Monday, July 31, 2017

Galoshes

will it snow stars when we get there
my sister perhaps asked me
when we get to the end of the story

on a day Cinderella was dressed in blue

at least, we thought so
having decided on different hues for

her on different days

though really there were probably only the two outfits
in most paper doll sets:

the rag she wore around the house

to do the housework for the grumpies
and the one the godmother summoned

all spangly from the air.


yes it will snow stars we declared

and so it would happen.
and we'll arrive at the depot 

in our crystal shoes

or the version of them
Grandmother found

in the F.A.O.Schwarz

Christmas Catalogue.
let's go look for presents

she enthused (not Grandmother,but

my sister) since her
favorite thing to do

her face all sticky

with candy cane, the odd petit four

was rummaging while

Grandmother taught the pianoforte
so we did, and Grandmother, unaware

and found them everywhere.

so we expected Life to be:
all presents in unexpected corners

snow tinsel falling out of the skies

and we're prepared 
good Brownies we were and wise

amid all falling stars-

ready for anything,
in our crystal galoshes.

mary angela douglas 31 july 2017

Sunday, July 30, 2017

We'll Dress Up In Bon Bon Pink

we'll dress up in bon bon pink
and shuffle again the bird lotto cards
or watch all the neighbors

sprinkling their yards
the flowers drink it all in
it's no sin on a Sunday

to watch tv
if you're homework's done
and you are free

to look out the picture window
when the wind gusts through our
Very Own Pine Trees

to eat grilled cheese from a tv tray

to pray silently.
how easy it is in words to go back
to fix yourself a 1960s snack

and be at ease
remembering your please and thank you
the color of nasturtiums

the taste
of fried chicken Sundays
with English peas.

and iced teas.
pound cake,
with peach ice cream.

mary angela douglas 30 july 2017

Toward What Was Dazzling

the shadows of things they looked on then
had finger paint colours
breaking the surface of the water

the little mermaid swam
to see the fireworks from the horizon
flowers of fire and this is the world above

how lovely lovely she thought
her sea thoughts wavering as waters can be
a little vague and formless

later she learned the specifics

the feeling of dry ground
after she lost all speech but dancing
dancing like the waves she missed, she missed

she's going under now
drowned in what was once her home
and was it for this she swam upward,

upward  toward what was dazzling

mary angela douglas 30 july 2017

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Hand Coloured Illustrations From The Age Of Gold, Rose Gold

hand coloured illustrations from the age of gold, rose gold
they missed the children who left home
unexpcctedly traduced taken alone

from Eden's lands
and made to serve evil kings
or turned to birds with wings of sorrow fly

the queen said then banishing them
and no tears flowed
when there was none to see

they missed the labyrinthine toys of Christmas
the ballet mise en scene
running out the door in thin slippers

just to see a melon slice of moon turn silvery green
and harmonizing in tune to cherry filled weather.
aprils they missed

and wearing violet in the afternoon and so
they grew to know
there was no home for them anymore

there were only shadows.

mary angela douglas 29 july 2017

Someone Steps Out From The Cottage

in fairy, folk tales it often happens
someone steps out from the cottage
on a sunny day

it's the first page usually
and there they are
in a cerise cloak

fastened with a cameo brooch
have you got enough bread and butter to last
I call out as they lift the latch

like my own Grandmother.
a scoupon of jam, raspberry is best
and all the neighbors' good wishes?

you've left the dishes but never mind.
go have a good time.
be back at twelve.
and don't fall down the wishing well;
don't do somersaults on the quay.

and there they go.
on page three it begins to snow
and deeper and denser

in the woods
they think and I think too
of all the should haves

and the Parker dinner rolls
that are gone by now.
the winds are howling.

oh wish upons I wish
you'd stayed at home
I say but they can't hear me

and you should have taken your muffler,
the heavy one
grumble I, from the margins

and about the time
they're sodden through and through
the good fairy comes along

(well, wouldn't you)
but isn't the timing odd
and gets them out of it.
thank God.

mary angela douglas 29 july 2017

As Though We Lived

we will find acorns of gold
scattered carelessly on the ground
the wind from far stars

gathering its bouquets
we will wear dresses
smocked with lilies

and carry our hats in our hands
the ones with blue streamers
paler than water

oh daughters of dreams upon dreams
we were then
amenable to every roselike thought

why was it always every season at once
in our house
as though we lived

on the edge of Time?

mary angela douglas 29 july 2017

Beautiful, Coming Due

a far away feeling on your birthday
and suddenly you are transported
from the pink table

goodbye you sing softly
to alarm no one
to the cake with pure rosettes

to the presents glistening
something called to you then
perhaps the ghost of who

you would become
some years from now
with no pink table left

not even a streamer
but the memory of how
when you were ten

and the party set to begin
the party favors at each place
suddenly a feeling came to you

swept over you
like a forgotten kingdom, beautiful,
coming due.

