Category: Poetry


Vespers (New Poetry Video) ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Vespers The sun slides down the gap between houses its amber reach crosses the grass toward me, shadow of the elder tree has grown long and I remember under the mulberry spectacle of sky how everything I love must end: this cup of tea with steam ascending, the dog curled right against me, your warm hands over mine, how this sweet leaving of day makes me draw the world as close as possible. —Christine Valters Paintner (*originally published in U.S. Catholic magazine) Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, The poem above is part of a series of poems I wrote to

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This is How the World is Saved (poem by Christine)

I am so delighted to have my poem “This is How the World is Saved” featured this week at the wonderful website Headstuff and to launch their Revolution NOW series for 2016! It is a poem about the grace of the ordinary. Click to head on over and read it>>

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Remember (a poem)

Remember Inspired by Theo Dorgan’s poem “The Angel of Days”* And what did you do on earth? I descended daily into the hush – if only for a moment, but sometimes for blessed hours at a time. I followed the shimmering threads which lured me into the night, full of wonder at all that was unfolding. I opened myself wide to gratitude, to the delight that there was anything at all, much less pink-petaled peonies and generous handfuls of red berries, the incredible sweetness of things, or the way dawn and dusk could reveal my own new thresholds, how a

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“there is always the risk / of remembering your name”

Prospective Immigrants Please Note Either you will go through this door or you will not go through. If you go through there is always the risk of remembering your name. Things look at you doubly and you must look back and let them happen. If you do not go through it is possible to live worthily to maintain your attitudes to hold your position to die bravely but much will blind you, much will evade you, at what cost who knows? The door itself makes no promises. It is only a door. — Adrienne Rich

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“Perhaps there is a moon shining”

During these hot summer days I find I want to merge with the coolness and mystery of stones.  Here is a poem offering just for the joy of poetry. Look for a new Poetry Party on Monday (and a return to regular ones this fall!) Stone Go inside a stone That would be my way. Let somebody else become a dove Or gnash with a tiger’s tooth. I am happy to be a stone. From the outside the stone is a riddle: No one knows how to answer it. Yet within, it must be cool and quiet Even though a

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Happy Valentine’s Day from the Abbey!

Saints Bowing in the Mountains Do you know how beautiful you are? I think not, my dear. For as you talk of God, I see great parades with wildly colorful bands Streaming from your mind and heart, Carrying wonderful and secret messages To every corner of this world. I see saints bowing in the mountains Hundreds of miles away To the wonder of sounds That break into light From your most common words. Speak to me of your mother, Your cousins and your friends. Tell me of squirrels and birds you know. Awaken your legion of nightingales— Let them soar

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“Surge like an ocean, don’t scatter yourself like a storm”

Search the Darkness Sit with your friends, don’t go back to sleep. Don’t sink like a fish to the bottom of the sea. Surge like an ocean, don’t scatter yourself like a storm. Life’s waters flow from darkness. Search the darkness, don’t run from it. Night travelers are full of light, and you are too: don’t leave this companionship. Be a wakeful candle in a golden dish, don’t slip into the dirt like quicksilver. The moon appears for night travelers, be watchful when the moon is full. -Rumi We are moving toward the dark half of the year, and unlike

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