Benjamin Zephaniah

(15 April 1958 / Birmingham)

Talking Turkeys! - Poem by Benjamin Zephaniah

Be nice to yu turkeys dis christmas
Cos' turkeys just wanna hav fun
Turkeys are cool, turkeys are wicked
An every turkey has a Mum.
Be nice to yu turkeys dis christmas,
Don't eat it, keep it alive,
It could be yu mate, an not on your plate
Say, Yo! Turkey I'm on your side.
I got lots of friends who are turkeys
An all of dem fear christmas time,
Dey wanna enjoy it, dey say humans destroyed it
An humans are out of dere mind,
Yeah, I got lots of friends who are turkeys
Dey all hav a right to a life,
Not to be caged up an genetically made up
By any farmer an his wife.

Turkeys just wanna play reggae
Turkeys just wanna hip-hop
Can yu imagine a nice young turkey saying,
ÒI cannot wait for de chopÓ,
Turkeys like getting presents, dey wanna watch christmas TV,
Turkeys hav brains an turkeys feel pain
In many ways like yu an me.

I once knew a turkey called........ Turkey
He said "Benji explain to me please,
Who put de turkey in christmas
An what happens to christmas trees?",
I said "I am not too sure turkey
But itÕs nothing to do wid Christ Mass
Humans get greedy an waste more dan need be
An business men mek loadsa cash'.

Be nice to yu turkey dis christmas
Invite dem indoors fe sum greens
Let dem eat cake an let dem partake
In a plate of organic grown beans,
Be nice to yu turkey dis christmas
An spare dem de cut of de knife,
Join Turkeys United an dey'll be delighted
An yu will mek new friends 'FOR LIFE'.

Comments about Talking Turkeys! by Benjamin Zephaniah

  • Freshman - 660 Points Diana Van Den Berg (11/8/2015 5:35:00 AM)

    Benjamin, though I confess to eating meat (and although my explanation is that homo sapiens is an omnivore, I understand and respect and admire the views of vegetarians) , I absolutely LOVE your poem.

    I am animal-crazy in spite of not being a vegetarian. I have so often said that if only humans could rise to the level of civilisation of Vervet monkeys, what a wonderful world we would have.

    You put your point across so superbly (in all the poems of yours that I have read) in the most effective (in the strongest sense of the word) way. Wrapping up your point in humour, humanity, logic, and extremely clever, benevolent persuasive strategy is the way to do it. I read your biography in Poemhunter and am thrilled and in awe that you don’t bury your talents, but spread their blessings far and wide. Thank you for that.

    You had me sold as an avid reader and great admirer of your poetry after reading your first poem,5 poems ago in the early hours of this South African morning, and with each subsequent one. I am disappointed, however, that there are only 20 poems and I thus have only 15 more to read (as a first reading of them) .

    When I was 7 and my mother went on a 7 week cruise, I was farmed off to a great-aunt with a poultry farm. I was an extremely well-behaved, obedient child who always ate (and liked) whatever was put on my plate. However, I had met and had long conversations with all of the poultry on the farm, and politely refused to eat my friends, and was perfectly happy to eat only vegetables. However, my great-aunt took me to the butcher shop in the nearest village and bought chicken for me so that I didn’t have to eat only vegetables. She had some explaining to do to the butcher who knew that she had a poultry farm.

    You will be happy to know that it isn’t a tradition to eat turkey for Christmas dinner. We usually have a cold lunch because Christmas is in the middle of our summer, though I have to admit that we do have cold meats as part of it.

    Thank you for your glorious poetry. It is a breath of fresh air. I am uplifted by it for multiple reasons. 'Dis (truly) poetry'! (Report) Reply

    2 person liked.
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  • Gold Star - 37,566 Points Rajnish Manga (10/13/2015 11:00:00 AM)

    At least, there is somebody taking up the case turkeys right to live like us human beings. Thanks:
    Be nice to yu turkeys dis christmas / Don't eat it, keep it alive / An humans are out of dere mind / Dey all hav a right to a life (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 232 Points Abaka Blessing Anastasia (10/13/2015 9:37:00 AM)

    Turkeys 're not pet but consumption
    they may also be a name or an attribute.

    ''I once knew a turkey called........ Turkey ''
    turkey is a noun and it crow, his friend talks which implies homo sapiens.

    ''Humans get greedy an waste more dan need be''
    this line denote the emotional state of the writer and i think his expression was on greed or excess rather than consuming. Moreover, it's comsumable. Nice lines Poet Ben! (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 21,442 Points .., Rahman .., Henry (10/13/2015 12:39:00 AM)

    Excellent poem from Benjamin Zephaniah. I enjoyed a lot. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 36,605 Points * Sunprincess * (3/19/2014 11:04:00 AM)

    .......enjoyed this one excellent write... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Bhupinder Kaur (12/26/2010 12:44:00 PM)

    Good Evening Sir Benjamin! Today was my UGC NET exam and i got this one poem of yours for critical analysis. In India this exam is for the post of Assistant Professor. I think i could do well. Sir would u plz send me the exact critical analysis of this poem! Please! ... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Helen Adeyera (6/15/2010 1:13:00 PM)

    I love this poem it is the best i like the way benjamin wrote this poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Anam Rizvi (12/3/2006 11:26:00 AM)

    Hi Benjamin. Well i would like to ask you a question? Aren't plants living organisms too? So we do not have a right to kill them either. We can't starve.
    I think killing animals is wrong when it is done for wrong purposes like poaching and export. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Jennie Warnett (12/23/2005 10:16:00 AM)

    me and my class mates read your poem in class many disagreed with it but i do not. there is no need to kill turkeys nor any other living creature, i dont eat turkey or fish and for now that will be my contrabution. but iwould love it if i could follow your lead when i am older.
    your a roll model to us all,
    and i think your extremely cool,
    killing turkeys is cruel,
    eatting turkey on xmas day,
    is a tradition people say,
    but certainly not for mes
    my replacment is a load of peas
    i love my potatoes the most,
    and a lovely slice of toast,
    if other peps make an effort,
    they'll find a replacement too,
    animals have rights,
    theres no need to add spice,
    respect all animals,
    cause they rule over all.

    yours sencerly
    jennie warnett
    12 (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Michael Shepherd (2/26/2005 1:16:00 PM)

    That is the most joyous poem I can ever remember reading...what on this site is called a 'rotflol - 'rolled on the floor laughing out loud'... (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: christmas, fun, fear, pain, life, friend, tree

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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