Thursday, June 29, 2017

Paddington's Bond

[on the recent passing of Mr. Michael Bond
beloved creator of the Paddington Bear stories...]

may stuffed bears everywhere fly
their teary flags at fuzzy half mast
because a certain Michael Bond

has passed
who brought us brought us
Paddington Bear...

May children everywhere
pause or paws and eat marmalade sandwiches
a trifle wistfully because because

he is gone, the chronicler of Paddington.
what will we do for Christmas pantomimes
for repair jobs gone awry

and kitchen mistakes 
now that he no longer clatters the plates
to let us know old Paddington's around.

And Paddington weeps on the ground
oh we hate to see him so
bereft almost inconsolable except he knows

there will certainly be
a Paddington Station in heaven
for you and me

where old stories are new again.
and friends of bears and bears of friends
can play again the Let's Pretends

knowing, with joy it can never end

mary angela douglas 29 june 2017

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Palm Sunday Redux

why is it always Palm Sunday falling apart
hosannas giving way to jeers
and all the hidden tears

so many years after you oh Christ
I wonder through the dark nights
of so many souls

why is happiness so often blossoming like a blighted rose
do you know
you who were the Rose fore destined

torn petal by petal from the stem
while the scribes said
whoever heard of Him

mary angela douglas 27 june 2017

Shoe Song

I will stand in my shoes
even if they are broken
even if the latch at the door

is futile and the hordes sweep through
I will stand in my shoes.
worn to the last unstitched sole

coming unglued.
i will stand in my shoes
mocked perhaps by

the unruly
as I have been
as many have been

especially by the well heeled
who don't know how it feels
I will stand in my shoes

on broken feet
let me repeat
I will stand in my shoes

no matter what it says in the rules
no matter who is who on the news
as Luther said to every brother
Here I stand

I can do no other.

mary angela douglas 27 june 2017

Monday, June 26, 2017

Sometimes I Think Of Pompeii

sometimes I think of Pompeii
you know, one instant before:
was someone scolding a child

did the tears of that child
turn to ash, crystalized
for those who came later

collecting the artifacts?
was someone happy
in a new blue dress

or gazing at clouds
for the last time
on Earth.

on earth we know
we are not destined to last
and any instant could be

suddenly, ash,
suddenly frozen for historians
to record.

and then look past.

mary angela douglas 26 june 2017



My goal in writing poems, one goal among many is never to write a completely sad poem. I always leave a light on in the poem or a trapdoor, exit in it to some kind of hope. I totally believe in hope and that no matter whatt the arts should ALWAYS give people hope. So in this poem, well, it's about a horrible human disaster Pompeii you know where people suddenly were covered in molten lava and ash and frozen there for all time and these people had no warning, no warning at all and were caught in that moment, in that ray of light, in that shadow, in that moment of happiness or daily sorrow fixed forever like statues frozen under some kind of fairy tale spell. And they did not know in the moment before: you are in the last moment of your life. And they didn't have any angel or anyone to come and tell them, flee, get away pack up the moving van and get out because it is going to be the last day on earth for this entire city. No one came. Maybe someone had a dream and then forgot it by breakfast and then the moment came, and they were translated to heaven or to some other place, before Christ. But in my poem there is a splash of hope. A blue dress, a child scolded by a loving Mother, a few clouds. And then the peace that comes over the landscape in the centuries that followed when later historians, archeologists came upon the scene that was now serene and no longer suffered from.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Not To Be Mistaken

let us write in invisible writing never to be perceived
unless by the Unseen
to blend silverly into the rains

to siphon off the sun
and to become gold there.
where else can it be said

that poets are read
except now perhaps among angels
and those no longer

citizens of earth
where it is hard to sing
out of the stream

where the mystics don't fit in
but bend the other way
in order not to be mistaken

for leaders.

mary angela dougla s24 june 2017

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Glorious Salvage

the letters you sent into space
disappearing without a trace or
singed by summer clouds

the right answers erased
before they are copied down
from the "this will be on

the test next Friday"
and you're in a haze
and can't find the things to say

the dress to wear
the golden pear
that makes the fairy tale puzzle complete

oh don't despair...
there is a place, replete,
replacing sour with sweet...

somewhere there is a merry go round,

carillon found after the Fairs are closed
for children indisposed
kept after school

a kind of heavenly cake walk to a
mailbox loaded by whom? who knows?

