ready as Noah

dave in portland

(photo by Cheryl Long)

ready as Noah

so i gathered the members of my community
and we prepared our Transition Plan:
we’re set to handle a world without cheap oil,
without a stable climate,
without an industrial ‘growth’ economy,

and i’ve done the Work That Reconnects
so i’ve come to grips with the unbearable grief for Gaia
that has weighed on me all my life, and moved on,

and every day i read the latest post-civ advice
from Casaubon, the Druid, and the Automatic Earth
and the newest evidence that the Long Emergency‘s begun,

and each evening i learn to play the sad music
of world-weary worried singer-songwriters
who sensed what was going on years ago
but couldn’t quite put it into words.

i’ve shrunk my dreams and expectations
to such a sustainable degree
that even the “i”s i write are small letters,

and my footprint’s now so small
it doesn’t even leave tracks in the snow.

i should be ready as Noah.

so what do i do now,
when there’s nothing more that must be done
and in this newly terrible world
nothing seems easy or fun anymore?

i thought my role would be to chronicle collapse,
and through my gentle fiction
help the ones still here beyond the end of days
imagine better ways to live

but now that seems a joyless task
whose purpose is not clear
and whose intended readers do not care
what i’d presume to tell them anyway.

i’m learning, much too late in life,
how to be present, self-accept, how to be generous
and love without restraint
and to let go the unreal stories
taught to me by those with best intentions,
and repeated to myself ’til i went mad.

i’m learning now to live a natural life, and value time,
and simply be
the space through which stuff passes.

Derrick Jensen tells us all to listen to the land
and in good time we’ll know exactly what to do,
but i’ve been listening hard
and my land merely whispers words
i cannot hear or understand.

so now i simply wait to learn the role
the world intends for me.

oh hurry up please world i’m waiting now i’m ready
can you tell me
, ’cause i owe you so much
and i feel your suffering
in this dark and empty hole inside my heart:
what can i do to pay you back for all you’ve given me
throughout my privileged western life?

i’ll be your Noah, Gaia, i am ready
but i don’t know what to do…

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9 Responses to ready as Noah

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention ready as Noah « how to save the world --

  2. Noah was a prophet long before the rain started. He was just listening to the voice that said ‘prepare, prepare, prepare’. Maybe this is the voice of the Land, in her unbiased way, preparing some of her creatures, even the ones that have made the Mess. Preparing to be a haven for other lost creatures of unknown variety.

    Maybe you’re the Ark instead of Noah. Maybe you have been being built with great care to house and protect the most precious thing of all: hope.

    Just some thoughts. I really liked your poem, Dave.

  3. Steve says:

    Wow… I was deeply moved by your words. I too sense the desperation and feel impotent to do anything about it. This modern Noah may need some partners – how do we as individuals band together and co-create our future. How may I be of help? Thanks for sharing, Steve.

  4. Jan Wyllie says:


    My succour is working with the woodland which owns me, to protect it with my life.

  5. Sally Freeman says:

    We have taken different paths Dave but I think I am ready to do a small part to the best of my ability. Thanks for your courage.

  6. Ed says:

    Wow. What Steve said. Thanks for speaking for others that don’t have your time, your talent, your insight, your humanity. On afterthought, maybe we should come up with a new word to use rather than humanity. Your Gaianess? Your sentience?

  7. Christopher says:

    Just thought you might to read a bit from Julian Assange’s (of wikileaks) old blog.

    I think it’s right up your alley, Dave.

  8. Randy says:

    Dave…You are a truly gifted creature. You have given voice to the pain of a million humans. Sadly,
    six thousand million other humans are given to utterances in a language far removed from yours.
    Our feet tread upon similar paths. But where yours is spiritual and intellectual and psychic(al), mine is
    primitive and primordial and physical. We are both fragments of the complete Noah.
    Yet, we are but sons of one Mother.
    The Earth is Gaia and Gaia is the ark. The whispers of Gaia are growing stronger and she calls for us
    to yoke ourselves together and pull a great burden.
    We should talk.
    (My Website is brand new-this week- and needs much more work. However, I would love to have your
    expressions in “ready as Noah” included if you will allow. If you would prefer to wait to allow this
    until my Website is more “complete”, I will certainly understand. Please contact me if you are interested.)
    Thank you for your devastating clarity in “ready as Noah”.

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