ORACULAR (a tonal drawing written in poetic form)


(in the belly of Jonah’s slave whales)


only the smell is raising up

from the deep tribal markings

on the dark bodies laying there

in they kin folk bowels

shackled down to the bottom

on this cold damp floor

in the belly of Jonah’s slave whales

!and we was told they was coming!

was told long long before

eating things for living they cannot name

scared about the night it filling they head

they listening for the drumming off yonder

low going lower it fading away fast

they left naked there humming

humming here alone

in the loud throbbing silence

resounding there

in the undulating rhythm of the ocean’s roar

a mama crying there gnawing on she baby throat

so he never! gone die here no more

they have to feed them ones

they burdened there my Lord to carry on

and sown here in this dirt

by many other hands

like it done been told

it was long meant to be





*Audio available at http://www.nadhiriwrites.com

Copyright © 1995, 2021 Asili Ya Nadhiri

this . . . is not just loneliness (a tonal drawing written in poetic form)

this . . . is not just loneliness

wandering in here feeling
the feeling of not even feeling
the swallowing numbing
in this stall of no walls . . .
 there’re no sanctioning echos
in this abounding silence
just going ‘round ‘n ‘round
in a forever come’n ‘round

there’s no touching in this hold
fingerprints can’t cling to silence
despair is always distending
tauntingly baiting its prey
with helplessly holding onto
the abandoning delusion of sucking
on the dry titty of pretending to be
being embraced by the mocking arms
of this bare and carnivorous tomb


Copyright (c) 2021 Asili Ya Nadhiri

charading in this parade’n masquerade’n (a tonal drawing written in poetic form)


neurotic mirages weaning on reality shows
camouflaging our fears in fantasy flights
of serpentining blights mocking the harkening
omens of this ancient malady incessantly
progressingly ingurgitationing us all  

charading in this parade’n masquerade’n
(synthesizing a pandemic ambiguationing) 

we’re desperately cling’n on
to just still clinging on
to our syndicating stars masturbating
on stage right here ‘fore our eyes 
they just genuflecting whores
hyperbolate’n boors
and syncophanting fidos
still vomiting stale dumbing notions of
holy manifest destinationing potions
so trying to be hiding the evolutioning
of this bane misanthropic devolutioning  

compassion is just virtual pantomime’n
profane’s a celebration of obscene in this
retarding same old limp’n that’s
no longer just lame but a swallow’n
paralysis catalyzing our selfish self-disdain
with this hypnotizing stupefying clamoring
that’s savagely and virally reducing us all  
to run’n on’n’on through long toxic days
into hopeless bouts with sleepless nights
of ever glooming foreboding forebodings
for tomorrows of hypnotically coffling on
in the jaws of pixellating moments
dissipating the ingratiating balm
of the sun’s philanthropic light  


Copyright © 2020 Asili Ya Nadhiri

Kano Women (a tonal drawing written in poetic form)

Kano Women
(of Kano, Nigeria)

the women here have cocoa colored glances
always seeming to go somewhere else
their bodies are covered in long wraps of cloth
dipped in many colors bright
made out in the sun
walking tall along long dirt paths
child tied there on her back
a bucket full of water resting here on her head
her delicate shoulders quietly nestled 
smoothly flowing softly going 
in the gentle swaying whisper of her presence
here in this baked desert land cool
water she’s sipped pouring here through our hands
coming here in my eyes going there otherwise
everywhere and besides
so silent so heard
the resonance of melodious words

Copyright © 1990, 2015 Asili Ya Nadhiri

just what is this we’re here-ing (a tonal drawing written in poetic form)

just what is this we’re here-ing

it most certainly is not a game
or an intellectual sham
for the sake of demonstrating
how smart I am
by unearthing tracings mitigating 
in faces and places and spaces
of angular olympia displacings
craving scholarly promotionings
for archival proportionings
very seldom ever read
‘til way after you’re dead
just another somebody running laps
or somewhere off somewhere
before the hypnotizing eyes of a camera
or with a gavel on my lips
a gun on my hips
or dancing a national rendition of taps

its seems more invitingly comparable
to the enthralling praying
of a Coltrane solo
the angular canvassing
of Jacob Lawrence travelers
wandering a long way from home
the knowing inquisitive flowing
of a Romare Bearden collage
and Toni Morrison’s flowing
the ever unfolding impactationing
of the tinest butterfly wings
and looking there in the mirror
owning up to what you see
and seeking no solace by
screaming ME!ME!ME!ME!ME!
in the addicting never never
of living on vicariously

