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Poem for the day by Bob Sheed

Arts Richmond

Online - 14 May 2020

Poem for the day by Bob Sheed

On the Library Shelf


My faded spine depresses me.

It’s borne the light so long,

the sun has burnt its colour out.

My Dewey number’s gone.


No book should have to stand like this,

unread for years on end,

squashed between two travel guides,

will someone kindly send

for help to get me moved from here,

I should be in the lend-ing libr’y, not with reference books.

No wonder no-one takes me out,

and now I’ve lost my looks

I’ll end up down the Oxfam shop,

where television cooks’

biographies and recipes

and lives of famous crooks


rub covers with the diaries

of blokes like Tony Benn;

a novel by Anne Widdicombe,

unread beyond page ten.

That’s even worse than idling here,

where time and time again

I’m overlooked while eager hands grab

‘Boating in the Fens’,

ignoring me – a thriller – in which

Sherlock Holmes’ lens


is turned upon the mystery

of Mrs Hudson’s cat

and what occurred in Chinatown

to Doctor Watson’s hat;

some missing jewels in Mayfair,

where Sherlock smells a rat.

You can’t say, ‘Sailing on the Lark’

is any match for that?


I tell you what, while no-one’s here,

just slip me in your bag,

and take me home, I’ll not be missed,

they couldn’t give a fag.

Security forgot, you see,

to fit me with a tag.


Stick me on your bookcase,

I won’t take up much room.

You’ll love my tale, I promise.

Don’t leave me in this tomb.


By Bob Sheed


Bob Sheed, poet, sadly died last year. He would have been delighted to see this latest poetry initiative of Arts Richmond and to have seen one of his poems uploaded.






On the Library Shelf

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