Sunday, June 29, 2014

Pencil Scribbles On A Small Notepad

[to my mother who was a poet and for whom
I wanted to be one, too]

pencil scribbles on a small notepad.

no alphabet at all.
running to my mother, oh, come see, I said:

I'm writing, just like you!

oh yes.  she said. yes, that's true.
you are you and through and through

and you are writing too, small star in

my vanished skies.
through long years and dark

I carried pure

kindness in my heart, inscribed, by her-
all other trials, apart-
until it became

(I hope, for you)

 a whole garden flowering

mary angela douglas 29 june 2014


it's in the quality of the netting snows
and I cry from my knees
who is the King of all this delicacy;

how can we know Him?
fingertip pressed to this vanishing;
rose in a forgotten book, forgotten

we may be or not be
but is His kingdom far
as star from star in the purple glaze

three wise men asked and so I ask again
of evenings when I am aware
the wind stirs from pure regions undisturbed

above the broken body of the world
along the limbs of leafless trees in the park
and something silver shines

over and above our wandering
a something we cannot touch
said our mothers lest

we break it
and no one hear it breaking like a Heart

mary angela douglas 29 june 2014;21 april 2015

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Last Cherry Dress

the cherry basted dress with golden thread
I have hemmed now, said her Grandmother.
and the little girl drew a counterpane of snow;

a small bird's cry and the holly
 berry bush beneath the window

on a sheet of large paper crayoned in:
outside the window of Forever.
sparrow tracks in the snow

and time ticked by until she said
that fairy tales could

never have that sheen again
they had while she was here.
and wondering where the violet music disappeared

and wondering through slow tears

till wondering was no more;
where in God's failed paradise she would wear
a dress, that beautiful.

mary angela douglas 28 june 2014;rev. 21 april 2015

Note on the poem:  failure not from within God; failure from within Paradise.  Also, some gifts that are given from a family that loves us can seem too precious for earth's use.

Impressions Of The Death Of Garcia-Lorca: On The Piano Of Pale Green Velvet

["I want to sleep the dream of the apples,
to withdraw from the tumult of cemeteries
I want to sleep the dream of that child
who wanted to cut his heart on the high seas."
-Federico Garcia-Lorca]

of the child who wanted to cut his heart

on Poetry of the child with the silvery
 voice inlaid as if into jeweled light- then
fretted into diamonds continually; the child

set like a jewel on green velvet, set like a jewel;
like starlight scissored out of the skies by prescient children
for a keepsake.  Mama?  see?

and far away and here (in both Castles), simultaneously
murmurs the child who was cut, who was cut like moonlight
out of nocturnes endlessly and from the matinees

lamented, pedaled over now:  a silence like snow;
far off, like lunar snow.
and in the gardens of the kings not so mysteriously

disappearing so that
even the roses know and whisper through the clouded nights:
there is no more music like this.

and the trees on green velvet sobbing diamonds suddenly
for the breezes too young to know the voice
they will carry now

nunca mas

and the cut carnations in the vases of the Princess
 forming no fit bouquets.
and the olive winds tossing the fevered ship

no longer.

mary angela douglas 28 june 2014;rev. 21 april 2015

Malevich Lying In State Before The Black Square

[on a well known photograph of the artist, Kazimir Malevich]

is there a portal of banked up moonlight somewhere

for the poet of the black snows finally
somewhere where the square is squared

with the puzzle of the severe child unraveling

into frameless Light?

mary angela douglas 28 june 2014

On Kierkegaard, That Oblique Knight

on kierkegaard...
that oblique knight.
wearing out the pale raincoat of his renunciations
when there wasn't any rain.

oh kierkegaard.

wrapping the lily perfume up with a note
returning it to the Lily Sender.
keeping the First Love first

who saw it shining as He sees all secrets
even in desk drawers, out of sight.
or curio cabinets.
who saw its faint green light and smiled

an exasperated smile.
God in His sweetness
pardon you,

for your chivalry.

mary angela douglas 28 june 2014;rev. 21 april 2015


asking Christ to have mercy.
like asking a rainbow to have colours;
a cloud, for drift;
a language for words.

