By Camel through the Wasteland

Footfalls sound in the desert at night,
trampling fireweed defying droughty ground,
a hushed motion noted only by eremites
and the disturbed taluses or femurs
of anonymous wretches whelmed by humus.

We creep and tread amid a tombal quiet
past beetles gnawing brier spikelets
and scampering geckos, ever shoreward;
my dromedary, often laconic,
occasionally taciturn,
forages for rootlets with a dour expression
blending mild contempt with resignation.

An overhead starburst brightens the arid trail,
guiding random passels traipsing
clayey loam and marl through ghoulish hours
in the quest to greet the littoral by dawn.

Mongers of our hardy lifeway reverence
that overnight interval when even
breathing is muted by telluric consensus,
senses hone, and fragrant resins scent the night.


A Canadian-Israeli author, Brandon Marlon has had his writing published in thirty-two countries.

Questions and Answers

As a published writer, what are your tips or words of motivation for the aspiring poet?
  • Always do your best, and make sure your best always gets better.
  • Reading helps you set the bar for yourself as a writer.
  • There are two definitions of success: perseverance, and whatever else. If you don’t possess the first, you’ll never achieve the rest.
  • Never let your fate get in the way of your destiny.


What inspired or motivated you to write this poem?

The inspiration for this poem is the Near Eastern lifeway of its Indigenous peoples—West Asian Semites and Hamites (Jews, Arabs)—and especially the travellers among them who ventured through sublime sandscapes and rocky terrain as pilgrims, sojourners, traders, migrants, apostles, etc.

The poem aims to evoke the spiritual peace sought and attained even amid a harsh environment punitive towards those unprepared, and the challenge was to provide the reader with a sense of being there in person by accenting key sensuous aspects.

This poem “By Camel through the Wasteland” originally appeared in Canadian Literature 250 (2022): 140.

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