Poem introduction

How we use the oral traditions to talk about politics, talk about love, talk about all sorts of things...

Song of Chickens

Song Of Chickens

Master, you talked with bows,
Arrows and catapults once
Your hands steaming with hawk blood
To protect your chicken.

Why do you talk with knives now,
Your hands teeming with eggshells
And hot blood from your own chicken?
Is it to impress your visitors?

from The Last of the Sweet Bananas: New and Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books in association with The Wordsworth Trust 2004) copyright © Jack Mapanje 2004, used by permission of the author and the publisher


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1The New Platform Dances

2Song of Chickens (from 'Cycles')

3When This Carnival Finally Closes

4Making Our Clowns Martyrs

5In Memory of Matthew, 1976

6The House that Florrie Intended

7Sketches of London

8The First Train to Liverpool (Enfield: Liverpool 1, Stoke 0, 1972)

9Travelling in London Tubes

10On Being Asked to Write a Poem for 1979

11Visiting Zomba Plateau

12Out of Bounds (Or Our Maternity Asylum)

13Vigil for a Fellow Credulous Captive

14On Banning 'Of Chameleons and Gods' (June 1985)

15The Seasoned Jacarandas of Zomba

16The Famished Stubborn Ravens of Mikuyu

17Scrubbing the Furious Walls of Mikuyu

18Your Tears Still Burning At My Handcuffs, 1991

19Skipping Without Ropes

20The Child that Now Hurts

21It's The Speed That Matters, My Dear Padre

22The Seashells of Bridlington North Beach

23Now That Sept. 11 Should Define Mr Western Civilization...

Books by Jack Mapanje