This Heart, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

This Heart

By Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

This snow slows time; falls

With patience only grief understands.

 

Watching from this bed,

These legs folded under,

These hands resting on these thighs;

This snow becomes everything

This heart is not.

 

This nearly motionless drifting,

This meticulous chaos beautifully covering

Roads and rooftops, this insinuating

Itself through exposed crowns of trees,

This cold made visible, this sky

Reminding all of us it does whatever wants.

 

Things it does not accomplish:

Reaching the little flames of seeds,

Shrouding this fierce compassion burning

Inside this heart—coursing through this blood—

Not here, not today—

The furnace of this heart rages on.

 


The Occasional Heart, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

The Occasional Heart

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

Some things are better left broken—

Seeds and cicada husks, the robin’s egg,

The chrysalis, the occasional heart.

 

Some things cannot be healed—

Not simply because they aren’t illnesses–

But because experiences cannot be

Undone.  And besides,

 

Some wounds

Are delicious—the taste of blood

Metallic and sacred, free of pity—

Fortifying the bones.

 

Wounds happen,

No rhyme, no reason, no

Providence.  They are moments

In the absurdity and the ridiculous wonder

Of living, of breaking open,

Of blossoming into the air,

Of wings settling and elongating,

Of the gift of spiraling inwards and

Outwards during sleep, during death, and unfolding—

Sifting through the branches of your life–

A most spectacular storm,

A most radiant calm.

 

Sit with grief.  Allow it to breathe.

It isn’t something

To be cured.  It isn’t

A sickness.

It is you, the self-same you–

Just as joy is your name.

 

Consider yourself

Whole—

Nothing

Missing, nothing worthy

Of stealing for, killing for, dying for.

Live.   Your soul–ever

Untarnished, uncorruptible—

Is more you than you.  Live.

 

As for the rest of it—yes—

The mind, body, the spirit—

These, like wings, can all

Be broken.  Rest as you move.

 

Everything gradually

Falls apart and wishes itself

Into the ground and sky.

 

Nothing can stop the holy breaking

Open.  Live.  Leap

Into the vastness

Of possibility.  Live.

 

Bury the dead, nourish the living,

And roar—

Dancing

Into your life.

 

 

 


Naming the Way, by, Jennifer Angelina Petro

Naming the Way

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

Go outside late October.

Lock your eyes on one falling leaf.

Try to find the moment

As close to the beginning

Of it’s letting go from the branch

As you can. Really follow that leaf—

That one in a million leaf.

Train your eyes on it.  Focus.

Notice the way the wind carries it,

Breathes it.  Watch how it turns

Gently over and around, catching little

Fleeting currents, and then

Smoothing out into a kind

Of easy drifting.  Its descent held

In the palms of the wind.  See

How golden.  See how tenderly

It is placed in the stream.

Give that leaf a name—your

Name, and then,

Go back inside

To pray.

 

 

 


 


The Wandering Now, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

The Wandering Now

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

Are there times, plural? Times

That exist multiplied, added,

Subtracted, divided?

 

Or is it one time and one time only?

Is it one borderless time—no alpha,

No omega time? No chronos,

No Kairos, no linear, no anywhere time?

 

We do know there are

Rhythms of moons and seasons,

 

We do know we breathe—

 

Our lives,

Our breath,

 

Sifts through many branches,

Spreads through many bodies,

Moves in a wind that is kin to silence—

 

Yet even amidst the changes that don’t

Really change, even amidst the sound

Living in silence, and the silence living in sound

 

It is still a breath—an expansion and contraction

Of our place in time—

A breath that is, in itself, a spirit,

A spirit that is, in itself, a body—

A body that is, in itself, the now made manifest.

 

And from where we stand,

In all of the mystery, and all

The effort to find a center

 

We blossom and wither

In no time at all—

 

So here we are—maybe

You need to join me in

Lifting our head, lifting our hands—

And with all the earnestness of a lost soul–

Say to the everywhere:

“Show me.”

 

 

 


It’s All Happening Now, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

It’s All Happening Now

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

Your awareness

Of your immediate

Surroundings–this

Moment, and

Your breath

Breathing presence

Into the world–

Is valid. Your pain,

Your falling asleep,

Your heartache,

Your little conversations

About how beautiful

The sunset is,

Your worries,

Your looking for your keys,

Your rising, glowing

Body—fluttering

With coming—

All of this—

Is valid.

