The Librarian


I place a call upstairs
To the library and archives
Where the old retainer’s stationed
Twenty-four seven (long hours, I admit
But they’re pretty simple tasks)

I’d like to access some word
Some book, some film, some name
Some person’s face or history
“Please,” I say, ever so politely
I always say “Please”

And “Thank you very much” as well
Hoping of course (as the brightest
Among you will have guessed)
That this carrot approach will
In time improve his performance

The stick approach is
In my humble opinion
Morally repugnant
(And in practice
Counterproductive anyway)

The doddering voice
Remains silent
While in the silence
In the distance
I can discern

Those doddery footsteps
Receding among the stacks
Will he return, I wonder
Sometimes he’s gone for hours
For days even

Perhaps it’s time for superannuation
But he was always so loyal
And reliable in a crisis
Besides if I were to retire him
I’d get to wondering who’d be next

About Ben Naga

The Spirit that graces me with its passing has no name and stems not from thoughts and words, though it gathers them up as it flows, but from feeling.

Posted on January 2, 2013, in Poetry, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. I always say to myself – if there’s one thing I want to surround myself with as I age, it’d be with books.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I truly liked this! The poem applies to all instances where we use pleads for egoistic means and in a way hope to get something in return (the librarian could leave up to a few days after all). But in such a reading I wonder how the selfish ego chooses to “retire” those who answer the ego’s call. Then the narrator suddenly becomes deceiving.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear me, you’re more polite than I am with my librarian!
    Maybe I should try the carrot more often LoL.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. One day at a time and only a few notice what we forget. Just continue on looking mysterious, I say.

    Liked by 1 person

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