POEMS ARE NEVER WRITTEN

Image result for the bright dew in renaissance painting

Poems are never written. They ooze, they drop,

Like tears, from saddest members of tribes or nations.

Poems are not made by those on top;

Only by those in exile, looking for revenge.

Poems are never written by the witty,

Only by those reclusive, broken, or sad.

Don’t trust the lightning poems of the verbose

Dashed off by seducers in the city,

Voluble, punning, ironic, glad.

Equality is impossible, the gulf

Between death and easy songs too large.

Poetry is the dew that never vanishes,

Gleaming in sorrow beneath the stars;

Poetry is not a prize for the wealthy,

But the sorrowful glory that is ours.

 

59 Comments

  1. maryangeladouglas said,

    February 25, 2018 at 9:38 am

    This is extremely beautiful, Thomas Graves. Thank you for this incomparable poem.

  2. maryangeladouglas said,

    February 25, 2018 at 9:39 am

    A poem I just wrote.

    ALL THAT I CAN SAY

    clouds accelerate to rain
    and I on the porch of the world again,
    not their person of means,

    practically houseless,
    shadowless, dream.

    how backwards they would wind the clock
    to resume the old myths that every time the
    weather shifts, it is the old gods arguing

    but I will not pray like them to the skies,
    nor to the earth, not even to roses
    when I know the God of all holiness

    is real and Love itself
    Christ died to reveal;
    Dante said, the Love that moves the sun

    and the other stars.
    the Bible says the one who knows our hearts
    better than we know ourselves;

    each word, before we speak;
    the one who holds all depths within Him,
    the shape of Leviathan. the memory of tears.

    why look elsewhere, I cry to the shining years;
    still more, to the waning days.
    why look elsewhere,

    is all that I can say.

    mary angela douglas 25 february 2018

  3. maryangeladouglas said,

    February 25, 2018 at 9:54 am

    I would deeply appreciate, if possible, knowing the name of the painting above, and the name of its artist. Thank you.

    • thomasbrady said,

      February 25, 2018 at 4:29 pm

      Hi Mary,

      Anne-Francois-Louis Janmot

      Tom

      • noochinator said,

        February 25, 2018 at 7:06 pm

        Thanks to Mary for asking, and to Thomas for answering. Wikipedia tells me the painting is titled “L’Ange et la mère” and is the third in a cycle of 18 paintings and 16 drawings titled Poem of the Soul. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Janmot

        • maryangeladouglas said,

          February 25, 2018 at 10:14 pm

          Thank you very much, Noochinator, for the title and the good information. Very astonishing painter;I felt so connected to the intensity of the mood in the painting that seemed literally generated by the angel praying and looking around online to the other paintings I was able to glimpse there is the same startling intensity. Makes you glad to be still alive to find new astonishment in works of art you did not even know existed one instant before. Yet another virtue of Scarriet.

          • noochinator said,

            February 25, 2018 at 11:53 pm

            Thank you, Mary — I agree that the cycle is astonishing, and if religious art should both shame and ennoble, it has accomplished both goals with me! Here is a link to the entire cycle of 18 paintings (just click on the little square below):

            • February 26, 2018 at 12:35 am

              Do you think angels really have bird’s wings? Wouldn’t that be reverse evolution? 😁

              • noochinator said,

                February 26, 2018 at 9:08 am

                I don’t think much about angels, but I do think that the Holy Ghost is a Dame (albeit one on an infinitely higher level than Helen Mirren and Maggie Smith).

              • maryangeladouglas said,

                February 26, 2018 at 8:17 pm

                That is too funny. I am fond of thinking of them as if on golden wires since I read that in old stage productions this was kind of how they were via old timey stage mechanisms. The wings look very cumbersome especially in Victorian prints. Flap flap flap. Just can’t see it.

                • maryangeladouglas said,

                  February 26, 2018 at 8:19 pm

                  The remark about the angels on golden wires was for Gary.

            • maryangeladouglas said,

              February 26, 2018 at 8:05 pm

              Thank you very kindly.

