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The Camel

Drumcliffe Monastery, County Sligo

Facing westwards, the camel

if indeed it is

a camel, watches

the cars as they hurtle by

beyond the vallum:

a millennium

at least it has been waiting

in the rain out here

as fresh worlds appear

before it, chiselled on this

cross by an artist

who might have noticed

its like on a long journey

to the Bible lands –

a sight which his hands

remembered, or more likely


from an image he’d

happened upon one day

in a manuscript

which image then slipped

onto this sandstone pillar

abstracted slightly

as the rich must be

perhaps, to enter heaven:

a camel which could

unravel, a flood

of interlacing knotwork,

to spool like a sigh

through some needle’s eye.

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