Vienna’s past participles

Vienna’s past participles

The lesson is
            that we are all history
history in the making
            and that one day
we will be history
            our acts finally over
and our achievements
            hung out to dry

Empires fall
            and the palaces and gardens
become curiosities
            the days of grandeur long over
the vast imperial buildings
            with their tall colonnades
and endless emblems
            of power and authority
are empty relics
            of the past

and everywhere you go
            classical white statues depicting
every imaginable motif
            creating a mythic atmosphere
and it is as though
            it was all intended to recreate
a past in which once upon a time
            it might have been noble to live

John Lyons

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