Friday, October 31, 2014

Ghostly

the quality of haunting lingers
telltale russet tinged; etched in the glass
of someone sighed in the long ago.

the tinman's satin sawdust

heart bequeathed- o,to whom? 

turned down, the hurricane lamp,

but you didn't. scarecrows loomed.
the ancient snows rushed forward

filling Time...

the quality of haunting. the violet cloud
that stares: lifting the latch.

the watchers on the hills surprised

and no one's birthday. whence
that ginger cake smell, the generous raisins

spilled, the orange spice not quelled?

some people said it's always autumn there
let the height of summer rattle the full

green trees to no avail.

the quality of haunting far surpassing
the clocks at hand. the silence of interior

music upended;

dust covers off old furniture

in the shuttered cove
there being no wind

or anyone left to lie.

but fugitive tears,
sad auctioneers, close by-

mary angela douglas 31 october 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Princesses And What They Wore

[to my intricately favorite fairy tale, "the twelve dancing princesses"]

oh what did you wear to the secret balls

I whispered to the twelve princesses
in a picture book of silhouettes...

of course, beaded slippers to match.

was it peacock blue with tiny hearts of
purple stitching; rustling, a moon dress

palest green beyond the yellowing trees;

or lamplit gold, and fold on fold?
peach shadows with

your favorite bit of lace and

not a trace of sadness, glistening?
carnelian earrings...

I wore cherry silk the eldest one

replied, a shawl of milk jade green
and sparkly slippers from the Queen

last Christmas.

the rest, demured.

I, I said the youngest, softly.

who am I.
dressed in blue twilights' finery,

endlessly,

gathered up with one pink rose.
I wore only Song.


mary angela douglas 27 october 2014

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Merely Imagined Author Writing the Life of De La Mare

it isn't enough to go into the mists;
you should be mist yourself
to find him; or

to think you have-

till you have dreamed
with no parenthesis;

you won't take notes

but freeze there in the hedges
(only a little, he said)

and that's how music starts:

viola, moon bright
for the Invisible.

come in, quoth he, it's getting dark

and we'll have tea
of orange blossom, lime

perhaps with something tart

only a little icing hinting cherries, apricots
and will you have some more?

he inquired how the book was

coming along or is it at all
there? in a green silk chair

was he suddenly quiet

hands in his pockets in and out of time
before strange candies melting

there, like twilight, clouds

by the China cabinet
lead you to ask but you

can't somehow:

whose childhood is this, anyway?

Of anything, vanishing-

less like Carroll, he said kindly
more like the Christmas Feast

once the Star near trembling, sets;

the snowlight of these shadows flees;
the drifts.. I was an early spring, too late

profiled near the sweet peas in an evening garden

moonstruck to the core
you won't forget me...?

mary angela douglas 25 october 2014


Full Magic Dwells With Him

[to C.S. Lewis

and to Dr. Louis Markos for the intensified magic of Lewis --reinterpreted}]

above all, to Our Lord and King...


full magic dwells with Him

the greening of the stars
the rose unclosed bright as the infant snows

and rainbow beading rain all

diamond shot on the windowpanes
we will load thickly with

Christmas stencils, holly flamed

or muted green of  pine;the bells we
cannot name, the faery foam of Time

that's disappearing here

and funneled where?
on dreaming's other side?

the back of the mirrors?

in the King's library under lock and key?

though Rose be

crimson as the heart yet stilled
we are by the perfumes spilling

silverly on the winds:

His secret lilies.
dwell apart

and so must we

to see beyond seeming.
He glides there too

adown the merest molecules of light

is flight itself oh fly from us never
for I fear the night is coming when it's

dream on dream suspended: in This,

our Heaven and our wilderness until

beyond the window sills of all our dreaming

full magic is forever upon us and more
than Once Upon...

mary angela douglas 25 october 2014



Friday, October 24, 2014

Flying Above All Melting

[partly inspired by the lovely song (by Howard Blake) Walking in the Air (and the Raymond Briggs film, "The Snowman"] and to the melting, melted poets...all]

flying above all melting

may we one day come to see
how solid the Northern Lights up there

appear and childhood's coloured clouds.

and all you thought was missing reappears
with the vanilla moon.

holding the old poems to the vest-

the old made new- the poets of your East and West
will radiate a mystery (or two)

beyond the resolving dews of broidered language

oh my lost beacons over a violet sea...

and could it be? His heart was calling you, even then:
you, with your scattered rhymes your

cross-hatched feelings-
head on your arms
beneath His soft green trees

mary angela douglas 24 october 2014


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Picture Book At The End Of The World

the picture book at the end of the world
stamped with the King's foil roses
I breathed in:

yes, they were all there: what's counting for

if not to see that!
with their petals rare in

the picture book at the end of the world.

