Don't tell a camel about need and want.
Look at the big lips
in perpetual kiss,
the dangerous lashes
of a born coquette.
The camel is an animal
grateful for less.
It keeps to itself
the hidden spring choked with grass,
the sharpest thorn
on the sweetest stalk.
When a voice was heard crying in the wilderness,
when God spoke
from the burning bush,
the camel was the only animal
to answer back.
Dune on stilts,
it leans into the long horizon,
the secret caches of watermelon
brought forth like manna
from the sand.
It will bear no false gods
not the trader
who cinches its hump
nor the tourist.
It has a clear sense of its place in the world:
after water and watermelon,
heat and light,
silence and science,
it is the last great hope,
Virgin of the oasis
who brings forth milk
under a deadly sky.
Year after year
it follows the bright stars
east, falls to its knees
for the lowliest king.
Except, of course, when the top lip
lifts like a curtain
on a mighty sneer.
Then you may hear,
out of the mouth of that rough beast,
the walls of the wide world
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Comments about this poem (Rough Beast by Jean Monahan )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(19 April 1928 - 26 December 2006)
(2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928)
(3 June 1926 – 5 April 1997)
Harivansh Rai Bachchan
(27 November 1907 – 18 January 2003)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
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