An old man leans over books,
He has tiredness in his eyes,
Everything that lies before him,
Was written with these hands,
Which are old and fragile now,
The old man lets out a sigh,
A life’s work bears its weight,
And makes the strongest man cry,
Whilst there are many adventures,
Immortalised into crispy words,
There is also tragedy and heartache,
Torn memories from a tormented heart,
In one pile of books, the what ifs,
Dreams and fantasies of what could have been,
Some of those pages unfinished,
With large sentences missing like teeth,
The pain is obvious when the pen stops,
And reveals all the anguish and grief,
There are books now closed for decades,
Memories with thorns are in those,
Other books are lighter hearty tales,
And these are the ones that get all the applause,
Books binded in different reds,
The titles always in the same old gold font,
The plot thickens quickly in these tales,
Just as what the reader really wants,
The old man coughing now,
The stale air from ancient lungs,
Forces the candlelight to a dance a little,
As if it was succumbed to a mischievous tickle,
Shaky hands now turn the page,
And continues to write again,
This master chooses to write with quill and ink,
Like droplets of blood releasing its pain,
Maybe this old man has wasted too much time,
Writing down his thoughts and memoirs,
The life and love, passed by and was lost,
As these volumes consumed many hours,
Now sat here old and lonely,
And the grim reaper waits in the wings,
Too much work to document these verses,
To which no canary can sing,
Maybe this now feeble person,
Regrets all this dedicated hand work,
A thousand books of sticky words,
That stay bonded to the page,
A tear falls from almost non seeing eyes,
And drops and mixes with wet ink,
A random pattern explodes by mistake,
As the weight of loss,
Falls heavily down on this teacher,
Many tears have passed by,
And he has not forgotten any feature,
Every line every crossing made,
And all the decisions completed daily,
Are here in words to stay,
Now wishing to stand up,
The old man grabs on to,
This old and grimy table,
But he rises too soon,
And begins to swoon,
Dizziness taking over,
Unconscious now poor man,
Fainting he falls with a bang,
His head now bloodied,
In the midst of his opera,
So ink and blood and tears mix,
And give life and colour to his words,
The final act now, a cruel blow,
For a man who was so reclusive and kind,
The naked candles fall over on this laden table,
And set the books and beard alight,
The grim reaper steps out of the shadows,
On this heartbreaking cruel winter night,
As the fire takes hold,
And his life ebbs away,
This poor forgotten man,
Will not write another day,
As cruel as life is,
Life can be so rotten,
80 years of pen and paper,
In an instant will be forgotten,
And before anyone else realises,
The severity of what has become,
The table and the books and the house,
Are now in fiery ruins,
Nothing is left but ashes,
No grim reaper and no victim,
A tragic tale of immense proportions,
For this thoughtful, artistic old man.

© D.Hobson April 2014