 

And can you

Imagine–now, this

Moment–somewhere far

Beneath the ocean’s surface–

A whale drifts—

An acorn-barnacled

Monolith–singing

Light through forests

Of kelp and the bodies

Of a million fish—

Echoing in your very

Own longing—can you

Imagine?

 

Can you imagine–

Now, this moment–

Somewhere deep

In deep-green leaves—

Leaves as big as faces–

A panther, a shimmering

Piece of the night,

Licking its great paws,

And staring—all the way

From Indonesia—

Directly

Into your eyes?

 

Oh, can you—

Can you imagine?

It’s all happening

Now.

 

 

 

 


 




The Art of Blossoming, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

The Art of Blossoming

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

 

The art of blossoming

Is simple and yet

Riddled with struggle.

First you find yourself

A seed full of darkness

Surrounded by darkness,

Then you gradually begin

To realize you are full of light,

A light yearning to shine

In the open, remarkable sky,

Next you begin feeling

An even brighter light

Gently tugging, calling,

Singing you out of the earth,

Passed roots and rocks, until,

At last, you break open–

 

Into the full pageant of the day,

With your light illuminating

Your own life and the lives

Of everyone you touch,

And other lights

Stream through you,

Like liquid sweetness,

And you draw sustenance

From lightning and the rain—

 

And the fragrance of all

Your efforts–all that darkness,

All that time spent

Wisely unseen–lifts

Into the wind, and your beauty

Weaves through the day

And the night, and other seeds,

Through other gardens,

Through other fields

Awaiting this coming out,

When the world, and the mirror,

Are blessed.

 

 

 

 

 


 


Clear as Day, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

Clear as Day

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

One never knows until never is up,

And then you know whatever it was

You didn’t know before never ran out.

 

It’s kind of like this: A firefly

Turns its own light on and off

In an effort to get your attention.

 

Certain questions act the same way—

Bobbing up and down, elusive—

Hints flashing among the dark trees;

Every so often, and often again—

Someplace different—a little to the left,

A little higher, and sometimes, seemingly,

Rising to the moon, all in an effort

To be followed.

 

Trick is—and it is a trick—keep watching

For the lights—they can bloom anywhere

In the fields of summer darkness;

When you see one, follow its green-tinted

Ribbon where ever it goes, as best you can,

And if you lose sight of it—disappointment,

Frustration—are perfectly valid responses.

 

Try and remember this:

When you fall asleep, and answers

Lift through the trees—out of reach—

Do your best to not give up.

 

Your dreams–along with a gathering of angels

And shadows—will ponder the questions for you,

And when morning comes, and the dawning sun shines,

It will all be clear as day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


The Frog, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

The Frog

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

The frog with gold-flecked sclera and black, almond pupils–

Sloped back–green, gleaming with brown moons—

Waits until the last second before leaping

From the half-submerged log into algae-murky waters.

 

Once I am up the road aways, mind thinking through shafts of light

Of what it would be like to be so smoothly elusive,

Its head inconspicuously breaks the surface of the pond,

Scoping it out, making sure I’m good and gone.

 


I Don’t Know What Else to Say, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

I Don’t Know What Else to Say

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

The Friesian horse of the night approaches,

In an extended cantor.

When it finally slows to a halt,

May it nuzzle my face and neck,

May the mist of its breath shroud my body

So that I may disappear into the moon light.

And may whatever it was I wanted to say

Be swallowed up into the ground

Only to reappear years later—

As bones wrapped in flowers.

 

 

 

 


Ghosts of Spring, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

Ghosts of Spring

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

The spring breeze haunts me,

Every flower calls my name,

Winter holds me fast.

 

 

The ghosts in the spring

Flow through the weeping cherries,

Then fall to the ground.

 

 

I saw the ghost child

Wandering through the garden

Wishing it was fall.

 

 

Spring ghosts whispering;

The dogwoods acknowledge their voice

Weeping white petals.

 

The dead follow close,

The daffodils bow their heads,

Blessing as we pass.

 

 

Dearest magnolia,

How can it be you are there,

Fancying up the sky?

 

 

Spring wind chases by,

Stirring my hair as it goes,

Leaving me behind.

 

 

Someone mows a lawn,

The sound drifts through the window,

Melting through my mind.

 

 

Children’s spring laughter

Fluttering through the window,

Waking up the ghosts.

 

 

Rain-scented pavement

Permeates my feeling life,

Understands the tears.