Cult of the She-Camel


We are on a pilgrimage
To forgotten corners of the world,
And we've found the fabled home
Of the blue-nosed camel goddess.

She stands in solemn dignity
Atop her amphitheatre.
Beneath her sturdy feet,
The terraced steps descend.

We pause to pay our tribute,
Then hasten to the bottom.
A low-slung tomb stands unadorned,
Its empty portal darkened.

Ducking under the lintel,
Candles lit and trembling,
We gaze in awestruck silence
At the treasure spread before us.

Gold and silver, pearl and opal;
Every rich material imaginable
Decorates the dark interior,
Each fine piece the image of a camel.

A caftan made of camel's hair
Is kept inside a crystal box.
The priestess who once wore it
Lies beneath our blasphemous feet.

We retreat with utmost care,
Taking nothing but the memory
Of she who treads the lifeless sands
With complete economy of motion.


©2016 Michael Fraley




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