Lines Written Outside Marsh’s Library, 1972

          ‘the true human is the star inside’ Paracelsus De Vita Longa

I scribbled boldly on the chit: De Vita Longa
and Scotus Erigena’s Poems
in Marsh
’s Library; the Keeper’s hair held up by combs
with her look of harsh
interrogation as she struggled with some weighty tomes.
My parch
-ed face and weary bones
maintained its exaltation:

‘My request is not to annoy you…!’
I pretended shyly and began to declare:
‘I’m the sublime and highly
strung poet, Kevin Kiely―
So there!’

Her reply was pitched above boiling rage:
‘What a bombastic chap you are!
Of your requested books, there’s not a single page—
our library is stocked with every genius
who blossomed beyond the medieval age.’

She smouldered and flicked through catalogue cards
shaking herself far out of the fray
and pointed to the exit, ignoring
the brilliant available day.
So, I made a laconic retreat
finding refuge in the street
Marsh’s is truly a pleasant surprise:  
fate and destiny, sunset sunrise 

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