When a Library Closes by Antony Owen

“A city without libraries is like a graveyard”
Malala Yousafzai

In my city of peace born of fire and grey
a phoenix rises on emblems, letterheads
and library books where Kuldip reads How to kill a Mockingbird.

I only know how common birds are killed,
when a library closes – a blackbird caws from blossom then dies,
and books become bridges for those who lay the dreadful weave.

In my city of 2tone I hear city of culture,
I hear the twelve bar blues from a busker’s rain scarred guitar.
I hear the door of a library moaning as it closes in Earlsdon.

I see a dead poet smiling exhumed for a city of culture bid
and wonder if those bidding know poetry at all
where black and white make grey our symbol.

In my city of culture a man washes dreadlocks in a library sink,
looks into the mirror and reads me, educates me,
places of books are where poems are made and read.

In my city of culture a care home waits for the library bus,
women wear their best clothes for shabby books made new,
it brings them the road of real and make believe.

I only know that when books breathe they resuscitate a city,
dead dreamers breathing from spines that hold it together,
if you kill a library you make a cage from the ribs of a phoenix.

This is our city where musicians and poets sing for a tuppence
and those who decide what art is muzzle mouths of artists and woodwind.
Leave our libraries be, let our city sing, let our city be Malala’s song.

4 thoughts on “When a Library Closes by Antony Owen

  1. Pingback: When a Library Closes by Antony Owen | Celfypridd

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