Prayers, Soaring

Prayers, Soaring

For Eden

by

Joseph Anthony Petro

 

eden praying 2

 

 

In the center
Of the field
The child,
Hands together,
Prayed the circle
Be one, bowed
Hoping it was so,
Turned, saw spirit
Everywhere;
And the flowers
And clouds, the passing
Heron, the nearby river
Sung the hope
Into sweet and fierce truth—
And then—hands open,
Sky embraced, the child,
Realized and full
Of grace, smiled, like
The sun, like the moon,
Like a constellation
Of a million stars,
In a universe made
Of pure adventure.

 

 

 


 


The Most Amazing Handwork

My friend, Anna Ziegner, makes the most beautiful crafts for school and home.  She makes the best–most sturdy and gorgeous crayon and pencil rolls–especially great for Waldorf Schools. She makes crayon rolls for Filana crayons, Stockmar crayons, as well as pencil rolls for Lyra Color Giants (14) or regular pencils (24).  She also makes incredible quilts, pillows, pouches, and place mats.  Please check out her Etsy Shop.  It is amazing work!  She is a true master.

 

Here’s the link:

 

Beautiful Waldorf Crafts and Household Items from my friend, Anna Ziegner

 

anna crayon cases

crayon case 1

anna quilt

 

pencil case

annaquilt

grey crayon cases anna


Storm of Joy

Storm of Joy
By
Joseph Anthony Petro

 

 

We all have a place
Inside where our truest self
Lives, where our truest self awaits
Manifestation through veils
And layers of years, and veils and layers
Of public opinion, old ideas, and misguided
Social constructs. For some,
Their truest self is an animal,
For others it is a lotus,
For others it is a river, a tree, or a song.
Then there are those
Whose truest self is a body
Aching to break free from years
Of dying inside someone else’s
Tired, cramped, and lonely body.
No matter who you really are,
Or where the place is you truly live—
Go there. It is not too late.
Time is not running out, time is running in, flowing
Through skin and masks,
Through hidden fissures and coves,
It is revealing you–So be ready.
Step out into the cool stream,
Astonish yourself with yourself.
Grace the world with the gift of you,
And that place inside will open, like
A storm of joy, and you will finally be able
To breathe.

 

wissahickon

 


 

 

 





Awakening to the Dream

Awakening to the Dream
By
Joseph Anthony Petro

 

 
This morning
When I awoke
From a deep,
Dream-drenched sleep,
Another dream awaited me
In the form of a door
That was never there before
In the eastern wall of my room.
Whatever light was behind it
Framed the door and filled the room
With blinding brilliance.
I rose from the bed,
Wiped my eyes,
Remembered I was wearing
Phillies shorts and a t-shirt
And thought: Whoever
Wants me to enter
Or Whoever wants
To enter here might just be
A goddess or an angel.
And so I changed
Into my most flowing,
Comfortable clothes—
A light green, silken blouse
From India, and tan,
Billowy pants—light as air
That looked like a dress
The legs were so wide.
I brushed my hair.
Did my best to look beautiful,
All the while the door waited
With tender, illuminated patience,
And when I was ready
It opened, flooding my feet
With mountain mist, and the room
With clear, dew-soaked air—
Morning air, comfortable air—
Fresher than spring, crisper
Than autumn air—air kissed
With welcome.
I stood, bathed in radiance,
Breathing in deep freedom,
Allowing the light to drape its fragrant,
Satin shawl around my shoulders.
“Ready?” came the voice.
“I think so,” I replied.
After a pause the voice
Asked again: “Ready?”
“Yes,” I smiled, smoothing
My pants, raising my head high,
Opening my chest,
Straightening my back,
Settling my shoulders: “Yes, yes I am.”
And when the soft hand
Took mine and I stepped over
The threshold I knew
There was no turning back–
I was my true self—embraced by light,
And I was entering a living dream–
A dream to end all dreams.

 


 

 

 





Two Short Poems

Two Short Poems

By

Joseph Anthony Petro

 

 

We all look for water,
We all want some kind
Of baptism into personal freedom;
May we find it at the river’s edge
Where we take our stand,
And in the tears of joy and sorrow that fall
From our own eyes
When we finally spread our wings
And fly.

 

butterfly

 

Though the clouds try to do
Their cloud work and cocoon you
With silken threads,
I know you are already a silver moth,
Resting on the gently billowing curtains
Of the night sky,
May my heart be a lamp
As your wings grow full.
A lamp not to consume,
But a lamp to draw you near–
A lamp inviting you to dance.

 

moon

 

 


 

 

 

 





I Cannot Say I Loved Him

I Cannot Say I Loved Him
By
Joseph Anthony Petro

 

 
He’s been with me since the beginning.
I’d look in the mirror and he would be there
Staring blankly at my chest or arms,
I’d slip into my pajamas and he would be waiting
To chase me in my dreams,
He would mock me from the corners
Of rock star posters and porn magazines,
I’d see him in the backgrounds of cigarette ads
And truck commercials shaking his head and frowning,
He would stand looking over my shoulder
When I drew pictures or wrote in my diary
Whispering the words or tracing the lines
He felt were out of place or too sensitive,
And yet I stuck with him–following him
Just as much as he followed me,
I would carry his shoes and try to fill them,
I based my carriage on how he walked,
I built up a story of what he expected of me,
How he thought I should look, speak, and move,
I noticed how other people saw him
And tried to be him in their eyes;
And even though he lied and shamed
He was there when no one else was—
He never left me, never tired of offering
Advice on how I could better myself—
His lies were loyal, his sarcasm tinged with fraternal care.
Yet I cannot say I loved him
Even though he led me this far,
Even though in certain respects
I chose him as my shadow.
All I know is the more the truth is revealed
Of why I am here and who I am meant to be
The more he fades away in the illuminated fog,
The more I listen to the angel calling my name
The more he grows distant and small,
The more I move towards her voice
The more he vanishes in the light of her song,
The more I adopt her freedom and beauty
The closer he comes to scattering into a thousand drops of ink
And finding himself being absorbed into the fabric
Of the merciful, moon-swept night.

