Picture by JB, 2018
Cold and peace. A stone church is deserted,
swindled out its old decorations,
all ruined, returned, again risen
surely pale yet now surely alive
There’s a silver cross, it’s as a flame
brightly shining. It hardens immanence
of tangible solace and hope too.
Inside it a Wood crosses our flesh
In the cloister, where it now survives
– it was sold – spring and warmth
exalt us like the beautiful apses.
Truly I regret old times of saints
Hammer blows on the face of my Christ,
all the heads ripped off from white angels,
columns sold, above all the stone graves
desecrated. Every space marred, spoiled …
Stupid beasts pushed out history
which built them and destroyed their own faces
so erasing each sense, beauty, hope.
Cold and peace and memory are left
St.Guilhem le Desert, April, 4th 2018
Relic of the Holy Cross, Angel without face, body of St.Guilhem. Picture by JB, 2018
It is difficult to know who best deserves the title of Most Cretinous Philistine – the people who sold them [the columns of the cloister], those who bought them, or those who now decline to return them. The cumulative damage of these various acts of vandalism [begun with the French revolution] was so severe that it is now impossible to determine the number and sequence of its columns – or even the dimensions of the cloister