Kulu Sé Mama – John Coltrane

Juno Sé Mama

MAMA came to me through my father.
He taught me about what it is to be
Man,         Self,          Strongness,
It is a ritual dedicated to
My mother.

Upon this earth, I want her to see.
I had to understand my father’s house
before my mother’s house.
JUNO SE MAMA is a prayer for all those
Who have suffered the
after effects of Slavery.
Who are we?

It is also a spiritual for the sick
and poor, light for the blind, comfort
to the young and old,
Cradle song for babies,
Wind…for birds in trees.
The sound of thunder and lightning that
BURST out over the earth.
It is a rhythm of virtue.

When you are all alone,
Many songs come…in the night,
I am a moon child.
I come from New Orleans
the surge of the bayou.
In my young life I worked
And dreamed.
I wanted to sculp,
to squeeze the earth
With my hands.
I talk with my hands.
Who teach me…no one.

I left my native home, New Orleans.
My people were not popular with
the Afro-arts.
I wanted to build,
to say.
A first Afro-American art center.
Young boy, with a Man’s dream,
“and a child shall lead them.”

While they were running the streets,
was listening.
a drummer born. American.
My father
a tuxedo drummer,
“once a tuxedo drummer, always a
tuxedo drummer.”
My mother’s father was a captain’s
F Company, 84th Regiment, Union Army
during the Civil war, 1863-6.
For the past 12 years I have been a
maker, designer,
a Son…..of drums.

My Afro-American Art Center will be
a home for the homeless,
Future sons of drums.
Coltrane moves in that direction
A man who knows
Directions for the future depend
On how we artists of today
cut the road.
Francis de Erdely, the famous artist
Made his contribution to my
art center.
His sketchings of me see into
and understand
Rhythm and Afro art.

The ritual, JUNO SE MAMA, begins in a
Mighty cloud burst
And the rippling of the water drum
begins beating against the
air cups of the world.
Moon children…ready to be born.
Signs of sky, earth, water.

One is born called JUNO.
His father’s house is the bird.
You can hear him teaching his son
how to fly.
Fly, till you reach the sky, Float,
Fly,                                                                    Float
till you make a boat
Be strong my son and show your arm.

I’m going to show you your MAMA’s home
She lives in the sea.
There is birth in the water
in my mother’s house.
No matter what has happened to us,
we have to sing.
There is always land ahead.
Earth is where it is happening,
It’s where we go from here.
We have to sound the cry
of the conch shell.
Blow the shell…
blow, blow
till you see.
And JUNO blowed and blowed till
he grooved
and grooved.

Juno Lewis,
December 1966


* le foto sono di
Isabel Muñoz