Phoenix

Caged
in solitude, moon-
less and lost 
the ancient librarian shuffles 
on slippers
through layers of dust
in the limitless library
searching
for a final 
believable apparition in the pulp-fiction-platitudes 
left in the wake
of the righteous book-burning youths,
who claimed that knowledge 
is merely 
a gravity-rot of their nation’s decay.

Caged,
he should have
known that the holler
of populist clowns
repeating conspiracy lies 
was merely a canary bird
singing to warn
of circles in soot being drawn
on our doors
and the coming 
of windows to shatter and pyres to burn.

But caged,
the librarian smiles
and chuckles with  knowledge
of books he kept hidden,
knowing that
even if he might be lost
from the ashes of verses
awareness can phoenix 
skyward
raising the knowledge again.

Tomorrow I will host Open Link Night again. The bar opens at 3PM EST as always, which corresponds to 8 PM CET. The live event starts at 3.15, and if you want a reminder in your calendar you can click the button below.

March 17, 2020.

26 responses to “Phoenix

  1. This is so surreal, haunting, and mystic. There’s so much to discover and hide in knowledge—it’s almost like a maze. Beautifully and brilliantly penned.

  2. Oh like this very much, the description of the librarian shuffling along…. 💙Reminds me of a book I read, dang if I remember the title. I’ll have to go in you archives and read the other “librarian poems”.

  3. This one made me think so much about what has been happening in my country, in the political landscape. Even if we aren’t actively burning books, there does seem to be an effort to burn our principles and values on a pyre of stupidity. But I may just be a doom sayer who only sees charcoal burning where there is no smoke!

    A very thought-provoking piece. Disturbingly good.

  4. This is beautifully evocative, Bjorn! 💝 I especially admire; “the holler
    of populist clowns repeating conspiracy lies was merely a canary bird singing to warn of circles in soot being drawn on our doors and the coming of windows to shatter and pyres to burn.” It was a joy hearing you read this gem tonight 😀

  5. We’re lucky to have you chronicling The Librarian for us, Bjorn, and even more fortunate to have you hosting our Live Links. Thanks!
    Mesmerizing work, as always.

  6. I can see him:
    “the ancient librarian shuffles
    on slippers
    through layers of dust
    in the limitless library
    searching”
    and I love this end:
    “from the ashes of verses
    awareness can phoenix
    skyward
    raising the knowledge again.”
    It is the heart that beats in his chest.
    I liked hearing the conversation around your poem on the live link. It would be a wonderful book that you could write fiction around the poems of The Aged Librarian, with the ink drawing illustrations. Also love the idea of a book of the most ancient world libraries. Since the dVerse poets live in the far reaches of the globe maybe that could be a project for us? Just sayin….

  7. I love the librarian series – I can see him wise through the hands of time and a bit mysterious. I would like to take a peek at those books he has hidden. As a dreamer I often journey to the library of time.

  8. That says it all. Populist clown, canary in mine warning. Let the phoenix of knowledge rise again.

  9. I love this trip into the Librarian’s inner sanctum: his mind. I think it’s a timely warning about the book burners:

    ‘the pulp-fiction-platitudes
    left in the wake
    of the righteous book-burning youths,
    who claimed that knowledge
    is merely
    a gravity-rot of their nation’s decay.’

    There will always be some volumes which survive these revolutionary purges.

  10. What can I say, Björn, you know I’m a big fan of the ancient librarian! I love the opening lines, the image of him shuffling ‘on slippers through layers of dust’, and a ‘limitless library’ is a book-lover’s dream. You’ve used some fantastic slant rhymes in this poem, ‘lost/dust’ and ‘warn/burn’. They are something to fear, those ‘righteous book-burning youths’. One image that really sticks is:
    ‘…a canary bird
    singing to warn
    of circles in soot being drawn
    on our doors
    and the coming
    of windows to shatter and pyres to burn’.
    We don’t want that to ever happen again. So glad the librarian kept books hidden.

  11. The librarian has returned. I love this series. I was very dire until the hopeful ending,
    “even if he might be lost
    from the ashes of verses
    awareness can phoenix
    skyward
    raising the knowledge again.”
    Thank you for the hope. I needed it.
    Ali

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