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  • Writer's pictureTannur Ali

Who am I, Why am I here?

Updated: Feb 14, 2019

Thank you to Priestess Yogini Nu Ra Dina for the words and inspiration entitled and repeated in this poem. You have asked this question in my presence and shared it as an offering for each of us to seek our purpose. These questions ring in my ears and I am so grateful to you for the rhythm of the ask.

Who Am I, Why am I Here

I came out from the mouths of babes

Grew up like a tree

In between

The graves

Got warned about the ones from the caves

And the ones getting saved

I was South Philly born

I was MGT raised

I was raised

Left the hood for the farm

Wear a hood to keep warm

Wear my hood to keep from harm

And they removed their hoods

Would you believe?

So I ripped off my sleeve, put my heart on my arm

So, when I lift shit,

I feel it

All the weight, bestowed by the greats

Rests on these shoulders like

There's no time to waste


There's no time for fear

Just ask the question

Hold back the tears

Who am I

Why am I here

Mama told me to use my own voice

I looked up, didn't have any choice

All I can hear are the voices of old

Can you imagine trying to carry all of that gold?

Trying to be that bold

Trying to hold and not fold

But this isn't my deck

I'm all but a wreck

Everything but a speck

In this universe that coils

With this blood that just boils

And I'm reaping the spoils of "accidental" ornaments

On trees, whose purpose wasn't meant

To strangle

But whose purpose just

Got tangled with rope

And loosened with nooses

On a

White woman's whim


A Black man's skizm

It was you

You killed him

It was me

I birthed him into being

In a world I was seeing

Didn't believe he would ever be free

I earthed him and birthed him

Then, as his daughter, I cursed him

Wished him back into living

Then prayed and gave thanks

It was thanks I was given

And in my haste, I was given a burden to bear

I know why I'm here,

Who am I kiddin

My purpose is written

I mean writing

I'm trippin

I'm fallin

I'm callin

For help, but I'm stalling

At the butterfly sanctuary

All I was looking for was

A little sanctuary

The angst is scary

If I build it, they will come

But if the shit hits the fan

They might help some

Where am I from but the mouths of babes

and who am I

But the

Dream of the slaves

Or their memories, even

Gratitude fills the air

Breathe in hope

Breathe out fear

Inhale life

Exhale strife

It's not easy, always, but we still are here

In this space

We've lost our fear

Gained our voices

Made the choices to connect

In heaven's dance

Mama calls it choreography

And I say it's meant to be

By Tannur Ali

(c) 2018 All Rights Reserved

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