Oil on Canvas


In France,

the steeples

pierce the open sky

where hungry humans

search for God’s bright place,

built up in monoliths of stone

for broad millenniums of wondering,

and dreams once pressed on flattened clay

and scratched into the dried papyrus parchment

later burned away the day when Alexandria’s shelves

fell down and many ancient hopes curled up and withered–

like wood and copper spires collapsing, not that far away,

the other day between the sacred laden windows and the

mortared limestone walls of that great edifice we know

which pierces Paris’s horizon—almost ancient, always

beautiful in morning light when Heaven breaches

Earth from time to time, a daily contemplation

of the God within us searching for a pure

humility within our souls; we mourn

the tried and tired, hopeful souls

of humankind now glowing

in the smoldering heart

of Notre Dame

—Dennis Smith