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The Spike [or Victoria University College Review 1961]

On the Prospect of Non-Existence

page 85

On the Prospect of Non-Existence

I have tried to envisage the end of time
When clocks dissolve and poems don't rhyme
An end not hastened by countries' obliteration
And the engulfing dust of atomic radiation
But the aweing impossibility of time's departure
And man's reaction at the earth's crumbling picture,
Then his existence after non-existence until
He crawls up to God and sponges his fill
Swearing that he was against man's final mess
Confidently offering his lying mouth to bless.

Will we pack our bags and instruct our friends
To lock up the house when it all ends?
Perhaps the garden needs a final hose
— And tie the tomatoes in case it blows.
Will we catch the unlimited at ten past timeless?
Aimless and bewildered down tracks that are lineless?
Or perhaps we will non-exist over a cup of tea
Or melt — how could it happen to concrete me?
Like Icarus's disbelievers we go merrily on the way
Till the cancerous unbeing hits us the next day.

I'm sure Father Time tripped over his scythe
And cut off his head thus finishing life,
So in this shut room in the period of nothing
Where air is airless and humans have no stuffing
We will desire the alarm bell of awaking
The metallic sound through sleep loudly breaking
Or foreseeing this unforeseeable decomposition
Like our soul before God's eternal mission
We will live a life both full and giving
And justify our reason for laughing and living.

N. W. Bilbrough