Copyright (c)2021 Asili Nadhiri

the mattering of dark mattering (a tonal drawing written in poetic form)

the mattering of dark mattering

native bodies dervishly whirl’n and twirl’n
mesmerizing drummm’n intoxicationing
camouflaging oracular promulgationings
of the moan’n incantationing of themmms 
who they naked bodies chained
for so they spooninged up !tight!
desecrate’n in the gaze of satanic souls 
stoking this virulent perpetrationing
in hominid scatterings so long going on
. . . themmm themmms whom so many
who they stole in herds cofflinged out
of themmm portals of no returnings
on into the desecrationing bellies
of themmm Jonah’s slave whales

but THEMMM waves auspiciously billow’n  
roaring subservient omnipresent hands  
who still thickening the thin’n clay walls
and enlarging themmm chattelled vessels 
there kilming then for so here now’n when 
and majestically marching themmm out 
as sculpturing grains of prophetic sands 
on consortiums of flagitious shores
as cultivating hands propagating civilizing
who lean’n on that prescient DRUMMMING  
scattering but still ever communalizing 
herald’n of all them themmms still come’n
 who aint gon be here lean’n on no blues

Copyright ã 2021 Asili Ya Nadhiri

the obfuscationing of oracular proclaims . . . (a tonal drawing written in poetic form)

the obfuscationing of oracular proclaims
(gathering the splattering dark mattering)

politicos marching sycophant’n in rows 
dogs they hogs slopp’n slopps in droves
spitting names claims and other profanes
signifying back’n’forth at one another
deftly missing the heads of each other
face-to-face on their respective sides
of the same old same legislationing isles
shamelessly hustling themselves and 
most of us all with this same old lame old 
inane old manifest destinationing game

they pretentious self-ordaining themmms
wannebee masters of deceit wet nursing
their shadowing humdrum’n souls and those 
of their collateralling legions of themmms 
incarcerationing for life in enthrall’n stalls
of crediting cards and mortgaging walls 
sequestering on’n’on and endlessly on
in the frothing jaws of themmm
misanthropic pied-piping reality puppeteers

we’re all robotically mystify’n mesmerize’n 
justify’n fantasizing our self-terrorize’n  
enabling our scared delusional themmms
blatantly basting their eternal right to rule
in the carnivorously reborning addiction
of get’n higher and progressively higher
on their erroneous ouroboros curriculum
of mechanically swallow’n their own tales
in !LOUD! persistent public incantationings 
and habitual archival perverse-a-nationings
so !drown’n’out! the oracular proclaimings
of ever more’n’more of THEMMM THEMMMS
still cross’n on through the turning styles
of helplessly suiciding crimsoning seas
so nicking these Pharohing-ning seeds

Copyright (c) 2021 Asili Ya Nadhiri

so rabidly loud we’re blatantly imploding . . . (a tonal drawing written in poetic form)

*so rabidly loud we’re blatantly imploding
(the flagrance of our moral dispensationings)

wannabe hustling ‘cause it’s so wantonly in vogue
splashing clashings entangling in the sloshing
of this viralling serpentining beholding enfolding 
and we’re all just numbingly run’n marching on
hypnotizing in drowning here in this viral din 
of hearing this same old over’n’over again

our reality orchestrationing of !ME!ME!ME!
is one loud droning beat so it’s fitting us all
trancing here in line auctionating !MY! stuff
snorting debilitating musings of our daily news
foraging on the stubble of this same old blues
zombies trying to hide in this rapacious montage

we’re vaunting worshipers of sirening voices
puking luring dirgings of reverberating notions  
of the same old plathera of phantoming potions
illusions so covering-up the bleeding confusions 
of shadows avidly gulping on mythical allusionings
so always clinging onto our glaring delusionings

no mattering if when is then or then is when
or now’s just somewhere in between 
‘cause everything’s seeming like it’s all the same
to them of us all here shame of themselves
wallowing in the mucous of every bogus claim
by them lead’n’em‘round who’re just as inane
‘cause all this is !is justa game! justa game!!!
with all the players being the same old same

Copyright (c) 2021 Asili Ya Nadhiri