Going Out in the Snow, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Going Out in the Snow


Radiance Angelina Petro



Winter’s ingathering, the lawfulness

of falling snow, little avalanche

when the white hare leaps from the snowy bush.


The morning when you clear

snow from the doorway, and the neighbor’s,

the morning of thin, tin-tasted air.


Knock ice from the gutters, shake branches–

cause flumps of snow to fall upon snow,

try shielding a match in the lamp of your hands.


This is your little portion of madness,

this is the startling, baffling of the senses, this

is the world holding its breath.






Unread Message, by Radiance Angelina Petro



Unread Message
Radiance Angelina Petro


Who do you think you are?
If you see the lightening flash
it means you’re surviving the storm.

The spinning river of the Milky Way
also carries dark constellations,
and worlds flung like pieces of pottery.

Each moment, born into the future,
under a crimsoning sky, where red snakes
move among ruins, is a chance to memorize ourselves,
and wade belly-deep in the lakes of our wounds.

Oceans become fields, become forests,
bodies resolve themselves into the earth.
Whoever said we were born to be happy?

There are so many hollows and shields,
so many precious metals ensconced in mountains,
so many things blown out of proportion,
and so many places, like Death Gulch
in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, where two trains
collided head-on December 5th, 1921,
due to one unread message, killing twenty-seven,
wounding seventy.

Morning coordinates with the night,
hatching suggested plans and diagrams of wind.

Grab a tattered shawl, fling it over your shoulder,
it’s OK to move out disheveled–there are no solemnities,
and you won’t be shriven—just go.
Your ability to feel awe is still intact,
and try as might to ignore it, but your need to love
still aches.

Movement is our mother-tongue.
The hairs on the backs of our neck are standing.
We’ve read the message. Our heartbeats
reverberate in our blood. It’s time to remember
who we are.







The Living Night, by Radiance Angelina Petro

The Living Night
Radiance Angelina Petro


The angel said: “Come, enter the time-world.”
I turn, look into the faraway, and think about
how long I’ve lived in the light of an unmoving sun,
and how much I miss sharing personalities with animals,
the madness of dreams, and dawdling in the woods–
I miss tracing Fibonacci spirals on distant landscapes–
I miss analogies, meridians, unmapped roads,
and the sounds of wind tangled in trees,
I miss self-generated songs, and the long purposes
of daydreams, I miss cardinal numbers,
and I think about all the Pandora’s boxes waiting
to be opened–I miss following the one who laughs
and leaves cloven-hoof prints in the wet grass–
I want to rescue Blake’s half-dead dragon,
and so, looking up at the angel, I smile
(not yet showing my teeth), and if you listen
to the faraway in the living night, you will hear
whispers, and the laughter of mischief-planning,
and the stiff, stirring of wings.