Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Entry of the Animals into Noah's Ark (Breughel)



The Sunday school story as we remember it.
A pastoral scene, the pairing of animals,
Lions and leopards side by side with sheep and foals,
Without a hint of predatory lust or shit.
The gawky ostriches, porcupines, and camels,
Docile, climb ramps and enter the great Ark's dark holds.
The man, his wife, their sons and their young wives
Will follow God's bizarre orders to save their lives.
Imagine the storm. Forty days and nights of fury,
The terrors of dumb animals and humans tossed
On an ocean that crowned every inch of the earth.
And when it was over, God was in no hurry
To drain the land to reveal what his vengeance cost.
Instead, we are to praise humanity's rebirth.


The dove returned with an olive leaf in his beak,
A pretty metaphor for a new world of peace.
Even on Ararat, they found corpses, bloated,
Hanging from trees, clutching bindles, all rot and reek.
Seeking a last refuge before the flood's surcease,
Perhaps, drowning, they saw only the Ark floated.
Looking upon them, God acknowledged the shoah,
And in his guilt formed a covenant with Noah.
Had He meant to kill evil with greater evil,
His favorite son wondered, but couldn't question,
As he burnt offerings and bid his children mate.
A rainbow would remind God to control His will.
The dead land slowly began regeneration,
Though man's corruption would remain his fate.

No comments: