Minds, Question and Heroes – Benjamin Zephaniah

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MINDS

RAISE YOUR HEADS AND DANCE THE DANCE
OF MINDS THAT ARE ADVENTUROUS
FOR IF YOU TAKE THIS UPWARD GLANCE
YOUR NATURE MUST BE CURIOUS.
AND IF YOU GO BEYOND THE LINES
YOU’RE STRIVING TO BE LIMITLESS
SUCH WONDROUS AND SUCH PLAYFUL MINDS
ARE AT THE HEART OF ALL OF US.

AS YOU GAZE UPON THIS STEEL
KNOW THAT THIS STEEL IS FROM THIS GROUND,
NOW LET YOUR PRECIOUS KNOWLEDGE FEEL
THE UNITY THAT YOU HAVE FOUND.
MUSIC MAKERS MADE THIS PLACE
WITH THOUGHT AND SWEAT AND MUCH FINANCE,
NOW THAT YOUR MIND IS IN THIS SPACE
RAISE YOUR HEADS AND DANCE THE DANCE.

QUESTION

WHERE IS YOUR LOVE?
WHERE IS YOUR FAITH?
WHERE IS YOUR HOPE?
WHERE ARE YOUR DREAMS?
WHERE ARE YOUR FRIENDS?
WHERE IS YOUR SELF?
WHERE IS YOUR PATH?
WHERE’S YOUR ESTEEM?
WHERE IS YOUR PRIDE?
WHERE IS YOUR SHAME?
WHERE IS YOUR SOUL?
WHERE’S YOUR CONTROL?
WHERE ARE YOU PLEASE?
WHERE ARE YOUR KEYS?

HEROES

WANDERERS AND WORKERS SINNERS AND SAINTS,
FROM HERE THEY ALL LOOK HUMAN.
WE THAT ARE SET IN STONE KNOW THEIR GREATNESS, 
WE MERE WORDS RECOGNISE THEIR POSSIBILITIES. 
Benjamin Zephaniah

 

For the past 11 years the Off the Shelf Festival of Writing and Reading, working with Public Art Consultant Paul Swales, has commissioned writers to create text for pieces of public art. This innovative ongoing project is called Text and the City. A variety of projects have been realised within this project and Sheffield now has a large number of public poems mounted onto buildings across Sheffield.

Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah is a British Jamaican writer, dub poet and Rastafari. He was included in The Times list of Britain’s top 50 post-war writers in 2008.