Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A Visitation

song itself came to the back stairs of the castle
in a drenching rain
like the princess in old fairy stories, refrains

of the tunes we softly used to dream
bringing blossoms to a neglected altar-

driven out
seeking refuge
tears indistingishable from rain

and her cloth of gold is frayed
her silken shoes worn.
petal thin she hardly stands

like a wish pebble thrown, alone
half drowned in an ancient fountain.
but her eyes shine candlelit within

like a thousand thousand candelabra
or the night skies branching plum tinged
over a wordless Spring.

mary angela douglas 1 march 2017

Monday, February 27, 2017

In This Issue

in this issue we have the directions to the castle
in this issue the pirate map on Mars
the clues that you were apt to forget

when you were wishing on a star

and you can connect the dots or not
while waiting in the same old spot
for something wondrous to appear

or carry it with you till New Years

the Christmas glossy magazine
with tips to make the chiming scene,
the charming gift, the cake, delight,

and plans to renovate the night

so that the stars more silverly shine
to point out where the simple dine
when you are running out of dimes

in this issue, or the next one. down the line.

mary angela douglas 27 february 2017

To All The Children Who Wanted To Be King Or Queen

to all the children who wanted to be king or queen
of the classroom, dayroom dramas
of their dreams in apple green sour or mauve or anything

to thee I bring these cowslip broidered poems
where you are free to be crowned with
gummy stars, dimestore gems and the

last of the aluminum foil from the
kitchen cabinet or you are home sick
and the thought of candle wick costumes

conjured at halloween occurs
and so you practice being princess, earl,
all the day ringing the small bell

at bedside anyway for more soup please
and gingerale and tell me please just
one more fairy tale or let me breathe

once upon instead the pine scented winds
at lane's end or feel brocaded longings
stir for the outdoors autumn perfumed

tromping back again to
school and learning the golden rule
and knowing we're king and queen

of everything already when we just
so apple checked off the roll call list
sing out "present", presentful of whims.

mary angela douglas 27 february 2017

I Dream Of Staircases

I dream of staircases
I cannot descend
because the stairway runs out

into uncarpeted Space
or only goes a little way down.
I dream of train stations

where the train has taken Forever away
or only just left
or of buses

and I don't have correct change
or I am in that building again
the one I never saw in real life

in an imaginary town
and it is dusk with no known address
and I can't leave

because the staircases recede
though others are on the ground
and the jump is too far down

it could kill me

and it is sleeting
and I cannot slide
and when I ask for a ride

they are all going
the other way

mary angela douglas 27 february 2017

Never Before This World Refreshing Dawn

never before this world refreshing dawn
sky of the dreaming pearl arose
among the roses in the garden

standing still, those watercoloured children
learn their initials by the disappearing moon
with birdsong in tune and tuning

they turn and turn in the flounced and especial dance
unlearned and bright as meadows turning gold
by the afternoon

will they have learned their letters,
mended their manners, brought their angels to heel
with their laughter

made friends with the tall, spiced grasses,
reciting the two times two;

will they vanish too?

mary angela douglas 27 february 2017

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Did They Butterfly Pin The Stars

did they butterfly pin the stars to their night skies
the fashionable artists
oh we hope this isn't so but how will we know

if someone saw the paintings move in their appointed frames.
just once I did looking at Monet across the room
mother of pearl cathedral against the white gloss walls

gathering lustre still.
this is art the way you feel it to be
as if you were gazing through a startling window

or into an Easter Egg panorama
and it is sugar sweet to you
the night you thought had fled

if not, the green things whispered
supremely on the flower filled winds

by some solitary in an early april.

mary angela douglas 26 february 2017

Thursday, February 23, 2017

To Mary Queen of Scots as a Child

they dressed you in rose colours perhaps
as a child and this made it easier it may be
to endure what came later

rose colours at the beginning of things
as if you were a flower yourself
or felt like one at occasional recitals

when you played the baby nocturne
excerpts from the summer nights
so endlessly starry how could you think

anything could go wrong
on earth it is this way we are preserved
by certain details

the cirrus brushstrokes in a summer sky
the flavor of tangerines.
the palest palest greens.

