At early dawn, before sunrise
I set out for Reality;
And very much to my surprise
A tour guide waited there for me.
'Ah! Here you are! I see that you’ve arrived;
Welcome to Reality of Trouble and Despise.
There is much that we shall see today
So we must hurry on our way.'
I followed awestruck in his wake
I could not believe my eyes;
So all the vivid stories were fake!
It looked like all had died!
The clouded sky seemed so forlorn,
Yet to become a clear light blue;
The buildings were as if in mourn,
Decrepit and always subdued;
The cold grey stones that paved the road
Were all inlaid in choking dust,
The heavy air that would soon unfold
Seemed smoggy and tainted with rust;
As for people, there were none outside,
At this hour, what would you expect?
I gloomily pondered it and sadly sighed
In stories Reality was always perfect!
As my tour guide wound through the streets
He paused now and then to say:
“This is where the main street ends
And where the shoreline meets the bay.”
I’d never really paid attention
And now I would pay the price;
This was nowhere near perfection
And definitely had no spice!
I tried to flee the horrid scene
But twisting alleys blocked my way;
I desperately wished it were a dream
But it did nothing to save the day;
My guide caught up and gripped my sleeve;
Now surely there was no escape.
With sorrow in heart, a sigh I heaved
How had I gotten into such a scrape?
And here I write my anguished tale
I had rashly sought for easy life;
I never knew how bad I'd fail
Until I finally met strife!
(Inspired by “The Phantom Tollbooth”,12/21/08)