I saw the house I knew was mine

with the lilac bush, pink peonies
a fence of moonlight over Time

and there in a dress of velvet cream

in love with the dawns by an old rope swing
my hand is pressed unto my heart

remembering: this is all

the may-have-beens, o
 cherry, cherubic Valentine

of the picture book at the end.

on a page of snow

you'll fall asleep
and it's so quiet in the Deep

where someone, someone sings to you

in the picture book.
oh, are we through?

cried tearful children wondering:

how far there was to go and,
is Christmas near?

two pages green and one of blue

my dear, is all there's left for you.
for you-

and one that's pink

and full of stars
but we won't get that far today

my mother said; shifting the

violet shadows- then-
the picture book at the end of the-

you know! tucking us in...


mary angela douglas 22, 23 october 2014


In The Dream Of The Seventh Willow

{enter, Desdemona, singing}

lost in the dream of the seventh willow

where was her testament of flowers, she mused
o is song strewn now

between waking and sleeping;

the country we longed for-
and the green willow?

the garland of snow.

she was in the dream of the
seventh willow and could not know

singing her interrupted song

as we knew.
the audience is always quiet then.

the student in the Library

coming upon clear song
and the breeze lifts only slightly

the willow trees' fronds o willow,

the sweet air rings 
while unconfined-

beyond distress- all precognition, now

must be out there already
building the gilded monuments;

still, this does not come to pass.

but we.  but we renew the matinees' weeping

clued in to the Last;
to the silver; to the grass green ribbons fluttering;

the bleached pearl of the moon as

tuned through luxuriant windows
configuring these torn shadows

the scene sings willow

and willow and willow
in the seventh dream

mary angela douglas 22 october 2014

They Mined My Poem For Information

they mined my poem for information.
lilting,my poem flew away.
they muted my nation.

the coasts of sorrow look the same

from age to age.
we coloured them in with pink and green

and were kept in corners or

after school; for this? I whispered
who let them rule who let them rule

I murmured into my small hands
as though they were a telephone oh

only the breeze escapes

 bringing hints
of the rose,of the
 honey-suckled gates

I open my Grandmother's piano lid
there where my starlight hides


mary angela douglas 22 october 2014

Where, Larkspur, Have The Purple Winds Gathered

where, larkspur,have the purple winds gathered
I asked the flowers in the picture book.
I asked the flowers.

didn't you hear me? they screamed in school yards
into the clouds so no one else would hear.

while year after year
near the apple trees

I pelted them with prisms in my sleep.

why in group pictures must you look so far-away?

as if the snows settled only on your shoulders?
brushing the lace away. I turned to go-

to go forever from the mocking angels;
all this is music now


mary angela douglas 22 october 2014


It Makes You Sad

it makes you sad
when dark waters under moonlight
no longer reflect:
as in the fairy tale of the end.

and when the white
poetry of the heart is scattered;
when the bough cannot

break into flowers
the sun the sun into flame.
oh this your song they have broken into

as if they were thieves

no longer recognizing
the sacrosanct.
what have they made of you, sweet language!

from their thirst to be central
but a bitter road extended and a winter term;
God in His radiance forgives-

coating the ice with deeper rainbows
than Before

mary angela douglas 22 october 2014.

Friday, October 17, 2014

You, With Your Wild Strawberries, Will Never Go Far

the sword in the stone. the jewel in its setting.
a flicker of light they lightly said through a turgid wood.
old legends.

how can I answer when I see it all ablaze:
all Christmas-sequined, rainbowed through the eyelash...
they raze the least attempt at conversation.

and I'm just in the woods picking strawberries, I guess
out of place here. 
out of place there.


between two seas:
in love with Circassian shadows, it may be.
it may be light is a stream of jewels

but who can listen? words glisten

and were they for us, deep snows?
how could I tell what you meant by them
who wanted above all things

like a child to float in on clouds of rose
turning into the wind as though it were
a great stage...the meadow lands of dream.

