09 February 2014

Quiet Dust





I've been gone some time
but it smells the same
one library like another
dusty
dusty paper
paper and ink
quietly
quietly rotting
rotting minds
already going bad

when we were children playing 
before the invention
of microfiche
dusty lenses burning
as we tried to read
without newsprint stained 
fingers smudging white pants
with dry ink
and sweaty
palms

It’s been a long time
but it smells the same
one library like another
sweating
quietly rotting
without air circulation
in the stacks and stacks
we needed before
microchips took 
the smell
away.



Posted for Marion's Sharkey's Day and  Open Link Monday at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads.  Re-posted for Poets United Poetry Pantry #189.

Copyright © 2014 S.L.Chast



14 comments:

Lauren Purse said...

I love this for 2 reasons: your use of repetition and the pitying yet loving way you describe libraries.

Marian said...

before microfiche! kids these days.
love this, Susan... like an incantation. it would be fun to hear with that fiddle in the background.

Robert Bourne said...

the sound of a turning page, the scent of books.. this made me very nostalgic...

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I remember when we looked up books on index cards in little tin boxes.......

Mary said...

Oh yes, the library smell. So true they all do smell the same. No more card catalogues....only catalogues on computer now. Times do change, but the smell not so much.

Brian Miller said...

and now it is the ereader...
i love the smell of books...i dont want to see their demise...
the libraries or the books....

Vandana Sharma said...

I guess sometimes its better to clear of dust

humbird said...

Nostalgic...I remember very much those catalogs...my mom was a bibliograph in a huge library...sad to look in the future with no real books...

Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

I still love the smell of old paper --this makes me nostalgic as well!

howanxious said...

The nostalgia for the library... how wonderfully expressed. And it is true that a place inhabited by books has a distinctive and unique smell.
May it never end... despite the rise of e-books.
-HA

WabiSabi said...

Long live libraries! Written with love and a bit of nostalgia for the old stacks! How well I remember sitting on the floor of the library and opening all the books I could reach - just for a wiff and the promise of secrets unfolding!

Gabriella said...

I love the smell of new books and I agree that libraries smell the same, wherever they are.

Sumana Roy said...

love this nostalgic view....

kelvin s.m. said...

Father Time could be so harsh but the way we achieve the impossibles is harsher. I still appreciate the ghost of every dead writers left on page after page of every book they wrote than the horror of innovations we people brought to life. Scary how everyone, everything is changing---I'm afraid, my fragility as human is stronger than my desire to stay the same.