The Goodhearted Sun, by Radiance Angelina Petro

The Goodhearted Sun
Radiance Angelina Petro


The day, sketched with a light hand,
came fully winged. The goodhearted
sun gestured towards the horizon.
Such delicate equilibrium in the ear
of the soul. The little spirals,
the verifications of distance and source.
Self by self, everything is transitional.
Everything carries death’s due date.
What isn’t a soul event?
Even if there isn’t a prevailing wind,
take the further step. Morning insists.
The revelation of the inaccessible is happening
right before your eyes.






What We Both Want to Know, by Radiance Angelina Petro

What We Both Want to Know
Radiance Angelina Petro


Death stood in my bedroom door.
“Teach me,” he said, “why
can’t I hear the birds?”

“Why can’t I hear your footsteps?”
I said. He said: “Why can’t I feel
the wind?”

I said: “How is it you have the universe
stitched in your robe?” He said: “Can you
really see your breath in the winter?”

I said: “Enough questions. Come to bed
and we can teach each other what we both
want to know.”






Shining Over the Road, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Shining Over the Road
Radiance Angelina Petro


The night’s shadows slacken across the horses
and fences. There’s a favoring wind.

Why keep borrowing bodies lifetime after lifetime
just to strike the match to see light following sound?

There are prime meridians everywhere. Every step
is an answer. The horses leaning over the fence

are waiting for you to bring straw in a basket
and a couple of cold apples to clean their teeth.

Spirit corresponds to spirit, corresponds to body,
and yours is pure light shining over the road.






Dragons Hidden in the Clouds, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Dragons Hidden in the Clouds
Radiance Angelina Petro


Rafters and ceiling beams collect all the sounds.
The day’s undercarriage somehow bypasses
the linguistic mind. In the morning mountains,

monks cut the stream to the quick and step
out, turning into deer. No matter how hard it tries,
the rabbit always draws the hawk’s attention.

Make the quick leap to escape the closing mind.
The trees pantomiming “go that way,” “no that way,”
are of little help, although stately.

Inasmuch as the unadorned day comes to wake
the garden’s sleepy audience, it also sees
to the downward movement of the stars.

The eye at the center of the door has closed. Let’s talk
about our failures—crying, then laughing.
There are dragons hidden in the clouds.






Make Up Your Mind from the Beginning, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Make Up Your Mind from the Beginning
Radiance Angelina Petro


Make up your mind from the beginning.
Emptiness leaps from heart to heart.
The day is fumbling with its papers.
Death’s long seeking shadow full
of tigers and iron rises over the frozen lake.

Take the first step and the starting point disappears.
Practice wonderful things.
The avocado on the counter has ripened.
The golden carp is out of the net.
The day is raining flowers.

Stop doddering around the house, and go
topsy turvy out the door—it’s OK.
There are cicada screams trapped in rocks
that need to be set free. With one clap
of thunder the storm is gone.






Calling Up the Bones, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Calling Up the Bones
Radiance Angelina Petro


When we hear the bell inside where
will we go? When our lights start setting
bushels on fire, then what?

There’s nothing stopping us from having
a lie down under a tree. One day our self-care
will start the apocalypse.

River rats have tumbled the careful zen-
arrangements of rocks we made on the creek side.
Listen–I need to hear this as much as the next.

Why are we cutting the umbilical cords
to the dead? Orgies of violence are on the way.
We’re all going to need to ask for help.

Throw off the bushels. Let our larger than life
lights shine.  Before it’s too late–call up the bones
of the dead, and enflesh them with our wanting to live.





Maybe We’re Wrong, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Maybe We’re Wrong
Radiance Angelina Petro


Seen in the light of angels, we are all
children touching time, quibbling, like
birds on a wire, quibbling, like
birds flying loose in the world.

Sure, we build bridges, and fine,
oak tables. We tell decent stories.
We also explode our differences
loose into the world, killing without thought.

Angels wonder why on earth we’re here.
Ultimately, we mean little to the galaxy’s dance.
They whisper in their feathery circles
consulting the Destroying Angel.

But when the unaccustomed burst
of sonority comes from the young
violin player, those very same angels think:
“Maybe we’re wrong.”






When You Return, By Radiance Angelina Petro

When You Return
Radiance Angelina Petro


The moon conducts the orchestra
of the waves. Scales of fish contain petals
of the sun. Moths slip the gravity of their longing,
and their wings catch fire. Wind lifts and spins dusty
leaves in the corners of abandoned schools.
The child finger-paints circle after circle.
Deer move together, leaving no hoof prints in the grass.
All creation wheels around the sun of its desire.
When you return, the world will still be dancing.






Feather-Touch, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

Jennifer Angelina Petro


Trapped in seasons of sadness,
I know my longing lacks solvency.
Each new desire rivets the chains
I drag along. With a feather-touch
you could break them should I only
lift them before you. When that day finally
comes, the chains will fall—easy, like
drapery, into something approaching
a circle at my feet, and I will not look back,
as I step from the rusted roundel,
and stumble into your arms.