Friday, March 31, 2017

Kenst Du Das Land

did you bring the maps they asked you
and then turned into clouds.
you trudged on

where was the lemon groved land
and the citron sun
you wondered

the one sung about
in many languages
and the blue bird rippling skies

you're in Easter best and tripping over stumps
in the disenchanting forest
eating the last of the toffee.

that's how the day went.
evening set in.
the stars all tinseled

as if for Christmas.
your mind inset with seeded pearls
expecting the great snows.

mary angela douglas march 31 2017

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Where Wings Collide Not

where wings collide not
nor prisms break apart

in the kingdom of tears
may we 
find refuge.

but here in an evil dream
we are washed overboard
come back we say as we are drowning

barely forming the words

but the ship cannot hear and veers away.
where these fears play
on the playground of our years

send angels quickly
lest we disappear
en route to the candy house

without the witch

and grant that the crystal shoe
not be smashed against a wall
by the envious.

mary angela douglas 30 march 2017

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

She Remembers The Word Corona, Crown, The Halo Around The Sun...

[for Sister Marcella Marie Holloway
and for the poet, Paul Roche]

equinox and the orange flares of crayons in the leaves
we stencil drew and cut with blunt ended scissors
at the first cold snap, renewed; she snaps her fingers and

wraps the colours induced by frost

in her own room, using up all the tape.
for the gift wrap's sake be kind and mind
at the white gloved receptions in the afternoon

and let the scarlet maple lose all leaves at once
in a cardinal flash of breeze so that her mind is lost in the
fleetness of beauty past unreckoned on

and the air is cooled and the sunlight glows

with the regrets of her last angels.
the scholars read by candlelight of stars
the coming and waning of kings

but for you, God made the trees
that they could shed ochre tears
that you yourself would ever disappear

while the sardonic teacher read
in the corona of her years
Margaret are you grieving, dead?

before your time?

making enemies in rhyme in every line
this time the competition's clear
and casting your heart before

the unknown God? my dear, my dear,
too young to be mystically inclined.

mary angela douglas march 29 2017

Diagramming The Sentence Or, The Sentence Commuted

the first tyranny imposed is that, you know,
you will no longer be the subject of your own sentence.
at worst you will be the verb and serve, o underserved

at the pleasure of someone else's noun, pronoun.
oh yes. at best the adjective
for something near at hand:

on their land.
and you will write on the nightmare blackboard
ten times ten thousand times

I'm somebody else's rhyme
and I must make do
with their old shoes, their superior mind

for knowing what it is that I should BE
to deserve to continue to receive the castoffs they
no longer need and oh, God, not to impede

their reasons to feel good about
what they no longer want
on any given day.

for giving it away
they will be given the great awards
at the very fine banquets raised
to keep you in tin cans.

but you are majestic catching as catch can
extraordinary as. the subject of His wakefulness:
in God's resplendent hand.

mary angela douglas march 29 2017

Did We Play Hide And Seek With God

did we play hide and seek with God
in the long blue twilights
there where the stars fell

into the night grasses
and not the dew as we had thought.
there we were promised three wishes

three wishes and more.
is it vain to store those half lights
jewel toned though they were

to rummage in boxes tied with a silver string?
this close to Christmas,
I don't know.

I won't be held to account.
but I have seen His shadow on the grass
and felt the tremor in the stars.

and something mysterious, come to pass...

mary angela douglas march 29 2017

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

To Children, In Their Dreams

maybe we'll get our mail on the moon
if all else fails I say to myself
and God smiles somewhere

behind the clouds
Ill dress the luna moths
in pale green

as you would
when you were free
and maybe the sky will telegraph me

and maybe the sea
or we will go and live at the poles
and stash the snows

for summer
when it comes
if it comes

we will see it all
from a ringside seat
won't it be sweet

to rain the moondust down
on the streets
to children in their dreams.

mary angela douglas 28 march 2017

They Couldn't Say

I dreamed of distances of evergreen
the air brimming with crystals.
it fell softly there

the winter light
the flight of birds like a kind of calligraphy
through the clouds.

