Writer in Residence

That by writerly licence, turner of pages, bastion of books,
ambles into the empty library and, notepad open, takes a corner chair.
One hour passes.

Cramp prompts perambulation towards the fiction shelves,
to commune with the Abernalds and Abernathys, the Bagshawes and Baileys,
and while a further hour.

Despite nodding graciously at a couple of oblivious locals,
who rapaciously clutch the bagged imagination of Arthur C. Clarke,
only lunchtime approaches.

Sandwiched between history and psychology, consumed by mystery,
the writer eats secretly, surreptitiously sliding crumpled cling film
between dog-eared tomes.

At four, children bring giggling and in-tow mothers, who skirt
the perimeter of their once-upon-a-times; riding paperback dragons
over the broken back of the day.

As the last book closes, the resident writer gathers all thought
and prepares for another night precariously shelved, wrapped in the cover
of a contemplative manuscript.


We are grey Mothers Unexceptional, not lent religion’s grace;
with ultimate faith and finding absolution
in one system alone, contained and decimalised.

Narrow eyed, our pleasure infinitesimally categorised,
we will hone in on noise making infiltrators
who casually finger our beloved biographies.

We will speak but occasionally, in shrill whispers,
but those who press beyond the shelves we have colonised
may hear a subtle rustle from the lining of our skirts.

If evolution kicks, closed doors will not prohibit us;
we are not reliant on particulars, but will gather our books and
like spectres, appear elsewhere unannounced in the service of orderliness.