Friday, July 31, 2015

Examination

is there silence they asked me
in the snow bright drift of time
I almost answered them

but then I changed my mind.
we're waiting...they said
we haven't got all day.

I looked away
beyond the windows
where the white fields lay

so silvered in the winter sun.
I've done with this I thought.
and walked away.

mary angela douglas 1 august 2015

On Emily's Monologue In Our Town

[to Thornton Wilder author of the quintessential American play, Our Town]

how the air shines where you speak
as if it would break into tiny rainbows
of regret that they cannot see you

back for one day, rushing past the sunflowers
in that sweet importunate way in your plaid skirt,
through the screened porch door.

you stand in your ballet en pointe and shimmering,
unacknowledged; your braids in a coronet
as you say the things you couldn't say

when you were here because you thought
it would always be this way: you, in your fresh petticoats
and forever the clock would tick in the hallway

the lilacs sway, and you'd be dressed for school
while the coffee bubbled in the yellow kitchen.

deep violet, the shadows that glitter in the parlour
at the closing of the day.
let your heart be gay:

so loved, so young, so infinite.
remember?

till it's the last scene ever,
says the stage manager,
glancing at his pocket watch

a little misty it must end this soon.
it's time to go; serenely as a star,
resume your place but oh! for just

this little space

you're holding out your arms to us and
wavering a little, in the sunshine-
near the honeysuckle vines...

you are filled with our bouquets
like the paintings of Chagall.
or would be, if we knew-

it was really you.

mary angela douglas 31 july 2015

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Poem About Divinity Candy

oh pass the Divinity candy we will say in Heaven
except that the angels will have already thought of
this beforehand

will it look like snow candy there, too, with peaks
so stiff and curled all curlicued
my sister wondered such a little girl or like the Christmas

stencils on the car show windows?

and will it taste, all swirled and sugar laden
as though no one ever said a cross word to you
not ever neither was there any strife

on earth and then
all silvery shivery like snow down your back
an angel's wing slid over the scene

and you woke up too suddenly
from your dream of Divinity candy,
crying...

mary angela douglas 30 july 2015

Page Torn Out From A Holiday Catalogue

for Ray Bradbury, again!

the cherry popping phosphates of the day before
we'll sip again, rereading your stories,
twirling green leatherette stools in the

drugstores, expeditionary,
filled with summer light.
turn the page down and get some rest

my Grandmother softly said
but how could I rest with glories in my head
of the rainbow swirled the giant lollipop

summer signs looming on the highways.
here in the byways we never sleep
we only dream of slurping all the ice cream

flavors through a malted's straw
or of being chilled in the pink and green
of watermelon slices through and through

until this summer's buttery melting down
the blueberry pancakes breaks the fast
of too much school all this can't last

but be surpassed by the red and green parties
where we scheme

to be awake through Christmas
catching Old Santa at the sleigh
laughing the toffee hours away

breaking off icicles from God's best
winter prisms

mary angela douglas 30 july 2015

Oh Shining

is it the tissue of dreams that is torn this time
they sighed on in sleep beyond the pale
the pastel wax dripping down

the illusory cakes
let sugarplums fling their glaced wonder
down the chute of what in wonder

you no more behold
behold behold
the broken, shoed

the spilled, retrieved
the jeweled drenching
of your twilight sleep oh

after all
the rosy ringed returning
and the mended sun,

oh, shining

mary angela douglas 30 july 2015

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I Imagine My Grandmother: On A Daytrip From Heaven

things get coloured inside
to a point where it seems like
it's all made of stained glass

and you can't shake the radiance off
of even a blade of grass
it's that crystalline here.

