the worm in the apple

photoart & poem ~ ©2018 ~ Laura Granby


I see today that everyone on earth
wants the answer to the same question
but none has the language to ask it.”
~ Jim Harrison (Songs of Unreason)

Our species must have always been meddlesome
even when Eden gratified a whole hierarchy of needs
an insidious insistence coiled about us
questions of  ‘why can’t we?’, ‘what would happen if?’
and with a shrug and a ‘why not?’, the bough broke
such a scrumpy indulgence of windfalls followed
a glut of fruit we never quite shook off
and the seditious serpent seemingly slipped away

Taking what we can from the tree of life, finality
has proved its point, sticking in our throats
that dangling damocles sword, the end of the tether
merrymen fill their bellies against such a moment
sad ones belly ache about meaninglessness
and all of us in all tongues are now riddled with mystery
snakes in the grass, the worm in the apple
enquiries that replicate from one overwhelming question*
but we have not fully grasped how to address it
or even who to ask

[ *A. J. Prufrock had a bit of a say here]

Indulging some existentialism today as I join Jilly for another of her picks of Jim Harrison quotes as poetry prompt on Day 21 of 28 Days of Unreason


  1. “such a scrumpy indulgence of windfalls followed” I had to look up scrumpy and then I had to roll around in this line a few extra times because it requires it. The mysteries of our meddlesome race and the question of nature/nurture rears its ugly head here in my over-used head and I go back and re-read. Ultimately we are left with foggy love songs and questions and not nearly enough answers. This was a fertile quote for you, Laura!


  2. Biting off more than we could chew… like children given expensive toys, then wandering around in confusion. I love your reference to Eden-where-as far as I’m concerned- is where all the trouble began. Very philosophical 😊


  3. Good grief! I have never considered the possibility that said fruit was potentially a peach (per Prufrock)! The greater question would be, in the midst of the garden scenario, why did nothing happen when Eve ate the fruit? Why did Adam stand there like an infatuated dummy and watch her eat? Why did all hell break loose once he bit into it? So much for failed theology.

    Your poem is excellent, full of the drama, the comedy, and the farce of our attempts at being truly “original.” 🙂


    1. She was the peach I guess and he was not supposed to know her in the biblical sense.?! But then again Genesis is more about Thanatos than Eros…
      Thank you Charley – glad to hear there is some comedy (of errors) here too as try not to get too heavy!


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