Beauty Itself Is Burning Down: To Notre Dame Cathedral, April 15,2019

beauty itself is burning down

a newsman cried

with Notre Dame lit like a torch

against the sunset sky

what can we say

from faraway

will the rose windows melt inside

I wondered, can it be so many saints have died

and now their images too their agonies renewed

for another contract, lease

is the name for Paris, rue,

not rosemary, please forget me

what I knew or thought I knew of

Hugo, I thought randomly

cathedrals burning in a green april

april, the cruelest

does the world skip a beat in an afternoon

of eight centuries

the world within the world

we never see

not being visionary

the cathedral erupting into great roses

in a penultimate Spring

the cathedral a great green candle

consumed for the Lord

as if by example, we should be shorn

of our somnombulance

in the lily of this hour

with the traffic no longer surging, transfixed

in the rose of its crumbling

singing, singing singing

the bell into the tower

the tower withstanding

the bell in the tower

the bell in the tower

beyond all wars and scars

the little mockeries in peace time

and yet, crowds grew

and thronged the singeing avenues

willing the walls to stay

for hours and hours

the spire of Notre Dame

our lady's arrow-sorrow

lit in a golden flame, flickered, floated sideways

what next? The flaking, flinging down of stars. the moon falls into the earth, a mirror no longer

ashes for beauty?

time itself collapsed in a deep black hole

remnants of a single spring twilight

our souls in the rubble still singing.

will not cease, will not leave it this way

on this, no calendar's day.

mary angela douglas 15 april 2019

Monday, April 15, 2019
Topic(s) of this poem: beauty,faith,fire,song,time