Many memories invested there,

missed the calf-sweet scented air,

finis – all book-worm exchanges;

locked the dampened door that sticked,

dumb-struck the loud time-clock click:

no till sales rung up in lower ranges.


Shop stripped bare of many books,

ghost-empty shelves, dust-prone nooks:

all sold to dealers, or tipped in skip;

bookish conversations have ceased,

texts to all four winds released:

what value now published manuscripts?


Celsius-drop signals summer’s end,

brandishing wind makes boughs to bend:

changes temper autumnal air;

all rooms empty of authorial gathering,

silent the nerdy, expert blathering:

soon all summoned to that “winding stair”.


The phrase “winding stair” is used in Yeats’ poem “A Dialogue of Self and Soul ” an exploration of the spiritually-minded man of God, and worldly-minded man of the sword.

Hidden hopes among the dusty shelves

photos: Dora Kazmierak



Rows of books, somewhat regimented

pages permeate the air, sweetly scented;

authors are sinners, authors are saints:

some show caution, others little restraint.

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Bookmarking tickets, postcards, old stamps,

some books pristine, others foxed-damp,

texts underlined, or margin annotated,

autodidacts pencilled points firmly stated.


Books recapture our much-missed youth,

new languages are learned, differing truths,

historians challenged by narrative witness:

Shaw queries Chesterton’s physical fitness.


Authors aim to bless hearts and brains:

let neglected voices speak again,

we biblio-browse and diligently delve 

for hidden hopes among the dusty shelves…