Saturday, 30 April 2016

Sailor And The Girl in All Books

When Sailor was 3 his mum read to him nightly
Pointing to the pictures and holding him tightly
She read of elephants escaping the zoo
Of wizards and whales and sea monkeys too
She read and he frowned at the things he heard
Staring intently at the parts with no words

Outside his home as slowly he grew
The sun rose and set and the birds swiftly flew
The cars parked at kerbside were red, blue and green
And clouds hung soft fatly like thought bubble dreams
The car colours dulled as they sat there unwashed
And though it was sunny the trees curled with frost

When he was 5 he was sounding out phrases with care
Stuttering over words that he could see there
But with each Red Fish and Blue Fish and Cat in the Hat
He was sure there were more words to read than just that
At the foot of each page another sentence he'd see
Which he slowly sounded - Sailor, rescue me

New cars on Brent Street were muted and gray
And the slide in the kid’s park was taken away
Tape sealed the park and the gate was now locked
But no parents noticed as they tugged kids to the shops
Clouds bruised with rain and wind whipped up leaves
As stray dogs sniffing grass snorted and sneezed

When he was 7 he was tucked up in bed
Pockmarked with rash coloured chicken pox red
Outside rain hammered hard on the pane
Sluiced down filthy walls and into the drain
Sailor read about Bilbo and the dragon and gold
He saw one more line – Sailor please, it’s dark and it’s cold

The bookstore in town closed down with a sigh
Replaced by a shop selling bland tasting pies
The paintings of the ocean in the cafes and bars
Were replaced with postcards of black and white cars
The cinema showed only sequels and remakes
And the swimming pool had locks placed on the gates

When he was 9 Sailor was addicted to sports
Books he loved but it was goals that he sought
Sailor was stronger and taller and fast
He didn’t win every race but he rarely came last
He limped through one book and it took most of the year
But on each page he saw the words Sailor, I’m here

School camp was cancelled due to asbestos concerns
Cooking classes were cancelled for fears about burns
Art class was shortened to make way for more math
The art teacher retired having had quite enough of all that
Graffiti on walls became signs warning of thieves
And the trees sadly swayed as they lost all their leaves

11 year old Sailor was jogging back home
And was hit by a truck crossing the road on his own
The driver white faced said He ran into the street,
I hit the brakes but I knocked him clear off his feet
Sailor leg plastered was confined to his bed
And given a stack of books to keep his brain fed

Birthday cakes with electric candles as flames were unsafe
Games deemed too competitive were gradually replaced
People on streets seemed to dress all alike
Catching the bus rather than risk taking a bike
Every person sitting was lost in a screen
Playing a re-run rather than dreaming a dream

Sailor yawned and he itched and he longed to be free
On his PlayStation or iPad or on the PC
But mum said he must read at least 3 hours a day
Flex your brain before those stupid games that you play
So Sailor cracked a book as his bones slowly re-knit
And saw on the page words that just didn’t fit

Sailor please I am here as I have been for years
The words on the page made his eyes wet with tears
Sailor please oh please oh please rescue me
He showed his mum but she could not see
Sailor please you must break me out
Sailor lay there uncertain and riven with doubt

That long summer as his bones slow repaired
Sailor scoured his books for the extra words there
Sailor I’m imprisoned, break me free from these bars
I need sun light and moon light and sight of the stars
Sailor threw down his book and closed his eyes hard and tight
And his mum shouted Sailor, if you won’t read then please write

Flu jabs and vitamins and modified crops
Jeans for one season and super tough socks
TV’s that learnt what you liked to view
Stock piling ever more shows just for you
Sailors mother stopped reading as she gazed at her shows
Snugged in the lounge room where apathy grows

Sailor stared at a page and held a pen in his hand
And wrote down the words I don’t understand
He blinked and he stared and didn’t know what to do
When he saw the words Sailor I believe so strongly in you
His pen quivered and hovered before he wrote again
How is it that you know me and my name?

He waited, watched, wondered and stared
As the words danced on the page before settling there
Sailor I’ve known you since the first book you saw
Crying when mum stopped because you wanted more
I’m trapped in pages and paragraphs and tales
Tumbling with Hobbits and Morlocks and whales

I’ve locked here for millennia, or a week or a day
But I know you can save me, you’ll figure a way
And Sailor wrote in confusion, without a clue
I don’t know anything, please who are you?
And the page scuttled with words that formed in his view
My name is Libraro - I believe in you!

