Saturday, January 28, 2017

Thumbelina Starts A Small Memoir

did we look into depths of roses
thinking we were at home
thought Thumbelina on her own

and in a queenly state of mind
a violet for a cover from the rain.
one raindrop, a flood.

then I lived in mud
the bride of fossils nearly
till swallow came

and rescue bloomed with Spring.
did we look into depths of roses
were we ourselves the mirror of the sky

floating on intricate waters
thought of simply
or not at all.

by any passerby.

mary angela douglas 29 january 2017


let us mend our nets I said to no angel in particular
the ones of gold, the quiet ones of amethyst
that old dreams may be caught

in their rainbow scales, alive.
who are you whispered the wind
as it did in childhood

and the trees bent near.
and all is green again and kind,
as in the time of early emeralds.

are we on the decks of the orchid ships again,
and can't stop singing?

why will you hasten away?
we said to the sun or moon,
to the least star blazing.


mary angela douglas 28 january 2017

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Scarecrow In His Meditations

sunflowers grow in the dark
I know he said to himself
so why not I

without the sun
on nights when nothing
comes to mind but straw

and the straw filled.
all night and day I watch
the hills for come what may

but May doesn't come
it is autumn pays my way with fitful rays
and the tinge of the pumpkin moon

and the purple crows at noon
and me ineffectual as ever.
sunflowers grow in the dark

oh, why not I
and the little straw larks
by break of day

by my breaking heart remembered,
missing the meadows of time.

mary angela douglas 24 january 2017

The Scarecrow At Dusk

he scares no one, nothing
and that is perhaps why
his painted smile

in a certain light 
looks wryly on the landscape
where the crows gather

the glitter of the moonlight
into calculating eyes.

prince of the cornfields
could he be
in dreams oh what a surpise

and lift his arms toward God
but they flop down
when the wind is still

and everything laughs then.
someday he may fly off
the stake which is driven into the ground

aloft among clouds
and tumbling home.
and lose his fadedness and then

set out to win the princess
but for now
his crooked grin grows

tear streaked in the rains
knowing he must remain.

mary angela douglas 24 january 2017

Monday, January 23, 2017

To An April I Remember

how have they stolen april away
the april of my mind the one entwined
with early violets

the cold and greening winds.
send some other messenger in my stead
perhaps she said

if words were spoken at the end.
I will recall the early buds
the chirping rivulets of the silver sounding birds

the fragrant and the wistful air
oh how absurd to the modern poets
all she is:

small flowers every where
and quietude

standing alone on a hill
pale lilacs in her hair.

mary angela douglas 23 january 2017

Saturday, January 21, 2017

We Will Paint Figures In The Frost

we will paint figures in the frost
just with our sighs goodbye you said
and then I don't know where

the universe ahead of us would be then
anymore.or the front porch constellations shine.
how will the lives half gilded in the frost

and on the edge of the remotest sun
in winter come to life or be called, mine
where we painted figures

in the school bus dark
waving old Christmases goodbye
and saw that beaded on the glass

a million rainbows splintered
the mild sky
to our every hurt, alas!

how vanishing is prolonged now
and the winter will not pass.

mary angela douglas 21 january 2017

Come Back, I Said To The Riddles

come back, I said to the riddles
but they would not heed me
in time for the party, scrolled

on pastel strips of paper
or wrapped with favors of
foil wrapped toffee

caught like kites in the wind

or the best chocolates
along the meridians.
they said they were.

what will we do by sunset
without the answers
when the riddle masters come calling

wanting their fortunes told.
I shall grow old, waiting.
and the cakes, stale.

and who will let the jesters
our of jail.

mary angela douglas 21 january 2017

Reading The First Chapter

reading the first chapter of the words they left behind
a stillness settled over all the castle
and they slept...

and silver was their sleep, entwined with gold
set with all the jewels of what was before them then
before the spell...

and you were in the garden then
near the new roses
and far from foretelling,

under a flushed sky

with the new moon lingering by
and you wondered, how can the sky
be pink and silver too

and the cooling breezes came
the diamond slates with the little ruby pencils
you will write your fate there

in barely legible letters widely formed
the birthday wishes of the fairies...
and this was the curve of the song

so interrupted
the underside of the leaves
you held to the light

like a favorite plaything
and the long low everafter overnight
before the bells ceased ringing.

