Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Children Were Taking The Toys Of Forever With Them

[to my grandparents, Milton and Lucy Young.]

children were taking the toys of forever with them
whispering on the stair
when the back door blew open

scent of roses filled the air
and we said we hate to leave you
we don't want to leave you at all.

then you turned your faces to the wall
not to show that you wept
and I watched your violet shadows stilled

on a pale green wall.
the gardenias in small glass vases
I remember the most

the summer clover
seen at the last.
the wind through the familiar pines

our green guardians.
our green guardians.

mary angela douglas 1 february 2018

Falling Off Of The Silver World

falling off of the silver world I cried
like children sometimes will at the end of the day
when someone says there's no more time for play

now you must rest
or you're a bit older and truly
unprepared for the test the next day.

and you will face the music come what may
tomorrow at 10 a.m. unless you manage to fall sick
and have to stay at home.

yet you know you didn't will it
and it goes on for days
and you know the work is piling up

and classmates come fresh off the bus
to make you pay lugging piles of books
and workbooks, instructions from the teacher

and you still feel wobbly
though you make the attempt.
just thinking of this makes me feel sick again

though God knows certainly
many years have passed
since then.

mary angela douglas 31 january 2018

It's Like Cherry Quartz

it's like cherry quartz one corner of the sky
and you imagine one branch of your favorite tree
could cloud sweep there so

that little candies would fall out of
the cloud pinata
and why shouldn't it be

it's your imagination can't you see
we are kind of talking about
in Middle C beginnings

and not evasive at all

not clattering out in a coded atmosphere
such as when you were working
and there was no reprieve

so let the entire sky be cherry quartz
let candies rain down forever and forever
let all the children be good.

mary angela douglas 31 january 2018

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Flight Of Ideas From Here (Third Version)

THE FLIGHT OF IDEAS FROM HERE
[to Robin Williams]
complexities in music are expected; yet, a fantastic flow of words, a disease decreed the doctors to the poets time out of mind though Light itself is scattered blessedly from
quartz to quartz and this is what we call sparkling
in some quarters.
dimestore symptoms cannot ride out the storm oh spare me the diagnosis of the beautiful or Shakespeare's worlds on worlds for we on our best days
can launch from here balloons in every shade
and firecrackers, rockets of the full spectrum spinning and fizzing whirling into tulips, and leaves and trees in colours of the oohs and aahs of Chistmases remembered; or split, open
to a fairy tale beguiling,fissuring,
glittering with a subterranean splendor
and, for this, we set sail to find:
the crown jewels coronating the manifest of a language whose ship’s unknown and but
inwardly felt: to wit, Rilke in the woods catching birdsong on his sleeve and harkening
like all the rare others, to the souls unseen.
to God regardless of how men unsay His multifoliate Gold
beyond all alchemy
leave the pathologists who have murdered
imagination as if they could, forgoing the multiple pathways through the woods of Dostoyevsky, the Joycean epiphanies or Proust's pale emerald passages twined and intertwined curiously
with a telegram from Faure.
oh pack the saints away you will not
knowing as they do
that God spun out in myriad silken directions once the starry web that some would break
endlessly in us:
thinking that they do good.
mary angela douglas 14 august 2014;rev. 30 january 2018

The Flight of Ideas From Here Second Version

THE FLIGHT OF IDEAS FROM HERE

[to Robin Williams]

complexities in music are expected; yet, a fantastic flow of words, a disease decreed the doctors to the poets time out of mind though Light itself is scattered blessedly from
quartz to quartz and this is what we call sparkling

in some quarters.
dimestore symptoms cannot ride out the storm oh spare me the diagnosis of the beautiful or Shakespeare's worlds on worlds for we on our best days

can launch from here balloons in every shade
and firecrackers, rockets of the full spectrum spinning and fizzing whirling into tulips, and leaves and trees in colours of the oohs and aahs of Chistmases remembered; or split, open

to a fairy tale fissuring, 
glittering with a subterranean splendor
and, for this, we set sail to find:
the crown jewels coronating the manifest of a language whose ship’s unknown and but

inwardly felt:  to wit, Rilke in the woods catching birdsong on his sleeve and harkening
like all the rare others, to the souls unseen.

leave the pathologists who have murdered 

imagination as if they could, forgoing the multiple pathways through the woods of Dostoyevsky, the Joycean epiphanies or Proust's pale emerald passages twined and intertwined curiously
with a telegram from Faure.

oh pack the saints away you will not
knowing as they do
that God spun out in myriad silken directions once the starry web that some would break

endlessly in us:
thinking that they do good.

