Forgotten Treasure

The scent of aging books

And hundred year old wooden shelves

Is like a breath of fresh air

Full of possibilities

Is there any louder silence

Than being the only patron walking the aisles

Of a library at night?


I shuffle through the silence




Hunting for treasure

The ones no one seeks anymore

The lost and forgotten

Aged spines stiff and dry

Pages grown yellow and fragile

Ancient volumes

Of Byron and Henley, Dickens and Thomas Grey,

History books that have become history themselves

Carefully I pull them from their shelves

The crack and creak as their cloth bound covers

Open for the first time in decades

Like a long held sigh of relief


Inside the back covers

Crumbling cards in little pockets

Look fossilized with disuse

Stamped with dusty dates in black and red ink

Dates no more recent

Than the Great Depression

Or the Roaring Twenties

Alone and untouched

Purposeless they’ve sat on these shelves

Dolefully watching a century go by

Come with me, my ink and paper friends,

I think as I carry these lost gems

Forgotten treasures

To the Librarian, smiling and surprised

To see someone so young with books so old

Come with me, I think as I walk home

Books under my arm

Let me give you purpose

Once again


For Open Link Night #74 on dVerse.

39 thoughts on “Forgotten Treasure

  1. oh i am there…i love books…and your opening is perfect because the scent of books is a beautiful perfum to me….ah….i could get lost there….excellent descriptions as well….so much possibilities….smiles.

    • Thank you very much, Brian! There’s just something about old books. They have a character and personality all their own.

    • When I was in my teens and early twenties I loved searching through all those old books at my hometown library. It amazed me that so many of them hadn’t been touched in 60, 70, 80 years or more. I even remember finding some printed before 1900 that had never been checked out of the library until I did!

  2. Beautifully offering purpose to books.

    FYI, if you hold the shift key when you hit return, you won’t get a paragraph break and can keep lines together in the WP editor. Or, you can compose in a text editor and insert and “pre-formatted”. Just a thought.

  3. I lived in the town library after school in high school. I remember many books this way. No old libraries around me any more, just much used multi-media neighborhood libraries with cds, microfiches, videos, and lots of children’s books.

    • My Step-Mother was the librarian when I was 8-13 years old and my Mom volunteered there so I spent many, many hours after school hanging out in the library too. Great memories. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I like this! Makes me think of a few libraries, esp. my hometown and high school. They are kind of a hidden place, the opening of those old pages. I like the way you made it friend like. I nominated you for an award, but maybe you’ve done it before.

  5. I think I could get lost in such a place. while I have begun to enjoy the easy and access to books digitally, I still think there is nothing quite like a book in hand.

  6. Reading this poem is like to go through the looking-glass and find yourself in another completely,suggestive and beautiful world… thank you David for this journey. Next time i’ll be in a Library sure i’ll recall your lines in my mind.

    Have a nice day

    • Thank you. I guess I was lucky to grow up with an old small town library that’s never had much money to update their collection. ๐Ÿ™‚

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