In Arabic poetry since the pre-Islamic era, mention of the ostrich would spark different thoughts to the reader well versed in the contemporary linguistic context of that time. The early Bedouins regarded the ostrich as being related to the camel (it is also interesting to note the scientific name for ostrich being Struthio Camelus- sparrow camel), and at that time ostriches were ridden by desert ogres.
The Arabic saying to ride the wing of an ostrich meant to devote yourself wholeheartedly to something (perhaps inspired from the way one rides on ostrich, by holding on to its wings, and the fact that ostriches are difficult to saddle and have an ill temper thus riding them would have required dedication). At the same time, the ostrich symbolized cowardice (the popular myth about sticking its head in the sand when sensing danger). That analogy was used likening the retreat of the Byzantine emperor to an ostrich by the famous Arab poet al-Mutanabbi.
In the English language Ostrich is also the noun for a person who tries to avoid disagreeable situations by refusing to face them.
I find there to be something extremely profound over the ostrich. Its eyes are larger than its brain. It's a bird created with wings, yet it cannot fly...