mary angela douglas 14 august 2014




Sunday, January 28, 2018

The Diamond Wind And Where It Has Gone (Second Version)

God lets his diamond face shine through
those pinpricks in the sky we call the stars
her mother sighed or maybe it was the wind

through the night curtains
in the way back when of all whens
taken into account.

rummaging in the dresser drawers
we found the rhinestone tiara, the white gold braclets
plied ballerina in the jewel box turned with a key

while the grandmother slept music

and we learned the distance to the glass mountain
the golden apples rolling down again
and the knights disfigured making the

attempt no more so that old sideboard candles wept their wax
into the cornices of the moon.
and I have gathered the lilacs and the lilac blue

and the pinks wept the princess
and angels distilled her tears
and this went on for years

in ink understood and bound with ribbons
of the letters reserved and not sent back
we found in the attic of the marbled and the marled

and behind God's diamond back
in the beginning of sorrows.

mary angela douglas 16 march 2017;rev. 29 january 2018

Saying Goodbye To The Trees

I don't know why it seems to me
the hardest thing on earth may be
saying goodbye to the trees.

one day while quiet in my house
with the wind coming through
the way the winds do

I stopped and sought a window view
and there trees swayed and sang
so free and beautiful in the rains.

their sighs ascended and their
green I thought, I felt
their longing for heaven.

perhaps when my last hour ascends
I'll see them coming all undone
in sweet green journeys to the sun

and then perhaps not feel alone
that I am leaving earth's strange home.

mary angela douglas 28 january 2018

Cool Days On Earth

how I have loved the cool days on earth
the grey of the clouds shone like shot silk
with the sun like white gold behind them

and in all the gardens the green and the rose
are silhouetted finely against the opaque.
and the rains linger there.

so that the perfumes are mingled
on the cool days and infinity drops
down a silver orb or two

a distinct quietude
and clarity beyond measure.
then it seems to me all the

flowers have bells
and are chiming
all at the same time.

mary angela douglas 28 june 2018

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Beautiful Shadows

beautiful shadows once were here
and the sundial flowered.
and we were the children of the hours

the calendars made of lilies and small stars.
twinkling is best we sang to the stars
and they twinkled back in our backyard

do you know who you are?
we said not yet; they sparkled:
already, you've learned to forget

the beautiful shadows.
if only if only we had said no

so firmly when it began to snow
and all of it all of it started to go

drifting out nursery curtains again...
but who was permitted to know that then.

mary angela douglas 27 january 2018



Alicean, Elysian, Waking Earlier

she wore a dress with sheer blue sleeves
forget me nots at the waist
and the Rabbit said make haste

she said: it's just a dream.
I'll walk as I please
in pale rose slippers

down to the lea
said Rabbit there's no time for that.
and then she met the one with the Hat

and had her cup of tea, no lemon squeeze
and thought I must get on with it somehow
why won't they let me leave

and now I'm smaller than before
and still can't get through the tiny door
because the key is out of reach.

and suddenly her gown is peach
and she's on the riverbank asleep
and coming to

a little sad she seems
so suddenly waking from her dream
well, wouldn't you be?

mary angela douglas 37 january 2018

The Mermaid Predictions;The Future Of Snow (Second Version)

the mermaid predictions, the future of snow
is this my future thought the smallest one
a pearl dissolving only on the surface of the seas.
then, he will forget me.

I have left everything and still, I am alone...
the seamaid thought or dreamed she thought as such cases may be
(without a soul.)

Hans Andersen dipped his pen in the foam
and thought of the future of snow.
how will it feel to melt without knowing

will anyone note
the fireworks over the castle
the whole of Denmark dancing.

what could the seamaid know
mute as she was yet eloquent beyond words
of the melancholia in his soul...

am I the future of snow the poet mourned

and tempered her future.made, her soul:
she will glide on light into the chambers
of good children.

and that, forever


mary angela douglas 18 february 2014;27 january 2018


Note on the Poem: I went to Amazon today to see if it would be possible to order a ten pound bag of pinto beans so I won't have to think about what's for dinner for a longish time and a momentary ad for Porter Fox's Book "DEEP: on Skiing and the Future of Snow" caught my eye - especially the incredibly poetic, evocative phrase "the future of snow".

The phrase did not originate with me, then, but it did trigger this poem on Hans Christian Anderson and his deep (as deep as the future of snow) fairytale on sacrificial love,The Little Mermaid...  Thank you Porter Fox for such an incredible phrase.

