Embrace, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Embrace

By

Radiance Angelina Petro

 

 

We cannot know

what we do not know

until we know it, and once

we do, we know what we didn’t

know before.  And that

 

is good information for those times

when we’re talking with someone

who doesn’t know what they don’t know.

 

Compassion works

because no one knows exactly

the pain of another, but

we do know pain when

we see it, and that

should be enough

to meet one another

and embrace.

 

Empathy works

because no one truly

understands themselves

or the other, and so

when we catch a glimpse

 

 

of the synergistic universe

in the eyes of another,

that should be enough

to meet one another half-way,

and embrace.

 

We can all know, however,

whether we remember it or not,

that breathing helps

this liminal thing called living

to continue, and that

there is enough air for everyone,

and all breaths embrace

every other breath,

so we may as well embrace

in the same, weaving way.

 

We can also know our hearts

beat whether we think about it

or not, and everyone’s heart

beats together whether we like it

or not, and that one rhythm

creates

 

an earth-knowing,

a season-knowing,

a sky-knowing,

a love-knowing

unity.

 

And so, we may as well

embrace, and this time, why not

spin that embrace into a dance

that none of us really knows

how to dance?

 

Dance the dance

of the unknown together,

knowing the one thing

we all want to forget:

 

the dance will end.

And that particular bit

of perhaps difficult knowing

should be enough

to make us embrace,

and hold on for dear life.

 

 

 



Names of Fire, By Radiance Angelina Petro

Names of Fire

By

Radiance Angelina Petro

 

 

Autumn opens her notebooks,

sending words sailing into the streets

never once looking back.

She lends them to the wind

where they are bolstered by many

changes of direction.

 

She knows who we are.

She accepts us as we are—cornstalk fiddles

trying to tune our lives into song.

 

She knows we are apprentices

of the sun, and that few have ever seen

pineapple groves or wandered further

into the mountains.

 

Autumn knows our spirits are tightly

wound spools in need of loosening, so

she coaxes us into wide spaces,

into scouring rains and gloom,

through the smoke of burning leaves,

into the growing, early darkness,

where we hastily scrawl her messages

into linsey-woolsey phrases

with hopes we’ll turn, transformed,

and strong, and change our names into fire

against winter’s coming cold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


It Still Amazes, by Radiance Angelina Petro

 

 

It Still Amazes

By

Radiance Angelina Petro

 

 

This rhythmic exchange

of sky and lungs.  We hold sky inside us,

swirl it around so it touches

everything; and the sky, in turn,

holds us, touches everything—such delicate

intimacy, such cosmic play.

 

And even when our body has breathed its last, still

we merge and we weave and we dive

and we swim, we turn and we go

where ever we go, lifted in the song

of it all.

 

 

 

 


 

 


We All Know It’s Going to Happen, By Radiance Angelina Petro

We All Know It’s Going to Happen

By

Radiance Angelina Petro

 

 

Fields of corn, after whispering

all summer, have fallen silent,

the earth begins its long, slow inhale,

the last cricket suddenly stops singing,

the grey heron flies, pushing the past

dreamy months behind with sad, tired wings,

branches and roots withdrawal green

back down into the ensouled earth.

 

We all know it’s going to happen,

we all know the cold is coming.

And what does heaven say to us,

as it blankets the ground with gold?

 

It says:

 

begin building your fires, keep each other warm,

and all through the harsh and difficult winter,

remember: seeds are dreaming of light.

 

 

 

 


 


While You Are Not Obligated, By Radiance Angelina Petro

While You Are Not Obligated

By

Radiance Angelina Petro

(Using my own words as well as words

found in The Dictionary of Shipping Terms and Phrases,

by Edward F. Stevens, pub. 1947)

 

 

You are sufficient, seaworthy,

you have tendered time

its disbursements of grief,

your tears have perfected your sight

enough, you have recouped

the solvency of the spirit,

your manifest includes hope’s readiness.

 

Now, against all risk, enter outward,

for there is yet the safety of adventure,

and you now sail unenclosed waters.

 

Mooring ropes, as you know,

wear thin, and there are ships

drifting at sea, others are icebound,

nearly inaccessible, waiting

for the frost-feathered gull

to drop the notice of abandonment.

 

There are plenty of lighthouses along the shore.

What is needed are lightships willing

to take the lost alongside, to pass provisions,

to touch and stay, and lead them

to believe out of the starless night,

and into the harbor of taverns and song,

where they can, unladdened and free

of encumbrances, reinterpret themselves

back into the land of the living.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 


You and I, by Radiance Angelina Petro

You and I

By

Radiance Angelina Petro

 

 

There is a swan, whose name

is ecstasy, sailing, with all the silence

of a dewdrop, across the dark waters

of the soul.

 

 

Her head bowed, she searches

for changelessness,

for the unbroken, for the secret

of unity conceived in the universe

and born of our Lady of the Stars.

