Wednesday, 24 April 2019

How can fire undo stone?

"I wanted to see you again, touch you, know who you were, see if I would find you identical with the ideal image of you which had remained with me and perhaps shatter my dream with the aid of reality."
                    Victor Hugo - The Hunchback of Notre Dame


History will live on in the blackened stone, 
with breath on pleading breath, with all the prayers
raised by the people looking to atone
for each small sin. They built up hope in layers, 
in breath on pleading breath, in all the prayers
lining the walls, the smoke from candles lit
for each small sin built up their hope. In layers
of centuries lost pilgrims came to sit, 
lining the walls. The smoke from candles lit
became the most pleasing of offerings
to centuries lost. 

                                Pilgrims came to sit
among the statues of the saints and kings,
became the most pleasing of offerings. 
How many feet have shuffled down this aisle
among the statues of the saints and kings? 
We listened to the bells chime for a while, 
on tired feet we shuffled down the aisle
to light our own candles. For some relief
we listened to the bells chime; for a while
we bowed our heads to pray, heavy with grief. 
We lit our own candles for some relief
and sat and watched, hypnotised by the fire.

We bow our heads today, heavy with grief, 
but one day we will gaze up and aspire. 
We sit and watch, hypnotised by the fire;
history will live on in the blackened stone, 
and one day we will gaze upon a spire
raised by the people looking to atone.

© John Newson

Notre-Dame fire: Paris surveys aftermath of cathedral blaze

John has a wide variety of interests, ranging from architecture to zoology, and a corresponding inability to focus on any single task. He writes to achieve such focus.