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Stewart Sanderson


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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