from by nth digri

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in the confrontation between plants and zombies
I am obviously cheering for the plants
zombies have manipulated them as cash crops
and rendered real humans as disposable implements
but a ripe bunch of bananas does taste and smell and look real beautiful
belafonte be the tarantula,
my muse, deeply bluesing this 808 worksong


Daylight come, and me want go home

I’ve been working that graveyard shift, and I can’t hardly stand no more
It’s the break of dawn, so looks like I can finally go
And I’ve got to stop at the grocery store
I got mouths to feed, and supplies are running low
But first I got to get to the bank
See if I can increase my rank
Cuz I need my lights and heat, but they’re about to cut off the hydro and gas
Rent’s due, too, and my kids just got a filling in his tooth, so I got to pay for that
Plus a whole bunch of bills like water and phone
So I was thinking of asking for an emergency loan
Either that or get two jobs, maybe get myself cloned!
I’m trying to get something that pays more, but every time I get my foot in the door
And get an interview, I don’t get hired no matter how well I think I do
Or how much experience and qualifications I show
So, I finally asked, “What’s going on?”
And they told me if I don’t like it, I can just go… back…

Daylight come, and me want go home

24 hours in which to earn a living wage
And there’s no lack of manpower, just a concentration of power
Loss of laws for equal pay
Means lack of women-power, even though they’re doing the hardest labour
And all around the globe, many people are enslaved, and some are even slave traders
Kids in despair in sweatshops when they should be in the care of educators
And with every bite of a banana or purchase of a brand name bandana
I am a collaborator
A consumer of Big Oil, or Big Sugar
From Ghana to Guyana, Delhi to Manilla
But I heard a fella say that Massa day done
Dat dey have he on de run
And that the time soon come
For the dream that one day
We will let freedom reign
But we must have slipped back like reconstruction cuz
Many are still living in de facto debt bondage
Struggling to get by on single income or EI, or minimum wage
Working part time for something with no future
That make no use of they skills and brains
Tired like a dog
Tired of running in the rat race
Of always being thirsty when they look around and see there’s water for days
Of going two steps backwards for every one forward they take
They want chance to move at a more human pace
Have a little time to hang out with family and friends
Break bread with a familiar face
We all want time to be at the place that we… call…

Daylight come, and me want go home

And a bunch of ripe bananas might look and smell and taste real beautiful
And I might be entertaining and have a gift that’s lyrical or musical
And my style be classic even though I’m not considered classical
But underneath it all, under this laid-back exterior
There’s a tarantula
That when cornered could be deadly
And there’s no inoculation for this venom cuz it’s foreign plus tricky
More like Anansi than Peter Parker
Came out from the crossing even stronger, a born survivor
Who could work all night on a drink of red bull or coffee, but no money for rum
No fervour, but I’m working up a fever like H-one-en-one
No raise in wages, but they keep the prices raising
And must I make payments, so I got to lift and tote till morning come
And some end up in the streets and they call them bums
But they ain’t go beg for crumbs
They go collect cans in the alley
So come Mr. Tallyman, tally, man, come!
Come with your visa schemes to plant hopes and dreams
For vegetable pickers and taxi drivers that can only afford kraft dinners
Who still recall the taste of planatos or casava pone
Who still send barrels home to take care of their own
And run through countless calling cards to touch base by telephone
And feel that, even though they have staked their claim in this zone
Deep down, a part of them just don’t know
If they could ever… be…

Daylight come, and me want go home


from south is north, released August 7, 2013




nth digri Ottawa, Ontario

nth digri is inspired by his Caribbean-Canadian heritage, hip hop culture, and the African griot tradition. His LP Tales of the North Coast was nominated for a Canadian Urban Music Award. His poem Sugar Cane was selected for the Best of the National Poetry Slam Anthology. He was the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word 2010 Male Poet of Honour. He has performed in Canada, the Caribbean, and the US. ... more

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