I walk down to the orchard
summoned by purple,
the ecstasy of wisteria
and the soft persimmon sun.

Did you know a pear tree
is a paradise of limbs and leaves?
Anjou, Bartlett, and Bosc garlands
hang heavy across this palace of light.

Don’t pluck too soon, piercing
skin not ready to yield.
Don’t wait until they plunge to the
ground in the slush of regret.

The moment is always now,
laden with sweetness of
labor, sunlight, storms,
and a cavalcade of scent.

Eden’s slow unfolding
asks me to set aside
my rushed and useful life,
to know myself as ripening.

Does anyone speak Plum or Pomegranate
anymore? Does anyone hear the quiet
spectacle of blossoms announcing
themselves one by one?

Christine Valters Paintner is an American poet and writer living in Galway, Ireland. She is the author of eleven books of nonfiction on creative process and contemplative practice, and her poems have been published in The Galway Review, Boyne Berries, HeadStuff, Skylight 47, Spiritus, Tiferet Journal, Anchor, Presence, Crannóg, ARTS, U.S. Catholic, and North West Words. Her first collection of poems, Dreaming of Stones, will be published by Paraclete Press in 2019. You can find more of her writing and poetry at Abbey of the Arts.

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1 Response to Ripe

  1. The sense that modernity has stripped away our ability (or motivation) to interact with our environment is a common aspect of the human condition, I think. Paintner has captured that in a delicate and vibrant way, here. Well done.

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