Thursday, June 30, 2016

To The One For Whom Tears Are Useless

to the one for whom tears are useless
this corsage of rains, this branching
sorrow lit up like stars, fireworks,

sparks remaining among ashes
gold among the dying out of days;
bouquets of clouds.

to the one turning away,
because it is not a message of your doom
that is spelled out on sea, on land,

in any language you can understand;
you who flee and who always have room to hide.
you who mock the brides that linger

near the dusk of tombs
who clutter up like beauty
the old paintings oh, for a while

take pity, have a heart
you who never heard of exile,
of the coming of dark days so soon

after the verdant noons
unless you were the one,
the imperial one

signing off on it.

mary angela douglas 30 june 2016

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Poets Enter Heaven

will we be noisy ghosts and tramp through
other people's rose bushes
or rattle the branches of the venerable

elms on odd Novembered eves
or sing through the eaves like a banshee wind,
the poets asked themselves at first arrival

in the afterlands,
no luggage in their hands;
sometimes a withered leaf or two retaining ruby red

or ochre or the mysterious,lemony gold.
something to remember earth by,
they explained to the angels who'd seen it all before.

The Next Door Through, they cried stentorian like
and trying not to laugh (at the state of their shoes)
The Poet's Hall

and then,
we'll see what you can do.

mary angela douglas 29 june 2016

Space Quest, Long Ago Summer

we will do our homework on the moon,
we promised we would, that we'd be good
even without summer school

and drink Tang while spinning upwards
in our pineapple upside down cakewalk;
our green and blue hula hoops, respectively;

three scoops of strawberry, chocolate and vanilla are
requisite in the picture books but in real
life, it's spumoni we cry for every time!

or peppermint ice cream candy crunching pink;
and sliding on the slip and slide is cool, oh very cool.
do you think we can stay up late and watch

the Twilight Zone when we're grown?
and will we wear formals, satiny and the
colours of rare orchids and leave home?

or can we still be who we are
and read all summer;
swinging on the grass green swings in the yard

up to the Big Dipper;
noting the neon orange nasturtiums
cheering us on near the dog with the floppy ears

so very far below us then,
barking excitedly in silvery echoes
of our Let's Pretend.

mary angela douglas 29 june 2016

Tuesday, June 28, 2016


you with your peridot rings from the gumball machines
your oversugared lemonades
your desire to live out of the shade

all summer long, for reasons unknown,
I dreamed you had come home
and were happy there

practicing your scales again
on a keyboard of sheer diamonds
so that the birds chirped

wildly as though you were april.
where have these sounds vanished
I ask no one else possible

that in the heart sparkle, endlessly recalled
as though you were braiding, still,
an indigo ribbon in and out of

the enchanted woods

mary angela douglas 28 june 2016

Because She Was Going Away

what if today you peeled off the back of stars
and pasted them in your scrapbook
so you would not forget them?

those were the gingerbread days, you softly
perhaps said where we bought hair ribbons
every time we went to the drugstore;

for some reason, more of the spring green
than anything and glistening.
I miss old wrapping paper, wall paper she

said suddenly and I could see she would
gladly live in a house with roses stenciled on the walls
until God called her

and the mimosa trees in the yard
wept feathery pink flowers
because she was going away.

mary angela douglas 28 june 2016

Arcadia, The Word Is Like A Cherry Lozenge

Arcadia, the word is like a cherry lozenge on the tongue
or butter rum my sister proposed
looking up from the swing sitting idle

in the sunlight
peripatetic child of music.
and now we're seeking the names of clouds

and we are far from trouble in the blue isles
sprouting wings and laughing sporadically
in cumulo nimbus, cumulo stratus, cirrus

cirrus, circuses in green and the tightrope lady
in pink sequined skirts
and this is our just desserts

we say, scooping into the fudge sundaes
or playing in the sprinkler on
hot Arkansas days

when the roses boil
and summer lasts till Christmas.

mary angela douglas 28 june 2016

The One Writing You On Lavender Stationery

the one writing you (on lavender stationery)
exists at a remove, you muse;
in an arcane grove;

somewhere at home
in a previous century or two.
and the rolltop aqua repainted desk

for summers fit, is there to remind you,
simply, this is true.
in vain you will go to the corner drugstore

thirsty for malts, for something raspberry cooled or

seeking boxed stationery in several colours
with a plastic lid and the ribbon slid over it

or for the requisite Christmas fountain pens.
but you will find stamps oddly coloured, exotic
beyond belief at a penny a roll

and will send something off:
who knows, a dove, a drift of snow,
the colour green as you remember it

that may, in time,
be received.