this is outside of history
outside of the turgid news
and the newsreels where the exiled disappear

the smoke of old trains running off the reels
at school and the classroom darkened
for the occasion.

you will remember aeons later
they dressed you in colors of the rose.
and compose yourself for the great tragedies

coiled inevitably around the thrones.

mary angela douglas 23 february 2017

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Storybook Of The Day Before

the storybook of the day before
came in strange wrcappings
through a slit in the door

the storybook of the day before.
if I told you the endings, would you believe it,
could you believe it

conceive of a green that hasn't yet blossomed,
a rose coloured ring,
the wave on the shore and a something more

in the air, is it Christmas? the windfall

of sunning gold pears disturbed by a wind
that isn't there
in the game of let's pretend.

but it's you
that's biting into them my friend
chilled as the moon and with your spoon

you're digging into... but I won't go farther
than I'm allowed while wearing pastels
in an ice cream crowd

into the wood where the birds speak aloud

and the villagers merely sing
and the fairies bring you everything
mixed into a cordial the colour of cherries

that afterwards you may be always merry
and these are the hints going out the door
I'm sorry if you were hoping for more

from the storybook
of the day before...

mary angela douglas 19 february 2017

Saturday, February 18, 2017

In Memorium, To The Poets Before

they grew into song as the trees grew into clouds
and then, rooted, forever bidding the farewell
to the cloud songs drifting;

and jeweled tears pooled in the wishing wells
and dripped from the hidden ferns. then, bowed,
they learned to grow apart

in the kingdom of wounds.
what is another wound to the green heart
already wounded before starting out

I asked the clouds in tribute to their sheer memory
counting the immensities left to me
and snowed under.

is it any wonder
I half read in my sleep not knowing what
I longed to know, the deeps of beauty, how it felt

to be lost and not to be seeking the way out

amid the margins gleaming and the dreaming the

dreaming that and that only they flew into song

as the birds fly into the sun or the moon,
the windowpanes of stars all afternoon

brushing their wings against the silences.

mary angela douglas 18 february 2017


this is the screenplay of the stars peeping out
of the apricot soft air
of you swinging on the Gate of dare

and keeping your lace handkerchiefs
free from dust.
we would be dusting the piano of a saturday

and the lint off the music stand
the plaids off the wash n wears
and it was all silvery, silvery

the afternoons pleated blue
and in tune both hands together
when we played September scales

or we played anything garden green
swinging the statues mirthfully
with the fireflies winking Mother May I?

over the cut grass, stained glass feelings.
and then there is the feeling of blowsy trees
dimming in the darkening skies still

alive alive as the winds
as we were then in rose velour looking out the window or
gathering pastel easter eggs in the grass

at a late hour I would be in that particular sleepwalking
petticoat bright saying goodbye once more to the dolls in their
stiff finery, outstretched hands in tinseled daylight

and to fractions and the crescendo of
waiting up staying up on Christmas Eves
at least figuratively, all sugar plum beside ourselves

the tulip bulbed Christmas lights astonishing oh
to see the fireworks, to hear the Christmas bells
all water coloured blended now is it all an ancient reverie

the clarion call announcing presents, brocaded, folkloric
reverberating shore to mystic shore
announcing the Present

that is no more.

mary angela douglas 18 february 2017

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Said The Child Of Silver To The One Of Gold

said the child of silver to the one of gold
how have we landed here
in this fair place

and still they do not know
but this was long ago
when the winds were theirs alone

and every stone on the playground
shone with more than mica gleaming
we were strawberry seaming then

stitching between the rhymes
all, all the time with rose budded china
and the let's pretend

under the berry coloured skies

not sorting the hows and whys at all
not even meaning to, using up all the crayons
at the same time

we only dreamed as if we were

resembling more than slightly
our portraits done in chalk pastels
at the World's Fair.

wide awake the whole time
for perpetual Christmases descending
the stories never ending, you said

in your sleep nevertheless,
we grew away and
I confess still a love for music

fostered then, and lemon meringue pies
and Cinderella read again and again
instead of homework

and the fairytale disguise
all glittter and sequin
birthday beribboned surprise

it's not what they say what you thought was said

growing up would be growing older; more remote
you're even more silver; Im ever more gold
or is it the other way round

depending on who's telling it now or what day it is.
we ask all Alice, wondering still.
in search of the green, the pink chalked hills.