I dreamed of evergreen
and I was near to them
the clouds and the birds

the winter falling around me
and the petals of snow.
how far have I to go

I asked my old angels.
but they couldn't answer me.

mary angela douglas march 28 2017


these are the branches of the hours
the silver, the golden the unlooked for
filled with their glaced fruit

in the nursery sighed for
and the ribboned rose.
these are the branches of the hours

the amethyst skied in the februaries gleamed
and you were quiet then.
like a wall of snow

an icicle tower
and you tried not to know
except the tolling of hours

and these are the bells
not for your instruction
the ones that spell holidays

and the holiness apart
that wound your heart
and this ah finally is the

tree in all its dower
and the end of Time for you then.

and the foliage of when.

mary angela douglas march 28 2017

The Future Is Coming To Me, Did They Sing

the future is coming to me did they sing
the brides without veils
to the inconstant seas

oh wrap your heart in a cloud
and send it to me
the skies will matter less to

you in your dreams
you won't know then.
the future is coming

and the lilac moon
and the harps played out of tune
when the singers flee

singing, now is the future coming to me?
now will the will o' wisps turn;
the acute conscience burn

the gold of the soul be beaten into straw?

how will we learn
if you send no message
if you send no message

at all

mary angela douglas march 28 2017

The Peach Coloured Castle: A Minor Historian's View

the peach coloured castle
and the olive tinted sky of a vintage postcard
dotted its "i's"

and it was sent to me,
to me in all the world
said the little girl

in her faraway attic.
in her faraway attic she composed
songs for the clavichord

anthems for the rose
she dipped her pen in gold
out of love

for the doves at Cinderella's grave
the pale blue ribbons held aloft in the mottos
who can say how,ask why

of the long ago.

and in no haze at all
I heard her say
I will festoon the world

as she made plans
in her diaries of snow and

in the afterglow of sunsets viewed
through the VuFinder
of the Mickey Mouse maze.

oh come to the ballets
she murmured to her shadows
in all her days and ways

and dressed in lilac tulle
that sparkled from the stage
more than the Crown Jewels could.

I like to think of her that way
when I gaze back
and of the peach castle

as established fact.

mary angela douglas 28 march 2017

Jane Eyre

[to Charlotte Bronte]

Dove grey is the unfolding sky
above the lucid dreaming of her soul
shaken awake at midnight
the last one in the household
left to show

there is no love without truth.
and she must leave, she knows.
stern conscience holds her lantern in the rain
and all she sees is God through torrents, through disdain,
through all the villages begging bread

from the living and the dead
from bakers who won’t comprehend
she is the soul’s white flame
and not derelict.
once she was walking down a rigorous road
that ripened into summer's gold
once she was painting ships without a rudder
in a green and icy sea
somehow still at liberty in the austere extravagant imagination-
but not, oh not yet free.

ah now, Lord Jesus, come and see
the frail figure lashed to the landscape
seeking paradise in the wilderness;
in Thee.
mary angela douglas 9 april 2013 rev. 28 march 2017

Monday, March 27, 2017

Rarely To Be Heard

each time they pretend to hear you, you check out
preferring instead your own company, the company of clouds
small birds who never offend.

bright brimming shells
holding the rainbows still.

to you it is given to live like this
to feel the bliss of winds unsummoned
the uncommon grace of silences that sing

the music on the wing
the colour on the underside of rocks
the golden road untrod 

except by God
to whom it is given also
rarely to be heard.

mary angela douglas 27 march 2017

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Let Stories Rainbow Reign

maybe it could have been another way
the orphans in the storm and the
miraculous rescue

on the Christmas highways and byways
and the angels gloria in excelsis deo
from the loudspeakers in the snow

shop windows with poster paint stenciled
trees and berries all aglow and
all for you the gingerbread with the cinnamon buttons

and your frock entirely of velvet.

or the little match girl dressed in the gold
of the one kind word you could say you passerby
with errands to run elegant presents to stow

and the silver curling ribbons of the frost
across the panes and the race is won
oh where

she will never be warm.
in old stories she could
unlatch the dungeon

find freedom from curmudgeons feel
all the changes of heart one could wish for
and the heart's lone chapel

filled with the evergreen.
but outside those borderlands
we find in the world an immense pain

more than we could bear
individually beyond what
one would have thought possible

who would have thought possible
tears streaming like rain unto vast floods.
then let stories rainbow reign.

mary angela douglas 26 march 2017

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Going Off Script

going off script wildly veering from the world
of no more individuals just script readers,
customer spielers, scene stealers

are you human?
trying to have a real conversation
with people on the clock

is like being from Mars
and speaking the wrong language on earth.
poor in adaptive skills perhaps the medicos say

about me on the surveys

the representatives on their coffee break.
I don't care.
hey I worked too

but not at being a robot.
there are some things

a human being 
should not have to adapt to
such as being less than human

for the GNP.

mary angela douglas 25 march 2017

On The Jeweled Road Home Or The Ruby Glass Found

the definitive the ruby glass shining suns
the ruby slippered days we've
counted off one by one to

the rockets gleaming
and the popsicle banded tricolor
floats grand standed ice creamed handed round

look we are still the same
even while stranded sans our party frocks
at the castle gates they've locked

through the looking glass beveled edge
we pirouette and wait even while

old chandeliers cast crystal tears
for what is fixed immutable
what can no longer sing.

oh let the coloured fountains weep
for the Christmases that sleep
I will bring sprigs of holly

evergreen secrets to the forest pools
and see the reflections that we used to...
princesses in disguise reprise

let the dimpled waters sing

bring light refreshments
for the journey is long
in the rose velvet cape

let the basket fill
with its sugar lumps, pats of butter
choclative eclairs

the jams of a thousand thousand berries

and the fresh caught cod.
we'll still make merry
on the jeweled road home to God.

mary angela douglas 25 march 2017

Friday, March 24, 2017

A Poem For Peeps

In Peepland there is nary a peep
from the Easter grass covered hills
but everywhere marshmallow bunnies

that cannot sleep 
kept awake by their own pastels
frequent peep dells

and harbor the insistently yellow chicks.
time ticks slowly in Peepland where
nothing ever gets stale.

beyond the vale of Easterdom I see them
peeps everywhere in every shade
a little startled in their expression

stamped out for their fate and knowing it is late

in Peep Eden marshmallow made
too big to hide behind the jelly beans,
they will never fade

into their own Easter parades
matching the satin ribbons on the baskets

too late for tisket or tasket
after Easter meetin'
waiting staunchly to be eaten.

mary angela douglas 24 march 2017

Thursday, March 23, 2017


[for Bette Davis who cared about what she was doing
past all comprehension, a great actress because
she wanted it that way]

[Bette Davis looking back sarcastically much later on at a proposed studio name change for her: "Bettina Davies? Oh, PLEASE..."]

maybe she was like some improbable mouthy flower
exotic beyond a neighborhood of weeds born to please,
transplanted by the vagary of a wind

to a vegetable patch, a platinum vacuous backlot
Im an orchid she insists
don't turn me into mashed potatoes

chicken feed

and there she is up on the big screen
bigger somehow than the screen
than any role she ever played

disconcerting as all get-out

the sand in the oyster

and the pearl at the same time
you thought you knew her
but later...

who was ever like her before
her eyes like immense beacons sweeping
dry-eyed weeping

or like a doll's eyes watching

a doll's eyes that can never close
awake or asleep
a fixed something more than a little spooking

you gauging something
but you don't know what
like she sees satin ghosts over your shoulder

and is appraising them or sharing an expensive
joke at your expense or theirs with herself
so that you are uncomfortable 

in your theater seat
despite the plush velvet
even at home

in the safety of your apartment
living room with your own sofa cushions
you wonder what it is that 

was she from Mars
another era, radioactive?

