Wednesday, 22 August 2018


Words and pages and so much between;
an eternity of books, gathered-in sheaves,
stories falling through, doing and telling,
spiralled leaves, heavy with meaning.

Ink or ashes, marked boundaries, black lines,
what is, what was, what could or might have been,
and the pigment in the ink, ash dissolved or ash itself
scrapes char across paper.

Experience and belief settle on shelves;
words from the air, words written down,
while truth blurs grey, clouds the horizon;
in the fog of contention doubt blows in.

Books at odds, stacked, classified by subject,
names, titles, genres, fiction, fact; libraries
of disagreement strain with judgment;
no-one understands it.

Expression becomes an aching wound to those
who value belief over wisdom, who will not refract
ideas and the lives they grow from
through any lens of differences.

Hands reach out, rip out the outrageous text,
cast out whole volumes, bin them, incinerate them,
because the words inside say something
too impertinent to hear.

Between word and page, are revolutions,
some here, some gone, but still their ideas burn,
illuminating women, men, slave and master,
who lies with whom, who owns what,
who strikes a light to see by.

In pyres, books stain the clouds with smoke;
as they burn, an elusive bookmark rises,
a smudge-fire on the wind of denial
showing us where the censors hide.

Words go up in flames and,
where their ash falls back,
gather together again, ideas
reforming in the dirt again.

© Brian Hill

When the far right targets books, it should ring alarm bells for us all

Brian Hill. 50 years a poet. One-time designer and film-maker; long ago, the rhyme-slinger, cartoon cowboy, and planetarium poet; now feverishly stringing words together in the hope of making sense.
Brian blogs as Scumdadio (don’t ask).