Seth-Adrian Harris

As published in In Focus, Vol. 12, No 1, March 2015



Seth-Adrian Harris is a poet enamoured and empowered of the word like few others. It seems that the word is, for him, tantamount to the primordial act of creation. Perhaps this is why he often reduces language to its most pure and basic components – words, syllables, sounds. For he knows their power… Strung together like spells in arcane languages, his words explode in a Big Bang of rhythm-sound-meaning-feeling.

His poetry is earthy, urban, cosmic, irreverent and full of reverence, impassioned, vulnerable, real; it enfolds so many seemingly contradictory aspects of life into a sensory assault that leaves you with a big, satisfying “yesss!” His poetry does not analyze the human condition but celebrates it with wit and warmth, laughter and tears; life is to be experienced, not dissected.

Effortlessly stretching his consciousness and inspiration from the root of the Jamaican ackee tree to the Milky Way, Harris speaks forth his truth in “pohymns” incanted to life’s ordinary moments and to the majesty of universe, treating both with equal veneration, for I suspect that he grasps that all there is is All That Is. His collection Sacred Space-Urban Sprawl (Fetus Fiction Press, 2004), selections from which we feature here, juxtaposes, superimposes and melds the mystical and the mundane in the most natural way and with acceptance. Or is it with transcendence…? For even when he dredges up the darkest of racial memories as in “we weren’t packed/stacked/shipped/whipped” he does not abandon the reader to a lingering horror; he quickly transmutes it with lightness and humour.

Harris treats the word, and any portion of a word, as “the Word that was with the Creator.” And since manifestation through energy and vibration (for what is poetry other than a transmission of resonance from poet to reader?) is the creative act par excellence, this creator draws down his unique perceptions, as a series of entrancing utterances, from the realm of ideas to a piece of paper or before an audience…

Before an audience, yes, because Harris is also a spoken-word artist. The adept magician within him knows that, in order to trigger shifts in the fabric of reality “to inform, educate, entertain and engage” as he declares his mission, the word-command must be uttered aloud. He knows that he must emote, enact and energize it with his own life force so that it can journey out into the world and imprint itself upon the consciousness of anyone whose path it crosses.

It’s no wonder that Seth-Adrian Harris is more than a poet; he is also an award-winning filmmaker because, beyond the word, he has many other conjuring tools at his disposal with which to draw audiences into his inner-reality hologram. I urge you to watch his films, to hear his voice, to listen to his dub poetry performances at “Seth-Adrian Harris” on Youtube.


the sound is backed by ebony magic and voodoo love child

with rhythms that boom with the heartbeat

check your pulse to read the metronome

cause the prophets of serendipity

are lost in the vortex of cosmic epiphanies




oooh the ecstasy of being outside one’s self

in the light of love

the point where there are no peaks

the root of joy

the fruit of pleasure

the orgasm with no end



bring in the strings

let the cherubs sing

sound, as captions of cosmic movements

sound, as celestial storyboards

sound, as spiralling galaxies and black hole doorways

suspended on waves of red and orange-yellow hues

sound, as soft glows


by the


of light-life-force

morning glories slowly open

dewdrops sprinkle across the earth

brace yourselves

the universe is giving birth

to another planet…

it’s the planet of sound.



home is nestled in the bosom of the Milky Way

where galactic juice


from the chins

of suckling babes

home is the land







it was the squeak of the front gate that summoned me from my bed

letting me know that

that man was home

that man of few words, quick temper

serious and upright

the man whom I wanted to spend more time with


he whose seed I am, yet detached from


I see you searching way up in the family tree

trying to pick the fruits of the past

in order to feed the children of the future

it is a big tree with limbs that hang


ripe with the rewards of adapting to climates

and a terrain

that begged

to give birth to the wild


that surrounds it

we are separated by space and time

and as a youth, I always wanted to call someone ‘dad’

but you weren’t here in the land of snowflakes and white faces

in the land of maple leaves and make-believes

in the land of


in the land where later is too late unless you help yourself

it was the house you built in the backyard behind Gran Gran’s house


I wished I could have built that house with you


I see you now

a lone soul living in the hills

and I wonder what would life be like if you were around

while I was growing up

I wonder

would I call you ‘dad’?



