What if the cycles of Nature stopped?
What if the seasonal wheel froze up
And it was always the first day of school
And you had to write a perpetual essay,
“What I Did on My Summer Vacation?”
And you were stuck with the gritty task
Of finding words to describe your disappointment
That it was forever over and that you hadn’t made
Good use of it, hadn’t done nearly enough?
What if the hands of the clock stopped
And it was always the same time of day,
And it was the very second the alarm goes off?
Or, it was the moment just before when you’re only
Half asleep and it’s so nice to just lie there,
Or even Saturday morning with nothing you have to do?
How long before it became a waste of time,
And you wanted to do something, anything else?
What if the calendar wouldn’t turn, and you knew
There were five minutes left on the day you would die,
Hour after hour, day after day, year after year
Wondering endlessly what comes next?
What if, unlike Sisyphus, you were poised at the top
Of the mountain surveying all there was to experience
But unable to move, king of the castle always,
But unable to leave your Midas mountain?
What if when you die there is a Heaven, and everything
And everyone is good every minute, every day,
No problems, no conflict, no contrast, nothing to fix or improve,
A mountain of jade, a kingdom of cloy?
Or what if there is a Hell, a pit of despair,
A den of disappointment, a bordello of bore,
Nothing ever any better, nothing ever any worse.
Either way, it would be billions and billions of years
Before the universe imploded and you finally
Achieved the relief of nothingness.
Give me, instead, dust to dust,
And let the recycling begin.