Thursday, May 28, 2015

Then There Is No More School

[on the passing of time]

one day in the rain you turned into watercolours
too bad, no one there to record it.
what lovely puddles

the small child said
splashing through your ghost
or watching your rainbows

trickle down the drains
too young to ask oh
what remains.

I scorched so many things while ironing
out the wrinkles.
remembering the heat that rises

from the radiators too,
midwinters, when being inside alone
is a Christmas in itself

when you are warm
and how this comforts you
pressing your nose against the

frosted glass and

how old wax on the floors
turns yellow as fried eggs
until the pink of sunrise

filters through in even colder dawns:
the bus honks twice then
there is no more school.

mary angela douglas 28 may 2015

Were We Painting On Clouds While We Lived On Earth

"were we painting on clouds while we lived on earth..."
I heard them sigh, "did all that drift away?"
in the eternal breezes down the

esplanades of Heaven
shimmering almost sad
where the gold leaf trees

never lose their leaves.
are there no more autumns then?
asked the child in me, in Paradise?

ah it will seem to you then as now
perhaps their better angels said in sweet surmise,
you wrought it all in vain

that the dark rains came, the darker floods
and carried it all away.
and yet, it is not so.

mary angela douglas 28 may 2015

Monday, May 25, 2015

Dorothy Nears The Land Of Dainty China

[an episode in the book "The Wizard of Oz", though
not expanded on in the film, I think", as well,
on Cervantes tale, "The Man of Glass"]

will words break here in the air
as you speak them?
dorothy wondered then

approaching the village of china.
how to speak with such
breakable residents.

it looks slightly bleak
she almost said to
her little dog

in Porcelain.

should I paint rosebuds
on the breeze
to put them at their ease?

forget me nots! she
almost cried
thinking of home.

step with your satin footsteps
only here.
or they will tremble as

though it thundered.
(learn to) 
breathe like. snows.

mary angela douglas 25 may 2015

Saturday, May 23, 2015

To The Unknown Russia

before this sun of scythian gold
were there these spires, these domes,
dreamed of by the dreaming

yet unborn, the later to come?
and were the bird cherries annointed
with starlight from so far away?

it's the Russia of imagination
long gone by that never strayed;
the bells of endless tolling

beyond the range of suffering
the heart forever unwon
there is this mysterious something

glint of His kingdom come
hidden from view
except, for some.

this isn't true.

mary angela douglas 23 may 2015

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Snow Queen And Other Regimes

this is how melting started in the annals
of the world the unsmiling instructor

but this is not the beginning she thought
inside her head where no one could hear
her yet

the child quite small at her desk
on wide ruled paper began to write
not what the teacher said but

the history of melting, in colours
of the flowers that appeared
in dream spectrums the snow itself

a spectrum of violets of orchids
of camellia alphabets no longer cryptic

and how it feels not to freeze anymore
to be free of mathematics falsely applied
to face those that lied to you with

a flower crowned head
and to be regally happy
no longer standing in corners

punished for enchantment,
for buttering bread on the wrong side and-
when you come down to it:

for withstanding even from a young age

the soul plucked out by the roots
for today's lesson on botany.

mary angela douglas 21 may 2015

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

There's No Conversation Like The One You Could Possibly Have

there's no conversation like the one you could possibly
have by yourself fabricating the fabric of it
so that every inch shines on the loom

and you weave in and out of it your own design
without designs on anyone else without the
glaring meeting your Good Morning!

on those mornings where the sullen canyons
won't even give you an echo back.
so here's the track we run on when it

all looks bleak, our own! and every part
of that railroad gleams and goes past
limpid streams that turn the waterwheels

round and the children in their colorful
outfits wave in the snow near the
evergreens lit for perpetual Christmas.

this is the secret of playwrights cherishing
their plays or the old men cracking wise with
invisible friends in the fast food chains

or the angels in a dark time
heralding pearl to pearl edged wing

no shepherds yet in view.

mary angela douglas 20 may 2015

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Apres Le Deluge And The Wounding Decree

the kings roses are in bloom
whose else could bloom
in winter snows and cast

a pink tinge on everything
even my old gown she sighed when
creeping round the edges

of the parchment multifoliate
the painted flowers cannot detract
from the decree

of wounding me.

