Drawn as if by smoke, I drifted
Through the colonnade. At the altar
Rose candlelight, the perfumed mists
Of incense, the aftermath of vespers.
I beheld the ancient candle, melts
Down itself, stalactites, forever
Layering the ritual, sediment, silts
Of centuries’ faiths: over and over
Our Ave Maria. And at such sights
I doubt: drawing darker, drawing nearer
There proved to be a lonely moth
Preserved in the landslide, wax as clear
As ice, lost in faith’s aftermath:
Like a widow’s ring, a fly in amber,
Trapped by art and layers of white belief,
Preserved in faith like bones of ancient martyrs.
The tragedy of a living creature, quietly beautiful, caught in the creeping devastation of candle wax – lava in the avalanche of ritual – was just too lovely not to write about.