I imagined you might say to me
on a daytrip from Heaven
and answer the questions you

never answer in dreams
though I've tried so hard
to hear you speaking.

everyone feels that way on earth
at first you said.
later, the light changes.

you don't see things the same.

the shadows are made of diamonds.
do wishes come true then?
the little girl in me wanted still

to know.
any pound cake in this house?
she queried:

with sliced peaches?
and a tall iced Coke...

mary angela douglas 29 july 2015

As If On A Porch By Childe Hassam

as if on a porch by Childe Hassam
in a lily rosed light I lifted lightly
the evening shade

with my still, pearled insteps

to see what once was clear
be clear no more
and stood near the open door

and would not could not
walk there anymore
and this is the porch of late evening

or it has become that
tinted of  twilight
brimming the teacups with dusks

I can't contain 
and so it spills over staining
in deep blues and greens

these shadows about to turn the corner
of a faraway music you only hear
this late in the year, this late:

in a dress of lawn
in the aftermath
of tears

mary angela douglas 29 july 2015

An Accumulation Of Autumns

lately I feel she said an accumulation of autumns
as if all that red and gold had been stored up
for me, a kind of harvest

of the years, of the strange glistening of
the turning of the years and I feel a glaze
come over my soul

like a katydid and porcelain green
pale green
and as if I stood at the same screen door

when the evening wind came through
and heard the bells from down the street
drifting on what I called to myself, back then,

the convent's wind.
but that was then and now it's high midsummer
that autumn comes to mind, an accumulation

of autumns and I am a child so deep in the
crunch of the dream of the piled up leaves
never dreaming that all this gold all this

pumpkin lantern hold on me
sunset miasmas clinging to the aftersleeves
and ache of the loved trees

I no longer see-

will disappear

mary angela douglas 29 july 2015

Under A Blackberry Sky

under a blackberry sky
where the wild winds fly
we said our prayers

with the floppy eared dog
way under the bed
with the taffeta spread.

don't touch the piano!
our Grandmother said
don't stand near the Picture Window!

we complied.
is God mad, we wondered
without speaking this aloud

while the dog whined
wilder than the wind.
and clouds split in two.

not really, a something inside
of us said and we were glad.
just a tad dramatic.

mary angela douglas 29 july 2015

Translation Exercise No. 1 From Another Planet

the day melts into the sky
the sky melts into the sea
and they call this:

The Weather Report

mary angela douglas 29 july 2015

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Train Dream A Little Modified

is this our stop I asked on the train of misgivings
when the train came to a halt
but no one answered

as if it were a dream
where they never answer you
they just turn into something else

leaving no trace.
and I hadn't brought a suitcase.
do you- in dreams?

what would you pack?
a paperback or two?
what good would it do

when you wouldn't remember
them the next day or when
the alarm went off.

not even the titles.

I'm back on the train now
in another car and the
people stare stone dead ahead

and I know
it's no use talking to them now
when I'm the only one here

alive

mary angela douglas 28 july 2015

How Will We Know When We Have Reached The Sun

how will we know when we have reached the sun?
Icarus never said who flew with cloud and wind
and solitary as the rains.

be glad, he told his children, for the flights
of iridescent wings inside your head
and for the wounded shadows leaking light.

and then he left his midnights on the workshop floor
and rose and rose when none were looking up...

into the seas of no regret he sped
as they were waking-
and splashed into a brighter world than this

and where he felt his mother's kiss, again
and all the dreaming of the:
before this even happened.

how could they know that, as he did,
from that time on,
long ages would miss him

mary angela douglas 28 july 2015

Monday, July 27, 2015

Portent

in between their cake and coffee
the clatter of silverware
I heard the rising wind

leaving my invitation by the stones
by the small pebbles flung into the clouds
so this is renown I thought

this is what they die for
to be carried away by mere waves
no one saved dessert for me

coming back late from the parties
or- not at all.
I built my balconies from the tall grasses

I wept into the starlight

and watched the tide of night
that turned not again
neither was it stayed.

mary angela douglas 27 july 2015

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Music Class

they have taken from me the early snows;
the fold on fold of fieldless quiet,
my inner rectitude.

this she wrote in the frosted glass
long after it had come to pass
that later ghosts might view it

even without their spectacles
and through veiled rains.
unsurpassed were the lilies that blew

and cooled gardenia paths
and where the sun flecked waters strayed
purled in the aftermaths of oh!

