Surprises, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

Surprises

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

They are everywhere.

Every moment, every

Single thing in your life–

And ever it shall be so–

Is a surprise.

 

The turkey buzzard gliding, like

A black cloak loose in the sky,

The letter from England amidst the circulars,

The cardinals tangling and untangling

In the winterberry bush,

The first cabbage butterfly of spring,

This breath, this step, this ability

Of your heart to beat without you

Even thinking about it,

The ship of sleep arriving

At the harbor of your consciousness,

The frog at the wheel, tipping his hat

As you climb aboard, the waking up

In your bed, in your room, in your body,

The channa masala, the mango lassi,

The crunch of the toast in the morning,

The surprise you are and the gifts you give—

 

You get the idea.

 

And yes, there are unpleasant surprises.

We know this and yet we continue walking–

Through the graveyard, flowers in hand,

Into the kitchen where the difficult conversation awaits,

Into the hospital room where a loved-one fades,

Through waking up with a fever,

Through the snow storm in April,

Through the changing of the tire

On your way to the concert—

 

This certainty of a lifetime of surprise

Can be disconcerting, along with

The uncertainty of the surprise

Of what happens when your last breath

Joins the spirits at your bedside;

And yet, we keep moving, and sometimes

We curl up and rest, and other times

We simply stand where we are—afraid to move–

Eventually, we will take another step,

And the road will bloom, and the fear

May turn into wonder, and the living awake,

And the frog turning the wheel and shouting:

“Hoist the anchor! Make sail!  The wind is at our backs,

The horizon is calling: “Try and catch me, if you can.”

 

 


 

 



Redemption, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

Redemption

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

It’s here.

Like spring in winter,

Like joy in grief

And grief in joy,

Like the answer

In a question,

And the question

In an answer.

Like you,

Like me.

 

It’s here.

Being revealed.

Like morning,

Like evening,

Like healing,

Like you in me,

And me in you,

Like truth,

And the way,

Like the end,

And the beginning.

 

It’s here.

Shining,

Shadowed,

Singing,

Beckoning,

Searching,

Found,

Like you in me,

Like me in you,

Like the road

Open to all.

 

 

 


 



International Women’s Day, Thursday, March 8 , 2018, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

International Women’s Day,

Thursday, March 8 , 2018

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

I am a woman.

Born with a penis.

I am a woman who harbors the moon

In the center of her soul.

Born with YX chromosomes,

Low testosterone and high levels of estrogen,

So much so the doctors

Were concerned for her health.

I am a woman with a manta ray

Billowing in the dark waters of her heart.

I am a woman who went unrecognized

When she was born regardless

Of the hormones glowing in her body.

I am a woman who walks with the willows.

I am a woman given testosterone shots

When she was a child.

I am a woman born with Bast in her mind.

I am a woman who sired three sons.

I am a woman who steals through the woods

Like a ribbon of light.

I am a woman called, “Mister,”

For many of her adult years.

I am a woman who sings to each and every tree.

I am a woman with a voice

Everyone identifies as male except the trees.

I am a woman with hidden wings large enough

To drape around her body when she sleeps.

I am a woman who shaves her tits.

I am a woman who speaks stars and planets.

I am a woman who feels most comfortable physically in men’s underwear.

I am a woman who roars.

I am a woman who walks the world in fear for her life, yet walks anyway.

I am a woman who knows when you are secretly grieving.

I am a woman with hair on her fingers.

I am a woman with baskets of bread in her arms.

I am a woman most people do not want to see.

I am a woman with a spirit on fire for justice.

I am a woman who presents in ways so as to smash the tired binaries.

I am a woman with darkness in her eyes that leads to lakes hidden by trees.

I am a woman blessed to be born again and again.

I am a woman surrounded by ghosts of ladies in waiting.

I am a woman feared by men and their stunted desires.

I am a woman who raises the dead from the ground as she passes.

I am a woman feared by TERFS and their insecurities in their own femininity.

I am a woman who nests in her bed like a sleeping bear.

I am a woman feared to exist in the world.

I am a woman who bathes in flowers.

I am a woman with lotuses growing up her spine.

I am a woman with orchids watching from her thoughts.

I am a woman with tigers hiding in her laughter.

I am a woman followed by trooping faeries.

I am a woman walking side by side with a snowy unicorn of power.

I am a woman with herbs in her pockets and moss on her cloak.

I am a woman with hidden rivers of light in her touch.

I am a woman with the universe in her hair.

I am a woman who shatters skewed perceptions.

I am a woman who knows herself as the moon knows the trees.

I am a woman.

Born with a penis.

I am a woman changing the world.

I am a woman as divine as you.

 

 


 

 


All donations to this post go to The Sisterhood Agenda


Changing Everything, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

Changing Everything

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

You know very well

When you push a mug off the table

It breaks.

You know very well

When you take steps

Towards your door

You get there.

