Saturday, April 30, 2016

She Would Take The Cuttings From The Snow Ball Bushes

she would take the cuttings from the snow ball bushes
vanishing into the green, the pearl, the faintly pink
the lilac as into her own watercolours.

this was early morning and the dews on the grasses
and the snowy flowers, pastels of the pan pipes
unheard, there she turned into

all the ballets, the maypole ribboned floating
above the world and its trembling.
and you with your smirks, your murky asides

your eyes on the bottom line and
the cynical cynosure
what makes you so sure

this never happened

mary angela douglas 30 april 2016

Why Can't We Leave Like Flowers In The Wind

why can't we leave like flowers in the wind
like birds from their sunlit spires;
a turn of the wave and then,

mere vanishing into foam.
why can't we drift and
then begin to dream

where time has bought no seam?
where wandering is a blessed thing and
not a curse;

far from the ravaged earth;
far from the tempests that
have had little meaning

since our birth; we could go on and on
vanishing like moonlight from the causeways
when it is Dawn.

mary angela douglas 30 april 2016

Friday, April 29, 2016


back you will go in dreams
in your dress with the rosebuds,
the wide pink sash

not to the classrooms first,

but to the woods where we all played
whatever we wanted to,
wished whatever we wanted.

kicked up dust storms
as though we were ponies when we ran
and found real arrowheads

on every hand.

there the honeysuckle bloomed
for each of us at noon
and we were filled with pineapple

upside down cake
and did sommersaults in the grass,
played Chinese jump rope made

of colored rubber bands
while the trees waved sympathetically;
the rain clouds held off for awhile

waiting for storytime to boom outloud
while Teacher turned the page
and we looked at the pictures.

golden is that place to me
as though a separate land.
and I will go back one day,

if I can.
and learn to breathe again
the pine scented air

if not, to race with the wind.

and learn to care again-
for what I cared for, then.

mary angela douglas 29 april 2016

First Day Of Summer's Nightmare's The Worst

they walk on their stick legs awkwardly
but even so, I know those frowney faces
are coming after me

for having drawn them that way, day after day:
crunching off the chalk board, peeling off
like colorforms with no color

just the outline oh God now it's brining
the cucumber time and "Not It" I want to yell
or find the house key rapidly, but pell mell!

they're catching up with me.

if only they would talk but I didn't draw
bubbles over their heads like in the cartoons
in the lazy afternoons and now with

forwney faces creased in the summer suns
of the multiple planets also doodled in the margins,
kingdom come couldn't be more frightening

and now, there's red inked lightning, penciled
thunder clouds over the sidewalks
and where's the Mr. Tastee Ice Cream truck

with the little bell when you need it,
I could use a fudgesicle right about now- 

and I try to scream outloud a chalky scream and just then
plip plop! the raindrops come to life, too
the ones in evergreen ink I scratched in over their heads

a little absent mindedly and
the dream dissolves...
and I'm in bed with the covers over my head;

the mockingbirds singing in the June sunshine
in the yard and my sister says, what's wrong with you;
there's no school today, remember?

mary angela douglas 29 april 2016

Apricot Sunset, Vanilla Lamplight, Bright

apricot filled the spaces in the lingering clouds.
it made you wish you had apricot jam on hand
to spread on the breakfast toast

only it was midnight with the blinds down.
we imagined reindeer then.
the tundra lit up with the borealis fireworks.

Don't you have homework, Grandmother said...

ah, it's pink and green streaked with lemon
we would sigh, pretending we were there.
and when we flick on the lamps

bought with the S&H Green Stamps
pasted laboriously every Saturday by
my sister and I-

I promise, the lamplight would
put you in mind of
golden vanilla ice cream,

every time!

mary angela douglas 29 april 2016

Did It Make Our Happiness Less

did it make our happiness less
when looking at the stars through childhood's curtains
that we didn't yet know the name of Galileo?

would spelling Copernicus have made them more beautiful
to our eyes?
when falling in love with prisms then, with rainbows

suddenly everywhere, there being no rain
was miraculous and set our souls shimmering
in our bare feet on the newly waxed floors.

To read in a book later that there are no colours really
it's just the dust in the air reconfigured by the brain
and to know this seemed to me a thing of poverty.