 

 

She wants the most daring

oneness of body and soul,

she wants the adorable one

and all.  This is the orgasm

of her mind, this is her body’s

exclamation of wonder.

 

 

She knows her name is holy,

and she knows full well that a feather

can overturn the universe,

And so, she sails, as you and I

must sail, gently, almost

imperceptibly, pushing the air

elegantly behind her with her marvelous wings.

 

 

And she glides across the water, like

the moon moving though the sky,

her night colored eyes staring down,

deeply, into the revelation

of who she really is.

 

 

 


 

 


From Here On In, A Collage Poem, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

From Here On In

A Collage Poem

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

(Using my own words and phrases,

as well as some found in, “The Golden Ass,”

by Apuleius, trans. By Jack Lindsay, 1962)

 

 

I want to know everything

in the world.  Beyond

the narrow cast of reason,

that is where I am going.

I consider nothing impossible.

 

The hinges snapped

from my mind’s shutters,

and I am thirsty for every sip

of novelty.  I want festivals

of the flesh—the rare

and the marvelous.

 

If you want to go with me,

I ask you do not think,

to carry no convictions—

be like a newborn sun—wings

outspread, conceived by sea

and foam, fragrant as cinnamon.

 

Unwind your wants and desires,

listen to the rivers muttering magic

begun again anew in full brilliancy, as scars

of old wounds heal as you spirit

through leaves and fields, leaping, like

a goat high in the mountains.

Dionysus will be our guide.

 

This abandonment is the touchstone

of warm snuggery, of a luxuriance

of kisses, of bandying jests,

of uncrimping the soul, of a kind

of wild freedom that resounds

bliss through your every bone.

Everything you see

from here on in

is you.

 

 

 

 

 


 


Over Trails of the Sea, A Collage Poem, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

Over Trails of the Sea

A Collage Poem

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

(Using words and phrases from “The Man Who Saw Tomorrow,

The Prophesies of Nostradamos, translated by Erika Cheetham, 1973, along with my own.)

 

 

 

Like a shipwreck trying to hold on

to the reef, I lean this way and that.

Sooner or later, you will see great changes—

that’s what they tell me, but my eyes

are open only to old fantasies and wishes.

 

Beyond the river, raised by land and sea,

The act has been done.  Hidden in swampy marshes,

a monster is born, wild with hunger, and it knows my name.

It knows everything about me, knows I am trying

to see the shore through the mist, through the dark,

and he will wander far in his frenzy to find me.

 

And yet, even with the Rubicon uncertain,

a shadowy hope, which Providence scrounged

to sustain, rises, lifts my face to the sky.  The light

is stupefying and marvelous—the flashes of fire—

I believe that in this night I have seen the sun,

while the monster waits—knows I am coming,

knows I have moved closer to freedom.

 

And then, my wings and feathers fall at my feet,

and I know I must now allow myself to be carried

safely through the sky by birds of the celestial palace,

high away from the monster that will forever dog my steps.

 

I know a serpent has been placed on the shore.

I know snakes surround the altar.  I know

there will be rains and frosts.  I know the documents

on which are written what I should do next

are enclosed in fish, and that the secrets

of my future are hidden in the heads of salmon,

 

and yet, over the trails of the sea, a way opens,

and I am placed gently down, brought

to rebirth at the fortified harbor,

where lighthouse lights come through thunder,

to welcome me home.

 

 

 

 


Above Everything, A Collage Poem, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

Above Everything

A Collage Poem

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

(Using words and phrases both of my own

and from the book, “How to Study,” by Arthur Kornhause, pub. 1924)

 

 

 

Above everything

shift your position

from time to time.

 

Picture yourself

clearly.  Raise questions.

You might simply ask

yourself: “What is the essence

of what I want?”

 

Talk to yourself,

think around, draw

diagrams, feel

the intensity

of your desire.

 

What does this

light throw,

and on what?

 

Hold yourself to the work.

Your ability to play

is the important thing,

so is the gradual movement

towards the unexpected.

 

Be flexible enough

to make the necessary

revisions.  Acknowledge

frankly the consequences.

 

There is no controlling

the world about us, there are

interferences and irritations,

there will be moments

of perplexity.

 

So then, discover

pleasures and fascinations,

become absorbed

in some joy. Be your own

secret door.

 

There will be

things left undone,

you might feel pressed

for time, but there will be

 

delicious idiosyncrasies

in your thinking

and learning

that will be oblivious

to everyone else

except you. And you might feel

wonderfully mischievous

and smile.

 

Be ready to believe in variations

and embellishments,

and possibilities of ever new

thrilling blessings rising

from your body.

 

Once you get yourself

well started, remember

bliss is viable, and

as you change patterns and ways

of self-recitations:

be clear about this:

 

wonder does wonders.