I hide in the shade of smiles
I can't remember when
all this happened

still. and roses fade
but not the brier
roses fade and not the brier

she sang on one note only
till the last string broke.
and word of this floated

out of the Kingdom.

mary angela douglas 19 may 2015

I'm Missing A Clue Said Nancy Drew

[to Carolyn Keene, for the entire series]

I'm missing a clue said Nancy Drew
maybe it's in the old clock, hidden under
the stairs under an oak tree when

the moon irradiates the clouds
but how clouded can life be
in a pale blue convertible

and your dad, a lawyer
when Hannah bakes chocolate cakes
every other minute and you can

still wear those pencil skirts with
the matching sweaters
and read other people's diaries?

and there'll be a note in the bouquet
in of course, cryptic  handwriting
or a slight delay when the

operator puts you through;
an objet d'arte  in the old junk shop
and luna moths in the attics of odd years

won't ravage the old silks. shhh...
a click in the wall! my copy's late
again, from working on her story

a voice comes to you in a dream
when the spring to the hidden bookcase
swings out with the entire series and

you will finger your omnipresent string
of pearls and wonder who wrote
all this, really?

mary angela douglas 19 may 2015

Note: Mildred Augustine Wirt Benson was the original Carolyn Keene who wrote many of the early Nancy Drew books. Later authored by others. The best ones are hers.

What Will Seeing Be

losing your map of the constellations
what will seeing be

the clocks say "nebulae",
"nebulae" moving
across town

will not solve it.

like Alice on a summer day
you're late in dreamland
a little off guard

leaving your equations behind
you in the summer yard.
your notebook and the new pencils.

oh what will you say to
them at teatime
when they don't pass the cake.

you're on your own now.
half way smile the cheshire cats while
somewhere on another block

shine beyond shining the
spring constellations
over the baby rosebuds

"and the rich sleep of whose gardenias?
what is all this weeping"

said the Red Queen.
I won't have it.

mary angela douglas 19 may 2015

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Pavane For The Princess Breaking Into Flowers

[in memorium to my mother, Mary Adalyn Young-Douglas...]

like a tree they couldn't stop breaking into flower
her words were, by the hour by the jeweled minute,
even the last minutes though I didn't know

castled on the crystal chess board fastened to
weights of lead you thought everything she said
would disappear snatching the sainted reliquaries

trodding down her rose gardens.
it is you who will come transparently
to the weddings

and unacknowledged
draining the punch bowls dry.
a miracle, the wedding crowds may cry

gazing in rapture
at the empty bowls
while her soul flowers

all sistine on the ceilings
and blue green in the shoals
beyond, beyond their control.

mary angela douglas 17 may 2015 

Stars Melted In Heaven When A Child Looked Up

"...and children's faces looking up/holding wonder like a cup..."
-Sara Teasdale ("Life Has Loveliness To Sell")

stars melted in heaven when a child looked up
and this was the reason for so many astronomical events
the astronomers scratched their heads over

simply put:  a child looked up
and almost sang a song to them
the stars melted like waxy crayons

all over the place
so that the sky was coated in many colours
and dreamed and dreamed itself

too close to earth.

mary angela douglas 17 may 2015

Some Things Just Can't Be Said

like falling off the edge of the world,
the cliffs, blindfolded, you didn't know
were there

like never hearing the bright word said
but still listening for it
after the speaker's dead

like stitching together no reasons why
or having no mottos on the walls
of the heart, the dazzling aortic

continuing on despite this

like looking for the sun at night
or flight from the frozen sparrows on
the budless twigs or

keeping music's secret like the marrow

of dreaming with your eyes entirely open
some things just can't be said
the way they felt to you

at the time
breaking the heart of milleniums

mary angela douglas 17 may 2015

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Glass Green Ground Of Eden Slipped Away


the glass green ground of Eden slipped away;
far from the childhood etageres we strayed and still
the scent of new mown hay was sweet

the cloud soft air returned to us each Spring.
why did they tell us then pure Eden failed
when there are roses still and

