Travels with Dad
VIII – Cathedrals

The churches
are never the same here, only us,
our neck-stretched stares,
feet planted in the plaza, gazes
rising in the warm summer air at
steeple spires whose sharp
points and intricate hewn stone
hurts the eyes, so we entrust the sights
to our cameras instead
for later viewing.

Who were the masons, their centuries-
long diligence, chiseling, fitting
stone after stone, did the architect
even count them, the prince-bishop
point them out to the fleeting kings,
saying “this is my gift to God”?

The guides are well-versed on the
building styles, names that signify epochs,
local lives lived in a Creator’s
eternity, yet frail like the elements
that they came from: Granite and 
sandstone, paid tribute over and over
by each generation’s scaffolds that
enfold them, renew them with 
human vigor while their castles
crumble on the hillsides above.

Dad and I course the pews - 
in the stained glass twilight 
arches’ backs bear the patience 
of the heaven-ward thrust of stone, 
this elemental sternness the Creator finds pleasing.
I do not need a curtained booth for my
confession or a wooden pew to stay,
and in the stone-vault silence 
that stern columns bear, I wonder
whom this church awaits – Will it be God 
or more of those like me?

© Jonathan Bohrn (2007) ("Autumn Crossing")
Cologne Cathedral III
Cologne Cathedral III photo posted by member too_thickskinned
All Rights Reserved


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