by Mary-Jane Duffy
Camel-coust, you said as
we passed the photo.
Camel-coust indeed. Helen
has been running writing workshops here and
there have been tears.
People are prone to tears in Palmerston North I ask.
Well she said, if you're someone who ignores things
being confronted with a seagull whose stomach
is full of plastic,
or camels caught in the Iraq war
Yes I'm moved by camels silhouetted against the flames
by burning oil wells.
But I can't help think of the camel
in the Wellington Zoo, manky now
after years of mooching about it's paddock
The moment anyone goes near him
he makes a sky sized belch
his tongue bubbling
ballooning out in an explosion.
This poem was written by Mary-Jane as part of 'Poets under Pressure' in response to National Geographic's '50 Greatest Photographs' and the scene overlooking Moscow, with five pears adorning the window sill. Poets were given ten minutes to create poetry about a photograph chosen from a member of the audience.