Christine’s Recent Poetry + Art

Christine has had several poems published recently in various journals online:

Book of Kells in ARTS: Journal for the Arts in Religious and Theological Studies

Handless Maiden in North West Words (inspired by one of Christine’s favorite fairy tales of the same name)

Little Red Riding Hood in Bangor Literary Journal

Christine has a second collection of poems that will be published in fall 2020 by Paraclete Press titled The Wisdom of Wild Grace with a series of poems inspired by the many wonderful stories of kinship between saints and animals. She’s been working with UK artist David Hollington to illustrate some of these in his marvelous folk art style. Here is the next artwork in the series accompanied by the poem that inspired it.

St. Julian and the Cat

Stone by stone the wall grew
until her cell was sealed,
light blocked except for
three small windows –
one for sacrament
another, food and waste
a third to give guidance.

Each day brought dozens to her
praying for their sick and dead,
night became time of solace
and silence, she could not
sleep long in the damp,
pulled wool close around her
as she sighed into the dark,
relief at quiet moments.

Then came mewing,
leaping, pouncing, the cat
left there to catch rats,
at first annoyed at disruption
she soon found wisdom
in his aim and purpose,
grace in his hours of stillness,
how she too was there to hunt
the holy, and rest into being.

Morning prayers became
a mix of chants and purrs
as warm fur nestles into her lap.
Visitors arrive again
to her window, she gives
her most sage advice:

allow yourself to be comforted,
do not be afraid of the night,
and pursue what you long for
with a love that is fierce.

—Christine Valters Paintner

Dreaming of Stones: Poems Review

So grateful to Linda Susan Courage of Living Spirituality Connections UK for her lovely review of my poetry collection:

***
Christine takes us into ordinary, familiar places and opens them in extraordinary ways. Nature, emotions, news, feelings, time, places, artefacts are woven with longings, humour, gentleness, and possibilities.

Readers might be laid bare by their reading, but not cast adrift. We are taken into stories and on journeys that are strangely familiar. The collection might be summarised by her own words in her poem, ‘Little Hours’

Attention illuminates corners of the world,
this is the honorarium of the ordinary.

I have many favourites, and lines that will stay with me. ‘St Francis at the corner pub’ delights with his flash of polka-dotted boxers; ‘Ancestral Time’ knows with its breathing and long ache inside us; ‘An Unquiet Revolution’ ends with ‘you just might believe/that anything at all is possible.’

I think the collection deserves a wide readership; it speaks to the breadth and depth of life in nourishing, unsentimental ways.
***

You can read all of Linda’s review at this link along with many other wonderful spirituality and creativity resources for those living in the UK.

 

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