“A Kiss on the Lips,” “The Wolf on the Fold” and “Make Eve the Apple”

Issue 46 by Jack Harvey

“A Kiss on the Lips,” “The Wolf on the Fold” and “Make Eve the Apple”

A Kiss On the Lips

A kiss on the lips,

my lover,

is all I wanted,

when the lights

got low and

time got short;

a kiss on the lips,

my lover,

is all it took;

tremulous and abrupt,

one brief touch

though we knew

it meant everything.

A kiss on the lips,

our beginning passionate undertaking,

our ultimate conjugation

false to the core, mere mortal heat,

yet we kept at it,

searching for openings, stabbing

beneath the frailty of flesh,

stumbling on the path

leading to something

that would last

and away from everything

that seemed dead, seeking

our heart's ease, our salvation

ours and ours alone;

in the end,

did we find it?

The sudden splendor of discovery

of that strong heart beating

at the center of the world

and not our hearts only.

The gods see all,

sitting easy, colossal,

on their soft couches

high above the clouds

and we hunker down here

below and hope

for benisons that never come;

in their all-seeing eyes,

big and bright

as sky-scraping searchlights,

we are rank mites, ants, bugs,

picayune colonists stirring

in the undergrowth,

minutely moving

in the disorder of things;

nothing at all to them,

insignificant, an illusion

in their immortal vision

or a deliberate inclusion,

a diversion on a lazy afternoon

in the empyrean.

We know nothing of that.

We are creatures

of the earth, tied down

to its terrain, hills and dales,

mountains and valleys,

the lakes, the rivers, the watery wastes

covering its unblinking orb,

but even at the bottom

of a well the frogs see

the same blue sky we do,

see from their holes in the ground

for a long moment or two

the passing sun's bright rays

lawn mowing through the day,

which is our day too.

There's life all the way through

this daisy of a world

up, down and all around,

vital, striving and binding us all

and a kiss on the lips, my lover,

endorses more than us;

refresh yourself at this sealing

of us and remember

no matter how hard we try

to separate and sanctify

our sacrifice and love,

building a fortress for two,

no matter what we do,

we are never alone,

never on the outside

in this design of life,

in this world of forms

forever intertwined.

The Wolf on the Fold

One sunny afternoon,

those poor black souls

say, oh shoot, and burn

Goldberg's emporium

to the ground,

barren ground now,

on which a few

sometime embers smolder,

over which a few old crones

on a sunny day

pick among the remains.

The light that falls on them,

on all of it, this shoddy urban burn-out,

is the light that fell on

Sinai, Ararat, Zion,

Cairo, Mecca, Aksum,

the wells, the hills, the desert,

on those chosen ones

and their chosen enemies,

cut from the same cloth,

who roamed in the waste;

those long shadows moving

on the ground, on the walls,

painting the land red with blood,

belong to those who

darken the same old story.

We will see this destruction

again and again, the sun's eye

picking it out, brightening it,

the settlers hardly surviving,

the arrogant riders

coming over the plains

some quiet afternoon,

bent to the same task,

wiping it all out anew,

this futile disputed ground

over which many and then

few come and go.

Make Eve the Apple

Make Eve the apple;

don't need the snake,

the Prince of Darkness

on location

in the garden of Eden,

his wily persuasion

reeking of sour error

in the midst of

the flowery abundance

of this made-to-order paradise.

Make Eve the apple;

what better metaphor

for the base of knowledge

than Eve's solid backside,

Johnsonian bottom

of good sense.

Eve the apple,

subject and object

beyond some formal

role of human and fabled

female weakness.

Do away with it;

simplify;

let Eve be

blossom and fruit,

created out of the logos

like everything else

in this force-fed abode,

like the new-grown grass,

like lonely Adam

walking and looking,

like the birds and the bees,

but let her be more than

an ornament in this garden

sown by the hand of God.

No need to conjure up

an adversary, a rival power

to thwart the Creator's

desire to leave

Adam and Eve

well enough alone,

not bent to His purpose,

living on and on,

witless and happy;

an immortal race

indentured to his will

was never His intent.

No time like the present,

predestined and determinate,

a mayfly day that lasts forever

and that this idea

was too selfish

for this ravenous burgeoning world,

immortality better reserved

for the Godhead

was a fact God knew,

knowing all, foreseeing all

when he planted

two sacred trees

and turned His eye

on lonely Adam

already asking

and from his rib

made Eve, a helpmate

to bring no disaster

but an awakening,

a change from spotless

timeless dull existence.

The divine tree of knowledge

set like a spider in

this hothouse conservatory,

its web immense unseen

in its trembling splendor;

caught and held already

by her own desire,

did Eve even hesitate

before tasting this fruit?

Knowingly forgoing

the boredom, the perfection,

the tedious forever

of that set-about sanctuary?

They ate of the tree

and learned knowing

and face to face,

intimate part by part

knew each other.

On with the fig leaves

and out they go,

looking back

to the setting sun

and the angel's sword blade

every which way a lighthouse

turning sharp warning light.

Out they went

and soon found

Lady Husbandry's

a cold hard mistress;

days of sweat,

day after day

paying off the old score.

So make Eve the apple

do away with the need to know,

do away with knowledge itself,

the unnecessary snake

to dance attendance

and display his wasted skill;

when Eve came

and came again

in sweet congress,

the tree of life,

the easy careless paradise

were lost forever;

Eve alone carried the seed

and the burden of

God's creation;

always, always to be

the apple of His eye,

the brave masterpiece,

the ever unfolding sequence

of His eternal beginning.

About the Author

Jack Harvey

Jack D. Harvey’s poetry has appeared in Scrivener, The Comstock Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, The Write Launch, Typishly Literary Magazine, The Antioch Review, The Piedmont Poetry Journal and elsewhere. The author has been a Pushcart nominee and over the years has been published in a few anthologies.
The author has been writing poetry since he was sixteen and lives in a small town near Albany, New York. He is retired from doing whatever he was doing before he retired.
His book, Mark the Dwarf is available on Kindle.