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
Dis poetry is like a riddim dat drops
De tongue fires a riddim dat shoots like shots
Dis poetry is designed fe rantin
Dance hall style, big mouth chanting,
Dis poetry nar put yu to sleep
Preaching follow me
Like yu is blind sheep,
Dis poetry is not Party Political
Not designed fe dose who are critical.
Dis poetry is wid me when I gu to me bed
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.
You're in this dream of cotton plants.
You raise a hoe, swing, and the first weeds
Fall with a sigh. You take another step,
Chop, and the sigh comes again,
Until you yourself are breathing that way
With each step, a sigh that will follow you into town.
That's hours later. The sun is a red blister
Coming up in your palm. Your back is strong,
Young, not yet the broken chair
You may talk o' gin and beer
When you're quartered safe out 'ere,
An' you're sent to penny-fights an' Aldershot it;
But when it comes to slaughter
You will do your work on water,
An' you'll lick the bloomin' boots of 'im that's got it.
Now in Injia's sunny clime,
Where I used to spend my time
A-servin' of 'Er Majesty the Queen,
Of all them blackfaced crew
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!"
I have remembered beauty in the night,
Against black silences I waked to see
A shower of sunlight over Italy
And green Ravello dreaming on her height;
I have remembered music in the dark,
The clean swift brightness of a fugue of Bach's,
And running water singing on the rocks
When once in English woods I heard a lark.
But all remembered beauty is no more