The Ages, Part XVII

Noah, turning a sun-soaked eye
across the countless saved—these,
his sometime menagerie now were
free and with trembling feet and
claws began to roam some new earth—
gasping, splendour, resurrection—
he in Godly wisdom wept, aborting
plans of grandeur, of blasphemy,
kingship, dominion and self-adulation—
remembering the words his Father
spoke, and foreseeing his wandering
companion’s legs, hides and flanks
inside his stews for years to come
called the animals to him to hear
his valedictory: “Animals,” he said,
raising his snakewood staff, “Animals,
be warned—you are not creatures as
we, your masters are, creatures though
we are—for we are hewn from what is
special; you, your variety is God’s gift to
us, you are what in fact we are from,
star stuff, but we, coarse matter made
imperishable by the breath of God, stretch
hands to nature; seeing, feeling, impressing
our own wills on Eden—you simply see,
are mute and suffer the agony of
unremedied animality—we hear your
honking on the wind, your moans and howls
inside the perilous woodlands where your
invisible rituals, your night parades,
your endless animal orgies and stinking
farces rage; indistinguishable in your soulless
eyes from our sacred forms of art and worship,
these gorge your minds and bellies and are God
enough for you. And yet we love you, are
on earth your steadfast stewards and will
defend you from the gross reaches of
human greed and evil—yet please live and
thrive, please hide from us, please
peer cautious from your hanging vines—
we are not good but fallible—depart when
man approaches, his desire is contrary to
you, and he wants your skin, your flesh,
your fur, your talons, your teeth, your very
stripes and suffering. He will destroy you:
depart, please and live; this is your realm
eternal; ours we seek above the firmament,
where God and angels dwell; you must
(swimming, stomping, soaring, crawling)
remain, and sadly see the ocean’s boil
long after man’s departure—I pray a blessing
on your blind way through life, I wish you well,
my animals, my braying and stamping and
squawking ones, my tender purring ones,
my strange and slivering ones—please watch
for me and run at our approach, we will see
you from our side across the river, and from the
entrances to your dark and cursed wooded homes;
please flee, please flee, and live.

Thanks for checking out my poem.

Did I tell you I wrote a novel? You can read it here for free, or get it for your e-reader on iBooks, Amazon or Kobo. Or you can just say you read the book, and donate five bucks down below. Go on.

Gabriel Muoio


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