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.

October 17, 2019

25 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.

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