Monday, March 31, 2014

The Wind Has Caught The Tattered Rainbow Sail

[to the true God, to the true Christ and to those with the courage now-to know the difference]

the wind has caught the tattered rainbow sail

and you are over it now.
the interlopers banished,

left to build their nightmare realms

all on their own;
how will they manage

is anyone's guess.

oh let them keep their teacups full of sand
for someone else and let their roasted apples char

in the witless castle fires we tended without sleep.

and witness now, the true doves flown.
ah let the fairytale clock rewind the puerile darkening

of the golden days that lay before you

on a long ago afternoon waylaid.
oh God my God will recompense the jeweled time

splintered from a green beginning when

they declaimed the dreams
we already owned

as if they birthed them,

crazed pickpockets of the heart, cruel
harbingers of unparalleled sadness.

leave them there to rustle:

blank pages in Your book of living air

mary angela douglas 31 march 2014

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Rose Recitals Seen In Retrospect

the rose recitals seen in retrospect
keep their bloom irregardless: at first,
uncertainty at the piano; then launching into

musical suspension of all else and it's the

pianoforte now the plunging into 
evanescent waters wreathed in flower sounds of a

childhood's sweetheart semblances and

the coloured rippling through the room
no longer a room, an opening onto space

excused from school

and laved in the roselights now and green
and green as the twinings round a measureless rest

yet the rockinghorse made of stars won't stop

as we have galloped away or lapsed into
beauty at the rose recital and they will not

call us back from the printed programme atmosphere,

not ever; from lime sherbet punch served up on an april
porch as I'm wearing the pink rosebud dress with the satin 

sash of immeasureless poetry and a wrist corsage
 of curtseys to the disappearing

room and all the rest is altered by the 

coolness of carnation skies

when we're, dismissed-
but not, from school!

mary angela douglas 20 march 2014

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Doll Riddle No. 1

if little white roses
in a doll-size snowed under garden
came up anyway
who would notice


mary angela douglas 26 march 2014

Brightness Is Brighter

[to e.e. cummings]

brightness is brighter

gold on gold ever gathered
falling out of creases in the clouds
beckoning from the quartz glints
unexpected, on crummy sidewalks

flung flower filled through twilight skies,

not penny-pinched, the seldom truly glimpsed,
wildflowered out the windows of the proud
and drawing room banned; of little note
between raindrop and raindrop


pierrots weeping into the sequined suns
whenever sommersaulted nothing's won-
still, musical without the audition-
muddled, opal-puddled

it goes on gardenia-gleaming

in a basement atelier
sweet columbine dear o dear blues spinning tulle graced

into God's best guessing games
there is light there is light
sang the child in early spring's

white violet arias delight!
forgetting the scales oh not the halos,
brightness is lighter than all aureoles,

orioles in the auroras
tangerine sectioned out of sight

you can carry it in the corner of

your corners, in any disguise
cloud shaped piano
drifting, dreaming through the droning:
multicoloured, even after Christmas incandescence

tulip bulbed and icicle fretting and I have loved Your
multifoiled winds their infinite snowing
invisibly valentined reprieves

of the non-descript days
crowned queen of the

maybe something lavish will happen...
who can say,between the holidays
rose-trellising the drizzle.
you can ferry it no matter who

they think you are in the day-to-day,

clandestine, marveling in the thought of it;
cramped in dim corners but otherwise,
cherishing the faintest ray
you're that regally ragtag

though they shove you

out of their way.
whatever else you're lacking

even with no packing on each
dress white eviction day-
pearl punctuated, bride ghosted

brightness goes with you
mere dragons dare not slay

mary angela douglas 26 march 2014


Note on Poem: cloud shaped piano - this is the second time I found a way to allude to that wonderful image in Chekov's The Seagull referencing the writer writing down eachthing he sees without respite including a cloud shaped like a piano...

