Plato and dust

On new year’s eve he lets the ancient sunshine in
to dust beloved shelves.
He sits beside the window drinking tea
and watches specks of dust transform from books to stars.
He notices their subtle scintillation
before they fall to rest.
Seemingly so random
dust becomes
(in Brownian movements)
the harbinger of matter,
a silent voice of molecules, an echo of what’s real.

The aged librarian (used to reading shadows)
finds how close to Plato’s cave this daylight really is.
‘It’s like my youth’, he mumbles,
‘I harvest now in aftermath of thoughts,
the random movement
that I once attributed to hormones’.

The aged librarian sighs:
‘I think that Plato knew that only
when you’ve aged with books,
you know how little you have seen
and tomorrow yet another year has passed.’
And in the setting sun the aged librarian
waits; his tea is growing cold.

plato-1660

Plato by Luca Giordano

Today I prompt at toads, and want to inspire you with Brownian Motion. The seemingly random movements of light particles suspended from collisions with molecules and atoms of a gas or fluid. Join us for the last prompt of 2016 or the first of 2017.

December 31, 2016

15 responses to “Plato and dust

  1. Your poem leaves me with traces of hope and yearning!
    Happy New Year to you, Bjorn, and may you grace us with your poetry in 2017 as well! I wish you good health, most of all, because I think everything else is much easier to come by.

  2. I’m glad to see the librarian is still around and I love the way you have him drinking tea and dusting shelves, Bjorn. My favourite lines:

    ‘and watches specks of dust transform from books to stars’.

    ‘It’s like my youth’, he mumbles,
    ‘I harvest now in aftermath of thoughts,
    the random movement
    that I once attributed to hormones’.

  3. The metaphor of Brownian motion is very intriguing – are we mere pollen grains to the universe and if so is any philosophy or collection of human thoughts into books, or being a guardian of knowledge significant in any way? It is we who determine the worth, both of self and those who have gone before. The librarian’s loneliness is most poignant at the turn of the year.

  4. Incredible work. Excellent line breaks/varied line lengths.

    These are my favorites:
    “On new year’s eve he lets the ancient sunshine in”
    “He notices their subtle scintillation”
    “(in Brownian movements)
    the harbinger of matter,
    a silent voice of molecules”
    “I harvest now in aftermath of thoughts”

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