Lisa Matthews

Library Time

Here time is a word on a spine,
a row of letters in a cutter number,
an X-marks the place on a shelf – or a stack,
a Dewey decimal point of certainty
in an uncertain world.

The light outside the library is honey,
then gravel, there are lay lines and roads travelled
that cut right through here. There was a flood,
there will be more floods – floods of all kinds.

time goes slowly in here

    When I turn the pages
    of a poetry book the words spill
    slowly down paper slopes

    I want to be more clear
    about what it feels like in here

    I want to make you see
    that all these books are conversations
    waiting to be had.

    I want to say each volume
    is a voice, and a mind, and a beating heart.

time goes slowly in here

No one tells you how to be here,
nor how to think, that’s all up to you
and to be discovered in library time.

And here, time is a word on a spine,
a row of letters in a cutter number,
an X-marks the place on a shelf – or a stack,
a Dewey decimal point of certainty
in an uncertain world.

Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future. Ray Bradbury, science fiction writer