Chalk and Cheese
When very small
had a special friend
who had a maisonette
inside our T.V. set.
She'd talk to her
hour after hour
in some special lingo
that we didn't understand.
Our son, by contrast,
liked to sit cross-
legged on the floor,
enthralled and speechless,
gazing at the screen,
The News in Welsh -
first Welsh man
in our family.
If Eden was a one-night stand
(as our account would seem
to have it), and supposing
that the story happened in real time
(a season say, no more than that)
and if the ripe fruit (surely
it was ripe!) had not
the time to fall and rot,
if nothing was recycled back to earth,
what happened, do you think,
once Eve and Adam left?
extract from the poem Koi by John Burnside All afternoon we've wandered from the pool to alpine beds and roses ...
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...
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Children are born with personalities intact. We merely guide them. And if you start asking practical questions on the stories from the Bible...we could be here all year.
This American has no idea what a maisonette could possibly be. Good question re. the Garden of Eden, but I agree with Tabor.
Both of these poems have a great sweetness. (Even the Eden one oddly.) I have to say I am drawn more to the one about the children as you so quickly draw such telling portraits of them. Eden--Agh!
I would hope that the seeds would have spread over the world! K.
i think your son is then a news loving man :)
you know...leave a boy and a girl alone long enough, even in innocense and they figure something out you know...smiles...
love that first one dave....kids are awesome...
I think Adam and Eve happened in Dreamtime, so I guess the scene simply changed to the outside world when they left. Kids are so funny. I used to think there were people inside the radio. It may be a girl thing.
I can see your children!
I like the idea of Eden as a one-night stand:-)
Puzzling and powerful both the poems, but the second in particular with its baffling, poignant question at the end.
Kids - chalk and cheese indeed!
Adam and Eve - as a child I hit my parents with the "Where did Cain's wife come from then?" - which they couldn't answer.
Just googled and found this: http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/cains_wife.html
Mmmm - incest?
I love these snippets, Dave. My kids are so different too.
Re: Adam and Eve's one night stand - LOL. I was not there so I wouldn't know. I would hide in case the Bible brigade came round, if I were you;)
The title of this poem itself appealed to me. Great poem.
Could be a fascinating year, though. (I didn't actually intend the questions for children!)
These days, quite a few English people don't know, either. I wrote the poem some time ago, not particularly for the blog.
Thanks for these comments. I'm with you on the last one, though the thought was that Eden didn't survive long enough for that to happen.
Yes, I think that would be fair to say.
Agree with both comments - and how!
I like that. Yes, Adam and Eve definitely happened in dream time. The imaginary friend bit is an imagination thing - though it certainly is more common in girls. I wonder, does that mean their imaginations are different, that they have more imagination, or that they put it to a different use?
Thanks for this. Eden as a one- night stand only came to me in the writing of this poem, but, yes, I have to admit, I rather liked it too!
Thanks Tommaso, for a really satisfying comment.
Ah, I remember asking our vicar about Cain's wife - can't recall where I got it from, don't think I'd worked it out for myself. He was quite offended, I remember. It was in a Sunday School class and he turned very shirty with me.
Thank you very much. Good to hear this.
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