Five Nights of Bleeding

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Linton Kwesi Johnson

madness tight on the heads of the rebels;
the bitterness erupts like a hot-blast.
broke glass;
rituals of blood on the burning,
served by a cruel in-fighting;
five nights of horror and of bleeding.
broke glass;
cold blades as sharp as the eyes of hate
and the stabbings.
it's war amongst the rebels:

night number one was in BRIXTON:
SOFRANO B sound system
was a beating out a rhythm with a fire,
coming doun his reggae-reggae wire;
i was a sound shaking doun your spinal colunm,
a bad music tearing up your flesh;
and he rebels them start a fighting,
the yout them jus turn wild.
it's war amongst the rebels:

night number two doun at SHEPHERD'S
right up RAILTON ROAD;
it was a night named Friday
when everyone was high on brew
or drew a pound or two worth a kally.
sound coming doun NEVILLE KING'S music iron;
he rhythm jus bubbling an back-firing,
raging an rising, then suddenly the music cut:
steel blade drinking blood in darkness.
it's war amongst the rebels:

night number three,
over the river,
right outside the RAINBOW:
inside JAMES BROWN was screaming soul,
outside the rebels were freezing cold;
babylonian tyrants descended,
pounced on the brothers who were bold;
so with a flick,
of he wrist,
a jab and a stab,
the song of blades was sounded,
the bile of oppression was vomited,
and two policemen wounded.
righteous righteous war.

night number four at a blues dance
a blues dance:
two rooms packed an he pressure pushing up;
hot. hot heads. ritual of blood in a blues dance.
broke glass;
splintering fire, axes, blades, brain-blast;
rebellion rushing doun he wrong road,
storm blowing doun the wrong tree.
and LEROY bleeds near death on the fourth night,
in a blues dance,
on a black rebellious night.
it's war amongst he rebels:

night number five at the TELEGRAPH:
vengeance walked through the doors
so slow
so smooth
so tight an ripe an smash!
broke glass;
a bottle finds a head
an the shell of he fire-hurt cracks;
the victim feels fear
finds hands
holds knife
finds throat;
o the stabbings an the bleeding an the blood.
it's war amongst the rebels: