Thursday, March 26, 2015

Perfume

there should be perfume made from the grass pale green
after our Grandfather mows the lawn and we could
stopper it with the crystal blue of the sky above

the backyard and we picked rose petals from the
flower bed and smothered them in the linen closet
thinking they would become our very own rose

perfume till Grandmother said what the heck is this, little
girls? and filled with gloom we had to face the fact
we were never going to be perfumers and how come

everyone else's science experiments worked
and yet and yet on rare days I remember the scent
of those roses the first scent the pink of it the red of

it the rose red stories
and I start to cry at the kindness of God
preserving it anyway so vividly,

smoothing the linen of our minds

beyond what could be expected
as if there were no past but only those
roses only that sky

still, and ever present
in our blossoming through Time

mary angela douglas 26 march 2015

BYE BYE BLACKBIRD IN MEMORY OF ROBERT R BOB DOUGLAS FROM HIS DAUGHTER, ...

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Then Beauty Said To The Merchant, Her Father...

then Beauty said to the merchant, her father...
oh just bring me back a pound of bacon and
a few ripe tomatoes, some bread,

a casque of mayonaisse...I crave the BLTS
we used to have in former days.

the story never went that way
my sister would have stamped her feet
I think but we were hungry on a summer day

so we dropped stitches in the story
and made BLTs in the toaster oven
and watched the roses boil from the

kitchen window, still sweet, but furled and
curled, and crisped to brown  in the Arkansas humidity.
one thing for sure my munching sister

could have said:

Beauty would not have asked him to bring back
one of those roses.

mary angela douglas 25 march 2015

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

In Hard Times, With Only The Dimestore Jewelry Left

could I sell my dimestore jewelry
down by the Spring?
at least I could wash my face

the Princess thought
who hadn't packed her mirrors.
what are mirrors when no

one recognizes you anyway
she had thought, at the last minute
taking only an extra summer jumper

a basket for berries, the
clip earrings.
someday there will be bread
she dreamed.

and that will seem
like a Wedding.

mary angela douglas 24 march 2015

Red Carnival Glass: Sunburst, Pin Wheel

through rainwater pools of red carnival glass
I splashed through sunsets where nothing smashed
nothing was shattered

only a watercolour blur
only a whispered word
and iridescence spills into the poems

I write and I can't help it cried
the princess weeping pearls as she fled
this is what happens when you're

enchanted;
whenever God calls after you

mary angela douglas 24 march 2015

Pink Patent Pocketbook Song On The Planet Mars

[to my sister and the colour, "pink"]

you with your pink pocketbook
would always do well
in the wilderness, woods

with the moth lights glow before you
or pirouetting on the edge of
What May Come

with a silk parasol, flame-like,
the color of the moment
you were in oh

in the garden in organdie
with ruffles that matched
our orange juice

we barely learned to walk

poured out in a summer shade
because it seemed like we could fly
we knew we could

if we just tried,
and not because of Walt Disney.
(well not, just because of him)

I pray you are in the shade now

cold drinks at hand
stores of candy, all your own the
trunks full of pirate gold.

I'm out here weaving clover chains
on my own pretending I'm again
in the old back yard

where once we went inside
and there was pink lemonade cake

and all the wishes I can make
I think are about used up
so I'll use this last one

just like we did that summer
practicing for when the wish fairy comes
we'll wish for infinite wishes

and there'll be no end

as there's not to stars
and we'll go off and arm in arm
to live on Mars with our

matching pink pocketbooks.

mary angela douglas 24 march 2015

Small Fairytale Told To My Sister From A Distance

she would hold her pinafore up to the moon
as if to gather moon flowers. then a flood
of stars: red, green and blue as if they came unglued

from the page came flocking into
her second best pockets.
is it Christmas yet? she said

oh it must be and the silver glitter birds
turned on a phrase from the toy piano plinking
in the dark:

 pearlescent- sequined- Notes

and the violet, the twilight shades
the paper silhouetted hearts
came hastening, eating the star shards

out of her baby hands
and the red and green twinkling, blinking
over the clover beds no longer

mowed over too soon
for the applesauce spooned I'm writing, still that
 this was concocted by angels hidden

between treble clef and clef
drifting from snow to snow
I said or think I did

in the rosebud glow of the nightlight,
our rabbit shadowing lands.
whose hands whose hands now

are jeweled with the glass rings from
the gumball machines and they fly over the 
keys of light...

