mary douglas


Your Nose In A Book Or: A Kingdom Far From Here - Poem by mary douglas

your nose is always in a book they sneer
in every language on earth; at you:
who, long since have fled from them

each time you turn a page
into sunny fields, rose tinted mountains
like the Himalayas when everyone looks

up to see, suddenly, a sunset flush
from peak to peak simultaneously:
whole rose gardens- there, across the crevasse or you're on

the moors with guess who? Jane of
course; it's raining hard; she's drawn her
cloak about her; her bonnet, with its one small

rose is getting soggy; (a detail Charlotte left out,
but you've just snuggily supplied) then, she's at Thornfield
once again and Mrs. Faifax pours the tea (from the everyday

bone china) -and Jane doesn't take any cream, oh,
maybe, just a smidge- and a currant bun, perhaps
little cakes iced with pink? no, you think, Mr. Rochester's

too cheap- (who assuredly knew she would refuse
those ruby scarabs from the Caribbean
and all that snowy Chinese jade) , but you embroider

the point too finely, Charlotte complains.

and they draw near the fire and she's just
happy to be employed and hasn't even
seen Mr. Rochester yet- she thinks, and

so do you since you haven't gotten to that part...
oh couldn't they just have charlotte russe, just this
once, for Adele's sake? Charlotte laughs a little at

my joke and says not even a tiny ruche
of cherry silk on that old bonnet...
'life is more than books, '
they yell and whirl you back from space and

Jules Verne, and off your stool, your rickety chair,
your divan with the stained glass afghan-
beginning to fray- as much as their nerves

but now they're on their prosaic way
to another part of the house, the factory,
the dim bulbed office-

and you're with Ray Bradbury and it's home to
Mars and someone's baking pies with perfect meringues
and Ray says let's go in, I'm hungry and they don't look

like Martians...the screen door creaks;
the lilacs blow against the palings-
have a slice, won't you? chocolate silk!

that suddenly you're skating on the Zuider Zee
in Christmas red, fresh roses in your cheeks
(to work off all that pie) , you poor beleaguered thing

in real life, sprawled in roller rinks or holding onto
the rails- but now,
you sail across the winter ice

with secret gold in your heart and no sawdust
grind from the mills that turn for you each time
in a land so beautiful you almost feel sorry for them-

whenever they're left behind-

mary angela douglas 17 july 2014


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Poem Edited: Wednesday, July 23, 2014


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