Monday, June 29, 2015

Who Has The What O'Clock In Fairy Tales

who has the what o'clock in fairy tales?
it's rarely said;
the silver deadline looms

and you haven't guessed the riddle yet
or you have.
you follow directions closely when

retrieving rubies for the dwarves,
the crones, the somethings in disguise.
and you grow wise. or

the clock strikes twelve, but barely
anything else except: when the coach breaks down,
it's time for pumpkin pie

the children chime.
or you are lost in the woods
that have no end, my friend.

my friend where the tick tock of the soul
is just bewildering;
sorting the peas from the ashes

once again
and spinning the straw to someone else's gold
until your story's told

unless it all comes back to you in stunning detail
after you're so footsore you can hardly stand.
you were in that land, and spoke all afternoon

to people from another place
and luck and time ran out on you
(but never Grace)

just as you stooped to pluck
the one rose in their snows.

mary angela douglas 29 june 2015

Sunday, June 28, 2015

What They Said

forever finding the silver key
to the golden door
the right glove not the left

the piano without the middle C

it seems that way in dreams
like there's always a dust storm
blowing away the days

or you've caught the wrong bus

or just,
the fare's too high.
so walk through the debris

around the dream corner
where the people start
painting their houses in

neon colors instead of bisque
taking the risk and hope
seems possible anyway

it's a town you've never seen

and when you wake up
you'll never remember
what they said

mary angela douglas 28 june 2015

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Is Life Not Burning Bush Enough

is life not burning bush enough
that we should kneel
here in the shadow of your lovely

hand, my God? what matter if
flamed tip to tip your angels sing
creasing the sun or not? stripping

all music then, unrippling from the air
let them depart, leaving no sign at all
though we but gape at the winding stair

that held them once.

in pools of drifting moons
reflected, let light become:
simply your evening's name

or through the shallows of our little day
may the deep winds come.
miracle enough 

to see You spelled in the fainter stars
and vivid, close as hummingbird,
pink shell- or rose

where we arise from griefs
to know to know that You are near in them
though we but lightly trace

from hill to hill and trembling, 
unerringly the features of Your Grace
the purple of your sandal

where the wave-
breaks open

mary angela douglas 25 june 2015

Oops! Or the Fairies Have Really Good Hearing

would you care for a drop of chocolate,
a pink iced bun?
we asked the Fairy on the run.

but she wanted only
apple crumb cake,
baked Alaska.

eclairs? we asked again.
she flittered.
then, she stared.

she must think she's someone
we both almost said
when her moss green wings

unfurled replete, with tiny gold spots.
but she heard us then
and never forgot.

and never returned
though we cried a lot what 
with all the jeweled things

we'd wished for

mary angela douglas 25 june 2015

Arranging The Pasteboard Furniture

arranging the pasteboard furniture
in the dollhouse, won't the
summer be fine? and

edged in the lace of Queen Anne;
diecut valentines
the elegant names of the meadow

flowers, flowers all under the blue

sanctuary of skies
we'll scatter so pinkly there;
where cloudlike, again the bride doll glimmers

for her 100th rehearsal
confetti coming down
little bells going off.

and you, will you hold aloft
as carefully as you please
in your school

cherry coughdrop reveries
her sequined train trailing
the clover-starry grass, or will I?

while the Queen stares into
her looking glass a little distracting
in a cherry trimmed gown

breaking the clasp on
her favorite jade necklace.
alas! you cry in your sleep

where all afternoon you practiced scales
up and down, up and down
in a sing-songing, silvering sound,

faintly in daylight
tracing through music
your very own

Milky Way

mary angela douglas 25 june 2015

Today The Small Birds Have Flown From My Poem

today the small birds
have flown from my poem;
the ones that wanted to be silver;

that kept me company
through stolid hours.
small leaves are weeping in the winds

the ones that wanted to be gold;

and that, forever
whispered the girl
on the balcony.

or merely on
Lorca Street disowned
and made of moonlight.

will it always be this way?
sighed the small breezes.
that is more than I can say,

the poet sighed;
their sighs together: a small
parachute of flowers...

mary angela douglas 25 june  2015

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Migration Meditation On The Plastic Pink Flamingo