Northern Lights and hidden dear
unchanged delights.
I never understood.

it's God in the enchanted woods
and always will be.
this I know by heart.

well enough to see it
in the Dark.

mary angela douglas 16 may 2015

Oh That The Clear-Eyed Singers Would Return

oh that the clear-eyed singers would return
I heard them sigh
but I knew then as I know now

that if they had oh if they had
snow driven they would have been
sleet ridden and shoved and kicked

from the dais, certainly, oh and hounded.
oh that the clear eyed singers
would find an oblique way, an opaque day

to sing where the herods
could not hunt them at their ease where
yet dreams would come thick as

plumset branches lovely, lovelier,
loveliest who can choose
in a secret orchard brighter than all Mays

by another way the wise men departed
and were saved.

mary angela douglas 16 may 2015

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Sky So Thick With Stars

the sky was so thick with stars
it could have been star custard
someone remarked

when dessert was brought in,
this is how I imagine my

kingdom in better days.
with pale green curtains
at the castle windows

sequined green breezes
lightly lifting them
and when you sighed

the trees breathed out
as if they knew your name.
once we had names.

and the names meant
who we are like rose
means rose rain means

in my kingdom.
and I remember the sky

so thick with stars
it could have been star custard...

mary angela douglas 15 may 2015

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Kitchen Conversation With Auntie Em

in every version of the fairy tale you read
some one will come to lay the kindling
when there is none; to sort the clouds

out when there is no sun.
to chime the bells that can't be rung
that fall apart in your hands.

geographies of distant lands
some kingdoms never come and
it hurts the same when you fall

down as it did then,Dorothy: now
when you lose ground or
time or space.

you're not a tree with roots
in some dear place that won't
let go.

you have to face it sometime
when you've boarded up for
the last time against the storm

that wasn't meant to come.

there's no velocity in this
complained her soul
harping on an old theme

not so angels could hear
in their hairpin turns
back to the old neighborhood.

I know I know my mother
said from heaven but
you still can sing

if you want to.

mary angela douglas 13 may 2015

Blue Sequins Over The Planet Blue

blue sequins over the planet Blue
will simulate stardust
she muttered, her mouth full of pins

so do not shift in the chair

where you stand
soon you will see the ribboned night
come in through the unhemmed windows

the curtains shift in a taffeta wind
that's sheer so sheer, the little cloud eyelet

(hand me the shears...)

and blue starlight is pinking-
makes itself a little home
(there in the dresser drawer dear)and

streaks and sprinkles the leaf pale walls

almost astronomically oh gleaming
I have always loved you.
and these are prisms at twilight

(she told the little girl) introducing them
she thought, are my manners blue-violet
violet-blue she was getting sleepy...

when I feel close at hand blue sequins over
the planet Blue at my command oh come
we will glue the stars on.

don't be sad.
this is our handiwork.

mary angela douglas 13 may 2015

What Words May Dream

[For e.e. cummings]

I am a person making typos in my sleep
on a dream typewriter (shift key) T(unshift)
is not that sad when the typewriter turns into

a piano and then it is my words become part
of the history of music, the typos opening
the faerie doors between what is perceived

as language by the bureaucrats, the shrink wrapped
masters of  concise English, into what becomes mists
ever as you would have wished it

into the mists I gallop I am not afraid never having

really been on horseback before and we find all
the myths and they are foaming. and my soul
is sea green and the words are forming in

gold foil rosettes on the undiscovered manuscripts
and these illuminations shift (shift key) I(unshift)nto,,,
and leave the pedal down on these sonorities

so that that the colours may be found,
kaleidoscope fashion, sweet
cathedrals unbound: rose window rose window rose window

