The walls of a palace in the dusk lie crumpled,
Battered by unthinking seasons of tempest.
Frost reigns over an estate of fallen stone.
When the shroud of a year's end covers all,
Roma Basilica sleeps alone in the wind.
The stately legacy of its proud, elegant walls,
Once towering like a patriarch in judgment,
Is forgotten in the perdition of neglect.
A mausoleum majesty drapes the gray ruins
Like a costume for eternity's dress rehearsal.
Scattered remnants of its fine, marble statues
Cast shadows of malice across the snow lit grounds
Defiling the landscapes of structural memory
Where the manicured lawns grow emerald green,
And young blossoms still mix their living incense.
Warm winds will blow again in the spring,
Bringing careless rains onto the west veranda
To laugh in pompous puddles at the collapse.
When March clouds come to shed their water,
Roma Basilica weeps along with the wind.
About the Poem
This poem examines a theme that is often found in literature--the inevitable decay that time brings. The palace explored in this poem is the house of institutional religion, particularly the Catholic Church.
This poem was first published in the chapbook When the Black Lotus Blooms (1988, Black Lotus Press).