‘A camel is a horse designed by committee’

What a line. And picture that,
being the man pasted
round the brain that brewed it,
to carry that mind out the door
with your coat and keys.

Myself, I’m a committee stooge
at best, not even chairman,
a polished mahoganoid
pushing pie-charts, or I’m the guy
kept stuck in the basement,

printing copies and coughing
“tosser” as I dish out the minutes.
Worse again, I think that’s me
way off in some two-bus town,
a coffee-sipper scanning dailies

for news of the findings,
or not even a man – a fly
gargling on the rim
of a committee jug, or a dog
watering committee walls,

or maybe this: simple as sand,
a grain rubbed close
to atomic oblivion, designed
to fill a desert eager to decorate,
plumping mattress

with a trillion brother nothings
and all of us watching a horse,
head drooped, hoof through a dune
and drop thirst-dead, losing
the glue of itself knee by knee,

squeezed past the graph
of its specifications – while above
a committee of vultures
approves the blueprint. At lunch
nothing quotable gets said.

 

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