They say 'twas once the Temple of Fire,
Blazing over all;
That behind its radiance
The grey-violet dusk of the heavens
And the churning of storms in the clouds
As the sun deceives us
To that endless Night
Which permits its light.
Now, ascending the steps, worn with age,
The arches of stone leaning weary overhead,
Shadows embrace me as one of their own.
But strange! Some form yonder sits
Upon the ledge, a silhouette,
The spectre of a man
Musing upon the distance
Between the ledge and the earth below.
Softly I tread,
Careful not to disturb
For this is a sacred place.
Yet, strange again! A bright ornament, there
In some faded crevice:
Of all things,
Blue and white
With ribbon bound!
Mine eyes must err,
Or perhaps they fade,
For this is a sacred place
The temple fires have slumbered long,
And all has fallen to shadow...
But, hark, stranger still! A movement arrests me
From the corner archway:
Tawny wings and two-feathered tail,
In this place once of prayer,
Higher and higher...
I glance back...
But no shadow-man
Perches still upon the ledge.
Inspired by a very strange dream I had last night. I still see that bird spiraling up, and up, and up...