Sunday, November 30, 2014

Christmass 1962

artificial Christmas shines (but real, to us)
in flocked bright pink or blue
while we hang holly wreaths on every star
or dream we do.

to breathe in the crystal air one second to midnight snows
I would go anytime now to stand before that house.
but then, I was already home.

it doesn't look real to us, they sigh,
the latecomers to our Feast.
I have a different point of view
with oranges piled up on the counter

just out of the freezer

awaiting their porous peppermint sticks
so we can sip the orange freeze quite through.
it snowed so much we built an igloo and
that was in Central Arkansas

where even the drugstores seem like fairyland to us
and quite replete in the wrapping paper aisle alone!
we would have worn Christmas bows to school if they had let us;

carried lunch sacks of cordial cherries;
dressed up in cherry velvet!
and it's the countdown to the Holy Child
even for the astronauts in training

drinking Tang. we do that too
and toast our kinship to John Glenn
because- we eat the same Breakfast.

break off an icicle or two whispered shy springs
to come to the violet winds...
woof woof said the Christmas dog when they fell down-
plunging into that gift wrap, Snow

God lit his holy tapers one by one in our backyard skies
so silverly the Christmas bell was rung.
and every carol sung by the angelic choirs:

(that's us. my sister and I)
head angels in the Christmas Play with golden cardboard wings
and tinsely haloes lighting up the sanctuary.

mary angela douglas 30 november 2014

Saturday, November 29, 2014

They Knock All The Game Pieces Down When They're Not Winning

they knock all the game pieces down when they're not winning
said the little girl no longer in storybook land.
that's what they do.

not even at Christmas will they talk to you,
not even when you bring presents.
I'd tell you what I'd do if you wouldn't use

all secrets for yourself.
steal up to the gingerbread house with
feather light footsteps and snatch the

peppermint bark right off the roof:
wait for a foggy day to do this.
then run like heck another way

having been warned in a dream.

that's how to play nicely whenever the gleam of something false attracts you;
whenever you're lost in the woods or the day
with only one butterscotch ray, (finely wrapped)

 in your pinafore pocket.

mary angela douglas 29 november 2014

Friday, November 28, 2014

Your Words Turned To Rain And Then To Snow

[To Antoine St. Exupery]

your words turned to rain and then to snow.
then there was silence.
you trudged on alone.

your words spun are roman candled,
flowers over the river then 
the river dries;

the candles all burn out or are
birthday cake apart blown
.true wishes delayed while the aircraft is missing...

how long you stayed on your small planet
quizzing your one star
no one later on supposed from the evidence.

but I had a dream that your
words turned to rain and then to snow.
and twig by twig, you set it all down

so visitng angels coming upon that ground
would know a poet lived here once
with barely enough room to breathe;

and God was not displeased.

mary angela douglas 28 november 2014

Perhaps The Thirteenth Fairy Wept At Home

perhaps the thirteenth fairy wept at home
under her polka dot toadstool barely
kept from the monsoons

bewildered and bedazzling; why she cried
to the cloudy skies do I never get invited anywhere?
she used her time like Cinderella, mending their socks.

putting up strawberry, elderberry jams. is that enough,
she wondered? then she swept their stairs and tuckered out,
though she was lighter than fluff, she slept through
their tiptoeing out without her.

then, the Princess came and it was just too much
to be the only one in the Kingdom not there.
so she party crashed the christening;
 glimpsing the Princess, rose-like, fair.

and thought to do her a kindness.
sleep one hundred years she wished to their despair.
sparing her 100 years of War.

mary angela douglas 28 november 2014

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Lost Book Of When, The Page Open To Snowy Weather

the lost book of when and the page
opened to snowy weather confounds
the older children expecting

Christmas, peppermints any moment.
and the evening is paper-weighted:
blue lilies under glass though you feel

light as angel feathers where the pastel bulbs aglow
seem to paint pure Spring upon the porch railings,
along the rooftop rims, the white flock tips of the artificial Tree.
outside is cold but frozen in time you want to go

past colonnades of dream under moonlight.
and your socks are worn but you don't care
entranced and in a dream all your own

you wait for something
without knowing
what it is

mary angela douglas 26 november 2014

Imagine A Compendium of Stars, Of Lilac Branching Music

imagine a compendium of stars, of lilac branching music
ah! Rachmoninoff, preludes and pale green (silk) is the dress
you would wear with a snowy shawl as if you were April

in the play where the backdrop of cherry trees lends a pink edge
to the hem of your dreaming; imagine
you're Chekov's seagull girl and you believe in

love itself and have no word for betrayal
in the handbook of languages you've
certainly read from cover to cover,

without anyone suspecting;
your soul on wings from the beginning
and you are always- beginning-

on the first and liquid notes

mary angela douglas 26 november 2014

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Off In The Distances Your Faraway Names

off in the distances Your faraway names
the ones we cannot earn drift in and out of
music, sleep, the fits of saints

from lucid diamond dreaming we wake up too soon
interrupted by our own weeping
weeping for what? for whom?

for what might have been had we obeyed?
but you left us the moon, certain roses,
the celloed light haloed in the dark chambers

colours. trees. so much.
the fairy touch of snow- its fiery purity.
they call you cruel. they say you just command.

I know there's something else to understand o
Beautiful.  Most Kind. Our vanished Jeweled Cloud as suddenly
appearing in the years we mistook for wilderness

oh charmed is our banishment from You
who could not leave us! whenever we may turn

amid the foreign wastelands of our race to trace
like children mystified and glad:
your sovereign evergreen handwriting

mary angela douglas 22 november 2014

Friday, November 21, 2014

I Rest In The Mysteries

I rest in the Mysteries though
they tell me not to, or seem to-
with pointed glances and amused
almost to imply

how dim I am to dream
I hold His light within such small hands
but I remember when

alone, outside, and as a child
I stood so still in a singular ray of light
inhabiting Happiness near the flower beds

and in a ruffled wind.

why not now as then
though many years have gone
and though the light comes down so hard

on these scant modern scenes
on winter afternoons.
alone, within, I keep the music still of

Light, like Love that cannot change,
whatever filtered through.
His gold glows all the same

and in my heart
and I am not ashamed
whether particle or wave's
remaindered here.

mary angela douglas 21 november 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014

They Will Tell You How It's Going To Be

they will tell you how it's going to be.
what they expect; give you the tour.
wherever you go after that,

it will always be the same speech.

you may smile.
you are pleasant.
you want things to work well.

you want to be happy here;you think:
I can be happy here.
I'm good at sharpening pencils

keeping my desk neat.
first weeks you hum to yourself
in the mornings even when it's cold

at the bus stop, drizzling..
you're fresh as new grass in the spring.
you want to smile,

to do anything they give you to do.
then things grow dark a little
but you never get the memo somehow

until you're on the other side of the door again.
it's pleasant on the street even when you're numb
and haven't realized yet you have no income.

spring is in the air; the air is sweet.
at least for now, there's freedom.
and no speech.

mary angela douglas 20 november 2014

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Rose Consciousness

could they know the world they would unfold in,
would they?
or do they only know "roseness", "rose"

all other worlds being unnecessary.
within themselves as Rilke noted, being
no one's sleep petal by petal  how we

have wondered, really, can there be
such tenderness? married to colour, vividness,

the perfume we loved from childhood
never being taught to. 

oh rose. rose. be not torn in the harsh winds.
emblem of the heart and frail as we are, and steadfast, yet-
the poets defend you still.

mary angela douglas 19 november 2014

Sunday, November 16, 2014

White Velvet

one wish left, the fairy tale breathed.
oh, to wear white velvet
perhaps, a full, full, skirt of it:

the bodice bright as snow
and opal beaded on the sleeves,
the cuffs only, the little collar.
to wear white velvet

and carefully, to carry the mists away,
the holly bouquet sprayed golden the day before
by my Grandfather.

