Cold and clear the sunlight, rosy as the day was dawning,
wet and sharp the icicles upon the rafters clinging,
dormant the volcano, fire above the city sleeping.
Surveyors returning say something was found this morning.
Citizens long caked in ash, their bodies a forewarning,
petrified three layers deep, immortalized, lamenting.
City built on city, from the cinders ever springing,
or - as local wisdom tells - from folly never learning.
Distantly, with cone aglow, the mountain rumbles, waking.
Builder phones chief architect, his worries fast cementing;
architect insists, "Relax," tone all too condescending.
Overruled and underpaid, the builder gives up calling.
Once more the caldera coughs, a plume of death descending;
ground beneath us quaking as we crouch beneath the awning.
Lover clasps beloved tightly, no time now for weeping.
Ash and snow look so alike, so calm as they are falling.