Old Books- an original poem

"Old Library" by Dusan Jovanovic
Old Library” by Dusan Jovanovic

Old books-
those I like the best.
Mildewy pages
yellowed by years,
bound in leather and
bandaged with peeling tape.
But it’s not just
the timeworn scent
that clings to the pages
or the feeling of imprinted letters
running over my fingertips
that makes me love them;
it’s the questioning,
the curiosity,
the wondering
about who could’ve held
this book before,
who could’ve cherished its
chapters and reached for
it on rainy nights.
I don’t just care about
what happened to the protagonist
in the next volume;
I care about what happened
to the person who long ago
inked on the title page:
To Lizzy- with love, Margaret,
Christmas 1909.
I wonder what became of them,
who they were and what they did,
and why they loved the book.
Old books
carry more than words
and classic tales
and forgotten histories-
they carry memories,
people.
Their readers gave them life,
and still, ten or twenty or
two hundred years later,
they mold to my fingers
like an old friend,
like they’ve done this before.
I like them the best-
old books.


Little known fact about me- I collect old books. My oldest book is a 130 year old history of Julius Ceasar, and I have first editions of Edgar Allan Poe, Amy Lowell, Mark Twain, and even a second edition Emma by Jane Austen (as well as many more). I hunt for them in flea markets, thrift shops, silent auctions, and once, I found a number of first editions in a sale at a library that was closing down. Like the above poem says, I don’t just like to read them (though some of them are so old that it’s hard to open them without the binding falling apart)- I like to imagine who once read them. A few of my books even have dedications and names written in them, the oldest being a man’s name and contact info scrawled in beautiful calligraphy on the title page- from 1850.

Really, I could go on and on about my love for old books, but I think today’s poem explains it enough.

I Used To Have A Beating Heart- an original poem

"Heart in a Jar" by James McDonald
“Heart in a Jar” by James McDonald

I used to have a beating heart
that was warm and alive
and coursing with blood.
I used to hear it every day;
I found solace in its rhythmic thud.

But then one day the pulsing stayed,
and I tore it out in dread,
now my heart lies in the corner of the room,
colorless and drained and bled.

My heart’s abandoned, me, I know,
and I walk my life a shell.
I haven’t touched it since I died,
so it’s acquired a sour smell.

I used to have a beating heart
that I kept warm and snug
and safe in my chest.
Now I wait to hear it start;
and wake from its bloodless rest.


I’m not really sure where I thought this poem was going. It started off kind of positive, and I had every intention of making it ‘pleasant’…but then it kind of sunk into a sea of doom and gloom. Plus today is kind of an off writing day for me.

Art source: Heart in a Jar

 

The Night is My Canvas- an original poem

by Benjamin König
by Benjamin König

I shape the night
with fingers that glide through
sunset, and lips that
kiss stars into the
bruised black and blue of the sky.
I can mold light
into ribbons of purple and green
with only a flick of my wrist,
and whisper secrets
into the wind with just a sigh.
The night is my canvas,
and I hold the brush,
my fingertip prints the moon
and my silence paints the hush.
Each eve is a gift that I
craft just for you,
and if you look closely enough,
you can see my name signed
in the constellations,
pricked in stars and each night
written anew.

Just A Name- an original poem

"The Assassin" by Leafbreeze7
The Assassin” by Leafbreeze7

It’s just a name,
I tell myself
as I notch my arrow and
narrow my eyes.
It’s just a name,
I know it is,
just another name that
has to die.

Some letters on a piece of paper,
a foreign title I will never know,
ink and words and nothing more-
no room for any emotion to show.

It’s just a name,
I know it is,
a job to be done and
coin to collect.
It’s just a name,
I tell myself
as I aim my arrow at
his neck.


Fantasy fiction is one of my favorite genres to read and write in, and this poem taps in to a bit of my recent work. The character here is obviously an assassin who is feeling conflicted about her career choice (though of course she won’t admit it). 

Soon- an original poem

source
source

“Soon, my love,”
you said amidst silence,
“Soon I’ll return, and we’ll
dance in starlight
and drink from fountains
and never see hardship again.”

“Soon,” I repeated,
“you’ll return to me,
and even in rags we’ll be
richer than kings,
for you’re all I need
to live out my days wealthily.”

So I sat by the waves
and stared out to sea,
and waited right there
for you to return to me.
And still there I sat,
when seven years passed,
and your voice became thinner
as your memory lapsed.

“Soon, my love,”
I wept amidst silence,
“Soon you’ll return, and we’ll
lie on the silver sands
with the night on our backs
and we’ll be happy for as long as can be.”

“Soon,” I repeated,
“you’ll return to me,
and every promise you whispered
into my ear will come true,
and when I am nothing but stardust,
we’ll dance for all eternity.”

Reality- an original poem

There are some days when reality
feels like a thousand threads
woven together,
and some areas are thick and woolen and strong,
while others are weak
and so thin that
you feel as if you could pry your fingers
between the fibers
and rip apart
time.
On days like that, when
reality is fraying around me,
I question what’s real; if the
threads holding together the universe
can be easily snipped,
or if the seams can be re-sewn
and stitched up
again.
Because most days, reality is
a blanket that surrounds me,
and I can feel it between my fingers
and it’s good and sturdy and warm.
But I still fear the thin patches,
the torn hems and rough pleats,
and cling hard to my
blanket
so that I don’t
slip.

I Grow Up Alone- an original poem

source
source

I grow up alone
in a world teeming with life.
Every day I reach higher,
but you’ll never see my age-
only my might,
which to you is fixed
in stone
and constant
as the winter winds.
I rumble and roar,
I weep and remorse,
I laugh and make merry,
I change my own course.
But to you I am silent,
a gentle giant unprovoked,
unfeeling and distant,
nothing but a rock to climb
and build upon
and carve out.
I’ve seen many lives
many species,
many races,
flit across the land and leave
it in traces.
Their spans are but a blip
on my grander scale,
and one moment they’re
bleating and breathing
with life,
and the next they’re the dirt that
combs the countryside.
But I remember every one,
each soul and spirit,
though their lives are but seconds
in my ancient existence.
And they remember me,
but they’ll never know,
for in a world teeming with life,
I grow up alone.


I’ve spent the past few days in the beautiful mountains of New England, and I only wish that I could stay longer. My trip did make me wonder; if a mountain could, what would it think? Think of us? Think of itself? How does time pass for a mountain? Then voila, the above poem was hastily produced.

The Theatre Lives Long- an original poem

source
source

She loved the stage
and the yellow lights;
she spoke of red curtains
and endless bright nights.
Champaign and hairspray,
shining sequined gowns,
ballads and promenades,
feathery gold crowns.
With her hair piled high
and her lips ruby red,
she glided across the stage,
and spoke of acts long dead.
“Stars grow old and die,
props peel and decay,
the lights fizzle out
and the curtains close away.
But even as the crooner
commits his last song,
and the cabaret crumbles-
the theatre lives long.
The seats are all empty,
the pit soundless and sad,
but the stage sings of starlets
and the scenes that it had.”
And she danced across rubble,
atop dust and flaked paint;
she wrapped herself in tattered red
and sang like a saint.
For here on the stage
is where she truly belongs,
and while the lights may dim,
the theatre lives long.