Anyone’s Eden

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Eden exists. Not the Eden of
biblical rhetoric, or that of any
system of organized, codified, ritualized belief.
Eden is not a physical place; it’s
a place of being — the middle distance:

That time in life and mind that’s
neither too late nor too early,
neither too old nor too young,
when you feel, when you know as
clearly as you ever will.

The young, consumed with
reflections of self-importance,
indestructibility and immortality,
cannot imagine the middle distance.

The old, consumed with
reflections of certitude about
the past they’ve loved and lost,
have journeyed far beyond it.

The middle distance can be
independent of age, but never
of mind — it’s that time when
you see behind and ahead fairly
evenly, with genuine
observation and wisdom, while gazing
across an event horizon of eternity.

Some search for Eden all their lives,
yet never find it. Those certain
they’ve arrived obviously haven’t.
And all ephemerals who visit there are
doomed to be cast out, eventually —
unless Death grants mercy and saves them.


Photograph by Patricia Youker

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Craig W. Steele resides with his family in the countryside of northwestern Pennsylvania, not far from Lake Erie. When not writing, he's a professor of biology at Edinboro University. Craig was the featured poet and interviewed in Stone Path Review (Fall 2012). His poetry has appeared in numerous anthologies, literary journals and magazines, most recently in Mused: the BellaOnline Literary Review, Plainsongs, The Fib Review, Melancholy Hyperbole and elsewhere, and is forthcoming in Stone Path Review, Ottawa Arts Review, The Lyric and Boston Literary Magazine, amongst others.

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