Jeanne Murray Walker is the award-winning author of 8 volumes of
poetry and one memoir as well as a number of plays which have been
performed in theaters across the country and in London. She is an
Emeritus Professor at The University of Delaware, where she taught
for 40 years and headed the Creative Writing Concentration. Jeanne
currently serves as a poetry Mentor in The Seattle Pacific Low
Residency MFA Program. From her home outside Philadelphia
she blogs about the troubling politics of our time, reading and writing,
and the surprising power of stillness. She travels widely to speak
and read her poems in places ranging from The Library of Congress
to Romania, from Italy to Texas Canyon Country. You can find her
papers and letters archived at Wheaton College’s Buswell Library
and at The University of Delaware’s Morris Library. Jeanne has
appeared on PBS television and is frequently interviewed on the radio.
A Note from Jeanne
I’m delighted you’ve stopped by. Please linger a while to browse. Read some poems. Check out my blog and speaking schedule. If you’re near an event where I’ll be speaking, feel free to attend. If you’d like to read my blog click here. We can join forces to work for a more thoughtful world.
Jeanne Murray Walker
PRAYING FOR RAIN IN SANTA FE
–for Don Murdoch
This is the end of the world, slow motion, this burning,
burning till earth is parched, the cypress crisping,
cactus brown, brown grass, brown horizon.
Through the Cathedral hands of the faithful pass a candle.
Feel the pull of prayer in the hot dark.
Tell God nothing can live without water,
water, which is 70% of what you’re praying with,
rivers longing through you for more water.
That’s when it comes to you:
in prayer lies prayer’s answer. In the calling out,
the visitation. In the arrow lives the target’s eye.
So water rises from its knees, believing water
will come. When rain starts, a fat drop
joined by her sisters, the sound of dripping like
a shy nun sneezing, your heart stops with pleasure
and you pick up the cantaloupe you’ll have for dinner
to shake it. The promise inside: flesh
the color of sunset, the slosh of a whole ocean.