              • maryangeladouglas said,

                February 26, 2018 at 8:13 pm

                I’m very glad the Holy Spirit is not Dame Maggie Smith. No end to snappy one liners. Helen Mirren in the role is something I can’t dwell on AT ALL. I too think the Holy Spirit is feminine in an Ideal sense too. Like a helpful unobtrusive intuition. Not brash, just indicating things. In a pale green light. Not sure if this is true, just my feeling. Perhaps I was too influenced by the Wizard of Oz but that IS the way I experience it. And most definitely I shudder at the idea of God as female. No no no. God has to be the Father of all creation. The best Father.

                • noochinator said,

                  February 27, 2018 at 9:59 am

                  Yes! Let’s start a church, Mary, the Church of the Dame Holy Ghost in Christ — we’ll make a fortune! Um, I mean, we’ll help save so many souls…..

                  • maryangeladouglas said,

                    February 27, 2018 at 10:08 am

                    Im happy to believe in God and in Jesus and the Bible without being officially “churched’ as they say and partly for that very reason that so many now seem to profit over and above and I don’t see the justificaiton for it. Although I believe there are still many who don’t take unfair advantage. I am grateful for the memories of my Grandparents talking to me about Jesus, about God in a real way and for family memories of reading the Bible together and saying the Lord’s prayes. Faith in my family was real and my sister and I were even baptized at home. Growing up in the Presbyterian Church I did see sincere elderly pastors who truly cared for their congregations who cnstantly visited those who were sick, who had a real calling. I am sorry that the corruption ofa few have overshadows that reality which I know still exists in some places. People are people and no one is perfect. Only God can save and imperfect Christians such as myself have probably been responsible for many people turning away from God and for that, I am truly sorry.

                    • noochinator said,

                      February 27, 2018 at 10:43 pm

                      I like the phrase “the sea of Christ’s blood” — I Googled it and found this: “…nothing short of the fountain opened for sin and uncleanness, or the sea of Christ’s blood, can wash away sin; that cleanses from all sin; and happy are they whose sins are cast in thither, or are expiated and purged away thereby!”

                      http://biblehub.com/micah/7-19.htm

                    • maryangeladouglas said,

                      February 27, 2018 at 11:09 pm

                      re the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ I HATE thinking about it. All the emphasis on the blood of Christ. It seems ghoulish to me. I have to think about the Resurrection and how happy the disciples how amazed the disciples felt when Jesus who loved them like the best brother, friend ever came back to see them. They were overjoyed. I always wish and I wish still there had never been a crucifixion. So horrible when the crowd roared “Give us Barabbus.” And all the mockery and the scorn. Fountain of sorrow, fountain of endless sorrow. Except that Jesus conquered death. The point to me is not the blood. The point is he could have run away but out of love he stayed and endured it because he felt it was necessary. A person of perfect love came to reconcile us to God. But I wished when I was young and I wish it still that people could have received him. And I always wonder why God gave Pilate’s wife that dream that disturbed her all day about the innocence of Jesus and why Pilate didn’t when he knew in his heart that Jesus was innocent didn’t just use his authority to let him go. I tink, like Abraham and Isaac the main thing God wanted to see was the heart of sacrifice not the physical sacrifice itself. I guess I would be regarded as a heretic but that is how I feel. There could have been another way if it weren’t for the contemptible jealousy of the Scribes and Pharisees who hated Jesus.

  4. maryangeladouglas said,

    February 25, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    THE WAY IT WAS PUT TO ME

    the way it was put to me
    I could not understand
    that they would command

    everything in my head
    to stand still.
    so i stayed the same

    and the winged things went with me everywhere
    the ones of glitter composed.
    the ones they thought

    that I had left at home:
    the silence of roses
    and their effulgence.

    the delicate snows.

    it was only later
    when I was barred from teaching
    I saw them clear

    for what they were:
    and how guarded they were,
    how sure

    how insistent
    on monitoring the gates
    so that nothing purely lovely

    entered the scene.
    no longer was imagination queen
    of the May

    or of anything.
    rhetoric was the order of the day.
    and the dried out fossilized who and what you are

    under their spectroscopes; labeled in their jars.

    then beauty wept in me everywhere
    from shrouded star to star.

    mary angela douglas 25 february 2018

  5. February 26, 2018 at 9:10 am

    Oozing with the flow
    of a true poetic heart

    • maryangeladouglas said,

      February 26, 2018 at 8:33 pm

      Thank you David Redpath.

