Poetry of Kansas

The Pessimist's Plaint

    The world is full of peril, you can feel it in the
air; you can tell it by Old Tabby's tail that bristles
up with hair; there are dangers on the water, on the
land and in the sky, for the ocean might slop over,
or perhaps it might go dry. The earthquake and the
cyclone beset us night and morn, the army worms
and doodle bugs are eating up the corn, the atmos-
phere is laden with germs of every hue and comets
are cavorting across the distant blue. Ah, little do
I know the time when they may dash from space and
drag their fiery tails across my unprotected face. My
heart is filled with trouble and my eyes are wet with
tears for science says the sun will cool in forty million
years, the ice will form in solid sheets and cover all
the earth and we'll have to wear our ear-muffs as we
sit around the hearth. Although the things that
haunt me have never happened yet, the dread
suspense of what may come is why I moan and fret.
I think I might be happy, and I would surely try, if
I could be assured that I would live until I die.
 

Verdigris Valley Verse
Albert Stroud
(Coffeyville, Kansas: The Journal Press. 1917)
Page 65

 
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June 13, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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