What do Jesus Christ, Hugh Laurie, and George Bush have in common? Right, they all write about camels. The poetry of camels—you asked for it! Never has the Poetry Slow Down,, podcast, produced by Sara Hughes, had such listener response as to our show last week on what to make of the news, the poet’s take on mishaps, including a story about an A-List actor camel named Wally (it turns out) who stomped, chased, and otherwise molested a man in his seventies and terrorized a desert town. We’ve had shows on fleas and coots, hares, elephants and owls, birds, whales, fish, lions and bears, the fox, the rooster. Bees. But camels, who knew? You could not get enough of this camel, although we presented on last week’s show the news concerning many, many topics, and so we return with a show featuring the camel–and, it turns out, a lot of minds, including Nobel Prize winners for literature, have camels on their minds. And what do camels have to do with ducks? Aha, another tricky question, whose answer is that they both are featured on our live poetry show Sunday August 31, 2014, about the end of summer, slowing down the clock, even stopping the clock, which Cicero said poetry does (48 BCE), as we commence college football season (Go Ducks). Write me at Let’s kick those cobblestones and let the morning time shine all its petals on us!

Poems and poets discussed include but are not limited to Jennifer Grotz (“Late Summer”), the poem that got us involved in more camel shenanigans, my “Camel Escapes and ‘Stomps’ Man in Southern California (The Associated Press, Saturday, February 15, 2014), Rudyard Kipling’s “How the Camel Got His Hump,” excerpts from Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass,” Emily Dickinson’s “Strong Draughts of Their Refreshing Minds,” T.E. Lawrence, “A Poem,” D. H. Lawrence, “My Naughty Book,” Alqamah ibn Abada (6th century A.D.), Hafiz, “First,” and “”Cast All Your Votes for Dancing,” Rumi, “The Mouse and the Camel,” “Rumi is not interested in poetry . . . ,” “Calm in the Midst of Lightning,” “Spilled Speech,” “A Mountain Nest,” “Let the Soup Simmer,” “Ducks,” Frank Harvey, Wendell Berry’s “The Peace of Wild Things,” Mary Oliver’s “Such Singing in the Wild Branches” and “Messenger,” and Hayden Carruth, “The Impossible Indispensability of the Ars Poetica,” and considering Jesus Christ, Jackie Kennedy, Hugh Laurie, D. H. Lawrence, Emerson, Cicero, W.S. Merwin, Elizabeth Bishop, Charles Tripi, Roger Ebert, George Bernard Shaw, Winston Churchill, with shout outs to Tupelo Press’ 30-30 Project and you O Listener. We have a global audience, and as we transition into Fall, some of us are slowing down into Spring, and we’ll give the last word on camel lore to the Aussies, with this wonderful farewell for now, “May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits.” I think that says it all for now . . . .

© Barbara Mossberg 2014

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