Love Words, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Love Words


Radiance Angelina Petro



He courted me forever.

On initiation day, I finally

proposed.  He took my hand

and said, “Yes.” And we consented

to loving.


His wants were simple. Mine

extravagant.  I wanted everything.

He wanted me to repeat certain

love-words in the dark,

and to listen to him singing.

He wanted me to walk with him

to his father’s country by the sea.


He never asked for my undivided

attention to the exclusion of all else.

I asked him for his, and he gave it.


I had no awareness of the road,

and so, I said: “Take me.”

He smiled, took my hand again,

and said, “Yes, and you

take me.”





Blossoming Forever, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Blossoming Forever


Radiance Angelina Petro



At the end of the day, we are all

light-seekers.  In this world of seeming

and guessing, the impulse towards

ever-spring unfolds the flower of longing.


He knows the seasons of consciousness,

the inner purpose of flowers.  He aligns

seeds towards the sun as they sleep.


Darkness is the point of departure.

It is soul-changing, and he uses it

to encourage us to enter the struggle upwards.


Grain seeds found in Ancient Egypt will still grow.

No matter how long we sleep

he will wait forever for the celebration

of flowering, taking slow, simple, sips

of pure contentment.


He knows all about withering, and the falling

of petals.  He knows pain determines

so much.  He knows winter comes, and so,

he turns his light into sweetness, his voice

into warmth, and he cultivates within us a willingness

to accept surprises.

Surprises, like why-questions suddenly unriddled,

surprises, like the sky,

surprises, like eternity,

surprises, like blossoming forever

in his hands.






Vestiges, by Radiance Angelina Petro



Radiance Angelina Petro



It was a soft beginning—

just his voice weaving

invitations for me to live

my way into his breathing

and the spaces between the little

pauses before he said: “Well, brother,”

“Well, sister.”


His love does not fit

into practical life.  He inclines

to the marvelous, and so hearts

careen towards him, turning

the day-to-day upside down.


Meanwhile, I blunder ahead.

My wants lead me where

there is nothing to see but him.

He uses the wear and tear of the seasons,

and the fear blocking the entry of light

to awaken secrets of his always

and everywhere grace.


The persistent art of his patience

crosses thresholds of distance,

snatching me from the edge

of the maw of emptiness that touches

everything I do.


I want a soft ending, where he

lifts me, as he would a child,

from the vestiges of memory,

where all that is left is the eternity

of his voice; where the only place

left for me to go is the cradle of his arms.







Wanting to Run, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Wanting to Run


Radiance Angelina Petro



The day the mantle was draped on his shoulders

was the day he martyred himself with his surrender

to his own master.  He dropped his life,

in utter disbelief at Sawan’s feet.


We know he wanted to run.  We know

the letters he wrote, how inconsolable

he was, how unworthy he felt to take up

the task set before him.

His mind must have rattled in shock

at the sudden, sharp, shattering separation from his dreams.


From that day, he woke and worked, doing all

that was asked of him.  From that day

he gilded Dera with the highest example

of complete obedience.


His heart must have trembled the first

time he climbed the steps of the dais to sit

before the thousands. His heart must have ached

looking into the frightened faces of those turned away

from initiation.


And here I am with my hobbling commitment,

yet bathed in the fruits of his faithfulness, of the fiat

he gave to the Lord to give birth to the Word

that lives in my spindrift heart.





Bound by Fire, by Radiance Angelina Petro



Radiance Angelina Petro



As I move in line, I notice

there’s a crack in my dinner plate—

a nearly invisible seam.

If I urge it a little, it shines.


Arriving at the servers,

I lift my plate.  I am so hungry.


Lord, we are all fragile this way.

Let me finish this one meal,

and I will change my life forever.






Facing Eternity, By Radiance Angelina Petro

Facing Eternity
Radiance Angelina Petro


The three-dimensional field of our lives drowns in detail.

The rhythm we recognize as living, and our attempts to resist the wind,

are all part of a vast, uncontrollable sea.

Yet somehow, we are light-seeking,

somehow we are solar-following,

somehow, and just when we reach the edge of understanding,

gravity sees us to our graves.


He wants our participation in pursuing wholeness.

Somehow, the seeds of his mercy migrate by means of the wind,

and they find us at our most drifting though the summer of our lives.


There is a Japanese legend that civilization was born

the first time someone gave someone else a flower.

The ever-true gardener lives for beauty, and when he touches us,

a rose blooms in our heart.


He knows we are solar-opening, and his glance and guidance

are timeless light. And the difficult uprooting from our lives to be transplanted

in his garden is needed, and it hurts.

“There are benefits to grieving,” he says,

“such as paradise. Come, face eternity with me.”







Tiger Resting in the Shade, By Radiance Angelina Petro

Tiger Resting in the Shade


Radiance Angelina Petro



“What moves me is beautiful,” he says.

“Look at these roses and hibiscus,

look at the tiger resting in the shade,

look at the forests of Manali,

the spider’s web, the turban-tying

of my grandchildren, the bhandaras,

the Ellora Caves, the Kashmir mountains,

the sevadars, my mother, my daughter, my sons,

and then come, look in the mirror of my eyes.”





Midnight Sun, By Radiance Angelina Petro

Midnight Sun


Radiance Angelina Petro



If you ask me how he draws me

with his silver wire through the furrows

of my life, and its places in the air,

how he suddenly appears every time

I go far afield, and how he shines his way

into the little anatomies of my day-to-day,

you know very well I will confess to not

having a clue; but, if you ask me

to hazard a way to describe such love,

it would be safe to say: “wild, nearly reckless.”

Why he doesn’t leave me, why I am

the apple of his eye, why he is

my midnight sun, the only answer

I can come up with is this:

I am his little sister, and his Father has given

him charge over me, and he accepts

this onerous task, and will stick to his last

to take me home.








Tipping Back, By Radiance Angelina Petro

Tipping Back


Radiance Angelina Petro



“Go in and find out,” he says, over and over.

How he is so patient with me is a mystery.

He heralds access to the beyond—

to his country of origin—to a place where the sun

shines in the night.


As I tip back, then lean forward in meditation,

loosening my aching muscles, my mind wanders out

into the street.  He is the life center everywhere

I go, and he follows my downward curve,

so, I am never alone.


The moment I try to come back, he unleashes his love.

“Energy is liberated from burning,“ he says,

“Come, let us set your longing on fire.”






Vanquishing Shadows, By Radiance Angelina Petro

Vanquishing Shadows


Radiance Angelina Petro



The only vital fact

we need to know

is death.


No matter our searching

for a relative place

in the world, there will

always be a sudden

turn downward—

a retreating and diminishing–

despite our insistences otherwise.


Try to remember:

Master thinks in light.

He promises newborn

suns and galaxies.

The way will be made

plainly visible.


Fear is real.

Our living in the caskets

of our bodies

is real.


He does not fault our fear.

There are no boundary lines

to his tenderness.

The soft play of his voice

is enough to vanquish

the shadow which

marks the spot.

Bridges are raised

with his every move,

and with one step inward

he rescues us, walks

with us to the other shore,

where death lifts

its broad wings and flies away