oracular (a tonal drawing written in poetic form)

ORACULAR

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 way 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 hummming
hummming here all alone 
in the loud throbbing silence
resounding there in
the undulating rhythm of the ocean’s roar
a mama crying there moannn’n 
gnawing on she baby’s throat
so he !never! gone die here no more
still having to feed them ones
who burdened there my !Lord! 
so for them to be carrying it on 
and sown here in this dirt 
by many other strange hands
like it long’n’longer is be’n foretold
howcome this all it’s having to be

Copyright © 1995, 2020 Asili Ya Nadhiri

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