“They can be like a sun, words. They can do for the heart what light can for a field.”
—St. John of the Cross
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Life As A Prayer

Life As A PrayerBook of Poems

In her first book of poems, #1 New York Times best-selling author Jennifer Read Hawthorne writes about growing up in Louisiana, spiritual transformation, extraordinary events and experiences, finding the light in darkness and the divine in all things, and the joy of simple living.

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Read an Excerpt…

My Mother’s House

I stand at the door of my mother’s house,
hand on the doorbell,
longing to hear the chimes
that once set dogs barking.
But what will I say if the new owner answers the door?

I could show him the patch of front yard
near the pecan tree,
where the white clover was always thickest—
where my sisters and I raced to see
who could catch the most honeybees
in the Ball jars our mother gave us.
We added grass and clover blossoms,
punched holes in the gold metal lids
so the bees could breathe,
dozed in the sweet grass
to their musical murmuring,
while the sun turned our skin
the color of honey.

I could point out the stand of longleaf pines
in the far corner of the backyard—
or what’s left after sixty years of summer storms.
He’s looked at them many times, of course,
but has he ever lain on the thick carpet
of lemon-scented needles in the middle of the copse,
thick with fairies dancing on every branch?

Over there’s the wisteria that spills
across the bones of beloved family animals.
And the mimosa tree—Panther Girl’s refuge
in times light and dark,

widespread limbs that welcomed me
to stretch out, bask, press my face into flowers,
drunk on the sweet scent of pink feather blossoms
and Louisiana summers.

My fingers press the bell.
The door opens.
Hello, I say. I used to live here.

Out of Bounds

In a dream, she unzipped her skin suit,
stepped out of her soul-home,
floated, widened, rose.
A few flyovers, fast and low
like the Blue Angels,
then she settled into orbit,
studied the dwelling below.

At once, seven billion heartbeats
vibrated her body in a pulse of singularity.
She could smell the scent of newborns
washed clean by their mothers,
taste the sweetness dripping from honeysuckle vines,
hear the wings of a trillion butterflies.

The only divides she could see
between blue and red
were sapphire and cerulean river ribbons
that cut through brick-colored deserts,
the red clay of Mississippi,
the burning rocks of Zion.

In the morning, when she landed,
she opened the door onto a new world.

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Feedback from readers…

“Your voice carried me to another time, another life. I knew it was you speaking, but you were speaking to me. I was wrapped in a warm southern cocoon in the early poems and then I watched from Heaven as you found your soul and shared your essence . . .”

Linda de Graaff
Louisville, KY

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“I love every word. Unexpected truths; wide-open heart; beauty on every line.”

Cindy Buck author of Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul

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“A feast. Thanks for inviting me to put my feet under your table."

Charlottesville, VA

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“Life as a Prayer is a gentle and potent invitation into the landscape of the soul's journey as it seeks the light in the field of life. Jennifer’s timeline takes you by the hand and slips you into breathless states of your inner Nature. You will find it simple and sublime.”

Elizabeth Botchis, author of Awakening the Holographic Human

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“I love Jennifer Hawthorne's new book! Life as a Prayer is beautifully written and full of wisdom. Her poems speak to body, mind, heart and soul.”

Diane Frank, poet and author of Canon for Bear and Ponderosa Pines

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“Each poem is a whole world and a beautiful gift . . . . Oh, the great images! Everything great poetry should have . . . .”

Margaret Glazer
Fairfield, IA