Monday, March 30, 2009

The Cain Apocalypse

A teaser from my new play "The Cain Apocalypse":


Grasslands. Very primitive living quarters on the left edge of the stage.

Scene 1 – Enter Adam hoeing the ground with a very primitive stone hoe. He hoes for a while, stops, wipes the sweat from his forehead, and begins hoeing again. He hoes a while before he stops, his hoe stuck on something in the ground. He pulls, pulls the hoe out, then raises the hoe over his head and drives the end deep in the ground. He pulls, and a stone pops out.


I work this ground and all I grow is rocks
And weeds. I have to say, at least my flocks
Of goats do well enough. The well is dry.
I have to dig it deeper. I should try
To get these rocks up. God, your sun is hot.
Why keep this up? You think that I forgot
The reason Paradise was left behind?
Is punishment deserved to have a mind?
My Lord, my God, you rarely speak to me
Since Eve and I ate from the blesséd Tree
Of Knowledge of what’s Good and Evil. Now
I know that disobedience will grow
The fruits of wrath. But how could I have known
That eating of the fruit was wrong – no loan
Of knowledge given ‘til it was too late?
We had no choice – it was our given fate
To eat since we could hardly know about
Its wrongness ‘til we ate the fruit. I doubt
We would have eaten had we known what we
Could not have known without that blesséd Tree.

[Adam wipes his brow, bends over, and picks up the rock. He turns it over, looking at it.]

Just like this stone, I come from dust. God’s breath
Made me less petrified. And with my death
I’ll turn to dust, my breath return to God.
I can’t explain this feeling – it is odd,
This feeling of suspension in between
The Earth and Heaven. Ah, the things I’ve seen,
Of Paradise and work, my lovely wife
In innocence and shame. She is my life,
My Eve, the mother of my children, sons
Who help me with my work. A man who runs
From work is not a man of God, is not
A man who’s worthy of the name. A cot
Is not a place to spend your days. Although
I did enjoy nice Eden’s sloth, I grow
Each day I’ve left. My Lord, I am confused –
I seem to swing between resentment, used
To Paradise I was thrown from by you,
And thankfulness for showing me what’s true
And good and just and beautiful as well
As ugly, bad and evil since we Fell.

[Adam throws the rock off stage right.]

Well, be that as it may, I cannot help
But long for innocence again, the whelp
I was when I was there. I was a pup
Who could not know that God had set him up
To fall by Eve, who God had made for me,
By me, to be beside me, make me free.
And where’s my wife, my life, my strife, my love
And my companion, gift from God above?
She isn’t back from gathering what she
Could find for us to eat. Where could she be?

[Adam looks around, shading his eyes with his hand. He shakes his head and wipes his brow. He lifts the hoe and exits stage right to look for Eve.]


John said...

" wife, my life, my strife, my love
And my companion, gift from God above?"


Troy Camplin said...

Isn't it amazing what poetic rhythm and rhyme can make you do? It also doesn't hurt to know that "Eve" means "life."