Cathedral-6 Poems

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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
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