Musings on Prayers and Kisses, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

Musings on Prayers and Kisses

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

Trying to pray with your eyes open is like trying to walk with your eyes closed. One distracts you, the other confuses you, but the end result is the same—clumsiness.  Trying to kiss with your eyes open is more an act of will and wide-eyed-giggling than it is: “I must see where my face is going.” Lips know.  The soul knows. The feet do not without aid of the eyes.  Then again, it must be considered not all prayers are the same, just as not all kisses are the same. And I must say at the beginning, I am musing along with you as I write these words.  The ideas herein are like the aforementioned legs without eyes to guide them.  I do have certain experience, albeit limited, with both kissing and praying, but I am roaming these topics of heaven-given moments with as much anticipation as you to see where they lead.

One can kiss a lover, friend, or a child “Good morning—have a good day”—with eyes open (perhaps, however, while staring at the coffee maker or the clock).  One can kiss a lover with eyes open—wild, seeing everything—following the other’s eyes like search lights, but that’s usually at first contact—when clothes are dropping off ready bodies, like swollen seed-husks falling from blossoming flowers. Eventually the eyes close and you both connect, like living magnets, and both exhale–surrendering into that intimate vulnerability of having someone ornament your body with decorating kisses. We have an interesting distinction here: eyes open during the initial flurry of passion, then eyes close when things settle in a pulsing rhythm of bodies, and the feast of lips tasting lips.  Then, one begins exploring the other’s body with kisses as the other’s eyes close in deep, rising and sinking sighs.  And when the lips find the places where rapture happens both lovers’ eyes close. That being said, it’s not uncommon for the one receiving to have their eyes fly open with: “Oh God! Oh God!”  When the sweet release comes, and the waves shimmer through the body, the eyes most often close like the deepest, most calming, evening.  And when the lovers switch places, the process unfolds, with any luck, the same way.

Prayer is very much the same, only different.  So is singing, but that’s another essay.  In praying, as in nighttime prayers (that often slip so easily into sleep), the eyes close to shroud the whispers that kiss the dark.  Morning prayers too are most often said with eyes closed, head bowed before the body of the day. Of course, there are those prayers where the whole body participates, as when the sea rolls through your body during love making.  Dancing prayers, yogic prayers, walking prayers, making coffee for your partner prayers—these are all eyes-open prayers—even if your eyes are drooping with not enough sleep. There are vigil prayers when candles are meditated upon, and lives gone are reflected upon, and hopes for peace rise to the sky. During vespers, the eyes can be open or closed, as the prayers wish for safe sleep and warmth.  Then, there are prayers we pray for someone else—someone sick or struggling through a rough patch—these prayers are almost always asked with eyes closed in supplication and intensity, as when we humbly, or boldly ask a lover to kiss us in the places we want kissed.  There are prayers of wonder, as when we see stars and newborn babies and sunsets and moon rises.  These are prayed with gasps and awes, as when your lover’s lips find the tingling places on your body—eyes suddenly open with surprise and reverence.  There are rote prayers where the eyes automatically close because everyone else’s automatically close and if you sneak your eyes open and scan the room full of closed-eyed people you feel a sprinkle mischievous and a dash voyeuristic, and perhaps a pinch of outright rebel.  These are moments akin to opening one eye during a kiss to catch the reaction of your lover.  Both are perfectly acceptable, of course, for they inspire the fun of witnessing community and union, provided the eyes aren’t opening in either case with insecurity to check whether or not you’re kissing well or praying with the proper piety. Hopefully, however, there are very few rote kisses in your lives. There are prayers of prophecy—spontaneous and unplanned like wild, ravishing kisses predicting soon to come release. Your eyes are always open during these prayers while your lover’s are usually closed with faith and the sweet, blessed, little fear that sometimes accompanies letting go to the control of another. There are also the prayers of grace and blessings before a meal, which can easily be translated into prayers of gratitude before feasting at the table of your lover’s body. Lastly, there are prayers of ecstasy, when your eyes close seeing lights and visions, and the soul stirs awake and bliss shimmers through your entire body, and exclamations of: “Oh God, Oh God!” soar around the room.  We don’t have to imagine too hard to know which kisses these are like and where they settle and deepen and what the eyes do when such rapture happens.

