Sifting the Ashes


Our Lady, Why do we weep, for what do we mourn

At this rug-pulled-out-from-the-feet moment?


Is it the lost reliquary of The Faith artfully, ritually, 

sorting souls in the intricate style imagined, 

immortalized as we enter?

Or the earthly art, the bells, rose windows, 

magnificent music the alter of lost beauty

In so many media, subjects, forms?


Is it more the astonishing audacity

This iconic achievement of human spirit

The monumental artistry of light, air, space, transcendence, 

Drawn in floating glass, crafted in flying stone.

A timeless story sketched in architecture’s liberty

A cultural endurance across our history, into our time,

Profound reminder of our mortality....

The improbability of resurrection, re-creation?


Is it again the shock of our humanity: 

Powerless as our first tool of civilization 

Destroys our civilization’s finest achievements;

The end of hubris, traumatic collapse of certainty; 

Impermanence, like super heated plasma, 

Slapping us in the face, melting away 

Our presumed foreverness.


Exposing to the highest our truth: 

We are reduced to ashes.

Our raw vulnerability commanding only the substance

Of things hoped for, some evidence of things not seen.

 © Philip Knight 2018