patent slippers of the red red rose.
I want to wear white velvet, velvet velvet
to be clothed like moonlight

like the sugar snows
and fold on fold
luxuriant as light from a far star

to behold
with Christmas angels from the long ago-
kneeling on the silver ground

mary angela douglas 16 november 2014

Friday, November 14, 2014

Emily Bronte Done In Charcoal, No Hint Of Rose

though she had seen the moon afire
who would she tell?
or wandered with the ghosts at will

her treasure was deep silence
deeper than all snows and then to write
in snow on snow while it is still stinging, flying

oh seamlessly

 the suddenly too vivid faces at the windowsill

or seen in storm's laments
on the high high hills
no home in view.

how endless is her solitude
and yet, how free
to worship never standing still

and never,
among the multitudes at all.

mary angela douglas 14 november 2014

The Honied Buttresses Of Light Uphold

[to St. Joan of Arc]

the honied buttresses of Light uphold
the dream cathedral where the reluctant King is crowned
no longer evading, disguised

and testing her surmise
but even in her dreams she stands apart
legendary beyond all powers

cast in a rose and lilied art, shadowed by her saints.
no longer the maid of private hours and orchards.
no longer for her the intricate shade
of the Fairy Tree of Domremy

but she must leave, Heaven sent
with the white tree scattering
hopes of Home, sweet petaled farewells...
in battle,bright as the banner she unfurls
we imagine her but barely,
anticipating wounds and then, the end or victory.
but surely I think, (reading as a child)

 there must be some mistake.
a maid so mild
there must be some escape.yet
how could she dream this full a betrayal
kings and clerics on every side: deriding,
relentless inquisitions, fire and no flight at all

taking centuries to recompense- but hardly-
with statues, with ceremony
the songs of the little French children
laying wreaths.

oh grief.

the girlhood lent and savaged
with a cruel intent
where she meant only kindness, flowers,

holiness of nations.

mary angela douglas 14 november 2014 rev. 23 january 2018

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Remember To Save The Breadcrumbs Out

[in memory of my mother
and of the earth's greatest storyteller, Ray Bradbury]

remember to save the breadcrumbs out

in case of real emergencies
whenever the moonlight vanishes

and then, reappears

she said, softly and was gone.
or cup the sun in your hands
one warm July for years

and take it home
even if they all laugh at you for it.
hard winter comes on fast

in every clime and the
fairytale chime can't last
unless you believe it can.

and keep
a pantry full of stars, of blueprints
of a home on Mars decorated for Christmas

your bookshelves

full your heart as full of stories
as God, at least, try, won't you?
sweet joy in everyday holidays,


mary angela douglas 13 november 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Queen Of Scotland

[on Mary, Queen of Scots]

the Queen of Scotland is a cameo pin
that's all they said.  I bit my tongue
and thought of French prayers said at dawn

before the executioners could hear.
tears falling through her tapered hands
all silently.  all silently.

Christmas tide is past. Fresh Easter's here
she may have said to no one's ear.
But God heard the Queen of Scotland then

I'm sure, whatever histories misread.

mary angela douglas 11 november 2014

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Who Loved Beauty Most Perhaps

who loved Beauty most perhaps was the one we didn't see
filing past us on the street, that moment in the cafe
or on the bus.

who loved Beauty most was perhaps silent about it
from too much love. reticent. nothing to write home about.
who loved Beauty most did not excel in school

and later on made do with the crumbs from the
Christmas feasts of the world. watched a little tv
or the crimson leaves falling in the park.

the fireflies after dark, first buds on the trees
the snowflake clouds perceived.
was often at home.  unvisited.

slicing the liverwurst thin in the
mustard coloured kitchinette.
perhaps with not even a dog or cat.