[in memoriam to Don Featherstone, the artist who invented
the pink plastic lawn flamingo]

we never thought that someone made them,
pinkly ubiquitous as they always were
coral summers long

I remember them
in a memory box stashed: shoebox? pencil case?
along with pink sugar, pink glitter,

pink stucco, turquoise afternoons;
Pink Erasers,  Don't Erase This!

the sharp scent of chlorinated pools
the fishnet gold of filtering light
on the surface of backyard waters.

pinkly we splashed in our inflatable pool
also plastic, cream yellow rimmed
with dark blue whales, the friendly kind.

maybe on bookjacket covers
you were perched;
on summer reading from

The Weekly Reader Book Club:
strange imitation bird
immovable on the lawns in season

out of season hard as rock candy
we thought you were
though we never tested it,

linked to our braclet happiness
as little girls as the idea of
pink stucco motels were

we must have seen sometime, somewhere,
with an intake of baby breath
equivalent to Christmases with pink angels,

pink flocked trees.

or as spun glass, (cotton candy, spun),
whirling, furling in a little world
while we chanted: "Run Spot Run"

in the humid classrooms and
had so much fun with

the after school hula hoops;
bubbles we construed with
the plastic bubble wand, that pink, there! we said
and pointed, next to the green

just as it popped or pop tarts strawberry

popped out of the toasters simultaneously
somewhere as melting began on the pink sands

of time, our Time gilding corrugated cardboard starlight

for the School Plays...

and this is a coral sea we pointed to the maps

we only saw on TV in a pirate scene from Disney just as

strawberry ice cream dissolved in the dish
you began to say:
goodbye! oh pink deliciousness

of Florida or beyond which always
made me think distractedly of orangeade
in the shade of

orange groves; their pictures in The
National Geographic.

forgive me if I'm feeling today a kind of
marigold sadness, gladness at the same
time, flowery, bitter zinnia, weed scented:

we never knew they had gone out of favor.
or that they were even invented.
today it was on the news. today they said

the flamingo maker was dead and I

thought I saw the same violet shadows of 1963
waver, then flare up for a moment
as this kaleidoscopic train pulled out of the station...

for a private, grieving nation little understood
summer child country...honey coloured darker
and deeper and richer evermore

where we rolled the board game dice or sipped thickly
regretfully the milkshake's straw, wishing it could last,

the glorious instant, reveling and revealed: to me! to me!
their unflappable rosiness
on the lawns of Paradise

mary angela douglas 23 june 2015

Monday, June 22, 2015


can you be in a maze this thick and this deep
and still wind your way without panic
without the darting flight

from windowless shadowless something;
making the pavement stay beneath you
is an act of will but you trudge up the hill

from one unfixed point to another
or will the compass crush you

in the bell jar, caught as you are,
a finer speciman.
can you be in a question this immense

with sidereal issues crawling crablike
never starlike never getting anywhere she
cried at the grocers with her list

with nothing on it again.
some oranges, some coffee something said
it's hard to think when you're starving

hard to recall the names for food
and what was on the table then

in another life and the centerpiece, candles.

a bunch of cherries queried the angels
chocolate bars chimed the children
she never had

unfrosted cake she said.
I had no batter at home.
butter I mean

what good is bread then

mary angela douglas 22 june 2015;11 march 2016

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Small Candies

small candies I have hid around the house
in case of sudden emergencies.
and in the hollows of trees

in the thin alleys
where the rain trickles through
and in the nooks of

forgotten gardens, crooks of
skeletal trees where my birds sing:
"sweets. sweets"

cheered by the thought of

the small candies,
I grind the coffee for
the daily grind

and wind the clocks, so out of time.
someday the hordes will come
perhaps leaving neither stick nor stone.

then we'll creep out alone
my shadow and I, a multitude of books,
my God, my dearest God, a friend or two

out from under our mossy roofs,
our polka dot toadstools,
to retrieve them:

our small delectable delectables
starting all over again
with the aid of small candies!

mary angela douglas 20 june 2015;11 march 2016

The Small Giraffe Amid The Roses, Floodtide

the small giraffe, (figurine):
dozed amid towering roses-
froze in his spot and yet still wondered

in a delicate way, why would he not?
about the dazzling scale of things.