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Be Not Afraid Sing The Christmas Angels

be not afraid sing the Christmas angels every 
day you are alive and the everlasting pavements
won't give way

under your feet the chasms will be bridged
though you can't see be not afraid
though we were made to feel this way

whenever the dark rolls in
the dark rolls in and covers your heart
but your heart is light with Christ within
and scars your soul

but your soul is whole
whenever the Christmas angels fill your mind
oh rest and peace and do not fear to live

life beyond breath survives
and paved with stars
and paved with stars

though war and war's sick aftermaths
seem destined to go on and on
and you no longer feel what's left to
lose or win-
it's only God who gathers His children in

mary angela douglas 25 march 2014

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Poetry On The Full Tides Going Home

in my dream I danced
till the sky came down in translucent blue petals
the sky came down
and the wanderers wandered no more

and the sky drifted in the snow white seas

in the snow white seas
and the foam of all goodbyes was canceled

and the anvil of the heart was not struck

was not struck and the clock ticked not
with the tock of all goodbyes

and the fairytale did not crumple

in a heap of gold belied
in my dream I danced

the mysteries falling about my feet

and beauty on every side
and beauty on every side

had come to abide forever

where the gold of faiytales revived
and the wanderers floated in the

snow white seas 

in the snow white seas
in view of land

and poetry glowed

on every hand
on every hand

no longer turning into foam


mary angela douglas 22 march 2014

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Poet At Liberty To Eat Bread And Butter

butter your crusts thinly
so it will last longer;
the butter I mean

because it's exceptional

and it gleams
like marigolds

from a special mold

imprinted with willows
adown adown a
certain stream

with early ferns

and allusive urns.
a spread for holidays

for your last Christmas on earth.

and bittersweet even
with strawberry jam

(the last spoonful)

scraping the sides of the churn
when the last book's paid for

and you've earned it.


mary angela douglas 20 march 2014

Yum Yum Said The Monster

yum yum said the monster.
I will eat you up.
but the poet kept scribbling
trying to keep up

with the broken rainbow pieces
scattered everywhere by his better angels.
yum yum said the monster

here I come
be scared and drop everything
but the poet remembered

time is fleeting anyway and
kept on scribbling, dipping his pen
in light, in golden molten light

though he was not warm.
though she had no light
but the garret window-light
and when the clouds passed over

inner light.
munch munch cried the monster
craving attention

but the poet never heard
because the singing of the birds
in the tree of his soul could not
be sacrificed

to feed the gobble gobble
of the Liar
crunching on starlight
and miniature roses,
intransigent little children
in love with the Beginning

mary angela douglas 20 march 2014

Monday, March 17, 2014

And I Have Been Beaten With Words

and I have been beaten with words
or the lack of words
with the back of words
for a very long time

she sighed to a raveling wind

and when will it end
there is light I can feel it on

my skin but it's a winter light

and where will the soul be warm again
and words were given for light

for brightness like song to birds

like wings to flight
but I have been beaten with words

with the lack of words

with complicity and with
the matter-of-fact the
sleight of hand
and just and just

because they can;

with sign language behind the

daily scenes of the cognoscenti

with flash cards instructing 
the instructors mark this well: 

and notice the behavior

near the wishing well
the propensity for believing

anything other than beating



mary angela douglas 17 march 2014


Dear Reader:

For a possible and whimsical solution to this kind of problem, please see my poem (below) "Facing the Dragons Down".  And words really are for light and for happiness. Why would they want to be anything else?

-md

FACING THE DRAGONS DOWN
through kingdoms now
as it was then
you tread a certain

inward path

while they line up again
to stare you through

on a very tiresome playground-

or hurl, with no one else around

a mere boulder or two
down the embankment.

don't ask me how

they know it's you with
a birthday message for

your ailing children

done up in maypole ribbons bright
and the fairytale hour-glass

sands on the low-end...

but they could find you
in their sleep

on the margrave's run-down highway-

and creepity creep creep
through the heat-

roiling their chartruese scales-

waving a finny fin-
casting a munching eye on

your last bit of raisin toast

with frosting...

or burping from an office window

just to throw you off- belching
a murky word in-between

presentations...no one else

in the room even heard.
(and they're not meant to)

do not fear them;

let them rave:
thrashing the marigold window shades

beneath God's diamond and

discerning eye-

you may look swiftly all around

but no one else is there to pound.
they must mean, you.

don't be alarmed;

don't be concerned.
it just that it's your

turnity turn turn

TBFacing the Dragons Down-

mary angela douglas 23 august 2011

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Declaring Our Independence From The Clouds

declaring our independence from the clouds
we count on You oh Lord;
driftwood after shipwreck,
pinpointed starlight through these heavy fogs


declaring our intention only sure it's just the

heartbeat's prayer to keep on beating
even this far from land.


declaring our independence from the clouds

the swirling darkness everywhere we need
Your hand but we are frightened when Your sun drifts near
and then so far apart.


be Thou our level ground who change not, Love

Be Thou our Heart.
we have no other basis.


we are your flowers soon cut down

or not all at once
your sunset vanishing; rise to save us Now
and Ever After.