was she made of snow
and then the snow caught on fire
but its still permafrost

what is this element anyway

one we never learned in school
Bette with an e
so often imitated

what were they imitating then
they couldn't know
we didn't know you really

a few mannerisms
the makeup caking in the end
emphatically deep wrinkles

shrunken, still in State

you fought on
not to be the same
apple in the bunch

of apples
they thought you were rotten
you just didn't want to be

small potatoes
but that isn't it either, is it

but the soul
staring us out of countenance
out of ourselves

who could know

a kind of largesse masquerading as temper,
a voice like an ever crisp autumn writ large near rasping

kind of raspberry coloured
eyes of iris blue
wasted on black and white film

the voice again

etching itself into the mind
like the phonograph record
you think its scratched

something in you is irritated past endurance
change the record somebody
no wait, don't you say a little restless in your armchairs

nobody else can sound that way
like topaz speaking
so that Melodrama

slinks away, outdone;
unable to fend.

deeply engraved.
her own medal
in the end

mary angela douglas 23 march 2017


(for of course, Roald Dahl, Hershey's Chocolates, Brachs and Cadbury's...and for the hard candies with the little roses on them,
rhe ribbon candies in the yellow glass jar.)

the praline creamery in the coconut toasted snow
with the cherry and custard layers on the horizon so aglow
is how they remembered the candiest dandyest

days out of their entire milk drenched childhoods
the butterscotch in the hidden pockets
found in emergencies

the nougat suprised by the fruit flavors
and the chewing gum that just was juicier
by the minute and the lemon drop jar

with plenty in it, or the candycorn cornucopia

spare for the in betweens or the caramel flares
the raspberry flings on a dare
packed into a school plaid satchel

with the buttercream chocolate

you just forgot and that hit the spot
on the day of the chemistry pop quiz.
gee whiz you think in candy

said the mind reader at the fair.
oh yes I do. its a candyworld everywhere
or could be even for you fresh toffee toffe

to go with coffee,

the United Nations of Candy
as far as I'm concerned

and orange sliced jellies and gumdrops gumdrops
spiced and sprinkled with crystalized sugar
or pound cake, with lemon curd.

mary angela douglas 23 march 2017

Rose Words In Carmine, The Delicate Tea Rose Shades...

a language with 500 words for pink
does the little girl think
especially on her birthday

or in her Easter dress
I confess it would be nice
in the parlance of gumdrops spiced

to be the first one
to sing and say
the tints of all roses

on any given day
and the roses would be glad
and fling their petals

in an uncommon way
across her path in the dubious wood
for having this once

been understood.

mary angela douglas 23 march 2017

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

It's Mango Gold In The Supermarket Of Dreams

it's mango gold in the supermarket of dreams
that keeps recurring with a juke song sheen
or it's strawberry kiwi tarts for the dollhouse queen

or the fizz of the raspberry pop on the run
you liked a lot when you were small
it's the wall of clementines, the orange rind candies,

marzipan and caramel flan

or gold pieces torn from the sun
enwrapping chocolates, every one
come see that it's the mango of your

dreams and the pure sure apricot nectar prize
or fill your baskests with the
bakery surprise the cake of

all cakes dressed up in whipped cream
with the lemon rosettes the dulce con leche scene
and oh you bet the breakfast hash

supreme in supersized cans
the vintage hams and the onions, peppers strung
and the whole thing in coloured lights

when the sun comes down on the bodega
and the angels hum by the ounces
it's saturday night with cerise flounces

it's mango gold in the supermarket of dreams

mary angela douglas 22 march 2017

Where We Live Now

in our old attic
Christmas bulbed or
stacked up with old

seed catalogues from
riotous Springs amid
the tinseled strings of

a universe of lost and found

in the backyards on our own
between birthdays of the pastel or

in between star and star
of the far sighted astronomers
at Court

in hiding from the Queen
in the pink stuccoed mansions
by the palms of the Unseen

of our favorite colouring books
or paper dolled,
wherever the children decide.

stepping on bride trains rhinestone gauzed
or in the board game closet
spooning the jam of persimmon or fig

passed by for the flower girl gig
the stigmata but not the need to live for

the verses of an early Spring,
gold spelling bees, the cloud regattas
the riddles on the wing of

our distracted angels

in the sod block under the wild rose sky
of the prairies floating by,
in lilac illusions gingered conclusions

in fairytale feasts and the table ware ruby set
like a sunset kingdom should be

on our knees
in the least sigh or silver whim of God
toward the sparkle of The End

mary angela douglas 22 march 2017