      • maryangeladouglas said,

        February 26, 2018 at 9:57 pm

        Well Triple Oops with cherries on top I just realized David Redpath’s compliment was deservedly meant for Tom’s poem, not mine. Inadvertantly snatched praise away from its originally intended point of veneration. Socially embarrasing like waving back at a person on the sidewalk who is actually waving at the person behind you. Cringe.

  6. maryangeladouglas said,

    February 26, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    SOMETIMES

    something the trees forgot to say
    stayed with me throughout the day
    in a pale green whispering.

    did the birds leave
    with no silver warnings
    were they mingled with

    the voices of angels
    these things I pondered on
    while riding the bus

    or filing later in the file rooms
    of the world
    thinking of Acquinas

    his angels whirling on pins.
    what does it feel like
    to be the one sent

    with the earth shattering message
    to be filled with that much light.
    or stooping through an unknown doorway

    all gold and ruby with annunciations.
    we never talked about this in school
    or sitting at the kitchen table.

    sometimes I saw a glistening on the walls
    when we were all home.
    and my Grandfather spoke of the Resurrection

    as if were filled with bird calls
    in the Arkansas woods.

    mary angela douglas 26 february 2018

    • maryangeladouglas said,

      February 26, 2018 at 8:40 pm

      I spelled Aquinas wrong which is fitting since I’ve barely read him.

      • maryangeladouglas said,

        February 26, 2018 at 8:49 pm

        and should be as if it were filled with bird calls, not as if were filled with bird calls. Sorry Tom and friends for typos. Not meaning that Tom is not a friend. Sorry Tom and other friends. Not enough coffee in the world to focus today.

  7. maryangeladouglas said,

    February 26, 2018 at 11:43 pm

    I CAST MY POEMS INTO THE AIR, WILD SWANS

    I cast my poems into the air, wild swans
    will they wander endlessly
    combing the skies of pearl

    bereft of home
    what theft is this
    the moon will say now I am left alone

    finding their wings, seared in silver
    but they are their own and infinitely
    it is my heart and the muffled bells

    the updrafts and the excruciating wait
    that is their labour and the spell
    they cannot break

    before the dawn and then
    they beat their wings against the sun
    and shine o shine in the day undone

    wholly gold.
    while I their mere messenger weep
    and cannot sleep wondering

    what will become of them,
    my songs

    mary angela douglas 26 february 2018

    • February 27, 2018 at 2:53 am

      This one has possibilities. : )

      • maryangeladouglas said,

        February 27, 2018 at 3:29 am

        All my poems are good. I k now they are.

        • maryangeladouglas said,

          February 27, 2018 at 3:42 am

          They (my poems) flew past the wishy washy sub standard pseudo finishing line of preschool ‘possibility” a long time ago. They weren’t even seedlings when I started out. They were full blown trees from the very beginning with birds singing on every branch and twig so don’t bs me about that. I KNOW.

          • February 27, 2018 at 6:26 am

            Mary: Matthew 7:6.

            • maryangeladouglas said,

              February 27, 2018 at 6:45 am

              Isaiah 5 20.

