Filipo Palizzi [1818-99]
In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
 And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.
 In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark;
 They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort.
 And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life.
 And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.
 And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth.
 And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters.
 And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.
 Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.
 And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:
 All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.
 And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.
 And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.
 And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged;
 The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained;
 And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.
 And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.
 And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen.
 And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made:
 And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.
 Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;
 But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.
 And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark;
 And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.
 And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more.
 And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth
[The Book of Genesis. King James Bible]
When the keel grated
we paid it not much heed.
In those miserable days and nights
it would happen, now and then.
But it groaned, and there was splintering
and a lurch when everything pitched sideways.
We waited for the boat to right itself,
all the ‘tween decks a slurry of shit and hay,
and tusks and wings and fur and legs
and scales and beaks . Bedlam.
But it stayed canted.
Not easy to get up on top
but the view was staggering.
Waters streaming into boiling gullies,
geysers, great silver gouts and belches,
and everywhere stinking. Mud, gravel,
pebbles, dead men bloating, black clots of leaf,
gasping fish.The sun. So huge. And white.
Animals got themselves out, fighting, rutting.
Some fell down waterfalls. Some stuck in mud
or sank and suffocated. What could we do.
Maybe we should have prayed.
Or lit a fire. Wondered at the great arc
of brilliant colour;
the two polished tablets
of clean dry stone
We were past caring. Just glad to be off that boat.
To follow the ebb, all the way down.
And not look back.
[Much Possessed : smith|doorstop 2016]