mary angela douglas 16 march 2014

Friday, March 14, 2014

Sunday Best Words Come Strolling

Sunday best words come strolling
twirling their parasols.
inside they are pink-cheeked with excitement

one second before Christmas
they'll burst from a garden
rife with mignonette
crowded with antique roses and with hyacinths

oh we were just in the neighborhood
coolly they'll insist.
we thought we'd drop by with dreamy blancmange.
how large the moon looms in their eyes
though they pretend otherwise.

but something gives them away.
a little silver raveling out of a pocket
a little gold dust on the floor where they
were standing a little out of the way
with their velveteen shadows with

wishes suddenly coming true by the bunches.
or there's an apricot tinge to their sky.
a cerise valentine offered, shyly.

call me old fashioned. I like them.
I like them a lot.
with or without doilies.

resplendent on the Avenue.
flared out with an extra crinoline or two.
out racketing the bluebirds and
it isn't even spring yet.

wearing a peach cummerbund can't you imagine it?
their pockets stuffed with caramels double wrapped
in jewel toned foils.
my best friends in all the world the world

they whirl and whirl so happy on the sidewalk after Church,
my Sunday best words...

mary angela douglas 15 march 2014

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Elephant Man In The Grape Arbor Hides From Sorrow

there is a bruise in the sky
the small stars sing to
above the grape arbor

where the Elephant Man hides
from sorrow and his shadows
are purple too and not as lumpy

the tears caught in his throat
and the Elephant Man is riding
or he hopes to the silver horse

of his dreams and he is elegant
and flowing as the wind as the wind
through the grape arbor and the bruise in the
sky is not larger than his own and it is

widening like a purple stain on the universe
of sighs of negligence of misplaced laughter
little stars will encircle him by and by

the little stars will come
and leaven the leaven
for the Elephant Man in the grape arbor
hidden and unbidden except by God 

except by God
on earth as it is in Heaven 

mary angela douglas 10 march 2014

Saturday, March 08, 2014

The Toothless Lion Chewed On His Cage of Air

the toothless lion chewed on his cage of air
and swiped at the stars
but they were too far

his paws buttered in moonlight.
after long rains the trees fall,
the huge trees making no sound

at all. and the mind could shine like gold
where the rivers flood
the rivers flood and he drinks his cage of air

and swipes at the mane of stars that shakes him
God has scattered everywhere
but where is there to see by their

fierce light but a tawny nightmare shrinking
in tall grasses midnight by midnight
batting at the flies of ruby and green
sweet bottle green more beautiful than

his pacing on the summer's bridge
no longer scaring little children

mary angela douglas 8 march 2014

Friday, March 07, 2014

The Dolls Being Hungry Play-Pretend About Art

considering the blueberry phase of art please note
the cream clouds in the picture said the head doll
quite stickily

and here we have the lemon meringue hills

where the taffity cat wanders but not for long
(observe the encroaching shadow and the
cherry-scuro)

oh me said another doll should we be scared

is this the time for ghosts
and the golden arms retrieved?

"In this scene," she continued firmly

a little cross though her expression never changed
"Class! can't you imagine a human child in a strawberry

gown and she is preserving plum sweet jam

and can she have a peach sash timidly, this from
the baby doll and not spill anything?
(so we'll have more for tea)

"of course!" and it's about to be her Birthday

and there's going to be a huge pink cake
and an even bigger one for the dolls
with presents said the bride doll
and her pearl veil glimmered

shared all around smiled Raggedy Ann

shared all around, and buttercream frosted
dreaming and dreamed of
by the lemonade springs...

(they sighed)


mary angela douglas 7 march 2014

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Imperfect Happiness Spilled Out Of A Golden Font, Somewhere

imperfect happiness spilled out of a golden font Somewhere
rainbow tinted just like the song where the bluebirds flew
and in their flight dyed the pink clouds blue blue

was the music gurgling down the drains after the rains came

imperfect happiness gushing down from the Far Mountains
where the children went that day hearing the piper piping

perfect happiness.  someday the world will shine more

perfectly and we'll be best they cried they cried for
imperfect happiness sticky as honey on the last currant bun
at home

someone tell me a story I was told that imperfect happiness

wasn't good enough but they were wrong

mary angela douglas 6 march 2014

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

To Edith Wharton Writing Ethan Frome By Ruby Red Firelight At Home (Her First Draft)

dear Edith Wharton
I loved your ruby red pickle dish
in the novella.
I couldn't get it out of my head.

