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Godless Fruit

by Jojovits1 

Posted: 28 June 2018
Word Count: 69
Summary: For last week's Flash. Thought I'd pop it on here :-)

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It doesn’t look like much.
A red, round thing.
Waxy in my palm.
Smelling of nothing.
Promising all.
He said not to, I know.
The other one
said it was truth.  
Power in edible form.
If only we dare
to be as gods.
Your face shadows
as I rip it
from the branch.
Ah, my love.
Always so good.
It tastes of grief
and honey.
Take it.

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Comments by other Members

joanie at 12:09 on 30 June 2018  Report this post
Hi Jo.  Pleased to 'meet' you!

This is very sensual and seductive, I think.  You have successfully used the biblical account to write a poem which easily stands without any reference to it.  The first line, together with the last two short ones, is very matter-of-fact, but the inside of the apple, as it were, is full of richness!

I do like the spacing and the line breaks.

I enjoyed reading!  Thanks


Bazz at 19:49 on 01 July 2018  Report this post
equally subtle and striking, jo, love that quiet sombre ending, power that tastes of "grief and honey..."

Mickey at 08:37 on 03 July 2018  Report this post
COR!  (sorry, I couldn't resist that)  This is terrific Jo

Jojovits1 at 16:32 on 03 July 2018  Report this post
Thanks guys.  Nice one Mickey! laugh

James Graham at 20:15 on 04 July 2018  Report this post
Sorry, Jo-Ann, you posted this a week ago and I didn't see it until today. Sometimes a new poem appears down the 'Work Uploaded' list instead of at the top. I agree with the praise you've had so far, but will say a bit more very soon - avoiding puns about the core idea etc.


Jojovits1 at 20:29 on 04 July 2018  Report this post
Hi James!  Don't fret, only posted it to the Poetry Group tonight.  It's been a wee while, I may have done it wrong laugh.

James Graham at 21:27 on 04 July 2018  Report this post
It's all clear to me now! The date at the top is the date you posted in Flash. Not important - it's the poem that matters!


poemsgalore at 13:00 on 05 July 2018  Report this post

I can only make one comment,  STUNNING  kiss

James Graham at 21:09 on 05 July 2018  Report this post
Hi Jo-Ann – The main reason I like this poem so much is that it’s the voice of Eve, and she comes across as loving, intelligent and imaginative (‘It tastes of grief/ and honey’). I absolutely sympathise with her in all she says and does.
I need to share with you a little personal background. I still recall from childhood hearing the Eden story read, and preached about, in the evangelical church to which my parents belonged. I was disturbed by it even then: God seemed simply a bad man who played a dirty trick on Eve and Adam. I agonised about it because it seemed so unfair, yet we were supposed to believe that God was good and loving. What I was being taught contradicted my honest feelings about it.
I will cut this long story short by saying that in later years I was grateful to the evangelicals for turning me into a humanist. The other element in that deconversion was Hell,which the preachers used to describe lovingly and in detail – that lake of fire in which you were doomed to thrash about in agony and be prodded by Satan’s devil-warders with their three-pronged forks. It frightened me as a child, but later I just thought it was a piece of nonsense and the product of a sick mind.
I suppose my view of the Eden story hasn’t much changed, just matured. The part of it that most repels me now is where God says to Eve, ‘I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children.’ (My italics.) It’s unspeakably cruel and hateful. Finally God tells Eve she will be subordinate to her husband and must obey him. For me the Eden story is one of the most odious ever told. It’s morally repugnant and should not be taught to children.
There! I managed that without running to three thousand words. This is supposed to be a comment on your poem, but having that history of (less and less frequent) contemplation of the Eden story means I appreciate your poem even more. Eve comes across to me not as a wicked, disobedient woman but as an intelligent, independent woman with aspirations. She seems to weigh the opposing meanings of the fruit – God’s and that of ‘the other one’ – and decide (rightly) in favour of beginning a quest for truth, discovery, ‘knowledge of good and evil’, i.e. a moral sense and a value system. She is courageous, a dissident who defies the edicts of a dictator.
For all sorts of reasons I found myself wanting one change. I want it to be
If only we dare
to be human.
If they ‘dare to be as gods’, to be like the god they know, they would become cruel, spiteful and intransigeant. Better to become more human than they have so far been allowed to be.
I’m not sure about your title, but can’t think of an alternative and will have to think about it. Thank you for this poem – this portrait of an admirable woman.

Jojovits1 at 22:06 on 05 July 2018  Report this post
Thank you so much, Kathleen :-)!

Jojovits1 at 22:34 on 05 July 2018  Report this post
James, as always, I am humbled and a little astounded at the time you give to everyone in your critiques.  I personally always really appreciate it.

I completely agree on the story of Adam and Eve (always preferred Lilith to be honest).  I struggled as a kid with the thought of a God who would dangle that apple like the biggest "wet paint" sign ever.  Of course you'd have to test it.  

I never thought it was it was fair that Eve copped the brunt of it and Adam always came across as a bit of a chinless wonder.  God stitched them up and I never could understand why.  Of course, when I was older I realised that the Old Testament was a tool for control and obedience and we'd be better off with Hans Christian Andersen (in my opinion).

The reason I chose if only we dare to be as gods is because I read (Wikipedia, not the bible laugh that Eve was promised by the serpent that by eating of the Tree of Knowledge, she and Adam would know about good and evil and therefore be like Gods.  I do however, really like your take on it.  Being human is making mistakes, taking risks, giving in to temptation and dealing with the consequences.

As for the title, I shall also have a think.  It was for flash and I just wanted to get something in which gave a clue to the subject.  It should be more of an ode to Eve I think. smiley


James Graham at 19:35 on 07 July 2018  Report this post
I prefer the Lilith story too, certainly the version in which Adam tries to make her fetch and carry for him and be his servant, and she will have none of it, leaves him and escapes from Eden. God sends a couple of angel-enforcers to order her back, but she refuses, so God creates Eve as a second wife for Adam. Adam then literally ‘demonises’ Lilith, slandering her as a monster who steals babies and kills them. In reality she’s simply a woman who insists on equality and refuses to be subordinate to men. You may know this modern retelling by Judith Plaskow in the Jewish Women’s Archive:
If you don’t already know it, it’s worth a look. (It's annoying that you can't create links in comments. You would have to copy and paste this.)
Jo-Ann, you seem to be a lot more laid back than I am about this Eden story. Looking at my previous comment about this ‘odious’ tale, it’s pretty strong stuff. It harks back to a time years ago when I got very angry about some of the things I had been taught from childhood. Nowadays, even though the Lilith story is much more appealing, I prefer to think of the Neolithic folks round the camp fire sharing their supper and telling stories – even if the men were already trying to boss the women.
In your poem, Eve isn’t a Lilith – but she’s making a statement nevertheless.

Mickey at 13:18 on 10 July 2018  Report this post
Just to lighten this thread up a bit
The Eden Project
Adam and Eve in
the Garden of Eden
were weeding and seeding
when Eve said “I’m leaving”
“Madam”, said Adam,
“the time is a bad ‘un
for leaving the weeding
and seeding to me.
Eden needs weeding
so, don’t leave – I’m pleading”
but Eve said “The reason
I’m leaving you see,
Is the fruit is so pleasing
this time of the season,
so Eden I’m leaving
to eat from the tree”
“Sod off then” said Adam,
and carried on digging.

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