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Thursday, 11 November 2010

Beautiful Englishes


Me not no Oxford don
me a simple immigrant
from Clapham Common
I didn't graduate
I immigrate

But I warning yu Mr. Oxford don
I'm a man on de run
and a man on de run
is a dangerous one

I ent have no gun
I ent have no knife
but mugging de Queen's English
is the story of my life

I don't need no axe
to split/up yu syntax
I don't need no hammer
to mash up yu grammar

I warning you Mr. Oxford don
I'm a wanted man
and a wanted man
is a dangerous one

Dem accuse me of assault
on de Oxford dictionary/
imagin a concise peaceful man like me
dem want me serve time
for inciting rhyme to riot
but I tekking it quiet
down here in Clapham Common

I'm not a violent man Mr. Oxford don
I only armed wit mih human breath
but human breath
is a dangerous weapon

So mek dem send one big word after me
I ent serving no jail sentence
I slashing suffix in self-defence
I bashing future wit present tense
and if necessary
I making de Queen's English accessory/to
my offence

'Listen Mr. Oxford Don' by John Agard, Mangoes and Bullets, 1985

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