with brightly foiled on cardstock cards
all occasion caissoned,
moon silk screened

just for you on hold

at the candy striped depot
of misplaced dreams
and missing socks amid

the tick and the tock of oblivious birthdays fraught
with more and more seasons
for being glad

with pockets turned inside out

for losing the things called sad
and happy you are
on your own private star

with beaucoups of icinged
whisks and bowls to lick

and umpteen heirloom bouquets still to pick
that you are tagged
in the game of not it, it

like a queen for a day
party favored and so glad ragged
for the unimpeachable on its way

the peach starred day
full of delicious crumbs of this and that
and citron glowing and the green cherries mystifying;

the sugared pineapple

the breakfast of
hot sauced scrapple

creamery cream dappled
keep the fudgesicles flowing
the caramel apples rolling

while we're extolling
the blue birding packages piled up to the skies
wrapped up for you in the bye and bye: the

Somewhere everything sent is acknowledged
somewhere everything received is complete
somewhere the handwriting is neat

in letters that swoop like sea birds
in graceful curves on floral stationary-
with something jeweled in their beaks;

from all the shipwrecks,
the glorious salvage

mary angela douglas 20 june 2017

Sunday, June 18, 2017

What If I Slipped

what if I slipped through the net of dreams
not returning to
familiar scenes, consensus, anything

letting the golden slipknots slip
from the tower or be reeled in
with all the hours

that may have been
and the May crownings
and the flowers wreathed

for remember whens
that did not breathe
there melting like snows away

let the margins fade with the outlines
of a face not yet come into bloom
then let me sound retreat

telegram pocketed and
never read aloud
fastening fate on another cloud

afar from the pearl and the marl of it
let the moats be closed for repairs
until further notice.

let the snows fly,
unconscious of their erasures of
or what would have been, the lies

had I chosen otherwise
it's a failing blue of the
dust of lilacs

of the paling doves from their

fairy tale branches rustling
that I have Lost

to all that entrances.

be buried deep
beyond all sleep
the wounding that

would not occur then.
then return, returning, returned
the country I have heard

in deeper and deepening music
while I learned to be
coded with all you feel or

could feel let the winds
take it all then
let the only word left be away

then say it
vanishing, on the strand.

mary angela douglas 18 june 2017

Saturday, June 17, 2017

I Dreamed Of England Returned To Herself

I dreamed of England returned to herself
and the bitter knights reconciled;
Albion coming clear in the mists

and the cherry carol branching
and ah, the dream of the Rood
in jeweled bloom.

I will leap up to God my God
and see the angels rustling in the trees
where once the poet William Blake

fell to his knees and understood
that poetry is certain good
and illumination praise.

the sea of faith is verging in the dark
the poet soldiers mark their place
and turn again homeward

to the place they loved
the lanes all apple blossom filled
the lovely strand...

and all their words
are like a field

with madrigals strewn
and not cut down.
and not cut down.

and former wounds
burst into birdsong, flower
into the bridal tunes.

mary angela douglas 17 june 2017

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Cinderella Between Meals And Otherwise Engaged

her rag tag sorrows come and go
but the skies are quilted with stars and snows
so much of what she felt goes unnoticed

even in countless retellings.
those dishes won't wash themselves
she tells herself tears welling

at least before the Disney versions.
and who will hire her at the agencies
when mealtimes are few and far

between and she has nothing best
to wear and shoes that go
without repair

so she makes do
on fondue left over

from stepsister Tupperware parties
and grasps at straws
without the malteds.

strawberry can be imagined
chocolate too
what else is there to do

more dishes.
more wishes.

mary angela douglas 15 june 2017

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

In The Nutshell Of Days

in the nutshell of days
inside with the crimson
with the gold

of going away
and the miniature roses
on display

the doll like river
glittering to the seas
and all of these

and what is more
the door to door
of the candlelit stars

so self contained
we have examined
as if it were someone else's calendar

perhaps the one of saints
the elaborate hours
the fleuir de lis

and the other flowers
and are we embroidered
I would have asked you

if you had stayed
if time had not strayed
across the blizzarding prairies

not heard from after that.

now all is concealed
and when the melting comes
will I be home

I ask my soul
in the nutshell of days
in the crimson and gold

of going away...