well. who can tell, even if we can't spell yet.

we made it all up..(it wasn't that hard,
going up and down the scales)

and in the morning went
to gather the dewdrops
in the front yard

thinking they were diamonds.

mary angela douglas 24 march 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015

Our Ramparts Of Roses Fall Apart

to my sister, Sharon


STREW on her roses, roses,
  And never a spray of yew.
Matthew Arnold, Requiescat

our ramparts of roses fall apart;
loose stitching holds the petals
though it was of gold

when we were new
entirely of gold
that we played in the afternoons

that our Kingdom was roses, roses
watered by the green garden hose
by our Grandfather's kindness and

we were his roses, roses
our Grandmother's cherished, few-
and soon we will fall apart too

though I hope a long time from now

and only when the moon is
the shade of roses roses
and God plays His own hidden tune

in His own Time illuminating
our stories' forever and evers
in a Heaven of roses.

mary angela douglas 23 march 2015

Riding Backwards On The Doll Train, Heading Home

riding backwards on the doll train, heading home,
I lift my hand for a moment in watery sunlight
waving like the Princesss Margaret did a long

time ago in a fairy tale newsreel.
will anyone notice these departures
from the real

as they like to call it.
it's not likely I laugh
and bribe the engineer

with candy leftover from Easter,
purple and orange.
does it taste like purple and orange

my sister asked dreamily
from the dream time I am 
no longer allowed to visit.

I don't know.
you try some.
and we traded baskets

the grass being the same sparkly green
on either side.
and imagined grand weddings

for the Bride doll
who looked at us mysteriously
forever with lilies in her hands.

mary angela douglas 23 march 2015

We Wrote In Coloured Chalks Formulas With No Solutions

we wrote in coloured chalks formulas with no solutions.
this was not allowed.
or scratched the moon's surface with a

lollipop swirling agate;
our marbles were confliscated.
also: jump ropes

dolls past their prime
the Bear with one eye left.

shoe button inventories
we were denied.
colouring books half done.

where will we find the Time
(to finish them) was said
once time's bright cherry boughs are stricken
and shaken by unseen winds?

but God- sympathizing with our plight
wrote to His heart's delight in
succulent cherry brushstrokes in the skies

and we were comforted.

mary angela douglas 23 march 2015

Sunday, March 22, 2015

All Day At The Transient Window

all day at the transient window
I see ghost houses floating
little ghost gardens

with transparencies of roses
sheer azaleas
and a green awning flapping

like a kite a green green garden
chair
old kitchens everywhere with

yellow curtains attics with old
Christmas toys the vintage valentines
on a field day and now, colliding

with postcard tinted clouds

old hearts come sailing back on
unexpected reversals of breeze
cut out, construction paper

to someone's Mama
forever

mary angela douglas 22 march 2015

Friday, March 20, 2015

You'll Trudge On Through The Fairy Wood All Alone

you'll trudge on through the fairy wood all alone
the others having been taken by the hand,
led back another way

to where there is bread
spread with honey butter.
small doors shut tight

against the snows.
oh how unkind you cannot even think
in the finger freeze of the mittens dropped

along the roseless way.
you're on the brink of falling into
the well where no wishes are

until you see one star
floating on one scrap of cloud
above this sodden earth
and suddenly your soul begins to rise

above the dank strange sorrow
unpredicted in the schoolrooms.
no one to sigh over you then

they tsked on afterwards
as if they knew.
how could they.

ah, but
only through you

as though you were a looking glass
an open window

after awhile

did they ever see anything!
the attending angel cried,
with nothing like a smile

mary angela douglas 20 march 2015

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Where Did All The Stage Sets Go, Ray Bradbury

where did all the stage sets go, Ray Bradbury
I wanted to ask him; it seemed like he
might know, if I'd been a relative.

well he was, though.

did we pack them in mothballs or did we
forget to bolt the cellar door
and then, the cyclone was upon us.

of course, the house came with us;
it did for Dorothy. but the furnishings?
it's a good day when you can remember

even one thing
that used to be in the cupboard.
what you poured into the jelly glass

on a sticky summer day.
two scoops, or three?
and did you leave the back door open

when it rained?

were storms clouds the same purple
you see nowadays or were they
more extravagant.

