Animal stories




I passed two camels talking.
The great heads
(In which were magic eyes of endless dreams)
Turned like seaweed under ocean,
In concert with soft moans and
The streamed throb of unknown voice,
Gurgles, bubbles in a storm,
From sand and dunes and swept desert and sheets of drift,
And the train of linked beasts gliding
From land to land with jewels and myrrh.
But then, the cameleer, whip above head,
Shouted words, and his camel,
Forever softly tortured, forever prisoner,
Forever held by the wooden peg pulling the nostril flesh,
Stirring his huge greatness,
The packed stretch of bulged flank,
The long unfolding legs,
The bones of knees and pasterns,
Stepping on spread pads like bags of jelly,
All his draught power, his pistons,
Pulling energy, subject to that small peg: -
The camel turned away, and went,
Again alone on the hot tar road.


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