Visit the Abbey of the Arts online retreat platform to access your programs:

Invitation to Poetry: Practicing Resurrection

Invitation to Poetry

The Poetry Party is returning with our 33rd one!  I fasted from them for Lent so I could return to them during this Easter season with renewed energy.  I have been contemplating some ways to shift how I do this to simplify the process a bit and am trying out a new system.

This is how it works: I select an image and suggest a title and invite you to respond with your poems or other reflections. If you have your own blog, please use the Mister Linky widget below to add a link back to your website and then add your poem to the comments below.  If you don’t have your own blog (not required to participate), please skip Mister Linky and just go straight to the comments section to add your poem.  Make sure to check the comments for new poems added and I encourage you to leave encouraging comments for each other either here or at the poet’s own blog.


This week’s theme: Practicing Resurrection

A few years ago it occurred to me that we spend a lot of time in church talking about what practices to take on for Lent, but when Easter comes, this glorious season of resurrection, we often slip back into our ordinary lives and everyday prayer. Hopefully we arrive transformed by our Lenten journey, but the season of Easter is not just that amazing day when the tomb was discovered empty. We celebrate Easter for a full 50 days, days that slowly grow longer in the Northern hemisphere and more vibrant as the blossoming of the world unfolds around us.

As I pondered this topic, the image that immediately flashed into my mind is the one you see to the right — a little girl playing at the beach, giggling with delight.  She is fully embodied in this moment, free of self-consciousness, fully herself, luminous.

I invite you to write a poem (or other form of reflection) about what your practices of resurrected life might look like.  How would it feel to really embody resurrected life in your own being?  If you made a commitment for the Easter season to complement your Lenten commitment, where is the invitation you discover?


Remember! Click the link below to add your blog to the list and then post your poem in the comments section (if you don’t have a blog, just post your poem).


** MISTER LINKY has been causing problems with this page loading so sadly I had to remove it **

Please feel free to email me if you encounter any technical difficulties or have any questions!

© Christine Valters Paintner at Abbey of the Arts:
Transformative Living through Contemplative & Expressive Arts

Subscribe in a reader


You might also enjoy

Christine Interviewed on the Compass Podcast

Christine was interviewed about fasting and Lent on the Compass Podcast. She shares her insights on how fasting can go beyond traditional ideas of abstaining from food and can instead be a way to open ourselves to a deeper encounter with the divine. Christine outlines

Read More »

Monk in the World Guest Post: Anne Barsanti

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to the Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Anne Barsanti’s reflection The Quiet. I crave the quiet of a new morning. I’ve always been an early riser and am frequently

Read More »

34 Responses

  1. Welcome back, Abbey! Here is mine, as I remember my California beginnings:

    Luminous days of summer sun,
    Salt spray, Hot sand, Cool breeze,
    me on the shore,

    The family reclining behind me ,
    Preetty Sisters, Scratchy Blankets, Beach Boys
    me on the shore,

    Mother anxious, Daddy hopeful
    Bright Towels, Radio Static, Picnic Basket,
    me on the shore,

    Shaking with fear-tinged joy,
    New Swimsuit, Curling Waves, Cold Splash,
    me on the shore,
    Toes curling.

    Running, gasping with exhilaration,
    Sweet Laughter, Happy Shouts, Burning Eyes,
    me in the surf,

    Remembered like years are nothing,
    Passing Childhood, Fractured Family, Lost Security
    me in the surf,
    Feeling little.

    Somewhere innside my thoughts are,
    Determined Faith, Stubborn Hope and God’s love
    me in the world,

    When will the final day arrive,
    Last Ending, Spirit Crossing, Eternal Beginning,
    me with Father God,

    Jesus smiling down at me with,
    Warm Recognition, Open Welcome, Outstretched Hand,
    me a child again,

  2. Twilight Resurrection

    dancing with a golden mirth
    She skips across the sun-soaked beach,
    splaying her toes, softly burrowing
    into velvety sand, then splashing,
    splashing ~ making iridescent ripples
    in a silent and silvery sea
    that seems to come from
    beyond twilight
    She sparkles in a dusky sunset,
    appearing simultaneously
    miniscule and monumental.

