There may have been many gardens in Eden.
We only hear a small part of the whole story
because word of mouth is unreliable.
There might have been one particular garden
where the people fed an apple to a snake.
In humble gratitude, the snake smiled
and entered into them in a subtle fashion.
The simple snake became a serpent,
became an elevator to Narayana,
became an angel-flavored balloon,
ascended high to the seventh plateau,
became a colorful murti of indescribability,
became a falling star, which eventually fell here.
Here became a forest, so we wandered gladly
into that forest, we paused on the very cusp
of a rapture, we intuited a holy moment,
we elevated our serpents to wave at the sky,
the sky went on for miles with our happiness.
Birds suddenly appeared to confirm a new day,
night followed day, and then again, and the Lord
said something so profound, something which, if heard,
would change everything, but there was nobody there,
no serpent, no bird, no Lord, and that made it so bright
that we could not bear such light, and now we had to
get ourselves back to the garden, and this was only
one of them, and there are more, and so it is.
There was another garden, a relatively strategic place
in the scheme of Eden, where the light came upon us,
and we were the light, and we illumined our mind,
then mind made a form, and the form was a snake,
but the snake was shy, so became a tree, and we
climbed the tree, and became a sturdy branch,
and we were many, and we were one, so we
sprouted leaves, and leaves became wings,
and with our wings we leapt from the tree
and followed the signs to the other world.
When we arrived we were all waiting there,
so we welcomed ourselves to the great banquet
where the knowledge of good and evil was served,
and we felt so emboldened that we used the first word.
Everyone stared, it had never been heard —
a winged talking serpent that said such a thing —
then the Lord cast us down, we fell through the skies,
but we created vast new star systems as we flew by.
When we alighted we gathered our stones,
and after some time our stones became notes,
then our notes became one of the many stories
the bibles left out, but now that you know,
you can’t ever un-know, and there’s
more to tell, for another day.
In another grand garden in greater Eden
there was a dark lake, and in the middle
of the lake there was an island, and on it
there was a small house which overlooked
the lake’s dark waters, and in that cottage
there lived an old snake who was fond
of the apples that fell from the trees
that dotted the island with ruby-red
fruits old snakes liked to eat.
When the multi-colored rain clouds burst
we poured ourselves merrily down to that lake
in a way that would gladden the heart of a snake.
We became smiling fish who swam all around,
and many years passed, and good years too, because
we were in Eden, after all, and then it so happened
we heard a great shout, and we rose to the surface
to see what that was about, and there on the shore
as plain as day stood an apple-faced serpent
amusing himself as he sang away.
When he saw us he beckoned us up to his place,
and we being innocents swam to the beach, then grew
two legs and two feet each so we could stand up
and be counted — it only seemed fair.
We became a woman, and became a man. Naked we were,
just as if we were born into this wild world once more,
and we learned to walk, and we learned how to sing,
and we ate many apples, and the curious thing
was the sweet apple music the old snake
played, and we spent many nights swinging
out under that moon, singing apple songs like
the good old days, and one by one the children
arrived, and from apple seeds more apple trees grew,
and the Lord came for the apples — he liked them too!
When there were too many of us for the island to bear,
we went back to the lake and were happy there.
We told our descendants about apples and snakes,
but as word of mouth was passed on down,
the story was changed from a smile,
alas, to a frown.