how beautiful it must have

looked on the linoleum
or on the farmhouse pine planked floor
when it shattered-

as if a pirate broke in suddenly, tripped. and

scattered his treasure into every

fresh-mopped corner
before he got around to burying it
in the squash patch

or deep under the lilac palings

where the chickens wouldn't
get to it
after a hard winter.

and who, I ask you,

is going to sweep all this up
after that awful sled accident

mary angela douglas 5 march 2014

Broken Willow Ware, Oh How Will I Cross Over

broken willow ware, oh how will I cross over
the delicate bridge that skirts your jagged stream.
how sadly the split moons swivel in the pattern

and I have hurt their
dreams of languid twilight;
shimmering of small lavender bells
now out of tune.

how easy it was for the moon to slip
between your  careful clouds.
I dreamed I was there, day-wishing

and the dish slipped, too;
the baby ferns wept purple
in their streams
missing the implied Princess sail even
further, forever chipped from view...

standing in my rented kitchen
how will I explain to you
the fault-line in your terraced stair.
the shifting of your kind kingdom-

or recover your blue summers
or breathe this fractured air

mary angela douglas 5 march 2014

It's the Fairy Queen Out Of Sight In Pale Pink Satin

it's the Fairy Queen out of sight in pale pink satin
you want to catch a glimpse of through the trees.
and the harp glissandos, and you almost

think you can:

digging for deeper rose
near your castle of sand.

you want to see the pearl

of her custom-made slippers that shines that shines
on the underside of dreams and you almost
think you can- but then it's just

things in this summer's sunlight

butterfly gilded, wounding sheen
too near at hand so you drink your orangeade.

oh why won't she glide (you know she can)

on a glittering river that winds and winds
through a cherry bright landscape 
laddered down below-

plainly you saw from a backyard windowed tree-

last Saturday-
the fairy petaled snows

mary angela douglas 5 march 2014

To The Poets In A Departing Light

looking for the things they left behind-
some emblem of the gauntlet that they ran
I cried to the angels on my either hand:

how can I - how can I ever understand
the gold embroidery on this sleeve of night,
half-finished...

and are we kneeling in the evening grass ourselves
anointed in the dew falls from far stars
whose day has passed-

and shall I rummage in old trunks found by chance
among the violet silks and stage properties-
among the last effects of the unbartered voices-

looking for the things they left behind
how I have stumbled over the amethysts
the moonstones the looking glass

they have thrown out now with the trash
not knowing what they do.
forgive us Lord we have forgotten them

cast from a singular mold-
and their bright holiday among us;
going about in the rag tag remnants, left

thinking we have the whole

mary angela douglas 5 march 2014

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Night Thoughts Of God

what is it that we want Him to say
leaning on the wind to hear His voice.
the simple things.
don't be afraid.  I'm with you

don't be afraid. 

it doesn't matter what they say.
don't be afraid.
it doesn't matter what they do.
I see. I understand. 
I feel it too, but we'll go on...
what was it that we heard so long ago

glad tidings...I bring you - something

peace, don't be afraid I'm near
what is it that we want to hear

My dear My dear

I'll catch you if you fall
don't you remember when
I did before?

don't be afraid lullay  lullay My little child

don't be afraid

hush, take My hand.

sleep...
tomorrow is another day
for you and Me

mary angela douglas 4 march 2014



Saturday, March 01, 2014

Rose Reverie Of The International Geophysical Year

"Grand go the Years,
in the Crescent above them-
Worlds scoop their Arcs-
And Firmaments - row-
Diadems - drop-
And Doges - surrender-
Soundless as Dots,
On a Disc of Snow."

-Emily Dickinson, Safe in Their Alabaster Chamber (last stanza)

transmitting sound where there are no waves
or music when it snows inside the mind
we measure nothing

silver discs on solid ground

and no receptors found
and the clashing of invisible cymbals
where flight should be instead;
no vie en rose.

but it's someone's immemorial year again-

it's someone's expedition-
do you know who sent you-

is it arctic you survive-

is it the far north of everything-
without - the Northern Star

is it the silence that won't be sifted-

borealis? - cadence of
colours that never arrive

however long you may stand watch-

and the order is given-
you may stand watch-
over the clouds inside the mind
that create these white out conditions

and write your

long last letter-
like the filmy - skies

and write your

long last letter-
that can never- arrive-
to startle the gulls and the
vagrant seasides out of sight-

and out of time-
with this rose reverie-
with these - ghost brides-

with the syllables

God gave to you,
one - at a frosted - time-

mary angela douglas 1 march 2014