Ghosts of Spanish Cathedral Ruins


It is the charge of time to steal the grace of architects,
   For man to breathe in crumbling works the calculus of meaning.
From tines of stone that ruin shuns, an angled shade collects
   Like ancient amphitheaters where ghostly echoes sing,
   But quiet: undertones of hymns, or bells that used to ring.
And deeper, sounds from distant shores: the chanting of Aztecs,
   The tide of desert sand that hums with Arab’s prayerful keening,
   The brash conquistador who rapes and kills then genuflects.
Concede the spectral compass rose that leads us from our past,
   The innocence of time that steals what guilt we have amassed.

© William Keller, 2014
Photo by amaianos from Galicia (CC BY 2.0)