Be There, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

Be There

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

 

You may have seen

Those videos where

The camera focuses in

On one person and then

Pans out past the tree tops,

The buildings, the clouds,

And further backwards

Through space, until

The swirling earth

Grows smaller, and smaller,

And smaller,

As the satellite camera

Continues to draw back

Revealing solar systems,

Galaxies, and then more—

The ever-growing universe.

 

 

This amazement of technology

Is meant to show us

Our seeming insignificance

In the grand scheme of things—

How little we are, how tiny our earth is,

How, while we find our rightful

Place among the galaxies,

We are still hugely small, invisible

In the clusters of stars.

 

 

I would argue however,

That you matter; that you,

Standing there on the little space

You take—matter.

 

 

And when winter comes,

And the ground grows cold,

And the trees weep their true

Colors into the streets and rivers,

That if you were to bend down,

And gently place your hand

On the hardening ground

And whisper witnessing words—

Reminding the earth of the life

Dreaming within—

The seeds and sleeping animals—

That it needn’t be afraid,

That it needn’t feel it has failed us,

That it is beautiful and to be honored

For the spring and summer

It so lavishly shared with us,

You would be making a world

Of difference.

 

 

The earth gives, and gives,

And gives, and it rejoices

In doing so, and yet, when winter comes,

And the frost pushes it all down,

You can stay by its bedside of trees

And fallow fields, you can

Sing it soft songs of comfort,

You can tread lightly

Over the steeling ground,

You can remind the earth

With your every breath,

Every act of kindness,

Every prayer,

That the earth will

Resurrect, that it will

Be born again, that it will

Waken from its frightening sleep,

And once again, and again,

And again, bloom, just as

The universe continues

To bloom, just as you

Continue to bloom,

Just as you realize more, and more,

And more, how important

You really are.  In the grand

Scheme—which is, of course,

Really, a great song–

Once again, it needs to be

Said over, and over, and over—

You matter, you have the powers

To comfort and heal,

You have the powers

To be comforted and healed–

Because nothing is alone,

Because everything matters,

Because we blossom

Through this universe

Full of the stuff of stars

And communities of compassion

And wonder.

 

So, as you stand, be the spring

And summer for the earth

As she freezes into her yearly

Death–be there, be there for her,

Be for her as the sun is

For you.

 

 

 


 

 

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When Mother’s Day Doesn’t Quite Fit, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

When Mother’s Day Doesn’t Quite Fit

 

By

 

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

As I was reminded at church today, Mother’s Day may be hard for some people. Some, like me, have lost their mother’s–in my case, six years ago. And while I can still celebrate her life she isn’t physically present to go out to lunch with or something like that. Others never had a mother–in the sense of one being present in their lives. Others couldn’t have children and desperately wanted to. Others have lost their children to miscarriages or other tragedies. Still others have had mothers who were abusive or negligent. And still others have a strained relationship with their mothers, and some mothers have a strained relationship with their children.

There are also people like me–people who lived most of their parenting lives as “Dad.” I will always be Dad to my kids–I know I was a father to them and I am glad for that. I am also their mother. So, for me, Mother’s Day is very special. I get to parent in a whole new way and in the same ways I did before coming out. Luckily for me my kids are amazingly supportive and I have already received Mother’s Day greetings from them. However, I am also one of those people who has always (even before coming out as trans) ached to be able to have children—I was always deeply envious of pregnant mothers. I have always ached to be able to nurse a child. I have come to accept neither of these things will ever happen–and I am no less a mother. So, to all the non-binary “Moms” or people who act as mothers to others–regardless of their gender. Happy Parent’s Day to you.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the people out there who mother other people’s children—teachers, nurses, doctors, librarians.  Blessings to all the foster moms and moms who have adopted children from around the world or their own communities.

And to all the grandmothers and aunts who have taken on the role of mother again because of special circumstances.  Blessings to all the grandmothers who simply get to grandmother grandchildren, and do so with wisdom.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the single Dads who serve as mothers all day, everyday.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the people who have consciously chosen to not bear or raise children.  I am willing to bet there is someone or something in your life that you mother, and do so with grace, dignity, and love–be that a pet, a plant, a poem, or a person.

And of course, Happy Mother’s Day to ourselves–no matter who we are–for we all, one day, must begin, and never stop, mothering ourselves. It is just the way that it is–we all become our own mother’s one day–giving birth over and over again to ourselves.

To wrap up I would like to lift up all those for whom Mother’s Day is a hard day. Your soul and spirits are Mothers. You have been mothered by the world. You are Mothers of the world.

And also grieve, or be angry. Seek safe support to be with you today as you move through any difficult or challenging feelings and memories.

You are loved. You are special. And you are held in the hands of Mother Gaia.

 

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On Notice, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

On Notice

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

 

At a moment’s notice

You’re on notice.

Did you notice that?

It may come person to person,

Or deer to person, or hawk to person,

You might receive notice in the mail–

It might be short notice,

Advanced notice,

Official notice,

It might be public notice,

Or you might be noticed in secret by a shadow, or the moon.

