Circle-evidence

Without a map or moonlit pebbles
leading home again
the aged librarian
follows poetry and songs
scribbled
in the margin of a first-edition copy
of a book not read,
remembering that,
— once —
a late October-night,
the book had been returned (too late)
by a dark-cloaked sage.

It had been raining for a week,
and the librarian (who still was young)
kept a pair of old galoshes
by his cluttered desk;
he was about to close and leave
when the sage approached,
apologizing for him being late.

The librarian, who was running late,
(he had a date)
and left the grease-stained book
in a drawer of his desk,
where it lay hidden
until many years had passed,
until the day he
looked into the bathroom mirror,
realizing that the dark-robed sage
was he;
he remembered,
rushed to his cluttered desk
where deep within a drawer still
the filthy book remained;
he opened up the hardbound cover
and saw the margin-scribbled words,
written by his shaking hand —
but while the pen was his,
the iambs he never knew.

The poetry was better than a map
and lead him through
forgotten corridors,
through the labyrinth and caves
to the deepest heart within his library
to a lonely shelf
he’s never seen before,
where another copy
of the first-edition book is left,
this one crisp, as new, and lacking
scribbled words,
but on the inside cover
he finds his own ex libris
and a scribbled note telling it’s a gift
from the lady-author
who’s date he missed
that late October night.

Relativity lattice by M.C. Escher

Today I thought a little mystery story would be fitting to write for OLN at dVerse where Lillian hosts..Relinking this to Open Link Live at dVerse with Lilian again.

October 17, 2019

44 responses to “Circle-evidence

  1. Wow, you took us on a mystery rollercoaster ride with this one; loved it. How many poems are in the Old Librarian lexicon now?

  2. Reminds me of a Haruki Murakami story. Your story is circular, but so is time. If it’s meant to be another opportunity will present itself to the librarian.

  3. Wow, this is amazing, I feel like I crossed time and space and entered a parallel world. This is mysterious and wondrous. I absolutely, love your librarian series, Bjorn.

  4. Do you have these compiled into a book? They would make great reading as a collection!
    looked into the bathroom mirror,
    realizing that the dark-robed sage
    was he;

  5. divine denouement! love the labyrinthine tales of the librarian
    “Without a map or moonlit pebbles
    leading home again
    the aged librarian
    follows poetry and songs”
    those opening lines sing out

  6. This is a surreal, mysterious poem. It made me wonder if everything was the happenings of the aged librarian’s mind, or if reality itself is slightly askew jere.

  7. I love this:
    “but while the pen was his,
    the iambs he never knew.”

    The last several lines gave me chills.

  8. Another episode of the old Librarian. Luv the side of him. Sorry he missed his date though.
    It was nice hearing you read this poem today Björn.

    Much💜love

  9. Bjorn, I remember reading this before, and my comment from before stands, with an addition that it was great to see you at the live OLN and to hear you read it.

  10. This is absolutely fantastic, Bjorn! 😀 I especially love; “he opened up the hardbound cover and saw the margin-scribbled words, written by his shaking hand —but while the pen was his, the iambs he never knew.” The element of mystery adds to the charm of the Liberian series. 💝💝

  11. So much to love about this character, and I feel that we’ve known each other for so long perhaps through messages in the margins. Much enjoyed, Björn.

  12. This was wonderful to hear you read, and could easily be a tale by Borges: those paradoxes! I think I Librarian book would make for great reading…

  13. This one is very wry and dry, yet also very full of the real mystery–how our lives can pass so quickly that one day our first edition is an old, dogeared mess full of scribbles that lead like a string through the labyrinth of our wandering experiences. I especially like the twist at the end, and the way all the images are so sharp and clean.

  14. Our old selves, looking at our young selves, looking at our old selves and the paradoxes within – wonderfully penned.

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