Crystal Rock

Crystal Rock

View from Gothic cathedral, almost vertical, onto structures forming a pattern

You follow a hidden winding staircase
and step down inside a crystal rock.

You have become very small and dark
or the space around you tall and light.

You stand on the ground of a tower of ice,
a polygon of translucent stone.

Is it a cavern? Is it a glacier?
No, it’s a chapel beneath a chapel!

Gothic cathedral in winter, dark grey against light blue

It is a cell in an ancient cluster:
a grey cathedral crouched on a rock.

Your soles touch a surface beneath the soil,
your eyes reach a tent of light like the sky.

This staircase does not lead to a nightmare:
it should be baptised a lightmare instead.

That era should not be known as Dark Ages:
it ought to be honoured as Ages of Light!

Christina Egan © 2016

Photographs: Christina Egan © 2016

These lines refer to the same ancient town of Béziers as the last post, Roof-Tile / Plateau. There, you can see more views from the roofs of the Cathedral.




Casket covered in gold and inlaid with blue and green enamel figures.


made of enamel,
panels in peacock plumage,
in crimson and ivory patches,
in frames of gold.

poured into pictures,
of wide-eyed faces,
of white-winged boats,
of bursting baskets.

fished out of night,
luminous, solid,
age-old, valid,
with veins of gold.

Christina Egan © 2014

Image: Casket from court of Aquitaine (around 1180). With kind permission of the British Museum.