Poem: The Burning Archive – the beginning


At last the Grand Inquisitor said:
Let the archives burn.

The paper of history weighs us down.
Virtual memory will be the way from now.

A solitary voice rose in protest:
With our memories burn our hearts.

The Inquisitor acted swiftly:
He unleashed fires, controlled and savage,

Beneath the store houses,
Threw Molotov cocktails in libraries.

A billion pages of etched life
In minutes, memos, letters –

The familiar writing of everyday,
Few metaphors, many more lists.

Within a day, ten thousand years,
And more, gone, gone, gone.

The cord that held us to them,
A line of white ashen hearts.

Jeff Rich

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