Feel Better

The Warehouse by Mark Waldron

This poem by Mark Waldron is a favourite of mine for capturing the almost-impossible-to-describe state of mind which we sometimes refer to as anxiety.


This is not a false alarm. This is not a drill.
This is an emergency. It’s not just about an emergency.
It’s not just on the subject of an emergency,
it doesn’t merely refer to some emergency
that’s taking place elsewhere. Neither is it
a metaphor for an emergency, or an exclamation
drawing attention to an emergency.
It is actually the emergency, and it requires attention.
It’s not so much like a fire in a warehouse
where paper is stored, ordered by colour and weight
and finish and size, ordered by shape and age;
it’s more like a fire in a warehouse built for the storage of fire.
The fire can make nothing of its heat inside its burning home.


This poem can be found in Mark’s wonderful book The Itchy Sea (2011).