by Glenn Fairman7/31/16

Lying here, in the Belly of the Beast
No man speaks of proud deeds or vain honor
All weep against the shackle, the lash
That cuts the flesh

No valiant warrior dwells here
All have become as women and children
Trapped within this maw of wretchedness
The darkness, the heat, the stench of rotting death all around

I have dreamed of my father who tells me to bear my pain with dignity
For I am a prince…but all are gone or dead in their pride
Prince of Nothingness, only I survive

The sway of this monster lulls me into peace
No longer do I resist the rat’s bite
Or the lice that afflict my every pore

Once a day, our Tormentors come down
To free the unliving
Salt cod with a gulp of water
The thirst has driven us mad
But the Devilmen are not concerned

They have disgraced the infirm with beatings
For they hold not their bowels well
And delight in abusing us for their pleasure

Lying here in the Belly of the Beast
One hundred leagues beneath the Great Blue
We lie as entombed

With a sharp thud, a demon outside betrays an interest
in our leisure as if to say:
“I demand your flesh for my sustenance”
Each day we appease in sacrifice, but he will not be long away

Perhaps we are all only pilgrims bound for the House of the Dead
Perhaps I will soon be anointed
and sit at that Seat of Honor in my kinsmen’s presence?

O Great Spirit!
I ache and I thirst!
I vow I will not pass through this night
My strength has failed and I am crushed

But tell me O God
Is a man a thing to be chained
Or sold unto others for a barterer’s price?

Is your Hand long enough to reach me?
Does your Justice extend to those secured
Within the Belly of the Beast?
GF 1989

Glenn Fairman writes from Highland, Ca.
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Glenn Fairman

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3 Responses to Jonah

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    There once was a man named Jonah
    Re: gay marriage pulled a bonah
    Oh, what’s that you hail?
    You mean the one with the whale?
    Emily Litella hold the phone-uh

  2. Lucia says:

    Terrible, Brad.

  3. Anniel says:


    Thank you for sharing your poetry with us. The story of Jonah between past and present has always fascinated me. The belly of the beast is so apt for the battles fought in all ages.

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