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Children of Eden

can’t help wondering

about that sunny place

before apple or snake


a place between rivers

of the past where today

bombs spill their blood

in market places

daily rituals of the East


a place of peace

now paraphrased conjecture

routines chanted in

conflicting accents by men

with beards and prayer shawls

others passing by on donkeys

heads turned, spitting in gutters


and how here in this tiny strip

of earth torn by a jealous

world into fragments where

still some light shines through

host to a thousand dialects

all claiming Eden

as their birthright


how we the dreamers

children of the children’s children

carrying our fruits of banishment

our books of flowers

our science and medicine

baskets of grapes on our shoulders

peace offerings to hostility


while here outside my window

where tractors spray insecticides

on apples from this modern Eden

exports for the unbelievers

there still are those, dreamers

and children who would return


like fools or angels

back to that sunny place

before the apple or the snake

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© Johnmichael Simon



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