  3. They gather behind closed doors,

    leaving behind, at least for a short while,

    those who too easily hurl insults and objects and disrespect.

    They speak with honesty of life’s hard blows,

    mincing no words,

    sharing Good Friday stories,

    telling of scenes no human eye or soul ought ever to witness.

    Yet under this pain,

    lingering at the edges,

    seeping up from within

    is hope:

    hope that wears a tough facade,

    hope that understands the importance of boundaries,

    hope that believes violence doesn’t have the last word,

    hope that finds strength in sharing one’s story in a safe community,

    hope that hopes within there is still a young girl free to run on the beach,

    hope that offers resurrection in the hard places of life.

    Who are these women?

    the first apostles?

    our neighbors?

    our friends?

  4. ….this site became a large part of my lenten journey and I thank you for that. It will definatly be something that I keep as part of my daily journey from here!

    So here is my go at adding to the wonderful poetry already here. It is based on my sons response to the Easter vigil Mass.

    8 years old
    for 40 days, gave up video games
    with strong commitment
    yet still wondering
    each day he asked
    “how long?”
    but never broke his fast

    Easter vigil
    listening quietly in the dark
    suddenly the lights-on
    the look on his face
    “ah ha, it all made sense”
    I asked “what just happened”
    his one word reply

  5. ….for some years, I have taken courage from a verse written by Wendell Berry: ‘Be like the fox, who makes more tracks than necessary, some in the wrong direction. Practice resurrection….’

    A more recent and personal experience, I expressed this way in verses not yet complete; it came in response to an Advent post at a friend’s blog called ‘Raising the Ruins’

    All that was, knocked down
    happens in families too –
    what price redemption?

    Letting go the old
    looking forward together
    yields harvested field.

    Landscape cleared and fresh
    former memories shrivel
    new foundations laid.

    Blended paces birth –
    quietly, slowly, measured
    resurrection comes.

  6. Such a timely invitation Christine as I have been feeling a bit bereft after the structured discipline of Lent and asking myself “What now?” Not that I have any answers yet but I enjoyed the discipline of pondering (informed by Victoria Barnett’s characterisation of those who refused to stand by as the atrocities of Nazism unfolded as people with a vision that “compelled them to be attentive, to see that they had a personal stake in what was happening around them” (cited by Harvey, Can these bones live? p.93-94):

    Resurrection gift

    You live

    How do I now live
    in this rich depleted place
    information-filled and justice-empty?

    Responding to an invitation
    not fully understood
    a poor recording of your voice

    Undertaking to find out
    what is going on around me
    being attentive

    Fifty days to connect
    inextricably with context
    holding a stake

    What gift!

  7. I feel such new life burgeoning in me already by reading these beautiful words! I will respond to each one individually when I have a few moments, but for now I just say — keep bringing on the beauty! Thanks for sharing your incredible gifts and love of poetry.

  8. i find in each of the participants new and own reflections of earthly human resurrections that lighten up my understanding of this miracle

    this easter sunday i focused my meditation on the women’s shock when finding an opened tomb; their pain and fears instantly turned into an almost unbelieveable certainty.

    my apologies, for sending, again, my text in spanish.

    evitando el silencio, el dolor y la duda,
    el rocío cercaba algo nuevo. un lugar vacío
    que los signos de Dios llenaban.

    todo callaba menos el ángel,
    mirándolas igual que sonriera,
    contempló su desconcierto de pesadumbre lejana.

    dolor, duda y silencio ya no eran tal:

  9. Hi all–
    I like using Mr. Linky…so easy! But I like getting on here and reading all the comments, as we did in the ‘old days’!

    Just posted my poem through Mr. Linky. It’s a little twisted, but it’s what came out!

    Thanks for the prompt, Christine–