Tea on the first day of the year

In the recess of the library, behind
his least loved books
there is a wormhole to the past,
a void that some would call his prison
and others his escape.

And there,
on the first day of another year
the aged librarian prepares the tea
pretending that his first
and only love
will come and tell him: “Yes”.

Her hair is snow but in her eyes
the sea is still as wild,
just like the day she left.

“I never asked”, he says
remembering the unsent letters
that he knows by heart.
“I knew”, she says, “that’s why I left”.

The teapot crashes to the floor,
and like countless times before
the aged librarian accepts
that years, like river water,
can never be reversed,
and he returns again
to the timeless space of books.

The bookworm by Carl Spitzweg

For Meril hosting at dVerse I offer this poem on her prompt on space and time. Also linking to Tuesday Platform at toads.

January 1, 2019

37 responses to “Tea on the first day of the year

  1. You were first in my feed this morning. Timing is everything, as you have so deftly captured a time-space warp for this, the first day of the new year. These lines:
    “Her hair is snow but in her eyes
    the sea is still as wild,
    just like the day she left.” are so poignant

  2. Oh such a beautiful, beautiful new addition to the aged librarian series 😊 especially love; “Her hair is snow but in her eyes the sea is still as wild, just like the day she left.” 💜

  3. This is so sadly beautiful, Björn. I’m glad that the image was at the end because your words evoked such a vivid image in my head! I really like the way this flows and tells a story.

  4. Oh Bjorn….what a perfect way to open 2019….with the aged librarian’s return. I’ve missed him! This is, as Merril said, beautifully sad…so poignant….I just FEEL for this very special man. I do believe he must be alive somewhere…..

  5. What a beautiful story of love, regrets and time circling back again and again. The timeless space of books is precious. Love the aged librarian series Bjorn.

  6. Bjorn, I’m glad to see the reappearance of the aged librarian. HAPPY NEW YEAR to the both of you. Sometimes a rebuff is taken lightly by the giver but as a long time “no” by the recipient. Moral? Ask again soon, dont get hard feelings.
    ..

  7. Wow, this is a wonderful start to the New Year, capturing time and space, pieces of the past traveled again, pondered, repeated, all in that “timeless space of books”….I love it.

  8. You’ve made my New Year’s Day, Björn! I’m so pleased to read about the aged librarian again and hope to see more of him throughout 2019.
    What I love about your poem is the aged librarian existing in a ‘void that some would call his prison / and others his escape’, preparing tea and thinking about his first and only love. I adore the lines:
    ‘Her hair is snow but in her eyes
    the sea is still as wild,
    just like the day she left’
    and the ending is perfect, as is the image you chose..
    By the way, back in 2016, I wrote and posted a short story about a wormhole in a library called ‘Bookworm Holes’; you can read it by following this link: https://writinginnorthnorfolk.com/2016/08/04/bookworm-holes/

  9. As noted, this is the perfect vehicle to propel us into 2019; the further chronicles of the aged librarian. Many notable lines already mentioned.
    This hiatus felt like a month to me; glad to be back on the trail.

  10. in so few words, such a rounded and rich scene is set and we are lead, gently by the hand, into this incredible story …. it’s gorgeous. And amazing, and although this is another chapter in this series, it truly can and does stand alone, so anyone who might be new to it, would still be equally moved and dropped right into the intense emotions of it.
    How amazing is this?
    Bloody brilliant for it Bjorn 🙂

    Happy 2019 – and may the new year bring nothing but the sweet promises of blessings and treasures, and of course, an abundance of dark for it (a)mused creativity – I look forward to traveling with you again, through the seasons.

  11. This poem has me envisioning her ghost haunting him in the library; he never knows when she’ll pop up.

    This line break made me giggle:

    “In the recess of the library, behind” … Of course I love the double/triple meanings in “recess” and “behind.” What a tight opening!

  12. This was wonderful Bjorn… turning back time? Huey Lewis might like the idea, but I would pass…

  13. What an amazingly poignant start to another year.. the past trailing in melancholy mist, the acceptance of a new day. That third stanza just stopped me in my tracks.. really beautifully written.

  14. remembered – but not reversed. This is my first time I think encountering these characters – fascinating. I’d like to read the previous ones… Going to check out the “related” beneath the poem…

  15. Oh Jeez Bjorn, you are yourself a wormhole, you have folded such complex story and life into these few stanzas. The tender part for me is that each of our memories is like wormhole, and I picture the librarian taking tea, and going back in his thoughts, so vividly it is as though she were there, reliving. One who lives so carefully in words, I think can live a memory as if it were real, as it is, each memory is a specific part of the universe, a collection of synaptic firings that build a reality within each calvarial 3 pound universe. We are, each one of us, A Book of Life. Prefect Brilliant Characterization and Story and Poetics. This taint easy!

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