela douglas 29 april 2014

To Be Read With Strawberries And Cream

the topiary rose trees shine
on either side of the nursery rhyme
entwined with pale pink ribbons

at the borders of these

countries of strawberry symmetry

where the dress of the Princess

matches a tea rose-petaled sky at sunrise
when it's always high tea
laden with raspberry cakes

and there is no sunset

and the cream is gold jn the dairy
never spoiling

and everyone is always

merry in the dell

even when it isn't Christmas

mary angela douglas 29 april 2014

Monday, April 28, 2014

Almost A White Horse

[inspired by the film. Into the West

almost a white horse with a mythic eye

arose from the sea bred carousels,
stranded pearl,

from shipwrecks under-reported,

glimpsed - now-
barely breaking the surface.

almost a white horse is

stamping the mists down,
and I see clearly for awhile
caparisoned in the rose gold

that might have been, brought near.

the old fear stilled if
almost, a wish to be tamed

could have been granted.

then:  tossing, again the

gem bridled reins of the  fairy tale
you quite expected yesterday

almost as if he were free, perhaps,

from the certainty of snows
or soon would be, or someone else
would be-

that blind the heart on the broken journey

that freeze the cross road laden mind

he turned aside, the harrowing reflection

of the sea bred skies over the silk of the waters
for a while-
a cloudless space

between the eternities

mary angeia douglas 29 april 2014;3 may 2015

To The Beautiful Returning On Starry Waters

[to the people of Korea for the loss of their children on a holiday ferry-april the year of Our Lord, 2014]

I know they will be singing.
you will hear the singing before the ship is sighted.
long before. the upright ship holding precious cargo.
enfolding them.

you will wake up in broad moonlight
thinking you heard the ripple of waters disturbed.
it will not be the waters of sleep.

they will be self-assured.
with aureoles around them
golder than the gold of the Florentine masters.
or of their angels.

rubies will no longer flow from the wounds.
the wounds will close.
as the wounded waters once closed over them.

the beautiful on starry waters.returning
no longer the turgid stillness
rippling doom.
you will see the opposite shore
where they were welcomed
even as you wept.

the one made of pure crystal.
you will know it's true.
your tears will dry.
the tears of a thousand aprils away from home.
your tears will dry in the salt air

for the beautiful on starry waters
going home.

mary angela douglas 28 april 2014

Note on the poem: maybe somewhere there is a language with two distinct self-contained,words,needing no modifiers but derived from the same root but with a subtle difference in the vowels that would settle the heart and the matter of grieving for those who have gone before us in death.  And one word would mean, home on earth and the other would mean home in Heaven.  As it is in English though, it is the same word for the same heaven so that those leaving us are still returning Home.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Green Mercies Poured Out In A Waking Dream

[on the canonization of St. John Paul II and St. John XXIII]

green mercies poured out in a waking dream

and this is earth, we cried! and may we
drink the chalice of His skies swirling with

stars and colours.

green mercies poured out in a living stream
and I have gathered violet on violet in this late spring
the dark purpureal and the pale lavender and still
I cannot dream enough. 

and the skies are flecked with doves and the

doves with rainbows and all my prismed sighs
have broken into music.

green mercies flowed into

the sea of all colours the ruffling waves above
the precipice of hope.
and the white bells rang white music, snows
of mercies in a sky of dreams with the imprint of leaves
and ferns in shaded places

where there is no more weariness.

mary angela douglas 27 april 2014

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Oh Bear

oh bear.
stuffed with marshmallow fluff
I sometimes wished you were
so I could eat you up

but something in your stalwart
4 stitch quarter crescent smile
made me desist. the snap of your currant eyes
almost lost under all that plush
 we always brushed back-
and so I never did-

oh who is Pooh
what's Pooh to you
did we know him
we certainly do

you certainly did
I hear you say a little
gruffly in my 63 year old sleep;

you always were a truthful bear.
who should have been world renown
with your brahms lullaby wound up
from the back

your starch stiff pineapple florist bow.
furry kind of flower.
we loved you bear

(my sister owned your twin.)
we played "the teddy show"
when we were small
(supposed to be asleep)
but oh! not yet.
remember when bear?

bigger than johnny carson
we heard from the living room tv
complete with our applause.
clap, clap, clap, clap
we both intoned

and then the fun began
oh bear(s).
with your semi-perfect headstands!...

mary angela douglas 26 april 2014

The Last Spring Of King Midas

it's the primrose, lemon drop, daffodil
sun sang his little daughter
moments before never melting again

it's the saffron saffron sunflower

butter churning wonder I wonder
will my jangling charm bracelet of

the moon and the stars shine more

or buttercup, buttercup light come
streaming while I am dreaming

on a pallet swung by dandelions?

with a yellow crayon I am colouring in
and bearing down so hard on the

castle outlines never smudging anyone

Oh light the candleabras Mama so the
pools of jeweled light will flicker on

in our parlour one by one not half guilding

my little curly dog; her green eyes
creased with fun.

