Best Poems From
Della Robbia And Other Things
to a dry fountain
small birds came to drink
when holes were punched in a daylight sky
and the blue of old plaster flew as if it were the wind.
and an eggshell quiet shattered in a dream
of the whispered sonnets
freezing through the trees
and I said only, I do not lie
to the dry fountain where the small birds came to drink
in the Park you may remember or not at all.
and a small twig breaks that was already broken
and nothing scurries through the last leaves on the ground
where small birds shiver near a glazed stream
or lodge in the holes punched in the sky
and sing through the end of the punches thrown
in delicate aqua or marine
where an eggshell quiet shattered in a dream
of the whispered sonnets freezing through the trees
and the ghost of Mary Stuart counting all her beads
deliver my blue soul from the cracked marble of the world
mary angela douglas 31 january 2013
Philippe Petit: Balanced On His Best Day
he will be balanced on a diamond thread
between two points: connecting the heart
to the Heart someday
around his head flowed the stars of Van Gogh,
the unfounded galaxies, the future snows,
the opalescent birds cut from their fairy tales at last,
escaped into ruby paned air oh through the ivoried
plumes of cloud oh
how will he wound the doves with a mere gesture?
she sighed to his detractors
doffing his crown of breezes and if he slips it is not into
the abyss but into our wondering care
or wedged somewhere, so quietly
he thinks it is dreaming,
in a pale blue notebook,
cloud clotted lines
of the elegiac poem of a
little girl's old homework,
returning on a crayoned wind
she's from the everywhere,
collecting her bouquets,
her pocket creme sachets,
who rushes there-
as if to say: oh, not too late papa-
with borrowed gemmy wings o!
just in case?
mary angela douglas 8 june 2014
Note on the Poem: the little girl in the poem is a reference
to his daughter, Gypsy who died at 9 years old of a brain hemorrhage. This poem was written just after a very poetic interview (I mean Philippe Petit gave poetic answers to perfect questions) of Philippe Petit by Bob Edwards radio today on the subject of Mr. Petit's new book: Creativity: the Perfect Crime. Previously I had watched the lovely film Man on Wire, which also influenced the poem in a similar way.
By 'unfounded galaxies' I mean: non-commercial space,
Space as dreamed of through centuries by children, poets, and astronomers...
A Christmas Card From Me To You (A Little Early)
to the children when they're well again, forever
'we shall meet on that beautiful shore.'
-Old American hymn, In The Sweet Bye and Bye
(sung by Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson and generations...lbut most beautiful when sung by Dolly...) *
In Heaven's toyshop we may see
some things we missed
on Christmas Eve:
or Christmas morning it may be
whenever you woke up to see
a something bright but something missed
I made a list and this is it:
the rosy doll in pink, not blue
the bracelet bright as morning dew
the little chair and table set
the playhouse, treehouse, I forget
what was it that I wanted then,
only to play oh, let's pretend
and there's no price at all for that
not even now and I think that
if we imagine we can see
the whole world with a Christmas Tree
then there'll be stars in every sky
and no one left that has to cry
or has to wonder wonder why.
and wishes will come thick you know
as candy coated sugar snows
and bowls of fudge and icing too
we'll lick the spoon and when we're through
play King and Queen of gum drop lands
dispensing gifts on every hand
and breathe in balsam, fir and pine
and feast on snow cream so refined
and find there's freshness in each day
and cherry bright, find things to praise
with angels ringed with holly, glad
and no one will be tired or sad
we'll light the candles evermore
and drift in boats to golden shores
we sang about when we were young
and Christmases had just begun!
mary angela douglas 30 august 2014; rev.2 september 2014
Note On The Poem:
*You can find this beautiful hymn (In the Sweet Bye and Bye) sung by Cash, Parton, Nelson (individually) on You Tube, if you wish, in slightly different versions..It's on the Cash album 'My Mother's Hymn Book'. I also thought of the song 'The Mother and Child Reunion' by Paul Simon..and of all the parents who lose their children too early from cancer and for other reasons- there is a reunion in the Forever and a Heaven where all disappointments will be transformed into eternal joy. I believe this with all my heart.
The Sweet Bye and Bye (also spelled, The Sweet By and By, bye and bye, in any case meaning, in a short while (as in after our relatively short sojourn on earth...) is not a cathedral song (though I love those too, especially all the carols) .
It is a song sung from time immemorial in the out of the way tiny American country churches under the shade trees when people gathered to comfort themselves after country hardships with the vision of the hereafter when the 'circle [would] be unbroken'.
This is a deep theme in American old hymns and gospel tunes and when people make fun of Christianity I just feel oh you don't know how heartfelt these feelings are and how they get passed down from generation to generation and how I feel when I remember hearing my great grandfather (Mr. W. R. White of Prescott, Arkansas) whom I never met wanted Nearer My God To Thee played at his funeral, his favorite hymn.
If you find on dvd or VHS the beautiful film The Trip to Bountiful (taken from Horton Foote's play) and starring Geraldine Page, check the opening scene with the girl running through the Texas fields of bluebells while the hymn Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling is sung in the most heartfelt ethereal and homesick for Heaven way I have ever heard. It will make you weep no matter what you think of Christians.
Or even if you don't think of them (us) at all.
Canticle to Robin Williams
for Robin Williams (July 21,1951-August 11,2014)
'send not to know for whom the bell tolls'
'Nought but vast sorrow was there -
The sweet cheat gone'
-from Ghost, by Walter De La Mare
dreaming in colour with our eyes wide open
we thought we heard them say that you had fled
oh no oh no oh no we cried we cried we cried
the fool in motley wiser than all kings is dead
by his own hand and we the starless witnesses
and snows bled snows in summer shock by shock
in California, spreading clockwise fault line by
fault line: can't you make it disappear, sad conjurer,
dear robin, making amends?
but this, this the thing that can't be mended
by a sudden sortie of your hidden angels
fraught with the tinkling of bells on the jester's
cap, and doffed and doffed again, to us
as if we were royalty in a velvet box
convulsed with happiness zig-zagging
lightening quick, mercurial, ariel ariel
why, what- is this?
last seen at 10 p.m. on sunday night, and at home..
(yet not at home)
and the fairytale
decreed with its happy ending:
let it be 10 p.m. on a sunday always-
didn't it? or earth, earth has skipped its heartbeat;
honey ceased its sweetness,
captain crossing now, crossing the thin line-
rainbowed meridians, scarves pulled out of the hats
as if from the borealis, wonderful! and multifaceted,
the doves of extravagant wit flew up from the silk top
hats towards what, towards who, towards when you're
jumping off the shortest cliff of all, come back
come come back they must be wrong...
the laugh lines in the moons of distant planets dim-
oh were you Hamlet in the end, mad Lear-
the one we thought we knew send not to know
to know to know for whom the bell has tolled
has tolled has tolled has laughter ceased
and music spilling from the soul oh jigsaw piece
my favorite one! cried the child in us
is merriment weeping unregaled?
ah, Genie, out of the bottle murmured
o tenderest of clowns
we will not find you now.
the puzzle's strange without you
fretting upon no stage at all that we can see.
the hour was golden, seized,
but it has raveled.
dies, laughter on the lips of God for
this brief shining,
mary angela douglas 12 august 2014