Venie Environmental Poetry Prize

God instructs His Angels to Burn the Notre Dame by Hailey Bonner

Remember that they razed the Standing Stones,

Remember that they scarred the Sacred Sites,

Shackled the Ground and the Tides,

Poisoned the Bramble Cay and the Melomys.

And so I command you to burn their Holy Spire,

Their Sky-Pierced Shrine,

And make low all which dared

Climb toward Heaven.

Thus shall their colours become greyed,

Become pale reflections of the River Dolphins,

And when they weep for their glasswork

Tell them of the Glass Frogs, who lie dead

In the Crystal Streams,

Tell them to save what still shines,

Still Breathes! That art,

Made by My own hand, entrusted

In innocent care to my beloved,

My children. Know this –

Even love flees the death

Of a savaged Land,

And even Heaven will

Kneel forgotten before

A people turned to hating,

A people who kill in My name

And their own.

Do they deserve the Mother?

The Grasses? The winds unseen,

And the Evergreens?


Go now. Deliver them this act of Mercy,

So they might know that I watch them still,

That their altar crumbles,

Barren before their actions,

That their True Cross is False,

That their Windows stain only with loss.

And pray that they learn

To cry for the world,

To rise from the ashes of their Church.


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