Waltz in minor key

As a bough,
heaving from the weight of snow,
the aged librarian reaches
to the lowest shelf
for the omnibus volume
of 20th century poems,
certain to find the flawless verse
to bring luminescence
and brighten up
his dark November mood.

He opens up the book
and sees the pages
as pale apparitions
against
the squalid twilight of his desk.

The letters stitched to syllables
are inky shadows,
waltzing tearfully,
perfectly aligned,
in somber ebony of minor keys.

This night he finds
how wistful words can be,
when whispered into voids;
he recalls his passion lost
and how,
as young, he thought
(for the briefest moment)
that rhymes like these
was more eternal than a fling.

Her hair was charcoal in the snow,
her lips an open wound,
but never had he loved her more
than when the day she said
goodbye,
as had intercourse with books.

As a bough,
heaving from the weight of snow,
the aged librarian closes the omnibus volume
and smiles.

For Anmol at dVerse on the topic of Black.


November 5, 2019

20 responses to “Waltz in minor key

  1. I love this encounter with the librarian — the mood and the atmosphere work very well for a distinct image emerging through your words. It’s beautiful how the poem ends the way it begins, but not quite so. This is my favourite bit: “This night he finds/how wistful words can be,/when whispered into voids”.

  2. Always a rabid fan of the aged librarian, this dark tome pleases me. I love how “black” appears in its many guises. I liked /the letters stitched to syllables are inky shadows/.

  3. Very enigmatic photo, Bjorn. It looks like a statue with a real hand? Your poem sets such a mood and is so intricately woven between time and space that it’s like an incantation. There are duelling lights and shadows that mesmerize. The aged librarian never disappoints.

  4. This is touching Björn, the memories of love from younger years resonated for me. I like your librarian pieces.

  5. I am always intrigued by the aged librarian. He feels so mysterious and a tad mystical. Almost wizardly in some ways.

    I swear I have met your parallel self.

  6. how wistful words can be,
    when whispered into voids;
    he recalls his passion lost
    and how,
    as young, he thought
    (for the briefest moment)
    that rhymes like these
    was more eternal than a fling.

    This is my favorite stanza

  7. The letters stitched to syllables
    are inky shadows,
    waltzing tearfully,
    perfectly aligned,
    in somber ebony of minor keys.

    I really liked these lines!

  8. He opens up the book
    and sees the pages
    as pale apparitions
    against
    the squalid twilight of his desk.

    The letters stitched to syllables
    are inky shadows,
    waltzing tearfully,
    perfectly aligned,
    in somber ebony of minor keys.

    Exquisite, Bjorn

  9. Yay! Thank you, Björn, for filling my need for a librarian poem! I love the way you describe him ‘As a bough, / heaving from the weight of snow’ and the lines:
    ‘The letters stitched to syllables
    are inky shadows,
    waltzing tearfully,
    perfectly aligned,
    in somber ebony of minor keys.’
    I also enjoyed the description of the woman he loved, whose hair ‘was charcoal in the snow, / her lips an open wound’. Is he a touch lonely, despite the intercourse with books?

  10. This is amazing… everything about it is pitch-perfect. You’ve weaved some incredible metaphors here. The pace feels as unhurried as a chilly November.

  11. Sometimes I feel “like a bugh, heaving from the weight of snow”. Your word mastery never fails to impress me, Bjorn!

  12. “As a bough heaving from the weight of snow” — gorgeous, visceral!
    And these words
    “This night he finds
    how wistful words can be,”
    Oh how dear the aged librarian is. I do believe it is a publication that waits to happen.

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