Oriki for George Washington Carver

by Jacqueline Johnson


Son of the woods.
Son of the earth
Just born son of slavery.
Just born son of freedom.

In you the
wildest weed
quickens and
reveals its meaning.

Divine sight,
Dance of mitosis.

Only you could see three
hundred ways to use a
peanut. Only you could
find two hundred
properties of yams.

Your father wit most attuned to
Share croppers, women and
children  of the fields

Seasoned experimenter
one year planted cotton,
next year
you planted yams.
Crop rotation is land medicine;
Interplay of rhythmic pulses.

Polished Tuskegee man,
you look happiest in overalls,
tweed jacket, applejack.
Your gaze cast over a field,
herbs in hand, listening to the
orchestra of all living things.



From A Woman's Season: poems by Jacqueline Johnson
ISBN: 978-1-59948-500-3, 106 pages
Cover art by Otto Neals
Above: Photo of the artist reading from A Woman's Season at the book party.

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One Response to “Oriki for George Washington Carver”

  1. Inez Singletary says:

    Beautiful poem, Jacqueline! Congratulations on your book!