Ballade of the Botanist

And a river went out of the place of pleasure to water paradise. – Genesis 2:10

Adam…could not have inferred from the fluidity and transparency of water
that it would suffocate him…. – Hume.

A wilted botany’s the theme of themes–
As petals come to thorns, and bliss, regret –
The fleeing foot found Heraclitian streams
In Eden’s river, but our seeded rot
Despoiled its promised acres – this, despite
A course of graces flowing to present
Our arid minds a thought to irrigate:
We walked in gardens once – and that’s the point.

Perhaps the view at large accords with Hume’s –
No seed effects its fruit except to set
Starvation’s stage – the blossoming of dooms
Which man must brave alone, an oak offset
Against a desert land no rain can wet
And only slick sidewinders’ tongues anoint
While whispering mankind’s weed-choked kismet:
“You walked in gardens once – isn’t that the point?”

But bury deep such philosophic dreams
And keep in mind that we were once well met
By sacred nomenclature’s nobler blooms –
Salvation’s scent replaced by Adam’s sweat
And thorns supplanting beauty’s own rosette –
We bled the color out of Eden, bent
Its stems and broke its limbs – and all for what?
We walked in gardens once. Is that the point?

O prince of patch and plot, who can delete
The damage done? But whatever we can’t
Repair, your greener thumbs let cultivate.
You walked in gardens once – and that’s the point.


  1. Jonathan Webb says

    Theme of themes to be sure. Life, what a concept.

Speak Your Mind