Effort/exertion/energy adds up to zero. What is the point of effort when the results mean nothing? When the exertion creates a travel that is stationary or returns you to the same point - what is the point? Energy like a flame is useless, unless wanted, or appreciated, otherwise it is pointless.
The format of this poem is pleasing. It allows the reader to digest and reflect. Using the same 'owes' in each rhyme works well too. My Favourite couplet:
"Pop the hood to see why there's smoke
billowing out of my pinto"
This made me smile. I've never owned one, but the imagery was affective.