Friday, May 17, 2002

Below is my poem for the week ending 5/19/02. The title, Original Sin, was suggested by Sarah - it is appropriate if a bit more generic than I would like. The original title was going to be Adam's Complaint but, after a quick Google search I learned that Denise Levertov had already penned a poem with that title. Plagiarism is not the issue here as I conceived the title and the poem prior to learning about Ms. Levertov's piece. Still I felt compelled to change the title - despite the fact that anything I have ever written and subsequently stuck a title on likely has any number of identically titled pieces belonging to other authors all over the world and throughout time, all unknown to me.

In any case, as the poem is essentially a dialogue between Adam & Eve, I have left Adam's Complaint in the body of the piece itself to distinguish between the "speaking" parties.

Original Sin

Adam's Complaint:

Wasn't it enough to know
We were who we were?

Unadorned, unashamed,
Ignorant of sin
We walked with Yahweh in a world of green.

It was enough for me, at least,
To feel the sun on my skin
And to see the stars shining in the night sky.

Now I cannot see them burn
Without wondering how
And, worse yet, why.

I choked on the flesh of the fruit you plucked
And am choking still.

How could you make a friend of that worm -
He whom I curse and kill
A thousand times daily?

These garments chafe my skin.
My hands by toil are bruised sore.

Eve's Reply:

The fruit which catches in your throat
Is to me pure delight.
I can yet taste upon my lips
The sweetness of that first bite.

I have not had enough.
I want more.

As for the serpent you so revile,
He is innocent of any crime.

Bless his lost legs,
He was merely in the wrong place
At the wrong time.

Your tender hands, your troubled mind
Are no fault of his or mine.

The garden was a gilded prison,
The fruit in your throat the key -
Swallow it, dear boy,
and know what it means to be free.

Copyright (of course) Richard Cody, 2002