Winter’s Long Shadow:

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Trees quickly implode, blighted hollowed girth’s

Hibernation favours many dark months

Roots meekly delve, sinking deepest earth

Young and aged unfairly bear its brunt

Jack Frost confused breeze bitterly blows

Ice-tinted snow, foraging covered land

Prudence wisely wears blanket thickened clothes

Gaiety disrupted Christmas understands

Troubled times made absolutely clear

Nature’s weapons terrorise humbled man

Arctic conditions menace Hope’s new year

Fulfillment, foregoes universal plan

Fly free little bird, glide on wind-wafted wings

Soar clear abreast clouds’ unhindered retreat

 Escape South, where Sun singingly singe

Fruit’s abound; nests’ patterings issue feet

Darkness invades early, Winter has come

Cold chilled, brown-tinged leaves signal time to go

Your battle over seas must be won

Gulfstream negotiates permitting flow

Every year such gloomy seasons intrude

Warning alarms; desert shrinking climes

Food survival’s precious thoughts include

Sourced vibrations conveyed, inside rhyme

Word concludes: Our foe has no heartbeat

Cooling earth; shedding tidings bitter sweet

Henry York: robbed of over 200 poems -Linkedin- and systematically racially abused.  Enjoy ‘Winter’s Long Shadow’ ; one I’m particularly pleased with.

For BJF: “tell Me! Where in Earth does Word Go?”

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Inspiration cites Word, who takes on clothes

Breathing curt, articulated signals

Conversation foals, communication grows

Marked boundaries: abstract and physical

Receptively forced into goaded minds

Free instruction diverts intuition

Converted intention’s legible signs

Thoughts reveal sighted imagination’s

Devined post-hypnotic action; complete

Meaning accentuated on canvas

Points where one presses the button: delete

Conveyed knowledge designates all of Us

Fully crafted and formed speech leaves the nest

Flies away to embodied fields anew

Bulbous ripened fruit in Poe’sy’s fortress

Ready the more to constructively spew

Blurting sweetly through phonetic design

Imprinted memory waiting for a call

Produced on a disc compelled to rewind

Passive permutations clear as crystal

Where Art? Thou hidden invisible mode

Temptingly hanging on that fabled tree

Commanding assuaged grammatical codes

Condoning the power of Poetry

Lost language buried intrepidly deep

Surfaces, embedded in foreign tongues

Pig’en variants allow talk to seep

Ensuring space, chat alternately belongs

Caribbean’s seventeenth century

Form well-current, most certainly alive

Style linguist’s potent apothecary’s

Commercial patois suddenly arrives

Changing appearance, glorifying text

Metamorphosizing, chuntering on

Where on earth will You choose to turn up next

Costumed dressed, screened sitting on a futon

Henry York: “Linkedin is not legitimate, they censor the Truth!”

Summer’s Dribbling Memory:

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In an age of civilised humanity

Pioneering Word became innocent bystander

Punctured ingratiation leaked verdant hypocrisy

Recording pitiful climes; spent sucking

Carrot and coriander, from time-worn spoons

Soon, Wimbledon will exhaust strawberry

Markets; unenviable trade bearing pontoons

Complimenting customary clapping

Adjoined beligerent uncompromising rackets

Merging diverse celebrity back-slapping

Those days, of: Mc’enroe, Wade, Borg

Long gone, summers seemingly prolonged

Gardening now a thriving commercial entity

Supposed enjoyment for rich and famous

Who, in actual fact, are inhumane; devoid of

Pity.  Those acclaimed animal lovers

Uncharacteristic’ly take delight

Consciously aware of deluded, poverty stricken

Fellow human beings inertly perilous plight

Wilting, faded hues of humanity

Intermittent clouds float lazily above

Reminders of bygone days’ wispy memory

Bawdily fueled lusty unkindled love

People too engrossed in life’s survival

To witness and chance summer’s precious

Arrival, and: then it will casually vanish

When all that’s left, will be song

Unwelcomed descent into seasonal gloom

Winter’s clammy harangue; that uncomfortably

Dark, night-enhancing virtual doom

So please: enjoy whilst you can

For lost are those boastful brilliant forays

Enduring, coursing infinitely strong

Replaced with melancholic, ruefully

Sublime national grief; party

Constituents inclusive, stamped-on

Damning labels, readily exposing thief

Sobering thoughts ensnare the present

Armageddon rises holy war

Condoning the presiding prophetic advent

Who is Henry York?