I will revert to richness, to the glow in the air
the feeling of green for the leaves, and the rose tinted
skies that echo the gardens,o kaleidoscope

of my dreams I will not deny deny deny
young or old, my bare feet sunken in the newly washed sod,
there is no colour without Light

there is no sight without God.

mary angela douglas 29 april 2016

Thursday, April 28, 2016

I Thought They Had Stolen The Skies

I thought they had stolen the skies from me
dear Lord the way I stood at the window
and dreamed into them:

they had taken this and signed off on it
in the galleries or the sunlight on the green leaf
as I loved it, as it crumbled away.

this is mine, they say but I know it isn't.
I remember feeling that way
and telling no one,

the feelings that well up in me
at beauty's wells. somehow they ferret out;

they sell without compunction
and the plagarism astounds
as if they had torn a page from my soul

on a calendar I had marked in gold
with the very day circled-
and made a reputation for themselves.

mary angela douglas 28 april 2016

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Beauty Set at Naught;The Colourless Skies

the carts roll on, the tumbrils, 
over Imagination's slain in the stain
of the sunset of Beauty itself

sad angels exclaim oh who
remains to count them all
in the twilight of the Stage,

how will our children judge us,
by what moons;

the ungilded compasses 
of the ruined?
all those left fending 

in the Flood arkless and wounded, wounding
the rainbows, having been bartered
and sold for nought.

and what have they got
to show for this
when they've gotten it?

(the accusers).

mary angela douglas 27 april 2016

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

I Have Been Where The Masques Are No Carnival

I have been where the masques are no carnival;
where the canals will not reflect the sun.
ah no shimmering on the waters;

the heart, said Emily, like a loaded gun.
how false above all false things seemed to me
the murmurings behind the rigged scenes of the world

and I am not dressed in cloth of gold by God himself
for this,I sang unheeded to the carousel's whirl.
there is the hissing of snakes and the dried up floods

of tears and the waning, wasted years
and this I will not, did not celebrate;
solitary, on the pale blue hills; surveyor

of the wreckage.

mary angela douglas 26 april 2016

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Xylophone Remembrances

the xylophone remembrances
of the hollyberried:
the winds strike the chimes

of icicles from the eaves and

all the blues are frozen
in the skies

when we dream the Christ child

didn't have to die
and Christmas brims where they loved him;

one where we decorated

December as though it were spring

bringing our garlands.

and the angels sang
the King has come

the little King

let our hearts be furnished
with the white and the gold;

the tender, the tenderest of snows

and the holly berries ringing,
rimmed with ice on the bushes

in our side yard;

where the winter isn't hard
as though as though

they were bells.

mary angela douglas 25 april 2016

Sunday, April 24, 2016

I Said Goodbye To The Saucer Eyed Dogs

I said goodbye to the saucer eyed dogs,
you know, from the fairy story;
the ones guarding the treasure

though it was never theirs.

the one as big as windmills.
oh there's a draft in here I said
let me open a window,

but they liked it dank
so I left them there.
and the roses applauded.


the roses applauded
in the gardens outdoors
and I said to them

we are not born to implore,
but only to bloom.
they assume we are preeachable,

but God alone has let us grow.
that is all I know.

mary angela douglas 24 april 2016


now it's Commencement
and the pearl gardenia shine of it
links you down the years to the ones before you.

their green wreathed days are with you, too
and you feel candlelit inside;
as if you were a bride;

as if there could be no more winters.
there you are, at your beginning:
the white dress, the suit pressed.

and the singers. the elegant programs.
the wilting heat and the fans' relief.
and the speeches, for what may be.

promises tied up with silver ribbons.
brief tears, the parting friends.

maybe Heaven will be like this,
a Commencement, but in reverse.
I will bring you flowers then

with the dews abiding on them
and we will depart to live
in the flower filled air.

mary angela douglas 24 april 2016

Dear God, Lift The Lid Off The Box I Am In

dear God, lift the lid off the box I am in
and let there be Sky.

soft clouds, a little wind
and friendly trees.
I'm squeezed in here

with unexpected critics
and I can't breathe.
dear God, oh please

fashion for me little ladders
that they won't see
(but I will)

wove of a golden cord.
and I will ford little streams
for You, later on;

though to me-
they will seem Seas.

mary angela douglas 24 april 2016

Gingerbread With Silver Beaded Buttons

gingerbread with silver beaded buttons
I was given once in exile
between jobs

and in the rains.
and it was almost worth
the fairytale feeling that ensued when

I was given gingerbread and bright paper
icons of the Greek Orthodox Faith.
and I went home

to the little apartment I was receiving eviction
notices for every month, which had not come to pass
due to delaying kindness yet

put me in mind of Dostoyevsky's executions
in the prison yard that kept on being announced
and then canceled,

and Lord, I pray, sustained on your gingerbread still
that those who say evil against those who are kind
be exiled in the rains, the beautiful rains

that will wash all cruelty from their lips.
and then, will you feed them on honeycakes.
so that their speech no longer wounds us.

