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The ivory of speech by Salimah Valiani

Salimah Valiani | Feb 27th, 2021 | poetry | No Comments

Poem

…of course I hated the wars
but like all men active
I fought in them too
and now I speak to you
from blood and broken-ness

as in a forest
all the trees that are fallen and kept alive by mosses and vines.

how to know ivory
without knowing of elephants?

search through all experience
for the language of the tongue
emotion
the blood
the voice sinks into
yet comes to know only
if it
swims a distance
and from there
listens
for the liquid whisperings

to find what speaks us
there in the here and now

Poet Bio

SALIMAH VALIANI is a poet, activist, and researcher. She has published four collections of poetry: breathing for breadth (TSAR: 2005), Letter Out: Letter In (Inanna: 2009), land of the sky (Inanna: 2016) and Cradles (Daraja: 2017). Her story-poem, Dear South Africa, was one of seven pieces selected for Praxis Magazine’s 2019-2020 Online Chapbook Series. Her next poetry collection, 29 leads to love, will be released in May 2021 by Inanna. Check out her work at:  https://www.facebook.com/SalimahValianiPoet/

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