All I Hear Them Say

an eruption of crows into an ivoried sky
I have seen so many times
yet never quite the same toward what I see

and wondered have they come again
to write on clouds, to caw in this way
so that I am overawed

and look for cloudy symbols all my own
oh to light my way for

if this were music they would cause me to say
what is the motif, leitmotif endlessly, ceaselessly.
but I hear

there is no place, no place to stay and this is cold.
so they wander then settle restlessly, cryptically
mystically in the trees.so that the light turns gold

momentarily

are they precursors of the russet turning of the day only

or emblems from some folk tale set
in the wide jewel of the sky, a restive caligraphy
or do they mention to the trees

merely in passing
to the trees who are always askiing

it is time for the losing of leaves
for the disconsolation of all things
take wing or weeping as you may

for that is all
I hear them say.
on any given immortal day.

mary angela douglas 27 january 2018

Song For The Last Interview (Final Version)

'it will flame out like shining from shook foil'
-Gerard Manley Hopkins

(for Dr. Robert Joseph Connelly, UIW, San Antonio, in memoriam)

this is for the Word made whole
for the poetry-riven skies
for the strength to recognize a lie


for the breakable language
unbroken still
by the bent word


built for profit,
not for truth.


this is my sigh in the flowering
air for the glass blown disappearing act of
stars in the May apple nights


appearing,
disarming, chiming in the winds
that only angels bring


the pause (finally, in excoriating speech,
-your very own-)
where you collect yourself
if not your things


from one last day at work
or home
picking your report card up


in June from the ghost school,
for the ghosts of
cornbread heirlooms


dripping with the honeycomb
for afternoons of strawberries
and cream -


for the Holy Ghost dressed in pale green
for the whole world seen
through stereoscopic Disney,


Christmas stenciled windows;
the least view of small
pink flowers bordering the sidewalk


goodbye...this is for God

who hears and sees the
honey tinged questions'
finding fault


so that permanent records
continue to reflect
your waywardness in


never having the exact
amount of change
this is for the second you feel


you have to leave with no reprieve
the loved home, the iced teas
so much earlier than you dreamed


with only three dresses packed
in a
walnut, the Lord's prayer on a dime:


fixing the hall clock in your memory
the jelly glasses
and the willow-ware, the brightness of pennies


over other denominations...the sherbets, lime
the evening times
repairing your chiffon shadow


on the way with your personal sewing kit

to honor those who raised you
and read you fairytales
as though from great distances.


this is for
no safe-houses on the horizon
least of all the yellow brick one


across the street
where children climb trees
and eat the whole summer


an entire orchard of homeade
peach ice cream...
this is for the deep-starred journey


undertaken
for the fools errands
for the straw that will never
everland turn into gold
no matter how the Rumplestiltskins scold


listen to me:
questionable friends
make the journey a million times


harder and give you the wrong
directions to the castle so
that you never find


the singing bird.
this is for trudging on alone
for crossing the borders on your own


not looking back even when
the person who packed with you
changes their mind at sunrise


then runs to tell on you.

this is for living
like the silence on the moon
and soon and soon


far from the living room

you will withdraw from a tiny shell
at the exact right moment in the interview, a
shining like shook foil shaken-


three dresses of compressible splendor
kept against the rain and
wrapped in violet tissue:


the one of vivid stars
the one of ornate flame
the one of cloudless cloudless blue


and, as if on cue, the opal angels move-
scattering the inquisitors;
settling old accounts


in scripts of gold
with not one scintilla of
asking anyone for permission.


for you were watched over
even while crocodiles wept
my child my child at


every nightmare's exit

by the Word unbroken:
by music heard in the wake of angels,
by undetainable Light...


mary angela douglas 30 june 2009 rev. 7 december 2016;27 january 2018

Friday, January 26, 2018

Song For The Last Interview (Second Version)

'it will flame out like shining from shook foil'
-Gerard Manley Hopkins

(for Dr. Robert Joseph Connelly, UIW, San Antonio, in memorium)

this is for the Word made whole
for the poetry-riven skies
for the strength to recognize a lie

for the breakable language
unbroken still
by the bent word

built for profit,
not for truth.

this is my sigh in the birthday
air for the glass blown disappearing act of
stars in the May apple nights

appearing,
disarming, chiming in the winds
that only angels bring

the pause (finally, in excoriating speech,
-your very own-)
where you collect yourself
if not your things

from one last day at work
or home
picking your report card up

in June from the ghost school,
for the ghosts of

cornbread heirlooms
dripping with the honeycomb
for afternoons of strawberries
and cream -

for the Holy Ghost dressed in pale green
for the whole world seen
through stereoscopic Disney,

