Ideas swarm my mind
I brace myself
to plunge deep into
my creative pool
I wish I had written these words
… People disappear when they die.
Their voice, their laughter, the warmth of their breath.
Their flesh. Eventually their bones.
All living memory of them ceases.
This is both dreadful and natural.
Yet for some there is an exception to this anniliation.
For in the books they write they continue to exist.
We can rediscover them.
Their humour, their tone of voice, their moods.
Through the written word they can
anger you or make you happy.
They can comfort you.
They can perplex you.
They can alter you.
All this, even though they are dead.
Like flies in amber, like corpses frozen in ice,
that which according to the laws
of nature should pass away is,
by miracle of ink on paper, preserved.
It is a kind of magic.
As one tends the graves of the dead, so I tend the books.
I clean them, do minor repairs, keep them in good order.
And every day I open a volume or two,
read a few lines or pages,
allow the voices of the forgotten dead
to resonate inside my head.
Do they sense it, these dead writers, when their books are read?
Does a pinprick of light appear in their darkness?
Is their soul stirred by the feather touch
of another mind reading theirs?
I do hope so.
For it must be vey lonely being dead…
excerpt the thirteenth tale by Dianne setterfield