who loved Beauty most stayed home from the Ball
while the stepsisters came back loaded with the souvenirs
the wish you were here postcards sent a little late.

but in dreams

had no peers.

mary angela douglas 9 november 2014

Storybook Of The Day Before

you'll open the cherried lid of the book-
you, with your candy jar feelings, still, and immediately
intricate snows sweep through in fine netted veils

like the bride doll's in your cherished keeping;
or in satin folds, past the sleeping windows
of the picture town, crowning the slope bright steeple, the panes of

viridian green, of acquamarine, of  a curious rose and you know
(you know)- without being told- all this is more
acute than anything else outside

your window
and worth paying attention to: like the colours,
winter dawning of the tiny paper flowers

in the doll bouquet..with an inner measured tread-
to the tune of silvered thread through the snow bobbins:  
she- carried- Forever up your summer's sidewalk


o turn the page.
glass green the waves churn up, they overflow;
you know she must be cold beyond

Cold itself: the Mermaid holding him aloft
from certain death he will forget-
and there's another coldness where the Snow Queen

glows and ice floes catch the pale  deep glitter of her
eyes and you're cold, too, under the baby quilts a little
too small for you now. who cares.

let the sleet beat on the lavender lunar roofs of
somewhere else, for this is Home:
deep set in peppermint dreams, the ancient flourish

of the Orange topped Stockings, foil wrapped
chocolate bars on Christmas Eve.

mary angela douglas 9 november 2014

Saturday, November 08, 2014

To Him

He may be filled with Light with birds with maytimes.
ultra violets, He may be tender as- sudden showers
hinting at snows before they fall and

both at the same instant. who knows.
we know about His lightnings
from the Films.

and from the redundant pulpits
where out of love, they become:
more and more inarticulate...

what of His summers?
the colours of His orchards?
His tangles of blackberry vines

(they may like pies He sighed, and
cobblers: "Let there be berries then" or
creamy valentines from the saints-

the smiling of dogs);

His elephant rememberings, lumbering,
of the Day His dinosaurs failed
to get off the school bus.

charcoal sketches of first-in-flights.

of Time...of coal turned into diamonds-
sand under irritating circumstance,

to pearl

we dream we know
or else, we Deny.

where else could wondering
come from? who among us dreamed
up the brink of day-

all the flowers! rainbows swirled in oil.

oh here on earth where we are bound to stay
until we are not-
where it is not permitted to see face to Face

we make do with certain artists, short of Grace.
but tell me, you who are so certain that you know Him
or that - you cannot-

what Michaelangelo could carve
from any quarry here
the rose veined marble

of His Heart?
the weeping of His auroras...
whenever we imagine He is far away...

or that He never was...

mary angela douglas 8 november 2014

Friday, November 07, 2014

Awards Ceremonies And The Ghosts Of Filmdom Mourn

[to Norma Shearer, Billy Burke, Loretta Young, Greer Garson,
Maureen O'Hara, Deana Durbin, Jeanette MacDonald and so many others...]

 "somehow I just had to try! And if we don't try, we don't do. And if we don't do, why are we here on this earth?"
-Jimmy Stewart as Charlie Anderson looking for his lost son in Shenandoah [with his voice cracking, and weeping...]

shouldn't there be someone in a strawberry pink gown
that billows out or tropical orange with a peacock train?
something with eyelet flounces blue as rain in Spring

a sweetheart neckline,
something illusory. and discreet.
something to sing arias in,light opera-
pale green, lace overlay

oh any old thing and charming
from a vintage valentine reprieved
with a chivalrous Someone
would settle the matter.
why are they wearing This?

where's the technicolours? the off the shoulder orchids?
anything Beautiful? Ideal?
even in black and white, the sequined poetry?

the home with the diamond windowpanes,
chintz curtains, lush flower arrangements near
the prismed lamps, the singing bird
in the enchanted cage:

lovelorn, mysterious ways.
oh can they feel that we were ever here,
that anything is missing? but it is.
not only the ruby lipsticks christened like poems
that swiveled up, or compact puffed, the matte look

for the movie queens in snowdrift furs.
and snowy attitudes. 
no secrets here.