and how it shifts at times as when
you see the green world through a single raindrop.
perhaps he cried as well

where none could know
there on the mantlepiece
(where his only motion was

when someone came to dust):
for the roses, out of reach.
for the cottagers always at the beach

left him plenty of time to mourn.

or was it the rose blooms, newly watered,
cried for him themselves
because he was

still too little to do that
for himself as well as all the other things.
and they were so condescending

in the air stirred by the ceiling fan.

oh small giraffe amid their seashell pelf and
near the walls painted ocean colours
oh, if you can, please hear

the shoreline echoes sympathetically
to you in all His seas...

and they, will they carry us away he queried
in his never sleeping porcelain language

longing, oh they must

some sunny Saturday should an island
wave curls its last recorded ever

and I'll no longer be here on display
but die, if I may, if china dies
when the wave breaks here.

then I'll be
drifting with the rose pots on the vivid tide.
all this is to say the way he dreamed,

the way he stayed alive

mary angela douglas 20 june 2015;11 march 2016

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Tree Of Language and Its Canciones

the tree of language bent so silverly down
when I was small.
oh I'm so glad you came I said

thinking it could always be this way.
have some of the golden deliciousness

it sighed as if from olden days.
and there are other regions, clouds
they said to me pink tinted

and these are yours and when the moon
slip stitches beyond jeweled branches
and you think she's gone,,,

that feeling...and then,
the Aprils...

oh words that I knew then seemed plentiful
plucked in dreams and cherry bedight
as if we would never grow tired of

learning them in our

sleep soothes the tree of language now
and almost, lullaby, and almost
it is near, it is near when the wind soughs,

fear not.


mary angela douglas 16 june 2015;11 march 2016

Monday, June 15, 2015

All The Things You Thought You Knew

all the things you thought you knew
can be swallowed overnight.
what will you do without walls?

without the same curtains?
pickpockets at your lock
when there isn't even a door
s anymore but a cubicle curtain
not even in your favorite colours.

it's you at home isn't it?
knocking around your soul
for a bit of cheese;

a trifle or two.
a familiar shoe
amid the debris and the jackhammers.

they wear well,
those wash dresses
retrieved from someone else's

line, saiing
over the backyards.

mine you say.
carry your heart in your hands

and watch the skies, not not the mail.
it's a long way now.
My God.

it's a long way.

mary angela douglas 15 june 2015;11 march 2016

Are You Going To Spend The Whole Summer This Way

are you going to spend the whole summer this way?
perhaps they asked me but I was thinking about Titania's
misspent midsummer wondering how it would feel

to be caught up in a dream that was not even one quarter real.
but fifty cents buys the paperbacks that come in the mail,
the summer mysteries, the ones you read in the shade

drinking up all the shasta colas-

the books from the school catalog doubly blessed
now that there's no homework. strawberry or vanilla
a voice said, strawberry I said thinking of what

Titania must have worn in the glimmering
in the gloaming stepping out ill met
and with her jeweled retinue.

and I wonder if I'll read all of Shakespeare
finally this year before the maples blush roseate
like I said I always would, one summer...

one stardusted summer's long ago is not enough
to tell you exactly what I mean.
well, we ate new peaches in the backyard

and felt like royalty
when fireflies littered the dark with silver
and dreamed that Time was ours

and the hours of all the flowers.

mary angela douglas 15 june 2015

Countering The Bells Of Sadness

[to be sung in counterpoint, if necessary...]

not only on the high, the holy days did we love
the sound of bells but in our sleep the sweet bells
ringing from the ancient steeples over the

cobblestone streets with their dream tidings.
and songs were gliding then, were they?
yes, I sang, again and again throughout the summer air

the clear green winds from the seas.

and it was lemon, lemon lovely fresh and
citrus everywhere so that orange clouds drifted
down from the great heights over the

orangeries and there were no factories, no whistles
shrill no tiresome till, no toiling only deliciously the
tolling of the carillons and school is out and every prismed

thing and it is the holiday sent straight from Heaven
it is everything, and every word trilling,
beautiful in silver and gold cristal the air

the Christmas carillons the strawberry freeze

and what you please and never again
never ever again the funeral bells, the heart sickened;
thudding to the ground of the unripe fruit

the angels gaping with their wordless "oh no's" and

tolling and tolling the dire dirge undreamed
the bill of an unpaid disaster
suddenly come due.