mary angela douglas 21 january 2017

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Saints Cry Out From The Kingdom Of Lies

we who are held captive in this
the Kingdom of Lies
require your help

oh God

out of the mire of stars
have we been made

and unmade still

your own and forfeit to
the Kingdom of Lies

in every game of chance

we undertake
for your sweet sake

arise again arise arise

over the Kingdom of Lies
and make us ladders

out of your starry light

and free us here
from everlasting night

look down on this our plight

while we are plighted yours
and grant us sight

for the long road beckoning

the pure.

mary angela douglas 20 january 2017

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Circus And The Golden Door

they made words do tricks and jump through hoops
as though they were wild animals
words served the circuses of those

who knew how to trap them
but I find
more and more distance from these.

and in a dream I saw a golden door
and the door was open and then not.
and dark angels barred the way

spears shooting from their eyes
at anyone who tried
to pass that way

so that no man dared look on them.
and I saw the golden door

that it was weeping as Before
so that it dissolved
and we passed through

my words and I
my cherry bright words
that longed to sing

we passed through
and were free.

mary angela douglas 18 january 2017

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


sometimes I feel we are only speaking in slogans
and then I see the different coloured slogans
speaking to each other across the fences of the world

disarranging the lilacs and
looking a little folkloric, at least at the beginning
then leaving us out of the conversation entirely.

and the slogans have grown legs and arms and heads and hands

and are walking among us crisp in their new suits,
their dotted swiss dresses they are waving us on

while we start feeling slippery, losing our labels

so that our mothers don't recognize us
a dish of jello here, a pot of watery jam

a shadow, a creek bed dried

and the slogans have taken over, side by side and
linking arms

they are running everything

the slogans run the bank
the shoe store

the bar and grill

the gas station
the monoply board

the seventh ward

the silo and the grain
and there are slogans now for rain

for windy weather for the trains when they come on time

for snowfall and the picturesque antics of the children, codified
and they are always on tv! See.
and oh God I am tired of slogans.

I am so tired of slogans.

mary angela douglas 18 january 2017

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

I Saw The Light Of Far Off Things Glimmering

I saw the light of far off things glimmering
and the wave rose up to meet us
before we had touched down

and this was not drowning.
this was breathing
in another way

our words unformed in the hard frost
almost visible.

that you could not say
where you had been then
when you returned

doesn't mean you were nowhere.
we threaded the needle in tears at our plight
and sought to embroider with words

all that we heard that night
though we were deemed inarticulate.
having seen the angels over the glazed fields

we could not speak into Love
what we felt there.

mary angela douglas 17 january 2017


she shall wear her chinaberry silk
we thought, by moonlight;
thinking all things through

as far as it was possible then.
the lilac fan that came with her
on your last birthday

but maybe not, the shoes.
let her wear shoes of gold
that we may tell her golden stories

or that she may go there
while we are at school,
to fantastic dolldom

the place of mystic tales
of inestimable tea sets
where all things are to scale.

mary angela douglas 17 january 2017


leaving our homes of light
we wove from the darkness, stars,
a thimble sized moon,

oblivious waters
and afternoons of the steel grey skies
melting to pearl

until the angel came to us and said
her Christmas trumpet flaring
learn  to build the world anew

from few colours
from the trace of what you remember
and kindle from the days

that passed away
an indestructible song.

an indestructible song.

mary angela douglas 17 january 2017

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Good Thinking

the bride doll with her doll pearls glowed
in the nightlight with unearthly sheen,
the folds of her netted silk dress gleamed.

we confessed to each other in a pale whispering,
she looks Spooky
our eyes pooled widely, our mouths a thin seam

too scared to call Grandmother on the scene
of a new distress thought out:
if she throws her bouquet

of tiny paper flowers
whatever you do,
don't catch it.

mary angela douglas 14 january 2017

What Could We Carry In Our Hands

what could we carry in our hands
of all that gold
so we did carefully as we were told by the

fairy charge d'affaires

and carried in our minds an infinite store
of all the rare thrice wrapped in invisible brocades, 
or dug with a sapphire spade

and with footfall of ruby,
whispered command
contrived at a hidden shore.

and the apple spray and the little door
in the winter wood
we fastened shut.

long through snows piled each on each
we supped on the treasure
within our reach

and cherry rich,
we lived galore
and carried on

as if we were poor
and laughed inside
when silver the moonlight

spilled on the floor
in plain view of the inspectors.

mary angela douglas 14 january 2017

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Oh I Believe

the whole day, we were speaking through clouds.
come down came the command
should we comply?

should we believe poetry is about
dissecting the fly, partisan politics on a spree?
oh I will believe in the language of clouds

and in this way, stay free
of all the brawling lies
that would strip the gold from the altarpieces

the ribbon of beauty threaded through language,
snipped, without a cry.

mary angela douglas 11 january 2017

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Choose One

to be both and opposing things is
finally, to be nothing.
choose one, say the relatives

passing the candy box round to
the children at Christmas, on birthdays.
so you try to pick the one

with the raspberry cream center
falling short of it, everytime, by
two or three pieces.

how easy to believe,
but it's not true,
you can be equally devil and angel.

choose one;
before you split in two

mary angela douglas 10 january 2017

P.S. And I pray to God you choose the angel.