my violet twined Spring.

and on she sang, remembering in bright laments.
they have taken my golden rings, my

Christmas tide. she sighed she sighed
her own refrain passing from one life to a next;
dying, with little fanfare...

children later unaware
in the honeycomb years defended;
cherries embroidered on their pinafores-

sang of her 
in roundelays
and then jumped up to run and play.

mary angela douglas 25 july 2015

Oh To Be Something Like A Cloud

oh to be something like a cloud
huffed Winnie the Pooh
sensing bee trouble

or a pale balloon in a summer sky
with nobody nobody wondering why
you're not here with us

on the ground?
we finished the stories and
started again

believing the pictures
of let's pretend
while the teddy bears hummed along.

and this was this is, will you be
my song? whispered Winnie the Pooh
and we said yes and never no

in pink sunshine in orange moon glow
and counted our dolls and on Christmas snow
and buttered our bread and also our foes

and who knows where the summer goes
we said in scarlet September.

mary angela douglas 25 july 2015


Friday, July 24, 2015

Small Ode To Chocolate Milk, Lunch Period

chocolate milk in small wax cartons
in the cafeteria line.
how it made the homesick heart

feel suddenly revived.
chocolate milk in quiet splendor
sipped through a straw

in a roomful of strangers
who really don't look
all that friendly, somehow

I owe you something
even now.

mary angela douglas 24 july 2015

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Here In The Anecdotal Ballrooms

here in the anecdotal ballrooms we will stray
learning to waltz again, my soul and I.
here where the trellised roses breath

and my skirts softly flare as though
they were also,
roses.

many deposed the kings I thought were real
in serving days and now, no more
in freedom Lord tis only thee I sing

and sigh the door opens onto stars
how myriad they are
in the One Light jeweled and rare

and this is at
the beginning of Kingdoms...

mary angela douglas 23 july 2015

Jesus On The Evening Of The Day Before

did he dream the sun sequined all the faces
in the crowd that mocked him, one by one?
and in the exotic gardens were there then these

sudden intensifications of the Rose?
the rose torn from the stem of the
courts of public opinion of the

befores and after.
the stilled laughter of God.
the broken open sores of the weeping.

weeping long withstood-
now on public display
oh how could the how could the winds

blow it all away?
the martyrs with their holy candles quenched
disappear from the musical score

like bells, unrung?
whatever may come from year to rebranding year
Thy Will Be Done.

mary angela douglas 23 july 2015

In My Spanish Workbooks I Confessed

in my Spanish workbooks I confessed
in rose chalks and the blue
an illustration never viewed:

Quixote and his squire
and they are fading far from you
the farther that you go and nearer than

the siglo de oro ever could be

shimmering before you.
it's a sunset of marigolds on fire;
a reedy flourishing of windmill music.

and here's the spiral notebooks from
that beginning where you took notes
on: not variant spellings, but something else..

scribbled on narrow lines in pale green ink,
past telling and the secret kept close
like a letter to yourself,the preface to

a handbook on dreams, their aftermaths, the ghosts
half-traced and paperback abridged.
it's still the same quest, you guess

from the ridge where their horizons whirl
44 years spoked like a flash and vanishing,
no one else is listening in either language

when you close your eyes
and glistening, you'll sigh on the brink of it,
again

mary angela douglas 23 july 2015;rev. 8 march 2016

Angelology

over the braided starlight and the pines
is where the angels live, we decided (between us)
peering from the top bunk bed by turns

in the sweet screened air.
and over there in the backyard wistfully
shines the pail to catch the meteor dust

our Grandfather collects each overnight,
we know he can! and that the stars will be glad
to have landed there.

they'll pick the cloudberries
out of their fruit cocktail at a
sky blue table...

that was our Saturday fable
speaking of angels, still,
while we ate our trix and drank up

the rainbowed milk...

or wear blue silk with a pale pink sheen.
or float for awhile in your best bubble ever
the one that never popped.

what about Christmas?
then they're everywhere,
not only chiming round the angelabra

till the dog stares getting glassy eyed

and thick as red and green
fingerpainted
you can make them!

we laughed so merrily then
at nothing- and the word "translucent"-
-or ice cream coloured.

will they melt then?
this she said a little anxiously
the smaller child in pink.

