The Book Wars



The lights are out, the study's dark

The family all in bed

But whispers in the study stir

as pages flick and spread


Soon midnight strikes, it starts again

The war without a name

Encyclopedias advance

Fat dictionary proclaims:


“'Tis I, commander of all books -

vocabulary immense!

Without me you’re all meaningless -

just sentences, no sense.


Encyclopedias rally troops

And march in orderly lines,

“No we're The Knowledge Emperors.

Go reference our spines.


The hardback classics fan and sigh,

“We’ve heard it all before.

They take our plots to Hollywood,

for films the world adores."


The trashy novels huff and boast,

"We're crammed with lust and sleaze."

The classics snigger mockingly,

“You think we’re not? Oh please!


The children’s shelf all boo and stomp

Matilda starts to scream,

“You’re just old fogies, out of touch.

We’re fun and filled with dreams."


The horror stories levitate

The study holds its breath,

“Power lies in fear," they growl.

"We scare the world to death."


The cook books belch, "Our recipes,

they make the whole world drool."

as Caesar whispers to Jane Eyre,

“Who is this Ramsay fool?”


The pages flap ferociously

All sure that they are right

Then from the darkest corner shone

An angry glow of light


“You’ve woken me from sleep you nerds.

Your squabbling's not worthwhile.

You’re nothing in these modern times,

unless you’re versatile.


Your million pages in my chip -

an endless data stream.

You books are pretty pointless now

Computers reign supreme.


You’re just a case of clutterers.

Retire with some grace,

or I will blow a fuse and they’ll

be sparks inside this place.”


The books fly down from their high shelves,

“You really are so smug.

There’s just one little problem dear."

And out they pull the plug


© Mark Bird 2010



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