Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Conestoga

[to Bess Streeter Aldrich, author of A Lantern In Her hand
(on the settling of Nebraska)]

on land they must have seemed like huge white ships
sailing the prairies and the mother with child
sickened by the endless dipping of the prairie grasses

or else the wagon was a plough through fields
as yet unsown a drifting plough from home to
home they clung to like a dream just only on

the way and loaded with the sacks of grain or more,
the flour, the beans and tools perhaps the rose bush
wrapped to plant again beside the small sod house...

much later the stands of poplars, even the lanes.

they would find much later the easiest part
had always been sailing.keeping the children fed
on what could be:

the hardest part lay ahead.

mary angela douglas 29 april 2015

O Is It A Rose Red Sorrow We Are Made To Bear

o is it a rose red sorrow we are made to bear
in wisps of dreams that cannot be interpreted anywhere
I set my myths aside and weep

but cannot understand why is it the lovely cannot keep and
fall from us so far, so deep, and disappear
when we toil daily just to keep them here.

this is called death we learn it on our own
but nothing can prepare us when the shock hits home
when what's on loan to us only, in this world

is simply gone;
the red rose sorrow fading into white into
a Light we do not see as yet

a presence yearning we will not forget
because the weeping clouds it over

mary angela douglas 29 april 2015;17 march 2016

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Questions To Ask Before Going Away

will there be bright colours there and clouds
and will it snow on Christmas at least, sometimes
will summer last

there longer than it should
making the schoolchild glad as May

will there be icing on the cakes there on display
in the little shop windows
and books I've still not read

and roses too?

and will my heart still break,,,
into every rainbow hue
after every rain

mary angela douglas 28 april 2015

To Ray Bradbury April 2015

her eyes are drawn away from the canvas
to the climbing starwheels in the skies
I can't help it she'll reply as in a dream

to the teacher reprimanding her
your thoughts would wander too
if you saw them there

it's difficult to be stared at when you're
wide awake in another world.
you won't get used to it

no matter how far down the road you go
there'll always be someone, something
knowing you're thinking wrong

I'm not thinking at all you'll laugh inside
and know that soon the starwheels
will arrive and take you home

to the planet where dreaming is
not suspect!

mary angela douglas 28 april 2015

Monday, April 27, 2015

What You Couldn't See In The Picture

her mind was laden with flowers richly bestowed
trees there were, the chiefest green of the leaves
in summer and clouds blown skyward

dreaming of children's kites.
you do not know you do not know
what she was thinking what the

strong gales know
and colours ranged but not her own.
and the shrill whistle of the trains

that left without her moaned
then the bridge collapsed
and the thin rains came

innundating the fields
and where the silos stored
rich flowers fondly bestowed;

the harvest of better years.

mary angela douglas 27 april 2015

All They Talk About Is You

to those spoken About while they are still in the room
who wave back then find they were waving at someone else, not you.
to those left alone at parties at the punch bowl.

on the stairs
eating fishsticks 
on special occasions

watching dog tricks on TV

to those who save only their imagination
for a rainy day and spend freely
on what they believe in

happy when the Easter candy goes on sale.

to those censured for being too quiet too stale
too vocal too whatever it is they are that
they are in fact made of

to those forced to stand down from the shade
at picnics or called in for the fifth interrogation
this week for rules infringed that

only that moment exist
to those with the wrong perfume at the wristwho try to make the most of this, their being out of place=

I have heard (oh human race!) the night birds singing
in the lovely orchards under moonlight.
under starfall perfect jeweled symphonies dropped

into the World, unheard:

and seen and seen the elm and the alder trees sway
in love with the winds of God:

and all they talk about is you
all they talk about is you.

mary angela douglas 27 april 2015

Tears Have Gathered Toward The Mouth Of the Rivers

[Revelations 21:4]

tears have gathered toward the mouth of the rivers.
they are flowing southward
on other maps, they flow north

through mountain passes
or vanish in little creeks
in cul de sacs of forgotten valleys

or east or west or who will
gather the gathering tears
or are they beading in the rain

or at higher altitudes,
almost becoming snow.

on winter's branches,
suspended like chandeliers?
like chandeliers or

colored like crystaled crystalized years
in endless caves suspended.

they cataract into dreams
or lacelike waterfalls, behold!
where the green and gold is.

oh dearest Lord forever nigh
oh gather the flowing tears

the tears on every map that's
colored with countries.
they branch in the orchards

of our sighs
oh dearest Lord
let them no longer flood

deluge and drown
the lanes of the bewildered heart
or linger shining in the dark

in terrible declarations
of the midnight rainbows.

so let the clouds disperse

that your angels gather us, away
from the ancient floodplains.
into the Day where they are no more.