I don't think so said her sister.
God wouldn't let them.

mary angela douglas 23 july 2015

Hello To The End Of Endings Do They Say In Heaven

hello to the end of endings do they say in Heaven
where no fires sweep through; no sudden no
protacted disasters.

there where all meetings are cordial
and all afternoons and one doesn't leave the party.
delayed is no music; constant is the moon

and there, is no shadow of turning.
here where the spent worlds grieve at every turn
we stop awhile in our tracks to think that there

all sorrows end. and oh my friend
hold lightly the thread through the labyrinth.
we will be going then
and not - away...again-

mary angela douglas 23 july 2015

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Through No Fault Of Your Own

through no fault of your own you (may) have been
led to this spot.
so green on the map; it's where they hid the gold.

through no fault of your own you (may) have been
told this in dreams.
and now, here you are.

land locked with your favorite sand pail
filled to the brim, your little spade.
missing a few stars...

shall we take to market, then the

fresh tomatoes, corn and okra
we might have grown
on better soil?

oh, let's pretend we can!
and that we will withstand
what blizzards may come.

the nursery rhymes have scattered on these
blue transparent winds.
somehow, the children (may)

begin again. outpourings of rust
from a jeweled soul!
I will pin on their gauze wings.

God will sing to them.

mary angela douglas 22 july 2015

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

And I Have Seen The Dragons At The Gates

and I have seen the dragons at the gates
inspecting bread for the little children. smart,
in their spectacles sliding down the

dragon noses: oh no, they croak
and licking their greeny green lips:
the crust's too thick on this.

and so, they lop it off; bringing it

home by truckloads for the
surfeited dragon babies.
observe the protocols:

they scream at the trainees:
first of all, no cake ever!
especially not: raspberry filled.

of course, at the holiday parties
you can imagine what gets passed around
on the tea trays in their posh dragon-

comfy living rooms. oh well, I said.
we'll get the crumbs and
pray there's icing left on them

but they turned slit eyed at my meek request
demanded proof from me
that I knew best

what children liked
and threw such dragony fits
as though I had to go to school for it.

mary angela douglas 20 july 2015

Monday, July 20, 2015

Rose Carol Caroled And It Not Even Christmas Yet

it's certain I am He counted every needle and pin,
every dropped stitch as a real attempt.
as for me, I wanted to live by

the rick rack stream
near the mill wheel turning
and all the millers, free.

why shouldn't it be
I'd ask Him dearly, this
being my very own prayer and

clearly wanting it to be so

that the spokes in the tangerines
would carry us to all the balls

and the honeysuckled air would breathe
and flow around the fairy tale's obstacles
as in the paintings of Van Gogh

with the marshmallow clouds all billowing

and we would stand small, firm and
arm in fairy like arm with all our
bracelet charms

before our Grandfather's rose garden
as it it were the entire world.

mary angela douglas 20 july 2015

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Gerda Not Yet Among The Roses

[wintersong from The Snow Queen...]

your dress with its apron of
out of the way stars
is starched with snows

the whirling hours prolong

your dance in reindeer shoes, fur lined;
the dance of knowing not yet what to do
the robbers' daughter left behind for you:

the dance of half remembering

the one you seek.
it's far away the lime leafed summers grieve
the little lanes, the balconies between:

and in their mirror's mirrored ponds you find

the glazing of your soul at rest
as it was then in once upon a time
before God gave you this unwieldy quest;

before you'll turn the corner of the Blessed
and find the puzzle melting- ah! its cruel surmise...
the childhood different than the rest

by virtue of the tears you've cried...
all your brave wandering into dread
awakening among the dead.