Christ, have mercy.
Flower, have petals.
Time, have minutes, have hours
have seconds of silver insult.
have what you are that we don't trust

and think to have Heaven by mistrusting.
Kyrie Eleison.
bells, have reverberation.
effect! have cause. cats, have claws.
pond, in the raindrops, have ripples and

music, have notes! we will you to. oh
wind, green branches.
jam, have sweetness, in the jar;
earth have gardens and gardens and gardens
where there is no deceit;

where no one is taken at midnight
and split from what they are
from star to star
Christ had mercy.
Christ had mercy.

Christ, has mercy.

mary angela douglas 28 june 2014

Friday, June 27, 2014

Summer Afternoon, Pink Ice Cream Still Life

the baby dolls sleep.
outside, the summer glazes shine.
the children play everything inside
and they are serious about it.

and they feel
the shadows of leaves, of trees
on the pastel walls
through translucent curtains

and in the hall,
the butterscotch pools of light
the dog barks at.

this summer is pale green

as if it remembered spring
and in the yellow kitchen
in the pearlescent dishes

pink ice cream slowly melts.

mary angela douglas 27 june 2014

Thursday, June 26, 2014

On the Menu In The School Plaid Lunchbox, First Day Of Summer Vacation

[school nightmare, out of school]

the fairies seem to be holding their annual picnic
in my new plaid lunchbox.
I'm in the cafeteria and this is embarrassing.
I'm starting to get hungry too.
I shouldn't have left that orange peel in there from yesterday.

I'll just open it a crack and see if my
cheese sandwich is still in there.
excuse me...oops.  yes, it is.  they seem to be working around it, putting up pink streamers. 

maybe I'll just hold it in my lap under the
table where no one can see it.
this seems to be working.  I wait while the kid
next to me makes that horrible joke about the
pineapple upside down cake and then blows
blue jello through his nose.

I'm pinching off pieces of the cheese and swallowing fast.
but I'm afraid for the thermos and the vegetable soup.
think I'll take a peep:  they've got the lid off having run out
of their own refrescos. 

some kid from 6th grade just bumped into me
with his butterscotch pudding.
I hear a sloshing sound. wait, while I check.
Queen Titania is wearing her vegetables.

now the bell's ringing so no one hears my screams.
and now they're all dancing in a ring like
 they mean business.

Looks like I won't be taking that math test anyway.
at least it wasn't pizza day. with tater tots.

mary angela douglas 26 june 2014

We Wondered Where They Had Gone, Marveled The Keepers Of The Cabinet Des Fees

shimmering nightingales have landed on my patio
cried the princess, all in silver
though there was none to notice.

so she stood there rippling among the rainbow banded songs.

they were not frightened as she fed them with wild irises
and the light she shone on them from her own recesses

was like rose velvet to a child.

she is not far from the land quoth she
though their pockets are overfilled with sand.
the quarter moon smiled

when she half-turned,

spooning out for them the

this is the twilight to which you have come,

she murmured, the last branch on the tree.
the beauteous banishment and the last trolly out.

let the winds blow the whole earth apart,

rid of the myth of you.
not missing your glissando.
shouting as if you had never been.

while I weep crystals.

the quarter notes sleep.
and they bring charges for
all we've not done wrong.

jeweled, in the cabinet of my soul,

in opal intaglio-
into God Himself I have carved your song.

mary angela douglas 26 june 2014

The Wild Swans Survey The Village Of Inroads

surveying the village of inroads the wild swans
sweep to the silver altitudes beyond the sun;
here is no sanctuary.

laid out on the giant's kitchen table
the multicoloured village built to scale
even the dolls will shun

sensing through sapphire spoked,
and subtly, mistrusting eyes-
magically, if it must be said-
that seeing is not believing.

how beautiful the ponds made of glass mirrors
refracting like the distraction of diamonds.
but you would drown on their surfaces.
if you tried.