no ladyships
or lilac, lilac picture hats, the candi-coloured mint
chiffons from an afternoon tea or wedding- freshened up, a bit

gardenia crowned.lovely, lovelier, loveliest.
remember them...the ones with flowers for faces, 

Oh, God, what is all this dreck sans mystery.

no debonair. no savoir faire no Fred Astaire.
no Jimmy Stewart's honesty Midwestern brewed.
Or Tracy dedicated. Hepburn calla lillied,

dewy eyed, nuanced to the end; they cared about this.
said Poitier, "oh plant your feet and Rise!" in a voice
like Resurrection's own in a throw away line!
(in Little Nikita)
but what's "showing now" but
smashed kaleidoscopes ill-used or

dressed down scenes, inelegance. no heroines.
no kings commanding.
nothing to live or die for

so it seems. a deck full of jokers.
many knaves. comedic (only) hearts.
bad manners. language gone to seed

no handing off of the beautiful in the speeches made
just pop corn cracking jokes for the gimcrack kings and queens;
poor posture and enunciation.
drop a few F bombs for effect

who the hell cares
that they won't have to spell the
writing on the Envelope since

Information Only;s writ large upon the tarnished screens
of the profitable technocracy, no longer the odd Kingdoms sorted out
of love and death, the ships half lost at sea in the ghost mists
with the sweethearts wondering at home
when will it be, the life together...

what's left
of the dramatic arts refined, respected-
year after crumbling year, neglected
the men for all seasons, weathers,

Becket seeking "the honour of God"?

since we passed on, no George Scott mourning
the fleeting story, in lines inscribed so deeply
their ghostly bugled creed still lingers

over an abandoned battlefield...
no Sidney Carton in the final scene
murmuring while the clouds

of Glory stream, voiced over, the angelic music sweeping: "It is a far, far better thing that I have done..."
what heartbreak haunting here?

who's left but grifters.
no shame at Shame.

I heard them cry, the handkerchiefed shadows,
 the die is cast
I saw them,drifting out at last
in hard, slow tears, in a dissolving frame

mary angela douglas 7 november 2014;11 november 2014

Coke Floats In Heaven There Must Be

Coke floats in Heaven there must be:
the creamy islands foaming into fizz
and sipped quite thickly through the straw

forever Saturday! afternoon and ice cream
never disappear! no need to go to the Store.
and the green glass sheen

the rings on the coffee table blessed
the curly dog awake and dreaming
since there's no need to sleep there anymore.

but run in blissful circles in an ever green yard
and wait and wait expectantly for the melting cones
to drip largesse of the butter pecan, of the dark cherry vanilla

 on radiant pavements, stickily:

where we're all smiling in our Easter clothes
that never get stained anymore

mary angela douglas 7 november 2014

Waltz-Length, Skirting The Dress Code Commands

you in your red cloth slippers
pretending always "ballet..."
oh ballet, you dream

and of soaring over everything snide,
bypassing the stage whispers and
pearl set like a bride in the aftermaths in

a star-stiff tutu, sugar dazzling
and imperceptibly, impossibly you'll turn like snow and melt into
into the ...sixth job interview today.

where is it written, who keeps counting heads
when the dreams are handed out
at the first of the school year

to the subdued children in the gymnasium
where it always smells like chlorine,
pop quizzed fizzling, something not quite right

if they could put their finger on it...
I will fasten the birthday brooch of amethyst
to my soul forever, Mama- 

remembering His violets and when
I believed in the red cloth slippers
the gum machine jewels;

Bazooka comic afternoons or
in holding up my arms as if they were Light itself
where no one sees

upon the bright, the petaled stage 
that I am queen of the flowers
at least, for the matinees-

and dressed appropriately for it

mary angela douglas  7 november 2014