James Berry

Image by Caroline Forbes

In-a Brixtan Markit

James Berry

In-a Brixtan Markit

James Berry

Poem introduction

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

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.

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


James Berry

James Berry Reading from his poems

1Folk Proverbs Found Poems

2Rough Sketch Beginning

3Just Being

4Spirits of Movement

5My Arrival

6Night Comes Too Soon

7Chain of Days

8A Schooled Fatherhood

9Early Days Thinking Is Only So Much

10Defendant in a Jamaican Court

11Villager's Independence: 2

12Haiku Moments: 1

13Flame and Water


15Ol Style Freedom

16Words of a Jamaican Laas Moment Them

17Words at My Mother's Funeral

18Haiku Moments: 3

19In God's Greatest Country, 1945

20Old Man in New Country

21In-a Brixtan Markit

22Lucy's Letter

23Thinkin Loud-Loud

24It's Me Man

25Starapple Time Starapple Trees

26On an Afternoon Train from Purley to Victoria, 1955

27New World Colonial Child