April 29, 2019

Notre Dame Burning - by Scott Eagan

                                                She is a vast symphony in stone – Victor Hugo
                                        NOTRE – DAME BURNING
                - 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 SundayAllegro 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

1 comment: