Tadpoles in the Frog Pond, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Tadpoles in the Frog Pond


Radiance Angelina Petro



The thunderstorm has rolled up

its heavy canvas bags,

and is off to the next town,


bees go back to composing

the narrative of the day

in satins and velvets,


the sun slips back into the sky

on a shining blue gondola,

and throws light into the trees.


Sometimes it feels like the night

nearly succeeds in preventing

the day,


sometimes the day seems academic

and uninspired, and one daffodil

is all daffodils,


and sometimes what you want

is misnamed profane, and what you don’t

is misnamed sacred.


Whatever the case may be,

or how baffling the bonds you make

in the night are, shadows


have their own nuanced glow,

and nothing is unforgettable,

and there are still tadpoles in the frog pond.


Abide within yourself.

It’s easy to become too spiritual,

like me.


The day expands and contracts

with or without you. May as well

loosen your voice


and circulate vowels and consonants

through your breath, and sing forward

into your life.


One day you will roll up

your empty canvas bags,

and be off to the next town.






Something to Remember, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Something to Remember


Radiance Angelina Petro



There are ants in South America,

and parts of Texas and Louisiana,

that cultivate mushrooms.


They forage, cut, shave, and compost leaves;

they knead and heap the mushroom beds,

sowing the spores with meticulous care;


they fertilize it all with their own tiny,

ant shits. The mushrooms (rhozites gongylophia),

would never exist if it wasn’t for their diligence.


They carry the sails of their leaves across

the sea of undergrowth, shuttling spores in little

caravans; they communicate with substrate-born


vibrations, and they even mate in the air. And,

when the queen leaves the colony in search

of fresh soil, the first source of nutrients


for the new garden is her own wings,

which she tears off and lays there, like

iridescent blessings to keep the future alive.







Afterthoughts, by Radiance Angelina Petro



Radiance Angelina Petro



Ever wonder what the dead think about

when they watch the living? Let me tell you.

They think about how it is you haven’t


figured out that eternity isn’t a particularly

good incentive when it comes to hopes and dreams.

They think about the shifting source of light,


and how it pursues you to the end,

and how it causes you to be brilliant, yet

staggering, when it comes to the hazardous


business of loving someone. They know

miracles when they see them. They know all about

the fascinating intricacies with which you try


to delineate time. They remember what is was like

to be barely present, and how the forces

of need and want become life’s afterthoughts.


They think about how they forgot the first work

was to find themselves, and ultimately, how

the whys of this and that become just


another irrelevancy in a long line of irrelevancies.

They think about how they didn’t notice day-to-day

revelations in their perfectly well-hatched plans.


They wonder if you will ever see the sun flooding

distant hills, or the moon shepherding stars.

They wonder if you will be more careful


than they were when following the mere, guiding

outlines of the late-evening roads leading to where

you think you should go.






Hope and Astonishment, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Hope and Astonishment


Radiance Angelina Petro



The Devas in the trees investigate

your movements with feathery thoughts,

deciphering shadows and wind.


They know all things tremble,

and that you cannot flatter the soul.

They know spring has no idea


how to be modest. What they want

–and you can believe they want,

is for you to tremble just enough


to fall into the hands of right now,

and to then rise up with all the audacity

and mischievousness of the morning.


Testify to the power of praise,

and with the bell of your mouth,

ring out songs of hope and astonishment.


The key to it all is that there are no locks,

no lofty heights to attain. There is only joy

and sorrow,  and the spreading of wings into the sky.






Maybe for the Sake of the World, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Maybe for the Sake of the World


Radiance Angelina Petro



Have you ever felt the earth of your life

crumble, and then experience

the depths of love others have for you,


and suddenly become hungry

for shadows, raving, raging, and finding

a way out? If you haven’t,


consider nothing impossible. Someone,

or some community of someones,

loves you so much, and maybe for the sake


of the world, that you finally see being loved

isn’t so bad after all, and then you change forever

into what you always wanted to be.







All Manner of Hope, by Radiance Angelina Petro

All Manner of Hope


Radiance Angelina Petro




It’s easy to misinterpret shadows–

and to not know whether or not the moon

is the moon or a scythe.


Up to, and beyond the point of imagining

anything, it’s good to remember it’s all

up in the air.


And yet, bees, those librarians of the day,

still hum about their work, and drapery

still follows the form of the body.


Strings yield to tuning, and leaves fall

on the backs of elephants, and ants

caress each other with their antennae.


The day, with all of its movable parts

(and, for whatever reason, takes excursions

into the realms of faraway, while at the same time


concentrating on other things), is always

at hand, but loosely so, and without shame,

for there is no sin in wanting tomorrow.


No matter how we see the moon,

the shadows—darkness can be luminous

and within its folds all manner of hope.


Take comfort in not knowing. Mysteries

are the way into the wonderful, and understanding

even a moment, isn’t the end of the road.