Well, there we have it.  I truly had no idea where this was going.  Now that we’re drawing to a close (or a curious, intriguing opening) it is my hope this meandering piece inspires you to kiss more reverently and to pray with more wildness; to kiss with more attention and devotion, and to pray with more openness to revelation; to kiss more adventurously and to pray more like the trees must pray, like the sea must pray, like the shore must pray, like a hawk gliding on spiraling currents must pray, like the mother bear awakening with cubs must pray, like the owl must pray keeping watch over fields and marshes.  In other words, may our prayers and kisses become one and the same, where Lover and Beloved become one and the same–one breath, one sparkling river, one song of praise.

 

     

 

 


 




The Root of Us All, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

The Root of Us All

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

Flowers flower from the branch,

Branches flower from the tree,

Trees flower from the ground,

The ground flowers from the earth,

The earth flowers from love’s universe,

Love’s universe flowers from many minds

And many hearts and many wishes and many prayers.

 

Minds flower from seed,

Hearts flower from fire,

Wishes flower from all children,

Prayers flower from pain.

 

You flower from me,

I flower from you,

We flower from need,

And need flowers from desire,

Desire flowers from all space,

And all time, and everything right

With the world.

 

Waves flower from the sea,

The sea flowers from longing,

Longing flowers from love once known

Calling us home,

Home flowers from hearth and bed.

 

Love flowers from our hands,

Our hands flower from our limbs,

Our limbs flower from our bodies,

Our bodies flower from union,

Union flowers from creation everlasting

Everlasting flowers from joy,

Joy flowers from need,

Need flowers from want,

Want flowers from gardens of many fragrances and colors,

Many colors flower from infinity’s imagination,

Imagination flowers from the hands of a child,

And a child is the root of us all,

All of us flower from variety’s branches,

Branches flower from the tree,

The tree flowers from the ground,

The ground flowers from where you stand,

Your standing flowers from community,

Community flowers hands opening,

Hands opening flower from pain lived,

Pain lived flowers from the bravery of a child,

And a child is the root of us all.

 

 

 


 

 





The Gravity of Longing, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

The Gravity of Longing

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

The moon reaches down

Lifting the waves in her cupped hands,

Scales of fish contain petals of the sun,

Moths slip the gravity of their longing

Letting their wings catch fire,

Wind arrives at street corners, spinning leaves

In little galaxies,

Deer move as solemn Druids,

Leaving angel hoof-prints in the snow,

Union and separation whirl in expanding

And contracting orbits of desire,

Creation wheels around the flame of god,

The road of your passion unfurls before you,

With a keenness that washes your hair and hands–

Sing—

Keep your prayers coming and your steps light–

They will return home, dancing.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 





I Don’t Know How I Know This, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

I Don’t Know How I Know This

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

Inside the uplift of death—that moment–

When the white doors open

You will fly out of yourself long enough

To fly back into yourself in one terrible

And freeing inhaling exhale.

Daffodils lose their vibrant trumpets

To the sunlight, irises curl in on themselves

And alliums drop their radiating, purple petals to the ground.

Cherry blossoms scatter their thousand, million pink pieces

Of exquisite beauty into a spring wind that rouses

The mind to start moving on those plans laid out in winter,

And you cannot help but stare, and weep with such joy the moment

Uplifts and white doors open, and you fly into yourself

Long enough to fly back out yourself in one orgasmic,

Eternal—breath-catching inhaling exhale.

And when the sidewalks become dusted

In deep pink—so much so you cannot see the gray ground—

White doors open and you fly out of yourself long enough

To never return to the state of unnoticing.

Every moment we build up and break down,

We dissolve, we sag closer to the earth,

Our muscles loosen, our jaws slacken,

And we become like fragile, spring birds long enough

To breathe into ourselves, long enough

To exhale one last time into the air—

Just strong enough to blow open the white doors

And get swept up into the uplift where all the trumpeting

Daffodils wait, where all the irises unfurl

Their sex to the sky, where all the alliums burst

Purple bulbs from their tall, slender stalks, like

Slow motion fireworks—

There you will stay long enough

To bloom the fragrance

Of a life well lived into the ever spring

Of God.

 

 

 


 



Lover and Beloved: Today, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

Lover and Beloved: Today

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

“Lover,” said the Beloved, “Every morning you pray to me saying: ‘I offer you this day.  I surrender to your will, please give me the power to carry that out,’ which is, of course, a lovely prayer.

“Today I want you to try listening.  You see, I am the one offering this day.  It is yours—a gift I freely give to you and to all.  I want to surrender to your will, my Lover.  Tell me what your will is—I want to know and lavish you with whatever it is you want and need.  Of course, I already know what you want, and it is important for you to tell me—for that is what lovers do—they express their desires openly to one another, so that each knows how to please the other best.  And of course, I have the power to carry anything out, and so do you—that is another gift I give to you—freedom to use my power.  It is yours.