Bob rastafari

teach St. Peter how to roll

a spliff at the gates


police come trouble

reggae band play de bubble

loud bass. gun shot. run!






a crowded bus stop

girl picks her nose and flicks it

boy says, “don’t waste it”


ackee and salt fish

rice and peas with curried goat

jamaican cuisine


her hot mouth, juicy

in sync with cosmic orbit

her hips swing loosely


…and the angry heart

harboured hatred for the wicked

with no room for love



and I’ve died a death

lived a life

died a death

lived a life

died a death

lived a li-

Amen Ra has a mama

and the sweet nerve of Uncle Sam

trying to make a mason out of me

well I’m amazing the grace

and pointing a trail

back to Timbukfukyoutu

peer amid the Pi Piper’s tomb

get in-prismed

all the doors are opal

all the doors are opal

all the doors are opal


and hope floats…

“In God we trust”

you mean in God you’ve been trussed

and you would only love for us

to break those truss

who knows why the caged bird sings?

soul’s on ice


you don’t take a pee

you leave a “P”

or else

your ass

Amen Ra has a mama

and o’seriousness aside

when you black

you can hide

but this is not a rhyme time

and rhyme was not built in a daze

it took my hands

to build the clocks

from the dots

to mark the days

it took

centuries and centuries

of wind blown entries

to tickle the temples

and lub the lobes

it took

eons and eons

of open faced…


it took

eons and eons

of open faced


to shake the spear and flow a flow

that no one will ever know

at least

not until now…

now has been dubbed the in-formation age

and I ask you

do you really – really

you wanna be in-formed?


Amen Ra has a mama

and though it ain’t my business

(and it ain’t my business)

cause every

night coloured magi

in and out

of time


that when it’s time to do the dishes

you best do your plates

cause you don’t want her doing them

…or you could break them at weddings…

the choice is choice


Amen Ra has a mama

and over a zillion spooks to carry the boos

to roaming mannequins.

we weren’t packed




(shit! that rhyme)

we weren’t hauled here to cultivate the land

we were hauled here to cultivate the lamb

“baba black sheep have you any wooool?”


as a matter of fact

he does

and the moor of three bags fool

and he gave some money to your mother

and ain’t you looking familiar

nappy nappy

kinky kinky

curls that swirl hold worlds of whirls

and the keeey

of life

oh that sheep

he sow kinky

he can’t think straight


I’ve died a death

lived a life

died a death

lived a li-

died a life

lived a death

and the only secret in life

is revealed in death

and right now

I can tell you…

if you black

you can hide

if you ain’t…



run! fast! far!


to escape my




Seth-Adrian Harris, HeadshotSETH-ADRIAN HARRIS is a passionate Jamaican-born filmmaker who grew up in Toronto and Vancouver, Canada.  He uses poetry and media to inform, educate, entertain and engage.  In 2006 he was the recipient of the Gemini Award for Best Direction of a Performing Arts Program from the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television for his television movie, “When Moses Woke”. His powerful documentary, “Catatonia’s Incantations,” won him the 2005 World Gold Medal for Best Health/Medical Promotion Program at the New York Festivals and in 2002 his film “Back” won the Vision Award for Best Direction at the Vancouver Videopoem Festival.  When asked about his cinematic style, he replies that “film making is the art of transformation.”  Mr. Harris lives and works in Toronto, Canada with his family.

ITOTI Productions Inc.

“The direction of higher evolutionary impulses.”


One thought on “Seth-Adrian Harris

  1. Hi friend. Just a little check in to see where in the world you have landed. Hope you are well. I live in Sydney Australia now which is warm and lovely. I would love to hear from you some time.

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