mary angela douglas 27 april 2015;17 march 2016

Sunday, April 26, 2015

For All The Saints Who Go Back Into The Burning Building

for all the saints who go back into the burning building to retrieve
the artifacts, the hearts under glass that shattered all the kristallnachts

for those who asked the follow up question under fire
the one question that made the difference.
I sing to them who for love of truth forgo reprieve

who have the need to say the word that needs saying

while the gossiping scurry, crablike, away
and sideways sideways plot to overthrow
the last one standing in a shaft of light

delivered by angels
from Eternal Night

amen...

mary angela douglas 26 april 2015

When You're That Person

home no more home to me, wither must I wander?
Robert Louis Stevenson

ah when you're that person

getting up and leaving the room

thinking you'll return, it'll just be a moment
the rainbows curve back on themselves but

the clouds come in
and someone's locked the doors.
you won't get back in

though you've worn the rugs clear through
in your time.
it's a gated day.

when you're this person,
what can you say:
open sesame?

starlight flings itself away
needlessly on the grasses
when there's no one left to

note it passes away.
they won't notice at all

your shadow missing
in the family picture.
but somewhere, birds cry

flocking nowhere.
somewhere the winds die down
and it isn't Oz anymore

my grieving child,
over the spent farms.

mary angela douglas 26 april 2015;17 march 2016

Saturday, April 25, 2015

What If The Flowers Took Flight

what if the flowers took flight,
the roses gliding?
I close my eyes and

violets seek the sun;
and where and where is
the shade they used to love

and is the shade crying
under the rooted trees?

they are
dizzying as stars,
bright parasols when it rains

closer to water now
when it comes from the clouds.
and in the ionosphere

their lost perfumes diffuse.
the skies are dazzling
holding the migrations

of so many bouquets.
the honey bees will go mad.
yet all things shall be well

the vivid angels sing
in flowered arrangements newly composed:

oh rose. wild rose. I
close my eyes on earth
missing the flowers

in the little dells.
wanting to call the Missing Flowers Department.

mary angela douglas 25 april 2015;17 march 2016

Friday, April 24, 2015

Words Without Meaning

words without meaning
fall into silence
fall into silence

nothing knows
alphabets gleaming
can't carry feeling

far as a feeling
has to go
I'm leaving snowblind

their summer language
words without meaning
melting there

I'll go much further
goes without saying
heart without words still,

traces a shining-
everywhere

mary angela douglas 24 april 2014;17 march 2016


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Transfiguration Of The Little Mermaid

[to Hans Christian Andersen]

finding beneath the waves a different way to be
she slept within the currents and was ill at ease
on the surfaces

and pleased at the depths and the deepening of light.
all that was long passed by and now
when the last day closed around her

no one heard her sigh above the churning waters
time there is no more time
and plunge the knife inside

so that it wounded no others.
oh did she die then we all asked
not knowing what we asked at all.

she wandered for awhile
and she was part of Light.
we cried.

and that was all...
and that was Everything.

mary angela douglas 23 april 2014

Music Box Redux...

all music passed
we dreamed it would not go
and that the angels kept us from

knowing, all things go
as music passed
and snow from snow

was parted
and we were parted too
as cloud from cloud

and dream from dream
and branching cannot branch
here anymore you sighed

but it was into  no one's language
then, or anymore how could you say
to the music, stay and to the

clouds, don't go
and to the dreams oh
never let us go if

the music has to end
this way.

oh sweet sad fuddled music box within
the key is turned and I am young again
enough to know that

nothing goes
though nothing stays in music
after all this parting learned,

unlearned when the music returns
glad angels say (and the Christmas children):
play it again!

mary angela douglas 23 april 2015;17 march 2016

The Story Behind The Story Keeps Unwinding

the story behind the story keeps unwinding
still we cannot see
what's behind the trees behind the trees

behind the trees
is this the enchanted wood
or is this the doom you've been led to

by the offstage voices in the ballet
and are you dancing in your red shoes
farther away or is it will o' the wisp a

somewhere else, another place and time where
still you wander and try to find past
your pricked finger on the brier,

the spinning wheel, the heart's desire,
a sign of life to come
or are you the only only wandering here

and will true stillness ever appear to the heart disconsolate
I asked the falling snow but it just kept
dtifting...

mary angela douglas 23 april 2015;17 march 2016

Silk Screening The Day, The Blue And Green Intensities

silk screening the day
the blue and green intensities of it
I wandered on my way

and you said I departed;
this was never so.
I wept, silk screening the snows,

the icicle violets,
thinking you would know or recognize the
deeper blues and the news

that's never said, just understood.

what if I bled light?
what if everything I did right,
you read as wrong?

and I silk screened the moon
in the afternoons and looking so displaced
showing her ivoried face against the blue.

silk screening the end,
I will begin again
the rose in my heart
.
like a fan unfolds.
ah, it should be God that knows:
how to bring this to a close;

