portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article creative global

actions & protests | corporate dominance | imperialism & war

The Daily Poetry Movement

Rain came to the desert warm, swift and biting. It lifted the smell of lilly, roses and honeysuckle into the air. City smells. I waited patiently at the bus stop in the rain and it soaked me to the skin. I waited as my poetry books hidden in my backpack were dampened, I waited as my pants clung to me, I waited in my neighbors yard, with a memory of shelter....

I am the type you are supposed to fear
Black and foreign
Big and dreadlocks
An uneducated grass eater.

I talk in tongues
I chant at night
I appear anywhere,
I sleep with lions
And when the moon gets me
I am a Wailer.

I am moving in
Next door to you
So you can get to know me,
You will see my shadow
In the bathroom window,
My aromas will occupy
Your space,
Our ball will be in your court.
How will you feel?

You should feel good
You have been chosen.

I am the type you are supposed to love
Dark and mysterious
Tall and natural
Thinking, tea total.
I talk in schools
I sing on TV
I am in the papers,
I keep cool cats

And when the sun is shining
I go Carnival.

Benjamin Zephaniah
from London in Poetry and Prose, edited by Anna Adams, illustrated by Neil Pittaway
8.95 Paperback