mary angela douglas 24 april 2016

Something Will Be Lost

something will be lost
in-between jewel and jade;
farther than glen or glade.

something in the shade.

will it be gold-leafed,
figured in rosebuds, sung
for the Queen?

a scene from a fairy tale play
with the sequins raining down.
how will I know, if I haven't found it yet,

never rounding that corner;
never having been in that neighborhood;
never having come 

to the charabanc sum of it
on holidays that few.
choosing other things to do

like fighting off the flu;
sorting the red onions from the bread
in the cupboards; the juice of the orange

from the nectarine.

mary angela douglas 24 april 2016

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Big Rock Redux

today I was accused of writing poems about
the Big Rock Candy Mountain.
In America.

times have changed I thought.
is it better now? now that folklore's down the drain
and people want poems that complain and

paint a bitter picture.
I will be glad, gladder than the gladdest thing
I heard a poet say once on the wing.

and so will I
I say today.
and so will I.

mary angela douglas 23 april 2016

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Great Tinkerbell Debate Which Had A Strong Possibility Of Actually Happening

to be sung at summer's end...

her wings were light green with gold spots
I whispered to my sister
no! it's the other way round

she stomped with a cherry lifesaver frown;
she made them last all day; I don't know how
while I chewed mine to bits in a matter of seconds

but now, let's return to the great Tinkerbell debate.
and she flies like a hummingbird or baby meteor I
said, but that would make her a rock when she

landed and don't you understand? where were the wings
when she whirred at the windowsill and darted into
the hall clock?

this went on through dinner, and chocolate ice creamed,
stirred to a fine puree and it tastes better that way
we both concurred while

kicking each other lightly under the table.
now it's fruit cocktail time and we count cherries

and then gooseberries and who's too sleepy finally to decide
which way did Beauty fly when we weren't looking;
it happens every time;without a single chime

out the window again. and without her sweater;

it's too cool for that now and
and is tomorrow, really School?

mary angela douglas 22 april 2016

It Is The Beautiful Patois

it is the beautiful patois,
the singular language always
I long to hear

like raindrops pattering on a tin roof,
the fronded overhead of trees, afterwards
the skies; mimosa, feathery, pink

and the remaining drops, splashing down on me,

unexpectedly, in the beautiful patois.
and I imagine, out to sea,
in ships with cargoes of gems and radiantly,

ah! the silver sailed; someone is
speaking there to the winds
the beautiful patois.

send them oh Lord the sunspent  winds
ever after, after;all the gold You have
and for them through rough seas

the hurricane's eye to the Blessed Isles

the laughter of coraline stars

that there may they speak with angels
and be free;
endlessly, in the beautiful patois.

mary angela douglas 22 april 2016

She Praises Apples Effusively

["We won't starve;we have apples..."
Sam Elliott's character,
from the lovely Christmas movie, "Prancer"]

I would be eating the apple squares under the
burgeoning apple tree or it may be
apple sauce cake,

apple tarts, ruby red apple rings in jars
and watching the green apple stars and dressed
in a dress with apple appliques all ready for May

and apple cheeked so the relatives say
to me every summer and I adrift in a sea
of the pink alternatively cream apple blossoms

floating floating from the orchard only for me
so that I am queen of the apples perpetually
being from Arkansas which has adopted as State Flower the

apple blossom long since and before I ever dreamed of this
apple pie in the sky richness for myself,
all covered in cream.

apple butter apple butter
forgive me if I stutter
it's only for pure love of all the appleness

and if they're serving apple pie,with cheese or
without or
this veritable a la mode slice of Heaven on earth.

won't you have some. Please.

mary angela douglas 22 april 2016

No Random Spring

suddenly it came to me that Greece was more
than the blue and gold of it, the snow of the marbles;
more than searching stone to stone for the

poetic fragments, hoping to piece it all together.
I saw Greece as an alphabet I had yet to learn
and burning with a quiet flame of blue and gold

of ancient rains suddenly ancient no more;
and dazzlingly, mysteriously, no quenching there.
and all the myths an open door and in the golden opening

this, ah, this
no random Spring.

mary angela douglas 22 april 2016

This Morning I Remembered Morning Glories

this morning I remembered morning glories.
I remembered how I felt as a child when
I learned the flower and the name together

and the happiness of the name and the named
being so gloriously together in the cool morning
the morning I was told this by my Grandmother,

