Nearly fourteen hundred years since the orchard of desire was inspected—
During which time the trees have flourished as though hormone-injected.
Many a tree will have to be cut out by the root,
For progress has produced some exceedingly strange fruit.
Materialism now has its own theology;
Idealism quietly leaves the room with an apology.
It is childish to talk about brinkmanship when we are in the abyss.
Our return from it—God-Man’s miracle this time will be just this.
We have reached the lowest point in post-glacial history.
That God will forgive us the violence of it is the greatest mystery.
Not all our tears could wash away our degradation
If God-Man were not already here for our salvation.
After our return from the depths naked, penitent and mute,
We will find him under the Knowledge-tree smiling, playing his flute.
An orchard needs tending and pruning. Here the world is seen as an orchard run wild since the last Avataric descent by Mohammed. Our world-picture distorted by science, all sorts of false thought patterns justify our materialistic greed. Francis gives a nice touch of humour to his description.
‘Brinkmanship’ was a common term to describe the flirting with destruction during the Cold War. The terrible violence of the modern world seems unforgivable. We are not just on the brink but have already plunged into the abyss.
To counter the enormity of the post-glacial worst swerve of humanity he uses biblical and sacred imagery. We return repentant and stripped of all our self-righteousness to the God- given paradise from which we have exiled ourselves. There through divine mercy we find the God-Man like Krishna in all his beauty playing His flute. He is seated under the knowledge tree which is the origin of our fall. We have chosen the knowledge of the external world rather than seeking within for our own divine nature. True knowledge can be our salvation. Only God can somehow cure the irredeemable ugliness of our world.