mary angela douglas 28 june 2016

Monday, June 27, 2016

We Couldn't Be Any Happier

some people say we don't live well
who don't think millions more are swell
who don't frequent the cote d azur

or take each summer the Grand Tour
but I have news to them to say
that those who in their shadows play

enjoy the freedom of their place
much more than those who endless chase
and rope each rainbow after rain

and fear it may go down the drain
while those with not much left to lose
breathe deep the air that God imbues

and watch the gold of sunset still
the rose unfold the robin's sill
with wonder, any time of day

and each new season
when we pray
oh God we thank you for today

we couldn't be any happier.

mary angela douglas 27 june 2016

Sunday, June 26, 2016

While The Music Swells

at any moment you may find
the enchanted thimble in the cake;
the dream right there, when you awake;

the eluding clue, just sparkling on the windowsill.
and you may wonder, or I think you will,
what caused them each to show up now?

were you extra good in your sleep, somehow?
defending the village from dragons?
don't question! just accept the fact

that you have diamonds at your back
and the road before, with roses rung
like bells;

while the music swells.

mary angela douglas 26 june 2016

When The Golden Ship Went Down

were you succeeding when the golden ship went down?
the one with decks of mother of pearl;
the one that carried worlds.

more than the apples in the hold,or the rhymes of what
went before, when you were ushered through the violet door
and it was, then, Spring

you will miss
the small birds singing after the rains.
but you were succeeding, meeting and greeting,

following the trains into distances 
when the amber artifacts weren't found;
when the golden ship went down.

mary angela douglas 26 june 2016

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Base Camp

they like the ozone and the high altitudes
wept Cinderella; not for the first time.
I'm too weary to climb, to fetch, to mend

what they send down to me
so I pretend I've something grand to do
in the afternoon

and so, prepare myself
by dreaming of peacocks
and the land they live in.

when will you give in
my sisters say
if they say anything at all

and understand
you'll never be
what we are.

and they are dancing on a distant star
and glittering so hard
while I wile away each hour

dreaming I'm just a flower
with nothing to do but bloom.

mary angela douglas 25 june 2016

As Though Filtered Through Violets

[reflections on the Lady of Shalott]

was everything for her refracted more softly
so that moonlight entered the chamber
as though filtered through violets;

sunlight streamed through intermediating angels?
dear Lady. tower lost and spinning.
it's hard on the heart, isn't it

never seeing life up close.
they will turn to other things,
new tournaments, what they may.

flowers will send their regrets
and you will just keep weaving
grieving in this way.

how candlelit and solemn
the processions for you
after you left.

if only you could have stayed to see them.

mary angela douglas 25 june 2016

The Things That In Your Heart Hold Sway

the things that in your heart hold sway,
the lilac branching kind of day;
the puddles where the clouds float, stilled

except when rippled by the winds.,,
all these you can collect and may
like marbles in a glass half filled

until at last it overflows;
all the silver and the gold
of limpid lake or frosted rose

still lovely in the latter snows.
all this is yours and to command
even in a foreign land

where scoffers scoff at beauty still;
sometimes, I think they always will.
so guard your treasures well, my friend,

your happy endings point of view;
despite the insults they can hurl,
these still are yours, and they are kin

in other worlds.
and will comprise your Heaven.

mary angela douglas 25 june 2016

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Math Of Stars, The Distances

the math of stars, the distances,
Your fingerprinted Light I have held in my heart
immeasurable while waiting for

the school bells at the end of galaxies to ring,
crystalline in decembers or outside
of classrooms in the night air

when the Rilkean winds are stirred
and birdsong, framed from tip to opulent tip.
and are you lost in the brush of wings,

in the thick of It,

of sudden angels as they sing and the

velvet of Christmases falls upon you
as a mantle.

