Medicine Man

Deep inside
the Medicine Man lives.
Not so far away
he can’t hear me,
but far enough
so I can hear myself.

His long gray-white hair
pulled back into a loose ponytail,
that dangles like time
on the edge of a bottomless universe.
His high cheek bones
rise like mesas, cutting
through the deep wrinkles
worn into his ancient face
by generations of earth-shattering laughter
and deep rivers overflowing with tears.

His medicine is very powerful;
much more so than my darkness,
which now surrenders to him
at a mere watchful glance.
Throughout my life,
I’ve sensed he’s been there,
but until recent years,
I was afraid to call his name.

I know he’s very wise because
he respects the darkness,
for there too we must live.
Even more so, he respects the light,
knowing never to look directly
into the blinding rays of the sun.
Somewhere between the two
he finds just the wisdom that I need.

And somewhere in this wisdom,
I find myself.

Click here to hear me read this poem:

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About Don Iannone

Don Iannone is a poet, writer, teacher and photographer who lives in the Greater Cleveland area. He has worked in the economic development field for over 35 years. Don is the author of three poetry books and five photography books. He is working on a short book of photographs and poems about human trafficking. This work was exhibited at six venues in Ohio. Don holds an M.A. degree in Art and Consciousness Studies from the University of Philosophical Research in Los Angeles, where he teaches writing. His educational background also includes studies in Anthropology, Photography, Organizational Behavior, and Economic Development. Don’s website: Wisdom Work Press:

9 thoughts on “Medicine Man

  1. Yes…powerful and this poem has a life inside it. It really comes to life for me. Love this one!!

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