(petaling into the flowery mind of God) show forth! the
violet realities, realities of the Rose
fresher than freshets gleam on our heraldry

and the arcing and the singing of it ah! the singing
the moon stretched like a Harp into night itself as into clear
light of stars we don't yet know

we don't yet know
what language springs from
(is it Spring?) or april imagined

we don't yet know what
words May dreams

mary angela douglas 13 may 2015

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Where The Butterscotch Sun Is

they say that sky stairs in the blue
are meant for you
step cloud to cloud and as you go

you'll find the clearing in the thickets where
the butterscotch sun is I don't know

I know that pale stones kept in the pockets
scattered under moonlight so you'll know
the path home don't always work 

true magic and that
cherry branching now
will in a little while, turn snow

and eating one meal or half a meal a day
can sometimes seem a feast.
I thought the path was straight and

in a woods of gold, at very least
with berries plentiful in season or out
and still, I dream it so

that sky stairs in the blue will beckon me
more dreamlike
Than before or

what is leaving for, then

mary angela douglas 12 may 2015

Monday, May 11, 2015

For Those I Tried To Find

for those I tried to find but then the way doubled back:
the cornstalks rose above the roiling fields
the house we knew with the little porch

disappeared and ah, alack,
all trace of every summer thing I knew.
I tried to find through thickets of the years

the old castles

and wept while slogging on
that in such disarray, cruel storms removed
the hay pitched sun.

where roses blew,
now there were stinging nettles...
they have torn my only heart

came the cry suddenly
out of the dawning dark

bending my back under the gloom
ill showing that what was once most fair
must still be there so far

from view.

are you alive? I call to the fairy tale statues
under enchantment, bright as the singeing air:
are you alive?

yet there's no answer there

mary angela douglas 11 may 2015 rev. 27 july 2017

Sunday, May 10, 2015

An Artist Of Tne North Country

I have painted my heart under the snows
said the artist of the North Country
who wished to remain unknown.

in caverns of ice, the heart glowed.
under many colours.layer on layer
as it is in the sleep an epoch dreams

and colours slept
or else, were wept.
unlettered and unseen.

light years went by,
by Light sustained.
and shone above the snows,the plains

the caverns, the heart

and the cloudy stars sang,
clanging their violet bells
and not knowing, not knowing

like a child's riddle blowing,
the rose word spelled.

mary angela douglas 10 may 2015

I Will Erase The Clouds Thought The Child

why have they raised again
the towers of our distress?
raised to be razed.

(a voice offstage...o)

I will erase the clouds,
thought the child
that there will be no rain.

the floods came just the same.
and emerald tinted hurricanes
in colouring books remained;

the floods of all the years
appeared in shadesof the arctic blues

the greens the colours
of snow blindness and the gleams

but you will hear the ice begin to crack
and feel the North Wind at your back for real-
and fissures for which, My God

there are no words.

there's no going back, they say;
I'm not so sure.
pure towers in a storybook land

may long endure
after we've disappeared.
(or seem to, from the world);

crating up the sidewalks where
our childhood shadows grew.
what you can lose

God can unfurl;
made of the Mother of Pearl:
angelic windings of the stair,

the vanished kingdoms,
kept elsewhere
beyond the destroyers.

mary angela douglas 10 may 201516 march 2016

Saturday, May 09, 2015

When We Set Sail How Lilting Were The Notes

[to my sister, Sharon F. Douglas]

when we set sail how lilting were the notes
of dream birds on the rim of Time
and now the cup of dreaming deepens

and now, is it almost tipped over?
how will we catch the kaleidoscope's
flaring like a rose, inset with emerald leaves

when our hands are so small?
or wave the wand where bubbles reach the sun
before they pop

or wobble over the backyard where the red ants
mark their highways up the bark of
the trees who loved us?

long summers have passed by
the striped glasses in the cabinets.

it's the seesaw moments I recall the best
when I was in the clouds
and you in your winter hood laughing

on the ground.
I thought I would never get down.
now I would send you ladders of stars

and linen winds of coolness

if I thought they would reach you
where you are;
or roomfuls of gardenias

just to soothe you.

there. like a rest in the music.
in the pale green evenings,

mary angela douglas 9 may 2015