O as the Magi

may you be, wrapped in the purple of

the journeys you could undertake even when learning to divide
the Golden apples among friends

no longer with us, here, on Earth.

mary angela douglas 24 june 2016

Thursday, June 23, 2016


should they be printed on paper as soft as rose petals,
more precious to us they could not have been,
the old stories...

the ones, a kingdom to themselves, appearing
through a dense childhood fraught with angelic light
when in the wood oh child your hair gets

tangled with the moon and dawns cannot come too soon.
there the owl glints, eyes of the rubied stone.
oh but you were never far from home, only

turn the page;
all monsters subside.
and it is you, for certain,

in a carriage of gold,
a bouffant dress to match overlaid with constellations,
catching all the bouquets

you can, turning wintertime
to Spring with a wave of your delicate hand and
bidding adieu to the ghost orchids,

a vagrant servitude,

mary angela douglas 23 june 2016

Will You Travel With A Suitable Heart

will you travel with a suitable heart,
one that gets along in the day to day;
the question comes up

and you look away
and go back to the list
of what they want you to bring to camp:

several blouses, sky blue scarves;
summer wear;
no sundresses.

what will you do with the green parasol?
the jewels from the Indies.
never mind, you'll read comics once

you get there and use your change exuberantly
on forbidden orange sodas,
the ones of the ineluctable grape

that still won't exactly cure
your homesickness
or help you when the canoe

inevitably capsizes.
or make up for the ones you miss;
the stars over our backyard.

mary angela douglas 23 june 2016

Yesterday, In A Green Garden

yesterday in a green garden
in a green chair she wrote to you,
under the shade trees,

of the roses and the lilies
and signed the postcards, Lily:
the children ate fudgesicles, creamsicles

dancing in the rain soaked gardens.
bread is cheap, you write back;
berries along the way;

the worlds mirrored in rain puddles.
ah, we will go there, she telegraphed.
I will wear my silver beaded gown,

the shoes embroidered with small flowers.
that was in the afternoon,
in the time of perfumes...

it won't be written anywhere,
and we will not say in the frost coated air,
waving goodbye to the last of the summer cherries;

our syllables, early december's frozen mist,

that there was ever
anything wrong
with thinking this way...

mary angela douglas 23 june 2016

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


swallows have gathered at the door of an infinite sadness;
who will remove their shadows from the grass,
from the moon, passing through clouds?

occluded is the eye, becoming a single tear
and the years, in their octobers, rust.
is the heart ash, is it dust, has it come to be

spoken about in whispers
in a hospital room or is it the sudden gloom
in winter, even before the sun has set?

give me,o Lord, a clue, a sign, a dream
while I am standing at the screen door
when the rains come in

still trying to breathe and to assume, nothing:
when meaning becomes so sharp;
filed to a fine point;

to wound the already wounded.

mary angela douglas 22 june 2016

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Summers, At The Beginning

is it ultraviolet on the colour wheel of time
you asked, checking your Mickey Mouse watch at last
much farther back than anyone expected;

we'll sort quartz by moonlight every summer
and wear perfume with autumnal highlights,
hint of the spiced rose; tangee surprises

from the variety store and glow in the dark all firefly

till goodness snows around us and it must be Christmas
you said waking up too early, falling out of bed and I laughed
because you thought the angels singing in the background

of old movies were coming to get you soon.
but ultraviolet is the colour of the hour, the moon
when the dews seep into our shoes, our summer costumes

and the clover looks so mysterious you think
it's going to whirl from the stem when
we'll have snow flowing upward you smiled

so satisfied with your imagination then.
and all the days of let's pretend
stretched out before us, never ending.

mary angela douglas 21 june 2016

Monday, June 20, 2016

I Promised You What Could Not Happen

I promised you what could not happen:
wax melted into diamonds,
the ruby vanishing into pearl

and to be jade myself,
in a swirl of snow.
how could I know

which task was first
or that on earth,they always said
none of them would be done

by one who lived wherever
I happened to live
with other people's curtains

floating in the breeze,
with the lease unsigned
and I like jade, white jade

disguised in the falling snows.
this is not the clock on the mantle,
you complained;

this is not the stocking, hung by the grate.
this is your fate, I thought;
I have nothing to do with

the leaves that skirl before the door;
time that slipped past you,
as though you were born ghostly.

mary angela douglas 20 june 2016

Think About Your Future

think about your future
they say to those in school;
tell me what is the future of clouds

of blossoms in the wind
and I will tell you then
your future, no crystal ball

predictions, only:
listen to the wind with pearl shelled ear
and ask, again.

what is the future of wind
through the wind chimes chiming or
restless in the trees;

of storms at sea;
of all that you could be
without the questionaires,

left to your own devices
and the daydream stare
that makes them so nervous.

what if you did without
this harrying from here to there;
the future of

how, when or where,
and far beyond sucess,
you in a rose tinted dress or

an enigmatic vest

at your looking glass, content
with birthday wishes bobbing on the air;
set in motion, every mysterious year.

sent long ago to God knows where
or message in a bottle,
your soul

washed up on unseen shores,
immutable, beyond careers.

mary angela douglas 20 june 2016

Why Does Enchantment Keep Wearing Off

why does enchantment keep wearing off,
you wondered to yourself, becoming too visible.
and this is the path or is not

where breakfast consists of a few rolls,
a morsel of fine cheese;
lukewarm coffee and the hum of bees

near the syringa.
I must be off again
you thought to yourself

in the bee laced breeze
seeing your fortune
slide into snowbanks

if action is not taken.

winter now.
Jack will sell the cow
for beans.

mary angela douglas 20 june 2016

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Then Earth Remembers You

brush strokes of swans on the mottled pond reflected;
ache of the branch against the sky
in the season of no leaves.

oh fly you will from the moment still
you gazed upon a glazing universe.
winter is here, you sang to yourself again

with your absurd little twig of holly;
your rose mittens you keep losing.
this is the park in winter

where you went in your twenties.
and now the swings glide on their own
and creak with the ice.

and the wind whispers to you and crackles
the pine needles, sifting through
all this silver, you murmur

through your tears;
then earth, remembers you

mary angela douglas 19 june 2016

In A Much Better Mood

am I the rainbow breaking off in the wind,
thought the chandelier prism on the rug again
in a little known tale by Hans Andersen

I've discovered under a stone.
and the wind came through as storms
usually do when the parlour maid leaves

the window open and the Family is abroad
replenishing their stores of spiced pears, nutmeg
marzipan or what have you.

and they will come back drenched
all Princess-and-the-Pea
inquiring peremptorily

what's the story, morning glory;
what happened to the chandelier?
and the maid for fear will go at once

into the kitchen and bake them a ten story Danish cake
with citron in it and frosted pale green
and they will be mollified

and in a much better mood
than at the story's beginning.

mary angela douglas 19 june 2016

Saturday, June 18, 2016


you will pack books, clothes, paint boxes
old woes, whatever else you can
in the time allowed

and now they're waiting for you
in the car and it's summer afternoon
as if it would be so forever.

this is going away you
would have said, if you had known that then.
but in a dream you relive it all

down to the least coin spent
on chocolate or on something cold  to drink,
grape soda you never finished;

an afternoon mail's magazine not yet read.
and so much up ahead that thinking of it
is like staring into the sun.

back home
the toys for tomorrow cannot bend
without you; how will the shadows fall,

the moon come up over the driveway;
the garden roses fend for themselves?
you'll wonder this for years...

your loved ones turned a face to the wall
and could not cry all their tears.

mary angela douglas 18 june 2016

Saints With Their Roses

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

( from Endymion) John Keats

saints with their roses 
beckoned you back then
beyond their tissue guards'

repose in antique books;
or traced on funeral cards
in gold, consoling lettering

replete with lilies against the aquamarine;
cream candles behind their votive glasses gleamed;
burn slowly time, we whispered to God

and rose hastily with the school bells' breeze.
these are my natural shrines you felt
treading the dew wept grass and the shadows shine

with April even now

and the healing fountains under the
apple white moonlight, receding;
I may plead for beauty still

at the innermost altars,even held against my will
or taken suddenly from home by social authorities
who know best,they deem, but at whose behest

it will not matter when all souls return
to the family bower and are
the flowers themselves,

gardenia gleaned,
radiant beyond reprisals;
in Heaven, where this is not allowed.

mary angela douglas 18 june 2016

Friday, June 17, 2016

Time Is The Picture Book You Said

Time is the picture book you said
with the raveled edge
but the raveled edge is gold

soft gold, after all you've told,
been told and there are the pictures
as you dreamed

the lilac seam
the stitches sewn
the apple hold in the faery ship

the rose bright way
where winters stray now
waiting any day

for the last page burnished
the new House furnished.

mary angela douglas 17 june 2016

Thursday, June 16, 2016


going down the slide in spring, summer or fall
(in winter it was always glazed over),
there was always someone to catch you there

at the end;

though climbing up the ladder on your own
was a little dizzying;
you felt kind of brave.

later on, the same playground, park
or even in the old backyard,the shade,
you looked at it: a simple thing

not that high off the ground.
why did it seem such a challenge.
have you forgotten how small you were,

how everything loomed large
or the smell of cut grass in the yard;
the summer splish and splash

not wading out too deep?
now you've drifted far
and wonder, closer to the end

or the beginning,
where you are;
and climbing up, now,

rung by silent rung
through every season
you'll wonder what's to come

when you're careening down the utmost slide
into the angels.

mary angela douglas 16 june 2016