The weather reported temperatures warming
Ice shelves fast melting ignored as a warning
The barrier reef bleaching into bitter decay
As screens flashed with games that chased boredom away
The cars on the road were sullen and dark
And no one heard music in the beat of a heart

Sailor was finally allowed from his bed
With the bones now repaired in each of his legs
Though he believed in Libraro he was still just a boy
A boy in sunlight is a boy lost in joy
How could be free her as he swung from a tree
What can I do? I’m just simply me

Sailor grew older and became lost in the facts
Devoured by formulae and grammatical syntax
He chiselled essays, doggerel and algebraic equations
Charted averages and percentages and military invasions
His mind was diluted with revision soon to be tested
And though he still read his imagination was rested

He waded into exams focused on scores
Steeled for each test as though tilting at war
His results made his mother beam with such joy
Sailor her young man now grown from a boy
Sailor left home and studied his degree
And those words on the page he no longer could see

A banker a realtor a doctor or law?
The choices were there and Sailor was sure
He gazed at a paintbrush but knew there was no pay
If he chose to direct his future that way
So Sailor worked hard towards his life choice
Selling insurance with his welcoming voice

Then Sailor was married with a child of his own
And he read to her one night in the warmth of home
Slowly he sounded out words to his baby girl
Tracing his fingers through her ringlets and curls
Then at the end of the book he read calmly out loud
Sailor you’re grown - I’m just ever so proud

Outside in the street headlights fast flicker flashed
A homeless old lady found a full meal in the trash
A cat rubbed against the leg of a man passing by
Who stroked at its ear without thinking why
As a shooting star shot several eyes looked up
And seeing the stars their minds came unstuck

In his arms his daughter lay fast asleep
And Sailor was scared but managed to speak
Libraro he whispered and the book ran with words
It’s been so many years since my name I have heard
Sailor please now release me from pages
I’ve waited and watched you for heartbeats and ages

But Sailor whispered I just don’t know how
And he heard his mothers voice come to him now
In the warm of the room he held his girl tight
Hearing his mum say Sailor, if you won’t read then please write
So he wrote these word  touching the page only slightly
When Sailor was three his mum read to him nightly

The moon glowed brighter and the ocean exhaled
In the dark in the depths came the singing of whales
iPhones fell dark as conversation started
And kisses blossomed with joy now full hearted
Music was played with volume and passion
As toes tapped and knees bopped so dancing may happen

And Sailor wrote out a long sprawling verse
Believing it may end with the lifting of curse
He wrote it for his daughter and for you and for me
He wrote so Libraro may now be free
And he wrote down these words with purest belief

And the page before him blossomed with gold and with flame
As Libraro stepped from the page to her freedom again
She smiled with words tumbling from her hair
All words and all languages filling the air
She smiled and she spun and thoughts flew from her form
She danced and she sang through the night to the dawn

When the sun rose Sailor heard laughter outside
As people blinked daylight back into their eyes
He saw people pick up litter and look to the distance
Realising with wonder their life and existence
Libraro is everywhere, every house and home
Libraro is free and no longer alone

So Sailor writes for his daughter and his son on the way
He writes words in rhyme so he’ll know what to say
The T.V. is silent and he cooks food from scratch
He grows carrots and broccoli in a vegetable patch
He heard a man strum a guitar by the bus stop tonight
And he threw him a coin in that shone in moonlight

Libraro is free, you’ve read that its so
Her heartbeats in pen ink where sentences grow
Inspiring chapters and verses and statues and songs
Creating free expression where nothing is wrong
The girl in all books is the girl running free
In every sentence I read she is smiling at me

Sailor reads stories and writes them as well
Sailor's children dream versions waking eager to tell
There is no darkness now that a laugh cannot light
No sleep is disturbed if a stories told right
The world with it's pain will spring hope forever
With nothing insurmountable when we all come together

Libraro is waiting for your turn to come
Reading your story now it has begun
She's smiling and hoping and cheering for you
Your biggest fan waiting to see what you do
Libraro is there for that wonderful when
The moment you sit and pick up your pen

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