Ben-Arabie was the Camel
Belonging to the Zoo.
He lived there through a dozen years,
With nothing much to do,
But chew, and chew, and chew, and chew,
And chew, and chew, and chew.
He wondered when he might go home,--
And what they kept him for;
Because he hated Zooish sounds
And perfumes--more and more;--
Decidedly he hated them
Much more, and more, and more.
And why the world turned white and cold
He did not understand.
He only wanted lots of sun
And lots and lots of sand;
Just sand, and sand, and sand, and sand,
And sand, and sand, and sand.
He longed to see an Arab Sheik,
And Arab girls and boys;
The kind of noise he yearned for most
Was plain Arabian noise;
(The sound of little drums and flutes
And all that sort of noise.)
He leant against the wind to hear
The sound of harness bells;
He sniffed the air for scent of spice
The nomad merchant sells;
He dreamed of pleasant tinkling bells,
Of spice, and tinkling bells.
The keepers said that he grew queer.
They wondered why he sighed;
The called him supercilious
And crabbed and sun-dried;
(Indeed he was quite crabbed and
But ere his woolly fur was gone
They put him on a train--
For a rich old Arab bought him
And sent him home again;--
O joyous day! He sent him home;
He sent him home again!
Shird, Virna (d. 1943) Born in Cobourg, Ontario; educated there and in Toronto. Author of several books of fiction, for children and adults; her selected poems, Leaves in the Wind, appeared in 1938.I learned from Deb Nance that today, the last day of National Poetry Month, is also Poem in a Pocket day. Share a poem on social media. Well, alright then! For a weekly poem, see Holds Upon Happiness. This week it's Jane Kenyon.