A Path to Grace- The Trinity in Words and Images by Frank Champine

By g emil reutter
It had been over four decades since I last saw Frank Champine, he an excellent teacher and I a fairly bad student. So it was with great surprise that we met once again at an arts festival as much to him as to me. He was selling his artwork and asked what I was doing there and I told him I was a poet to his stunned look and response, he too was a poet. As different as we were all those years ago, we still remained different in our art of poetry: he a spiritual, mystic poet while I am rooted in stark realism coupled with rough surrealism. We exchanged poetry books and he was gracious enough to listen to my reading. That was two years ago and I have been delinquent in not having reviewed his book.

A Path to Grace is a vast array of Chinese meditative brush paintings coupled with Champine’s powerful, prayerful poems that bring the reader to a place of peace, of wonder and of joy. There is a serenity that takes hold as each page is turned.

From page 51:
Look beyond the mountains
       thrust in your path
Insurmountable though they appear
rainbows may be found where we expect
                    hardness and pain
           He is with on the journey
        He makes the pathway straight.
             He designs the rainbows.
Champine often mediates on the great sufferings of life as well as the great joy. All of this rooted in his faith and an eternal optimism.
A Night Prayer
Let me empty myself into your heart,
And then pour everything You are into me.
Let me feel Your bleeding hands
As you wash me clean.
Your blood, Your Sweat, Your tears.
Fall as water over the rocks
of my hardened heart and
Soften my rough edges in Your cataract of love.
Free me from all fear.
Heal me of my uncertainties
Love me, have mercy on me,
Be my compassion
Champine, the true believer awaits springtime, renewal.
The Good Fight
     So delicate, yet resilient,
    the plum blossom appears
    at winter’s end.  It holds a
   special place for it represents
     perseverance and rejuvenation
    It does not give up, it fights that
    good fight. It battles the gloom
       of winter and calls all to the
                 springtime of life.
Champine writes of his faith, his belief in redemption and renewal throughout this collection coupled with beautiful images of writings of nature. There is the journeying butterfly drinking from the morning glory’s nectar, of mountains readying for winter, of the expected light of daybreak, of monks and mystic peaks of mountains, of the colors of autumn and the fragrance of clarity and freedom. The heart thaws and the way clears. Champine walks the path that life has gifted him, with an enduring faith grounded in his God.

You can find the book here: https://www.amazon.com/Path-Grace-Trinity-Words-Images/dp/1619562936/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1440166094&sr=8-3&keywords=Frank+Champine


g emil reutter is a writer of poems and stories. https://gereutter.wordpress.com/about/



  1. Meeting up with someone decades later, after so much life has shaped and altered you both, I think that’s the real poetry here, perhaps difficult to express with words–a tangential grasp at best?–but it resonates, the way our own history always does, like a song from decades ago that still can bring us to our knees.


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