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(15 April 1958 / Birmingham)

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Neighbours

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.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003


Read poems about / on: moon, sleep, fear, dark, sun, night, school, cat

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Comments about this poem (Vegan Steven by Benjamin Zephaniah )

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  • Ahmad Shiddiqi (8/10/2009 12:14:00 AM)

    what a lovely, humble and straighforward of autobiographical words!

    13 person liked.
    8 person did not like.
  • Ijanric Howe (7/30/2009 6:32:00 PM)

    Sums up contemporary, casual racism so well. Come and be my neighbour Benjamin - we go Carnival together!

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