On Thinking, An Angel and Child Story, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

On Thinking,

An Angel and Child Story

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

 

“Good morning little one,” said the Angel.

“Morning Angel,” said the child.

“You look like you have a question,” said the Angel.

After a short moment thinking, the child said: “Yes, I do.”

“You’re welcome to share it with me, although I cannot guarantee I have the right answer.”

“You always have the right answer.”

“I try.  Now what is your question, dear one?”

“Well,” began the child, “I keep thinking this nasty thought—about some of my friends getting hurt—not that I am the one hurting them or even want them hurt—it’s just that this thought keeps coming out of nowhere of them getting hurt somehow, and I don’t like it.”

“I see,” said the Angel.

“And I feel like I can’t stop that thought from being in my mind, and I don’t want it there.  What can I do?”

“Well,” offered the Angel, “You could think a different thought.”

“No, I can’t,” said the child, “It’s just there.  I can’t help it.”

“You could try,” said the angel.

“How?”

“Every time the nasty thought comes, catch it, like a fly in a web, and then tuck it over and away, and then, think a different thought.”

“What do you mean?”

“Just what I said.”

“How do I catch a thought?”

“As soon as you realize it’s in your mind catch it, stop the tape, hold the phone, freeze the frame—whatever you want to call it—just notice there’s the thought in your mind you don’t like.”

“And then?”

“And then think a different one—one you do like.”

“That’s impossible,” said the child sitting down defeated on her bed.

“It takes practice,” said the Angel, “You see, we’re so used to believing we have no say, no control, no intentions for what goes through our heads, that we believe we’re helpless to choose thoughts we like.”

“It feels helpless,” said the child, “That thought goes through my mind a million times a day.”

“Some people are helpless,” said the Angel, “they have illnesses that makes it so they need support from outside to help them order their thoughts.”

“What if I am one of the helpless ones?” asked the child.

“Then we get you help,” said the angel, “For now, try it.  After all, a thought is just a picture zooping around your mind’s eye.  When a picture comes you don’t like, freeze it right there in its tracks, and then pick a different picture to look at.”

“That sounds hard,” said the child.

“It might be,” said the Angel, “and often difficult things are the most rewarding. And besides, it can also be fun—a new adventure in thinking.  Think of it like that—an adventure.”

“So, when I think of my friends getting hurt, I catch that picture—like a fly in a web, and then think of a happy picture?  Does it have to be about my friends?”

“That’s a good idea,” said the Angel, “That way you’ll still be thinking about your friends but instead of focusing on a picture of them being hurt you can focus on a picture of them being happy, healthy, surrounded by Light.”

“Will you help me?” asked the child.

“Of course,” said the Angel.

“OK,” said the child, “here goes.”

And as the image of her friends getting hurt raced across the screen of her mind, the child stopped it—froze it right where it was, and then, after taking a deep breath, and asking the Angel’s help, created a different picture—one in which her friends were happy, playing, and dancing.

“I did it!” shouted the child.

“I knew you could,” said the angel.

“Wait,” the child said, sinking down into the bed, “the nasty thought is back.  It didn’t work.”

“It did work,” said the Angel, “It’s just you might need to do it several times, or a hundred times to get the chosen thought to stick.  After all, you said you’ve been thinking the nasty thought a million times a day.  It’s like you’ve created a groove or an easy pathway for it to be there.  Now it’s time to create another path.  You can do it.”

And so, the child did it again.

“It worked,” said the child.

“And it will work over and over, especially the more you feed your mind happy, loving, healthy, positive images.  And,” said the Angel, “this will help too.” Suddenly the Angel drew a golden sword from out of the blue.  The sword was long, brilliantly shining like the sun, and gleaming with sharpness and power.  She laid the sword across her hands and offered it to the child.

“What?!” The child said, her eyes like saucers, her heart racing, her mind afire with wonder, “A sword?!”

“This will help too,” said the Angel, “use it wisely.”

“But, I’m just a kid.  I can’t use a sword like that!”

“I wouldn’t share it with you if I thought you couldn’t use.  It is alright.  It will fit in your hand, and maybe seem heavy, but it will always swing light as a feather and more powerful than lightening when you need it.”

“Wow,” the child said, standing up to take the mighty sword into her hands.  She felt its weight, its power.  “Does it have a name?” she asked.

“Yes,” said the Angel, “It does.  It is called, Truth.  Use it when the lies come.”

“Thank you, Angel,” said the child, raising the sword in front of her, “I think this will help.  I think this will help indeed.”

