. Photo by Robert Rath from Robert's website
Last night I was reading Carol Ann Duffy's wonderful poetry collection The World's Wife
, which features fabulously entertaining poems from the perspectives of the women behind famous mythological and historic male figures such as Herod, Midas, Quasimodo, Medusa and many others.
Today's poem is modelled on that idea and her style. Say hello to Mrs Noah.
Well he heard those voices and I thought,
here we go again,
so he gets to work carving an ark
and in fairness the weather changed: dark clouds gathered;
at first there was a light drizzle
but then the heavens opened and
down it poured,
and with himself hammering and sawing away out in the yard
it was nice to settle in by the fire
with a few glasses of shiraz
and Who Weekly
God knows I was happy enough to catch up on the gossip
and have a little rest from the daily prophecies
and the heavy-duty theological debates.
Fair play to him; he finished the three-storey monstrosity
and managed to round up two of every living thing
and when it came to boarding,
God! what a military operation.
Two by two they clambered and skittered
and galloped and flippered their way up the gangway,
all of them looking as stunned as myself.
There was no broadband, of course,
no wifi, no mobile signal.
I'm no Stepford wife
but I know how Walter's wife in 'Breaking Bad' must have felt:
it's too bloody late to get off this train now,
better just settle in for the ride.
The stench of shit was goddamn awful:
the goats and kangaroos
dropped mini turd bombs everywhere
and I could've abseiled down
the elephants’ mountains of steaming dung.
Let me tell you, as if the stink wasn't enough
I nearly went insane with the noise,
what with the galahs yabbering and the lions roaring and the wolves howling and the bulls bellowing and the hyenas laughing and the monkeys chattering…
…well, you get my drift.
And then he had the gall to complain
that we weren't having enough sex!
that we needed to procreate!
He didn’t seem to notice
that we were already
fairly rocking and rolling
in a wooden piece of flotsam
in an unprecedented deluge:
not exactly conducive to the ole horizontal jiggy-jiggy he had in mind.
Would you really want your child born in a floating zoo?
I asked him
but he just looked at me as if to say
'You know nothing, Mrs Noah, you know nothing'.
By then I was making serious inroads
into the stash of wine on board
and so was he;
there was still no sign of the dove he'd sent out,
(I silently wished it luck),
he was a bit long in the tooth
to have taken on a project of this size;
had he gone a tad overboard?
The last (damp) straw for me was
when the two giraffes threw up all over the floor,
not to mention the pandemonium that ensued
when the buffalo tried to mess with the bison's mate.
I told him that as soon as we got off this floating hellhole,
as soon as I set my size five on dry land
I'd be leaving him and his menagerie for good
but he pleaded with me, yes he did, in that
'I'm going to convert you' way of his,
and I said no, I'm not changing my mind, no, no,
and then he took me in his animal husbandry arms
and I said ah, no, no, don't be doing that, no, no,
and then he kissed me oh so tenderly,
and I said ah no, no, no, ah no
and he whispered mad secret things in my ear
and I could feel my flood of desire for him rising
as I said ah, no, no ah no ah ah, Noah, Noah, Noah!