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The Curious Pessimist

The Curious Pessimist

A Poem by D Alan Johnstone

I looked at this star on the horizon

and wondered 

beyond this membrane, 

what is this light 

that captures me here, in this moment?

When did it ignite

 and how long did it take 

to arrive at my eye?

Is it a planet? 

Maybe inhabited 

by humanoids …or crickets.

Can it be dead,

and my eye is one-thousand light years behind?

Only to be dust 

when the darkness arrives.

The earth shorn clear of life

by that time, I’m sure.

Ravaged by the cancer that is mankind.


As I pondered on,

I took a bite of my sandwich.

It wasn't good.


The star didn’t care.


© 2017 D Alan Johnstone



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Um... wow, once again I am kind of left speechless with my mouth hanging open over your words.. At first the title grabbed me because I can be an intellectual cynic at times.. but it is our curiosity that makes us ponder the mysteries of the universe... I love how you go into detail on that pondering.. the magnificence of the star and its possible origins and creation.

"Only to be dust when the darkness arrives" there is so much to be said on this one line.. it's as if the very reason the star exists (to burn with light) is stomped out by darkness (its home).. and there's also a humbling loneliness in the possibility that this star that once shone brightly is just a disappointing array of dust within its purpose... and then back to you eating the dismal sandwich, with the notion of the indifference of this glorious light burning for us to see but not caring of the creatures here to admire it.. I loved the beautiful and mysterious picture that you painted with your words.. and the profound undertones there to be found.. Brilliant as ever always!

Posted 6 Months Ago


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Wow! The last line, a jolt back to reality! Clever title, and went so deep you almost lost me. Then, wham! Back to reality. This is a powerful piece and does make us think and realize not only our ignorance but our relative insignificance on this planet. Nice work.

Posted 8 Months Ago


D Alan Johnstone

8 Months Ago

Matthew Caws wrote, "The stars are indifferent to astronomy, and all we think we know".
I ha.. read more

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Added on December 13, 2017
Last Updated on December 13, 2017