 

 

 


 

 

 





I Want You to Know, by Radiance Angelina Petro

me again again

 

 

I Want You to Know

By

Radiance Angelina Petro

 

 

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.                       ——Second Timothy 1:7

 

 

I want you to know

I believe in spirits.

I don’t believe there is some god

Sitting around somewhere doling out spirits—of any kind.

Spirits are not things to be given

Or taken.

Spirits do the giving (and yes, the taking).

Spirits move and live and have

Their being in, around, above, below, and through

Us.  They travel looking for places

To stay—sometimes forever, other times

They just want to stop by, check out

How things are going, and then move on.

Other times they come to stay awhile

And live in your hostel mind.

Most are pretty unassuming and quiet,

Whispering only now and again

Via the wind in the trees above your head

Or in some other such manner.

Other times they can be a bit testy,

Especially when you hook one

With your emotions.

Then they can become like angry fish

And do their best to snap your line.

And yes, there are ones that mean you harm.

The main thing I want you to know though is this:

I believe in spirits.

It is important to me

That you know that.

Keep in mind:  spirits

Are not ghosts.

Spirits are spirits.

Ghosts are ghosts.

Spirits wander freely.

Ghosts stay stuck in one place, screaming

Or weeping, or running up and down the hallway,

Sometimes they sit behind chairs or in walls laughing—but not

Easy laughing—more like trapped, misunderstood laughing—

The kind one might hear in an asylum.

Spirits are not angels either.

Angels are angels.

Spirits are spirits.

Several of them (spirits)

Live in me.  I used to think

There were just two—a male and a female.

Now I know my soul and body and mind

Are a city of spirits.  Sometimes

Things thin out a bit and I am more

A house of spirits, or a garden of spirits—

Like I said though—the main thing

I want you to take away from this poem is:

I believe in spirits.  I think you

Get that now, and whether or not

You believe me, or whether or not

You believe in spirits, does not matter to me.

I told the truth.

That is the best I can do.

 

 


 

 

 




Please support my transition.  Thank you.  Radiance <3

Rising Up to Meet the Road, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

 

Rising Up to Meet the Road

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

beautiful road

 

 

There are poems unfinished

Waiting in the woods beneath roots of trees

And hovering, like horsetail clouds behind the moon;

There are songs unwritten

Following beside me as I walk,

Their melodies coming in snippets, like

Distant birdcalls or pieces

Of dreams, and soundbites

Of conversations overheard

In used bookstores, classrooms, and coffee shops,

Their rhythms blossoming

From the muse and the soul touching all night, all day,

Every day, when I am not able to dance

Either asleep or awake;

There is work undone

Waiting in the universe, making its way

Towards my door, opportunities

Growing, like flower gardens

Planted when no one is looking,

But they are coming, they are revealing

Themselves little by little, like

Spring in the coldest of winters;

There are people unloved

Waiting in the wings for me to release the spirits

That bind me–to make my way

Towards the light, to open

The hands of my heart

And let in those who see

And feel and know my name,

And for me to step through

The fourth wall and into their arms and lives;

There are answered prayers

Unprayed, waiting to be let loose

Into the world, like

So many fireflies, like a carnival

Of children, like a collection

Of songs and poems

Published on the wings

Of pain and healing and lifting their way

Into moonlit clouds and sunlit days,

And alighting back down as angels and

Moonbeams, sunbeams and ends of rainbows,

Petals of cherry blossoms,

Dragonflies, and cries of cicadas

And morning doves, and beings

Of all the elements, and all of this, all of this

Swirling into one, worthy to be lived

Life of one woman rising up

To meet the road.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 





Donations go to my gender reassignment surgery and to the continuation of the Wonder Child Blog

When There is Nowhere to Turn, I Find Myself Surrounded by the Moon and Her Messengers of Light, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

When There is Nowhere to Turn
I Find Myself Surrounded by the Moon and Her Messengers of Light
By
Jennifer Angelina Petro