I think, we always will.

mary angela douglas 16 february 2017

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Time's Impenetrable Span

Time's impenetrable span is not wider than
the heart through its epochs known
o valentine stand still you may not

for clouds arise amd though
the pink sun flows
before the darkness sets in.

yet, it will rise again
and so will we. my heart and I,
beyond all these contingencies

there lies eternity's fair face
God's grace ahead
there where the seas are no more

and all is golden, stored
as if a dowry for thee,
all weddings gone

mary angela douglas 14 february 2017

Fading From The Fabled World

fading from the fabled world
we wondered fleetingly
where had the colours gone

and calendars we knew
birds in their songs, renewing
every Spring

and the dim waters falling.
now is it all foam and spent
like gold we never owned

and can we no longer trace
in the least frost our
imagined names?

what is fame to this,
the loss of kingdoms;
the jewels out of the setting.


we mourned upon the harps
even as they vanished.
and the rose lavished gardens,


mary angela douglas 14 february 2017

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Snow Moon, Comet, And Gold Ellipse

the side show shadows o my heart recede
the snow moon falters and you shift
in dreams, kicking the taffeta covers

while comets bead the grass unseen.

and you wake up from childish songs
spinning on an old machine and scattering
the papers of pins milk diamonding on

the floor or the orange and lemons ringing
from the steepled befores
and the snow moon sighs

and the comet speeds
and the cloud folds lavender,
the backyard grasses bead

and you'll wake up
when the briars part
and the red rose shows

the bride doll heart
the snow moon valentine
almost come to rest

above the tinseled roof you loved the best

and the blessed blue winds in the rhymes o.
and the room forsaken and the border of gold 
and the hushed fears scolded,

the world gone apple green cold.

mary angela douglas 11 february 2017

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

The History Of Snow

were we the readers of the history of snow
the history of melting
or of letting go

or having that much
farther to go
snow blind, we read on.

and winters accumulated
our faces worn quite through
with all the endless snowing

that we knew
that we trudged through
warming our hands at the fireplace

of the old stories,
the ones where you come in out of the rain
to take your tea and toast

not wanting to leave again

or quiet refreshment from the holy ghost
and somewhere in the castle
in a room you loved the most all tucked away

you find the books that say that said from childhood
what you longed to say
the ones where it is suddenly made plain

that you are reading in the blizzard too
of your own life
and will melt soon

and your true Spring, resume.

mary angela douglas 9 february 2017

The Library of Clouds

when I was Queen of the Library of Clouds,
someone's godmother spoke airily,
oh then it was I leafed through

wisps and mounds of colour drifting
skies never spoken quite out loud
and flights of birds

and the songs of going away.
all on display, the jeweled tones
fading shade to shade

remembered and the qualities of light.
all this was yesteryear
the mining of the days

and golden before
above beside us
after the rains refracted

into myriad rainbows
skimming the puddles
where small children played

scattering the rose tinged sparrows.

mary angela douglas 8 february 2017

Looking At Pictures Of The Loggias In Snow

looking at pictures of the loggias in snow
how could we remember where to go
in daylight enterprise or how or when

would the trains leave after seeing them?
let the purple skies remind you
at day's end

there are other ways to go
than the here and now
treading on the sidewalks

that you know
past the same brick houses
row on row.

you can look at the loggias in snow
and let it be their snow on snow

let it be the strange dreams sown
with ancient moonlight looking on
the light from

passed away stars.

mary angela douglas 8 february 2017

Monday, February 06, 2017

English Literature

this vast extravagance of words
should we then shelve, discard or
bar from view

of little children coming on the scene
some centuries late
who must be taught

all words are equal maybe,
only words that are socially useful
equal to the cause of being, almost, human

that is, imagination scorned and shorn
of beauty, used to advertise
a world grown wise but fool enough

to lose jeweled language
by design 
abjuring the time the poets

spent in anguish to deliver one word:
that bird has flown

and relevance is god
relevant to who, to whom
do these distinctions matter

when they have scattered
the ashes of what cannot burn
except brightly

except, forever.