mary angela douglas 29 july 2017

The Beautiful Dilapidation Of Our Saturdays

amazing beautiful dilapidation were our Saturdays
back then with their playhouse ramifications
their peanut butter and banana sandwiches

fixed by our Grandfather
just for us
the Queens of Jam

you build the house you will live in later
when you are young
for perhaps a long time

yes a playhouse a treehouse of the heart
and you climb up there with all your dolls
so that the leaves laugh and they ask

and who are all these people
have we met yet
you with your imaginary teas

your long perusal of the rose tinted clouds
as if you had fallen headfirst
into a cloud library.

how I miss the pines back then
and the fresh wind
and that feeling in your fifteen petticoats

the colors of all roses

as if we were already eternal
in the beautiful dilapidation of Saturdays
and no tests given and all chores done

and fun fun fun
until the fading of the day
then lullabies then

warm cocoa and the fairy tales all told
and dreams and strawberries with cream all
put away

and dreams
that stayed.

mary angela douglas 28 july 2017

Friday, July 28, 2017

Hide And Seek Redux

we opened the book of stars and thence we fled
all other hiding places being spent
bad coins jammed

in the coke machines, the tom's peanut butter logs
no longer rolling out
on the train whistled break at work

no matter how hard you shake it

shake the snow globe instead
we may find it a bit rocky
when they do

but we can hide behind a
shrub or two when the snow flies thick
and hides our smaller faces

face it
you're through the looking glass again
no longer filing what they thought you were

and you;re name isn't even Alice

and who's there to tie the sash on
your dress of infinite blue
the one with a thousand petticoats

made of cloud

mary angela douglas 28 july 2017


Fra Angelico Through The Cold Rain

Fra Angelico through the cold rain
I imagine your pictures
doll sized on the postage stamps

my mother showed me once
so much glory encapsulated
now I rise to different dawns

summer rains.
that feeling remains
of Renaissance colours

unmistakably full of angels
unseen beauty, yet beauty seen.
I glimpse through near tears

the intervening years
Christmas in the palm of my hand.
my mother would understand.

frag angelico through the cold rains.
glowing.

mary angela douglas 28 july 2017


Tag

[for Ray Bradbury]

the rest of us here have no problem with this
perhaps they say leaving you to feel like
the one on the seesaw high in the air

with no reprieve

while the rest of them
weigh down the other side
how odd it feels

to be the odd one out
in every other discussion
over a lifetime

is it really a discussion

when everyone else is not it
and you're the one tagged,
cornered, made to feel

all out there on your own
defending something obvious
you would think

even angels would defend

except that
the only thing obvious is
people enjoy

a good number of them
ganging up on
the one that's tagged

regardless of the issue.

mary angela douglas 28 july 2017

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Then

the way you thought of things when you were young
with the alphabet blocks at hand rimmed in
rainbow bands the flutaphone whimsy on the bus

or afterwards, unloading at the gates
the sunken ship feeling of homeroom
the locker combination forgotten

the sudden tests in the afternoon
all the paper dreads[

stolen lunch moneyed cacophony
of the cafeterias
and the way the pineapple upside down

cake stuck in your throat.
how glad you were
when the bus turned home

and toward the Christmas side of the year
when there was such a rich respite
that alone could have signalled HOLIDAY

in glisteningsemaphores
at the end of the line

let alone the birth
of the neglected Saviour
who watched over you then.

mary angela douglas 26 july 2017

The Silence Of The Larks

[for Carolyn Hooper an extraordinary person and
unheralded actress]

dreaming is reading the last stars on the lawn
the dews ensconced and the day lilies folded away
with other things

you won't need since that day
the one in blank colours you could draw from memory
and let the roses recede.

the seed pearls go to seed
yet the mysteries remain
unweeded with the weeds

and though no waves sped

your dreamed boat onward
still is the water lapping in the bay
and you'll fall asleep that way

washed over with indigo
collecting small pink shells in your hand
it's what I understand you'll slightly shrug

the sparkle of your earring catching the glint of stars
while you refrain from explaining
the little I know is

dreaming is reading the 

fireflies going out
the pale green pincushion
of an april heart

foisted on the world
with its tiny swords

and the violets that never lingered
the persimmon dark coming down
like the curtain on the stage

the silence of the larks

the one and only cue where they close the play
the one where you read
your best part

everyone said so,
afterwards.

mary angela douglas 26 july 2017

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Meditation On The Children Of Lir

their sunset transformations back
from men to birds
long have I pondered

when the dusk surrounds
us here
and the wind whirls up

in peculiar vortexes
sparkling.
and then, the toiling of wings
and not the tolling of bells
the breaking of the spell but
the updraft carries them

and flung out over seas
the bright wings beat relentlessly
without release from pain.

