Serenity Sunday: In the belly of a whale


I wrote this poem somewhat in response to this past week’s stir about Priscilla Shirer’s take on race and religion. I adore this woman, I do, but…*sigh*…did you see the video? She has since apologized to us black folk.

This poem is also slightly inspired by all the Kanye West mess, which I gave up trying to write something blogworthy about, and may or may not circle back around to. I used to adore Kanye– in his lifetime, he has bought a lil’ value meal or somethin with my “Goldigger” concert money. However, things are different between us now.

So yes, Priscilla and Kanye loosely inspired this piece. They are not the first and certainly won’t be the last black people to speak/act out of pain, peculiarity, and in some ways, privilege.


I sometimes voice my opinion in alternative ways. Sometimes I’m soft and whimsical. Sometimes I’m loud and technical. Manytimes I trust my poetic voice to handle all the communication.


Fulfill your dreams.

Secretly compare yourself to others the entire time.

Indulge in emotional rhetoric

until you feel a storm eroding.

Become sad,


cocky like the storm.


Literally ebb away from shore.

Become cast off–

overpowered by winds so fierce you lose genesis.

Growing faint in the sun,

you forget just how golden you are.

You forget about the saffron skies that marked you

and the history that cultivated you.

Come to yourself and realize that life– the nutty and malty reality that likes to tip-toe on your tongue, has a way of stinging.

Drowning us until we forget where it began.

Until we forget “O Se Baba”.

The truth is, it is often better to give yourself to the sea than stay on dry land…

Some of us had no choice but to give ourselves to whales.

Singing “God’s gonna trouble de water,” on into decimation.

Not all of us will make it out of the whale.

But we all can make it out of a whale.

And when we do,

we will owe it all to a black woman.


Clinnesha is a writer, wife, mom, meta-artist, and social entrepreneur who feels most accountable to southern, black citizen-artists, elders, children, and families. Her work is at the intersection of arts, culture, innovation, and community.

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