in a parallel existence
He'd made the man from a billycan
and the woman out of glass?
And if they were not perfect,
at least we must suppose
they were good enough to pass...
and they loved each other - 'course they did:
she loved the tin of his manly skin
and he her pert little arse.
And the Lord gave them a garden
of flowers, birds and trees
and told them to wander at will, enjoy -
and please to do as they pleased...
with the strictest of strictures each:
for she was told to remember her bum
and keep away from the mid-day sun.
It was thunderstorms for him to avoid
with his head high over the trees.
I've made you tall, the Almighty said.
Keep away from the lightning please.
But you know how it works:
she dozed in the sun
and her bottom focussed its rays,
and the garden went up in a mass of flames
that burnt for a thousand days.
Later on, when the man was walking tall -
fulfilling the ancient prophecy,
and winding up the fall -
he would get in the way of a thunder bolt,
that wouldn't kill him, but give him a jolt -
though he'd not be the same after that,
and it must have destroyed in his DNA
the genes that should point up the moral way,
for we all now share in his pain.
It's long been my thought that the fall
in the way that it happened on earth
had nothing to do with enlightenment -
whether gleaned from an apple or not -
but more to do with keeping the law
and Who the hell is running the show?
so I set it apart in this parallel world
to work itself out afresh,
and here you have it, for what it's worth,
like a Guy Fawkes night in Marrakesh.
The moon petals the sea. Rose petals the sea. Stone sea. Stone petals. Rose petals of stone. Stone rising before me. Sea moves. How moves...
It all depends, you see, how you go about it. And that I cannot tell you, for that will be dictated by you and by you knowing your friends...
extract from the poem Koi by John Burnside All afternoon we've wandered from the pool to alpine beds and roses ...
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