“Recently, I have been writing some poems in direct response to news articles. This one was inspired by a heart-warming article about fishermen in Yemen who caught a 280-pound chunk of whale vomit, known as ambergris. Ambergris is thought to be one of the strangest natural occurrences in the world and this chunk turned out to be worth 1.5 million dollars. To me this fascinating story seemed the perfect metaphor for poetry.”

ambergris

some pyrite worms gobbled long ago stayed 

lodged in our throats. irritated. we tried 

honey. we hacked. we swallowed hard. 

it took a stab in the black for us to gob it 

all out. look. listen. amber chunks dredged 

up from the deepdark. spewed. putrid and 

staining pristinebeach pages. smell this glo- 

bular mass mess churned inside beastbellies. 

though not worth millions, still priceless. and 

you, just humming along. minding your own 

business. dipping a curious hook in for some 

thing glistening in an ocean of words. you can 

feed your self and your whole village for some 

time, with this one truth nugget you fished out 

first published online in Rattle magazine June 2021, © Celia Sorhaindo 2021, used by permission of the author

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Celia A Sorhaindo is a poet from the Caribbean island of Dominica, where she now resides after living many years in the UK. Her poetry ...
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