However it comes, whatever its nature,

Take it as best you can, for rest assured

One day you will be put on notice,

Or you will put notice on yourself—whichever it is—

There may not be further notice.

Keep in mind there are notes in every notice–

Musical notes that just want to be seen and heard and played.

For all noticings are musical by nature, every time

You notice another, the soul dances.

The thing to remember is this:

 

Nothing goes without notice forever.

When death comes with her eviction notice,

You will have no choice but to sit up and take it.

 

I notice your eyes,

The slight tilt of your face,

I notice you breathing on these words

Giving them life.

 

 

 


 

 

 




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Including You, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

Including You

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

Now that autumn is in full gear

And the air fills the lungs with letting go breaths,

The time has come once again

When the slant of light catches you off guard

And you find yourself weeping

Watching the precipitation from the trees

Vesturing the ground with red and gold.

 

There is nothing you can do.

The allegory of the leaves and change

Has been around as long as trees themselves.

You cannot get around letting go.

 

And there are times letting go turns

Into a flood of things sailing away

Just beyond your reach into a day full of cidered light–

And you can only watch, or try

 

To look away, nevertheless parts of your life

Will be draped on the ground like so many

Torn shards of shifts and shirts

And they will be there waiting for you

To witness their being caught down in unavoidable winds

And you will be left with either becoming

Hard, like a tree whose blood slows to frozen,

 

Or ebullient like a flower girl at a wedding, tossing

Rose petals along the aisle where death

Sits on one side and life on the other,

And your processional of letting go distracts everyone

Momentarily from the marriage about to happen

That will leave everyone, including you,

Searching frantically inside

For the one they used to love.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 





The Stone Ledge, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

The Stone Ledge

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

 

The slant of light upon the grass

Where tattered tapestries of autumn leaves

Rise and fall, reveals the bones

Of a long since dead bird.

 

How is it I never noticed it before?

How is it I never stopped to grieve the leaving

Of this winged being?

 

Oh, I am busy, I know, but I do

Almost always look down when I walk,

So why?  Why did I not see?

 

Perhaps before it died I could have

Done something to help it live, take

It to a sanctuary or aviary,

Perhaps, at very least, I could have given

It a proper burial.

 

Now its bones, brittle, air-gone,

Lie in a little heap, wings fanned out

Into forever.

 

There is no going back.

There is no back to go back to.

However, there is a point of no return.

 

The way ahead is dark, empty

Of sky and wind, the way ahead

Is bones revealed in autumn,

The way ahead is wings spread

Without sky, without the holy

Uplifting.

 

I turn, bend close, go ahead

And lift the dead bird in my hands,

Carry it to the stone ledge, retrieve

A garden shovel, dig, let my nose run,

Place the skeleton down as gently

As I possibly can, return the earth,

Bless the leaving, cover the hope

Of ever flying again.

 


 

 

 

 


 




Independence Day, 2016, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Independence Day, 2016

By

Radiance Angelina Petro

 

 

Fireflies riot in the trees,

I can’t distinguish them

From the moon-lit sequins

On my skirt as I stride

Through the damp grass

Into the night-draped yard.

 

Fireworks pop—dull, crisp—

Somewhere people on blankets

Look up, wondering how good

The finale will be (it is always so

Sudden—leaving the scent of sulphur

And wisps of smoke to dissolve

Very anti-climatically

Into the sky).

 

Fire consumes light for a living.

I long to turn and run

Through the black hole of my life,

And plunge head-first

Into the churning mouth

Of the sun.

 

 


 

 

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Allow Me

Allow Me
By
Joseph Anthony Petro

 
At some point
Fireflies
Fade into autumn,
Their blooms
Of light
Extinguish
Into darkness;
Flowers
Drip their silken petals
One by one,
And draw
Their leaves
Inwards against
Thieving November winds;
Frogs
With their golden eyes
Vanish
From the pond’s murky edge;
Deer step through
Mist-skirted trees,
And with a flick
Of their white tails
Disappear.

 
Right now, here,
Today, your life
And mine
Are dissolving
Into light,
And at some point
We will lift
From the pages
Of our lives
And simply
Be gone—written
In the stars.

 
Thing is,
Life is long, like
A lazy, sun-drunken
Summer afternoon,
And it’s short,
Like the afore mentioned
Wink of the firefly.
Either way
You and I
Are being called

 
And we are also the ones
Doing the calling.

 
Beauty needs us,
Faith requires of us,
Love invites us
To participate
In the hum
And wonder
Of our interwoven lives;

 
And we call out—
We bring to ourselves
Open roads
And closed doors,
Everything
We want and need—
Everything
We are meant and ache
To be. And of course,

 
By the time
You read this
I might already
Be gone; I might
Be hovering
Right now
Over your shoulder
And nudging you
To smile and get out there
And amaze the world,
Amaze yourself.

