20 thoughts on “Poems of shape and motion – Linton Kwesi Johnson

  1. Hayi heyi umyalezo uyavakala futhi uya khuthaza. Viva forces of victory

  2. Incisive poet of Reggae, deep antifascist fighter… Wonderful, one of your best…

  3. merci linton trente année que je te écoute que du bon

  4. Who are these 5 Assholes that disliked this? Sixth repetition. This is genius!

  5. ABSOLUTE GENIUS! I walk slowly in the wind. I walk because i cannot crawl or fly!


  7. I was wondering if I could shape this passion
    Just as I wanted in solid fire.
    I was wondering if the strange combustion of my days
    The tension of the world inside of me
    And the strength of my heart were enough.
    I was wondering if I could stand as tall,
    While the tide of the sea rose and fell.
    If the sky would recede as I went,
    Or the earth would emerge as I came
    To the door of the morning, locked against the sun.

    I was wondering if I could make myself
    Nothing but fire, pure and incorruptible.
    The wound of the wind on my face
    Would be healed by the work of my life
    Or the growth of the pain in my sleep
    Would be stopped in the strife of my days.

    I am wondering if the agony of years
    Could be traced to the seed of an hour.
    If the roots that spread out in the swamp
    Ran too deep for the issuing flower.
    I was wondering if I could find myself
    All that I am in all that I could be.
    If all the population of stars
    Would be less than the things I could utter
    And the challenge of space in my soul
    Be filled by the shape I become.

    I walk slowly in the wind,
    Watching myself in things I did not make;
    In jumping shadows and in limping cripples
    Dust on earth and houses tight with sickness
    Deep constant pain, the dream without sleep.

    I walk slowly in the wind,
    Hearing myself in the loneliness of a child
    In woman's grief, which is not understood
    In coughing dogs when midnight lingers long
    On stones, on streets and then on echoing stars,
    That burn all night and suddenly go out.

    I walk slowly in the wind
    Knowing myself in every moving thing
    In years and days and words that mean so much
    Strong hands that shake, long roads that walk
    And deeds that do themselves.
    And all this world and all these lives to live.

    I walk slowly in the wind,
    Remembering scorn and naked men in darkness
    And huts of iron rivetted to earth.
    Cold huts of iron stand upon this earth
    Like rusting prisons
    Each is well marked and each wide roof is spread
    Like some dark wing
    Casting a shadow or living a curse.

    I walk slowly in the wind
    To lifted sunset red and gold and dim
    A long brown river slanting to an ocean
    A fishing boat, a man who cannot drown.

    I walk slowly in the wind
    And birds are swift, the sky is blue like silk.
    From the big sweeping ocean of water
    An iron ship rusted and brown achors itself.
    And the long river runs like a snake
    Silent and smooth.

    I walk slowly in the wind.
    I hear my footsteps echoing down the tide
    Echoing like a wave on the sand or a wing on the wind
    Echoing echoing
    A voice in the soul, a laugh in the funny silence.

    I walk slowly in the wind
    I walk because I cannot crawl or fly.

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