 

 


 

 

 

 





Surfing the Spectrum

Surfing the Spectrum
By
Joseph Anthony Petro

 

 

Darkness lives as shadows
In every sun-drenched day,
Stars and eyes of animals
Betray light shining in every night–
Travel to the end of the day
And you will stumble
Into the arms of the moon,
Venture to the end of the night
And fall into the lap of the sun–
Try cleaving the back of a coin
From its front,
Know that all genitals
Begin as one–
Try finding the middle ground
Between walking and standing—
Straight and curved travel
One continuous line–
Every breath we take sustains
And destroys us—
Bathe in dark waters dappled in moonlight,
Revel in wonder of trying to experience
Getting as close to the truth as you can—
Time and space flow like rivers—
Step into the ever-expanding now–
Surf the spectrum that blooms an eternity of color,
Skate the rainbow of possibilities spilling from infinity–
Be who you long to be—
Sing as you long to sing—
Live as you long to live—
Express as you long to express—
Reveal as you long to reveal—
Sleep as you long to sleep—
Awaken as you long to awaken–
Darkness lives as shadows
In every sun-drenched day,
Stars and eyes of animals
Betray light shining in every night–
Travel to the end of the day
And you will stumble
Into the arms of the moon,
Venture to the end of the night
And fall into the lap of the sun

 

spectrum

 

 


 

 

 





Reading the Runes

Reading the Runes
By
Joseph Anthony Petro

 

 

Scatter bits of twigs to the ground,
Look up through moon-lit branches,
Get eye-level with blades of grass,
Study the kindling before it feeds the fire,
Observe the antlers of the silent deer,
Notice the positions of sleeping loved-ones,
Stop and consider wooden fences along the roadside—
Have any of the beams fallen creating a nied or kenaz?
Trace the markings of river rocks,
Contemplate graffiti and the drawings of children,
What do you cast when you hastily arrange the silverware?
Pause and pluck a moment of time,
Give thanks to Odin swung nine nights from the windswept ash,
Then read the way lines line up and down around you anywhere—
Everywhere below and above—books on shelves,
Pencils on desks, the hair in front of your eyes–
Look at the lines in your own hand—see the myriad crisscrossing runes.
We are surrounded—yes, we are
Part of the fabric—yes, we are
Living letters in skin and bone,
Stories written in flesh and blood.
What is it our every day frenzies prophecy?
What is it we say when we dance?
What divinations do our movements betray?
What messages are we writing on the pages of the world?
What spells are we casting just by walking?
How will they position our arms when we die?
Odin—send your ravens and believe we are trying
To gather the wisdom you bestowed on our lot,
See our way through the falling forest,
And welcome us home once this chapter is done.

 

 


 

 


Allow Me

Allow Me
By
Joseph Anthony Petro

 
At some point
Fireflies
Fade into autumn,
Their blooms
Of light
Extinguish
Into darkness;
Flowers
Drip their silken petals
One by one,
And draw
Their leaves
Inwards against
Thieving November winds;
Frogs
With their golden eyes
Vanish
From the pond’s murky edge;
Deer step through
Mist-skirted trees,
And with a flick
Of their white tails
Disappear.

 
Right now, here,
Today, your life
And mine
Are dissolving
Into light,
And at some point
We will lift
From the pages
Of our lives
And simply
Be gone—written
In the stars.

 
Thing is,
Life is long, like
A lazy, sun-drunken
Summer afternoon,
And it’s short,
Like the afore mentioned
Wink of the firefly.
Either way
You and I
Are being called

 
And we are also the ones
Doing the calling.

 
Beauty needs us,
Faith requires of us,
Love invites us
To participate
In the hum
And wonder
Of our interwoven lives;

 
And we call out—
We bring to ourselves
Open roads
And closed doors,
Everything
We want and need—
Everything
We are meant and ache
To be. And of course,

 
By the time
You read this
I might already
Be gone; I might
Be hovering
Right now
Over your shoulder
And nudging you
To smile and get out there
And amaze the world,
Amaze yourself.

 
And whether or not
I am still alive
When you read this,
You and I
Have been
Drawn together
In this moment,
At this point
In time–
And we have a job to do,
A job that isn’t
So much a job
As it is a story
That only you and I
Can tell.

 
So, here’s the thing:
I want to show the world
Who I really am.
Will you help me
Tell this part
Of the story?
And what about you?

 
What is it you
Want to do and say?
Whatever it is,
Allow me
To be with you
Either
From my place
Of light beyond light,
Or from here,
In these words–
Allow me,
At this moment in time
To be here
For you.

 

 

 


 


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Dear Dark-Hearted-Star

Dear Dark-Hearted-Star
By
Joseph Anthony Petro

 
Dear Dark-hearted star–
Shine your mystery
Into the daytime sky,
Shine your holy darkness
Onto the tongues of butterflies,
Shine your shadowed path
Into the eager eyes of bees,
And bloom a radiant midnight
Into my shrouded, keening heart,
And allow me, just once,
To travel your billowy, silken halls
And find myself in your light,
To reveal myself in your presence,
To partake of your nectar of astonishment
So that I may awaken to the bravery
To shine as freely as you.

 

dark hearted star