Prime Minister: The Battle Commences; Righteousness and Truth v. wickedness and sin

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Dear Mr. Cameron:

I am self-employed; since June 2012.  My literary production company boasts the ability to, teach: East Europeans, Africans, West Indians and Asians, who have no grasp – whatsoever – of basic English language, in a tried and tested twelve-hour (12) workshop programme.  Though I have a degree – combined English and History disciplines – I am not qualified as a teacher.  The PGCE – over two years – would cost me £6,000.  Unable to secure contracted work, I persevere; having taken a fortnightly £80. 00 benefit paycut, to exit your unemployment statistics; I still receive: working tax credit and housing benefit; whilst the phenomenal product my business proffers, goes begging.

I run a voluteer basic English training workshop at my local soup kitchen.  My clients (free) are mainly East Europeans, from The Czech Republic and Poland, they are also homeless and virtually unemployable, that is; until I tutor them for a minimum four (4) hours, then their grasp of the English communication starts in earnest.  Within eight (8) hours learning, my clients are: spelling, reading, speaking and writing -via dictation- basic English communication principles.  I have written-up and costed my workshop services but, there is no door or employment opportunity for my desperately needed service.  I live in an inner city area and the kids are on the street because they are illiterate; though my services are well known throughout the area, no reputable community leader has called me to impart my educational services.

Mr. Cameron, I am also a performance poet of umpteen years experience, yes I perform, have been doing so since I was sixteen (16) years old, I am now fifty-four.  My business allows for performance bookings; I did a freebee for the church, last Saturday, I’m told the evening was a resounding success.  My poetry is gathering dust on the shelves, for years, because the publishing houses will have waiting lists, for up to three years: Bloodaxe, Peeple Tree Press, etc.  My poetry is widely circulated on the net, if you’re interested sir.  I have untold years’ experience: studied at The Arvon Foundation twice, performed on Brimstone Hill, St. Kitts West Indies twice, taught for two successful years at Basseterre High school, st. kitts, performed at the Chapeltown, Leeds carnival, and various sundry places over the years.

Don’t be mistaken Mr. Cameron, I am not crying to you.  I am endeavoring to explain: I am ready but your brokendown elitist system is tired.  It allows real and talented people to slip under the radar, and your Mr. Men arn’t interested because they are grudgeful and jealous of the talent no-bodies, like me, possess.  Every desk I report to, I am more educated, and qualified, than the dummy that represents the recognised establishment.  Those nameless, faceless R.S.A. qualified imposters are too engrossed in themselves, to realise a Ba. hons – three year degree – in academic subject criteria.  In short: your talent scouting, work empowering, privilege sharing system is a joke and doomed to failure.

I don’t want to be on the dole!  I also don’t want to be receiving working tax credit and housing benefit.  The people I am capable of teaching will receive a chance, to enter employment.  They don’t really hang around for the full twelve hours.  Once they can adequately communicate – six to eight hours – they promptly seek labouring work.  Rad is a case in point: I met him at a rave club.  He could not speak a word of English.  After six-hours private tuition he obtained employment as a kitchen porter and stopped his lessons; he was only interested in getting work.

Prime minister!  You don’t have to listen to me.  I received student loans, prepared myself, and have never had the opportunity to payback my loans.  The system failed me; I worked for two years, as a teacher, in the Caribbean on the strength of my academic degree.  On my return to England, I wrote up my education workshop, twelve hourly remember, and it stands on the shelf gathering dust.  So!  What You saying Prime Minister?

Henry York: 54 years old Ba. hons (English and History)  Chapeltown, Leeds. UK.

Devoided: minds flock together

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The Poet spoke his mind

Silk-like Word instantly divined

“Darwin’s evolved apes continue to play

Heinous hypocrite’s fears

To allay; houses of glass, in which

They live: no informative allegiance

Or joy to give.  Where do they go

When pretending asleep?  Perched

Upon the gates of hell, they

Relentlessly weep.  Locked in the garbage

Pan of history; suffused in the revealing

Expose of Postmodernity

My enemies poetry is

Food to my heart.  How

Could I refuse Poe’sy

Like you pretensious

Upstarts?  Allow clouded

Rash sentiments to

Obscure ‘The Chalice Of Love.’

