In the Silent Section

In January I mentioned on my blog (see Silent Practice ) that my nephew had sent me material for a poem  Actually it was more of a vivid rant! Here’s the piece I wrote using his words.

In the Silent Section
for Matt 

I am in the silent section
and I’m very very stressed;
there’s a girl walked in with headphones;
she’s an irritating pest.

She is ‘whispering’ the lyrics
thinking no-one else can hear
and she’s not the only person
making noises in my ear.

There are two guys sat behind me
clearly DO NOT understand
if they chat they are NOT silent!
Now it’s getting out of hand.

There’s a guy who’s begging sympathy
across the ‘silent’ room;
he is snorting and he’s sniffling
and I’m going to kill him soon.

There’s a bag left on the table
(‘table hoarding’ drives me mad)
with a phone in and it’s RINGING!
JUSTIN BEIBER!!! Add to that

the bloke who’s up a ladder
fiddling with a faulty light
chatting on his walkie talkie,
it strikes me he’s not that bright.

We are in the Silent Section!
As my ears begin to bleed,
I scream out in sheer frustration
It’s a library! Can’t you read???!!

© Heather Wastie

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Goodbye, Birmingham Central Library

Today I saw news that the demolition of the old central library in Birmingham is due to begin in January:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-30408943

This coincides with the announcement of substantial cuts at the new library:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-30409906

In June 2013 I wrote a poem in response to this article:

Birmingham Central Library: Saying goodbye after 40 years
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-23008062

See below for my poem. Please pause and consider the library and what it means to you.

Goodbye, Birmingham Central Library

Farewell, you concrete blot of brutalist architecture,
eight floors of dodgy escalators, low ceilings,
threadbare carpets and little natural daylight.

As the gatekeepers, the guardians of knowledge
leave their posts for ever, the Prince of Darkness*
believing he has finally claimed his prize,
the place where books are incinerated, not kept,
has sent his death-eaters to hover and claw at the windows
when suddenly, up the Victorian spiral staircase,
circling up through the archive, up into the vortex rise,
not flames, but 40 years of human dust – up, up and away.

© Heather Wastie
June 29th 2013

*Wales