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Go to The Last poets on the web!

'Poets have the right to redifine things'

Things I wrote
- This Is You
- In Chambers
- Existence In This Country



'Don't let anything bring ye down,'


Thank you for sharing, Abiodun Oyewole,
Umar Bin Hassan and Don 'Babatunde' Eaton!

Masterclass: Great inspiration!

A short impression...

They are by no means the 'last' poets. The bare room, high ceiling, broken windows, in Hofgeest activity center in the southeast of Amsterdam is filled with young people, eager to speak up and eager to learn. Poets, rappers with names such as Kamikazi, Pay Tax, and Ghetto Saints. The three men from New York are pleased to see so many strong and outspoken people here today. People with lives of both struggle and joy. I feel priviliged to be here amongst them and take part in this unique experience, a workshop by three of the Last Poets. Tables, chairs, there is nothing else there, the focus is on pen and papers on the square white formica.
'Does anyone know anybody in prison?' is one of the first questions Abiodun asks. 'People in prison have one thing that we don't have,' he continues, and we all wonder what that might be, 'Time...' he says. Yes, time, ofcourse. '
Keep visiting them, tell them to use that time, to grow, to learn. Outside our agenda's are so filled with activity, we never get round to it,'

This already sums up the general feel of this afternoon's workshop. The only one responsible for you are you. You can do something about it. That's revolution. A revolution inside. Make a change. Poets have a right to redifine things.
'I bet they all tought ye Colombus discovered America,' We all laugh. So they did. But America didn't need discovering. And 'You learn nothing at school, not about your own history,'

One by one, we all read some stuff we have written earlier and we can feel the connection, even though we're all different people, with different backgrounds. Maroccan, Antillian, Dutch. All colours are there. It doesn't matter. The emphasis is on thought and on how to put it into words. And we all have in common that we've got something to say.
Our voices resound alone, loud or hesitant, or to the beat of the drums. 'Do you know where the Djembe comes from?' Don asks. We all give it a try but nobody guesses right. Guinea it turns out to be. Ha. What do we know, eh?
Umar has asked us earlier on to write something about 'Existence In This Country'. By the end of the afternoon the group of individuals has turned into a group of together we are strong people. We all wrote something. 'You can't do it alone. Work together' is the motto by that time, and we share adresses and phonenumbers all around.

We'll meet again.

back to begin

This Is You

This is you
A scratch in your face
skin screaming
words bleeding with a cry
A taste of today's pain
burning screetching
words with nails
in your face, sharp
You don't run
You come winning
Love again beginning
with my kiss on
the scratch on your cheek
The mark that is
the price of pride

Lightning in your eyes
sets fire to you and me
sets on fire those words
burning overturning
She's afraid
the fat woman in front of you
she might be like you and me
Don't see it
Don't feel it
the likes of us
Imagine that!

'You be better off raped!'
Words in her fingers
like gunpowder
Words in the hands
of a lady shooting
another hole in your heart
And you
Sick of it
Don't take that shit
Not putting down
the bags in your hands you went
You spelled

'What's y'r beef?'
Polished nails
The scratch in your face
This is you
Standing up
and we walk
once again
We live once again
We talk once again
Why the fight once again
for love once again

Joke Kaviaar, may 11, 2004

More english poetry

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In Chambers

In chambers we speak
In chambers we rest,
poets of the low lands,
where life is good
like a sip of wine
Where tongues just root
They do not climb
They only sigh
They don't ask why
in chambers where
there is no trying
to change, change is last
thing on our mind
A waste of time
to seek to find
a higher ground
where the eye can reach
beyond the streets of
our inspiration
A nation asleep where
dreams never weep
They just lay there and
when we wake up
We don't wake up
We just sit and hide
in chambers
where we speak
where words remain weak
'cause to be strong
It is terror to the heart

Joke Kaviaar, may 11, 2004

More english poetry

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Existence In This Country

This land
It's the world on a platter
but it's not
It's a piece of old bread
and me, I speak
and make it sound
I eat from it
and taste it's salt
Breaking it up
Walls of glass crashing
the fences of this land
Smell the burning
of the old fresh wheat

Joke Kaviaar, may 11, 2004

More english poetry

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