Housekeeper of dust and rain

Don’t talk unless you can improve the silence
Jorge Luis Borges

The aged librarian sees scent in calm,
palms it in his notebook; is the mouse
— housekeeper of dust and rain —
drains syllables in frigid tongues
drunk with years in solitude he
sees himself — sentinel of reticence;
tensed in past; he knows
snow but has lost his speech;
preaching only with this pen.

Winter Silence by John Henry Twachtman

Chained rhymes for Marion at toads, also tried to make it in 55 words for hedge. Will add up to Poetry Pantry tomorrow morning.

January 13, 2017

41 responses to “Housekeeper of dust and rain

  1. love, love your librarian series. Love this line “drunk with years in solitude he”. I can see him almost tipsy with time as he writes and preserves all the writings of his people.

  2. I love all the tucked-in, kinky masturbation bits, like …
    “palms it in his notebook”
    “drains syllables in frigid tongues”
    “he “sees” (seizes/’dates’) himself”
    “preaching only with this ‘pen'”

    Plus the “mouse” reference makes me think he’s watching porn on the computer.

    This poem is really incredible — especially the title, “sentinel of reticence,” and “tensed in past; he knows.” Love it.

  3. This feels like a case where form has led the poet on from thought to thought, and both form and poem benefit–a really well done chain rhyme here, Bjorn, and it balances well with the 55 structure as well–but frankly, I just like it for what it says, and how it says it. Also, a great pleasure to hear you read. Thanks for playing.

  4. You know I’m in love with your aged librarian, Bjorn! The title is perfect and I like the phrase ‘he sees scent in calm’ , You’ve portrayed him as a lonely fighure in the lines:
    ‘drains syllables in frigid tongues
    drunk with years in solitude…’
    ‘…has lost his speech;
    preaching only with this pen’.
    Maybe you should give him a friend or a love interest to talk to

  5. Ah, the librarian is back! And it is so cool to hear the recorded version. I could imagine the strange hush that always accompanies snowfalls in the background as I read it.

  6. Your aged librarian is a wonderful and warm character. May he live on through your words! Preaching with one’s pen – perhaps this is, in a way, what many poets do!

  7. Yes, yes… may he always have his pen. I really like how this came out, and as Joy says it does read like the form made for the flow. That’s what I like about these chained rhymes. Really very, very nice to read this, Bjorn.

  8. Like the aged librarian, I wouldn’t mind losing my speech, if only I still have access to—and can use—a pen.

  9. I so enjoy the aged librarian. Preaching only with a pen – bringing wisdom to the page. Oh, so much to like about this poem
    Fav lines:
    drains syllables in frigid tongues
    drunk with years in solitude

    and the reading really brought a smile

  10. Very well done, Bjorn! it is hard to render the rhymes unobtrusive, but you have done that. The sense of solitude and accumulated time and habit are palpable.

  11. My goodness, how I love this one! Love the quote that inspired it too, for I live much in silence and solitude. I LOVE “sentinel of reticence”. Your closing lines are perfection.

  12. I love your librarian too, want to hug him and make things right. But maybe things are right for him, for some of us love and need our quiet.
    Anna :o]

  13. “Sentinel of reticence” … I just like to say it, it rolls off the tongue in the most delightful way! Good write, Bjorn.

  14. This just became my favourite of your librarian poems. I have a notion I said that about another, recently, so it must mean they are getting better and better (and were wonderful to start with). You have both exemplified and transcended the form. The painting is beautifully chosen, too. And, like everyone else, I enjoyed hearing you read the poem.

  15. “Don’t talk unless you can improve the silence”. Love that quote. Too many people ignore it.

  16. Really nice, Bjorn. I like your aged librarian posts. Perhaps you should seek a job as one in a small town. There your degree and writing expertise ought be plenty of credential strength.
    BTW, mine is also 55 words but I wrote it too late for this week with Hedge. Next week?

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