The broken books

The broken books

Our lives out of books
           picking the bones
of old stories
           looking for insight
the scorched grass
           in the shade
of the pyramid
           the black shadow
of vultures circulating
           lazily overhead
knowing that
           their day will come
snakes slithering
           through the dry scrub
a desiccated civilisation
           gone to dust

The greatest element
           we have to battle
is the god of self
           so resourceful in its
resistance to change :
           whatever tremors
shake us down
           we refuse to acknowledge
scurrying to rebuild the past
            stone by stone
lives out of books
           lived by the book
though the books
           are cooked

John Lyons

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