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Noah's Neighbor

by Bob Peterson

Now I really am a very nice fellow.
Besides the killing and robbing, I'm really quite mellow.
But I got this neighbor who's truly a pain.
They should lock him up tight for I think he's insane.

Let me tell you his crime, so terrible and true.
He preaches of God and things we shouldn't do.
Of lying and stealing, he says we should refrain.
Then he looks in the sky and predicts on us rain.

He's crazy I tell you, and dangerous too,
To stand in the way of things we want to do.
He's driving me mad and it's him that I blame.
I've developed a stutter when I mention his name.
N, n, n, no Noah.

Woke up one morning and what did I see?
He's building a boat as tall as a tree.
It's longer than ten ships all set in a line.
It takes up his yard and sticks into mine.

It's huge, it's enormous, this thing that he's making.
I stood and I stared, my head slowly shaking.
I walked up to him and asked "What, how and why?"
"Well, it's an ark", was his simple reply.

"God is not happy with us and all of this sin.
He's been calling and warning time and again.
But nobody listens and nobody cares.
Now times running out, both yours and theirs.

God's sending a flood to wash out the earth.
To clean out the evil and give life a new birth.
So, you better repent with your wife, son, and daughter,
Or else you'll be needing to learn how to tread water."

Day in and day out they worked on the ark.
He and his sons from first light tell dark.
So many people came by to wonder and stare.
I started charging admission and selling food there.

When they finally finished, the last board put in place.
I asked him, "Now what?" with a smirk on my face.
But my mouth fell open and my face turned blue
When he calmly replied, "Have I mentioned the zoo?"

From every direction they began to appear;
Mongoose, wild geese, hedge hogs, reindeer.
Otters and adders, lions, and bears,
All wandering around my front-yard in pairs.

I ran up to him where he stood with his son,
I cried, "Look at these beasts. Just look what they've done.
Giraffe in my orchard, in my garden gnu,
I can't even describe what the elephant do."

"Neighbor," he said, "You've more worries than flowers.
Unless I'm mistaken there soon will be showers.
So, give up your pride, your greed, and your hate,
And turn to the Lord before it's too late."

I said, "You know, you're really annoying.
You've offended me so, that I think I'll be going.
I do as I please. You cause me no fright.
I don't believe in your god and I know that I'm right."

Then, Noah said sadly, "May your thoughts give you rest.
But I still might suggest that you buy a life vest."
Then into the ark they marched in side by side.
Noah and the animals, there to abide.

The neighbor said, laughing, "A zoo-in-a-boat,
But I'd bet my life that it won't ever float.
Too heavy to move, you know it must be.
And he built the dumb thing miles from the sea.

He must be crazy. Everyone says that it's true.
So, what if his god doesn't like what I do.

I know that I'm right, but one thing makes me wonder.
That noise that I hear sounds a whole lot like thunder.'

The rains started in, giving all a great soaking.
The neighbor yelled out, "God, I was just joking.
He ran to the ark and banged on the door.
Calling, "Noah, old buddy, got room for one more?"

Sadly, for the neighbor his chances were through.
God had tried to tell him what he needed to do.
But if you chose to be stubborn like an old Billy goat,
You're likely to end up missing the boat.

We're told the rains poured forty days and nights.
Water lifted the ark past the mountain's tall heights.
But God was faithful and brought them all through.
He settled them down in a place fresh and new.

Noah sent out a dove to see what it might find.
It came back with a leaf of the olive tree kind.
Then seven days later he sent it once more.
When it didn't return, he said, "Open the door."

Noah opened the ark, set the animals free.
Then he praised the Lord God, going down on a knee.
God said, "Never again will I flood all the land.
And I'll make a rainbow as a sign from my hand.

Our Lord is a god of mercy and grace.
But it's still His justice that we'll have to face.
So, whom would you chose for your life to favor,
The godly man Noah, or his next-door-neighbor?

Genesis 6:9-9:17

This poem was a finalist in the November 2021 poetry contest

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Book by Bob Peterson

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