Wednesday, September 28, 2016


how is it that your sap runs off
into the stars
and the silver birds that gathered

wonder where you are
I sense your treefall in my densest dream
where the forests blur on a tapestried screen;

unseen, your roots, upended
yet the sea churns,
the moon leans at the window,

faded grace
and you have lost your clouded face.
oh have they dissolved

the memory of leaves,the green veins one by one
that joyed in light; the light spun,

bleeding into your shadow
in the grove
and the winds

have no harp anymore

mary angela douglas 28 september 2016

The Continent Of The Heart

things that remain:
the recollection of the rain,
the sun through the screen door.

the exhilaration of snow and more,
the blue trace of it on the air
the leaves when they fall

after turning to gold oh everywhere
strange alchemies rewound
the momentary flicker of

pink birthday candles
and the scent of wax
mingled with wishing

the Christmas stocking
Orange of all oranges
and peppermint

the waylaid Star
the continent of the heart
that cannot break apart

the children's Christmas ease
at memorizing these

mary angela douglas 28 september 2015

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Have Chains Of Sadness Bound You

[after John Dowland] first variation

have chains of sadness bound you;
ropes of tears?
through the gloom I see

the dismal jewels shine
festooning ancient madrigals or rather,
like the sun, it's climbed above

the dense, deep graphite
grey of thunderheads,
a gold at a far remove, ineffectual-

in a Storybook
whose pages you are loath to turn.

Beclouded is that picture,
the one I have in mind
and no shepherds piping

in a greening meadow's clime
can I infer:
above, below, on either side

I see strange Melancholy 
on a throne of ice,
the vain assays of knights
up the glassine hill,

the silver apples rolling down,
like tears, like tears
in the stymied after tones

of all our years
consigned to the workhouse of the shrill.
like a ship that won't be turned,

the ice bound will.

mary angela douglas 27 september 2016

Sunday, September 25, 2016

At Home The Day Of The Swap Meet

they're exchanging pet theories about the universe
down at the chequered swap meet near the college
and I'd rather count raindrops and then lose count

of the conversations I've had where nothing
really happens again except you get the distinct
and sinking feeling that once more you've been

coopted as a prop in somebody else's play.
whether you speak of pimento cheese,
of the cure for the disease or

the last sighs of Chopin or
how glad you are today, there are always
those eager to unsay your assay

so what is there left to say
I wonder where I wonder

with tne blinds half open
to reveal the skies
where the scenery serenely

changes its disguise with no comments,
with the implicit songs of birds,
and not one thing skittering toward

the spotlight.

mary angela douglas 25 september 2016

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Doll Poems

doll poems made of finery,
tiny stitches,lined my sleep;
rippled the vintage wallpaper

or slipped in the creek-
or bubbled in the lemonades
we made. doll poems:

snip of cherry silk,
basted with lime thread;
blue taffeta curtained;

softly sung to bed.
I will keep them in the attics beyond
trap door entrances

pulled with a pearly chain
for days and days when it rains.
and rainbow riven, they'll

come back to you.
you, consistently in love
with the Kingdom of small

where we scattered pillow feathers
to simulate Christmas snow.
and walk about pink halls

in our miniature shawls;
mysterious, with our painted teacups
tamed, on tawny kitchen shelves-

we'll whisper what we know...
and own the wishing wells.

mary angela douglas 24 september 2016

Friday, September 23, 2016

Near The Shade Trees Outside The Gates

where have you been they may ask you,
their meaning no cherry pastry;
and pretend to want to hear the answer

as if they cared

to what impelled you to walk out
under the night skies
and flecked with an opal light.

and the stars as if they knew who you were.
that's the part that really bothers them.

a sudden breeze comes up
and you feel, freedom, someone's freedom
is coded there.

but they are unaware
and continue with
the interrogations

they were born for;

while you compare
because you got that far in school
the purpling of indistinct shadows

on a wall.

mary angela douglas 23 september 2016

Cherry Kerchief

[for Isabel De Clare]

this won't be remembered, perhaps you said
inscribing it in your book of snow
or tying it up in your cherry kerchief

where the peach winds blow
and the castle is near at hand.
it's near at hand and burns like

crystal in a night blind land
or etched on sea foam.
but how would you know-

you, with so far to go.
you, with your book of snow.

mary angela douglas 23 september 2016

Thursday, September 22, 2016


we came upon the balloons of Heaven.
this was in a dream and
after climbing a green hill

in search of picnic grounds
as it happens sometimes in daily life
that you find an unexpected thing

while looking for another.
we saw them drifting endlessly,
the lost ones from Oz

in unchronicled years;

the pink and gold 
from secret birthday wishes appearing
and the passengers also

in rose as if posing for
the Impressionists on a summer's day and
peering through pearl opera glasses.

and then there were herds of the azure
simply fantastic
escaped from circuses and fairs;

from the soft curved hands of tear streaked children

one instant earlier unaware 
that here on earth
beauty slips so easily from us.

but here they came back to us
newly in love with clouds
and every bit as high as we used to swing;

consorting with the
rainbow flavored zephyrs
and a something aeolian

that came ringing from the leaves
of trees

the tall and guardian ones
we loved so long ago
when we were home...

mary angela douglas 22 september 2016

Red and Gold

sometimes your story shone red gold
new penny wonderful or dreamed
in the drift of leaves for you for you alone

they're falling down and you're the
princess of red and gold town you tell yourself
before you're old and in a blue wind

turn the trees into friends.
but they were friendly before
and watched for you

every day
on your way through the red and gold
the red and gold

the red and gold

mary angela douglas 22 september 2016

Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Colours of Hydrangea

happy to wear the colours of hydrangea
fifteen petticoats and a mysterious glow
we came up in the summer times

and longed for snow
and read the story of the snow maiden secretly

in the space age they said we favor science
over the fairy tales but I asked now
when the leaves became crimson unexpectedly

under my breath so as not to disturb

the focus of the class
what fairy tale is greater than Space
oh please, think fast

if not the every day's "at lasts"?

mary angela douglas 17 september 2016

Friday, September 16, 2016

Later Historians Coming Upon The Site

pink seashell were the skies
as if to match her room
she thought if thinking could be this

as if she were music
being breathed
and felt in tune

with the landscape
in its winter white dimensions,
shadows of the pastel.

and on the brink of wishing wells
she dreamed into a deeper dream
so that she was not seen

which made the schooldays
easier to bear
and odd it was when she

recalled it later
that the nearer she got to God
the more they indicted her as

'unaware" of her surroundings
not knowing rose like how she bloomed
sounding the depths

of what they presumed
already to have mastered,

well prepared
for all the disasters.
later it was historians came

to view the site and noted
in small notebooks:
it is quite apparent those

who survived
were the ones with imagination.

mary angela douglas 16 september 2016

An Ordinary Sky Might Rain Down Pearls

an ordinary sky might rain down pearls;
the children trudging by with overcast sighs
to neighborhood bus stop corners, the school day's world,

swinging their plaid satchels, dreamed-
it's an ordinary sky
in almost december;

we would like to move the
hands on the clock,
the weeks of the calendar

as in old films on the late, late show:
the vast days ticking by like seconds;
or to be imbued near the yellow cafeteria trays

as if with sudden music; the Ghost of Christmas Past
on a casement draft... floating
out of arithmetic and never looking back.

oh that the sky in sympathy at last
full up with quelling angels
could comply: brnging us

baskets of blizzards
from an ordinary sky
tied up with silver ribbon,

the scarlet and the gold.
and gaily knowing nothing
we needed to know but mystery

in the freezing cold we'd burst
into the schoolyards, still in the day
and freed from history!

in the purple of starry dismissals,
like the Magi,
on our way.

mary angela douglas 13 september 2016

Player Piano

I heard a player piano in the mists
that played the rose red notes of Liszt
and preludes, etudes, polonaises

firefly rich and laden with the sunkist
children backyard bright and
under the trees of night

plucking the harps of star, starlight...
peppermints and pure delight;
how apricot lightened seemed it then

to dream and plunk the notes from the winds,
the ghostly streams, the eddying of
the lemon leaves falling fast and

flying free: I heard these all
but who is it
hears me

mary angela douglas 16 september 2016

The Letter You Write To The End Of The World

the letter you write to the end of the world:
let it be painted in gold
on the eyelash of a second

or carved in pink marble
as upon an april sky;
or in silver pointed flame,

not ever to die,
in colours of rain,
yet not be washed away.

or threaded through Christmas Eve

the first time you believed on earth,
in tinsel typography sparkling and sparkling;
collapsing the parabolas of the soul

when it wept moonlight, vanishing, remember?
O to resemble the toy most loved in childhood
with its rainbow rings so self-contained

or with little bells attached that someone
may be made merry.
or let it taste like cherries on pineapple sundaes

especially, if on a Monday, it becomes necessary
to not show up for work; let us all shirk then
with the angels the perfunctory, facing the sea surge,

mystically brave:the last of the strawberrie sugared;

breaking out new parasols for the occasion
leaving our antiphons half unfinished or sending it:
the soul, the letter, the recipe on ahead of us

wrapped in a silken envelope to sail
above all destined gales into the
milk pearl galaxies like the necklace

mama wore once, all blue summer long,
turning to stars
above the lawns of God.

mary angela douglas 3 september 2016