Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Mary Angela Douglas

Monday, December 29, 2014

Lilac Candy

thinking of that lilac candy I don't know why I want to cry
and the sparkling sugariness inside.
there were others at Easter Time:
the lime green, orange, lemon tasting as they should.

I think if I only could find the lilac one, though,
I might be back in the living room with the tea rose divan
the silk embroidered one and the off rose curtains

down to the floor hiding the picture window
this twilight time of day.
what is it that makes me weep for Easter candy

as though it were a talisman I had lost? I think in Heaven
I will have baskets full of it,
the off rose curtains flaring in the diamond wind

mary angela douglas 29 december 2014

Party Invitation With Pink And Gold Balloons To My Guardian Angel

if I serve angel hair pasta
with a heavenly sauce
and we have angel food cake

intermittently, can you come
will you come?

or fill all the candy jars
with Pink Divinity.
with or without pecans?

I'm sorry I keep tripping on
my shoelaces or the moonlight
so that it's all you can do to

keep me from falling downstairs
and yes, I know this has been
going on since the First Grade

and yes I realize you're not the
Lost and Found and that you could
start a museum with all the umbrellas

that I left behind on trains
and that you're tired of my tirades
and moodiness when I can't remember

where I put It "it" being a useful noun
to indicate "everything".
I realize you've only one pair of wings

and you would like to be doing greater things
than fetching.
I'd play harp music if you came if You'd only

help me reclaim the you know what from
the pawn shop. do let's talk.
it's been Ages...

mary angela douglas 29 december 2014

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Bowing Down To The Ground

bowing down to the ground
under Your  peach clouds
where no one sees

bowing down
under the apricot holdings of your vast estates
or holding the filmy mirrors of your snows

where no one knows me: for a moment in a stilled eyelash
I gaze at hidden starlight all alone.

it is you in the blue lit dusks will never leave
though everything else lies in Shadow
and is proud of it;
it is you where the dim birds sing

on the cloud banked days;
where the floating mind encounters
your washed gardens, green and lavender.

and when I have lost my name
spiced with forgotten roses
(You are) still, the same-

mary angela douglas 28 december 2014

Friday, December 26, 2014

In Blue December Breaking Off The Icicle's Chime

the cold of the blue December sky breaks off
the little icicles and glazes the berried bushes
that you cannot name;

swing high into the snow clouds brittle
children, before Christmas. afterwards, too,
still far from homework.

I have loved the December blue the blue the
blue shined wind the chill we wandered through the dream
of being glazed over through and through, piano

fingers freezing in our rose bright  mittens;
playing outside! imprinted with angels-
and the sun turned to silver turned to silver

like a chime

mary angela douglas 26 december 2014

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Northern Lights

[to Rainer Maria Rilke and his angels]

this- glazing of angels
melting of Chartres.
this- herd of winged colours:

lightenings of mint and rose.
edged in deep lemon, inside of  a Shell?
a shell of blazing quiet assailed by shimmering.

and if it has a name, whose is it?
who are you etching in icy skies
these violet banded flights

outside the frightened houses

drawing back, as if they could, and chalked in white
as if to mark the place excessive Beauty ranged:  
raveling and strange:

the Distant Heart's glissandos,
ringed with snow

mary angela douglas 25 december 2014;last two lines added
 26 december 2014

On Christmas Day

the Word turned to snow
and then, disappeared:
reappearing, later, near my poem...

it is Beautiful that You are here
I said through my slow tears:
each tear refracting-


mary angela douglas 25 december 2014 5:09 a.m.

this poem was there, fully formed ,when I woke up this morning.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Beautiful Weathervane Well To Some You Are

  beautiful weathervane well to some you are
spinning in season or out in an orchard breeze or
riffing the cyclone merrily never at ease.

not all the sunset ships will sail to where you are;
though blinding, the sun blinds more when sparkling from you:
sparks my mind

on the small ground.
Christmas now. the first snows, gathered lace around your
green metal gauging is it this way is it that and

it's far you are from the Magi in the hour
love like the Star should come to rest.
you never do.

mary angela douglas 23 december 2014

Kindness Flowed Away I Wept

[God be with all bullied individuals;may they have a Heaven
 all their own]

"kindness flowed away!,"
 I wept into a stream I thought was living;
kindness cannot stay, and I cried "gold"-
but the hills only echoed yellow, yellow.

and I cried "sold" and I did not lie
and worn down slippers caught out in the rain
and working for a living just the same

and sopping wet and spit on in the plains
that leveled out the sidewalk
 countries, dreams, unravelings...
toe stubbing curbs unnerving.

