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Poems By Poet mary douglas  7/29/2014 5:41:38 AM
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to Juan Ramon Jimenez (1881-1958)

Juan Ramon standing amid blue flowers
did not hear me calling
small birds flew on every side

through chinks in a chain-link cloud and over
the scuttled rainbows of your sighs I picked up on the ground
to far-away laughter

oh but 'not-it' I cried out from
the space left by your shadow
on the grass

like a child in a game of tag,
the last one left in the

blonde and feathered fields still
of starlight by the railroad tracks

and hotel rolls with real pats of butter-

at home in the pink stucco of 'play-like' afternoons...

Sr. Jiminez bluer than the bluest
shadows could be,
could it be the earth is disenchanted?

will we grow apart?
stand still, I said, with a mouthful of pins
I will sew your shadow to the sky

and line it with pale green stars

it's strange while
I'm still trying to speak
in lilies and small roses

in blue diamonds secretly

oh why do you keep on
haunting your own poems

it hurts so much
even in my minted sleep or
is it, dream?

to be crumpling up the violet
of mimeographed vocabulary lists

and practicing
balletic leaps by the
persimmon trees

it's not that I'm that far
from all those merry dialogues
about butter about arroz con

pollo about beaten chocolate-

regarding time I find it hard to keep
the tenses straight:
do I keep breaking the heart of moonlight
without knowing why-

or is all that hushed?
and can I pray to God in
pure hibiscus, too?


a hundred years from home
no one recognized my speech
but the blue wind and God

and the tire-swing swung
in glittering silence by the
small girl dressed in

blue porous happiness...

mary angela douglas april 26-april 28,2011
mary douglas



Mandelstam's Ghost Returns Too Early

to Osip Mandelstam

someone has turned the moon's wick down
and I can't see where the
vague wolves gather

there's tar on the breeze
a perfume from Space
but I'm not the same one

I can't keep it straight
why Song is still caught in
my windy throat

and your smile is ravishing yet snows
on these familiar scenes

the moon's turned up, the earth
less featureless now

is this where we escaped the moat
dripping like trees in the green of summer
by winter canals?

mary angela douglas 16 june 2014

Note on the poem: if you listen carefully you can sense perhaps if not hear the interlocutory presence of Anna Akhmatova to whom, Mandelstam is speaking, or thinks he is speaking.

Whether or not she hears him I do not know. Whether or not she is still on earth herself I do not know but I think this is true. That is the meaning, one of them, of his 'returning too early'.

I imagine her in one version writing at her desk a few years after he has died. But like the notebook variations of, Dostoyevsky, the many pathed woods of possibility, some or all of these versions are true in the labyrinth of Time as long as you do not forget: these poets were on the earth and left their words for you to find...

P.S. the happiest secret of this poem that I am telling only you is that Mandelstam, although confused in the poem does not remember his pain on earth. That is one reason the wolves are vague to him or the wolves are vague because Russia has altered in that way. And Mandelstam has forgotten almost all of his pain on earth, at least, the details as well as Akhmatova's pain, Nadezhda's pain, the pain of all Russia. He remembers escaping although, in the end, he did not. At least, on this side of the equation.

The escape from the moat, a fairytale image. He must have longed to escape so much in reality. But some vestige of pain or the memory of pain remains which is why, there is the image of the summer trees after soft rains by winter canals.

He has not yet forgotten everything.
mary douglas



Sipping Cherry Cola Through A Moonlit Straw

sipping cherry cola through a moonlit straw
I mused on green creation and was overawed
and sifted through the mounds of ice cream

strawberry, chocolate, coconut noon had
melted in the patios, and scooped up to the
tune of cherry cola through a moonlit straw

sipped slowly.
tomorrow for breakfast,
ambrosia sundaes,
berried angel food...

mary angela douglas 30 september 2013

P.S. If I don't have ice cream in the house I just write about it!
mary douglas



Beauty Asks For A Rose

to the Saviour of all saviours

only bring me the Rose of all roses
clouded pink in winter's storms
the Artic rose no one can comprehend

or reconfigure

the high serene silver
rose confounding moonlight
recovered by kings in flight

from their lost kingdoms

the one that is mirrored in
the starry triptich
whenever I close my eyes

only bring me the cardinal Rose, the rose of
hidden music, scrolled and scrolled the

wounded Rose
the silence of petals streaming

the heart within the heart within the heart

mary angela douglas 4 december 2009
mary douglas

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Poems By Poet mary douglas