James Sale Poetry

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Inside the Whale


Three days, three months inside, who knows?

Only we know as he emerged,

Vomited back to land again,

Albino-white from depths he’d plumbed,

How shocked they looked.

Was this a man?

Inside the whale, inside the ward, who cares?

The difference was the same –

Gutted so his prophecy was dumbed,

His death seemed booked.

Yet for all that’s logic, tragic, stuck

Inside the whale and unpurged

Beside there is who has no name

Or number that can like ours be summed,

No fate that’s ducked.

Three days, three months, who feels

In entering the whale, the ward, the pain?

But in that deep, that depth, that voice sounds

As if all stars in one gasp hummed –

And Jonah waked.