Today, By Radiance Angelina Petro



Radiance Angelina Petro



There’s a way of getting the pillow just right

behind my head, and my socks cannot be falling

down to my ankles if I am to sleep.


Is it true a song hums just behind/within everything we see?

I bend to listen to a gardenia, and laugh.


As I drive, repeating five holy words, the rain pulls my car

ahead, along the road.


Somewhere, someone gets up from the back row

of a church, and walks for miles, lost, towards home.


I know everything matters in such a way as to not.

The song keeps flowing.  The words–audible light.

And the rain lifts its silver curtains, and the moon appears

making the wet road shine.


Someday, I will awaken, and step in from the crowd,

and follow your voice to where my prayer shawl waits,

draped over the living room chair.


Until then, I will adjust the pillow, pull up my socks,

and drift to sleep.







Like So Many Roses, By Radiance Angelina Petro

Like So Many Roses


Radiance Angelina Petro



I go inside to find you, and only a praying mantis appears,

turning its face towards me.


Your voice of many waters drenches my every cell.


Your accent turns ordinary syllables into little songs.


I would have given anything to be the wrappings

they adorned you with for your cremation. How the smoke

must have risen, like a black river scented with sandalwood,

how the flames must have risen, like so many roses

released into the sky.


If you must pour another day into my life,

do it quickly—spill the light and melody everywhere,

let me drown in my longing for you.






Angels, by Radiance Angelina Petro



Radiance Angelina Petro



The remembrance of light awakens each room,

my prayer shawl drapes waiting over the chair,

I feel you arrive, turning time into wind,

and I know you will stay forever again,

you play hide-and-go-seek out in the open,

yet I’m always half-lost looking for you still,

you signal me warmer with audible light,

your laughter at the ready when I find you,

more reliable than the way of language,

your hands smooth my prayer shawl on my shoulders,

your signs and wonders affirm which way I go.











Last Chance, By Radiance Angelina Petro

Last Chance


Radiance Angelina Petro



In the dream, the dark figure

enters the room, places his cloaked hands

on my head, and whispers something—

something about my father and his father

and his father, going back generations—something

I need to know—a secret unutterable until

now. Hundreds of miles away, my father,

aware someone is coming, stirs in his bed.





Broken, By Radiance Angelina Petro



Radiance Angelina Petro



As I move in line, I notice

there’s a crack in my dinner plate—

a nearly invisible seam.

If I urge it a little, it shines.


Arriving at the servers,

I lift the plate.  I am so hungry.


Lord, we are all fragile this way.

Let me finish this one meal,

and I will change my life forever.





The Day Poetry Was Born, By Radiance Angelina Petro

The Day Poetry Was Born


Radiance Angelina Petro



The day the banished couple

sat desperately trying to sew

together the fallen leaves of paradise,

was the day poetry was born.


With the first steps they took away

from that garden, poetry became

a mountain of trees, overshadowing

the two they left behind.


Walk now with them.

Remove the unnecessary leaves.

Move in pure sound and naked images.

Say with me: “Fuck the rules!”

And do not grovel at the feet

of any god’s conditional love.


Trust your desires.  Follow Lilith’s way.

She will shelter you from the coming rain.

She will open the better ark of her body,

and invite you in, along with all the others

left to drown.


Adventure with her with the raven’s words.

Let them go in search of land

and hope like hell it’s never found.





Without Fear, By Radiance Angelina Petro

Without Fear


Radiance Angelina Petro



The ocean spreads out generously

for days of miles.  A small wooden boat

is moored near the shore.  Nets drape

lazily in the water.  The fisherman,

lulled to sleep by the soft buoyancy,

does not know the catch plays

idly in the webbing, jostling the ropes,

without fear.





Love, It Is, Thoughts By the Wonderful People at Rev. Rhetta Morgan’s Tuesday Night Ecclesia Fortify Circle, Arranged by Radiance Angelina Petro

Love, It Is

Thoughts By the Wonderful People at Rev. Rhetta Morgan’s Tuesday Night Ecclesia Fortify Circle

Arranged by Radiance Angelina Petro



We are not alone.

Love welcomes us, like

the sky—open and free

to all.  It gives us unblocked

participation in the organization

of the universe.  We are

active principles of the way

of things.


It is what draws us—a holy

magnetism, a shifting of wings,

a sharing of each blossom, just as

trees share everything they are,

we share the breath of the cosmos.


It listens empathically

to our resistance to injustice,

and breaks open the hard, frozen

ground of hate, transforming us

into spring, into the devotion of tears,

transforming us into midwives of mothers

of empathy, and creation, born

with the ferocity to raze and destroy

to protect each golden cocoon

from storms of scorn hurled

our way.


Fight, dig, push, clear

the everywhere shared ground

for the planting of fruits and flowers.


It is the everything welcoming sky,

open and free to all. We are

the breath of the heart, we are the one

who breathes, we are

lover and beloved, ever dancing,

ever praising, we are

not, and never can be, alone

in love’s it is.




For more information on the wonderful work Rev. Rhetta does, check out her website. <3





Keep an Open Mind, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Keep an Open Mind


Radiance Angelina Petro



Blue irises spiral open in slow motion

the silken blades of their standards

and crests, their falls and hefts,

in the morning, in silence, in secret.


A dragonfly holds the swaying reed lightly

as a wish.


A turtle stretches its yellow-painted neck and head

up from the dark pond to get a look around

with its wide, round, military eyes.


Water striders glide across the water

with their long, outstretched symmetrical legs–

they even hop and skate—lighter than Jesus

ever was.


Gold-speckled koi move like dreams.


I step closer and an unseen frog

dash-plops into the shadowed-shallows—

like a lost prayer.


I stand there watching, waiting

for my purpose, for a poem to appear, like

a heron stepping from behind the curtain

of the willow.


How do I live consciously

in this vast, ecology of hope?

How do I answer unknown questions

that swim in my soul? How do I wonder

past my feeling lost in the everything that happens

and why, holding on to a reed of my own?


A black-spotted-orange-fire-colored-

salamander smoothly slips back under

a decomposing log, but not before

pausing to say: “Keep an open mind.

The answer is in the heron’s unfolding wings.”


White Butterfly, by Radiance Angelina Petro

White Butterfly


Radiance Angelina Petro



At the red light,

a woman in the car

next to mine—passenger side—

turns her head,

our eyes meet,

she rolls down her window

as if she wants to say something,

I roll down mine,

she opens her mouth,

(and I swear this happens),

a white butterfly flutters

from her mouth, and rises into the sky,

she stares at me a second,

rolls up her window,

the light turns green,

she drives away.

I swear, I swear,

I saw this happen.