The Tower of Pisa

la torre non pendente di pisa
The Belltower of Pisa Cathedral by Bonanno Pisano

The Tower of Pisa

I know we love it as a symbol –
Hubris, cheap materials and failure,
While locals soak up tourist-dollars
Selling canting paraphernalia.
The crowds all prop it up in photos
Loving that its old and broke –
While laughing at the locals,
Who are all in on the joke.

And now the authorities
Have had to underpin the base,
While taking care to keep the tilt
That underpins their public face.
I guess we do not get to choose
What piques our int’rest, makes us smile –
But here’s a tower full of piquant int’rest
By the mile !

I think I am alone in wishing
That they’d take it down and start again.
I just want my cathedrals
To inspire me, not amuse me, in the main.
But here is a belfry
Far too weak for bells and gravity’s demands –
It’s just a shell, a cynic’s dream
Who’s only wonder is how still it stands.

Ah, listen to me, what misery !
Just moaning off my sunstroke.
Can’t I shrug and let them be,
And maybe even get the joke ?
I guess we do not get to choose
What gets remembered, anyway –
But this one’s sure to loom in mind,
And hold us in its sway.

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