Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Just a name.

Just a Name.

Howsley Rockley -
the name -
written in a book
of familiar wild flowers.
The ink is black,
the script classic,
the hand unwavering.

Who was he -
this Howsley Rockley?
I crossed him out
and wrote my name
in '43, aged
nine and a half.
Was he
deceased by then?

Had someone cleared
his bookshelves,
taken his beloved books
to some book store
where I,
aged nine and a half,
had gone
to enter into what would become
in later years
that familiar, fusty
old book smell?

I Googled him
but there was no mention
save mine.
What would he think,
this Howsley Rockley,
to Google,
to Space Travel,
to Mobile Phones?

And one day,
will someone
in some fusty book store
cross out P Smithson
aged nine and a half
and wonder about me?

20 comments:

Tramp said...

A wonderful reflection on what we inherit and what we leave behind.
...Tramp

Pondside said...

I love it!
Yesterday's post was such a good one - I'm glad that you wrote and shared this as a continuation.

Heather said...

I think your mystery book owner would be very pleased to know that you had thought enough of his book to buy it and treasure all your life. Your poem is delightful and I am sure someone else will carry on the treasuring of that book one day.

Reader Wil said...

Great thought that the previous owner must have had a history, may even an eventful one! Very nice poem, Pat!

Gwilym Williams said...

Another lovely post!

We just had an earthqauke in the area where I go running in the Austrian Alps. Only 3.1 so OK for now :)

I put a picture on Bard on the Run to inspire Dominic!

Bernie said...

It is interesting to think about the world and what it will be like after you leave it. My one obsession has always been to leave something behind like a great painting (not) or a great novel (not)or just something other than being remembered as the mother of my children and maybe a friend or two. Your poem is a great start for you. I liked it.

And I can't help but think of the quote,"Oh, to be in England now that Spring is here." The English flower gardens are so beautiful.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Excellent poem and what a name, Howsley Rockley!

I often wonder about the people who owned my second hand books before i did...

angryparsnip said...

Wonderful, wonderful poem.
So enjoyed your post yesterday and very happy that you looked up Howsley Rockley he is a mystery.
I was going to google him but got busy and forgot. Thanks.

cheers, parsnip

Bovey Belle said...

Hah! The first thing I did after reading your last post was to go and Google him too. I have a suspicion you may get him on the census for 1901 or 1911? I have the 1881 census discs here, so I'll see if he appears on there. I like a good detective story!

Bovey Belle said...

Born after 1881 I'm afraid. Rockley family - well, many of them come frm Nottinghamshire. Quite a few Lincs, Norfolk way. I will see if I can find anything else out - my bloodhound nose is sniffing now!

My favourite books are those with notes in the margins - other people's opinions! Or, in my old horsey books, tips and pre-veterinarian recipes.

Bovey Belle said...

Hmmm - can't find him! What year was the book published? Around 1910? Not that he had it necessarily from new of course . . .

angryparsnip said...

@Bovey Belle

Way to go girl... I love a mystery and I love your up-dates !

cheers, parsnip

Gerry Snape said...

Well of course they will wonder, just as you have done. That's such a great thing about this human race...the race goes on as the batons are passed. Great poem...great emotion. Thankyou.

Tess Kincaid said...

You've got my investigative juices flowing. We must find him! (what a fabulous name)

steven said...

ahhh weaver the long and short lops of our remembering. who will forget us? steven

Frances said...

Howsley Rockley is a wonderful name. Even if reversed, Rockley Howsley is also pretty good.

It could be the name of a character in a book, or a film. Or even a name given to a puppy who'd become a longtime friend.

I am always intrigued by possible names for puppies. (I've not got a puppy and perhaps that's why I'm intrigued.)

Your posts do summon lots of thoughts, and I thank you!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you for the kind comments. After months in the wilderness poetry-wise, seems I am back in creativity-land again. Hope I can keep it up.

Dave King said...

Almost certainly, they will. I have one or two old text books and a couple of poetry books picked up from second hand book shops (remember them?). They are annotated in pencil. I often think ab out the owners before me who did that.

Golden West said...

I carry an old Victorian calling card case in my purse that is engraved "Warwick Lecftwich Xmas '93. You've inspired me to do a post about it and show a picture!

Jo said...

Beautiful, Weaver. Simply beautiful.