you tell me
whom you didn't even know.
I know it's somewhere in a story.

you wrote long ago
I just haven't gotten to yet.

try to remember. try harder.
they don't build attics now.
we're the attics.

isn't it so.

mary angela douglas 19 march 2015

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

This Is A Dream Of Stars He May Have Said In A Dream

(to the memory of my Grandfather handing to us on a summer's day,
star wheels, star maps you could turn to see the summer constellations...or winter, or spring, or fall...)

this is a dream of stars he may have said in a dream
I had recently that I forgot when I woke up
the dream of stars the way they used to be seen

from our backyard?
when someone had that dream before you
and couldn't get out of their head the music of
the spheres, remember?

or was that earlier.
new mists have come to be and they
cloud everything now.

even in the National Geographic

but this is your dream of stars you won't remember
this is what they say to you in fairytales when
you see something rare before you're meant to:

you won't remember this when you awake.
go back to sleep. you're in the house
you used to know my Grandfather smiled

a far away smile when

my Grandmother lullabied and they were
eating ice cream in a midnight kitchen
and we were all laughing.

mary angela douglas 18 march 2015

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I Weep For The Children That We Were

for my sister, Sharon

I weep for the children that we were:
blue cloudy day above
beneath us the green grass

we thought would last
we thought would last

now so many earth turnings later I review
the things that we knew then
we thought we would always know

time in its snows has taken everything away
I cried to God with nothing left to say
and then within my soul there came

the murmur of soft breezes, summers' sheen
a Voice that gleamed through the racked shell of my heart
there will come a new Eden
there will come a new Eden

mary angela douglas 17 march 2015

Sunday, March 15, 2015

A Fairy Tale River Ribboned Through The World

a fairy tale river ribboned through the world
visible to some, shining in odd places, shimmering
to little children.

some floated boats on it, some cast necklaces of flowers,
the rainbow broidered merely smiled (mysteriously).
it grew, the fairy tale river, past all we knew
past trees in their summer bowers

and where an unseen music carried us
through livid hours, through warlike ravages of time
still bordered with eglantine, with airy castles

and with cherried towers;

edged sky to sky in Romany and while
the world decried: "Anamalie!"
etched deep beyond the mire of day-to-day

and told at times beside no fires or where
the fires burned low
and when that failed

and all our harps wept winterly on the trees
 abandoned to strange orchards

on days at home with the door and window locked,
and the little sod crevices
and when it rained

and when authorities complained

still ours to keep
a rose red rose white flame
asleep, awake

we dreamed of.

mary angela douglas 15 march 2015

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Lament For Lost Books Lost On Purpose

If I forget to read
between the lines of the butterfly crumbling pages
in the dust-laden corners

faintly may the violets of future springs
reprimand; the baby stars leave off
shining in the land of ploughed under kingdoms

if I refuse the gleam of the wild apple borders
of the suddenly untold told intertwined with gold, with silver,
cerise, elaborate devices,

stories rich and strange that should not cease
oh do not cease to know

knowing that they are mine to know,
but, if so,
may the lute strings in the attics hidden

break my heart

far far is the world from bliss, contemptuous
of this, of these faded valentines with the clasped hands
the pale blue ribbons streaming

from the mouths of doves
then may the small birds fly away
from the rainbow running rills

and may no one till from this anymore
the least of spent languages,
the currencies of dreams.

mary angela douglas 12 march 2015

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Fleeting Conversation With The Snow Child

to my mother, Mary Adalyn Young-Douglas, in memory of...

I am the clock that's made of stars
she faintly smiled but I didn't understand
the cupboard with myriad jams asleep

the sing-song sung, the quiet sweep of hands
round the face of the moon the snows
that go, they will go and you won't 

expect them to.
I wondered.
then it was spring.

mary angela douglas 10 march 2015

There Should Be Little Cakes For The Green Road

there should be little cakes for the green road
frosted pink the colour of april suns, the
colour of pinks (the flowers, I mean)

the ones I've never seen and we should go
before we're known by name and while
the stars remain in the skies

the dews are tipped with flame
tipping over into the mystical lane
as if God spilled His tea

(if His tea were made of diamonds someone said)

there should be lullabies through the green grass
blowing, clear water to see ourselves in
and berries near.

then we'll have bread and butter
till there isn't anymore.
dark bread, darker than darkest honey

and some to spare
for the others
on the green road

the one that leads home.

mary angela douglas 10 march 2015

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Her Hair In The Picture Was Braided With Jewels

her hair in the picture was braided with jewels
she quite forgot were there
unconscious in the sunlight of her beauty rare.

this was a real princess, I thought.
and turned the page. and the sun was still out.
and it was the same day

though the jewels were darker somehow
who can say why
old picture books make me cry;

the ones they published
before the Great War
for children

going out the door
and the wind, suddenly coming up
in their faces.

mary angela douglas 8 march 2015

Not All The Pastel Airplanes Gliding By

not all the pastel airplanes gliding by
could miss the clouds
and hit the floor

it seemed to us then.
and then we wrote upon the wind
in several colours

depending on supplies.
and folded down, the heart
was a surprise

when it was opened
and whether the sky was
translucent and even if we

we were opaque
we learned to make
something out of construction paper

after a while

so that our time at school
was not wasted,
Grandmother smiled.

mary angela douglas 8 march 2015

Saturday, March 07, 2015

At Home With The Queen Of Small Things

teacups painted forget-me-not
wreathed of pink posies sit
on a weathered acorn shelf.

her thoughts brim over
mid such pelf
with pale gold, someone said,

but not too much.

she feels the lightest
 breeze's touch
as if it were a gale.

she sings but it's just
one spoonful of jam
at a time:

then she forgets a word, a stitch
a rhyme

when chipmunks interrupt
and the swallows glittering.
oh in a raindrop's mirror

she adjusts her skirts
of fringed, of maple red
that once were green

that once were green.
(she sings and sings)

because a scrap of
 petticoat is showing
and she is that exact

and wears the world like
a pearl though it feels to her
like a thumbtack

and reads
 over glasses
delicately made
to fit

the titles of short stories
in tiniest manuscripts
she scribbles through a honey drop hour

and publishes
for all the flowers.

mary angela douglas 7 march 2015;rev. 8 march 2015



Sweet Secrets Of Grade School Continents I Remember

sweet secrets of grade school continents I remember.
how the desk smelled like peanut butter
when you rested your head on it

until you heard like a sing songing bird
the teacher chirp
put your thinking caps on, little boys and girls!

we didn't think we were little
as we fastened on invisible hats
quite seriously.

we were there and so we listened
to the Grand Canyon Suite on the classroom record player
over and over

or saw Velvet win the National
on the auditorium screen
each and every spring.

or square danced on an early evening stage
for the P.T.A.

with lukewarm cokes served afterwards
the kind in the green glass bottles.
later it would be layer cakes and

cake walks, penny valentines on stiff cardboard.
I love. I love, oh who? just violets
because they're blue. and foldover bread

with butter and sugar

and Christmas parties on the last day of school
before the snow flies and the tinsel stars.

come out come out wherever you are

and recess when we can play anything.
and pinch frail honeysuckle off the vine.
and midday breaks for ice cream cups

are fine
with their flat wooden spoons
and one exact scoop of vanilla

packed to the rim.

and soon, you're home
in the twilight blue again
saying hello to

the backyard moon
your own favorite clouds
you chalked in pastels

on Art Day on manilla paper.

and when it hurts too much
these attics things put by I say
just remember the tall tales in the readers.

Babe the Blue (blue raspberry blue) Ox lumbering through.
and for a while,

The Prioncess Who Never Smiled.

mary angela douglas 7 march 2015;rev. 8 march 2015

To Tulip Beds In All Colours

to tulip beds in all colours
we wanted to travel
as though the world were

storybook painted
page by page
and so we read.

and breathed in golden apples
fireworks flocking over the castles,
the orange blossomed things they said

by indefatigable fountains.
and hardly dared breathe out
because of beauty, clouding there 

and all mapped out beside the
king's pear trees or we were revelers ever
of imprinted Christmas never

going away and side-by-side

our childhood's shelves displayed
the summer round-de-lays
the princess in her towers

the mystic hours, chiming we knew not how
faint music of all we felt before
yet could not name

left to our own rose
see-saw bright devices
the wind-up, toylike scheme.

oh roundelay rose or roundelay Noel!
when we stayed Home from school a little unwell
outside though thunder snows arose

mere History stirred
and barely gleamed.
while we saw dragons in the steam
above the buttered lakes of oatmeal.

mary angela douglas 7 march 2015