Hymn, by Radiance Angelina Petro



Radiance Angelina Petro



Through every gate angels spread in descending curves and wild delight–

bringing quickenings and seeds of roses.


Ananda! Ananda! Ananda!


The innermost is now outermost, as the Great Imaginatrix

brings her absurdities of joy and a thousand reassurances,

and elaborations of flowers and bliss.


The intuitive swinging of branches to-and-fro, says it all—

this ecstasy, this immediacy of music is for you. Ananda!


All heartbeats are given, and everything is the source of everything,

and everything is amenable to desire.


And the magic of farming, and the magic of bridges

surprises even all of heaven.


And pre-cum is adorable, and sweat initiatory, and everything

is kin to the lion and the lamb.


And every eagle and pelican, salamander and frog, every manta ray

and cuttlefish—shatters chains of thoughts.


And while the ax is ever-present, so are seeds of roses,

and contingencies of sweetness, and Saraswati strums the vina,

and the outermost is innermost, and mountains are faithful,

and rebirths too, and all things incline towards unison.


Ananda! Ananda! Ananda!


Angels are here! Angels are here! Angels are here dancing among us.





Why Square a Circle? by Radiance Angelina Petro

Why Square a Circle?


Radiance Angelina Petro



All those thingamabobs in that one

kitchen drawer reveal the genius

of dreams. Who was awake when they

opened the drawer, slipped in another

something or other, and then slid the drawer



There are no edges to the mind, no corners,

no boxes to think out of, and it is more

than knowing there are no boxes in the first place.

There’s only a circle as wide as the world,

and why square a circle?


There are Time Beings and Idea Beings

that live in the mind. The Idea Being plays

in the darklight, and wants to know everything,

and ventures out whether we realize it or not,

and goes on little quests that sometimes

turn into epic ones, and vice-a-versa.

The point is there is no point, no linear

one track mind. Idea Beings are into surprises.


The Time Being stands in silence

in the center of the circle and counts noon

to noon—not waiting, not wanting, not

expecting anything. It only fashions

preludes, and sometimes ventures out

so we can venture in. Sometimes

they reveal themselves when we open

the drawer and wonder—smiling–

how it all came to be, and why, knowing

whatever it was we are searching for

will not be found (it’s in another drawer).

And so, for the Time Being, this is one

of those moments when it offers its hand

to the Idea Being, so they can dance themselves

into flight, flying far outside the circle.




Remind Me, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Remind Me


Radiance Angelina Petro




Remind me again that my baggage

is collapsible, and that I can stop kicking,

that everything eclipses something,

and that everything is more than itself,

and that when roots shift, they carry bones,

and how I must put up with risks,

and that light is supported by darkness,

and that it takes time to possess space,


remind me again that you will enter my life unseen

and start singing, that you will guide your breath

through consonants and vowels, and spin words

into tones, and that, if needed,

you will hold a note that curtails time,


remind me again that your voice

can feel like thunder in the air,

and that it can also shine like a firefly

describing the evening,


please, let your voice leave your lips

gliding, unharmed, light-combined, star-

distilled, nectarous, giving rise to waves

inside me, touch my sleeping wings–

help me remember sky, and the bliss

of being myself.





After the Ritual, by Radiance Angelina Petro

After the Ritual


Radiance Angelina Petro




After the ritual

ritual continues.

Consider new and old

passageways–walk them,

or not, change directions,

or not. Life explores

you, nudges you

inwards and outwards

with such wild

anticipation and faith

it can barely hold in

its joy and surprise.

Reason and observe

how ways open

and close, expand,

contract. Count blessings–

not as things to accumulate,

but as provisions to use

in lean times, and by use,

I mean, share. Every step

and pause is reverence

for ground and sky,

backspace, and front–

each exhale and inhale,

and holding of breath–

ceremonies for that

precious, holy, mischievous

moment of the remembrance

of the sacred shadow

who moves with us everywhere

we go and don’t go,

until that time when we merge

with it, grow wings,

lift and soar, bank, and rise

into the darkness of another

sleep and awakening

in the universal womb

where sperm and egg

reassemble us cell by cell,

bone by bone, blood

with blood, dream

by dream, ritual

by ritual.





Yes and Because, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Yes and Because


Radiance Angelina Petro



“Because,” say the lavender colored peonies.

