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Master

 

By Benjamin Zephaniah

 

Master master drank a toast
And dreamt of easy tea,
He gave to you a Holy Ghost
 Come children see.

 

From Liverpool on sinking ships
Blessed by a monarchy,
To Africa the hypocrites,
 Come children see.

 

Master master worked the slave
Who ran for liberty,
The master made us perm and shave,
 Come children see.

 

If slave drivers be men of words
We curse that poetry
Its roots you'll find are so absurd.
 Come children see.

 

Master master's sons drill oil
It's all his legacy
They put the devil in the soil,
 Come children, see.

 

Fear not his science or his gun
Just know what you can be,
And children we shall overcome,
 Come children see.

 

Tis true that we have not now
chains
Yet we were never free,
Still masters chains corrupt our brains
 Come children see.

 

A word is slave for man is man
What's done is slavery,
The evils of the clan that can,
 Come children see.

 

Master master worked the slave
The upright sort was he,
That boy dug master master's
grave
 Come children see.

 

Some now await a judgement day
To know his penalty,
It's blood and fire anyway,
Come children see.

 

Benjamin Zephaniah is a critically-acclaimed British poet, playwright and author. He also has his own rap/reggae band.

 

There are rumours that Zephaniah is Nelson Mandela's favourite poet, and is the only Rastafarian poet to be short-listed for the Chairs of Poetry for both Oxford and Cambridge University. A civil rights activist, his latest novel, Gangsta Rap, is available at all reputable bookshops.

 

Copyright of Benjamin Zephaniah. With thanks to The Victoria & Albert Museum, London, England.

 

Please e-mail comments to comments@thenewblackmagazine.com

 

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