The Babel library was vast and once it had been filled with scholars, students and discourse. In the past the words had worth and their voices echoed still between the shelves.
Since many years only one last aging librarian walked barefoot in the halls.
When he was younger he had a purpose to create and grow ideas. He still kept the notebooks of his youth but when the scholars and the students left for other wars, he realized that he could nurture verses from ink they had left.
His garden bloomed but he knew the library had changed into a graveyard for voices.
Whenever there was visitors he fed them sentences and gave them poetry for drink, but he read their eyes that world was changing. The questions of the past had been replaced with simple answers, truth replaced by lies.
The hum of outside world, grew louder and then when zealous men came with burning eyes for books to burn the corridor and halls were filled with uniforms and boots.
Around the pyre of poetry they marched with manuscripts and books and finally the aged librarian watched his notebooks catching fire.
Afterwards when everything was silent, when words had turned to ash. The soldiers left him to the ruins of his kingdom and the last remaining pillar fell and mortar crumbled into dust.
Then the aged librarian mumbled verses left from dying books. His gaze turned skyward, he cloud-gazed, talked to stars before he stumbled slowly, turned his back to us and left, leaving only footprints in the sand that once was library and held the answers we have lost.
But somewhere in the crowd of beggars there’s a little girl. She listened to his words, collected syllables from sand and wrote his poems in her heart and maybe in those sentences a seed for yet another library is growing.
March 3, 2019