this leveled out as well, when numbed was pain,
innured to the everyday, the catcalls on the way,
innumerable; autumnal cackling.
sidewinder disguises

peeled like a fresh stick
so you'd know exactly who was laughing then.

somewhere a Heaven awaits where this is solved
and kindness stays at home secured and humming
the cherry tunes she used to
when the world was new: the cat fluffed at the window

stalking no shadows,
semi-admired the view.
the teakettle sang and nothing broke
in the cabinets rattler rattling heartsore- heartsore-


mary angela douglas 23 december 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

Last Minute Christmas Eve, 1964

last minute drugstore gifts are best for pure excitement!
someone's sure to want just one more box of
chocolate covered cherries-

look around...the greeting cards are gone
but it's too late to mail them.
I buy rose colored lipstick for my sister

(as we planned). in exchange she'll bring
her coin wrapped change to bear on
the lilac creme sachet I had my eye on

last Saturday. we conspire this way
considering ourselves true friends, true elves.
how surprised our Grandfather seems

each year unwrapping the same Old Spice aftershave
in a porcelain bottle: will the blue ship sail him away
to destinations he dreams of in the easy chair

perusing issues of the National Geographic?
Anxiously he peers over his glasses:
do you think she'd like this?

wonder of wonders, what find is this,
this late on Christmas Eve?
a jewelry box beyond compare in tiers, with

rainbow opal figures from some chinese screen
inlaid on an ebony surface lined with
(it looks like) bright red silk!

oh yes, we breathe! my sister and I.
he seems relieved; we take our bundles home.
and wrap them poorly (too much tape)
with bright good will. scissor curled ribbons.

on Christmas morn I remember well
my Grandmother's fingers trembling at the lid
of the beautiful, beautiful box; more beautiful than jewels themselves,

my Grandfather's face-
a quiet Christmas to itself
a little sublime.
that was our drugstore Christmas Time.

mary angela douglas 22 december 2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014

To The Lark Descending

[to the prophetic Hans Christian Andersen,
for his fairytale: "The Emperor's Nightingale"]

(to the tune of Vaughn Williams "The Lark Ascending" played more and more faintly...)

it's so important to cry out loud
whenever it is you're with that crowd
and suddenly they've come to displace

the real bird with the fake-
though it is jeweled;
though it knows all the variations

clockwork, on-demand and hops with one wing folded!
gift-wrapped! they'll exclaim yet you have lost
the nightingale forever, it may be

while looking down at your shoes;
examining the wrong clouds. or standing in line
at the cafeteria, parsing it another way-

just to get through your day.

gone in an instant! wept the kitchen maid;
the goose girl in the hunting blind,
tending the geese

while the skies turned to glass
and then,shattered.
this- mattered!

ah echo this, echoed this through angelic realms

so vital it is to cry out loud,
not to prevaricate
when this much is at stake:

the life of an Emperor-
the future state of Poetry on earth...

(too late).
the docked wings of the Soul

mary angela douglas 22 december 2014

Why Don't You...

[to the myth of Diana Vreeland and other quandries]

why don't you...
make a gown out of fresh rose petals?
scatter the leaves of old letters

as if you were the wind why don't you
run on the playground anymore
or eat the icing out of the bowl

and just serve plain cake afterwards, mysteriously,
with no explanations.
deck yourself out like a Christmas tree

complete with a little creche and the one overwhelming Star
and THEN go to all the winter solstice parties!

why don't you read only childhood picture books for a year:
maybe you'll remember how to disappear
just wearing lavender at sunset.

maybe then the great poets will come to mind
and you'll be happy without knowing why.
even without your iridescent earrings...
your mother's peony fan.

maybe the Ballet Russe will come to visit you on tour.

you. while you're standing en pointe.
while you're veiled in pearl.
between the galaxies.

mary angela douglas 21 december 2014

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Perhaps You Will See And You Won't Know Why

perhaps you will see and you won't know why
Napoleon's horses in the clouds;
Beethoven weeping a lost quartet

pale, the bouquet meant
for the princess gone from view:
it was small white roses

tightly bunched
and silver ribbons.
her mother in a starry crown

looks down on earth.
she looks down on earth
when the Princess is sleeping.

the princess is sleeping;
is she dreaming her Christmas dream:
the one about the Great Ballets?

in her dream her mother is happy;
in the morning, they will meet again

mary angela douglas 16 december 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

Hope Is The Best Poem Of All

[to the cyber-bullies, trolls, who waylaid my poem (Tundra, Perhaps The Silver Forests...) on the blogsite Scarriet Actualy I never posted this poem (in comments) on the poetry blog Scarriet. The person or persons went to this blog (TO THE RUSSIAN POETS) and selected the first four lines for intense ridicule before I had even dedicated it to Osip Mandelstam. But then, Osip Mandelstam was bullied to death.]

