Tag Archives: Adam

Paradise Lost

The first week,

a new world.

The song of flight:

music of life anew.

 

I worked with clay,

but only then.

Critters crawled,

humans walked.

 

They called me a god,

made my name sacred,

put my words in stone.

 

How could they say

my deeds were godly

when my mercy was a fallacy?

 

Blood spilled,

raped in my name.

Family feuds.

War’s unholy cry.

 

Who am I

to claim the skies,

own the seas?

 

Depravity, jealousy…

I have made them

after my own image,

in my own likeness.

 

My history is murky,

my words ambiguous,

used as swords.

 

I carry on.

My command, your sin.

 

And so, I long

for those first days.

For paradise.

Eve’s choice

Sunlight dances on the horizon, outlining the edges of the world in gold. As Eve wakes she feels its warmth on her skin and she smiles. Adam is still sleeping, he won’t be up for hours yet so she is careful as she slips out of their bed. As she walks to the top of the mountain the wind whispers in her ears, telling her secrets from elsewhere, promises of change and freedom. The view from the top of the cliff spans the world, she can see forests, rivers, marshes, plains, all the way down to the sea. Pieces of cloud drift in and out of her vision, obscuring parts of her view, making her think of breath misting on the air in the winter, or smoke rising from a bonfire in the evening. Above her perch, a pair of birds bank on the wind. Eagles, or falcons, or hawks, impossible to tell from this distance. What do they see, from their place in the sky? Perhaps they see even further than she does, beyond the oceans that border her vision, to lands no-one can dream of. She loves this place, her home, but it isn’t enough. It’s a cage made of sunlight and green leaves and she wants out. Adam doesn’t understand, he believes this place is paradise, and perhaps it is, but still she wants more, or maybe just something, anything, different. There is a choice to be made, if she chooses knowledge, self-awareness, freedom, so much will be lost, but if she chooses obedience, ignorance, she will live forever in this beautiful cage. This choice falls to her, not Adam, and though she knows one day he will hate her for it, it will still be worth it. She will free them both, whatever the consequences may be.

Days later, Eve knows she made the right choice. They have been cast out, as she knew they would be, and while they may now face hardship they have never known, they are free. Adam is angry, and afraid, he had been content in the garden, or so he believes. He is angry and afraid, and refuses to admit, that he needed freedom as much as she did. He will forgive her eventually. Until then they walk in stubborn silence, chasing the horizon. The guard on the gate watches them go, his gaze burning holes in their backs. Occasionally Adam turns, to see what they have lost, to see the flaming wings and sword of the guard put in place to keep them away. It upsets him but he can’t help himself. Peace and contentment is all he has ever known, and now it is gone. Eve doesn’t look around once, she already knows what lies behind. Instead she keeps her eyes fixed firmly ahead, seeing the shape of the future in the ever changing landscape and the cloudbanks high above her. She does not regret her decision.

She sees flashes, images, feelings, of how things will be, of possibilities. She knows that her choice will cause pain and loss beyond measure. That future generations will suffer and toil and struggle because of her decision. But she also knows that they will achieve incredible things, that they will touch heaven, and dance on the edge of the world. That they will redefine reality, not once, not twice but a million times. That in the end they will do things that the gardener never even dreamed of, because they are free to dream the impossible, and then try to make it happen. Eve sees flashes of things to come, and she knows that freedom is worth the price.

As their journey continues Eve turns her thoughts away from the future. The sky is growing dark with storm clouds, and as the sky opens and the thunder echoes across the heavens, she laughs in joy at the excitement, the power of it. It is her first thunderstorm. The rain comes down heavy and cold, it turns her hair dark and straight and plasters it to her back. It runs down her face, fresh and clean, as only the rain in a new world can be, and for the first time since they were cast out, Adam smiles at her. Later as they take shelter in a cave, they will hold each other tight, and look forward together.

The Garden of Her Absence

 

The Archangel Michael lays down his fiery sword.

He rests beside the Gate, chin cradled

on slender fingers, eyes black with pity.

Go on, he nods, then churns the pale air,

monstrous ivory wings pulling skyward

and away, his eternal station moot

before my solitary return.  Then I

pass through, entering the garden of her absence.

 

This is the realm between Lillith and Eve, between

Eve and the one who must follow – Not even

God has shown His face here since the Fall.

Whoever thought I’d be back – complaining again

about a woman?  You really blew it

this time, I’d like to say, and not

hear the Old Man’s niggling, It was

your rib, as I recall.  You taught

 

Her everything she knows – As if

that explained something – As if

having shared so intimate a bonding

made clear betrayals, justified her storms

of leavings, lies, of crying outs old Moses

will never bother to record.  As if

Know Thyself were not three thousand years

from being spoken, let alone observed.

 

It’s autumn in the garden of her absence.

The Tree of Knowledge, Good and Evil, weeps

blood that swirls around me like a whisper

of her name.  Those Pagans no one mentions

kindly in these times are pounding drums

across the Outer Darkness, leaping fires,

calling up ghosts.  I sense her touch

upon my shoulder, turn, find only God,

 

His countenance more hot than shining.  Here

I am, home again, alone again,

pockets empty, hands out to Daddy.

Where’s your friend?  As if He hadn’t seen it

written in the dust He gave His breath

in molding me, predicted in the bones

He rolled to bring her forth – our bitterness

like apples out of season falling not

 

So far from Abba’s tree.  One has to wonder

a triune God, three faces wholly male –

What ghostly woman stirs His hand?  What memory

long denied seeps cold into the clay

of His every creation?  Love, then loss,

then loneliness, repeating like a song –

What Goddess’ voice enchants Him from Her distance,

rebounding like an echo to His sons?

 

The Tree of Life sighs weary of its burden.

From Gate to wall, this orchard of neglect

groans beneath the weight of fruit gone ripe

to bursting on the branch, the season turning

its clock behind His back. I sense her hiding,

I answer, finally, there beyond the sun,

behind the trees, beneath the grass Perhaps

there in your robes…  The old magician turns,

 

Plucks from my side a rabbit, golden coins

rain from my ears, an endless stream of scarves

flow from my sleeves, lifted by twin doves

who once had been mere buttons.  I would like

to be impressed, as I was in my youth,

by tricks whose secrets I once hoped to guess,

when innocence was newly lost, and trembling

rage and flaming swords left their mark

 

On memory, those days when she was all

the miracle I needed to believe

in every gaff and sleight, in every card

He guessed, to let Him think He got it right,

when gratitude came easy, and her face

made casting out a trivial affair,

when all the God-forsaken world was ours

to shape as children sculpt the night in dreams;

 

But tricks lead like a circle to this garden.

God’s sweating as He shovels from the earth

a woman’s shape.  His beaded brow inspires

in me only grief.  For all His showman’s

dazzle, huffing this one into life,

all I see, with each turn of the trowel:

the vacant grave emerging in its wake.

Should I spurn this golem, would His heart

 

Follow my descent into that dark

tomb, her name a torch upon my tongue?

Or if I lay my earthen body heavy

atop the mound He’s building, beg the rains

to wash this repetition back to mud –

will His throat take up the prayer I’m singing

for Him, for me, to some more ancient God

of Harvest to reclaim this land, some Goddess,

 

Circling in the ever-faithful moon,

to touch us both as hidden streams of water

secretly feed deserts?  Somewhere blooming

beyond this fallen landscape there must lie

a garden of Her presence, golden apples,

pregnant with the promises of youth,

crowning loyal fingertips, still raising

Her shameless question to our wounded mouths.