David Lewis Paget

(22.11.1944 / Nottingham, England/live in Australia)

Books & Nooks


The books that I’ve collected over
More than fifty years,
Are neatly shelved and catalogued,
Dog-eared, and some in verse,
I spend a day repairing those
Each week, that come unglued,
When pages come away from those
I’ve more than often viewed.

I never lend them out, I learned
My lesson, doing that,
For all their protestations friends
Will never bring them back,
When months go by and I espy
My book up on their shelf,
They say, ‘Oh no, I bought that one,
You lent to someone else! ’

I have a reputation now
As somewhat of a Scrooge,
I tell them, ‘You can look, not touch,
Your fingerprints are huge! ’
I always wear my cotton gloves
To handle any book,
And use a reading table when
I need to take a look.

And so it was that lately I
Had thought it a disgrace,
When pondering the bookshelves that
Some books were out of place,
I called the wife and asked her why
She’d shifted ‘The Plague Dogs’,
To nestle next to ‘Lost in Space’
And screwed my catalogue?

She said, ‘I never touch your books,
You know that all too well,
I wouldn’t dare, each time I do
You go round, raising hell! ’
‘It didn’t move itself, ’ I said,
Unless it sprouted wings! ’
She threw a turnip at my head
And sundry other things.

And that was just the start of it
The books were moving round,
I found ‘The French Lieutenant’s Woman’
Flat out, on the ground,
Then ‘Lady Chatterley’ I saw
Wedged in between ‘Tom Jones’,
And right behind her, far too close
‘A Morbid Taste for Bones.’

‘This has to stop, ’ I ranted,
But it didn’t stop, of course,
My books would rearrange themselves
In some strange intercourse,
I noticed ‘Little Women’ seemed
To flit from shelf to shelf,
‘What Katy Did’ I dare not say,
I’d not do it myself!

But worse was yet to come, I found
Some books were getting fat,
They turned into compendiums
Of tales of this and that,
And ‘Little Women’ grew so big
They justified my fears,
‘I know now who the culprits are,
Those bloody Musketeers! ’

6 April 2013

Submitted: Friday, April 05, 2013
Edited: Thursday, October 10, 2013

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