mary douglas

Blue Distances Don'T Make Me Cry The Way They Used To - Poem by mary douglas

Anna Pavlova stepped onto another stage
at first, so imperceptibly,
in more than pave diamond Light.
it doesn't take that much to know, that,
even in surroundings that new
she'd hardly feel the difference: always dreaming
past you in her own distances, anyway;

waking up from only one dream
in her dream, as it very slowly came to her
that even when she was telling the
first dream to a dream-friend:
'I had this dream…'
she's still in a
a subset of the
larger dream and
not awake yet…

will I catch fire?
she whispered to herself onstage-
upsetting the candles at the stage's
rim (not knowing they were stars)
blue distances don't make me cry
the way they used to;
will I forget how to breathe - again-?

then, realizing some mistake,
but not entirely:
how will I die here?
but that was earlier…and before-
fresh angels sewed
strange jewels on the
same costume

and every step
and gesture she
remembered as if snow
could be conscious of snowing (itself)

my feet aren't bleeding -anymore-
she marveled out of sight while
fluttering softly, softer through
the hues of silkeness beyond distress.

watched her turn
into a
pearl diminishment of light
and trying to speak, but failing-
she found, with joy,
she couldn't end-

that it was
like a mirror reflection endlessly
ribboning into another mirror…
but real
and vivid as
she always knew
the sheen of ballet could be
if one suffered long enough
and stayed up at night to wind the music=box…

Anna Pavlova, I am standing still
I said softly to myself- and
not in a lithograph of my own time-
here at a door I'm not permitted to enter
with one rosebud

question left, -I'm quarter-turned - and unresolved
not wishing to wound my God, my Christ,
my Full-Blown Rose-

with questions that don't belong to me at all
even if blue distances can't make me cry
the way they used to…
it's only that it streams so hauntingly on and on… and sometimes,
beautiful beyond bearing that
Anna Pavlova stepped out on another stage

beyond all their comparing, and dying too many times
at last, perfected her crystal petit pointe
revealing the flash-points of the Living Swan
and mignonette variations on the evening air…
though it's
perishable as any dream strophe can be:
let something heartfelt still seep through
like music from a far distant room or undersea-

though it's like baby star-shine
learning to be, 'star'-not any star, but Yours, alone-
(my God)
Anna Pavlova stepped out on another stage:
when will Russia?
through prayers barely spoken
it shall be wrought:
blue distances won't make you cry anymore,
tenderly was whispered.

mary angela douglas 29-31 january 2012

Topic(s) of this poem: Dance

Poet's Notes about The Poem

I imagined Anna Pavlova at the beginning of her after life...

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Poem Edited: Wednesday, July 23, 2014

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