Scribblings on yet another injustice, by prose poet Jane Monson.
As we nest, your book-spined walls soak up the rain we’ve made and bring the library to its knees.
We watch from our vantage points, the practised turn of your mild, apologetic faces to the public and announce:
‘The Seagulls Have Closed the Library: we have tried to reason with the birds, at great expense, but like the local badgers, they keep on returning. Downpipes are blocked with eggs and feathers, and your building, your reading sanctuary, your warm bank and hub, is theirs now.’
Look up and this is what we might say, if you’d care to listen: we birds need to nest, you need to read, to have somewhere of value to sit and think; where quiet is encouraged, where silence gathers power.
Birds and books have more in common than this painful, local, but widespread story might suggest. We breed flight; nurture in order to set the next generation free, see things from another viewpoint.
Feathers and pages are not so estranged or at odds. So why tell the story this way? That one has killed the other. That nature is at fault; that the Birds Need Stopping; Seagulls Are Closing Our Libraries; Feathers Are Stealing Our Words.
Where on earth, we should be asking at this point, do we go from here?
Why not start at the library and work your way slowly up?