vrijdag, juni 20, 2003

The Seven Wonders Of The World

"Although prepared for martyrdom,
I preferred that it be postponed."

-- Sir Winston Churchill

I wonder what clothes to wear.
Prison sentences and summary executions
are in style this year,
but it's nothing to wear
to a wedding or coronation,
whose dividends and pursed lips make the pages
of the newspaper society regales itself within
when they moan that rags are the riches.

I wonder what the weather will be like
when I die. Snakes, vultures,
and locusts are in great supply,
crowding out the sun and rain with
occasional blustery winds, they prey
on me and my wheelbarrow of sins.

I wonder if I've updated my address book;
the deals that were struck by a stroke of luck,
the girls and gargoyles and guttermouth'd cadres
of dates and missed appointments,
flummoxed opportunities and secretaries.

I wonder what the atmosphere will bring.
Sure, the dying breeds will rattle them off:
nitrogen, oxygen, a mixture of argon,
carbon dioxide, and tiny amounts
of neon, helium, krypton, and xenon.
But I want to know how many piercings
to puncture the sliver of the exosphere?

I wonder who is starving at this very moment
as I'm emptying remains into a trash bin,
flesh hangs like draperies on bones,
a vow of silence and a ban on moans,
dropping appelpannekoeken and scones
dripping with jam
into well-intentioned garbage cans.

I wonder how many more atoms I need
before I finish my Eve,
how many neutrons and protons left
to splash upon the canvas
and how many electrons to attract
her, before I really matter.

I wonder how to pack for the afterlife,
what possessions I can do without
when the soul decides to wither out.
And once I’ve lost the torpid mascot
to the fickle cells of souls
the infamy of ending
will finally shed its hollow foil.

Jaap Stijl

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