The Old Poet

The old poet
behind a desk
reading aloud
from Frost.
Behind him,
a bookcase
filled with
others’ poems
and a few of his own.

Above the bookcase,
a specimen drawing
of a bluegill.
On top of the bookcase,
between books stacked
and waiting for
a permanent home,
a large feather,
turkey or hawk,
in a mug for soup
long ago surrendered
to pens and feathers.

An Hermes 3000
to his left,
bought new in the sixties,
a well-traveled machine
that has seen Paris,
London, and an
entire season on the
Costa del Sol,
though mostly
untouched then
while the poet
pursued belleza
and drank.

And a shovel,
its handle
propped in the corner
made by the bookcase
and the wall,
waiting to spread
manure or dig
potatoes or take
a side gig as
walking stick
when the reading
ends and the work
of the land
carries on.

The old poet
looks up from
the worn book in
his worn hands
to push the final
words through his
soft stubbled lips.
He closes the book,
assigns reading,
and bids farewell.
A bent finger
clicks the mouse,
and his students

© 2020 Deb Moore,  All Rights Reserved

Shhhh! Don’t Tell Anyone

I’ll let you in on a little secret.  For years I’ve had this dream of opening a “place.”  I put that in quotes because I’m not quite sure what to call it.  It would look a whole lot like the picture above.  Part bookstore, part coffee shop, part modern version of a literary salon.  I even toyed with a name: Gertrude’s, after that famous salon keeper herself, Gertrude Stein.

And maps.  There would have to be maps because I am a long-time cartophile.  I can stare at a map for hours, read it almost like a book.

Maps and books and coffee and tea and lots of discussion.  The barista would be more of a bartender.  There would, in fact, be a coffee bar where one could sit and sip and bend the ear of the very well-educated barista.

A back room.  There would have to be a back room for poetry slams and writers’ groups and book clubs.

With the announcement today that Borders was officially closing all its stores, there were simultaneous and breathless hopes expressed on NPR that perhaps this might give some breathing room for a slight resurgence of small, independent bookstores to flourish.  A significant portion of the population still wants to smell books and touch them and walk among them.  Many of us are still romantically attached to that dream of having a library like Henry Higgins’.

I’m not sure I’ll ever realize this dream.  That’s okay.  I have plenty more where that one came from, and I was never quite sure I could fully commit to the endless hours required in owning a “place” such as this.  But, I still believe that in the right place and the right time and with the right energy, it could be a wonderful place for geeks to meet.

Oh.  And a liquor license.  Definitely a liquor license.