I used to worry about disasters when I was a kid. I would lie abed at night, sleepless, sniffing the air for scent of fire, listening to the creak of wood that might presage the collapse of the house, aware of every vibration that might indicate the onset of an earthquake or an imminent landslide that would carry me amid wreckage of plaster and shingle and rent floors downward with tumbling furniture into the abandoned quarry behind the house. Then I would go to sleep and wake the next day to the mundane routine which no event ever prevented. Was I relieved, or was I disappointed? To this day I don't know for sure. I was at times a pessimistic child.
(...which I may have posted before, but which suits the mood of the night.)
by Mark Strand
You sit in a chair, touched by nothing, feeling
the old self become the older self, imagining
only the patience of water, the boredom of stone.
You think that silence is the extra page,
you think that nothing is good or bad, not even
the darkness that fills the house while you sit watching
it happen. You've seen it happen before. Your friends
move past the window, their faces soiled with regret.
You want to wave but cannot raise your hand.
You sit in a chair. You turn to the nightshade spreading
a poisonous net around the house. You taste
the honey of absence. It is the same wherever
you are, the same if the voice rots before
the body, or the body rots before the voice.
You know that desire leads only to sorrow, that sorrow
leads to achievement which leads to emptiness.
You know that this is different, that this
is the celebration, the only celebration,
that by giving yourself over to nothing,
you shall be healed. You know there is joy in feeling
your lungs prepare themselves for an ashen future,
so you wait, you stare and you wait, and the dust settles
and the miraculous hours of childhood wander in darkness.