then I read Turgenev for awhile
in a snowy dress,  a paler sash.
till someone asked sardonically: aren't you far from home?

go back! through the looking glass!

mary angela douglas 17 october 2014

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Dorothy

the emerald coast at her back,
how would she live, then?
after first welcomes faded.

no more for her the pale green
melon moons would set;

the peridot sparkling

of the little stars

how far is Far

she wondered tunelessly
beside the cornfields in a morning haze

there, where the scarecrows fail at speaking

are lonely for amazement, still.

if I forget...and noons turned into nights

but I am not the same while doing the same chores...
how can they think I am?

boiled ham, the fried eggs never sunny side

and at the table she'll abide or seem to
for a long while yet. no sugar cakes stacked.

still silver (ruby?) shoed after all that and

homesick for what was left

mary angela douglas 15 october 2014

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Silence Of Lorca

[to the green memory of Federico Garcia-Lorca]

the green moon still in eclipse.

a mantle breaks out into roses overnight.
and fades. by dawn.

dawn over Spain.

the lawns with little flowers
little flowers suspire

while the Princess in pale lawn
cannot explain.

why.  why. 
no one is there to sing.

to gather the late blooming elegies

requires more music than the heart has left.

a reverse of the sudden executions.
the execution of music
sobbed the Princesa
into a milky sky of glass.

rescinding all orders

it has washed out; is it lost at sea?

who wanted a mall
a stadium where he bled?

where he has bled the last

ribbon of moonlight; white white lead.
and who is there left to show in colours of the limonero

what is under our eyes that breaks into flowers-
if not, snow?

or remains behind to gather the laments

in an emerald book
in an emerald book and though we look and strain to hear

oh año tras año
lemon bitter, year on year

who can contemplate: 

the silence  of Lorca-
without tears?

mary angela douglas 15 october 2014;10 november 2014

The Madrigal Bells Unrung

[the shunning of lyrical poetry
by later schools of thought (or thoughtlessness)]

maybe they will shun

your milk white doves much farther on
on the pearl of your quest pour such

disdain. they will dislike the rose embroidery

certainly, ships with their silver sails,
their cargoes of wonder.

how I wonder why it must be thus

and why they would deny themselves (and us)
the faceted jewels, the opulent song

what do they see they think is wrong in it?

the whole earth is embroidered still.
the night we live in now.

our very selves.

ah if I had a wishing well then I would wish
the singers back who sang like this.

not live to see the madrigal bells unrung.

raid Beauty's coffers. they just close the lid.
pack sweets away.

and think in doing so,

that they have won.

mary angela douglas 15 october 2014

The Unit On Language Skills

[to Valerie]

I'm ruled paper cray pas as thick as old
paste-with-a-brush I love so much the
ice cream drawing paper flushed with

vanilla suns the luxury of rose red crayons
let's make everything the colour we want to
maybe God said to his angels on a certain

day leaving the green of trees alone awhile
the blue of skies oh let's go paint the flowers
all of them! the flower girl scattering sunset clouds...

I am the many hued the honey scented stars
the winding infinite clear as clear can be invisibly
said the child at her desk in a thousand languages

while the teachers thought
her mind was wandering

mary angela douglas 15 october 2014

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Canticle Of The Anonymous Poets

[to the unknown lyricist of the "Carol of the Bells"
and so many other carol makers]

we are the circus behind our eyes:
the pink or peach ballet of blind words
on the tightrope of who could care less.

candlelight in the sun,

who needs us? pale of commission or

knows if we have ever snowed on earth;cartwheeled
in a universe beyond  or if we played our part
at the matinee one Sunday-

going on, at the last minute.
oh see what we've become, 

a pirouette laid aside with old programmes;
faintly scented,rose-pressed in a book
of an obscure library

or starlit, rare in an antique trunk:
the ball gown she meant to wear o, where?

backstage at the operas of the vacant lots?


in a fine hand's fading ink on cream, the self-addressed
invitations to the parties,

were you viewed askance

on the bus to work, in the fields or
only kept at home. unknown. unknown.
struck down.
struck from the records.

bit by bit we'll learn to walk
again and again;

we'll take our turn on earth and learn to be much less

than we imagined: pierrots with confetti shadows;

second-hand columbines...