Deny myself literary fulfillment

Subvert such a guiless trove

Word: enclothed in Poe’sy’s

Majesty; King and Queen

Betrothed in all glory.”

The Poet stopped speaking

As abruptly, as begun

Hence, sudden stillness seeping

Under a roving sun

Therapeutic Word banished disease

The Earth roamed free

And the world duly ceased

Armageddon Came To Breakfast: world’s end, 2012

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Somewhere, deeply ensconced personal space

Anguish emits silent tormented squeals

Rankled, debauched civilisation cries

A lone, furrowed voice demands attention

War festeringly congeals infestate global scabs

Abusing JAH!  Named, faithless creeds claim

Innocent lives; many troopers’ futures

Exasperated, mutual enemies join forced

Condemnation of war; enough, an abjectly

Saddened Word, invisible to: universitates, graduates

‘Religiouscapes’; equally and pathetic’ly alike

Three five-year terms conclude 2013; Blair’s

Hinduja collaboration ran its meandering

Discourse.  Political aspiration absorbed party

Parameter’d conclaves; Tories co-ercively ‘kow-tow’

Labourites, beligerently dragging them along, whilst

Shouldering Saint Nick: his kicking, screaming

Lib-Dem clan close behind.  Economic suicide

Commenced, unhinderingly promulgated that pigeon

Chested British lion; ably navigating a stealth

Envigoured North American bald eagle

Squandering billions, on fruitless non-rewarding conflict

Saddam’s Iraq acquiesced wastelands; recording global

Armageddon; fleet-footedly spreading the Curse

Of a dreaded Black horse, chasing an unseen pot

At the diseased end of a phantom radio; Afghanistan

Signalled descent, into : hellish economic meltdown

An unprecedented drain on western governmental

Resources; openly instituting the postmodern-day

 Fall of plagiarised Jerusalem; instigating preparation

For The Final Battle.  Europe quickly adopts the guise

Of a headless chicken

Whilst Africa braces itself for monetary colonisation

Cameron buried his over-large head in Margate sands

Praying deliberate, unashamed obeisance, worshipping

A monied Shard; western demogoguery succumbed

Worldly domination to advancing hordes, typified

Gowned, head-garbed oil magnates.  Tories look

Longingly westward, forgetting Lusitania sank

Many moons ago; those cavalrous cousins are locked

In an unholy fight of their own.  Religion was

Reduced to a new-age joke; buried in recently

Propheseid caves, surrounding ‘hallowed

Hills and grounds of promised Utah’

A New Beginning

Proclaiming Anglo-Saxon hypocrisy

Entrusted with safe-guarding Our future

Successive egotistical meglo-manics lost

Their way, sequestrating personal modes

Materially rewarding self-gratification

Distinctive metaphysical schizophrenics

Who left the lowest classes to foot their bill

And pay with hapless emaciated lives

Shifting apoplectic naseous debilitating

Poverty, on to; overladen slates of recorded

Debenture.  They compellingly pour economic

Solvency, down an unrelenting hole; rapidly

Filling with abused remains of  The Wests dead

Soldiers, coupled with unmanageable national debt

H-York (Dan: 2012)

Zephaniah 2: Grassroots [ cont…..] ‘Chant down Babylon walls (’98)

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New Labour: Blair’s assented amalgamation; merged all parties’ values.

The biblical curse of Elitism: pharasaic phillosophy; psychological apartheid

Reverse intellectuality – biblical superiority – polar opposition – Light destroys dark (death).

Interview (part 2):

Vort-x: You said , you started writing poetry because you didn’t like poetry.  What did you mean by that?

BZ: The kind of poetry we were getting, in this country, on this continent, was boring.  It was dead.  It was flat.  It was all written by white men who were dead two-hundred years ago.  They try and tell Us it was classics then I woke up and said, “We can make Our own classics.”

Vort-x: In some other cultures self expression and creativity are a part of everyday life, whereas in this country this seems to have been stifled and ridiculed.  How do you think we can develop self-expression in this country?

BZ: Well New Labour arn’t doing anything about it, all I can do as an individual is go into schools.  When I was at shool, all I got was a policeman and a fireman visiting me, so I go in schools now and the kids go, “dreadlocks blackman, Rastaman doing poems; and they’re political, and they’re funny, and he’s not playing like any intellectual; I can understand this shit!”  And it inspires them to write.  You know that poem, ‘The Wrong Song – (Don’t Worry Be Happy)?  I’ve got a few of them, especially for the younger children.  I say, ” Alright then, let’s take a song that you know and do your own version of it.”  And then they do it, they claim it, they reclaim it.  It’s difficult because I can’t get into every school in the country, and not every poet thinks like me.  There are some but, you know, there arn’t that many.