You know very well

About cause and effect,

How when the butterfly

Opens and closes her wings

As she dapples around the field,

She makes waves somewhere

Far away.  You may feel

Insignificant.  You may feel

Inconsequential, but the truth is

Everything you do, every movement,

Gesture, and breath, shimmers

Out over and into the silver fabric

Of time and space.  Everything

Eventually touches everything else,

No matter whether you sense it or not.

There is no need to sit back

And feel afraid or ashamed,

Or like you may as well be

A feather on the breath of God.

You are not the feather.

You are the breath.  Speak

Your life, declare your spirit,

Move, like a giant, and that

Doesn’t mean stomping

And ravaging around—it means

Be big in your plans, be heard

As you become more and more yourself,

Even if that means being

Quiet as a mouse, making

Tiny, meticulous arrangements—

Sooner, or later, your presence will

Rattle the castle and waken the cat,

So, move as if your very existence

Touches everything and everyone

Around you and faraway, because

It does.  And should you ever feel

Buffeted around, like the afore mentioned

Feather in the wind, then go—

Release yourself into that

Until you come to rest on the water

Beneath the trees, where your arrival

Radiates out, moving the eyes

Of fish and frog and the otter drifting

With the moon on its belly,

Changing everything just by being

You.

 

curtis

 

 


 

 

All donations go to medical bills and groceries.  Thank you for your kind support. <3


 

 

 


Finding the Field, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

Finding the Field

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

 

It’s there.

Inside.  And that

Is so easy

For me to say.

And for that, I am

Ever grateful.  For you,

It may not be.

The furthest thing

May be a field

Inside you.

It might be so far

Away it may as well

Not even be there.

You might be

Full of vast ink-

Oceans and fog

That moves as if

It was alive—the darkness

Might be so all

Encompassing you

Can’t imagine

Anything else in there.

Try this though—

Close your eyes, and take

As slow, deep a breath

To the count of four as you can,

Hold it gently to

The count of four,

Then exhale slowly

To the count of four,

Do this sequence three times

And then low

A field appears

In front of you, watch—

It might be golden wheat,

It might be soft green

And full of flowers,

It might be a field

Of sunflowers stretching as far

As the eye can see.

See the golden field

Sway as the wind touches

Each strand with so much

Tenderness, see how the field

Ripples with a river of joy from the touch,

See it—the sun—raying exquisitely

Humming light—honeyed

And warm; and see

Blue sky arching over

A perfectly color-

Coordinated relationship

With the field.

Notice you are

Standing just outside

The field. Realize

The wheat, the grass, the wild flowers

Nearly all come up

To your waist–

Except the sunflowers—

See them bowing their heads

To smile upon you—

And there you are just

On the edge of the field.

You reach out your hand,

And brush the top of the grass.

Now, you can either step into the field

Or you can turn around

Back to whatever it is

That’s behind you.  There

You have a choice:

Brilliant, luminous light-touched

Field, darkness that isn’t

The nourishing kind, but draining.

Whatever it is you choose,

Know this:  you now have

A field inside you,

And it will always be there,

It always has been there

Swaying beneath the breath

Of the one who loves you.

The next step is not just

Up to you.  I mean, it is, and also

There are forces–

Currents and hands

Pushing and pulling, guiding,

Persuading, nudging, influencing

The way.  And there are the ones

Who, for whatever the reasons

Cannot choose—illnesses of many kinds

Perhaps inhibit the ability to freely choose—

Those will all be born along

And cared for as they bloom

Into full health and radiance.

For those who can, and I believe

You are one of them—you

Are blessed to be able to choose. Finally, there

Appears a thousand fireflies

Floating and bobbing,

Right there, in the daylight,

Illuminating light upon light,

And whatever you do

When the time comes to decide,

Remember this: there is field inside you,

Swaying beneath the breath of the one

Who loves you.

 

IMG_20160714_200900


 


All donations go to medical bills and groceries.  Thank you so much for your kind support. <3


Morning’s Arrival, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

Morning’s Arrival

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

The tree leans in,

Taps the window.

The one inside

Rises slowly,

Moves, touches the pane.

 

Suddenly it’s gone—

Dissolving into vast, open spaces;

And the freshness of the air

Fills the body, lifts the spirits,

Calms the mind, frees the soul.

 

The one inside

Breathes for the first time

In years, allowing the fingers of the tree

To dance over them

With the utmost tenderness,

Spreading a joy so clean,

So almost unimaginably sweet–

Yet there it is—rivering through them.

 

And as the tree continues its feather-light

Touches, the one inside

Moves further, closer, and climbs

Into its branches, settles

Into its arms, and the tree—

Rooted deeply in the cool, delicious earth,

Cradles the one inside, who is now

The one outside, and lifts them up

Towards the moon and the stars,

Holding them aloft—a new born

Child—and sways, and hums

Freedom songs into the sky, and waves as gently

As morning’s sun-filled arrival.

 

 

img_20161108_123917


 


All donations go to medical bills and groceries.  Thank you for your kind support. <3


It’s Like This, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

It’s Like This

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

 

I stand here.  The monster

Stands there—in front of me

Mirroring my every move.

 

Separating us is a glass wall

Whisper thick and strong as hope.

 

Some days I barely think

Of the monster, yet I know it’s there–

I see it, out of the corner of my eye,

Doing everything I do.

 

There are days it pounds on the glass—

Howling, pacing, and somehow

Growing.  Every morning

I reinforce the wall, look at the monster,

And stare it down.

 

Lately, I notice spiderwebbing cracks blooming

Over the wall.  The monster presses

The glass, testing its solidity, smiling.

 

I assume it will hold.  I assume it is

Strong enough.  And then I blink and the monster’s hand

Passes through the wall as if it isn’t there.

I blink again and the monster is back

On the other side of the wall, blocked

From reaching me, or, at least, I assume.

 

Going about my life, dependent

On a wall whisper thick and strong as hope

Makes me feel, at times, like a sham, like

If it wasn’t for the wall the monster would be

All there is, like I am not as truly well

As I think I am.

 

The wall will not last forever,

The wall may need to be adjusted

In strength, and still I fear it will not last

Forever.

 

And all the while the monster

Grows, waiting, watching, studying what I do.

 

If the wall finally gives way,

The monster will take hold of me, toss me to where

It once stood, build a wall of its own,

Scream-thick and strong as hell,

And it will go into my life, smiling,

Leaving me behind and to do everything

It does, but in slow motion, all the while I am turning

Into a memory of light snuffed out

By the dark.

 

 

 


 

 

All donations go to medical expenses and groceries.  Thank you for your support.



The Darker the World Becomes, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

The Darker the World Becomes

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

Winter, I am here.

I should be sleeping, like

The bears and bees, and somewhere

The bats.

 

Yet, I am awake.  And there is

Darkness, and there is cold, and there is

The silencing of snow, and yet,

I am here, awake, and as best I can,

A light, and as best I can—descending.

 

The earth has been compressed—

Seeds and all manner of growing things—

Are pressed deep into the cold ground.

 

I am still walking.  And through

Winter’s necessary darkness, I move,

And as I do, striding with my little light,

The darkness spreads, parts, like curtains,

And with every step, the darkness gives way

Illumined and warming towards spring.

 

This isn’t to say darkness is wrong,

This isn’t to say I am savior or enlightened,

It simply means I am awake, it simply means

I have a job to do, it simply means

My soul is in the right place, it simply means

The darker the world becomes

The brighter I will be.

 

 


 

 

All donations go to medical expenses and groceries.  Thank you for your loving support.


Making Little Musicals, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

Making Little Musicals

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

It’s amazing, isn’t it?

How our everyday speaking

Voices can be elevated

Instantaneously, into singing.

Think of it—one word

You can speak, one word

You can sing—a sentence can

Rise and fall in and out

Of song like the invisible path

Of a butterfly wings.

I know, you might be

Thinking—And?

To which I say:  And everything!

Everything is right there

In that simple, effortless

Reshaping of sound, of carrying joy

On the breath from within you.

Perhaps everything said should be sung,

Perhaps every year that goes by

Should be full of song, or,

At very least long stretches

Of each season—Imagine that–

Even if some songs are dirges, even if some songs

Are sung on tip-toe just out of our range,

Even if some songs

Are in languages we do not understand,

Even if some songs are screamed like ones

In a punk band, even if some songs

Are in three-part harmony,

Even if some songs move us

To tears, even if some songs

Lift us into realms of glory–

I think we should try it—sing

Every word for one day

And see how much fun it could be

Making little musicals

While buying a cup of coffee,

Or saying, hello while holding

The door, or sending the kids

Off to school, or arguing over

Politics, or teaching in a classroom,

Or giving a sermon, or while greeting

A pet or spouse, or telling someone

You love them forever.

 

clouds light

 

 


 

 


All donations go to medical expenses and groceries.  Thank you for your loving support. <3


One Way to Prepare, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

One Way to Prepare

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

Exhale: Release and create,

Inhale:  Gather and nourish,

Exhale: Loosen and share,

Inhale:  Draw and replenish,

Exhale: Surrender and sigh,

Inhale:  Unite and receive,

Exhale: Express and give,

Inhale:  Assemble and hold,

Exhale: Relinquish and set free,

Inhale:  Store and treasure,

Exhale: Cast and measure out,

Inhale:  Claim and protect,

Exhale: Bestow and rejoice,

Inhale:  Shore up and fortify,

Exhale: I am awake and ready.

 

 

 


 

All donations go to medical expenses and groceries.  Thank you for your support. <3