              • maryangeladouglas said,

                February 27, 2018 at 6:54 am

                re Matthew 7 6 I don’t want to think of people that way but I do feel quite rended regarding my poetry many times. I would say the same for any other earnest poet’s body of work. We all tend our own orchards of poetry. We know our own poetic requirements. We know the poems that we present to people for perhaps hopefully their happiness or a little illumination, the illumination we have no matter how small are fully grown poems or we wouldn’t share them. Within our own orchards we have at least the right to say, yes these trees have bloomed they are no longer acorns especially when we have tended our own orchards our whole lives and invested our entire lives in them. I DO NOT UNDERATE ANY POET for sincere effort made and it is so sorrowful to be underrated when all you are trying to do is share your vision with others. It is hard not to take it as a deliberate malice aforethought punch to the stomach AND the soul. God bless and keep the poets that CARE about what they are doing and who tend their work with dignity and honor even if no one thinks their poems are any good. It is not just the outward form of the poem that is important. It is the feeling behind it. And talking down to people about that in a smirking way is flat out evil.

          • maryangeladouglas said,

            March 3, 2018 at 8:35 am

            I am NOT saying my poems are better than anyone else’s. I am just saying, within my own dream of what they should be, I feel happy with them. Im very clear on the fact Im not the only poet that ever lived.

  8. maryangeladouglas said,

    February 27, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Whoever the person is who made the comment about a very heartfelt poem of mine as having “possibilities” which seemed like an inslt, if you didn’t mean it as an insult I apologize to you. I am oversensitive about too many things and now I am old and even more that way and truly I don’t know how to be any other way. Possibility is not necessarily a negative thing. Possibility is hope. I am sorry to you if I took it the wrong way. At any rate every word that comes out of my mouth or out of my typing fingers is not perfect either so I am truly in no position to judge. Poets do risk a lot in exposing their work to light under their real names, all of them. And there IS such a climate of mockery on the internet it is hard to know how to take anything anymore.

    • Anonymous said,

      February 27, 2018 at 7:15 pm

      I like your poetry. Wasn’t meant as an insult. Not in the least. I looked at your work on PH, as well. Good stuff.

      • maryangeladouglas said,

        February 27, 2018 at 7:37 pm

        Thank you very much. Very sorry I misunderstood you and that it took me so long to realize that. Thank you for reading my poetry and thank you for somehow reminding me that possibilities are always present and so, therefore, is hope.

        • February 27, 2018 at 9:44 pm

          You’re welcome. I don’t know if you saw it, but one of your poems is the “Poem of the Day” today on PH. Something about Ray Bradbury.

          • maryangeladouglas said,

            February 27, 2018 at 10:52 pm

            Thank You. I didn’t know that.

            • February 28, 2018 at 2:29 am

              Congratulations, Mary.

              • maryangeladouglas said,

                February 28, 2018 at 3:08 am

                Thank you very much, Gary. That’s kind of you. I also wanted to ask you something I asked before but I can’t remember on which post I asked but are your poetry books still available on amazon? I am saving out money from my golden social security pittance to buy works of fellow poets something I have wanted to do for a long time and your poems are definitely on my list. Hope everything is going well in your poetry and with your family. Especially healthwise. Health is the main thing now. Live as long as you can. Write as much as you can. And be happy in your own work. I think so, anyway.

                • maryangeladouglas said,

                  February 28, 2018 at 4:44 am

                  I do see your books on Amazon. Thank You.

  9. noochinator said,

    February 28, 2018 at 10:25 am

    I remember the late movie critic Andrew Sarris writing about the films The Passion and Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…. and Spring, the first about the Crucifixion, the second expressing a Buddhist ethos. Sarris said that if he had to choose between Christianity and Buddhism based on those two films, he’d choose Buddhism.