Vort=x: Why don’t you get the {credit &} acclaim which you deserve?

BZ: Everytime I’ve had a nomination for Professor of Poetry at Oxford and at Cambridge, and everytime there has been big controversy in the media.  They say, “he’s a bad man, he’s been to prison, what kind of man is this that we should make a Professor of Poetry.”  And, you know, it’s interesting – The only fan club I have (well, they don’t call it a fan club – they are sympathisers) – is in Malawi, in Central Africa.  In Memphis, Tennesee, they have made me a guest of the city.  I am a honourary citizen of Harah, in Zimbabwe.  Nelson Mandela made me a honourary citizen of South Africa.  All my honours come from other places.  In England, everytime I get nominated for anything, and I don’t have anything to do with it (I don’t give a fuck about it half the time), there has always been some controversy.  And, in a way, it’s good you know?  Because: all the recognition, all the fame, all the what-ever- you want to call it that I get, comes from The People; it doesn’t come from institutions.  When I walk along the streets people don’t put me on some pedestal, they go; “respect, you saved my life, you inspired me to do something, or, you inspired me to get off the streets, or, you inspired me to stop this, or, you inspired me to do this.  I’ll tell you something now, and not a lot of people know this: The University of North London has just given me a Doctorate and you know what?  I’m accepting it, and; the reason I’m accepting it is because they said, “it’s not just for the poetry you are doing, it’s for all the community organisations you have worked with, it’s for the unity you have been promoting between: the white community, the black communityand the Asian community.”   And I said, to myself, “this is people who know where I’m at.  They’re not looking at me and going, “Benjamin Zephaniah, The Poet!  Does he have merit?  Sitting in their ivory towers trying to judge my poetry.”  There’s some grass roots people in there, who can recognise what I am doing.  And I accepted and, told them I was accepting for that reason, not because I’m a literary person.  All the support I’ve ever had, has been from grassroots……….   H. York.

He Hurled Flaming Meteorites; fire balled, right into the midst of them

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And you know so much about

Henry York; flippant, self-indulgent

Conjecture.  Trusting apparent benign

Shadows after dark, believing false

Untenable whispers.  Now you dwell

On wrong side of the border

Trapped in memories of misrepresentation

Recorded in eternal rolls of poet’s

Literature; erased from the annals of this dispensation


Lost!  When you could quite conceivably

Have won; future posterity the cost

This long before the race begun

Vying for position interval; what a

Way you destroyed a promising career

Your own; fulcrum and force centrifugal

Accident prone, left with nothing to say

Blathered mind deploys agonising fears

Condoned; sufferer’s cotinuum, sourced

Colloquial precedents; and, alone


And of Me?  He said

“You’re one of the first written in

The Holy Book.  It’s wrong to pretend

You’ve long since taken a sneak look.”

I smiled, openly, “yes, I’d already taken

A sly peek, into that book.”


The Elected Ones, of whom I’m not!

Would, Be: saved, standing by; as the

Condemned are assigned to their graves

Those empty vessels making world a’

Noise: devil, demon and jinn, wearing

Unsustainable disguise; seething, festering

Burning inside, having not a conceivable

Place to hide.  Sad, inebriate intellect

Literarily uncompromising rejects; copycat

Residues: mugging, thieving, robbing

People, ‘pon The Avenue.  You begone

Back to where you crawled from

And those so-called innocent witnesses

Isn’t it time they came to understand

With horrible scars and blood on their

Hands?  Covering eyes and ears, pretending

Not to see; eating pies and shedding tears

“Nothing to do with me!”

Say ‘not’ you’re a poet, shelve those pathetic

Attempts to show it; until you catch the breeze

Whilst halting literary theft, and murder – please


It’s all written quite clearly in the future

” Hey b’woy stop daydream!  And put

Away that sweet-smelling Sensimillia.”


Laughter echoed all around; could be

Heard, sounding and abounding even in

Middle of town; wearing Roodbwoy’s crown


“Bye then, my chariot is here; on my way

To mingle with those eternals who dare

Having power to influence what we say

At the sound of my trumpet’s Almighty blare.


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