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Not Noah

Chuck Orloski: Stranded in Delaware River flood, I sit atop a mobile home roof, watch trees and other debris pass by.

Stranded in Delaware River flood,
I sit atop a mobile home roof,
watch trees and other debris pass by.
There's no God around
who needs favors from me,
and I can not build a canoe,
let alone an ark.
Eventually I shall sink,
will not lay with women anymore,
no more making kids lunch.
Minute by minute,
I draw close to Atlantic Ocean,
I'll probably be asleep before its over.

O wait one second?
A talking carp appeared and explained*
how a Fisher King ordered it to assemble
humans deep down in river bed
where all will be safe, start over.
No problem, I said, I volunteer...
I have experience, done such once
with aliens who knew how to
link point A to point Omega.

On carp's back, I descended water,
saw Lusitania, missing Malaysian plane,
I saw bin Laden's mummified corpse,
Titanic re-runs.
Silence, the carp would not speak,
it traveled deep into John D. Long Lake,
and I joined Susan Smith's drowned children,
Michael and Alexander, incredibly alive,
and glad to see another human life saved,
in fulfillment of King Fisher's will.

On bottom of John D. Long Lake,
the carp anxiously glanced at my Timex,
exclaimed, “the beginning is near!”
The Smith children sway, changed direction,
they did not need seat belts anymore,
I am suddenly aware I might live here forever.

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The carp swam skyward, faster, faster,
it needed to perform more rescue, interventions.
To my horror, the carp foolishly took bait,
got hooked,
struggled for freedom, leaps out of water,
fell into a Palestinian fisherman's tin pail,
swooned, I wanted to save it, could not.
Alone with Michael and Alexander,
they searched for Noah and Teddy Bears,
got me instead.
The flood caused lake bottom ripples,
their little cookies were soggy,
awash in Susan's tears,
discovery, hunger, death, rebirth –
Pope Francis watched Russell Crowe's Noah,
there's only starfish in Hollywood ark,
Chicago said “it's only the beginning,”
carp's mission complete, passover is near,
I stand in front of Smith children,
“come get your hot 'n fresh gelfite to go down deep.”

Charles Orloski

*In March 2003, a news story broke about an unusual incident that happened in a Rockland County Hasidic community. A report surfaced about a 20-pound carp about to be slaughtered and made into gelfite fish for sabbath. The carp was reported to speak Hebrew, and to have said, “The end is near.”