P is for Pullman.

P is for Pullman.

Warning: Poem may contain spoilers.

There is a building in the middle of nowhere,
At the end of an alley filled with mattresses left
Amongst the shopping trolleys and piles of rubbish.
There’s no other way to say it: this building is bereft.

But inside its walls, important things occur.
The rules are non-negotiable and ever so strict.
Because it is vital that you visit here
If you are a recovering Young Adult Addict.

Now this isn’t a building to stop people reading YA
But there are some series that, when abused,
Can affect your life completely, and they
Will leave your heart shattered and bruised.

(You know, when you turn the final page and you can’t think because of the pain.
And you just know that your heart/life/SOUL will never be the same again.)

Today we’re here for a session that it is always full
There are a lot of damaged people behind this door.
Just further down the corridor there’s a laminated sign that reads:
“How to deal with life now ‘His Dark Materials’ is no more.”

Tough love is the main strategy here, “Leave your daemon at the door.”
And there are boxes full of stuffed cats, dogs and the occasional mole.
Because people react differently when they have finished these books.
And some people mistake a soft toy for their very own soul.

Some can’t handle this… um… separation.
And they take to hissing and scowling.
Or they curl up on the floor and rock back and forth,
Every now and again twitching and howling.

(It depends, of course, on how much you cried
At the bit where Lyra left Pan on the shore and their bond nearly died.)

There are others who deal with life without the books by
Glaring at anyone who dare come near their seat.
As they try to make their tongue silver like Lyra’s
By eating an entire bag of Black Jack sweets.

These people are determined to replicate them in any way they can,
And there was even a rumour of a man (but I bet it’s not true)
Who had been banned for life from family attractions
For attempting break out a polar bear out of Chester zoo.

If you have not read these books you may think this is silly.
And until you have read them, you may find yourself in stitches.
But you will never, ever understand why these people will go to their nearest
Lake and talk to the geese, to decide which geese is a witch’s.

(There is no right and wrong when it comes to coping.
You can be angry, or in denial or just be satisfied with moping. )

This group has been meeting for over a decade
And, like I said, it’s one of the busiest in the institution.
But the leader is getting nervous because he has
Only just realised that there is only one solution.

And today is the day when he is going to have to
Announce that there is only one way to get out of this hell.
And to live a normal life and return to the land of the living
And cope with surviving in a world where there is only Life after L.*

The man comes through the door and, once again, he is surprised
At the rabid look in their eyes. He swallows and wipes his clammy hands on his jeans.
“I finally have the answer you have all been waiting for. It’s been a long time coming.”
He takes a deep breath, knowing full well what his next few words will mean…s.

“The only way to fill this void in your heart, and this is a must,
Is wait until Mr Pullman finishes ‘The Book of Dust.”

He runs out of the door as soon as he can as the room erupts
With noise. “When, when will it be out?” cries one boy.
But there is no response. The crowd disperses to the door,
Pushing each other out of the way to seek the comfort of their toy…*rolls eyes* soul..

I stand up from the back of the room and blink a few times.
How is that the only answer? How could that make anything alright?
I leave the room and wander around the city, completely in shock.
I mean… there isn’t even a pre-order button on that online book site.

I know I am strong. And I know I can wait for a couple of years.
Because if Lyra and Will can do it, then why can’t I?
I guess it won’t be too long until it is time to meet up with them again,
But until then, I know we’ll always have that bench, in an Oxford park under the Midsummer’s sky.

*Life after Lyra. You try and find something that rhymes with Lyra!


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