POEM: The Convent Burned down last night.

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The “Convent in Secondaries” by Michael Burns

by Michael Burns

The convent burned down last night. It’s end had already started with collapse, in forgotten areas of the building… and waterlogged ceiling, and weakening sections of the roof. Caved to slowed fall. Wallpaper peeled as like old skin — walls were surrendering to age and the mold. The ghostly revenants that occupied it for the many decades were forced to ascend and reach for heaven’s gate. I stepped on careful legs, bearing witness of its dying. Parts gave up, like vital organs surrendering to exhaustion. Passing — from room to room, hallway to sagging shaking staircase. I saw memories sit in corners and hold on to themselves, like swimmers on a raft, as I suggest they move on, from this shadow place. Tiny light-lit corner that once occupied my interest, stopped me for a second, as a homage to the peaceful moments spent, and quick reprieve they lent me. I saw the great room were Christmastide on celebrations, and friends collected and the drawings drew, writings wrote. Books stacked behind ancient glass. Fell to final ruin, and that heard — of this place that slowed and pushed me out to rescue. And leaving the grand old place I saw a man light a bouquet of paper and toss it in, and the place took flight in flame and turn it all as sun yellow and blue, purple and the mauve of a sunset and orange light in its rise. I saw its soul lift in the release, and gasped for new air. Another said “Might you call someone to stop all this!” and I was frozen still in a sacred second, clear as water on a primal lake, slowed and lasted in an almost unfelt emotion. Knowing this was right but understanding that I was witness to a beginning. The found peace burned away the ephemeral. That ash would fertilize the willow herb like after a forest burns. I am new now — reborn again, for the dream has finally ended, and I have won my soul and unchained I can dream another. And another…


All images and writing are the copyright of Michael Burns.