I can't.

mary angela douglas 23 april 2015;17 march 2016

Monday, April 20, 2015

To Whom Do Words Belong I Cried

to whom do words belong I cried
not to the prevaricating to the
ones with mocking eyes.

words fly from lies as
leaves in the gales we remember
looking back.

looking back you remember
the branching of Light
the double rainbows

once in a while
the nursery mirrors and
the words springing to life

in picture books and the
day you realized
like Helen Keller could

oh this is water and the name
for water
My Lord and my living,  God.

mary angela douglas 20 april 2015

Reflet Dans L'eau

clouds have fallen into the waters
will their mamas rescue them?
what will the skies become now

the fingerpaint sun spreads like a rose
or God, in swirls of gold, my thumbprint.
even the trees are melting there

in drips of green
from a thick brush gleamed.

does no one care?
then you look half dissolved in tears and still the clouds
chase lace on lace through the atmosphere

while the sun tints them vermillion.
and as for the trees, the trees
rimming the lake still shake their green

laughing above dark waters.

they were only looking in the mirror,
you explained to me.
and you child have your riddle.

if you want to, keep it.
put it in your locket.
and I did.
mary angela douglas 20 april 2015;17 march 2016

Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Person Can Grow Apart Like A Continental Drift

a person can grow apart like a continental drift
a shifting of plates or float over time by
increments so that you do not notice at first

their shadow crumbling on the ground
and then you find
they're just no longer here

on a sunny day where clouds

were now there's only air, deep space,
in the few seconds
 you looked away

mary angela douglas 19 april 2015

Friday, April 17, 2015

RC Cola Cola Cola

rc cola cola cola
bottle cap snapping
ice cube cracking

cola cola
fizzing, frothing
cola cola

I see bubbles
winking blinking
rainbow edged

and edging, on the bottle beading
coolness gliding down the glass adown
down a summer movie pass light violet or

are you still reading that paperback book
from the school book fair and crossing the
moat of words or sliding anywhere

on a slip n' slide
hillside

cloverbee backyard
its holiday holiday hula hooped blue or green and
roses fried by the afternoon

(pre-Chicken dinner)as
]
we're dripping from the plastic pool
or on the grass side slipping
cola cola sipping

screen door nipping
little dog tripping over
frothing over

shaken too hard
and lauging laughing in the yard till

your sides hurt and
peach bright ice cream turning turning

crowned with vanilla nostalgic
yearning for

cola cola floats and I'm floating
back on the tide of it all
much later though it's only april

by the wall calender
and pale green now in the parks
I could see your vintage summer lanterns swinging

in the dark
no need to turn the kitchen light on.

mary angela douglas 17 april 2015

Christmas Village Redux

looking back, I was always hoping a little
that the neighborhood would turn out to be
a kind of Christmas village

all year long. you know the kind.
with the cheery figurines at the realistic
windows near the decked out Christmas trees

waving as the train rushed by.
the little girl in her red coat
feeding the cardinals in the snow.

the seamstress making the angel
choir robes for the children.
the church with its cellophane 

stained glass...its bell that never
rings out the disasters.
alas. the neighborhood didn't know

it was meant to be this.

but I still feel a more than Christmas glow
just dreaming, it could...

mary angela douglas 17 april 2015

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Map In Ice Cream Colours

how fervently we wished
that the map in ice cream colours
had been the real map

of the World.
the one marked for Treasure.
and Treasure would be found

and then we would sit down
on the checkered cloth for a picnic.
huge cookies, all around

with molten chocolate in the sun
when wishes were young.
and the ice cream map melting

and we are laughing
by infinite streams
in the tall grasslands

and the grass, leaning upwards
into the stars

mary angela douglas 15 april 2015

The Angels Discuss A Few Earthly Matters

they vote each other in
and give each other prizes
the angels laughed

and shrugged their white-gold shoulders
what can you do
they all go to the same parties

in the same party hats while we-

we celebrate in the little avenues;
the cracks in the sidewalks where
purple flowers take root

they haven't even named yet.
but what will we do I cried
who write, or sing or paint

but can't get through?
there's nothing lost (they heralded
in their green satin Christmas voices)

you made from the heart.
you'd be surprised
how anything else is dark here and-

and at the surprises in store

for the unimportant on the Earth

mary angela douglas 15 april 2015


Note on the poem: I do not mean to suggest that everyone who is famous or who has won prizes for their art is not creating from their heart but I do mean to say that there are always and there have always been many truly great artists, writers, painters, musicians, sculptors, architects and poets who have achieved neither fame nor riches nor even an audience at all who are known only to God or a very few people and who will not be forgotten in Eternity.

Like my mother said once, only half-joking, that "Anonymous" sure wrote some good poetry!