“So, Lover—I offer you this day.  I surrender to your will.  I give you the power to do the things you want and need to do.  Speak to me.  Tell me your desires.  This day was made for you.”

 

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On Wanting to Give Birth

On Wanting to Give Birth
By
Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 
Your rippling cloak of ocean and sky
Flows from your arms and shoulders,
Your mantle of universe-blue
Barely contains your night colored hair,
Your tunic of woven white presses against
The roundness of your breasts, nipples clearly defined—
This is how I saw you when I was supposed to be staring at Jesus.
Oh, to be chosen, wanted, ravished by holy desire–filled with god’s seed–
To be able to lay my hands on the globe
Of my belly months later, and feel my child move–
To surrender to opening the mouth of my sex
And spilling my baby like dozens of roses and waves of song
Into the open air–to feel the utter relief and fulfillment
Of her being placed at my breast where the milk begins dripping with joy–
To have my baby suckle– to have my baby swaddled to me–
To know she came from me and through me–
To know I carried her—another human being—
In my womb—
Mary, Mother of All, tell me why
I will never know this blessing? Tell me why I know
I am your gender and yet will never bear a child?
Tell me why I will never nurse? Why I will never be earth
For the seed of a man to take root?
I know, sweet Mother, I am giving birth
To my true self–a little girl of radiant beauty–
I know–and I am beyond glad–I am in ecstasy–
And yet you know this, you understand–
I want to bear a child–I want to grow an ocean within me,
I want to feel my insides rearrange, making room for another,
I want my blood to bring sustenance to another,
I want to give birth and to nurse and to stare down
As life flows through me into the mouth of another–
And I never will. Please—
Mother of All–wrap me in your mantle scented with sky
And rock me in your arms of mercy until this aching
Dissolves, until this longing eases, until this grieving
Turns into yet another surrender of gratitude in being who I am
Right here, right now—and then kiss me–tell me again
How we are sisters of grace.

 

 


 

 

 





All donations go to my transition and keeping the Wonder Child Blog running.  Thank you.  <3

What the Cicada Sees, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

What the Cicada Sees

by

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

looking up at tree

 

After combing through
Layers of moist earth and mazes
Of roots, the cicada nymph
Blooms from the ground
And begins climbing
Seeing only sky,
And branches
Waving: “Come on,
You can do it!” And it climbs–
Eyes on the prize, heart pumping,
Wings tingling waiting for space
To unlatch and spread,
Voice still trapped in an ever
Thinning skin, confidence
Growing with every plunge
Of its hooks–higher
Until it suddenly stops
In mid-motion,
Pauses in time and space,
Unable to go even one more step
In its old clothes,
And then,
And then it gives birth unto itself,
Slowly sloughing off
Doubts and fears,
Never once losing track
Of the heaven awaiting
And the heaven of the moment,
And the heaven of simply opening
Itself to the sky,
And letting the song it has been
Composing for years soar
Through the summer trees
Announcing to all things
The truth of transformation,
The truth that we are all
Bound to change,
The truth that even the darkest time
Spent among roots and soil,
Leads to wings, leads
To open spaces, leads to becoming
Who you really are.

 


 

 

All donations go to keeping the Wonder Child Blog afloat and to my Transition.  Thank you.  Love, Jennifer



When You Open

When You Open
By
Joseph Anthony Petro

 

 

When you open
In your own perfectly sweet, and treacherous time,
You will see what you thought
Were mere wrappings
To be unloved and discarded,
Are really part and parcel of the blossoming.
Just on the other side
Of the delicate, luminous tissue
That makes up love’s secret desire,
Is the revelation you are
Love’s secret desire, you
Are the beauty you long for.
On the underside of your visible identity,
The one you show day in day out,
You are the light you seek
In the world.

 

opening flower

 

 


 

 

 

 





Dream Image I

Dream Image I
By
Joseph Anthony Petro

 

roots of trees 2
Imagining the tree will suddenly
Lift the skirt of her roots and run,
Or dance, or simply move closer
So I can rest in her branches,
Run my fingers through her leaves,
Kiss her trunk of concentric circles.
Or maybe she would run right passed me,
Headlong into the ocean, leaves scattering
In her own private autumn, and become
A ship, trailing her wake of roots
Slowly, into the waiting arms of the sun.