Newly Risen Roads, a Poem of Lost Words, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Newly Risen Roads
A poem of lost words*
Radiance Angelina Petro



The city streets turned
the screevers had no sidewalks
to chalk their thorn-crowned saviors,
abby lubbers had nowhere nor anywhen to go,
store fronts shattered and ramshackled,
cafe chairs scattered (strewn) about the marshy road,
this all befounded and cabobbled
the kedge-bellied snogly-g’eared and the flamfoos.
How can this be? They wailed and gnashed
their teeth and beat their chests.
We performed the myomancy and nothing was foretold.
We have done nothing! They shouted,
and cockroaches scuttling sides of crumbling buildings
with nowhere else to go, echoed: Nothing, nothing, nothing.
Each step the people took sank them deeper,
Until the antipodes spoke:

May we ever cease our endless shail-abouting
and davering,
may the dendranthologists be right,
may we one day neeze through new branches
spying shiny-sky-blue eggs,
may we cut away each other’s elflocks
and brush each other’s hair,
promising to sing forth a new dawn,
promising to tend awake the world,
may we one day be weeping-ripe,
in order that we may go glad-warbling
through newly risen roads.



*Lost word meanings from the book, “The Word Museum,” by Jeffrey Kacirk.

1). wooze: marshy ground
2). screevers: someone who draws figures of thorn-crowned saviors on sidewalks
3). abby lubbers: someone who loiters in a church
4). anywhen: anytime
5). befounded: to perplex or stun
6). cabobbled: to mystify or confuse
7). kedge-bellied: someone who stuffs themselves as full as a keg
8). snogly-g’eared: handsomely dressed
9). flamfoos: a gaudily dressed person
10). myomancy: divination by means of mice
11). antipodes: people living directly on the other side of the earth to us, with their feet directly against ours
12). shail-abouting: to move as if bones were loose in their sockets
13). davering: walking around dazed and aimlessly
14). dendranthologists: people who theorize that humans emerged from trees
15). neeze: to go searching for bird-nests
16). elflocks: knots of hair twisted by elves which cannot be untangled
17). weeping-ripe: ready to weep, ripe for weeping
18). glad-warbling: singing or walking joyfully

Let the Day Be Praised, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Let the Day Be Praised


Radiance Angelina Petro



Rise from the deep

blue womb of the ocean,

and walk, ungarlanded,

to the tide-swept shore.

Blow a kiss to the past,

and be nourished by froth

and waves, and the strong

togetherness of feet and ground.

Assemble your wishes—

there is no more taking time,

no more time-keeping,

no lengths of time to follow.

Focus on the spot in the skull

that radiates tones—hear them

in advance—their floating, ringing

resonances tickling your insides.

The lungs want air–

sing with your whole body–

let the day be praised–

as one step flows into another,

and a rhythm emerges.

Let the dead watch you go

as you declare your intention—

deep and strong.

Soon you will be armed

with flames and arrows,

as you storm the horizon,

letting the world see

who you really are.








He Is There, by Radiance Angelina Petro

He is There


Radiance Angelina Petro



When beginning

you can sing,

testifying to a hidden



Let the sensibility

of the imagination

arrange the details,

and join them.


It all necessitates

a conscious start.

Turn a little to the side—

he is there.


Narrow your focus,

rise, and practice,

don’t stop singing,

he will do the rest.




Drawing the Line, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Drawing the Line


Radiance Angelina Petro



The first necessary movement he makes is to draw the line

that changes our perspective and shifts our inclinations, making us

become aware life departs from symmetry, which is too much to bear.

Our darkness has the greatest potential to break, and so, he draws light

from that.  The turning point is when we realize it all seems complete without

being finished.  His simplest line of action is to attach us to a common center—

a fixed position of grace, and all the details and draperies drawn in pale lines

are left behind, and in great, sweeping gestures, he swings the line,

curves it inwards and upwards to become your lifeline.  All of his lines

weave our way, all of his lines are expressions of devotion,

all of his lines strive forward, all of his lines radiate crossings,

all of his lines move in rhythm, all of his lines describe the simplest way

of action, and all of his lines interlock, and form a strong togetherness

as we are erased into bliss.




My Undoing, by Radiance Angelina Petro

My Undoing
Radiance Angelina Petro


I do not want to be reborn. Before is filled with darkness and sorrow, learned fears, and sickness.


