-Anyone who can get through a newspaper, - Jeanne Murray Walker says, -will find this book a piece of cake.- Indeed, the poems in this book are strong but unpretentious pieces rich in meaning and feeling.
The poems in New Tracks, Night Falling acknowledge that we are people driven and divided by fear. They talk about racism, war, loss, greed, alienation, our disregard of the earth, and our disregard of each other. Sometimes we feel like night is falling in the bright light of day. Yet we get glimpses of hope, of what could be:
In this dark time I want to make light bigger,
to toss it in the air like a pizza chef,
to stick my fists in, stretching it
till I can get both arms into radiance above the elbow
and spin it above us.
Hope continually threads its way through these poems. We hear its voice as Walker writes about choices -- both those we make and those beyond our making.
And we feel hope rising like bread when Walker focuses on the gifts of potential, resolution, mercy, joy -- the new tracks that we can make in fresh snow, on old paths, along the roads more or less traveled. These are stays against the falling night.
With a keen eye for both physical and emotional detail, Walker explores a journey that all of us are on, and she does so in a way that speaks to our deep fears and deeper joys, that engages and inspires. Tempering somber notes with more joyful ones, she reminds us of the good things, great and small, that are still possible in this world.