Archive for the ‘Poetry Party’ Category

Time to join in the Poetry Party again at Abbey of the Arts!  In honor of Valentine’s Day Christine has invited us to write a poem that is a love letter to something in our daily life.  Here’s my offering:

Letters of Love

Six days a week love is carried around town,

addressed to Ms. Sue and Mr. Tom

and Chaundra and Shawn

and Mr. and Mrs. Long.

Coming from across the country and around the corner,

these letters are written from the heart

or chosen with care at the card store.

They tell of

…a mother’s love for her daughter just starting college

…unspoken love after months of silent admiration

…gratitude after 47 years of marriage

…a sweetheart far from her beloved

…forgiveness after words spoken in anger

…love that is patient and kind and endures forever.

The good news is this love is not reserved just for Valentine’s Day.

With “Forever” stamped in the right hand corner,

this love is carried on paper and in our hearts.


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Christine has resumed her Poetry Parties at The Abbey of Arts: she provides an image and theme, we offer our poems.  Read the poems shared and offer your own!

Flinging sacred intent hither and you

Entering holy tussles with expectation

Finding beauty alongside brokenness

Holding space as sacred and full of possiblity

Such is the heart of a

Monk in the World!

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The Poetry Party at The Abbey of the Arts this week is in keeping with the season: Gratitude.   Join the gratitude offering… read what others have shared, then add you own list to the party!

Family ~  at our Thanksgiving Table this year the hands of many were gathered: my parents, my daughters, myself, and the hands of my grandparents who had washed and used the tablecloth, china and silver that graced our table, and the hands of the hundreds who planted the seeds, tended the soil, harvested the produce, cared for and nurtured the poultry, stocked the shelves, and bagged the groceries of all the food we enjoyed.  Oh to be blessed by so many hands!

Furry family members ~ life is simply richer by their presence in our lives and home!


Friends ~ near and far, young and old, of just recently and from many years ago, they also enrich our lives!

Faith ~ ever expanding and stretching, grounded and centered, unknown and steadfast!

Food ~ especially that which is grown locally and organically (and I am pleased to add food which is grown by my future son-in-law!), gift of our planet, feast for our senses, delight on our tables!

Indeed I am grateful for what I have.  May you be so blessed as well!

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The Abbey of the Arts is hosting her 40th Poetry Party:  Honoring the Ancestors.  Visit her site to read what others have written and if you’re so inspired, add your own words to the Party!

(Photo by © Christine Valters Paintner at Abbey of the Arts)

Lingering at the edges

and deep in the center of my being,

you are speaking of family stories,

told again and again,

reminding us from where we come

and who belongs to who,

helping us see

the bigger picture of our family.

But there are

two particular gifts that shaped me

in ways I am now

beginning to understand:

The purchase of a used piano

for our family,

for me,

because I always

played your piano when

we came to visit.

The offer to pay for

voice lessons when I started college,

because you were more

aware than I

of my need to sing,

of my need to find my voice.

Now, when I sit at the

piano you gave us,

now when I sing in the choir

 or at home,

I receive the gift behind the gifts:

the invitation to become myself,

and to embrace that which 

feeds my soul.

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I’ve been seriously leaning into the slow pace of summer, resting in my new home after 2 moves in 4 months, enjoying the companionship and entertainment of a  few woodchucks in the back yard (we’re learning how to co-exist), lots of birds, and of course our dog and two cats.   And not doing much on the computer including writing any new posts.   But this week’s Poetry Party at The Abbey of the Arts offers a gentle path to ease back into this part of my life.  Thank you Christine!


Like watching grass grow

so moves the inner life

in this season.

So sit a spell,

watch some of earth’s 

smallest creatures

go about their lives,

and trust the process.  


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Christine at the Abbey of the Arts writes these words in her invitation to this week’s Poetry Party where the theme is “Guardians of the Threshold”


The feminine with its archetype of welcoming, nurturing, enfolding energy is the Sacred Yes of our lives — all those things, people, and opportunities we embrace.  The masculine with its archetype of boundary setting and protection (think warrior) is the Sacred No of our lives — the healthy setting of limits and protectors of our gifts and energies so we don’t over-extend ourselves.”



Inviting words with a delightful image to ponder… I’m considering searching for just the right creature to sit at the door of new home.  As I try to converse with this image, most of my words are getting tangled up in details of moving and the stuff of boxes, but these few words come forth:





Let her Yes mean Yes

Fully, sincerely

Firmly, honestly

Coming from her core

Honored by all

May her Yes be a “Sacred Yes”

Let her No mean No

Fully, sincerely,

Firmly, honestly

Coming from her core

Honored by all

May her No be a “Sacred No”


 Woven into living

together each yes and no

sustain life

set boundaries

nurture hope

redeem wounds

honor the Holy One

delight the Spirit


May it be so!

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Countless Gifts

Continue celebrating the earth with this week’s Poetry Party at Abbey of the Arts!




Countless Gifts



The apple blossom tree that finally

bursts forth in vibrant pink petals


The lake that is large and deep enough

to receive unspeakable grief

and offer waters of rebirth


The deer that cautiously ventures to

the prairie’s edge to seek sweet tender grass


The loud claps of thunder that

echo terror within that has no words


The rocks in the river that day after day

and year after year stand firm against the stream’s current


The hard mallet against the stretched hide of the wolf

that sounds out the vibrations of life


The succulent juices of an August peach that

delight the tongue’s taste buds


The sacred silence of the clear still night that

speak volumes of life’s energy


O Blessed be the countless gifts of the earth!


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