Adrian Mitchell, author of some of my favourite poems, has died.

Back In The Playground Blues

I dreamed I was back in the playground, I was about four feet high

Yes dreamed I was back in the playground, standing about four feet high

Well the playground was three miles long and the playground was five miles wide

It was broken black tarmac with a high wire fence all around

Broken black dusty tarmac with a high wire fence running all around

And it had a special name to it, they called it The Killing Ground

Got a mother and a father, they’re one thousand years away

The rulers of The Killing Ground are coming out to play

Everybody thinking: ‘Who they going to play with today?’

Well you get it for being Jewish

And you get it for being black

Get it for being chicken

And you get it for fighting back

You get it for being big and fat

Get it for being small

Oh those who get it get it and get it

For any damn thing at all

Sometimes they take a beetle, tear off its six legs one by one

Beetle on its black back, rocking in the lunchtime sun

But a beetle can’t beg for more, a beetle’s not half the fun

I heard a deep voice talking, it had that iceberg sound

‘It prepares them for Life’ – but I have never found

Any place in my life worse than The Killing Ground.

I posted some other poems by him for National Poetry Day a few years ago here.

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