Christmas stenciled windows;
the least view of small
pink flowers bordering the sidewalk

goodbye...this is for God

who hears and sees the
honey tinged questions'

finding fault
so that permanent records
continue to reflect
your waywardness in
never having the exact

amount of change
this is for the second you feel

you have to leave
the home, the iced teas
so much earlier than you dreamed
with only three dresses packed
in a

walnut, the Lord's prayer on a dime:
fixing the hall clock in your memory
the jelly glasses
and the willow-ware, the brightness of pennies

over other denominations...the sherbets, lime

repairing your chiffon shadow
on the way with your personal sewing kit
to honor those who raised you
and read you fairytales

as though from great distances.

this is for
no safe-houses on the horizon
least of all the yellow brick one
across the street

where children climb trees
and eat the whole summer
an entire orchard of homeade

peach ice cream...

this is for the deep-starred journey
undertaken
for the fools errands
for the straw that will never never

ever turn into gold
no matter how the Rumplestiltskins scold
listen to me:

questionable friends
make the journey a million times
harder and give you the wrong
directions to the castle so
that you never find
the singing bird.
this is for trudging on alone

for crossing the border and
not looking back even when
the person who packed with you
changes their mind at sunrise
then runs to tell on you.

this is for living
like the silence of the moon
and soon and soon

you will withdraw from a tiny shell
at the exact right moment in the interview, a
shining like shook foil shaken-
three dresses of compresible splendor
kept against the rain and
wrapped in violet tissue:

the one of vivid stars
the one of ornate flame
the one of cloudless cloudless blue

and, as if on cue, the opal angels move-
scattering the inquisitors;
settling old accounts
in scripts of gold

with not one scintilla of
asking anyone for permission.
for you were watched over
even while crocodiles wept
my child my child at
every nightmare's exit

by the Word unbroken:
by music heard in the wake of angels,
by undetainable Light...

mary angela douglas 30 june 2009 rev.7 december 2016;27 january 2018

If She Didn't

if she didn't stop saying out loud how
ridiculous everything was
she knew she would never be permitted to leave

much less be invited back to the party
where no cake was served
or to the trials where everything was decided

so far in advance
it was no use asking for directions

it was impossible to calculate
at least where she went to school
so she started to use the word absurd

knowing there wouldn't be enough time
for anyone to look anything up in the dictionary
and anyway they would lose their place

and it was written in mirror writing
and she'd broke their only mirror
as she'd plummeted down

the kaleidoscope of a tunnel
they called home.

mary angela douglas 26 january 2018

Whatever They Say

whatever they say I still will know
no matter how long on earth I grow
that leaves talk to me in the wind

pine needles too.
that the dew on the lawn could be diamonds
if we just gathered it fast enough

that inside of me are secrets I will not give up
from the time they label as childhood.
it will be my language always

the language I understand
the music most near at hand
and the fairy tales most of all,

I vowed that day
never to betray.
you can believe that or not.
whatever they say.

mary angela douglas 26 january 2018

Sugar Candy And the Big Hand's On The Three

it's like sugar candy
and I smile my sugar candy smile
for the briefest of whiles

when the clock says three
in my momentary exile
from the corner

where I was commanded to go
for speaking in class
at the wrong time

this happens everytime
the child in the next row over
asks me something, anything

to get me in trouble
with such exquisite timing
I wonder if he grew up

to be a watchmaker
maybe a conductor
of one of the great orchestras of Europe

one that does not play
Till Espiegel every single day
the way our classroom record player does

with occasional forays
into Grand Canyon Suite.
and I always think suite is sweet

on the spelling tests
and why shouldn't I
since it sounds the same

and everyone knows
that candy's the best thing
when you're the princess in exile

perpetually in the corners
near the paper towels.
and the art supplies.

mary angela douglas 26 january 2018

To Keep From Breaking Apart

we will stitch the moonlight to the snows
and come and go as we please
making up little stories until they

turn into snow and the snow
covers up all our mistakes
and wrong answers

so that all huffing and puffing
will come to a standstill
in the village with formerly green roofs

where we were always graded unfairly

and you will look out the lattice windows
the lattice windows as if they were clouds
and no one will say to us

it's getting too loud in here much less, the birds
because we will whisper everything we learned
and tread lightly in the time remaining

as though we knew everything by heart;
to keep from breaking apart.

mary angela douglas 26 january 2018


The Fairy Metronome;Snow Child In Decllne

time is flying away from us she cried
the snow child the frost is the treble clef
and the treble clef is dying

on the underside of leaves

and the velvet side
is warm on her cheek
though her tears are cold

and cooling.
we will bathe our feet
in the sunset streams

we thought in dreams
and eat small picnics
sitting on the rocks

and forget the ticking of clocks
inside everything
inside everryting

that breathes.

mary angela douglas 26 january 2018