In Paradise

In Paradise

A Poem by Grimy

From the Genesis collection


In Paradise


It must have been a glade, near the middle

of the garden, which would have been walled

like the rose garden at Mottisfont, only bigger

of course, an imagined size, suitable for two people

to wander and sleep in, make love in, food,

water abundant. Yes, a glade with grass underfoot

and, among hazel and elm at the edges, dappled

with sunlight and damp, asphodel, butterflies,

warm tang of earth and maybe hint of a stink

of a passing fox and above, shiver of leaves, hoopoe

distant, repeated, June or July. The tree.


An exotic, they claimed, grown from a nut

though they couldn’t know: speculate crows

swooping in, some mobbing and squabbling

and then there it was, cotyledon, sprout, sapling.

They say it aged quickly, rough bark in a week,

gnarled in a fortnight, it’s form silhouetted

at dusk when the bats came to feed. It reminded

of fig, old Kentish pear stock, banyan and oak

though its scent was a tincture of pine and myrrh,

leaf palmate, tough and obscure, roots

down to Abbadon, we assume. The serpent.


The serpent, not snake in the grass, asp on the breast,

not rearing sea serpent, or coiling slither-slather,

but a noble satan, adversarial, mind of its own,

this tree its home. An aroma of goodness exudes 

from  the bark, flaring its savouring nostrils,

while its ear, concealed by a shell, encounters

the throb and the surge of sap, dark and unholy.

This serpent knows it’s ying from its yang. Both dark

and light reflect from its scales. It’s a monster of course,

but with beauty and form, matt brown to mercury.

It whispers her tongue, a worm in her ear. The woman.


The woman listens, it’s the blood rush,

it’s the shingle suck and hiss, the sound

of time passing. ‘You’ it breathes like a breeze,

‘You. Are.’ Pauses. Repeats. ‘You are Eve.’

Sighs, ‘First of all women.’ She shivers though it’s noon

and the heat building, hears words, has none

yet, is being born, breath and heartbeat

like  gathering summer thunder clouds. 

‘Speak,’ says the serpent, ‘then you will know.’

‘This world is beautiful’ she thinks, mouths

gasps and speaks. ‘It hurts. I live.’ Then the man.



The man needs to know, and the serpent knows this,

will not say for the man cannot see it. He lies down

in the shade, sleeps, stirs with the woman beside him

thigh to his thigh, soft breath on his back. A fruit falls.

A concussion. Birdsong ceases, resumes. It’s the same

as it was but all changed from what might have been.

The serpent withdraws. Watches. ‘Adam’ she mouths

to his neck, ‘I love you and you are my husband. You are.’

He is wordless still, reaches, touches the fruit,

feels it’s peachy down, it’s tenderness, senses a stone

for  his white teeth to break on. Bites. Then God.


God, who is not Deus ex machina, but a machine 

for creation, meaning he creates himself, starting

with time, is pleased, pleasured even. I cannot

say more for the mind of God is a mystery to all

his creatures except for synaptic glimpses. Maybe.

This tree, this wikipedic tree of knowledge, 

good and evil, everything in between, is man’s now,

and so is death, the full stops, sentence ends, extant.

Don’t ask for meaning, but long for love. Eve, Adam,

go to the gate, keep going, don’t look back, smile,

walk round the world till you die. Forget paradise.


And paradise. Yearning and hope. A feeling

more than a place in the past, a future home,

Hesperides on the western horizon, the beyond.

Eden? Time with its flaming sword forbids

re-entry. No, more likely, perhaps, maybe

it is here. In your garden. Tree, serpent, woman,

man, God,  in the cool of the evening, dew,

nightingale, slight rustle of leaves as the serpent 

settles, headsways, whispers, ‘In this moment

we are one. Let it go. Breathe. This is it. In us.

Know once this feeling of heaven. This Kingdom.


© 2021 Grimy

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Added on January 16, 2021
Last Updated on January 16, 2021
Tags: Poem, genesis, Adam, Eve