"Hope thou in God, for I shall yet praise Him..."
from Psalm 42:11

hope is the best poem of all
I said to the lowering clouds
to the cruelty of random strangers

tearing the fleece of my poem
behind their halloween masks.
never mind it will mend:

the gold, the rubied thread
of the word in kindness said
for Beauty's sake:

oh snare it all apart and snag! it still
will show in the flowering moonlight
as God planned; in the vast snows

of His Hand.
hope is the best poem of all
you charlatans sounding the moonlight

from the shallows of world-wide Poetry
not on trial here!

the conversations of angels

mary angela douglas 15 december 2014

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Showing The Face That's Made Of Snow

showing the face that's made of snow
the skies crumpled into their last flowers.
is it the scent of something missing on the winds?

closing the window to the stars
and all of that you will not get this letter.
but when I dream is it the dream

that shows the face that's made of snow
or is this the dream itself.
i do not know I do not know

which face is missing is it the face of snow
is it my own
crumpling the flowers of the last brocade

I bow my head
and cannot understand that I am melting.

mary angela douglas 13 december 2014

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Who Dreamed That Coming Back To Life Would Be This Way

who dreamed that coming back to life would be this way?
pink blossoms flaring in the cold and snows flowing away
and the trickle of Time under the ice gives way.

little by little the numbness in the soul will melt as well
and trance by trance be freed from the evil spell.
the Princess in rose again in the garden;

the birds quickening in the bird-cherry tree
and all the ships at sea and all the ships at sea
at the same tangerine instant: portside

and children are brave again with oranges in their hands

mary angela douglas 11 december 2014

Note on the poem: the bird-cherry tree is a cherry tree especially loved by the film maker Andrei Tarkovsky. It is indicated slightly in this poem-painting in tribute to him.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Like A Person In A Fairytale

and you'll go out like a person in a fairytale 
seeking your fortune
leaving behind too late you realize

your sleight of hand
your bright silk handkerchiefs.
never mind.

you'll make stew from pebbles.
houses from straw.
draw water with a stick:

whole pails of it.
they'll think you strange in the village.
you'll sing at the edge of town

on Sundays the bells will float out to you
as if you were drowning-

mary angela douglas 9 december 2014

Monday, December 08, 2014

Tundra ,Perhaps The Silver Forests, Somewhere, Something Said

[to the poet Osip Mandelstam]

"We live, not feeling the ground under our feet,
no one hears us more than a dozen steps away..."
-Osip Mandelstam

and to Lydia Chukovskaya

the white owl whittled the silence down:
who will comfort whom? who. 
will anyone? who.

bright feathers descend
bright feathers descend
but there are no angels.

I thought, for a moment,
a foot on the snow:then I looked back:
the crunch of the silver pathways.

I only listened.
I did not know.
who. who whittled the white owl

covered in mists far whiter than he
and we're so far in the mists
who will ever hear our speaking

mary angela douglas 8 december 2014

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Poem Picnic Almost By Moonlight

oh picnic basket poem I want to pack you well!
three kinds of marble cake, this time;
pink beaded lemonade.

and pickled potato salad, with the red potato skins left in
in golden mustard.
baked chicken.

berries and berries and berries
and then some more, said the children
who may be, also, with me-

deep cocoa with tiny pastel petaled marshmallows

it's luscious violet twilight:
the edge of a firefly night unraveled
and who oh who of you

can really tell them
apart from the stars?

mary angela douglas 7 december 2014

Saturday, December 06, 2014

The Expeditionary Dream Arrives

[a song for children I almost knew]

the expeditionary dream arrives
packed in a green crate;
complete with ice floes,

the catalogue said.
you check to see no parts are missing. no stars!
cracking the lid as the golden seals

start barking; the rainbow shiver off the
 ancient ice is sparkling.
how will you know where to stash it till Christmas?

how will you keep the Seals happy and quiet?
and won't it be hard at school to count the days?
better bring a warm coat you daydream through arithmetic
and six hero sandwiches.

goodbye my friends, you'll whisper to the goldfish. 
to the coffee table rings.
will there be colas there? your child mind strays-

Polar bears streaked with the Northern lights?
plenty of daylight to set things right.
warm socks, packed in Samsonite (midnight blue.)

one clock to wind up. a flashlight or two.
sardines from the cabinet; strawberry jam
comic book stacks, a Thanksgiving ham

(brown sugar cured); last summer's sun.

your packing's done...
and then, your little sister wants to come.