one by one the stars go out in the Heavens

freezing where they are and where she touched them
on her way down

turning a pink gown burnished;
her black-eyed susan, honeysuckle
crown can never wither now sad angels clanged

so we were told that far from the flower fields ourselves-

Oh Papa she called her glad words ringing in the air

piano, bright,
like hammered gold

mary angela douglas 26 april 2014

Red Shoes Retelling

the forbidding angels stand
and snowy aisle to aisle perceived
blocking candlelit the faint

rose of windows

she once loved.
she once loved the quiet woods

beyond but now she dances on

and cannot stop her vivid tarantella
to breathe in the scent of pines

gone shadowy as in a dream

and she is spinning past the moon
in a dress of silver and centrifugal

are her tears and unseen in the dusk

they fall thick as mercury droplets on
her red shoes

made of fine leather that blazed

in the shop window on that summer day...
and now decree from year to year

she'll always be this way

the ghost of her dancing on the turquoise seas
seen by little children as a warning that

truth in an instant disregarded has its cost;

yet God is kind and beauty unrelenting.
thus was the poet-storyteller told

by his transparent imagination

broidered with lilies
and solitary, aisle to aisle, in snowy steadfast

dreaminess transposed from heart to heart

and red as reddest roses shone, as fragrantly,
with a melancholy festiveness that lingers on,

and hidden, folded petal in petal

or under a heavy candy jar lid for our disclosing
sweet after sweet, little children

his love in

his love for art
and where it was deep midsommer...

mary angela douglas 26 april 2014

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

God Considers The Scarlet Ibis

the scarlet wings filled all of Heaven
or could have in the blueprint
built to scale
and I have loved you best He sighed
and set the plans aside and started

sketching amaryllis and in the margins,
borders of the rose-
there should be rubies in the earth
so they will delve and stars that range
beyond the heart's conception

the Heart...
the heart like a scarlet ibis plunging
planets ringed in
flame as unpredictable as bright.

but will they love me then-
or flight

mary angela douglas 22 april 2014

And Diamond Light Filled the Kingdom (Variation On A Well -orn Theme)

that stepshoe is too tight the sisters wailed
and who wears see-through shoes that's anyone anyway
they sniffed though not in unison

but it was too late for complaining now
when Disney birds flew through the grate to
dress her hair with roses and with key in beak

one bluebird springs the door
and she's downstairs in time from the dream crumb attic floor
that's their rude ceiling

and in a pink sprigged gown with mint green leaves
to hear the intuitive Regent say
but there's one more, isn't there?

how glittery shone the shoe on its real owner
if diamonds could speak, they would be her.
now Light has come we'll all dress bright as day

sang Cinderella
as ashen faced the sour-pussed
passed away

mary angela douglas 22 april 2014

Plucking At My Rainbow Trees/When Luck Runs Out

"song, let them take it"
-William Butler Yeats

scavenger birds took to the air

plucking at my rainbow trees plucking at my rainbow trees
unraveling my iridescence
thinking there was none to see.

one saw through the one crystal pane remaining.

one saw the berries threaded through; ah, Yeats beshrewed!
all on a snitched and golden string and vari-coloured, bulbed
though it wasn't Christmas yet.

you don't really read the fairytales, do you.

I bit my tongue not to say
the whole way through-
but someday you will act the play, unknowing

where the stolen gemstones pale to dust;

the hoard of kidnapped words
you planned on using abusing
will slit their bands

all wild-swan in the morning

leaving you, the bare stage.

mary angela douglas 22 april 2014;rev. 20 january 2015

Monday, April 21, 2014


how can I reach the top notes of the floral-
Jesu, after all you've seen.
this is not that april.

and I have followed
where there is no green
and where the small white stars of flowers
have been shaken.

somewhere my madrigal waits 
and I will know it.
Jesu, under the pink bloom of that sky-
you will not cry.

how long has singing left the world
since you were here;
the voice of silver floats above
but I cannot capture it.
mute as snows.

one day my madrigal may unfold
a Spring that will not leave again,
a home,

till then my madrigal bides
the feted castles' sleep.
and this is not that april.

mary angela douglas 21 april 2014

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Little Girl In An Aqua Easter Dress Clutching A Bunch Of Flowers

and God slipped through the unsuspected mind
all honeycomb gold with a streak of wildness
at the core; a secret rose unclosing and yet closed
the poets said

but I stood in my mama's garden holding onto

an iris wind and I knew when it passed the garden
I was in the Spring of Him

mary angela douglas 19 april 2014

And It's The Juniper Tale, Again In The Quilted Weather

and it's the juniper tale
and it's the pearl cloud over the moon
in dark rose weather
and you cannot sleep under your thousand covers

because of all the colours
and the fragrant stew -your best receipt-
made from wildflowers and who
will account for this accoutancy

the willow wisp over the marsh grasses
and it's all evergreen at noon and
icicle music when you turn
on the dark blue pea under the mattresses.

