Archive for February 4th, 2012

February 4, 2012

Threatened Species (a poem for National Libraries Day)

My cameraman and me – we’ve both

Been creeping through urban undergrowth

Through towns and rural desert, since

There are rumours of sightings, we might catch a glimpse

Of a rare and elusive library book

Ssshh, don’t move now, quickly – look!

It’s on that bookshelf, quick, quick, quick!

Get your camera – Click! Click! Click!

Oh no, you missed it then – you blinked

And your local library’s now extinct


February 4, 2012

Save Our Libraries

Wherever you look, in each cranny or nook

In a library you’ll never be far from a book

So open the door now – that’s right, push!

(And here’s the librarian, stern-faced, sssshh!)

Textbooks for students in pre-exam panic

Where’s that damned answer? They’re frantic, they’re manic

Young teenage readers all covered in acne

They’re reading in libraries from Hampstead to Hackney

They’re coming to libraries by bus and on scooters

They’re borrowing books and they’re using computers

Parties of schoolchildren, young girls and boys

(You in the corner – please stop that noise!)

Elderly readers, grabbing the chance

For an old Mills and Boon and a bit of romance,

Peering through glasses, engrossed in large print

And hoping there aren’t any fines, ‘cos they’re skint

Books about queens, an earl or a duke

And tomes that are written in gobbledegook

Reference books  – yes! An encyclopaedia!

(A great lot of fun, though the internet’s speedier)

In Manchester, Birmingham, Truro and Hull

Kids who once whined that all libraries are dull

Have found themselves lost in a book that they’ve picked

(But do stop that noise! The librarian’s strict)

Mind-blowing books that will lead to new places

And all the old classics, with dearly-loved faces

Books in Swahili, in Spanish and Urdu

(But keep the noise down over there – yes, I heard you)

People of all different incomes and ages

With can’t-put-down books are now turning the pages

Of books that perhaps might quite shock their dear mother

(And when that one’s finished they’ll borrow another)

There are books for young poets with long greasy hair

Posing with Proust and with Baudelaire

And Japanese comics with manga cartoons

And touch-and-feel stories that even play tunes

Books for babies and toddlers with snot-dripping noses

Quick! To your library, before the place closes