The Reference Library


Proud old tomes on dusty shelves
Of cases just like books themselves
Recede in shades of brown on grey.
Here academia marks the day
With bookmarks made of sunlight shafts
That slice up subjects; History, Maths,
World Geography, the Atom Bomb –
It’s Wiki done in printed form.
The pasty woman, reared on quiche,
Is squealing through the microfiche.
Lost deep inside her shaded den,
She’s traced her line to fifteen ten.
And scattered round the writing desks,
The worried students build their nests,
Their heads crammed full of Amsterdam
And facts they’ve stolen for exams.
The only sounds that prune the air
Are rumbling snores from sagging chairs
Beside the lift, where old men wheeze
With local history on their knees;
An aid to keep their pasts preserved
In dreams now stored as written words.

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