“Why shouldn’t we?” say the red tulips and yellow daffodils.

Bees hover and bob their diligent-honeyed answer: “because, why not?”

Cherry blossom petals by the thousands whisper

as they sail into the wind: “It cannot be otherwise.”

The magnolia trees nod in agreement,

and the evening sun-glinted-murmurating sparrows

sporting with the sky sing as one: “It’s true.”

From tadpoles wiggling in green-bordered ponds,

lifting themselves from muck and silt to sun and moon,

to the humpback whale arcing an impossible turn into the air–

they all say: “Yes! It is always yes and because!”

And I keep walking, remembering once again

with every step—the ever shining answer to the lie-

constructed question—no matter the doubts,

no matter the feelings or lack thereof—

I am loved, and why doesn’t matter.

I am worthy because.

And these answers will forever

and ever be the same

to each and every question.




Invisible, Yet Ready, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Invisible, yet Ready

By Radiance Angelina Petro

March 29th, 2023




When you come to the end

of the road, and the path behind

is no longer viable, and the way ahead

seems unlikely—since it is in fact, gone,

take that one more step, even if

it drops into nothing, which, in all

probability, it will.

That’s where grace lives.

That’s where dragons await

with wings ready to part.

So then, fall—

it’s not as if you have a choice

in the matter anyway now.  Gravity still works

in the unknowable.  But so does unreasonable

love.  The kind that comes out of nowhere,

the kind that catches you when you fall,

the kind that suddenly lifts you

and sets you down onto an emerging road—

the kind of love where the remarkable

breathes fire and roars you back into your life,

the kind that walks beside you—invisible yet ready,

at a moment’s notice, to step in front and clear the way—

the way that curves toward a previously unseen horizon—

where a destination calls you forward, one that stays

one step ahead, while at the same time

embracing you as the sea embraces the shore–

one that is, ever was, ever shall be yours

and yours never once to walk alone.




Untitled, by Radiance Angelina Petro



Radiance Angelina Petro




The first words of 2023 could go something like this:

Dear Lord, please help us fix this mess,


look—a road just opened that was never there before,


ssshh….come here…do you hear that?

Or maybe:  You take that end, bend at the knees,

watch your back—OK—on three.

It’s possible there won’t be any first words.

Perhaps it will be the sound of a bell—low,

and resonate, or the sound of a conch shell being blown

by someone, somewhere on the shores of an unknown sea.

Perhaps it will be the first light,

coming from a searchlight scanning the sky,


maybe it will come from inside you—

open your mouth and see—

it might shine from a source unknown

and land on the twelve-string sleeping in the corner.

Perhaps there won’t be a first word or first light.

Perhaps it will be the first darkness of many,

the first darkness of deep diving,

the first darkness just before the curtains part,

the first darkness of womb and night—waiting

for us to give birth to something, like hope,

or a forgotten strength, or maybe a new language—

unspoken, yet understood by every hand and heart,

perhaps it will be a humming, deep and rising—

revealed from the first morning that opens

her cloaks and shawls—a thrumming drone

hummed by everyone, everywhere,

ready, at any moment, to break

into song.




My Undoing, Revised for Poetry Reading at Elkins Park Library, Wednesday, November 16th, 2022,by Radiance Angelina Petro

My Undoing

Revised for Poetry Reading at Elkins Park Library,

Wednesday, November 16th, 2022

by Radiance Angelina Petro




I do not want to be reborn.

My birth is still happening–for the rest of my life—

I will be being born.

My life is an unfolding, unburdening,

a blessed untangling, a sacred unveiling, gradual

unloosening, gentle unhusking, tender unlacing,

slow unraveling—an unceasing, uncensored, unrestrainable

joy. My thoughts are unclouded, my needs

unarguable, my light unshaded, my spirit

unharmed, untasted, unleashed.  My life

unbreakable, untwisting, uncoiling.  My desires

unbuttoning, unclothing, unconditionally mine,

unequivocally, wonderful, and exquisitely unquenchable.

My passion unabridged, my shame unlearned

with moments of bliss unhurried, unlocked, unshuttered, and rising.

I unlatch the fence around the garden

and my playfulness rambles unbridled,

uncivilized, uncalibrated, unjudged.

