Saturday, December 31, 2016

I Thought The Beautiful World Had Come

"then pealed the bells more loud and deep..." Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I thought the beautiful world had come
haunting the space that used to be
filled with human misery

and gold to the touch and unfolding as the rose.
soon sighed the angels but not yet
and I couldn't sleep for remembering

what I could not forget that the beautiful world
is possibly near to each one expecting it
though tempest driven and alone.

keep watch oh my soul I wanted to say
and open the casements in an old fashioned way
and let the spangled air rush through

the rooms of a former bitterness.
and the ghost I was unlatched the stars
where God had healed the inward scars in

the winter air, where it floated, the beautiful world
just out of reach.
tell your children this

in their fine sleep.
that the beautiful world may come.

mary angela douglas 1 january 2017

Friday, December 30, 2016

Small White Stones

children learn to tell themselves small stories
so that the sun is always out at night
or falling down a well they remember

nursery rhymes, counting songs
the beautiful sudden ray of light
falling down the shaft

and afterwards.
we grow up.
still needing little stories.

in the plum coloured darkness,
tracing the way back home
with the small, white stones.

mary angela douglas 30 december 2016

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Ink On The Clouds Is Fading

the ink on the clouds is fading
tell us what to say
who have forgotten everything

from day to day
who must learn by ear
the music to relay

when the lines are down.
God with his conch ear
oceans hears our prayer

the sun is fading everywhere
the moon is next in line
and who can understand his time

cried Mandelstam alone
on the brink of the hereafters
far from home amid the

deprivations of the Soul
sing from the rafters was told to

us in school
but there was no music left then
only the metronomes

of the high winds, lost sierras,

mary angela douglas 29 december 2016

Shop Window Shopping On Display

the poem alive outside the shop window goodies
piled up high, the little pink cakes, the alibis
for why don't most read poetry anymore

especially not from the Holy Ghost

or why do they call poetry
that which is not
the rooms where moonlight never seeps

all deeps unfathomed.
fathomless it is to me
what poetry has come to be

yet I dream all the gold it ever was
and will not let it go.

mary angela douglas 29 december 2016

Where Is The Place I Try To Find

where is the place I try to find
but if it exists, is hiding in a
neverending game of

hide and seek
though I weep and through my tears
find it under the pillow, in my sleep.

laughing, I would be there

dappled and dreams queing up
for a long, long while
and gifts of song like apples

windfall falling in the orchards.
how green and red and gold
as if on perpetual holiday

springs would be then,
aprils unemcumbered by
the inevitable moment of

blossoms all blowing away,
the bride trees stricken.
and I would gather violets then-

sweet peas, posies from the
old fashioned gardens glowing anew.
ah, there is no ticket there, no pass

through  the rose reft thickets 
though I look in the glass
of a thousand summers

wishing it were not true.

mary angela douglas 29 december 2016

Is It What You See In The Painting

is it what you see in the painting
or is it what you are or were
sunlight flecked in your once upons

transfixed by beauty from the first days.
here is the light on the tree mysteriously
transfixed and the moment stays

within its frame;
the painter's acclaim.
the sky branches-

but you're outside of it, regretfully,

and even the light changes

all aspects in an opaline shimmer, glaze.
will you shine someday, far away,
with a wish to return

to the deeper green there?
the tree in shadow,
when Time has burned away.

mary angela douglas 29 december 2016

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Thus Had The Beautiful World Just Come To Be

thus had the beautiful world
just come to be
drifting in your own mind

like the second snows lifted above the first
and veil on veil.
delicately, almost

seen through or
on a sea of quiet choired
and in between,

vague memories of leaves
their skeleton, veins in 
a partial sun

flaming upwards.
so angels depart, the rubied wing
having inferred the message

or the heart is sounded again,
consoled, with the snows
lifting and falling

lifting and falling
repairing silver 
in the astonished air.

mary angela douglas 28 december 2016

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Works Of Imagination Dim

the works of imagination dim
the children in the frail boat falter
the wind has culled the golden leaves

the bright ships fade.

how did they unmake a world
and leave no shred of evidence behind
someone will ask

with snowdrops in her hair, unvetted-
or kicking up the leaves at the curb.
and when was the crossroads

white with dew,
a seconding moonlight
and why did the apple branch lean down

when this was through

and where was longing found
in the proud age empty
of all we knew

the shades of green
you could count on one hand,
mowed down.