A Thin Slice of Cake With Posies On The Side, To My Grandmother

to my Grandmother, Lucy W. Young

ye unbound words that in my heart have recourse
from the hard edged winds of modernity
and cannot be pirated away

shine as you may
all ruby emerald sapphire sprayed
on the deck of imagination's ship

with the white silk sails
refracting olde rainbows
composed of the roseleaf, intricate

jeweled design like the glass bright
ornaments on my Grandmother's needlepoint pocketbook so fine
we always coveted rain or shine

may you be in line

with what she taught me
quoting in the kitchen
from the works of Tennyson, sublime

while we scooped huge scoops of frosting
from the unwashed bowl
and all Heaven hovered

at the open screen door
just to hear more.

mary angela douglas 10 january 2017

Monday, January 09, 2017

We Wanted To Be Cake Topper Ballerinas

we wanted to be cake topper ballerinas
when we grew up
never stopping to think

how difficult it might turn out to be
to pirouette in frosting
or to make it seem like

part of the choreography in quite a
natural way when we bent down perhaps
to nibble a butter cream rose.

but in the game of let's suppose
it isn't a rule to think of contingencies
when you are only three, or even four

or even to parachute down logistically
in quite an Emerald town
with your wishes well in hand

without fainting from the sight
of the Winged Monkeys.

as hard as we tried to hold a thought
we'd lose the key to the castle
by the very next day

when we would play something else
or wake to another dream entirely:
a trail of sequins from neglected tulle

a pink glow, a random cast off jewel
the only evidence left on the nursery floor
with the toys discomfited of yesterday as if to say,

perhaps to chide us, don't you remember...

when we were playing school.

mary angela douglas 9 january 2017

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Pear Song Of The Princess

the pear strewn days of a pale gold
half guild the roads of old dreams, picnics
I in my rooms remember...

rose of a pale green whispering
the sun there and through ivory
castles shone

this lattice work I have decorated
with hues gone by:
the pear orchard bridal under moonlight,

the pear strewn valleys
when the winds came through
chilling the fruit

before we could reach it
tinged with a far away sweetness
on a silver dish offered

in late afternoon.

mary angela douglas 7 january 2016

Friday, January 06, 2017

Children Sighed For The United States Of Snow

children sighed for the United States of Snow
what's in forever that can't be said must
surely be purely be snowed

over the playsets of the earth
and so that state is indistinguishable from state
as yard from yard

or we are all living in melting ice cream
or packed solid.
are we sweeter then we laughed

what's in forever that isn't snow
is that which never melts
what we catch on our mittens

rosy with delight
because it is starlight frozen.
and we are that diamonded wind.

mary angela douglas 6 january 2017

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Two Angels Watch Me

two angels watch me
one of darkness, one of light
and I in the corridors alone

take flight 
only God sees
the rainbow round my head

the aureole bright
and two angels watching
and two angels watching.

mary angela douglas 3 january 2017

Monday, January 02, 2017

The Dark Mirror Reflects Nothing

the dark mirror reflects nothing; the quenched light.
this have we reflected on in the dim nights,
the nights split at the seams;

the dreams spilling their jewels onto wet pavements
uselessly beautiful.
beauty has no use cries the dark mirror wordlessly

to any passer by and like an impious edict,
a tearless hound.

let the one string left hum on in the salons.
the dark mirrors reflect nothing; the quenched light
is the only light they understand;

those who have taken the heights from the angels
and assumed command
and scoff from the balustrades of the moon

it's catch as catch can all over town.
beauty has no purpose
until we can trample it down.

mary angela douglas 3 january 2017

Out Of Sync With The Spinning World

out of sync with the spinning world
I wonder where my time has gone
and why its gold spilled out on the pavements

of the world before, is beclouded now.
am I just winter's creature out of sight
until the flowery boon of spring returns

or will the glint of other worlds inured
that only slip beyond the bright
enamel my footsteps

through the room, and cancel my flight.
cast in the wind that barely breathes
I sail not forth

I catch no breeze
out of sync with the turning world
and left inside to grieve.

mary angela douglas 2 january 2017