moon

One morning, walking through the January forest,
I watched the path double back on itself and disappear.
One evening, sailing on an indigo ocean of questions,
I saw the horizon swallow itself whole, like a monster all stomach and mouth.
I too searched for brains, a heart, and a home,
And the yellow-brick road turned into rust.
Heaven has fallen from the sky like so many shot-down stars.
There is nowhere to turn that doesn’t lead to ghost towns and empty silos.
My aspirations get stuck in the trees, like shreds of shawls.
Angels’ wings have folded.
Smiles are rimmed in blood.
Embraces reach for me and miss, grasping themselves.
The time has come for whirlwinds and blizzards,
The time has come for floods, and bone-rattling thunder,
Look—the sun was just swallowed by a wolf—
Look—the bridges have all burst into flame–
Look—
The moon is growing fuller,
Taking over the darkness—
Look—she is pulling the sun from the belly of the wolf–
Look—she is stilling the thunder and plucking my prayers from the trees—
Look-she is unfolding the path and shaking out the horizon and spreading it afar, anew—
Look—she is picking up the fallen stars and hanging them back in their places—
Look—she is brushing the angels’ wings and rubbing their shoulders—
Look—she is wiping the bloody mouths, like
A mother wiping a child’s face—rough and tender, all at once–
Look—she is steadying me so I don’t duck or fall when the embraces come—
Look-she is gently scolding me to listen better to her messengers of Light called:
“You.”
Look—she is lifting me, rocking me in the softest of breezes, singing,
And whispering runes and spells, affirmations, and ways through the dark,
And treasure maps and secret passageways through mountains and dungeons–
Her tears fall down her breasts, mixing with her milk as she lets me suckle
For as long as I need in the cradle of her light-filled, infinite arms.


 

 

All donations go towards my transition.  Thank you.  <3


 


The Gift of Seeing Our Breath

The Gift of Seeing Our Breath
By
Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

I.
As a child, as summer slipped into fall,
And the first frost shrouded the grass in little, dissolvable crystals,
I would go outside first thing in the morning
And make my mouth into a wonder-filled O,
And breathe. And when I saw my breath
Spill wispy veils upwards into the air, like so many unfurling ghosts,
I rejoiced and ran in my footy pajamas back to my bed and covers,
To contemplate this most marvelous thing.

 

My friends and I walked to school back then,
And on the first day it was cold enough
To see your breath, every few steps
One of us would say: “Look! I can see my breath!”
And we would stop and we would see and we would say:
“That’s so cool!”

 

This morning I saw a little girl step from her front door,
Make her mouth into a wonder-filled O, and breathe.
I just caught the look of amazement in her eyes as I drove past.

 

 

II.
What a gift this being alive, this being able to see our breath,
This casting of feathery nets that needn’t catch anything into an invisible sea of blue,
This gentle launching of ships of clouds—
What a gift to live in amazement,
What a gift to be able, on the coldest of days,
To be reminded we are alive, we are warm in here,
We are message bearers sharing silken signals,
“This is mine,” we say, “and I share it with you.”
We are makers of clouds and shepherds of little flocks of adventurous sheep,
And not a single one of us breathes alone,
We share the breath of those we fear
And those we love, as summer slips into fall
And the world becomes shrouded in frost,
And coldness touches everything—pause,
Let us make our heart into a wonder-filled O
And breathe, letting our warmth spread defiantly into the cold.

 

And one day when we breathe our last
Our spirits will spill upwards in feathery spirals
And be carried on the shoulders of the breath
Of the living, and we will rise, our souls shaped like
Wonder-filled O’s, and we will slip into the arms of angels
Who will bear us back to a bed of softest down,
Tuck us in to rest, kiss our forehead
And whisper, “Rest now. Tomorrow is a new day and there is much to do,
And many people to fill with amazement. ”

 

 

 


 

 

 





All donations go to my transition and to keeping the Wonder Child Blog Up and Running.  Thank you for your support.

Awakening to the Dream

Awakening to the Dream
By
Joseph Anthony Petro

 

 
This morning
When I awoke
From a deep,
Dream-drenched sleep,
Another dream awaited me
In the form of a door
That was never there before
In the eastern wall of my room.
Whatever light was behind it
Framed the door and filled the room
With blinding brilliance.
I rose from the bed,
Wiped my eyes,
Remembered I was wearing
Phillies shorts and a t-shirt
And thought: Whoever
Wants me to enter
Or Whoever wants
To enter here might just be
A goddess or an angel.
And so I changed
Into my most flowing,
Comfortable clothes—
A light green, silken blouse
From India, and tan,
Billowy pants—light as air
That looked like a dress
The legs were so wide.
I brushed my hair.
Did my best to look beautiful,
All the while the door waited
With tender, illuminated patience,
And when I was ready
It opened, flooding my feet
With mountain mist, and the room
With clear, dew-soaked air—
Morning air, comfortable air—
Fresher than spring, crisper
Than autumn air—air kissed
With welcome.
I stood, bathed in radiance,
Breathing in deep freedom,
Allowing the light to drape its fragrant,
Satin shawl around my shoulders.
“Ready?” came the voice.
“I think so,” I replied.
After a pause the voice
Asked again: “Ready?”
“Yes,” I smiled, smoothing
My pants, raising my head high,
Opening my chest,
Straightening my back,
Settling my shoulders: “Yes, yes I am.”
And when the soft hand
Took mine and I stepped over
The threshold I knew
There was no turning back–
I was my true self—embraced by light,
And I was entering a living dream–
A dream to end all dreams.