mary angela douglas 6 december 2014

Can You Make A Map Of Where You Have Been

can you make a map of where you have been?
I asked myself, half-wondering aloud.
and would have asked the children in the classroom

if they had let me teach after
 I told them about my mystical experiences-
and was immediately disbarred from entering the Teaching Program. o hard of heart and hard to understand.

to those returning to the ghost classrooms, anyway.
take One Big Sheet of Paper.

your best crayons. then...
ah, close your eyes and dream yourself back 
to the hour you found the tigers no one told you about...

draw what you saw.

this time, go back,
your map in hand;
taking the road around them.

mary angela douglas 6 december 2014

Friday, December 05, 2014

I Have Friends In A Box

I have friends in a box.
beneath a screen.
I think I have.

I tap on the blue blue glass
as if it were the sky 
summoning angels.

the things I say are kept by clouds;

don't drift away!
I have worlds under glass
awake when I'm asleep

long past the meridians
of what used to be
 called dreams;
 (or countries. 

my houses with no furniture.
drawers I can't open.
letters I'll never tie

with any green silk ribbon.
much at arms length
rich as a click away.

yet sometimes I wonder
if on a winter's day, alone at the bus stop
I suddenly decide to sing the way I used to:

will there still be clouds in the air?

mary angela douglas 5 december 2014

My Birds Flow Silver As The Rains

my birds flew silver as the rains
silver as the moon
in tune with invisible music

late or soon
rainbow rippling;

skirting the breeze;

fronting the office fronts with jubilation
as if they were cathedrals.
now they are violet tinged.

glad to hide.
but even their shadows are brightening.

mary angela douglas 5 december 2014

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

If You Could Ask God Anything What Would You Ask Him

["(8)For he said, Surely they are my people,children that will not lie; so he was their Saviour.
(9)In all their affliction he was afflicted and the angel of his presence saved them:in his love and in his pity he redeemed them: and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.
(10)But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.
(11)Then he remembered the days of old...

Isaiah 63:8-11, The Holy Bible (King James Version)]

maybe we are casualties- 
but we are still Your casualties
maybe we got on the wrong train

but it still looked the same.
then the doors snapped shut; the train moved on.
someone rerouted us.

someone said I'm going there.
but they weren't. track switchers.
maybe we got left in the dirt.

It was still Your dirt.
were we Your fool's gold shining
after all Your work?

maybe half we say we don't even mean.
maybe half we are you can't redeem.
Then we're Your halves my Lord

and maybe we make you laugh
balancing the world on half a head.
when we don't make You cry

oh God tells the truth but His children lie
then are we Your Lies?
it cannot be.

Then we're your casualties
and it's Your war
we're the least, factored out

but it's Your factor.
not Your factory though.
oh, I don't know.

we love you when we think of it.
and when we don't
are we Your Tears?

mary angela douglas 3 decenber 2014

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

To Those Deceived By The Irreverent Reverends, My Christmas Card To You

[to Jesus Christ, the Lord, alone-]

keeping watch over the glasslike, does He never sleep?
arcing over the Deep even still; anonymously, to many of the World
his fresher rainbows, doves at hand-

am I on the ark sighed the child still sleeping
(the child I used to be) and
am I far from land?
questing the knights put by their garlands

staving off the hordes in Christmas land
but it's not here: my creche, my snow trimmed everywhere-
what have they done with it and with the stars?

I was a shepherd once beholding, shepherdess-
I was a lamb; they stole me from His hand.
He followed me...

give over grieving. how many times should you
leave the same thing.
they were the false Christs. he alone was true

Jesu, rose bright in Your wounds that will not end
till all imposters stand in the dock in the
 klieg lights of the Truth
of what remains to us, the deceived-

His beautiful Kingdoms, still.

mary angela douglas 2 december 2014

To The Gorgeous Unchanging

to the gorgeous unchanging tide that He is
both coming and going, to the flow and ebb
that curls at the foot of the Rock that He is

though all my candles go out at the same time in the storms:
to His endless returning.
striking the match and there is my kitchen still

painted yellow, the stove that almost works,
the little cups with His roses painted on them
a little faded and I am too

but I praise still the gorgeous unchanging pouring
over the brink of sadness; the small brooks finding their way
in forgotten landscapes under the parking decks.

the kingdoms of his strawberries ah the starlight ways
I no longer see being cast in the city lights aside
from their configurings but in my heart unwinds

through Him His star maps anyway and to Him I will sing
to the last bells' clanging it is Christmas day; or it is
a knell of death and yet the gorgeous unchanging
carries me away no matter what they say or unsay.

mary angela douglas 2 december 2014