The reasons for my being worthy

are mine and mine alone—beautiful, because I say so.

They are undebatable, undeniable, and clear.  My voice

unedited, undistorted, my brow unfurrowed, my stomach

unknotted, my wildness undomesticated, unlabeled,

untamed, and untamable–feared by many.  My wants

unencumbered, unfaded, unfallen, and fucking

legit, and fucking mine, and there is time to feel

and unfeel, form and unform, freeze and unfreeze.

My ways are unfamiliar, unfettered, unforced,

unforgettable. My sleep finally uninterrupted.

My creativity unbound, unlimited by anything

anyone says or does–my cries unmuffled, my faith

unmovable, my rage unmuzzled, my fears

unneeded, my hours of solitude gladly unnumbered,

memories uncrowded with ghosts, the love

of myself unending, unserious, unshakable,

unseparated.  My cities of wonder, of purpose,

of possibilities—unshelled, unobliterated. My wheels

unstuck, and the road unblocked.  I unsew, unstitch,

the fabric of pain so to feel so to mend so to create

a shawl of wings.  My legs steady, my stance strong.

My innocence untainted, untarnished, unstolen—reclaimed.

My life the gift of a life unlived lived now–I am

my world—unyielding, unstoppable, and gloriously undone.


Monkey, Frog, and the Moon, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Monkey, Frog, and the Moon


Radiance Angelina Petro




Monkey sits in the darkness by a spring,

its crooked finger points at the moon.

Focus on the moon, frog says, sitting nearby,

forget the finger. The moon is the goal.


Monkey’s face grows silver. The moon is the goal,

repeats monkey over and over inside, until

the words become fingers directing its attention–

which floats away, ribboning a river of mist

through the branches of the trees, which also point

at the moon. And then–


a firefly alights on the tip of its finger, like

a lamp emerging from behind a shroud.

Monkey keeps its attention single-

mindedly on the moon–the goal.

Firefly flickers and winks it’s soft, green light.

And try as it might to not–monkey’s gaze drifts down

and down until, at last (as pieces of the moon flow away

in the spring), it rests on the fancy firefly blinking

its secret, flashing code. Monkey’s eyes became round—

rounder than the moon, and its mind becomes

an astonished, satisfied mind,


and frog widens its definitions of goal and moon,

and licks its lips, measuring the distance

between firefly and its glistening, opening mouth.






maybe called, Interdependence Day, by Radiance Angelina Petro

A rambling, unedited, stream of consciousness something—maybe a poem, maybe a prayer, maybe both, maybe nothing, maybe everything, maybe called, Interdependence Day.





Sunny skies swirl cloud and blue and sun

not above or below but everywhere in around us all

a shared breath selfsame breath selfsame air

this invisible shared inhaling and blending exhales

this ground of grass and pavement makes for no roads

only one vast common floor

floor of blood floor of starvation of unspeakable must be

spoken violence hate and canceling of people

floor of dancing floor of fighting stolen floor

rights torn away floor must somehow somenow heal floor

bridged floor above

inconceivable now conceivable all swallowing fire

hunger and toppling of trees and collapsing communities

of ingesting entire species into gone and gone and gone

bridges merging never truly apart thirst of soul

of ache for home longing for all fears comforted away and through

everything depends on red wagons and hands across the water

and apple trees and honeybees and putting your hand in the hand

of the one who calms the sea please believe in us tree and fields vegetables

and fruits forgive us our sins against you but have no mercy

but instead rage that sweeps us all into we must change

as long as we share breath of sage of seasons rituals

and last breaths and first breaths playful breaths of children

and of giraffes and bats dolphins and whales the cricket the crane

it swirls blue skies and sunlight swirling differences into somehow

a song lament psalm choir of here now angels

of purple mountains majesty of amber waves of grain

of rockets red glare and ramparts and land not free

but stolen may we breath the spirit of manifest restitution

understanding until ever more justice be done as protests bloom

and riots cleanse and conversations difficult and trembling and hopeful

move us to tears and the ability to bear witness to one anothers pain

of the ability of feeding each other ourselves from shared gardens

free us of the illusion delusions of breath being

our own we share swirling blue skies and sunlight in our bodies

may we fall into each others arms and weep until the healing is done