Post 257

Cubits Upon Cubits

Noah pondered the message that he had heard.
Death of flesh, an end to corruption and violence.
A boat to be built, cubits upon cubits.

A covenant. A flood.

Noah pondered the meaning of it all, and he imagined.
He imagined all the people he would save.
Had this not been his prayer, once?
Had he not prayed for a boat large enough to take
Everyone he knew
To the Lord?
Indeed, he had.

That, however, was a metaphor, and this,
Well, this
Was not.

This was cubits upon cubits, animals and food.
He imagined all the people that would fit
In such a ship.
He knew many people.
He imagined it would be
Rather like
A party.

He knew that his own family
Would be safe,
Along with Mr Bull and Mrs Cow

But he was quite convinced
That others, though unmentioned, would naturally be there
Out on the water.

Cubits upon cubits.

Noah started building.
His friends pretended
Not to notice.
He was amazed and utterly stunned.
Not to notice
This enormous thing?

Noah kept on building.
Finally, someone appeared.
At last! Good old friend!
(We’ll play cards when we’re on board.)
Greetings and blessings to you and yours!
So much for that.

Cubits upon cubits.
Noah didn’t stop.
Where was everyone?
Eyes averted. Strangers now.
Who were these people?
They were unchanged, but now Noah
Saw their hearts.

He kept building.
Cubits upon cubits.
Is it for real?

Did the Lord really say?
How did it go?
Animals, food, a flood and a covenant.
Animals, food, a flood and a covenant.
His sons, their wives, his wife but
Come to think of it,
Nothing more.

The Lord spoke again. It was time.
His family gathered.
With them were the animal kinds.

They closed the door upon the world they knew
And here we ask,
Who appeared as prisoners
When really free?
In any case
One week of nothing was
An eternity.

But the boat
in all its Mass
Was soon afloat.

Noah marvelled at the ark and at floating in the sea
Above his earthly abode.
Noah praised the Lord for poetry and beauty and justice and family.

As for friends,
He remembered them.
He remembered everything.

He remembered what had been said and what had been done
And he had
No regrets
For himself.
What he had
Was regrets
For them.

The smooth surface of the water
Hid many secrets
And many misdeeds.

Noah remembered.
The thing that pained him most
Was the memory of the laughter

The jokes about the beards and flying fruit, about tattoos and magic mushrooms and the Tabasco sauce cure. The jokes about the feet in the air and the wide bicycle chair. The jokes about the aunt stuck in the dirt and the dogs splattered on the windshield. Too many to count.

Memories upon memories, cubits upon cubits

The barbeque in the backyard the dinners at the restaurant and one last royal party. The photographs taken everywhere and the music playing loudly. Conversations about every moving thing and theories and analogies and good-natured chatter. Or so it seemed.

Past now

The water was still
It contained everything
And nothing

Noah now had nothing and everything
For he had everything worth having
In the whole wide world

He had his Lord
He had his family
And he had his dog.