Grandfather. that was, as Wordsworth meant,
when all mornings were tinged with glory
and we ourselves, our own morning

and coloured this way. yet still I feel the
sudden inrush of wings, of the hummingbirds to
the morning glory vines and my words flutter too

recalling the nectar of home;
the phases of the moon back then
when everything was shinier.

and the honeyed time dripped more slowly.
stone to stone.

mary angela douglas 22 april 2016

Let Us Be Kind

knowing how word bleeds into word
when colours soften over time and
after so many washings

let us be kind, from paragraph to paragraph
letting the golden spool unwind
and leaving no broken glass behind

to wound the reader
to unhinge the mind
seeking the consoling waters


mary angela douglas 22 april 2016

Thursday, April 21, 2016

To My Sister From The Pale Blue Toyroom

the icicle sounds of the toy piano
break off when I think of these:
the dolls in the antique crib

I never said goodbye to;
the teddys by the closet door
wistful in their florist bows

of pineapple yellow and near
the mirror in the hall we always
asked each other, does my slip show?

sometimes you didn't tell me until
after school and that was a little embarrassing;
swinging higher than me in the swing

I thought you would reach the moon
before the astronauts.
if I had a glass of Tang or an Instant Breakfast left,

vanilla flavored, I'd raise my jelly glass to you
and chew slowly remembering all the dictums
of my Grandmother

when we lived in the Kingdom of Music.

mary angela douglas 21 april 2016

Home For Dinner, Dusk Again

fields of the blue clover in the dusk
the blue violet starred skies above
the curb where our house is

how I wish to be standing there still
but as I am now and the same folk
at home when you ring the bell

the dog barks intuited chicken pie smell
or the piano being played for a late lesson
winding it up.

what's on tv most notably old episodes
of the Twilight Zone, sliced peaches on
the TV tray, the salisbury steak frozen dinner


with the apple sauce tasting of English peas.
they're in the next compartment I don't know
how that happens. we could look it up in

the Funk and Wagnalls set on the turquoise shelves
but we never do.
we just keep wondering.

and buttering the Wonder bread.

mary angela douglas 21 april 2016

The Many Coloured Horse

the many coloured horse from the carnival
pawed the earth near the rose garden
in the perfumed mists of day

as if he had something to say.
we rose in our dream sleep accordingly there
sleep walking in our flower quilted housecoats

from last Christmas and
under an indigo sky fast becoming

shell pink. what do you think
I dream spoke to my sister but
she was still playing the piano

in the air, her piano of everywhere
pale green and practicing, practicing
while the many coloured horse stood respectfully

and listened for the silver sounds.

oh why have you come and whither have you run from
I wanted to say in dream speech but could not find the words.
but the dream horse, many coloured cloud horse not at all

loud horse escapee from the carnival
heard me o
and snuffled among the rose bushes

happy he had come home.

mary angela douglas 21 april 2016


even so this April green this misted scene
unfolds as in earlier years the treble clef of birds
the liquid trilling of the hidden days we chanced upon

merely opening a window.

and the sudden flowering, flaring into bloom
of trees that God Himself regreted he had not made
originally Flowers, and so, these green rains pouring

still, this misted scene;

still, the mint of winter's coolness upon
all once upons
in the mornings remaining;

this infinite raining washing my colours away until
I feel the white gold of the sun give credence, rest
from the race that's run too heedlessly ever without

hearing, seeing, being the rose through the mists
the rose through the mists that is the Heart
blossoming, biding Time and the

dark sorrows rained away, drained away from winter's
wound the ravens sorrowing and on the cusp of music
I say but can hardly say that in this misted scene

and the watercolour 
of it delicate tendriled all around as singing
launches from the 

rose core through the slight door of the mists

of my vine clad praise and in this greening flight
and the Soul the rose the rose
blossoming that

what you seek oh Lord day and night
we have found
and bring you wreaths and coronals

of the promised Worlds we had denied.

mary angela douglas 21 april 2016

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Could There Have Been A Day In Ancient Greece

could there have been a day in ancient Greece
when you could go back there, and just breathe-
standing stock-still for a moment to observe

in your bare feet
no beautiful ruins,
but the marbles, all complete

against an azure sky unclouded.

and no need, like the philosophers,
(when no winds stirred)
to question, wonder why

at all the Music still unheard

and reason it out unto infinity.
there, in the lemon groves
I would wander,

by the rose mottled Aegean;

no need to thrash it out with Socrates,
whatever I believed;
whatever didn't even cross my mind.

and still to no altar inclined,
I would bend and kneel in the fresh grasses
dotted with wildflowers I never knew

in ancient Greece.
and to God, as yet, unrecognized-

in unrequited Peace.

mary angela douglas 20 april 2016