be happy when the wicks of your words fall
short of flame that you danced

on without a name
for the One who gave you life.
when all sad things are tallied up
 by His slightest

angels, doves.be read by God;half-

remembered at Christmas, sung by someone!
even children's choirs anonymously
 on the grandmother's glass records
as in the cherry sprigged folk tunes on

crystal hand bells rung

but for the Christ child, newly sprung!


mary angela douglas 14 october 2014'rev. 31 january 2015

I Saw The Ghost Of Walter De La Mare

["why fade these children of the spring?'
-William Blake, "Thel"]

I saw the ghost of Walter De La Mare

leaning on an April curve of music,
unaware

I saw his hands of tender glass

and the thin china he was drinking from,
reflective, the dark raspberry stillwaters

of Beauty he drew up in pailfulls

the silver pooling stars

at his beck and call-

the curio cabinets bedizened,
strongholds of childhood jams-
and the apricot laughter of the cherubim
by his side.

now acorn cups half-brim from twilight rain:

the fairy feast's abandoned he complained
"Is there anybody there?"*


he said, answering his own soul, alone:

"the whispering trees of Eden."**
he wept.

they pour the ocean into a thimble-

our golden ships may founder in the moss.
there are other losses-

song is made desolate, Walter de la Mare,

long years since your flag was lowered to the ground.
rust from the muted region's flaking;

your antique tears I've brushed away.

no one's watercolour for so long---

mary angela douglas 20-21 december 2009



*line from his poem, "The Listeners"

**line from his poem, "Goodbye"

Mirage Like From A Distance Stray

[to Edgar Allen Poe and those who loved him]

mirage like from a distance stray

the figments of a happier day
of kingdoms, kingdoms washed away.

how maple red the skies appeared above the castles

always drear your own heart knocking at the doors
walled in itself and evermore

all glistening sails with the Adored

and never returning

how scorned by critics who can name

who pierced a troubled heart in shame.
around the lintels of their fame

may nothing shine forevermore

till Time and all its angels show
above the bitter flying snows

intemperate as his repose

a presence deepened known as Poe and
mystic organs swell commemorative:

a grieving love enshrine.


mary angela douglas 14 october 2014



A Silver Branch Is Broken From

[to the Russian Poets: past, present and future with deep hope and gratitude-and, most directly to the poets of the Silver Age]

a silver branch is broken from

a golden tree.

in the upper atmosphere

are many angels
and clouds of shimmering
radiant symbols.

if it were colder it would be

snowing angels
and Christmas could come early.

but you lose your way in

the fairytale forest
forgetting to be
on your guard-

plucking a rose in the

fatal hour-
turning to stone.

all blazing kingdoms

corroborate:
the same victory on the same day.

and there is world-wide entertainment

and sherbet in 10,000 flavors.

but the milk-white sky pours out

pitchers of sorrow;

the sun on its own bakes

bitter loaves.

and like children unjustly punished
we can't stop weeping for

the silver branch


cut from the golden tree-


mary angela douglas 13 june 2005/30 august 2005/copyright 2006

Monday, October 13, 2014

We Can Be Infatuated With God

we can be infatuated with God
oh why wouldn't we be
who spelled it all out in stars

from our infancy in violet seas

in the flowerbeds of home
in the poems read to us by

our mothers. misquote him if you will

it's there to read to breathe in summer rains
in vivid plains in spring in what remains

of Eden still. love what you will or who or where

there is no finer love and free and free as air
your heart floats on the breeze and innocent

as the first lilied days


mary angela douglas 13 october 2014

Beautiful Trails Going Nowhere In The Poems

beautiful trails going nowhere in the poems,
I loved: on either side clouds can drift or
leaves oh why not spiraling words like the birds of dusk

circling endlessly back to window trees?

and is it supper yet you wonder, they wonder
you're still a child they itch to say when you're

entranced before

gardenias in the glass green day
so queen of the may and destined to be-

getting lost on the beautiful trails

and reprimanded by strangers who
know your mind better than you do

oh they think they do: in winter whites not quite

ferreting out as if, they should-
your opal galaxies, your cherished delays on the dazzling

trains of gold; the fold on fold of the rose scented

why don't you get to the point they hint
all patience spent near your

beautiful trails the cul de sacs

of seeming the deep sea quays of
dreaming that brought you all

this way the sounding mists

the foam that flies before the fist
the turquoise trysts with God

even while you're at the little table 

of the carefully coloured rainbow sighs
at the ebbing of all lies

beyond mere scenery


mary angela douglas 13 october 2014