Agua Santa Holy Water cover Original cover of Agua Santa: Holy Water
Take a Poetry Pause
Listen to Pat read
"A River of Women" from Agua Santa: Holy Water.
Desert Mockingbird

Even on Sunday,
you advertise your disrespect.

In this age of diplomacy,
you're a true smart mouth

belting out crazy combinations
with no careful qualifiers,

sass without a future,
brash, tactless, no bureaucrat.

Indifferent to all frowns,
you play sounds,

and when you stop
only cicadas throb, doves coo.

All year I wait for you,
a tease I can't resist.

tempting me to throw my head back
and just let the sounds slide up
                                                and out

©Pat Mora

25th anniversary 2020

Agua Santa: Holy Water
Reprint by University of Arizona Press
Download a hi-res jpeg of the book jacket.

Drawing on oral and lyrical traditions, this book honors the grace and spirit of mothers, daughters, lovers, and goddesses. From a tribute to Frida Kahlo to advice from an Aztec goddess, the poems explore the intimate and sacred spaces of borderlands through many voices: a revolutionary, a domestic worker, a widow.

Highlighted Reviews

"So much has Pat Mora made the Texas landscape hers, I cannot enter it without recalling her poetry. Not a rose, no. But a cactus, hoarding the precious agua santa, surviving."—Sandra Cisneros

"Pat Mora's sensous lyricism makes a special contribution to the strong and varied literature emerging from the Mexican-American culture in recent years. She is of those tejana poets I admire."—Denise Levetrov

"Ms. Mora's poems are proudly bilingual, an eloquent answer to purists who refuse to see language as something that lives and changes."—William Ferguson, The New York Times Book Review

"Pat Mora evokes Mexican American experience, mythology and history through lyrics, meditations and chants that combine to cast a hypnotic and haunting spell...The voice in Agua Santa is what beguiles and enchants as it explores the personal and spiritual dimensions of the borderlands."—Alison Townsend, Women's Review of Books

"All five senses are put to work here, as Pat Mora leads us briskly through a garden of earthly delights."—Peter Thorpe, Rocky Mountain News MUSE cover

Let Us Now Hold Hands
MUSE, a women's choir in Cincinnati, OH, included Pat's poem "Let Us Now Hold Hands" on their album Sing to the Universe Who We Are. Jennifer E. Stasack composed the music to accompany the poem. To buy the album, visit the MUSE website. If the song did not start playing when you came to this page, listen now:

Poetas y Pintores: Artists Conversing with Verse
Twelve Visual Artists Engage With The Work of Twelve Poets

Poetas Y Pintores: Artists Conversing with Verse Pat Mora is one of the poets featured in "Poetas Y Pintores: Artists Conversing with Verse" is an interdisciplinary project which presents the work of both established and emerging poets as inspiration for the creation of original artwork, allowing Latino/a artists to enter into "dialogue" with the work of Latino/a poets.