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Moment


“Seriousness, young man, is an accident of time. It consists, I don’t mind telling you in confidence, in putting too high a value on time... In eternity, however, there is no time, you see. Eternity is a mere moment, just long enough for a joke.”
 - Hermann Hesse, “The Steppenwolf”

I dreamt of Goethe. The poet
Said to me before I awoke,
“Eternity is but a mere moment,
Just long enough for a joke.”

Ages passed, the Greeks and the Romans,
Are all but a painter’s stroke.
Eternity is but a mere moment,
Just long enough for a joke.

I pondered, sipping my coffee
And inhaling cigarette smoke,
“Eternity is but a mere moment,
Just long enough for a joke.”

I met you, ambling homeward,
And whispered to you as we walked,
“Our love is merely a moment,
Just long enough for a joke.”

Startled, you responded with laughter,
And surprised by the mirth I provoked,
I repeated once more, “Hereafter’s
Just long enough for a joke.”

Smile, you're caught in the moment,
Don’t fall prey to the endless chase,
Time will pass, but you are immobile,
Frozen still in my gaze.

Time will pass, but we are immortal.
Death, itself, is a fool in a cloak.
Stay with me for merely a moment,
Just long enough for a joke.