I recognize,how the great universities
and the charming bell towers
with the coloured cellophane windows of the cathedrals,
enchant me now.

the small citizens with eminent credentials.
and the Christmas markets.

when the artificial snow heaps up
it will be too late to leave
to seek shelter under the painted, potted-
the little disturbing fir trees

mary angela douglas 26 june 2014

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Pink Lotus Poem Floating On Other Waters Than My Own

pink lotus poem floating on other waters
I know you belong to someone else,
and not to me

and that you are embroidered with stars
 red lilies from storied kingdoms.
I know I am not privileged to understand

the pearl of your silence opening into:
 terraced gardens of comb embossed ghosts.
I know that you are lost

or about to be orphaned.
and I want to stay
under a bright peony umbrella.

if I could find one,

among my souvenirs.
and to weep-

on a narrow bridge.
pink lotus poem

your mother must miss you.

your brothers may have searched
through centuries
through a fog that will not lift

losing each other, sinking with the sun's
forgotten toys...

or is that the rain

is that the mist
that hides your face from them
or is it that

your face has become a cloud?
in the season of weddings.
oh must I pray where there is little grace

and men don't speak in words outloud
but in riddles earned like daily bread
of you, like the linen moon through clouds,

glimpsed only, 
never written down

mary angela douglas 24 june 2014;rev. 23 april 2015

Don't Go Into The Fairy Forests With Your Professional Demeanors

almost a fairy tale started to breathe
deep in an acorn under a tree
waving its rosy arms and knees
by the mirrored willows.

by the mirrored willows.

almost a fairytale in the frosts of

those who chided:you are lost
and why are you dressed so costly

they sang in the freeze of the winter they brought on.

ah, it is gone before it started they chortled and then
cavorted under the mirrored willows seeping

when better fairies wandered through

with something better left to do:
rose breathing on the tarnished mirror-

oh then, envision...
mire sprouting from the paradigms, gulp, gulp

oh sprick and sprat and a deep green mist

and all of that
dented the office profiles...


mary angela douglas 24 june 2014;rev. 23 april 2015

P.S. my summer ghost story.

And Though The Looking Glass Hours Should Turn To Snow

and though the looking glass hours should turn to snow,
you will not regret the things you knew then, long ago,
when the Guardians of roses stood:

edged flame to flame

and you were unaware
of those turned out of the Garden because, everywhere,

it was still snowing flowers

mary angela douglas 24 june 2014

The Book-Tree Forest

[well, this is to Ray Bradbury again, and I just can't do anything about that]

imagine a forest of book-trees.

you just go through the woods humming whatever it is
you were humming and you pick them like wild apples
and no one says anything.

and the book trees are happy and don't

grab you around the knees like those horrible trees in
The Wizard of Oz; in fact, they lop off the books on
their top branches so you can read them, too, especially

if, like me, you are shorter than the others and used to

never get to the Easter eggs on the Easter egg hunt
because you day-dreamed instead of shoving.
well, as I was saying.  you are in the book forest and

it's a perfect day.  and picnics are automatically spreading themselves under the book trees, especially ice cream and that pink cake you always admired in the old Mickey Mouse cartoons; you thought it might even taste pure "pink".

you sit down and eat your cake and the wind shakes the tree above you and down drops the latest installment of ray bradbury's new book he's been working on since June of 2012 when he passed away and it's fantastic, so you keep reading

and Ray shows up with his wife Margie and they're both so beatific you can't believe it but you do because it's happening to you and they invite you

into their cherry coloured sleigh for a trip to Mars

(just for the evening) and you realize, all of a sudden you're right in the middle of the happiest

alien abduction story of all time!

mary angela douglas 24 june 2014

P.S. where he lives now, Ray has a whole extra block of houses for his story file ideas.  And a new typewriter with flashing Christmas Tree lights that looks like a cathedral organ.  Really!  (And when it gets to the margin, the typewriter bell goes off like a combo bicycle-ice cream truck bell and that detail proves I was really there.)