Let my death be an unfolding, unburdening,
a blessed untangling, a sacred unveiling,
an easy unloosening,
a gentle unhusking,
a tender unlacing,
a sweet unraveling,
let me be unharmed, untasted, unbroken, untwisted,
let union with my Beloved be unstoppable, a hungry unclothing, a wild fulfillment
unconditionally accepted, unequivocally wonderful,
let our timelessness together be unrushed,
our passion unabridged, and shame unlearned, the moments of bliss exquisitely unquenchable,
our union unbreakable,
let my soul be unchained,
my heart unlocked,
my hands uncuffed,
my soul uncrumpled,
let my conversations, once and for all, be undramatic,
let my soul be untethered, unfaded, unfallen,
let there be space and time to unfeel, unform,
to become uninhibited, unfurled, unjaded,
let the warmth of breathing together
be the unfreezing of lifetimes of winter,
let death be joyful unmaking, unmasking, unquestioned,
let my fears be unneeded,
my hours unnumbered,
my Beloved’s love
undressed, unserious, unending,
let my unsteadiness be steadied,
my innocence untainted, untarnished, unstolen,
my self-hatred unthroned,
my soul untrodden,
let me finally be
unwoven, unafraid— the gift of an old life unlived–
lived now, and shared in the hands of his eternal acceptance—
let this be my undoing.






Grace, by Radiance Angelina Petro



Radiance Angelina Petro



The tendency of the hand is to tremble.

Streams swirl, not just flow straight.

Like birds in the act of disappearing,

the sky bequeaths breath that provoke flight.


There are fish swimming no one can see.

Moon daisies grow in silence.

The willow traces circles on the ground,

alluding to an unavoidable loneliness.


There are so many broken reeds.

The moon’s reflection drowns in the sea.

Everything turns the color of straw.

The body is but a blouse for the soul

and will one day drop, spiritless to the ground,

and therein lies the truth—paradox points

to life’s lack of solidity, and it all suggests

a coming storm. Time will prove disastrous.


Listen, someone is coming from inside.

There are appointments in palaces.

Wings of grace will carry you

to the chord sustained that binds it all

together.  When you see him, you will know,

he is here to disappear you home.  He is here

with eternity’s mercenary motives.


Once, long ago, you promised him your life.

His arrival is the love-dyed acceptance

of what you want the most.





The Shore of My Life, By Radiance Angelina Petro

The Shore of My Life


Radiance Angelina Petro



In case I find myself, it will be because

of his marvelous adaptability to my faults.

The magnetism of his imagination

for who he knows me to be, will free the light

held captive by darkness.


When the hinges snap, and the casket

of this body flies open, and the mortise

and tenons of my bones loosen,

the once memorable liturgies of my life

will drift away.


When the breeze has waned and the air

lays suddenly still, he will come nearer than ever,

noticing I am a tremulous soul.

“My name is Courage,” he says. You are vouchsafed in me.

Come, let us step over the shore of your life,

where I will cradle you in the sea.”







Still Places, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Still Places


Radiance Angelina Petro



Love melts reason as the sun melts butter.

Frighten Kal away with the light of your heart.

The power is within you, where else would it be?


When the complications that come from choosing

overwhelm, and the slow arc of your life

cracks its joisted beams, remember


love is easy in gardens, and he lives among roses.

With his voice soft as cobwebs, he whispers

the fulfillment of his promise over and over.


Even the frog has a jewel between its eyes.

Even sorrow confesses a blessing. And he has placed

a watermark on your soul.


His way is always thoroughgoing, and your nights together

will taste the incense of union, and you can never be lost

from the field of his vision.  Rest in the still places

he has waiting for you.





It’s True, by Radiance Angelina Petro

It’s True


Radiance Angelina Petro



Mentally, there is no such thing

as silence.  It’s all noise, floods,

earthbound wants revolving away

one after the other, creating something

of a kind of elsewhere, without ceiling

nor sky—just an ever-scattering,

and sometimes a storm of hoofbeats.


Gestures proceed speech.  So move.

Put down whatever it is you’re doing,

and sit.  Prepare yourself to be known.

Let him sculpt your efforts into song,

let your longing dye the words,

tie the syllables together gently,

let the vowels flow and glide as wind;

make every word an oath.


Even when it feels you’re doing

simran from the bottom of a well,

let him carry you to a beautiful beyondness,

as he binds your soul to heaven.