by Christine Valters Paintner

I wake to a rising of robin voices,
their tiny chests puffed like ripe persimmons.
Acres of clouds strum across the day-blue sky,
wind breathes its endless score over heathered hills
and the sea beyond my window churns.

Somewhere a hazelnut drops rustling to the ground.
Peony peels herself open in a slow yawn
to reveal a multitude of pleasures.
Fox darts between hedgerows, breaking her silent reverie,
orange fur brushing against gorse profusion.

Beneath sirens and the perpetual groan of cars,
the march of trains and planes propelled by timetables,
beneath the endless clatter of your own mind, you can,
for a moment, hear the asparagus heaving headlong into spring.
My labor is to love this secret symphony.

You curl yourself around me at night,
song of your breath stuns me into the sweetest sleep.
And the blue glass vase sits on the table beside me,
holding roses you bought because they smelled like an aria.
When this is over, all I want to say is that I heard the music
of the very last petal





Christine Valters Paintner is an American poet and writer living in Galway, Ireland. Her poems have been published in The Galway Review, Headstuff, Skylight 47, Spiritus Journal, Tiferet, Boyne Berries, and Presence. She is also the author of ten nonfiction books on spirituality and creativity. For more information or to connect with her, visit