And Ray said, not to forget to tell you: Mars tastes exactly like deep-dish cherry pie with a thin buttery crust.  Just a minute, I brought some back for you, if I can just remember what I did with it.  Uh oh.  Crumbs...

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Where Is The Fairy Tale Bread You Kept In Your Pocket

[on Tanaquil LeClercq and the recent film on her life-]

where is the fairy tale bread you kept in your pocket

I sighed to my shadows between sun and sun.
pearl, in the equipoised moment shone the dancer

but the dance was gone.

and have you retreated, too, my angels?
counting the crosses on the hills.

then who is there to mourn

these gestures falling away too
early from her heart's white valentine
she never said or

it isn't usual my soul, slipping

from the peach and the blue perch of it
this way-to fly again.

and the vivid rose falling through Space

in the odd dream
dismissed at breakfast, buttering her croissants
and laughing maybe, on a dare.

that could have been

but who could know
wandering from one care to the next,

had wonder fled or majesty
from the jeweled match
struck in the dark I said
the collapsing of images,

could anyone explain
on the inmost, ever.
this- shattering.

rare silver, pink and green and a violet of

an unearthly sheen perhaps,
the elegance of cream,
not black and white

arise in pure trajectory

where the dancers whirled from sight-

when the skies have turned to pearl-

the clouds fall, the orchid distances.

mary angela douglas 22 june 2014;rev. 23 june 2014

Summer Rhapsody In Blue Raspberry Circa 1962

my candied appled angels smile quite stickily
and - cartoon - bo-ing!-their curls spring out ahead
of the rose boiled humidity of my hometown remembered.

reading lulu comics frame to frame and drinking orange soda in the rain and scooping up my summer books as if they were flowers I'll not rearrange, let them spill out of trunks, like looted 

jewels although I bought them at my school: for 25 cents apiece.
it's summer rules now. and I pick all the gardenias that I can
for the green glass vase from my great grandmother.

oh to live in a gardenia space could anything be cooler
 in this heat.
the garden sprinkler's on and we go barefoot ballet through it

dispensing with the sun oh now it's twilight painted on the lawn and even the purple gnats have come to the party
where we drink "fizzies" by moonlight

from the striped jelly glasses.

mary angela douglas 22 june 2014

Papier Mache, How Lovely WasThe World

[to Sharon]

papier mache, how lovely was the world

when you were small:  hand-painted in
mauve and green and with a streak

of blue when you got tired of holding the

brush the way your sister said to;
we carried crepe paper streamers carefully

from one end to the other and fastened them-

feting the moon, the stars, the ornamental sun
on someone's charm bracelet hidden in the closet

before christmas.

let oranges rain down and peppermint sticks.
oh let the earth be mauve and green again and spinning 

spinning with its own dream under the glitter paste;

its paper roses sleeping bud by bud
in pink tissue.

though this was long ago and candy shelled.

or wishing welled, said someone, still.
and we have left no tracks in the snow
as if we were angels then.

mary angela douglas 22 june 2014

The Green The Leaf Reverts To Should Earth Forget April

"God's name like a huge bird flew out of my breast.
Before me the thick mists swarm;
Behind me, an empty cage."
-Osip Mandelstam

[for Nadezhda Mandelstam-

and on the history of Poetry]

Poetry is the rain returning to the clouds

when everything else has overflowed and there are no
more promontories or the green

the leaf reverts to should earth forget april;

cast aside,or her still-spinning gold-leafed out of
Time from the last tower-


princes do not come this way anymore

nor merchants seeking roses for their daughters
after all ships fail.

wounded flowers in place of tears

should flow or the shadows of candles lengthen
to engulf the world or violet horizons crash

with their hour glasses

to the ground
like ribbons a child forgot in the grass

and all these symbols come to pass

and I and I -it's no longer dew pearled,

is it? all they were born to say
from holy dread

churned into a thin butter,

begging bread.
I have locked my mind with a golden key

said she quite velvetly, turning away,

brocading the emptiness, while
song flew out his window into Space

and did not hear the

deliquescing angels breaking down
snowing and 

snowing on oblivious waters

lifting into the clouds oh is it
forever or 

only, year on year

that canyons gape,
losing their colours

or do I only dream

the swish of rainbow roping
rains descending...
through the redacting languages,

begin, He said, the King of music, mists:

again, from the beginning...

mary angela douglas 22 june 2014;rev. 24 april 2015

Note on the poem: redacting in the sense of censoring or obscuring something; also euphoniously related to reducting or making smaller...

