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Poems By Poet mary douglas  11/23/2014 11:03:49 AM
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Dress Code

weaving the fabric made of clouds
and of the retreating armies-
I whisper to myself, again-
maybe it's not too late

for the new-spun colours in my head-
the cherry velvet ravels swept aside;
a silver tack of wondering again,
never setting sail-

who lost the Age of Rose?

I count the last gold
in the corners
and count again, sweet
polished cotton dresses with no seams:
the sprigged details
for the diffident day
on a simple field of honour.

not knowing the pearl of minutiae
as You do, oh God-

I'm turning this inside out to find You-
and twining the dreamy-treadled thread
that keeps on breaking yet still shines

in tiny roseate crystals stitched on snows.

piano music's sateen on the wind
and seems to disappear, pure lemon verbena.
but sparkles do not dwindle, lily-of-the-valley mine
though I'm so small and slide off of the bench
never reaching the pedals by the chiffoniere

where it's always almost spring;
you won't disturb
the shawl of dappled roses on the doll crib-

the childhood fortitude so pear wept
twig by twig, the same;

remember me, and, if not-
the pale green earrings-
my geranium gown...

I turn the diamond spackled key
of an antique conversation:
who lost the pockets of the
children filled, the little sashes made of
white violet velvet

mary angela douglas 6-8 november 2011
mary douglas



In The Looking Glass, It Began To Snow

in the looking glass, it began to snow

the snow covered up
your eyes your
mouth; your

hands, with their own
snow-like gestures;
you wept-

but not into

the frozen-mirror pond

we struggled through:
emerging into
deeper snows,

but with the same furniture-

and this was the
beginning of sorrows

mary angela douglas february 2008
mary douglas



In The Shoemaker's Shop

[once more, to The Brothers Grimm]

how marvelous it seemed to you then
the cobbler asleep at his bench
too tired to dream

of the work still left to do
the leathern apron's torn
his own shoes full of holes

are fit for scorn
his tools are not the best but
he has hammered gold into slippers

in his time embroidered with
the thread of rose
and never glanced at the clock

painted light green, perhaps with red tulips
all around the edge
a wooden taskmaster with a shrill cuckoo

10 o' clock, the mayor comes at noon
or sooner if there's bad luck
how can one room contain

so much misfortune.
he sighs to his wife
munching a little toast and cheese

as if they were mice.
the snow flying. it is Christmas Eve
the dancers from the pantomime
in valentine tulle tap their toes

impatiently en pointe*
backstage for slippers new,
encrusted with rubies ribbons

in the sheen of cherries
he hasn't seen for breakfast ever.
he slumbers on while

midnight's moon floods the shop
not caring if business is better.
then wonder of wonders and none too soon

the green clock ticks the elves in
one by well-skilled one to cobble
in fairy princess stitching

never seen
the rag tag edges of his dream
he will remember this in daylight hours

mary angela douglas 20 october 2013

Note to Reader: in case you wonder how the ballerinas in red tulle could tap their toes and be en pointe at the same time, remember, this is a dream or just pretend it's Balanchine's choreography (who was always asking the impossible to occur as if it were nothing)

if you're wondering where the punctuation is in the above poem it may be I have my elves too, who skipped the punctuation in order not to be caught (since I get up very early...)
mary douglas



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
mary douglas

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Poems By Poet mary douglas