mary angela douglas 15 june 2015;11 march 2016

How I Dream Of Heaven On Wednesdays

American meadows edged up to my doorsill
I was that happy;
in love with all the wildflowers

I never made grow.
I will live there
in a house with a crumbling stair

almost a porch
and when snows come
I will make snow cream from them

and declare it is Christmas then
no matter when.
neither the sun nor the rains

will accuse me.
this is how I dream of Heaven
on Wednesdays, or Tuesdays...

mary angela douglas 15 june 2015

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Dreaming Speaks To Dream Alone

[to Emily Bronte]

I spoke with trees and rocks and clouds
because I could not speak with Crowds
or when I did my words were spurned

and that was how I came to learn
that dreaming speaks to Dream, alone
as Light, unto the blind.

or else my soul I must disown
when whispering through the tunneled snows
with grave presentiments for those too early on

the plains of human life disdained and disappearing.

through hell's disputes and flame to flame
at winter's core I still remain apart from those
who mock there is no gain in words for their own sake.

and for the Soul's.
awake I cried and on my knees to God who heard
me in the trees and in the rocks and in the clouds

and when I could not speak aloud
unless my words like shattered glass
lay splintered on the fallow grounds.

unschooled is better knowing this
and weddings ever stripped from bliss.
let Time itself melt into seas

that I may still delivered be
from those who hunt the singing word
and slay the singer in the silver wood.

mary angela douglas 14 june 2015;11 march 2016

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Ineffable Roses Inordinately Red Or Pink

ineffable roses inordinately red or pink
or yellow as the sun enchanted everyone
or only one, read the math problem in

my dream the best word problem yet
in terms of shading:
here, in the music, it says rest

and you play one staff only anyway
at a time. ah, are you rhyming rhyming
side stepping the folkloric dance

on the school auditorium stage;
auditioning for the Christmas play;
the pageant where the

Princess never awakes
but it's ok she's dressed in
petals of pink and will not blow away and pinkness

is all you care about
anyway, at this age,
shines her mother.

mary angela douglas 13 june 2015

Thursday, June 11, 2015

They Speak Around The Edges Of Your Dreams

they speak around the edges of your dreams
as if you weren't there.
but it's your dream, after all,

isn't it?
who let them in the screen dream door
or did they neglect to knock and just barged through

with their snide glances, eyebrows crooked-
unruly, in new galoshes:

so good at overlooking you
in your own household,
sporting your own shoes and recipes

and passing notes to each other
undercover skipping you in the rows,
the valentine kings of leapfrog

leavers of coal in the Christmas stockings
of the deposed.

oh child of the bitter playgrounds
find your place
beyond this stick figured human race.

clap the erasers together until there's thunder
in summer pools you'll not go under
on the last day on earth

when it's you who volunteered, isn't it?
in coloured chalks on a tear washed board
in your very own handwriting

exactly what's written there...

mary angela douglas 11 june 2015;12 march 2016

Persephone Leaving The Party Early

[to Christ the King, the only one]

baked in the cake the sullen charms remain
where you'll not find them.
you've barely touched your plate,

they'll croon.
then sidle by the fire.
it's summer; sweltering in the room...

I'm going to the well
to quench the day you say,
almost gaily.

the moon, the moon,
like silver lame is threading where
the fireflies mingle

in the softer air
and you are free
and treading home at last

you'll find, brought down from the attic
the Nativity packed in straw
glows like a star

and you'll remember
you'll remember
in cherry returning gladness

Whose you are.

mary angela douglas 11 june 2015

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Higher Than All Clouds

[song for my sister, Sharon (another one)]

I dreamed that music went so high above the clouds
that we went after it in our scuffed shoes
launching from the backyard swings

in our plaid or gingham school dresses.
stay for awhile, sheep clouds, we cried,
that we may stop and look and listen

to the colours in the sea
where the little mermaid drowned
no longer capable of singing.

but her music flew high, higher than all clouds
and afterwards we thought maybe if we
had worn our golden slippers

on the way and carried our milk money
carefully like Grandmother taught us to,
things could have been different.

mary angela douglas 10 june 2015