Noah’s Covenant


Layers of silt.

The earth labours. I hear the scream of rock on rock. I feel the flood of water and mud. I see death in the waters.

Silt again.

People, loud, painful; hurt and doing hurt. Foolish and dirty and weak. Building in the river plains, driven by grim necessity and greed and adventure and joy. Men and women, ignorant, assertive, unknowing. The pain in my heart as they make more and more suffering. And rain, warm, insistent, following its own rules, and the river rising, rising.


A pathetic few boats, and in them men and women whom I love, and in the waters, more I love, and screams, and mud and death. Silt settles over homes, over farm animals, and wild beasts, over men and women and children.

Silt in layers.

Unbearable pain and miraculous rescue are held in the memory. A pattern of wrong, and death and renewal, reworked and reinvented.

Silt settles.

Screams again, and terrible wrong, and there, in Babylon, people whose minds are thrust open by new memories, and old thoughts, and other people’s stories.

The waters of stories, and the silt of memory.

Finally someone writing, writing, and I beg: ‘Put it all in. Put the wickedness and the pain and screaming, and that I love despite it.’ A new layer of understanding, a pathetic boat in the water. And I look and I see the rainbow, transformed. I see my love arch out over all creation without condition.

Layers of silt.  I settle in them.

9 thoughts on “Noah’s Covenant

  1. This is wonderful Rosemary. Could I please use for an introduction for our Stations of the Cross on Good Friday? You will, of course, get credited.

  2. Thank you – Kirstin, yes feel free. Photo s by my son-in-law but used by his permission. It is a pelican in Sri Lanka, but I did think it fitted rather well.

  3. so, Rosemary, do you know now if it worked? (re: your own blog)

    and what bit of my little bird brain led me to put myself on the schedule the day after you (and Chris) this season? Surely the pastoral act would be to write something quite mundane to take the pressure off the others…

  4. Well, it does kind of look as though it worked. I really did struggle to make God sound like God – he was in serious danger of turning into a middle aged Liberal. He is threatening to do it over Abraham, and even more over Moses. What made the difference was finding a really good article on

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