Overheard in a Tower Block
Created: 25th April, 2018

There are Things that Lurk in the Library



There are things that lurk in the library,

that thumb and squeeze between the leaves.

New worlds can be found in the books,

characters listen to all that you read.

There are whisperings between the words

and shivers rearing to leap on your spine.


Run your fingertips along the spine,

feel the bones of each book in your library.

Watch amazed as the muscle-words

flex! Robbed of the will to leave,

you are compelled to stay and read.

There are worlds to be found in these books.


There are worlds to be found in these books:

ideas that wise minds have opined,

tales of the deepest red.

Unknown narratives skulk in this library

where parables rustle like leaves,

where mouths taste new words.


There are sagas in you if you look inward.

Your whole life could be read as a book,

all your fears bound into uncut leaves.

Fairy tales are written on your spine.

Every wrinkle has its own library,

every crease is waiting to be read.


We leave volumes wherever we tread.

Every sigh has its own hidden word,

every hug has its own library,

every goodbye a dog-eared book,

every choice bound to a moral spine,

a story we can never leave.


As your book forms its leaves,

as you leave a story for others to read,

make sure you bind well your spine.

Don’t let the ink smudge on a word.


For you yourself are a book.

You yourself are a library.



© Joseph Coelho from Overheard in a Tower Block (Otter-Barry Books)


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