Poem introduction

Before I read this poem I'll just tell you that a 'duppy' is a ghost in Jamaican language.

Trick a Duppy

Trick a Duppy

If you wahn trick a duppy
and wahn walk on happy happy
in a moonshine - bright moonshine -
hear how and how things work out fine.

You see duppy. No whisper. No shout.
Make not the least sound from you mouth.
One after the other straight straight,
strike three matchsticks alight.
Drop one then two of the sticks ablaze
and before you walk a steady pace
flash dead last match like you drop it
when smart smart it slipped in you pocket
to have duppy haunted in a spell
and why so you cannot tell.

But duppy search search for third match stick
to vanish only when 6 a.m. come tick.


from Only One of Me (Macmillan, 2004), copyright © James Berry 2004, used by permission of the author.

Where next?

Recordings

James Berry - Children's Poems

James Berry Children's Poetry Downloads

1Caribbean Playground Song

£0.89

2Jamaican Song

£0.89

3Childhood Tracks

£0.89

4Seeing Granny

£0.89

5Rain Friend

£0.89

6Trick a Duppy

£0.89

7Everyday Music

£0.89

8Seashell

£0.89

9Earthworm and Fish

£0.89

10A Nest Full of Stars

£0.89

11Isn't my name magical?

£0.89

12A Story about Afiya

£0.89

13When I Dance

£0.89

14The Barkday Party

£0.89

15Action Images

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16Scribbled Notes...

£0.89

17The Adding Up of Birthdays

£0.89

18Somewhere! Somewhere!

£0.89

19Wild Whistling Woman

£0.89

20Skeleton Sisters

£0.89

21The Quarrel

£0.89

22Together

£0.89

23Singing with Recordings

£0.89

24Postcard Poem: Solo

£0.89

25Duppy Dance

£0.89

26Getting Bigger Rap

£0.89

27Mek Drum Talk, Man

£0.89

28People Equal

£0.89

29What Do We Do with a Variation?

£0.89

30Okay, Brown Girl, Okay

£0.89

31Everywhere Faces Everywhere

£0.89

32Teach the Making of Summer

£0.89

33Listn Big Brodda Dread, Na!

£0.89

34Innercity Youth Walks and Talks

£0.89

35The Boy-Don Rap

£0.89

36A Toast for Everybody Who is Growin

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37Gobble-Gobble Rap

£0.89

38Light Fabric

£0.89

39Bye Now

£0.89

40Goodbye Now

£0.89