Early Days Thinking Is Only So Much

Early Days Thinking Is Only So Much

I didn't think I shouldn't be hungry
I didn't think of government
I didn't blame my father's husbandry
everything was just as it was

I didn't think a bellyful
of nothing was nothing
I didn't think I didn't deserve nothing
when there was food
there was everything
and there was a lot I knew

I knew we should bow
to the well-rounded people
bow to the best educated people
bow to the whitest faces
go to school breakfast or not
and that was just how it was
and that would have to be right

Our everyday business was havenots' business
and we worked and joked and played games
and laughed often as we could

And fruit-season or famine
or flood-time or drytime
everything was just as it was

And I didn't think that anything
was wrong or anything was right
that education and knowhow should be
a mystery like witchcraft

It was just as it was
and everything would have to be right


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

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Recordings

James Berry

James Berry Reading from his poems

1Folk Proverbs Found Poems

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2Rough Sketch Beginning

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3Just Being

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4Spirits of Movement

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5My Arrival

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6Night Comes Too Soon

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7Chain of Days

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8A Schooled Fatherhood

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9Early Days Thinking Is Only So Much

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10Defendant in a Jamaican Court

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11Villager's Independence: 2

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12Haiku Moments: 1

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13Flame and Water

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14Boolooloops

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15Ol Style Freedom

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16Words of a Jamaican Laas Moment Them

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17Words at My Mother's Funeral

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18Haiku Moments: 3

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19In God's Greatest Country, 1945

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20Old Man in New Country

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21In-a Brixtan Markit

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22Lucy's Letter

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23Thinkin Loud-Loud

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24It's Me Man

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25Starapple Time Starapple Trees

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26On an Afternoon Train from Purley to Victoria, 1955

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27New World Colonial Child

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28Benediction

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