O Perfect Day

The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life

We have come a long way from that perfect day when Adam walked with God, yet through his Son we have been given the chance to hopefully one day share in that restoration of perfection

After writing this poem I realised that I had imagined a very ‘English’ paradise and thought about how around the world people will imagine paradise in ways that reflect the paradisiacal elements of their surroundings and cultures. For every swallow you could substitute a humming bird and every willow a mighty cedar. Who knows for sure…we can only imagine and pray that one day all will be revealed.

I

O perfect day,
when Adam walked with God.
A day that broke in an aurora
of dappled golden rays – to light
on boughs fully-laden and bowed
with succulent sweetness of fruits;
a verdant canopy of creation

Riots of seedlings burst out of the soil,
their abundance testimony to the earth’s richness;
watered by a crystal clear stream
that sparkles and flashes as darting fish
glint under the surface as it tumbles
and bounces over moss-covered rocks.

Trailing fingers of cathedral-like willows
dip into the current, feeling its steady pulse,
as it meanders across lush meadows;
slender stems of waist-high grasses quiver
as kaleidoscope butterflies caress them
with shimmering powdered wings.

High above at the heaven’s zenith
a lark sings; unfettered.
While swallows hang motionless
on invisible thermals, now swooping
to skim the water’s glittering surface,
feeding on myriads of gnats
washed down with sips of liquid nectar

Now soaring as droplets fall from their beaks,
to create ripples that spread and lap
against banks of bulrushes whose fluffy,
creamy seeds spill out of velvet tears
and waft ever higher,
caught on the spiralling breeze.

A sudden burst of happy laughter
sends a brace of geese skittering across the lake,
their large wings flapping rhythmically
till they rise clear above the reed beds,
in silhouette against hazy mountains,
still dressed in snowy summer caps

The freshness of the morning
has given way to drowsy stillness.
Shimmering heat dissipated by balmy zephyrs.
Lingering among tall columns of solidago,
the persistent hum of pollen-laden bees
gather the last grains of the daily harvest
before drunkenly taking flight to the hive.

Here Adam waits expectantly for our Lord.
To have watched as they walked side by side,
was to have observed the symmetry
between earth and heaven.
The universality of humankind reflected
in every heartbeat, revealing the image of God;
mirrored in man and woman.
Like brother and sister, like father, like child.

An untarnished, natural form
has no need of clothing;
for there is no shame in nakedness.
Here is freedom and purity of thoughts
where mutual trust is conveyed in glances
that demonstrates love and life as one.
To live is to love; to love is to live.

II

Now waiting within the shade of fruitful trees.
Unheard, a whisper of unease
and imperceptibly lengthening shadows
slither to darken and spread across the ground.
Human ambition overreaches human reason
With consequences that lead out
into the wilderness.

The gates of paradise, now firmly shut –
the key is turned but remains in the lock;
tantalisingly out of humanities reach.
Eden’s life-giving stream bubbles out
among rocks and tumbles carelessly
over burning sands; drawn quickly underground,
to re-emerge in sluggish pools.

Now is it man’s sweat or tears
That fall so freely, to water the ground
and germinate such thorns and thistles
as to choke the good seed?
Withering under the glaring heat
to form dry husks of promised feast;
no thirst is slaked by brackish cups.

Man’s creativity belches leaden steam,
forming vapour clouds of choking sin
that block out the suns radiance.
No glint of silver catches the eye;
instead, fish – their pale bloated bodies
stare unseeing and mingle with the jetsam
gathering in swells against the walls.

Everything is smeared with greed;
each advancement besmirches further
the innocence of God’s creation.
Here the fittest may survive on pinnacles,
but even the dregs of evolution endure
and multiply haphazardly in their struggle.
Sin has mutated the human gene;

Like a carcinogenic virus, its stained hands
pass it on to each new generation
till it is so far removed from the original design
that the draughtsman barely recognises his work.
All is corruption and decay till
one man’s blood soaks into the groaning earth.

III

New hope arises from the shadow of the tree,
each drop of blood dissolves globules of iniquity;
dispersing the iridescent sheen to the outer margins,
where incandescent fire consumes and purifies.
A revelation emerging out of a blinding light
that sears the eyes, a perfect vision of a city
unmarred by pain and tears.

The gates are flung open wide
to receive the stream of life-giving water,
that sparkles like rare jewels catching
and reflecting the inextinguishable light
The oft imagined Elysian Fields
now wait expectantly to receive
the souls of earthly saints

Here is no restoration, instead a new creation;
a pristine paradise, unsoiled, untainted,
glorious in its abundance of energy and life.
Enthroned in splendour and triune harmony.
O Perfect Day,
When Adam walks once more with God.

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