MEDICINE MAN by Calvin Hernton.

North of Dark North of Shango
In kangaroo jungle of West Lost
Dressed in hide of fox Dressed at last to kill
Thirteen grains of sand Seven memories And Ten voices whispering in a rock

Time medicine riddle Time rock disguised in evil bite
In devil flight
Time encloses cycles Voice memory
Age leaps upon the lips Hawk! Kiss of hatred
Is turtle blood Is love’s hair buried in an old tin can

Then I said to my knee bones Teach me how to bend
My knee bones hardening seven memories
Recalled what I fail to know In an estranged familiar tongue
If you must go
Go by the abandoned railroad yard

The muddy ditch The lizard infested by-pass
Flank to the left where an old black woman
With prayers for you in her wrinkled hands
Cupped in an old-fashioned apron lap
Rocks eternally Eternal rock
Rocking chair
Pause, leave a tear Beneath the fallen viaduct
But do not linger
For the road back is never
Home is never where you were born
Oh Grandmother, figurine gris gris Goddess
Do I Should I Can I live so that I may die easily

Thirty years wrinkle
My belly folds When I sit When I stand
My belly spreads

Thirty red years contending with Satan
The backbones breaking pain Thirty times removed from gods
My fathers knew

Oh Shango, man of mothers
Will you join us in trance
In eating bowels of black man
Who is our victim Who no longer is father of his man

And I do approve If I do not approve
I have done somebody wrong If I do approve
Thirty times removed from voices

Birth is April fish belly.
Love is love going the wrong way.
And if I weep I weep for my twin rising out of
The marriage womb leaping upon me mid-years

Hence I put away old handed-down ailments
Put away hence common motives that drive men
To conventional madness And weep for the mother of my twin
And conjure Dance on pages of medicine book of white hands
And be ceaseless slapping on genital organs
And by eating of embryo taken from ovaries of the dead infant boy
Leaping to meet me death
If I weep at all

We may not live until love
Until moon And if I approve eating entrails of multitude of living victims
It will not resurrect those already dead It will not heal ear and tongue of betrayal
April is a time of betrayal And I do not approve I do not approve

And if I pray
I pray not to God nor Shango
I pray to bellies of deep sea sharks And pray for us survived west lost
North of dark in chains After the present pain is gone.
The hate who roars in the brain
The one who sucks my breath like an evil cigarette
The one who crushes the young men and smashes them
Who will be left to care

So shameless black men speak blood of their sisters!
And will it if I weep
Drive away the juju of the fox And if I pray
I have done somebody wrong

I pray because I was born
And have sinned my birth to clay.

Wherefore I said to my knee bones Instruct me how to stand
Teach me how to love and how to die And my bones wherein the hot oil
Of the sun is contained
Go by the abandoned railroad yard
Flank to the left of your black mama
Is rocking
Seven memories recall what
You know
North of the dark path in juju jungle
Age leaps upon the lips and caresses
The kiss of wisdom is love Hold thirteen grains of sand
Look at the sun until it three-times Blinds you, and listen
Listen to ten voices
Singing in that rocking chair

Singing in that rock!
Singing in that rock!!!!!!!!!!

Category: Healing,