    • maryangeladouglas said,

      February 28, 2018 at 3:26 pm

      I’m sure there are useful things in Buddhism. And other faiths. But for me there is nothing that even comes close to the love of Christ and I have studied many things. Every person is of course free to choose. For those who feel within themselves the living presence of Christ and through him, the presence of God there is no possibility of going elsewhere. And I feel the same way about the Bible and not because I’ve been indoctrinated. It is literally a book of life to me. It is not really possible to communicate t read various arguments for God’s existence. But that is not why I believe in God. I believe in God and in Christ because throughout my life in circumstances were there was no human help at all I know that I was helped by them, and by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I know this more firmly than I can say in words. People think Christians are stupid because they believe this. Maybe we are clumsy in explaining what we feel and believe and why we feel and believe it. Maybe we do look stupid and ignorant. But ultimately God and Christ are beyond anything even the most erudite person could put into words and the efforts of Christians to make known what they have seen inwardly are for the most part made out of love. It is heartbreaking to all of us that we are unable finally to convey to others the beauty and the glory we have experienced. A hard thing to bear and to know the more we try to communicate those things the more we will be thought stupid by others. But what would you do if you found the most beautiful wonderful thing. Would you keep it to yourself or would you say something? What if you found something that would pull the whole world and each suffering person out of the ditch of misery we call the world and give them infinite peace and happiness even in the worst situation? So we keep trying kind of heartbrokenly knowing what we say and what we do is just not enough.

  10. noochinator said,

    February 28, 2018 at 10:29 am

    Here’s a link to Mary’s poems at Poem Hunter — please don’t get offended, Mary!

    https://www.poemhunter.com/mary-angela-douglas/

    • maryangeladouglas said,

      February 28, 2018 at 3:28 pm

      I would have to be pretty far gone to be offended by that. Thank You!

  11. thomasbrady said,

    February 28, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    Mary, you have a great following on Poem Hunter!! That’s fantastic. Congratulations!!!!

    • maryangeladouglas said,

      February 28, 2018 at 6:09 pm

      Thank you Tom, very much. Especially for the exclamation points. (smile). Poemhunter is an amazing place. One night among many such I was posting something at 3 a.m. and I looked to see how many people were posting at that moment and from how many countries and it was so inspiring. It hit me that many people all over the world in the various time zones and countries were writing and posting poetry there around the clock and it was such a lovely and astonishing thing to think about and realize. Not only that but most of those poets were not at all widely known and yet each one had that very serious and undeniable dedication, impulse to write poetry. I thought how overwhelming;people are writing poems all over the world all the time irregardless of whatever else is going on in the world.

      • maryangeladouglas said,

        February 28, 2018 at 6:11 pm

        should be regardless I think instead of irregardless. I read a whole essay on that once by William Safire I think. Anyway, the point is there is a great river of poetry all over the world all the time from people who are not even famous for it and it never stops.

  12. maryangeladouglas said,

    March 3, 2018 at 6:01 am

    THE EVIDENCE OF THE STARS

    the myriad arguments for God can fade away
    we have
    the evidence of the stars

    the miracle of who you are or could be
    the starry spokes that drive
    The Carriage Invisible

    through the fairy tales
    what men half dreamed in jails
    not of their own making

    and coded cell to cell, communicated
    so that the Holy Ghost sang
    in the tree of night for

    nothing at all well into our married dawns
    let go the silver and the gold
    and all the stories told of

    the snowed in shortcuts
    to Aladdin’s caves
    it is Christ who saved, who saves

    who will save again
    the memories of the birth of starlight
    outside and within

    the galaxies wheeling, the Axis of all feeling,
    the reeling evidence of Light
    against all odds.

    mary angela douglas 3 march 2018

  13. March 4, 2018 at 1:32 am

    Here’s an old sonnet I wrote that I think Mary and Tom would like.

    Patience, Heaven, Time and Me

    Patience, Heaven, time and me,
    we’ll sit and wait eternally
    for wise and knowing men of Science
    who rant and rave and scream defiance

    at fools like we who dare insist
    that God could possibly exist,
    to twist and tear with chemistry
    the threads of Nature’s tapestry

    and shred apart the Universe
    to try thus to rewrite the verse
    that’s been written since the stars began.
    We’ll sit and wait for foolish man

    to prove us wrong thus with the task
    of brewing love within a flask.

    Gary B. Fitzgerald
    Evolving: Poems 1965-2005

    • maryangeladouglas said,

      March 4, 2018 at 1:49 am

      A worthy poem, indeed, Gary B. Fitzgerald.

      • March 4, 2018 at 3:22 am

        Thank you, my fellow poet. A worthy acknowledgement indeed.

