The Rain-Maker's Prayer

God of generations,

Author of all that's been,

The Lord who comes as Leza [1]

From rumbling mainza [2] skies.

Created in ordered thinking,

The answer to mysteries

Enquiring minds explore,

Yet only the dead [3] may know.


In the name of silent ancestors

In dry December haze,

We beg you take Kalingwa [4] ,

And cast it from the skies,

Sprinkling Mapangazya [5] fields

With rains to soak the earth.


Mabwe Tuba [6] be Rephidim's rock [7]

Cinywa Julu [8] know Carmel's fame, [9]

Convince again the doubters

For their sakes and your own.


August 1978

[1]  The Tonga name for God - also 'thunder'

[2]  Tonga for rain

[3]  The Tonga have a strong belief in the 'living dead'

[4]  A village - meaning, 'the small thing begged for'

[5]  The area around Chikankata - 'where people help'

[6]  The highest point near Chikankata - 'the white rock'

[7]  The rock struck by Moses - Exodus 17

[8]  A village - meaning 'drunk from the heavens'

[9]  Where Elijah prayed and rain fell - 1 Kings 18: 41 ff