It’s Poem in your Pocket Day and this poem is going in my pocket. I will carry it with me during the day. I will be thinking of the “heavy threads” of the day and hope that I will be stitched “into a useful garment”.
And yet, there is comfort in knowing the day “will do nothing of the kind”. Because even that is a blessing.
by Hazel Hall
When the dawn unfolds like a bolt of ribbon
Thrown through my window,
I know that hours of light
Are about to thrust themselves into me
Like omnivorous needles into listless cloth,
Threaded with the heavy colours of the sun.
They seem altogether too eager,
To embroider this thing of mine,
Into the strict patterns of an altar cloth;
Or at least to stitch it into a useful garment.
But I know they will do nothing of the kind.
They will prick away,
And when they are through with it
It will look like the patch quilt my grandmother made
When she was learning to sew.
I hope you find a poem to carry with you today, one that will make you stop and think, one that will give you respite, one that will bring you joy.
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels
I wept with the world at the tragedy that happened to Notre Dame on Monday. I had been thinking and thinking about what poem I might post for today, and I wondered if there were any poems written to that magnificent cathedral.
I considered this poem on Monday night. But, the loss of the stained glass – especially that glorious rose window – made Kerrie O’Brien’s words almost painful to read.
Then I considered Edmund Kemper Broadus poem about a gargoyle. But, the fate of those gargoyles is yet uncertain.
Finally, I stumbled across this poem, written on Monday by Mary Angela Douglas and I knew that this is the poem I will carry with me today:
Beauty Itself Is Burning Down
by Mary Angela Douglas
beauty itself is burning down
a newsman cried
with Notre Dame lit like a torch
against the sunset sky
what can we say
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 of thought I knew of
Hugo, I thought ramdomly
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 somnambulance
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.
Photo by Adrienn from Pexels