Muse for Monday


MantraHave you ever seen a mirage? The oases of our lives take many different forms. Sometimes, they are the manifestations of our dreams. Other times, they are the victory of everyday life. Occasionally, they are respite from the tasks at which we toil.

Mantra was fascinated by the task of a camel charged with carrying a prince across the desert to an oasis. She is like any other camel carrying royal cargo across the hot sand. As you read about her journey, think about who she is and who she carries. See if you can see the relationship between them in your own life.

Desert is a journey in a place where we may not be willing to vacation.


Across the sands of time she strides.
Sun pouring over her, a cascade of heat.
The oasis is off in the distance.
How long since she’s had a drink?

Atop her a bejeweled litter rides.
She carries special cargo for trade.
“So special the one must be
To warrant such a long trip,” she thinks.

Beneath her toes the sand deceptively
pretends its grains are snowflakes
spread into drifts by the whipping wind.
“Is the oasis moving away?”

To quench her thirst she steps quickly.
The litter pitches on her sway’s crest.
From inside a young man falls to the sand.
He sputters, looks at the sky, begging, “Why today?”

His robe flows freely, sparkling in the sun.
He kicks it away as she kneels down.
As he climbs back inside, she nips at his sleeve.
Scolding her, “Get us there. We shall both drink.”

He points toward the western horizon.
She follows his arm and sees the oasis,
Further away than before he fell.
Trying to stand in the dune, her feet sink.

She begins to panic, but gets on her way.
She must be tired to see the oasis move.
From inside the litter a whip cracks
Across her neck. She cringes beneath it.

What did she do to make him act this way?
Inside the litter, he kneels with his knees
Sharp against her hump, reverent to pray.
How long since she’d heard a prayer?

“Bring me swiftly to this end of my days.
Let me rest in shade beside cool water.”
She realized only then, she’d walk for eternity.
For a mere camel could never take him there.

(c) Red Dwyer


Where (or what) is the desert? What does his cruelty symbolize? If the camel were a person, who would she be?

(c) Red Dwyer 2012
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  1. I feel like the camel, lots of times.
    Alexandra Heep recently posted..If It Fits …My Profile

    • One vote for camel. Hmm. Why?

      • Because I actually have physical symptoms that feel like something is pressing down on me … and my spine. It’s called myofascial syndrome, and it equals painful pressure at 40 pounds per square inch, if I remember right. I researched it once. Despite being slender, I feel like I weigh as much as …. a camel at times. Sorry you asked???
        Alexandra Heep recently posted..If It Fits …My Profile

        • The only regrettable question is the one which goes unasked, Alex. You should know me that well. <3

          • Haha, if only the doctors I saw had that attitude …. They don’t even seem to know the definition of myofascial pain and that it’s real.

            Anyway, I know the camel in your poem is more symbolic, but it’s the first thing I thought of.

            On the other hand, in my opinion, a lot of physical pain/illness is a manifestation of deeper things, so the two are still likely connected.
            Alexandra Heep recently posted..If It Fits …My Profile

          • I agree.

  2. I feel like the camel too ……!!!!!!!!!!! what’s up with that .
    Gorgeous ROUGE ……….RED XO
    Cat xx
    makes me think of that ‘desert rose ” song ……….
    Cat Forsley recently posted..What The Astronomers Heard – For Soma – by Cat Forsley ©My Profile

    • I shall circle back for the song. I have popped in for comments as I am deciding on art pieces!! I am so excited. I have the blogosphere’s most talented audience ever. EVER! Another camel…why?

      Much love, mon Chat Doux!! <3 {HUGZ} xxx

  3. I know how the Camel feels! 🙁

    Doing our best only to be beaten for not fulfilling the demands of our riders! 🙁

    Love and hugs always! 🙂

    prenin recently posted..Sunday – a trip to the Co-OpMy Profile

    • I believe each of us has been a camel at one point. Glad you are not carrying the litter! {HUGZ} Red.

  4. T

     /  August 6, 2012

    My feel is the desert is the journey of life, the cruelty the prince shows is the cruelty found everywhere as we go through life. The camel symbolizes one who carries another burdens.

  5. So we’re all camels, then?
    Binky recently posted..Starving In The Dark DietMy Profile

  6. Poor camel.

  7. you are right every one is a camel at some point and for some it is a camel’s life.
    the responsibilities on our shoulders and the people we take care many a times sacrificing our needs for others…it is a desert and oasis world and then some mirages on the way….

    and as i read the poem one more time i felt a lot of times we are the camels carrying our dreams,needs and wants on our back..letting the illusions(mirages) taking us away from the path of oasis
    Soma Mukherjee recently posted..It’s all about the giraffesMy Profile

    • I really like the second reading! Very unique perspective, Soma <3 I like what you have put in the litter. xxx

  8. All I know is that I once upon a time looked at my life like an endless desert. All of it, before me. Now…with miles behind me, I’d appreciate a camel helping carry some of life’s responsibilities.
    Barb recently posted..Planning My WordPress AfterlifeMy Profile

    • Another unique perspective on the camel. Very nice to see you tonight, Barb! Interesting take on the desert. I believe I would be dropping the responsibilities in the sand when opportunity presented. <3

  9. Upon deeper reflection, I can also see the camel as our bodies, the oasis as our mind perhaps and the prince in the litter as our ego. When we can align all three, we’d find shade ….
    Alexandra Heep recently posted..If It Fits …My Profile

    • Oh, I really like this interpretation. Ego is such a fickle characteristic (and I have taken ego to mean egocentricity as opposed to merely sense of self-pls do correct if I am wrong). I want to stay in the shade. xxx

  10. The oasis seems to be where we’d like to be. Him falling off would be perceived failures. Get back up try again… 10 steps forward, 2 steps back. Try try again. If the man is not happy with himself, no one else can do it for him. She finally acknowledges this for herself… (and hopefully moves on)
    MysteryCoach recently posted..Day (251) – FearMy Profile


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