…and here is the second for Donna’s prompt. I’m sure somebody has written an Eden story from the point of view of the tree before, but I tried to be a bit lush without saying outright the theme of the fable. And my own thoughts are this: the loss of Eden is not necessarily the loss of immortality and bliss, but the loss of knowing the value of the good and the bad. Eden, paradise, whatever you want to call it: there is a constant pull towards the brighter, the better, the juicier, etc., without an appreciation of the things that counterbalance them. (It’s kind of a Taoist approach, I’ll grant you.) Remember the Snapple cap: “If every day was a good day, there’d be no good days.”
(The “creaks” near the end was a typo for “breaks”, but I actually like it much better: the heart strains under a great weight, threatening – but not quite – to break.)
Side note: I’m still taking names for the new prompt series starting this weekend. I think I saw that a couple people have already commented on Sunday’s post with offers to have me pick apart their poems, so at least there will be one customer. Anyone else want to put their work in?
Now only the immortal orioles and painted bramblings
tug loose my tapestry, and the fruit falls to the ground,
naked and quick to rot. Bee-eaters put on their green
cloaks and sing my name. But no one is here to stand
two-handed in the pools and trail the flowering rushes.
And no one will climb me for the sake of garlands,
or to rip loose the canopied sky. Snakes coil humbly
around my roots, gnawing slowly at the earth. They
do not bite. In the summer, kingfishers ride the shamal
bearing rain where no rain will fall, a hundred minnows
the instruments of their symphony. But no one is here
remarking on the sorrow of death for the sake of beauty,
or the sleep of storms, balanced against the desert
with all its blessed agony. What is the greatest sin?
Not a thousand pearls of dawn or a devouring night,
but the infinity between and how it is given gravity
towards one or the other. And it creaks the heart with
its everything-at-once; and slowly my fruit goes to waste.