When I was a windy boy and a bit
And the black spit of the chapel fold,
(Sighed the old ram rod, dying of women),
I tiptoed shy in the gooseberry wood,
The rude owl cried like a tell-tale tit,
I skipped in a blush as the big girls rolled
Nine-pin down on donkey's common,
And on seesaw sunday nights I wooed
Whoever I would with my wicked eyes,
The whole of the moon I could love and leave
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream- -and not make dreams your master;
What was he doing, the great god Pan,
Down in the reeds by the river?
Spreading ruin and scattering ban,
Splashing and paddling with hoofs of a goat,
And breaking the golden lilies afloat
With the dragon-fly on the river.
He tore out a reed, the great god Pan,
From the deep cool bed of the river:
The limpid water turbidly ran,
I asked the mayor of Gary about the 12-hour day and the 7-day week.
And the mayor of Gary answered more workmen steal time on the job in Gary than any other place in the United States.
"Go into the plants and you will see men sitting around doing nothing--machinery does everything," said the mayor of Gary when I asked him about the 12-hour day and the 7-day week.
And he wore cool cream pants, the Mayor of Gary, and white shoes, and a barber had fixed him up with a shampoo and a shave and he was east and imperturbable though the government weather bureau thermometer said 96 and children were soaking their heads at bubbling fountains on the street corners.
And I said good-bye to the Mayor of Gary and I went out from the city hall and turned the corner into Broadway.
And I saw workmen wearing leather shoes scruffed with fire and cinders, and pitted with little holes from running molten steel,
And some had bunches of specialized muscles around their shoulder blades hard as pig iron, muscles of their forearms were sheet steel and they looked to me like men who had been somewhere.
Please Mrs Butler
This boy Derek Drew
Keeps copying my work, Miss.
What shall I do?
Go and sit in the hall, dear.
Go and sit in the sink.
Take your books on the roof, my lamb.
Do whatever you think.
Feet pounding windswept pavements
people thrilled to run.
Red butterflies in tandem-
Day to satin night
on every viable route
Pretty, fleeting scenery
I'm surrounded by people, but still feel alone,
I'm running, not stopping, or I'll turn to stone.
The moment my feet freeze the panic sets in,
My tongue turns to silver, my heart turns to tin!
And I cannot move,
I've got everything to lose-
Do you suffer loneliness at night?
Keep a hold
Are you stirred, shattered and shy?
Don't let it go
Is there any doubt when the hurt, the hurt it does you proud?
Draw circles round the targets,
Look how far you've came.
With bare feet, keep running
My ancestors ran
Thats why I'm not American, or British, or Jamaican.
it's because, they ran.
Away from the slave traders
away from the greedy chiefs who clinged glass with the slave traders.
That's why I'm sitting on hard bench with no money and wallet
That's why i will go home after writing this poem to no electricity
and no water
and no polony.
I came from the sunny valleys
And sought for the open sea,
For I thought in its gray expanses
My peace would come to me.
I came at last to the ocean
And found it wild and black,
And I cried to the windless valleys,
"Be kind and take me back!"