 
And whether or not
I am still alive
When you read this,
You and I
Have been
Drawn together
In this moment,
At this point
In time–
And we have a job to do,
A job that isn’t
So much a job
As it is a story
That only you and I
Can tell.

 
So, here’s the thing:
I want to show the world
Who I really am.
Will you help me
Tell this part
Of the story?
And what about you?

 
What is it you
Want to do and say?
Whatever it is,
Allow me
To be with you
Either
From my place
Of light beyond light,
Or from here,
In these words–
Allow me,
At this moment in time
To be here
For you.

 

 

 


 


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Listen

Listen
By
Joseph Anthony

 

 
Silence
We all know
You will be the last one standing.

After all the fires and floods
You will step out from the ruins
And take your rightful place
At the center of all things.

How can we redeem ourselves now
So that you will not swallow us up into your endless belly?
Is there a way you can unfold yourself now
So that when the time comes for our souls
To thaw and to lift, we won’t be so afraid when you call our names?
Is there a way of touching you now
So that when you drape us in your arms
Your embrace won’t feel so cold and foreign?
Is there a way, Silence, of getting to know you now
So that when the softening comes,
And the rendering, we won’t be so afraid
That we beg to be born again?

With all of our distractions and means
Of avoiding you we know we fear the thing
We want the most.

So please
Speak through us now so that we may learn
Your language, sing through us now
So that we may learn your melody,
Move through us now so that when our steps distill into dancing
We will fall joyfully into the feathers
Of your waiting and terrible wings.

 

 


 





Resuscitation

Resuscitation
By
Joseph Anthony Petro

 

 
Spring is trying,
The trees turning into carnivals of flowers are trying,
The roots are trying,
The sky is trying,
And the robins, the hawks,
The invisible, but audible owls are trying,
So many people are trying,
I know they are asking
Their gods to try,
I know you are trying.
I only hope it’s not too late.
That I am not already dead,
That the block not letting the air
Into my heart isn’t too massive,
Too menacing to let any breath
Escape in or out. I only hope
I can trust the kiss, the passage
Of your strength and courage
Into my chest. I only hope
The breathing will catch hold
And then gradually level into calm.
And I might need to hold your hand,
And I might need you to tell me
To hold on, or to let go,
And I might need you to have me,
To not let me drift into nothingness
Once I do let go or hold on,
Whichever the case may be once
The stream of your breath begins swirling
In my lungs, and I open my eyes
And live again.
And I might need you to remind me
There is white light around me
And within me.
And I need it be OK with you that I need you.
And I might need you to be the white light for awhile
And embrace me with healing gentleness like there’s no tomorrow,
Until I rise again a new creation.
I only hope it’s not too late.
That I am not already dead.
That once I begin to feel
The warmth of your breath
That whatever it is within me that is frozen
Will begin to thaw,
Will have its own experience of spring,
And will suddenly and without shame
Blossom into a life that is alive.

 

 

 

 


 


The Promise of Mother’s Day

 

Yesterday, as I was driving to Barnes and Noble to write a little bit about Your Heart’s Desire, I realized today is Mother’s Day.  As some of you know my mom passed away three months ago.  And as the knowledge of this day dawned, as if on cue, rain began to fall.  It was a soft, gentle spring rain.  On the left side of the road, however, the sun shined through billowing clouds.   And as thoughts of my mother branched through my mind, my heart thrummed with grief.  Yet I knew, any second: “She’ll send a rainbow.”  And sure enough, just when the pangs of hurt swelled into tears, a rainbow– low, and shimmering, bloomed across the sky.  It was full—with the purple particularly radiant.  I hurried to park the car to get out and stare.  My heart leapt with gratitude. 

The rainbow, that Promise of eternal life–of ever unfolding creation in spite of darkness and tears, spanned an iridescent bridge across the sky connecting Heaven and Earth.  And it was beyond beautiful.  It was my mother’s love stretching down in a gesture of flowering luminosity.

And then, after about ten minutes, it began to dissolve, and the backdrop of the dark, late afternoon sky stood steely grey.  But the dark clouds had been touched.  The colors were still there announcing themselves through the many rooms of those drifting castles, kissing the faces of any silken-clad angels sleeping on downy beds. 

And I can keep moving.  She sent a rainbow, and so I, in turn, send it to you. Obviously my Blackberry’s camera does not capture the brilliance of the rainbow’s triumphant gateway, but you get the idea. 

So remember, when the going gets tough; when the hurt hurts; when the memories flood your chest and cast their fragrance through the rain of your tears, there is always Light; and there will always be rainbows.  Glorious, heart strumming-mixtures of rain and sun, with the rain being just as crucial to these celebrations as the light.  These Promises have been made for you, for me, for all of us.  Pursue Your Heart’s Desire, find your true place in God’s Universe; find your voice and instrument in His choir of Love and His orchestra of Service—and shine.  Let the Light catch your tears and through them proclaim rainbows of Hope to everyone you meet.

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Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog