She is a vast symphony in stone – Victor Hugo
- Holy Week Tuesday - Allegro con brio -
Somewhere within the ‘forest’
in the wooden heart of that complex community
of primal oak beams, interweaving rafters,
a renovating spark spawned a flame – and hungry to destroy
tongues and tails of demons licked the branches
until the forest was burning with a violent, evil blaze
spreading is wiles throughout the woods
toppling the mighty spire – its tall head high above the canopy
while the gargoyles, stone faced, grimaced unwaveringly.
In the bosom of the Île de la Cité, having survived Reformation and Revolution
and modern unbelief, standing steadfast, the citizens
rushed to the rescue – water, prayer, hymns – and a human chain
of saving hands in that crucible of Gothic alchemy.
A whirlwind of crackling notes, a cacophony of roaring incense.
- Holy Saturday - Allegreto -
Within the ashes of wreckage
smoke stained walls and buried pews
ravaged roof, damaged stained glass windows,
the teary cry of a city, of the world – and a smokey silence
tomb-like, not even the curious tourist’s chatter,
poor stilled heart wounded in a Passion of fire and water.
Scarred body wrapped in a shroud of love
awaiting the touch of God and man, encased in stone
the crown of thorns removed in the age old battle against beauty
she is laid to rest, the poignant price of neglect.
Music, paused in a chiseled silence, holds a hidden note -
hope remains in the place of Golgatha.
- Easter Sunday – Allegro con spiritu -
Still standing, the luminous cross
surmounting a pietá. Mother and Son a midst
twisted and blackened pipes, timbers – the forest fallen in ruin
a tomb with a stone rolled across the sanctuary.
Yet, a strange beat begins in resurrection
with the centuries of faith, of craftsmanship and artistry
a response to the Conductor’s baton, phoenix-like the promise
rising again from death, the notes in recapitulation of its creation.
A heart burning in the cinders of Notre Dame de Paris -
the forest will grow back, the music will return
and with it, the strength to begin again.
Scott Eagan April 23, 2019