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

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