so has the soul its exigencies
its duress though it's unseen
and not at all clear to our friends that we

transform and transform again
while speaking of nothing
in the afternoons and

caught in the world of men
ah, birdlike I would be, I would have been
floating as clouds and mirrored in the

seas which to me
from this vantage point on the ground
quite often has seemed to be

the indisputable emblem of
untrammeled freedom,
and not captivity.

mary angela douglas 25 july 2017

Monday, July 24, 2017

In The Wood At The End Of The World

a cardinal red is sequined shining into
what was not known at the time
you're in the entry way

and these branches are your sky
your roof from the glaring sun.
when winter comes

what will you do
when there's no warmth left
and all blossoms flee on the winds

comprising hurricanes of the Pastel

returning as snowy ghosts of themselves.
here you will know
and not be known

becoming one by angels shod
and candlelit, all glorious within
praying then-

dear God
do not blow this candle out yet

mary angela douglas 24 july 2017

And That's Rosied Too

the dance you dreamed you were dancing
in carport pirouettes
like the flowers blew away

the sugar plum escapades
close your eyes
and you're on a stage

replete with fairy lights
spotlights of alternating amethyst
bubble gum pink and

silvery silvery
to match the diamond music.
her crown has sparkles in it

breathed my sister
on the Christmas window panes
oh aren't we still the same

what is time anyway
a few pirouettes
a yearning for tulle

and the waltz length days
it falls away in a haze
and that's rosied too.

mary angela douglas 24 july 2017

Second To The Last Poem For Mr. Barrie

being always young he was always losing his shadow
stuffing it into an old jacket until later
he got on

before and after Wendy came along.
though only her stitches were neat enough
perfect as a poem in moonlight

cast in mystery
and tenderly.
you don't see embroidery like that

nowadays I'm tempted to say.
there I said it.
lending credence to the story.

Mr. Barrie, looking down in Glory
where there are no shadows now
we hope you are young there too

you and Mr. Pan.
in your Neverlands.

mary angela douglas 24 july 2017

The Marmalade Measures Of The Sun

the marmalade measures of the sun
the coloured chalkboard summer sums
we thought were ours till kingdom come

the metronome's gaze

upon the musical page, gum starred
and this is Where You Are, on planet earth
the piano lid open to the neighborhood

small scars kissed new

and much imagined from the few notes graced,
the blosoming of the keys
when scales were young

the Dreamery of our
Grandmother's Liebestraum
I have kept in my box of charms

where the ballerina twirls
in her pink bit of tulle
and can't take arms

because of the Golden Rule

against the vanishing or iris skies
and all the shreds of hows and whys
we knew back then

the doll patch silk
the chocolate milk

when every wind through the screen door
chimed
and anything reminds me now

that was where
I lived somehow
the only place I ever would

though Time itself
has long since raced me 
to the end of the block

mary angela douglas 24 july 2017

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Another Song For Walter De La Mare

imagination's clearest pane is breathed upon
fern imprinted, silver dusted from the suns
behind pale clouds of gold

a shivering breeze and
suddenly, our words are clouded over
and a presence thrums

and something like

the tinkling of small bells has come
it's in between leaf and leaf
the circumference of the rose

half guessed at, behind
snow blnded eyes
and dreams flit in and out of

reality

haunting your disguise
and you won't hear a thing
when the evening news comes on

which doesn't mean
beyond your chintz covered
arm chair

the ghosts aren't all
still there...

mary angela douglas 24 july 2017

Angels Hid Their Faces

almost the imperiled, angels lept or would have lept
over the chasm separating them from Him
as the skies darkened, the wounds incomprehensible now

Father he cried from hour to hour
and as a later music said, the angels turned their faces
toward the face of God

away from the core of misery.
what lightning brightness, speed of sorrow sped then
in their kingdoms

but anguish has its own suns too
and deserts of remembrance.
soon not soon enough

through tribulation won
his phoenix soul arose
the Rose of the Ages

and all the stars restrung.

they cried then, the angels
and earth was green again
and young.

mary angela douglas 23 july 2017

Autograph Books

in sepia flourishes they wrote
remembrances in the antique albums
but once the pages crackled fresh

in their appointed hour

and present trees cast shadows
in the May afternoons of

their inscriptions

I will remember you
in flowers of blue

forget me nots

in old stickers with the clasped hands prayer
unspoken love

the posies rendered


and the doves brand new.

is it true they lived once
to breathe upon the page

and they were young and laughed

and dazzled by their prospects.
all of us coming after

will not understand

we tread only on their stage.
from age to age

in the same graduation whites

resplendent in the auditoriums
we take our place

until the petals fall and fade

and we are inscribed then
too.

