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Poem introduction

CABAL

Cabal

Dem beg him, beg him, till dem sick
an tired—him wouldn sign him name
to what de most a dem waan lick
de opposition with. Him seh, ‘Same

knife stick sheep stick goat,’ an walk
out of de room. De big-man bus
a funny laugh. Nobody never talk
to him like dat. Him seh, ‘Trust

me, eediot mus learn.’ So, first of all,
we kick de eediot out de group. An den
we start de rumour seh him bawl
fi mercy when we check de books again—

yuh never know him tief? Yes, man, tief
like puss, unless yuh watchin him! An now
dat him expose, pure grief
to get another job. Him shoulda bow!

Me scratch your back, you scratch mine;
but if yuh tun traitor yuh must pay.
Dyamn fool! De eediot bwoy was tryin
to block de road. We move him out de way.


from I been there, sort of: New and Selected Poems (Carcanet, 2006), copyright© Mervyn Morris 2006, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

Recordings

Mervyn Morris Reading from his Poems

1On Holy Week, a sequence of poems for radio

2Examination Centre

3Muse

4Peelin Orange

5The Pond

6Mariners

7Valley Prince

8Dadd, Poor Dadd

9Tutorial

10Journey into the Interior

11Cave

12Windscreen

13Stripper

14Shadows

15Birthdays

16Literary Evening, Jamaica

17Toasting a Muse

18Gaffes

19To an Expatriate Friend

20To the Unknown Non-Combatant

21Grounation

22Cabal

23The Roaches

24Case-History, Jamaica

25Nursery

26Afro-Saxon

27For Consciousness

28Jamaica 1979

29Meeting

30Data

31Dreamtime

32Short Story

33Walk Good

34Moment of Truth

35Persephone

36Narcissus

37A Voyage

38The Lovers

39Critic

40Peacetime

41Family Pictures

42Sister

43Seen

44Connection

45Pussycat

46Version

47Memento

48In the Garden

49Eve

50Happy Hour

51Casanova

52North Coast Hotel

53Little Boy Crying

54Proposition One

55Togetherness

56Give T'anks

57Love Is

58There was a Young Poet

59Departure Lounge

60To a Crippled Schoolmaster

61The Day My Father Died

62Granny

63Hey, Ref!

64Outing

65Postcard

66Pre-Carnival Party

67Danse Macabre

68Diptych

69Garden

70Birthday Poem

71Terminal

72My Rodney Poem

73Historian

74Checking Out

75Palimpsest

76A Chant Against Death

Books & cds by Mervyn Morris