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

       extrapolated

       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.