In-a Brixtan Markit

I walk in-a Brixtan markit,
believin I a respectable man,
you know. An wha happn?

Policeman come straight up
an search mi bag!
Man – straight to mi.
Like them did a-wait fi mi.
Come search mi bag, man.

Fi mi bag!
An wha them si in deh?
Two piece a yam, a dasheen,
a han a banana, a piece a pork
an mi lates Bob Marley.

Man all a suddn I feel
mi head nah fi mi. This yah now
is when man kill somody, nah!

‘Tony’, I sey, ‘hol on. Hol on,
Tony. Dohn shove. Dohn shove.
Dohn move neidda fis, tongue
nor emotion. Battn down, Tony.
Battn down.’ An, man, Tony win.

Copyright: from Hot Earth Cold Earth (Bloodaxe 1995), copyright © James Berry 1995, used by permission of the author.

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James Berry's poems take you back to the noises, sights and smells of his Jamaican childhood. James was born in 1924 in a small village ...

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About In-a Brixtan Markit

This poem is an experience in London when I came from America (and went back home and stayed awhile and then I came to England) and I was living in Brixton at the time. The poem is called In-a Brixtan Markit.

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