I went to the lost and found
to find the princess, prince
all underground and tagged

and we played run, sheep run
our voices like bells.
our shadows lagged-

and rushed to our lips
almost, a sadness:
one lost and violet word.

the setting sun
like a final rose
flung down by God

for the mourning doves.
and the dreaming world undone
by snows, in the afternoon.

mary angela douglas 27 december 2016

Monday, December 26, 2016

And I Have Been Scolded In Dreams

and I have been scolded in dreams
the day after Christmas
by those who insist

I do not know my task.
and I ask myself
did I let them through the door

who let them through.
false gatekeepers have I then
and a rusted gate

that they are free to say
in between the dark and day
whatever they please.

but today I had something to say
in between their abrupt s smug
arrivals and departures

at an airport I could not recognize
on an exam.
I am that I am said the Lord God.

and I am His child...

mary angela douglas 27 december 2016


the ruby sleeve on the ivory dress
the fading stars in the looking glass
the illustrated dawn at last

with its tissue paper guard
in the story book found
in the dusk lit yard

and the blueness over all.
white curtained in the wind
I send my old thoughts

back again
to what was new
besprinkled with dew

the Homeric roses
the silver sheen
on the forgotten shoe.

mary angela douglas 26 december 2016

Sunday, December 25, 2016

In Old Stories It Is Often Told

in old stories it is often told
that friend parted early from friend
will meet again

on a later shore
that a door once closed
will open

at the appointed time.
and children left in the cold
cheer themselves

at the grate of imagination.
this is a tale from every nation
that allows those without gold

to continue. those bought and sold
to find freedom in their own souls
if nowhere else so that

those without the fleece, the apples won
the history of the sun, unwritten

manage to endure.
these are the pure words falling
drifting like snow about me

who am stranded now,
farther from home
than before.

with God to adore.

mary angela douglas 25 december 2016

Saturday, December 24, 2016

There's A Golden Thread Through It All

there's a golden thread through it all
was said to me once in a dream
and if you pull it, the whole

fabric of darkness
will come unraveled so that
only the starlight will remain.

and I was on a windswept plain
and couldn't hear the befores and afters 
of what was said or even if music

solved it, after all.
the one thing I wanted to hear
was what do I do now

explained.and it came to me partially
find the golden thread you are winding
the golden thread asleep or awake and

even just yesterday I thought I heard

you are following like a migratory bird
and then I woke up looking around and dazed,
eclipsing the sound

yet no longer fugitive

mary angela douglas 24 december 2016

Other People's Christmases

other people's Christmases seem somehow better,
all aglow,
while you're at home in later life  with the shreds of

rewrapped wrappings and it's cold unless
you remember to turn up the heat,
eat something sweet a little

desultorily or watch It's a Wonderful Life on tv
though you already have the dvd
all year long.

what will it take
to make the sugar plum shimmer
grow a little less dimmer

you carol alone
and no sudden movie snow comes down
on cue.

well it's in you
the Christmas capability of making do
with the Christmas you've got

which when you think of it
is exactly what Mary and Joseph did
so far from home

all on their own

until the Christmas angels came
and lit up the skies
as if it were day.and daylight

for the whole world.

mary angela douglas 24 december 2016

No Harm To Thee, Andrew Marvell

no harm should come to Andrew Marvell
and his green garden I vowed in my sleep
but no one heeded me.

still drifting ever onward into
the castle keep of the green words sown
no harm to thee, Andrew Marvell

though it is dethroned you are
among the poet kings on earth
let the angels sing and

do the hedgerow angels ring
invisibly as before the flowers
bloom from the april hedges oncemore


men and angels falling from your ledges
stop midair at wonders everywhere.
and words, green worlds glistening

amid the strife.come back, oh please
come back to life.
no harm should come to Andrew Marvell

in all his green garden

sowing the words of life,
pure life.
come down to us

come down to us
I am mystified
beyond belief

in these kingdoms of the deaf,
take this small rose.

mary angela douglas 24 december 2016

Friday, December 23, 2016


I want to go to the land of pink museums
where they serve pink punch or lemonade
and we wear frocks with roses emblazoned on

them, a dab of carnation perfume
and carry bouquets of, you guessed it, pinks
and don't you think

the exhibits would stand out
and we would have clout
if the whole earth were pink

and face it, the best candy ever
is pink divinity
tinted with cherry juice

whose are these
if you please with a cherry on top
murmured Cinderella

said the snippy stepsister in the fairy tale
holding up a pair of pink pompom shoes for daywear
just then the councilor came through

with the pink sapphire slipper on a pinker pillow
and Cinderella from a fuschia apron pocket
plucked the other one

and now my pink story is done
and frosted..

mary angela douglas 23 december 2016

Thursday, December 22, 2016

American Gadgets And Whirligigs

to my Grandfather, Milton B. Young

American gadgets and whirligigs
and furbelows made of crepe de chine
and gizmos and hairpins and things that

spin in flashing colors
and papers with pins
and old timey churning

and soda shop yearning and

ice cream freezers and hand turning
everything, whizzers and wheezers
accordion pleated or flatiron

trim and packaged so neatly
remember when
you felt so much hope at the five and dime

collecting the wonders
that saved you time
american gadgets I love from the heart

and so did my Grandpa
and nautical charts and railroad reminders
and diamond finders

and Christmas orange rinders
and kept in a drawer with
inventive folklore

along with the stamps and
the radiant lamps
the arc of the past

making it last.
and ten times as fast!

mary angela douglas 22 december 2016 

Sometimes It Makes Me Sad

sometimes it makes me sad
to think of the vanished cities
the ones of desert mirage

the ones bombed out
in wars we don't remember
the childhood blocks tumbled down,

oil rainbows in the garage
old raincoats, galoshes in the front hall closet
the game pieces lost

in summers, on picnics,
amid the tall grasses.
the beaded frocks, the looking glasses,

the floral printed, fading.
the butterfly broken hands
of the cloisonne clocks, the midnight tokens

of God's grace, remaining.

I think of this in deep winter
or on the cusp of Spring.
is it really possible

they are all gone, the citadels?
the carols about the golden rings
the continents of memory

breaking apart.the myrrh of wings
presented to the Infant King
the wounded heart in the stories

come back to life.the songs the
babies sing in the dark
or it may be, their angels sing

the islands washed over.
the bride and bridegroom adrift on the cake
the coral kingdoms under the sea.

old coupons, no longer redeemable.
the way the world was dreamed
is dreamed, before we awake

the wavering colors in the mirror of the sky
the way they looked to me then, moire, moire,
the gold decked, the beautiful, beckoning.

mary angela douglas 22 december 2016

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Problem You Can Solve For Yourself

the problem you can solve for yourself
while looking out the window
at the trees in Spring

should be somewhere near.
but I misplaced it, you insist, oh dear,
emptying your pockets year after year

for all to see
in the dream that keeps revolving regularly
the problem you can solve

in your sleep
the last element in the periodic chart
or the signification of Art

to you in a glass bound kingdom
lost in the snow globe snows
and wondering what is next

and why are the tiny houses
on the periphery,
each one latched

against a darkness

that cannot come
instead of welcoming you home?
somewhere out there

is the problem worked out

to perfection
its crenellated towers
of course

because you always wanted to free
that word from its Sentence
you always wanted to solve it

all if only they would let you use
the coloured chalks to do it.

mary angela douglas 20 december 2016

Monday, December 19, 2016

Minimalism Has Its Little Daylight

we are zooming backwards dreamed Cinderella
as things started springing out of the carriage wheel
and I'm not talking fleur de lis

and golden bolts flew off
and the horses cough
grew squeakier 

this I fear is not going well at all
what happened to the spell of words
that we should see bare branch to

flowery flower grown mysteriously
but now its soup without the bone
tree without leaves, and jamless scone or

cliff without sea
adjectives trimmed imperiously
primary colours less than three

and grim editors on the scene
blue ribonning the harangue or
letting it all go hang in

potato plain language,
pride in no ornament at all.

mary angela douglas 19 december 2016

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Even Now

we could wear dresses threaded with starlight
I thought and why shouldn't we
loving the night skies as we did

almost from the cradle
and this is how we would live
dressed in starlight

innocently and breathing in the green
perfumes of the night unseen
and being, only being

like the winds,
in from the sea.
why couldn't we.

why couldn't our steps chime
in unison with the heavenly spheres
and we  be dancing

tulle draped, meditative years
posed for a moment as in
vintage photographs of the ballet

where the air surrounding
seems filled with snows invisible.
pinning the rose adagios to the wall

of our favorites and thinking always
in terms of the dance.
giving a backward glance to it

even without these things coming to pass
I am so glad I dreamed of them then.
thinking that I would live like the wind

and thinking beyond
what would have to be endured
that even now

this is still possible.

mary angela douglas 18 december 2016

Saturday, December 17, 2016

In Spring. and The Lady Slipper Stories

for Mama

your ladyslipper stories
I'll find again one day
when the new grass dew

dots the lawn
like starlight and
the children have all gone away

remembering their dreams.
remembering their dreams
they have departed

and not on this side of things
will they return
when the sun burns

the dew off the grass.
you will wipe your tears
with the kerchief of wind

that billowed out their sails
at the last at the end
and tell to me again

like the beads of lost prayers
on their behalf,
your lady slipper stories

on the fragrant air
mid the flowers everywhere

mary angela douglas 17 december 2016

Ghost Ships I Have Seen

ghost ships I have seen
in my own time
not in my time

the sequinned rigging of the stars
and cast away farther than the mind
can go.

ghost ships, in the snows of
Christmas departing
where we no longer wait

for the Rose of all roses 
so we have gathered to the heart

the bridal finery that disappears
in contravening years
and stood at the docks until

there was no more light to see by.
there was no more sea.

mary angela douglas 17 december 2016

Friday, December 16, 2016

They Seem Afraid To Write About The Stars

in memory of John Glenn...

they seem afraid to write about the stars
in a wonderstruck way, the colour that descends
and the leaves that stray across any footpath

carelessly rich with beauty, near decay.

why are they
ashamed of beauty
and of praise

I try to understand
and find rank mockery

on every hand
and so I learn to read
the ancient poets, one by one

pretending that this world has run its course
or will have soon
and I will stay in love with the moon, the

endless illuminations night or day
and praise the God
that made it all this way.

mary angela douglas 16 december 2016

Some Ballet

for Olga Spessivtseva

out of some ballet did you wander
looking at home in the snows
you with your tiara ah

no longer of rose,

made of frost.of vagrant moonglow.
it is made of frost, hard words
your day to day

are you still in some ballet
shirring the music that's your own
and pure, without memory,

mirrors falling away;
courting old dismay

consigned to this
where the glass in all rooms
shatters at the clear

note attained.
though no footlights stray
and barely a moon

that's pear shaped
comes your way
are you still in some ballet

you with the lilac cast to your face
your eyes, your hands your grace
composed of snowlight

of what falls apart
so easily
fragile to the last

unaccustomed to the haze
are you still
in some ballet?

mary angela douglas 16 december 2016