        • maryangeladouglas said,

          March 4, 2018 at 4:30 am

          Just came into my head about the Worthies which I remember hearing about in a distant past and Wikipedia Entry says the Nine Worthies. Also came into my head, worthy is the Lamb that was slain. And worthy is that which has worth and for sure people who work with all their heart on their poetry no matter how it turns out are all worthy and who have the courage to try to share it with others knowing that part haha, might not turn out so well. And worthy is beautiful poetry, our worldwide treasure though I am partial for sure to poetry in the beautiful English language.

          • March 4, 2018 at 5:11 am

            That is to say: worthy are the wordy, so to speak. 😁

            • maryangeladouglas said,

              March 4, 2018 at 5:46 am

              Not what I was saying in this instance but maybe all English majors feel this way at some point or another. We definitely do seem to be taking a back seat at least in curriculums to math, science and technology not to mention artificial intelligence . However in the book of John it says (referring to Christ) In the Beginning was the Word (not the Number, not the Interface, not the Robot) and I have always liked that verse. Then you get into the Greek (I think) word Logos where that is also the very nature and essence of God and ultimately means the Word IS God because the perfect word is inherently linked to the perfect action of calling everything, everyone into Being and there is nothing deeper and more worthy than that. I believe.
              However, being wordy can sometimes mean all talk and no action and I feel like that now in America we all have so many opinions and get so much satisfaction from expressing ourselves through the first amendment rights we actually think we have physically accomplished something by talking about it. And go home happy. As if talking about feeding the hungry meant they instantly had full stomachs. Very rarely on the network news do you see ia practical thing you can do to help improve a problem. Except in certain disasters. And now they are even just talking about office gossip at the White House and good grief, people who are still working get enough of that at their own workplace. I have been too wordy and I know it. i will stop now. Scarriet is worthy. Scarriet lets me ramble on and on and what scares me is I was like that when I was 10 years old and you get worse even in normal circumstances when you start aging in terms of rambling forever on and on. I am why the period was invented maybe.

              • maryangeladouglas said,

                March 4, 2018 at 5:48 am

                Haha. WORTHY IS THE PERIOD AT THE END OF THE SENTENCE.

    • Desdi said,

      March 5, 2018 at 2:47 pm

      Beautful. Edifying and encouraging too.

      I love your harmony of structure with message.

      • Desdi said,

        March 5, 2018 at 2:48 pm

        Whoops. Left an “i” out. Sorry.
        I hate phone keyboards.

  14. maryangeladouglas said,

    March 4, 2018 at 7:31 am

    OH STARRY WORD

    oh starry Word how is it you are broken
    so that the dew is splintered in the grass
    and all my angels pass

    going the wrong way home.
    how low down to the ground
    I cannot bow

    to those who think you came
    to be continually mocked
    mock orange blossoms I

    would scatter before you
    small perfumes, antidotes
    or is it too late.

    my fate to be
    always the last one on the scene.
    how vivid are thy wounds

    beyond the life of roses torn-
    and bound
    to the mast of distant laughter

    while we in uncertain poses
    shatter the rainbows in the glass
    still watching our angels pass.

    mary angela douglas 4 march 2018

  15. maryangeladouglas said,

    March 5, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    THERE SHOULD BE FACES

    why is the land so green
    and yet it seems no least seed grows
    that’s planted

    where else are we to go
    or are the parables inverted
    we always heard

    I will go
    with the first snows
    telling what I know

    into God’s pearl perfect ear
    and wondering
    what is it I have managed to fear

    is it the zeros of the hours
    the castoffs from the uniform towers
    is the least word wasted

    where You are

    though it branches and flowers ceaselessly
    while I pin the patterns to an empty space,
    basting the stars.

    who are you were you I whisper
    to my dissolving soul and should we hasten
    as if we know

    as if it were made of candle ends

    and we the surveyors on the road
    barely scavenging
    where all I say just disappears

    and leaves no trace
    just a blankness where
    there should be faces

    the singular lanes of angels
    and shining.

    mary angela douglas 5 march 2018


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