Camel Song

by Ruth Dinosaur

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You feel you’re in exile,
your camel has wandered,
the night is a blanket
you found in the sand.
It burns you, it cools you,
you feel it is nothing
to sell to a merchant
you can’t understand.

He speaks in a language
that’s voweless and music
that slips in a current
through air red as dust,
is river-like, certain,
and knows where it’s going.
You don’t know, but go
as you feel that you must.

Some days I took up by the syrupy score
Great handfuls of fruit where it lay,
Today I won’t pant like a dog at the door,
Or heave like a horse for her hay.

Your friend has a compass,
your friend is behind you
or off to the north
past the withering dunes,
or south, or more westward,
your mind will remind you,
he’s both ways from earshot,
so speak to the moon,

If hunger itself had a savor I guess
Such savor some comfort would lend,
And though I ate apples and all of the rest,
I’ll always eat hunger again.

A moon all unveiled as
the creatures around you,
half buried in dust,
each invisible, ponder
your face as you pass through
the mud of their desert,
through dust that’s their water
you nod as you wander.

As though through a forest a Tantalus ran
By bushes each covered in loot,
I’ll eat only that which shrinks back from my hand,
For I have not tasted such fruit.

Sell to the merchant,
a lost midnight trader,
or keep close the goods
that he covets and loathes,
for having then sold or not sold
what you carried,
you find it again
in the folds of your clothes.

Today I’ll not taste that which will not suffice,
If I must be less than well-fed.
By hunger I may reach a new paradise,
But fruit killed the queen of the Dead.

Your baubles are missing,
your merchandise blackened
but wrapped in a leaflet
as green as the dawn
that spreads in the poisonous
sky as your camel
sips down the doomed water
and groaning, goes on.

Some days I took up by the syrupy score
Great handfuls of fruit where it lay,
And ate on a throne, or a mat on the floor,
But I’ll take no fruit up today.


released June 17, 2013
(with Kyle on guitar)



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Ruth Dinosaur Manchester, UK

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