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Monday, April 13, 2009

The Library Steps

Library steps in winter


Up, up, up and so
onwards through white
clumps of stuff biting
down to the shod toe,

feet drowning in thick snow
that soaked up all sound,
it was the hardest trek
to do on that dusky day:

trudging undressed stone steps
to that library door, swaying
out to infinite doorways,
rooted firmly in its ground.


Walking through its door,
gaping open by the wind
of hungry hands, its space
and time fused like snow,

life started in its hush:
in the promise of books to open
in a glorious bubble-rush
of genius, or to sidestep

ignorance and prejudice
abound, where bent spines
had already lived
through their troubles.


The welcoming warm banished
the short term memory of snow,
its feeding solitude
brought back to life

my russet fingers, thawing
in paper temples,
hard seats and paisley carpets,
shelves stacked with humanity,

impatiently digging out answers
to the perfect sentence,
walking pathways of imagination
to the discovery of things.


With wonderment found and
childish curiosity sated
in its treasure hunting,
the breadcrumbs followed

as far as they would go;
I, the reader in this
silenced world had looked
through a keyhole to the whole

heart of our temporary whirl, and
hugging the words to my chest,
braced the steps once again,
the books as shield to snow.

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