It’s Work (2001)

Benjamin Zephaniah

Oxford English Dictionary (OED) Links On

I could hav been a builder
A painter or a swimmer
I dreamt of being a Rasta writer,
I fancied me a farmer
I could never be a barber
Once I was not sure about de future,
Got a sentence an I done it
Still me angry feelings groweth
Now I am jus a different fighter,
I sight de struggle up more clearly
I get younger yearly
An me black heart don’t get no lighter.
I will not join de army
I would work wid malt an barley
But here I am checking me roots,
I could work de ital kitchen
But I won’t cook dead chicken
An I won’t lick nobody’s boots,
Yes I could be a beggar
Maybe not a tax collector
I could be a streetwise snob,
But I’ll jus keep reciting de poems dat I am writing
One day I’ll hav a proper job.

Learn more about the language of this poem in the
Oxford English Dictionary:

rasta  fancied [fancy]