Cataract

He built his home with ink on paper,
his world was walled with words.
And with myopic eyes he gardened
in the soil of sagging shelves, he sowed
with books a mirrored maze of self.
He lend his voice to others, to poets
of the past, to his guests and patrons.
His home was library.

Decay came slowly to his home.

The library was built before the city glitzed
with neon billboards making reading obsolete.
It was built with pride, before we cobwebbed
with the ignorance of gold and goods.

No wrecking ball was ever used against its walls
but his library is crumbling from the cataract
that almost left him homeless.
But with letters only left as shadows
on its graying walls.
The aged librarian smiles;
he recites a poem that he knows by heart.
and concludes:
“My home has shrunk but still
it’s stronger than its walls.”

Still life with skull, candle and book by Paul Cezanne

Brendan gives us the opportunity to write about home, the sense of home and losing a home at toads. There are many ways of being displaced from your home, and once again I’m pulled back to my aged librarian.
I will also link up to poetry pantry tomorrow.

March 18 2017

40 responses to “Cataract

  1. Leave it to an aged librarian to find a “mirrored maze of self” in the shelves. I will miss him so and the shelter he offered us in words …

  2. This is absolutely gorgeous, Bjorn. I love it.
    These are my favorite sections:

    “with myopic eyes he gardened
    in the soil of sagging shelves, he sowed
    with books a mirrored maze of self”

    “Decay came slowly to his home.”

    “No wrecking ball was ever against its walls
    but his library is crumbling from the cataract
    that almost left him homeless.”

    “he recites a poem that he knows by heart”

  3. I look forward to every poem about the aged librarian, Bjorn, and you never let me down!
    Superb:
    ‘He built his home with ink on paper,
    his world was walled with words’.

  4. A home is more that bricks and mortar and it is the way you feel about a place. Clearly for him his books were his love and his home. Beautifully done.

  5. “My home has shrunk but still
    it’s stronger than its walls.

    The voice of strong resolve from an old and inspiring librarian but sadly the same confidence is not echoed by the younger users more concerned with their cell-phones.

    Hank

  6. A wonderful occasion for your aged librarian.. I believe libraries were my second home for many years of my youth. I still love a room lined with bookshelves – it feels like home.

  7. Oof. This is gorgeous writing. I always wanted to be a librarian, from the time I was a little girl. But real life didn’t take me in that direction. I can’t imagine the privilege of being around all those books every day, all day. It sounds like heaven.

  8. My goodness this is good! Especially “But with letters only left as shadows on its graying walls. The aged librarian smiles; he recites a poem that he knows by heart. and concludes: “My home has shrunk but still it’s stronger than its walls” is so poignant.

  9. I love the conclusion and share your aged librarian’s smile–there is no greater happiness than the one found in knowing that nothing can truly destroy our home, while we still breathe… 🙂

  10. This reminds of that saying “home is where the heart is” … no matter the size, your home is always cherished. Also a great metaphor for literature… may books and knowledge always be valued and preserved.

  11. Ah, the librarian has once again come to share a tale. He is an oracle of words in many ways. I would like to open a page in his book to get a glimpse of his world.

  12. Beautiful soulful words Björn. I am glad that the aged librarian knows the real strength of his home, that that lies in his heart.
    Kind regards
    Anna :o]

  13. “Cobwebbed with the ignorance of gold and goods.” Brilliant analogy. I love the old librarian. A screen search of Kindle books is such a pitiful pale comparison to a visit to a bookstore and the scent of vintage books!

  14. “My home has shrunk but it’s still stronger than it’s walls.” Maybe it’s the rest of the world that has got a cataract, with its vision clouded by ‘gold and goods’. The librarian is the only person who still has clarity about what really matters.

  15. A wonderful poem…building a house from words and from the spirit of their keeper…the decay is inevitable perhaps but we are offered hope where the walls remain strong.

  16. “before we cobwebbed
    with the ignorance of gold and goods.”

    my favourite bit of the poem

    thanks for dropping in at my Sunday Standard

    much love…

  17. ‘The Ancient Librarian’ series is really wonderful … brilliant. I would love to see it pulled together (possibly with a bridging refrain or other poetic device) and ultimately recorded. I think it would be sublime to sit back and let the masterfully honed words contained in these pieces, simply roll over one’s mind.

  18. I hope libraries will still exist in the near future and that people would not only depend on the internet. The poem made me think of my past encounters with librarians, Bjorn.

  19. How did we arrive at a place where no one wants to learn, to research, to read anything other than things they can agree with? Your poem is a powerful visual and perhaps hope not every library or librarian will be come skull and neglect.

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