 


 

 

 





I Cannot Say I Loved Him

I Cannot Say I Loved Him
By
Joseph Anthony Petro

 

 
He’s been with me since the beginning.
I’d look in the mirror and he would be there
Staring blankly at my chest or arms,
I’d slip into my pajamas and he would be waiting
To chase me in my dreams,
He would mock me from the corners
Of rock star posters and porn magazines,
I’d see him in the backgrounds of cigarette ads
And truck commercials shaking his head and frowning,
He would stand looking over my shoulder
When I drew pictures or wrote in my diary
Whispering the words or tracing the lines
He felt were out of place or too sensitive,
And yet I stuck with him–following him
Just as much as he followed me,
I would carry his shoes and try to fill them,
I based my carriage on how he walked,
I built up a story of what he expected of me,
How he thought I should look, speak, and move,
I noticed how other people saw him
And tried to be him in their eyes;
And even though he lied and shamed
He was there when no one else was—
He never left me, never tired of offering
Advice on how I could better myself—
His lies were loyal, his sarcasm tinged with fraternal care.
Yet I cannot say I loved him
Even though he led me this far,
Even though in certain respects
I chose him as my shadow.
All I know is the more the truth is revealed
Of why I am here and who I am meant to be
The more he fades away in the illuminated fog,
The more I listen to the angel calling my name
The more he grows distant and small,
The more I move towards her voice
The more he vanishes in the light of her song,
The more I adopt her freedom and beauty
The closer he comes to scattering into a thousand drops of ink
And finding himself being absorbed into the fabric
Of the merciful, moon-swept night.

 

 


 

 

 

 





I’m Not Supposed to Tell You

I Am Not Supposed to Tell You
By
Joseph Anthony

 

I am not supposed to tell you
How steeped I am in self-hatred;
How I feel like a sand mandala slowly
Blowing away grain by grain;
This heart you think you know
Is not mine. My heart is an albatross
Lost at the bottom of the sea.
A dark angel shifts heavy, smothering wings
Inside my chest. A wind-tossed night sky
Searching for morning, blankets
My basic, human sense of self.
Breathing
Feels
Wrong.
I am not supposed to tell you that.
I’m supposed to worry about what you
Think of me; what will happen
Now that you know—
I’m not supposed to tell you that either.
You tell me: this too, shall pass.
I am not supposed to tell you:
Those words enter a man’s ears but are heard
By a child’s—a child who hears you
But cannot help looking passed you
At the storm gathering behind you—the one
Unfurling like a monster made of smoke—
The one heading this way.
I am not supposed to tell you any
Of this. But I know you.
You are already diving into the dark waves
With underwater flashlights and lifelines,
You are exorcists of demons—loving
The dark angel until he flies away
To the mountains of God, and turns
Into a baby goat.
You are ushering in the dawn
On strong, generous shoulders,
You are out there patiently collecting bits
Of sand and handing them back
To the mandala-maker,
You are looking in my eyes, you see the reflection
Of the approaching monster and still
You’re reaching out your hand, still
You are standing steady—braced with faith, still
You’re saying, “Dear Heart, it’s true.”

 

 


 





Light-Hearted

Light-Hearted
By
Joseph Anthony Petro

 

Snow descends slowly and soft, like
So many hours and days; drifting
And banking up against houses
And closed garage doors.

And the silence with which it falls,
Lulls us into thinking it will last forever.

You go to sleep and the roads are clear.
You wake and they’ve turned into scrolls
Unfurling in a dazzling emptiness
And a blinding story you cannot make heads
Or tails of, and there’s no way
To even compose a coherent life or a song upon
Such vast, frozen pages.

So why rise at all? Why not
Sink back into bed? Why get on
All that gear and clear off the cars
And shovel the drive when there’s no place to go?

Truly I haven’t a clue, except winter casts
A spell that draws us out of our warm
And familiar lives and into another world,
Another planet called Wonder or Hush.
There is white magic in the steadiness,
In the hypnotic piling up of flat, geometric
Prisms—each one different, infinitesimally small—light—
Hearted and easily dissolved into the ground.

And when we wake to the brilliance
Of such an elaborate, albeit cold opportunity,
One in which we can freely choose to participate, or not;
One in which we bring our own warmth
And sense of adventure, and we step out of our safe space
And into the holy silence, all geared up and as prepared as we can be,
And we trudge in the knee-high drifts until we find a place
Or until a place finds us, and we feel compelled to fall
And make an angel out of our lives; out of the one, geometric,
Light—hearted life of who we really are.

 

 


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