you need a few things to lessen your hunger
so you bite the juniper tale in two
and they won't ask for a sequel or measure
where your footprints wet with sleet went
as if they cared
they wouldn't fool small animals

foraging in the Easter grass or perhaps-
the Easter baskets a little taken
with the violet bow,
pale purple violets under the snow

and your best premonition
more than halfway through
this juniper tale for you
or whoever finds it first
shining chocolate in gold foil

mary angela douglas 19 april 2014

Note on Poem: You may think I mean will o' wisp and that I mispelled it but I didn't.  I just changed key from folktale to a wisp of the willow song in Shakespeare in Othello as this is a hard scrabble poem and yet with a hint of the desperately, even more long-ago lyrical recalled in extreme circumstances.  But if by sound association you would rather it be will o'wisp, feel free to think it is and it will be.

American Folkloric And Pink As The Prairie, Stars

pink prairie stars and near to the sloping blue
how long will you linger
after the wagons roll

how long.
catching the glow of
your mysterious pastels
I do remember

wishing for a house of sod
built out of the sloping blue
out of the sloping blue and God.
the cornflowered air.
and long can I linger

how long inured
to the wheel tracks on my back
the Conestoga furies
the swamp grass gas

in every hue and fretting the faery fires
for my sweet Mary.

downstream from Heaven
the grave of old settlers
barely remembered
near the sloping blue...

mary angela douglas 19 april 2014

Note on the Poem:  I have made a kind of American
settler ghost-poem and coloured it a pink prairie sky-colour
(and a sloping blue of the hills infered).

The Many Coloured Bear At Rest In A Variegated Light

[to Mr. Perry Cordill in praise of his painting, 'Papa Bear']

a popsicle bear shrilled the little girl
blue raspberry! where he slurped it in the grass 
while reveling in the sun smiled her mother
(that must have been after the children dropped them
as they'd run)

or soaked to his bear bones in the tangerine rains that come
half butterscotch half butter rum said the miner
a little shyly
in the coldest creamiest Spring we've ever had
or flat dead-center in the Northern Lights

a rainbow sherbet bear the little girl breathed reverently
coming close to it
still shaggy, for all that resplendence thought
her thoughtful maiden aunt with sensible shoes
and cherries on her hat

a Kodiak bear at large in the paint store in a western town
at the foot of gold mountains
with blueberry yogurt on his muzzle
a sunrise bear it just can't be sunset
or this is how he feels at the height of summer

all rainbow stippled, matted with orange blossom honey
or lumbering through Forever the God of
all rainbows at his heels
driving him farther into total Bear Happiness
into berry crowded thickets.

in a lingering spectrum

mary angela douglas 19 april 2014

Friday, April 18, 2014

Corina In Her Red Shoes

corina in her red shoes leaves scuff marks on the stars.
corina in polished red patent in a white summer dress
painted by the painter.

corina in her red shoes, indoors when it snows
sparkles like rubies, doesn't need to know
if there is really music anymore,

a book of fairytales open to the page
she loves the best and more tumbling
from the shelves and in a green dress

with cabbage roses
she is princess for awhile
in cotillions of her smile.

corina tap dancing down the avenue
for several carrots and a few odd apples
strangely patent red at the market

don't you tell.  my golden delicious.
corina in new springy shoes
with the strawberry satin straps

was seen on Sunday, shod in pink velvet, velvet shoon
and floating tune by tune with God
in a magenta wide brimmed hat in a lemon sundress

what do you think of that?

mary angela douglas 18 april 2014

I Don't Think God Wants To Be An Ideology

I don't think God wants to be an ideology;
I could be wrong.
perhaps He wants to be a song
the multi-coloured riptide
underneath it all

the supra-golden hull

floating on the baby bubbled air
the thin ice we're accused of
skating on
(just to be near us in the everywhere)

or fresh baked bread.

a creel of star works, nimble

Engineer of dreams  that, then You may
fall into,,,everything! You made

some lapsed  summer berry crowned afternoon

or start the snows and feel the crystals
flitter round You at the center
cold as ice cream.  colder.

the wise the merry and the tender.

kaleidoscope molding Denizen,
shifting the stained glass as it shatters
so my wounds are fewer than they
might have been without You murmured our soldiers at the end.
oh without You what would anything matter-

the pull of swans that patch the winter skies

when they are broken.
the raindrop splatter, camouflage of tears
and years and years of Spring.

the carriage dazzling us home again

where we grow petaled...dear Diamond
at the center we can't see
without going blind.

 oh, I know what we'll be THEN
said children thinking they made it all up themselves:
(endlessly and endlessly, Perfume)-
the King's own roses

mary angela douglas 18 april 2014;rev. 16 november 2014