mary angela douglas 13 june 2017

Thursday, June 08, 2017

My Small Boat Over The Sea Of Dreaming Glides

my small boat over the sea of dreaming glides
night after night and since childhood
on the tides I sense but cannot see

until I close my eyes
gone are the old lullabies
still my boat sails on

until dawn.

mary angela douglas 8 june 2017

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Ariadne Breathe On The Clouded Glass

ariadne, breathe on the clouded glass
I said but was it in vain?
the thread has unraveled from the

glittering cloud and there is no
"at last"; shall I remain?
how long then when

the ribbons of the sun have come

undone and all that gold is spilling
will I gather it again

tied with the lily bouquets
or sent to the well at evening's brink to

fetch the vanishing light you'll think of
unending night do not despair
I cried out oh, not alas 

ariadne, breathing
on the clouded glass.

mary angela douglas 7 june 2017

This Is The Atlas Of The Floating

this is the atlas of the floating
and did they bind their hair with colorful ribbons
from the five and dimes

fresh in their petticoats
or coming from the Fair
I praise

their cloud souvenirs
the small teasets carved
and hidden in their pockets

handpainted with little red apples
did they eat scrapple, peaches with frothing cream
were they mise en scene

or barely spoken to
dressed in velvet at the Christmas parties
and with fine lace collars.

hoarding sand dollars from the sea shores
of their inland dreams inlaid with pearl
I cherish them

because they had no scheming ways
nor did they drop handkerchiefs on the sidewalk
for the cavaliers

after all the gold bitten in half
and the shine worn off of the evening news.
i think of them in blue taffeta

under a pale pink moon
with wisteria nearby.
and I believe in them

that once they really were
the way they were
without artifice

spooning out strawberry ice
sleep walking under the lime trees
and vowed, life-long,

to Poetry.

mary angela douglas 7 june 2017

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Then, Vanishing Away

[on the Legend of the Lady of Shalott]

her face in a dream floats on the waters

or like nebulae among deep stars
in a field of vision

yet unmarred by tears
because it is too still.

where are you she must ask again
of all her years or we may ask
in her stead

though clouds have no answer

nor does the dusk,
dressed in the blue of the departed hours.

is it enough that once you were weaving

all that the heart could sense
from distances, from renunciations
made gladly

until you broke in several pieces

the mirror and the crenellated view
fused in that instant into a valediction
as if all the petals that ever were had been

blown past suddenly their aprils
into the irretrievable.

not even the legend was ours in the end
in the dedicated schoolroom
from such a delicate web unmoored

you were
though we cried to see

your starlike resolution fade
scattered dewlike on the lawns
of all the ages

and the vigils of dawns unnumbered

or in the antique books
then, vanishing away;we cannot look,
the pages melting like snows

mary angela douglas 26 may 2017 rev. 6 june 2017

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Stepping Onto The Last Continent

stepping onto the last continent
where the small waves break over it
and you said to yourself is this a dream

and are we drifting
the silver ships shift out
the sails disappear

the former years with them
now we are here and yet
it all dissolves and

how can you solve it
by yourself without
the help of God

and you are drifting
and you cannot say in sequins
what are the words in this language

for going away
there is nowhere else to go
how close the stars come down

as if you were among them
and there was only ever the skies.

mary angela douglas 4 june 2017

Cherry Cupboards

the cherry cobbler cupboards look askance
since pie saving's gone out of style such
a long time now

but I remember the buttery crust taste
well mixed in with cherries
add a custard tart or two for the refreshments Alice drank

to become much smaller through the keyhole

into the incomparable garden 
where it's me and my sister on the swings again
in our dresses from school the very same day

but freer than any classroom will ever allow
to reach someday the clouds
and learn to live there

everything turning pink
until it begins to snow
and bounces us back home.

mary angela douglas 4 june 2017

We Savor Green Apple Candies

we savor green apple candies slowly
pretending we own the world
and dress up playing, we're dressed

for the occasion
in some garden party frocks
5 sizes too big that trail on the ground

their splashy flowers
so that the backyard flowers grow confused
and the sparkling winds pass through us

as though they too are new
and understand us
in all our bazooka comic bubble gum

conniptions our Tinker Toy serious constructions
the way we cherish our dolls
down to each separate eyelash.

why do I remember this

as though it were paint not yet dried
on the porch railing of dreams
the summer clouds scudding

in the lake of the sky
and the books as yet, unread
and endlessly rsvp'd.

mary angela douglas 4 june 2017