Eternity's latest.


mary angela douglas 23 july 2017

To The Great Poets No Longer Remembered

did words flow like vapor away from us
perhaps they cried in their ghostly sleeves
winter's captives, ephemera

inscribed in dews

and then the fields cut down.
a poem is launched and then disappears
along with the sound of it, the view

into ionospheres in no one's Lost and Found
a poet is not heard from.

years. centuries go by.
epochs.
why were they here

if we have forgotten them so soon.
reinventing the wheel of words
in simple tunes just to say

it all begins with us, brand new

as though their opulence had not been.
but every wind carries you to me
oh words of elaborate grief of

jeweled jubilations strewn
there in the orchards of the Other Side
you have transcended

your demise sheer brides of language
and the secret flowers bloom.
the inner verities still true.

our half hatched jigsaw selves
murmuring murmuring

we will return to you.

mary angela douglas 23 july 2017

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Wondrous, Yet To Appear

on and on into the forevers
and the creme cloud on clouds
out topping each other

as if for sunset parfaits
fruit cocktail days

shouldn't we be inclined
to dream

even while dusting poorly
the furniture
causing the pot to boil

over and it not the magic
one in the folktale
that boils all on its own

miraculous porridge
that never runs out
or over.

step lightly through the grasses
through purple clover
the way you came once

when all flowers were wild to you

and had beautiful names
you could not tame
then clouds were syllables

floating away
escaping during the spelling bees
and the bees spelled out in gold

in the far meadows,
we love you flowers
so that you may have honey

on your toast all winter long.

and winter was longing too then
for the Christ child rimmed in white
and gold in the cathedrals with their

chimes and we strained our eyes
through the windows onto 
our backyard astronomy

to see the stained glass angels again appearing

would we have been wiser
counting with the world
to believe all that was long ago

and not oh not to feel sang
all my dears

that all that starlight was 
God's glittering giftwrap still
enveloping something wondrous

yet, to appear.

mary angela douglas 22 july 2017

The Things I Found In The Attic

the things I found in the attic:
windows looking onto rain
the come agains I did not

hear on earth
certificates of birth
for dreams made real

old orange peels, water colour sets
salt water taffy regrets
and Christmas candied.

myself

when younger, youngest
following the magi hours
and ivory towers

too myriad to name
and pristine as the day
and trunks of fairy costumes,

garnets made for Play
and the necklace of the
sun and moon shining altogether

in the same sky.

Spring weather

fine roses embroidered on the lawns
and all the once upons that ever could be
in metahistories of sighs

the shot through the heart sweet valentines
on heavy cardboard kept
old nosegays bewept

or pressed in books
the hand imprinted in plaster
and the baby lock of hair

the everywhere
we used to blow soap bubbles through
with plastic dimestore wands

mimeographed Songs

and Magic that had come unglued
what a project that would make
on some rainy day

to glue it all back together
the way it was
and the treasure spilling out the door

of all of our befores.
dressed in blue
and opalescent taffetas.

mary angela douglas 22 july 2017

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Shine, Like Emeralds

reconfiguring the history of song:
the bluebird caught, the dimestore ribbons streamed
in attic valentines the sheen of snow

from the opalescent post card, long ago,
the dollhouse vignettes
the mignonette in the garden

recalled
the aria strung like pearls
raindrop falling one by one

unstrung into the heart
that art
and our costume diamonds

delighting at playtime us,
the rhinestone thrilled
the whippoorwills in the backyard

trilling
my Grandfather called to his hand
on a green strand

the one we knew
where the heart comes shining through
in Disneyland

in the pink and blue castle
just over the ridge
we see in stereoscope

from our back steps
where even the dusk lit midges
shine like emeralds

mary angela douglas 18 july 2017


Once By Fireside And By Spinning Told

once by fireside and by spinning told
came prince or princess out of the cold, exile,
snows piled up to the diamond panes

and a faint whispering at the heart's door.
once the straw lay heaped and you wondered
how will I spin spin spin it all into gold

or by dawn you had finished when the secret's told
the commissioned castle, the peas sorted from the ashes
avoiding forty lashes or the high seas.

oh in your sleep the golden apples please
in the crystaled cold of winters keep and immemorial.
once by candle lit or dim

the letters swim in the deep and branch into fleur de lis
into roses roses and the garden closes
and its you inside the enchantment

where the witch cannot get in
or you are small enough to live
inside of a flower bud

to be carried on the back of birds
into infinite singing
and this was what you wished for once

at the beginnings
your fingers clutching the maypole ribbons,
all of them,

and you all trimmed with Primary rainbows 
so that the year would not turn from Spring.

mary angela douglas 18 july 2017