mary angela douglas 6 february 2017

Sunday, February 05, 2017


oh, the imperiled evening with its green perfumes
in former volumes gleaming, all the antique mays
destined for extinction in a trending haze

since poetry must be made to pay, or what's it for.

ah, wavered the flowers by the country door, half presciently
and the garden paths with fearful pebbles strewn.
they will come in gloom, the future poets

on some distant afternoon
no longer able to recount
the stereoscopic view of the

sunset cathedrals in the clouds.

and speak in overloud voices
every single gripe on earth and name this, Song-
and so become a root and branch of Wrong.

but we who heard them once, in ancient schoolrooms,
with the lilacs blowing by the windows,
the honeysuckle tunes

o! the troubadours remember, remember now to say:
to you, and you, half turning away
pragmatic to your fingertip's shadow

that once. the moonlight came to stay,
gardenias opening like stars
and we find it hard

to live this way
with the ghosts of the Romantics trampled
under the highways,

much harder than we can say

mary angela douglas 5 february 2017

The Fairies' Play Revisited

in honor or William Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream...

here the midsummer frailties shine
and are impearled each time we read
as the dew drops down the soul

and it is jeweled evening
when the play unfolds
or the twilight in between

one dream and another, tissue thin,
Begin! and
is it yours, this clasp on the lock of time

undone? and have all your birthdays come
dressed in the scarlet and the fleeting,
sweet and sweeting?

there is the fairies' entryway,
the portal to the mysterious green
half vanishing, banishing woods

and there the delicate unfolds
in fabulous minstrelsy and bud
and are you trellised with flowers?

is it understood that

these are the hidden hours
made manifest?
where else would we go, and if we could,

exiting from the darkling worlds
and there unfurl fine flags
of the nonpareil

arriving in tangerine array,
in tiny coaches of orange peel
to bask like summer roses far-

from the kingdoms of the real.

mary angela douglas 5 february 2017

Friday, February 03, 2017

The Names Of Things

to Ray Bradbury, looking back, or forward

the names of things we held in our heart
when alphabets foundered and worlds came apart
and the clouds drifted over mindless borders

and were crucified.
the names of things, the orange and the lemon
the midnight zither and the bluebird plans

the tissue paper birthdays at a secret command
all disappeared, their ribbons curling.
all but the names we taught our children to revere and

year past year,

never to split the silver from the rains,
to refrain from negating the Soul.
and ever to stow the heirloom

jewelry of the stars intact.
and always to be looking back
at the green world, when all its

colours were singing
and we were the Story and the story told
and we were the Tree,

and the leavss of gold.

mary angela douglas 3 february 2017

China Doll Sumptuous

how china doll sumptuous her imaginary birthdays,
rose braid trimmed the curtains of the pretend

with its pale green sills and the whippoorwills
her grandfather called in real life echoing
suddenly you are recalled to this world,

supper, and the yellow kitchen
and to reading How and Why
with coloured pictures.

no pencil box of gold could match
the one your grandfather filled
after sharpening each one

in the apple cold each new september
crisp as the plaid sashed dress you wore
and the wave you waved going out the door

to what seem now
truly, the schools out of folklore.

mary angela douglas 3 february 2017

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Reading Rilke

let now no altering angel cloud the sight
that summons all things into the Delights.
who has read Rilke dearly

expensively has read the night
beyond the face of stars
and all we are or could be

if we but lingered, dreamed
where he had wandered, on our own stair.
let no altering angel close the ear

let no despair shut out
the sound of roses, rains reclaimed, transformed
old legends burnished and the leaves drifting down the

young winds entwined again or

the endless plains of feeling out of sight
but intimated here. but There!
in verse unscrolling like the silver disc

of Time hammered out, immemorially engraved.
not distant!
the heart cries out from trivialties absolved.

for- God.

let now no altering angel ban the flight
of the real nightingale
into the jeweled wood

from childhood fears and fragments of fears
shadowing forth great Light.

tears suspended;
the whole earth revolving within.

mary angela douglas 1 february 2017