Paradise isn’t burning, it’s burnt.
Disbelieving eyes watch by glimmer of screen light.
Did they deserve it we ask? Do we deserve the judgment of suffering, when we turn our backs and it becomes our turn?
At day break, the dusky ash and twisted wreckage of chaos prevailed.
And the people cried, Sanctuary!
As the Edifice of the ages burns,
Huddled crowds quail in fear and despair.
As gargoyle forms, twisted inside and out, rest chins on crooked arms, and
With tongues outstretched, proclaim that they were made of impermeable stone.
While the saints of faith and hope and charity decry that they are things of flesh and faith alone.
And a cross hovers above all (the ruin), whether lit by garish flames of hell or hallowed light of dawn—who knows?
But the people cry, Sanctuary!
The solid structure survives, the newsmen say. While man-carved wood made rotten by the pollution of time burns away.
The marble gods abide, weeping from their pillars, to stand watch another thousand years.
And generations hence the cries refrain. Whether stone horror or fleshly hope of human mercy,
We alone will judge.
And the people will cry, Sanctuary!
--SE J., Adult