mary angela douglas 19 july 2015

Going Back

how the embroidered shadows fled
before we knew;
casting our jacks on the summer porches

in the pink sunrise of perfectly fried eggs,
you know the kind.
you knew

each rose was rosy only for you
and birthdays had to last.
this was a long ago kingdom;

it has passed they always say, don't they?
reproving us.
but I still have the looking glass,

the toys of memory.
and the books! though not on vellum
and a dress in mind of cherry velvet

unsurpassed...in clouded tissue wrapped
to wear for best occasions
such as: going back...

mary angela douglas 19 july 2015

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Even In Our Captivity Light Flowered Freely

light flowered freely even in our captivity;
in our fatigue, ever streaming through
the riddle without meaning;

in the kernel of the seed that died.
the winds died. and yet, we floated on.
where mirrors gave back the

orphaned lineage all the
rest denied.
though you were disowned oh

spacious was your universe; still,
unmitigated

though you were alone.
even so, you could go blind with joy
from just one sequin of it

brushed from the sun-
in passing-s by
indifferent flights.

Christ knew this.
and so, he smiled.
radiant in the parting tides.

even in Death, Alive

mary angela douglas 16 july 2015

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Even If Her Dress Is Spun From The Colour Of Moonlight

you can't stay home and stare at the rain forever
that much is plain even in old fairy tales
even if your dress is spun

from the colour of moonlight.
bestir yourself, go out in the lanes
to seek your fortune they exclaim

and they really mean it.
or watch the pantry dwindle till
there's no black bread for certain

and no cheese. do what you please
the mothers scold their daughers
longing for cherry silk sleeves,

a waist of figured lilies.
make haste! time has few golden showers.
you're on the brink of something

it's not picking flowers near the Alpine
will get you fast anywhere
so you go out and scour the village

for free because no help is wanted there.
and bind and bind your golden hair
in nets threadbare and missing sequins

except for when it rains
and you're all silver then
and know the cost of things.

mary angela douglas 14 july 2015

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Bacon On Sundays

the black-eyed Susans she brought with her
meant for her auntie wilted by the time
she got to Oz.

she cried.
then Toto snuffed around
for emerald flowers instead.

they never said she was inconsolable
after that. they never said.
the whole time in Oz

missing the butter running down the johnny cakes,
and bacon on Sundays.
in love with the sparkles on the Good Queen's dress

and her own shoes.
but missing the haystacks by noon.
the Scarecrow felt as much.

but he wasn't talking either.
at night they both dreamed of sunflowers.

mary angela douglas 12 july 2015

Wearing Organza To The Made Up Parties

wearing organza to the made up parties,
did the ghosts startle us all summer?
coming back across dim fields they

melted by the Time
we got back for ice cream.
it's strawberry flavored

my sister said wistfully
this time
oh no I said black cherrry vanilla

like a vivid snow of flowers.
we'll cook marshmallows
for the dolls and other things

for hours in our pink stove

and leave the chocolate candies
in the sun on the back porch steps...
they're done we'll cry

then turn around three times
to see our mud pies from the day before
have really amazing fruit fillings.

and the filing station just beyond
has a grand opening too.
you can tell by the balloons and

the multicoloured penants raised

near the sail clouds, puffs of our
favorite breezes; it's kingdom come
where the fairy sized, yum!

pecan pies mean a lot
unwrapped at once
with orange pop.

mary angela douglas 12 july 2015

The Princess Who Never Laughed On The Evening Of...

making the Princess laugh was now worth
a whole half kingdom, perhaps she
smiled to herself

alone in her chamber
with her philosophy books;
her orchid book of hours.

and from her window she espies
them lining up already in their armour
of the one bright riddle.

she practices sighs
while the roses weep sheer petals
of pink turned lavender

in the moonridden courtyards.

and folds the mantilla up:
the one of violet rains
and packs it away

on account of the dream she had
this afternoon of a planet
with myriad suns

mary angela douglas 12 july 2015