Friday, June 20, 2014

Cinderella's Table Cloth

[for Alfred Lord Tennyson and Charles Perrault]
(or anyone who ever wondered, where did Cinderella

really get that dress?)

threaded of fine snows, and worked with silver

scrolls, pale apples, faint flowers from one heirloom spring.
tinged in lavender; cast in blue shadows,
casting off, on myriad ships to embroidered isles,

they were never found; glass waters beaded there;

their ghosts embossed in crystallized appliques. a tree,
weeping amethysts: the  web flown wide and nestled
at my nursery door...

or tied with heraldic ribands

flowing at the sill
a day my mother died

or on the wedding banks of Skye;

the fairy pointelle of her rivers or

it is patterned on clouds, was whispered,

gold at precarious edges
inset with the costly moons of kings that set not on
dark empires; bright rose chevrons-
o puzzle pieced, aggrandized, lost

from the table of

The Seige Perilous...

at each corner where the winds

puff out their cheeks, in scarlet.
worn by no bride on earth, it could
have been made over

or for the fair Elaine.

and here am I, thought Cinderella
awash in her hard times

eating beans and franks on pink chinette

and late for work in my own scullery;
rolling up the inglorious sleeves

of my last gingham

in rainbow popping dishwater.
and that's no story.

mary angela douglas 20 june 2014/rev. 24 july 2014

Will This Be On The Test, Asked Gretel

my shelves are laden with a gum-drop sufficiency
cackled the witch, anticipating.
provender of peppermint, white chocolate bark

for roof repairs, from all the chewing.
oh they'll be strewing rose petals through the woods
I expect, on the way...or something silly

but I've whole layer cakes to make them stay, and chocolate
cherries if it comes to it and it isn't even Christmas yet.
and petit fours leading up to the door and more

of yummy this and that and a lake of malting cream
all foamy pink beside the
sticker bushes.

the meager rabbit hutches.
and so she thought and planned her day.
reserving a small amount of toffee

to munch on with her morning coffee.
but something in the oven burned
while she sat churning on her churn

and the oven door balked as if it wouldn't be opened.
putting a crease in the butterscotch grease,
scorching the cinnamon pottage.

foreshadowing, hinted our instructor
while we highlighted this in raspberry,
rapidly, in our notebooks:

an off-day 
at the candy cottage...

mary angela douglas 20 june 2014

Thursday, June 19, 2014

On Her Wintry Planet, At The Close Of Day

["...and it was summer, beautiful summer"

-Hans Christian Andersen's last, perfect sentence of
The Snow Queen]

on her wintry planet, at the close of day,

the snow queen counts her silver
and her stores of haze.
and this is confusion, put to good use

she says, as she does always
when prisoners are numb and sway
in the mirrors as if they were free.

she smiles; and glaciers grow greener

in the seas and more distracting;
she hunts sorrows

with the polar bears, at ease

and stocks her quivers of snarled,

snatched colors from the Northern Lights
above the suddenly bleak rooftops.

indoors, the tea forgets to boil...
flowering with the frosts

and almost, peerless;
off-the-shoulder accomplished
dream her mirrors,

or only seem to;.

collapsing the sunsets
in her eyes,

the linen of uprooted skies.
who is the queen of snow blindness

almost, she sings.

regal, from certain distances.
and the white bees sting.
but somewhere in a summer

she has forgotten to freeze,
a child weeps into the roses underground
and murmurs, Kay, Kay...

where are you to be found?
and the Maze is raveling.
and the little stars undone.

mary angela douglas 20 june 2014