War and History Poetry posted January 11, 2012

This work has reached the exceptional level
Camels helped map the Australian Outback

The Ships of the Desert

by Aussie

Heat mirage shimmers like molten lead
Where ships of the desert did lightly tread
Carrying explorers across my land
Black men watched from desert sand.

Afghani drivers, weather-worn faces
Guided the explorers to unknown places
Without the camels to carry the load
White men would never have broken the code.

Today, the bitumen roads criss-cross the land
Red dust, shifting sand
Tourists come from far and wide
The Great Outback - Australia's pride.

Heat mirage shimmers like molten lead
The camels have gone, freight trains instead
Black men still watch from desert sand
This is my sacred land.


Camels were imported from Afghanistan to take white explorers across the shifting sands of the Great Outback of Australia - horses proved unsuitable in the early days, many whites died from thirst after their horses dropped dead in the dreadful heat.
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