In the Rooms of Our Days, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

In the Rooms of Our Days

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

 

Snow falls, soundless,

Layering on branches, like cells

On the body, creating silence

And drapery, touching everything.

The winter wishes for nothing else

Than to build up smooth mounds

Over the ruins of sleeping seeds

And the bones of animals that passed away alone,

Giving them the kind of protection required

For secret awakenings to warmth and light—

That we all need, that we all long for

As we stay awake all winter, walking back and forth

In the rooms of our days, unable to sleep,

Unable to close our eyes and trust the spring,

Unable to remember that once

We slept in darkness, that once

We emerged from the darkness,

That once, again and again, we blossomed

Into the hands of another, that we rose up

To a welcoming sky, and that we will all, once

Again, and again, return to sleep

Beneath scrolls of silent snow.

 

 


 

 


The Root of Us All, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

The Root of Us All

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

Flowers flower from the branch,

Branches flower from the tree,

Trees flower from the ground,

The ground flowers from the earth,

The earth flowers from love’s universe,

Love’s universe flowers from many minds

And many hearts and many wishes and many prayers.

 

Minds flower from seed,

Hearts flower from fire,

Wishes flower from all children,

Prayers flower from pain.

 

You flower from me,

I flower from you,

We flower from need,

And need flowers from desire,

Desire flowers from all space,

And all time, and everything right

With the world.

 

Waves flower from the sea,

The sea flowers from longing,

Longing flowers from love once known

Calling us home,

Home flowers from hearth and bed.

 

Love flowers from our hands,

Our hands flower from our limbs,

Our limbs flower from our bodies,

Our bodies flower from union,

Union flowers from creation everlasting

Everlasting flowers from joy,

Joy flowers from need,

Need flowers from want,

Want flowers from gardens of many fragrances and colors,

Many colors flower from infinity’s imagination,

Imagination flowers from the hands of a child,

And a child is the root of us all,

All of us flower from variety’s branches,

Branches flower from the tree,

The tree flowers from the ground,

The ground flowers from where you stand,

Your standing flowers from community,

Community flowers hands opening,

Hands opening flower from pain lived,

Pain lived flowers from the bravery of a child,

And a child is the root of us all.

 

 

 


 

 





Doing Good at Life, For Mandy, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

Doing Good at Life

For Mandy

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

The willow sweeps the grass of leaves,

The autumn sends her more,

And so, she sways and tends the day,

Her life an open door.

 

The momma bear prepares her den,

Ambling through the deep,

Wide she yawns, until spring’s dawn

And hunkers down to sleep.

 

Her sleep will be the sleep of birth,

Her dreams of cubs so small,

And in that space, aglow with grace,

She sleeps and nurses all.

 

The willow shelters all who come,

Her garlands a cathedral make,

And with the wind she softly sings,

And gives instead of takes.

 

 

 


Because You Never Know, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

Because You Never Know

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

When the welcoming angel

Will spirit you away into the folds

Of the other world,

Who exactly you are becoming,

Why you love sunsets and stars,

What compassion grows in you

For the secret sorrows that haunt

Another’s heart, like lost echoes

In a cavern of lakes and rivers,

Where your reverence leads

And how it gets there,

How your cells build one atop

The other while you walk

Without spilling you to the ground.

 

It’s best to just go about your days

Singing, breathing with your whole body,

And adventuring into the questions

Until the word never finally falls away, like

The paper and string of an unexpected gift

Opened by a child who finds inside

What they’ve always wanted.

 

 

 

 

 


 



Eucharist, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

Eucharist

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

The bread blooms on the tongue,

The wine rivers through the body,

These provisions are more than enough

Until the other unimaginable communion takes place,

Believe the slow road outwards, leads

Inevitably inwards into His arms,

We needn’t worry about who we are

Or the shadows we trail behind,

Everyone—no matter what they have done

Or what they have failed to do

Is welcome, and everyone, no matter who they are

Approaches that table, trembling, like a bride.

 

 

 

 


 




I Think So, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

I Think So

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

It’s possible, isn’t it?

To walk through the dark field,

Brushing your hands over the tops

Of the barley, under the stars

And the patient moon;

To let go, while at the same time

Hold on for dear life,

As thoughts flood,

And fear lifts you

Out of your body

To a safer place

Among the trees;

To hear the owl’s question

And to answer in the affirmative,

Declaring you rightfully exist

Among the fireflies, the crickets,

And the turning world;

To see the falling star

And to wish nothing more

Than for the owl to find food;

To step into the river, without

Succumbing to the cold,

And to reach down, lifting water

Over your head and say:

“This is my beloved child,

With whom I am well pleased.”

 

 

 

 


 




Reflections of Summer Ghosts, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

Reflections of Summer Ghosts

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

I.

I know there is

So much

To be grateful for—

I know.

 

And yet, this

Nothingness hangs

In the humidity, like

Cicada song,

And I drift through

The day, lost

As the wind.

 

 

II.

Cicada song swells and thins

Through the wide sky,

Sunflowers turn their faces

To the ground,

Wheat awaits the approaching windrower,

Summer turns in her gauzy shift

Towards the shimmering horizon,

Trees gradually light their lamps,

And somewhere, below, a ghost moves

Looking exactly like me.

 

 

 

 


 

 





What to Do, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

What to Do

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

What is time but a delaying of eternity?

Make friends with the animals within you

Before they’re gone.  After all,

Who will be there when the door appears

And the Word comes?

 

Turn away from the pride of intelligence,

Turn away from caring what anyone else thinks

About how you’re following the long trail

Of hooves and padded feet–

 

Walk, or be carried, just keep watching

Where the animals’ dark eyes are looking

With all the wild devotion of those

Aching to be touched by the one

Who understands.

 

 

 

 


 




Why the Lifting? By Jennifer Angelina Petro

Why the Lifting?

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

 

Because it’s there—

The chilled withering,

The drying out of leaves

And petals, the detachment

And the lifting into spiraling

Winds, the wishing it would

Never end, the laughing

At that wish, the seeing

Gold and yellow, and all shades

Of red torching across the hillside

And over the rooftops,

Because it’s there—the golden

Boats in the slowing creek—

Because it’s there—the apples

Blooming from where every blossom

Bloomed—the cinnamon and the clove,

The orange peel, and the nutmeg—

Because one must let the sweetness

Of the end warm the insides against

The cold outside—because the hearth

Must be kindly again, because it will

End, because winter unfurls, engulfs,

Encloses—because, of course, we know

Spring sleeps and will rise again—

In this moment—however and nevertheless—

It’s there—the detachment and lifting

Into the spiraling wind.

 

 

 

 

 


 



The Other Rose, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

The Other Rose

by

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

Unravel the fragrant mass carefully.

Open it, like an orange, letting the petals fall

In a heap in your hands.  Remember this moment

Forever.  The secret of secrets

Is not in the pages of holy books.

It is not in places of worship.

The center of the rose is nearer to the thorns

Than to the blossom.  Nearer to the effort

Than to the bliss.  Nearer to the heart

of your devotions than to the goal.

And never will you find it

In the other rose.