No Body Else but Yours, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

No Body Else but Yours

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

Listen, trees

breathe you

breath drawn

from roots,

drawn from darkness,

that, in turn,

breathe the earth

cradled in arms

that spiral stars

with revolutions

of joy.

 

The next time

you feel wind

on your face,

know you are dear

to the heart

of the world;

how you are

touched

with eternity

breathed

from lungs

of love and sighs,

that are, in turn,

born from a longing

for nothing more

than a glance

that is no body

else’s but yours.

 

 

 

 


 

 



Go with the Spiraling, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

Go with the Spiraling

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

Morning swirls away

the dreams that visit

our sleep, as a Buddhist monk

brushes away a mandala

that took forever to create.

And just as the monk

collects the grains of sand

into a silken covered bowl

and pours them into a river,

so too our dreams are gathered

into a bowl—but this time—

made of birdsong, and scattered

into the day.

 

It is the same with butterflies

waking up from wherever it is

butterflies sleep—a puff

of tiny scales releases into the air

from the dream of their wings

as they quaver towards fields of light.

 

It isn’t enough to wish.

Go with the spiraling, brilliant

sands of the dissolving mandala,

follow the butterflies

into clouds of flowers,

merge with this moment

as the future merges with you.

 

 

 

 


 


Maybe, Just Maybe, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

Maybe, Just Maybe

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

One line stumbles over into another,

and then that line into another, until maybe,

just maybe, a road appears,

 

or a river, and you go somewhere

with someone you do not know,

pointing out land marks, and local fauna,

 

stopping now and then, to look up

at the hawk gliding without effort,

silent as a thought.

 

Up ahead gradually arrives,

and you notice your shadows

have moved from in front of you

 

to behind you, until, maybe,

just maybe, the road rises,

and the beginning begins.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


Bees Lead the Way, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

Bees Lead the Way

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

It’s ok to shelter your heart.
Elegant safety, full of grace, full of heaven,
necessary shadows cradle the light,

bells ring softly, sound merging with forgiveness,
blending with the readying to let go,

bees lead the way to sweet sacristies,
wings thrumming with light,
lifting the sun from holy darkness.

 

 

 

 

 


 


Mondegreen, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

Mondegreen

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

The wind said something

that mixed with the hum

of bees and distant lawn mowers.

What it said may have sifted through.

It may have touched my ever-listening.

 

Standing on the road, searching

the sky, I watch the way

trees sway and wave,

and a pause descends, like

a wish, except palpable, like

a sigh.

 

The message means

to find my spirit—wind woven

with wind. It seeks me, like

the fragrance of freesia seeking

the bee.

 

There is work to be done.  I know

that much.  What it is

is a ribbon drifting, lifting away.

 

So many missteps have befallen

the road.  So many turns missed.

So many dead ends, which, in all

actuality, do not exist.  Nevertheless,

I strive to listen, to get it right. To breathe

what the wind said, hoping

the message will nuzzle its way

through my body, caressing

desire, and once again guide my steps

to many unexpected

blessings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


Surrendering to Hunger, A Sort of Ode to Red Bell Peppers, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

Surrendering to Hunger,

A Sort of Ode to Red Bell Peppers

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

Green crowned, red as blood,

trying hard to be symmetrical

and beautifully failing,

the bell pepper sits on the cutting board

of the cook’s devotion.

 

Gut to seed.  The knife’s whisper

sings hollow through chambers

that fit so perfectly

in the palm of the hand.

 

From within, the sweet smell

rises, first to the nose, and then

to the eyes, and then

to the hands.

 

When the halves open,

a little theater of red drapery

reveals itself, like a ghost

lifting its arms, offering treasures

strung from gauzy curtains, like

clusters of little, waxing gibbous moons.

 

Both the cook, and the pepper,

surrender to hunger—

one to be lifted up and devoured,

the other to bow their head and eat.

 

The flavors of tin-laced blood and earth,

hum in the mouth a glistening

forgiveness, of which, there is nothing

to forgive, but still,

it feels that way, as body becomes

body, as life becomes life,

sliced into little moments

of edible wonder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Dissociation, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

Dissociation

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

I’m drifting through the day, getting things done, all the while existing in one of the deepest dissociative spells I’ve been through/with in a long time. The mind is fascinating, isn’t it? As I post this, I am not really here. Not sure where/who I am. I’ve left my body and yet it operates on its own, while I float close to the ceiling like a shimmering reflection of water. I’ve been here many times. Trauma and the subsequent PTSD will do that–at least to me. There are times the ceiling dissolves and I merge with the sound of summer cicadas and the drowsy hum of bees. It’s always unsettling for a little while once I return. My heart races for a few minutes, my breath catches until it settles into its flow, and I wonder: What did I miss? What wisdom has drawn my spirit out for protection, for safekeeping, for a kind of salvation? What wisdom creates a buffer between my spirit and a reality I am afraid of or find overwhelming at that moment? An answer isn’t necessary. I trust in the wisdom and compassion of dissociation. That doesn’t make it a comfortable experience. It doesn’t come without sobbing soon after, and the floor becoming a grounding presence.  It doesn’t come without resonances of fear–fear of the returning, and what will happen next, fear of the fragile possibility that I can bloom from my body and never return.

 

 

 

 


 


Autopoiesis, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

Autopoiesis

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

They come of themselves.

Into, and unto, and out of

Themselves.  They are

Hidden scryers peering into

My soul’s dark water.

My pen their whisper vessel,

Scream vessel, sobbing, joy,

River vessel.  My mind

The bramble-snaggled thicket

They choose to flower through.

I do not know why I am

Honored such as this.  How it is

They direct themselves

Through the broken guttering.

What I do know is that the brokenness

Is the lock, their autopoiesis

The key, their touching

The gateway that opens

Into paradise.