Names of Fire, By Radiance Angelina Petro

Names of Fire


Radiance Angelina Petro



Autumn opens her notebooks,

sending words sailing into the streets

never once looking back.

She lends them to the wind

where they are bolstered by many

changes of direction.


She knows who we are.

She accepts us as we are—cornstalk fiddles

trying to tune our lives into song.


She knows we are apprentices

of the sun, and that few have ever seen

pineapple groves or wandered further

into the mountains.


Autumn knows our spirits are tightly

wound spools in need of loosening, so

she coaxes us into wide spaces,

into scouring rains and gloom,

through the smoke of burning leaves,

into the growing, early darkness,

where we hastily scrawl her messages

into linsey-woolsey phrases

with hopes we’ll turn, transformed,

and strong, and change our names into fire

against winter’s coming cold.









How About That? By Jennifer Angelina Petro

How About That?


Jennifer Angelina Petro



Have you ever stopped

To not think?


OK–then think

Of this:


You are a super hero

Every time you lift

Your hand to open

The door.  Every time

You step out into

The world, you push

Space aside, making room

For your own velocity

And unfolding form;

Every time you get up

In the morning,

You thwart gravity–

Putting it in its place—

Behind you, below you.


Seeing this is the case

Why not infuse your every movement

And gesture with a certain

Outrageous confidence,

Purpose, a twinge of rage,

And a boatload

Of fun?


And while you could,

If ever called upon,

Save a life with a mere touch

Of your hand–


Today, just go about

Your day knowing

You can do anything

You need.  Because

Remember: you adjust

Space—back space

And forward space, above

Space, and even below space

To suit your needs,

You mock gravity

Every time you walk.


And before you

Start thinking again

Of your seemingly little life

And how ordinary it appears,

And how you scoff

At this poem—


Know this in your very bones:


You are ridiculously amazing,

Your gifts are far-fetched

And magnificent—they are

Real.  Not something made up

In lines and little dots

On a page or CGI effects

On a screen—


Getting up and out

Of bed in a world

Of such colossal uncertainty

Takes guts—nothing less

Than superpowers.


And it’s OK to feel

Proud and self-assured

In who you are—

It’s ok to have brooding moments

Of doubt and questioning,

Because, after all, you

Survived some freak accident

That changed you

And imbued you

With astonishing abilities—

Perhaps you crashed

Here from another dying world

Only to be raised

By strangers, or wolves

Until you decided it was

Time to throw open your cape

Like the dawn throwing off the night,

And glide out and over

The trees and cities

And become the eyes and hands

Of justice and all that is good, by virtue

Of the fact you are you

And no one else—

And go help save the world.






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And a Child Shall Lead Them: The Art of Facing Your Fears


Fear roamed the streets in the form of a pack of starving lions.  Ribs quivering, tails dragging, they stalked the shadows in search of easy prey.  Their yellow eyes scanned the alley ways and doorways, searching for the hesitant ones, the ones who needed to rise from the two-step in front of their apartment and live a new life, but instead remained glued to the spot, lost in the hypnotic gaze of future worries.  The starving lions sniffed out the ones just about to get up and make a change, and slunk in front of them and sat on their haunches, and stared them back down.  But the people did not see starving lions; they saw the forms of those they knew ready to tell them that they were crazy, that they would never make it, and that they were not good enough.  They took the forms of images of failure and destitution, and the more the people let those images stalk their minds, the more the starving lions feasted on their dreams, devouring them with gleeful fervor.  One of the lions of fear glided towards a child who wanted to leap into a pile of crisp, red and orange leaves, but was too afraid of getting bit by a tick to actually jump in.  He stood there hating himself for having such obsessive fears.  He heard the voices of his parents in his head telling him all about the horrors of Lyme’s disease and deer ticks, yet he always wanted to play in the leaves.  The sky was crystal clear and blue and the leaves glowed like a pile of treasure.  The lion brushed passed the boy’s legs and licked its lips, about to gorge itself on the boy’s dreams of playing in the leaves.  And then it happened.  The boy looked the lion straight in the eyes.  The lion blinked.  No one had ever done that before.  People weren’t supposed to see fears for what they really were.  This boy was staring back, and, much to the shock of the lion was smiling.  The boy took a step towards the lion.  The lion snarled.  The boy laughed and then tussled the lion’s greasy mane.  The lion was incredulous, and yet it felt something surge within its ribs—something alive.  The boy had had enough of not living the life he always dreamed of.  “I can do a tick-check,” he thought, and turned from the lion and leapt into the leaves in a huge, splash of autumn glory.  He laughed with joy and when he looked at the lion it was no longer a starving, rib-exposed ghost.  It was golden.  It was majestic and the form of bravery itself.  It let out a roar of triumph that sent the approaching pack of starving lions scattering like mice.  The boy dove back into the leaves laughing, and then popped his head up blowing a yellow leaf from his face.  The leaf sailed and settled onto the lion’s head like a little crown.  “Come on in!” the boy shouted. The lion smiled, flicked his tail, twitched its ears, and then roared, leaping into the pile and rolling with the boy like a puppy, happy to be truly full, truly alive, truly itself.


Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog