Monday, April 4, 2022

Ann Weems

Ann Weems (1934―2016) is a Presbyterian writer, who lived in St. Louis for more than fifty years. She is known for her devotional poetry, and liturgical texts which were used in worship services. She wrote seven books, several of which are books of poems including Kneeling in Jerusalem (1993) and Psalms of Lament (1999) ― both published by John Knox Press.

One of her greatest aches was when her son Todd was murdered on his 21st birthday. Her friend Walter Brueggemann asked her. “Will Rachel finally be comforted?” Ann responded, “No. Not until God wipes away every tear from our eyes.”

She was a Presbyterian elder, and “a noted writer, speaker, liturgist and worship leader.” Her mother had been a writer of historical novels and children’s books, and her father a Presbyterian minister.

The Way to Jerusalem is Cluttered

The way to Jerusalem
is cluttered
with bits and pieces of our lives
that fly up and cry out,
wounding us as we try
to keep upon this path
that leads to Life.
Why didn’t somebody tell us
that it would be so hard?
In the midst of the clutter,
the children laugh
and run after stars.
Those of us who are wise
will follow,
for the children will be the first
to kneel in Jerusalem.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. He is the author of five poetry collections including Angelicus (2021, Cascade) ― a book of poems written from the point-of-view of angels. His books are available through Wipf & Stock.