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4 Roads

4 roads (not rivers) surround my garden.
There's no Tree of Life here – certainly not Good
& Evil
. There are no animals except bees
& an occasional fieldmouse.

Obviously not Jehovah - & clearly no other God –
has the slightest wish to walk in it.

It never seems necessary to hide under
or behind a bush, or to discuss matters concerning
ourselves or the garden, or to think of a reply
in an argument or quarrel with him.

There's a rhododendron walk, another
full of magnolias... We have an avenue
of tulip-trees... Scarcely any effort
or digging is required: there are no annuals:
everything's perennial, permanent.

Apples,
pears, plums abound. On a wall of the house
are two peach-trees a grape & a nectarine.

It was Donne
who said ‘In order my own Eden may truly
be considered paradise, I've brought a snake into it.’‡

His mind must certainly have been warped.
He speaks frequently of graves, recollections,
desires & death.

In a methodical garden, brilliantly ordered,
what's the use of devils, discussions, upheavals
- sweat, thistles or tears?

 

†The AV (genesis, chapter 2) says: ‘And a river went out
of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted,
and became into four heads.'

***

‘And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the
garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid
themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the
trees of the garden.’

***

’... in sorrow shalt thou eat of it ... thorns also and
thistles shall it bring forth... In the sweat of thy face
shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground:
for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.’

 

‡ And that this place may thoroughly be thought
True paradise, I have the serpent brought.'
- Twicknam garden.

Note

My garden is formal, simple, well-ordered & full of the best sort of shrubs & trees, but devoid of gods & all but a few select animals - an enclosed & guarded arboretum in fact.

The gods are unhappy. They arrange & expect continual conflict, an unending & confusing choice between right & wrong, poverty & riches, joy & wretchedness. Reasonable or unreasonable the conflict apparently essential.

I realise that with the snake eternally busy, Donne, with his mind unwarped, sees the reality clearly.