Sitting With Sadness, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

Sitting with Sadness

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

Time slows like it does on long summer afternoons,

You smell the scent of rain even though there is a cloudless sky,

You get up to go about your day and sadness follows you like a moveable river,

You resist impulses to drown out her sobbing with food, sex, spending—

You feel her rocking back and forth in your heart causing you to do the same in your chair,

Trees whisper windy syllables through the curtains and gently tousles your hair,

Bees hover around your house making sure you understand sadness brings gifts of honey,

Cicada song drones through the sky in waves and settles into the hollow places deep in your bones,

A terrible longing–timeless and holy, lives in her tears and touches yours,

And when she decides to leave, she assures you she will return,

And if you are able, you will sit with her again as she weeps around the roots of your being.

 

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Child of Sadness, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

Child of Sadness

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

 

She came to me in silence,

Stepping from a shroud of light,

I saw her coming from a long distance away,

And stood as still as I could.

When she reached me

And looked at me with tear-filled eyes,

I offered her my hand and she took it,

And we sat in the field

For long summer hours as she wept without ceasing,

Dragonflies and bees and dandelion seeds

Floated around us like dreams.

We sat there in the field—

Her sobbing from a river of sadness,

Me bearing witness to her pain.

And this time, never once trying

To take away her suffering.  This time,

Surrounded by the gentle hum of angel wings,

This time honoring who she was,

I listened, wide eyed, and heart open,

As she filled my soul with tears.

 

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i Cannot Weep Among the Autumn Trees, by jennifer angelina petro

i Cannot Weep Among the Autumn Trees

 

by

 

jennifer angelina petro

 

 

 

i’ve tried,

and those

who know

a bit

about

the depth

of dark

that hovers

over my head

knows

how much

i weep.

 

Walking

amongst

the autumn

trees, tears

shed

into the wind,

but do not fall—

they sail golden

into the wind

which is

different

than weeping.

 

No. i am

not cured

of the illness

which i am

a carrier of.

No. i am

in autumn’s

reprieve.

 

Which begs

the question:

why not

go out and be

with the trees

everyday?

Because somedays

the dark hands

holding my ankles

have just

too strong

a grip.

 

Which begs,

of course,

another

question:

how did you

get free enough

today to walk

among the trees?

 

Look—

that leaf—

that piece

of gold lying

in the brittle,

browning grass—

those treetops

lit up

above the darkening

branches—somehow

lifted the shackles

away and kissed

my feet, and said:

There

are poems

and photographs

waiting

for you.

Go. You may

never have

the strength

again.  Go.

We will

hold off

the dark as long

as we can.

 

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Moment of Silence, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

Moment of Silence
By
Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

Grateful as I am for the moment
Of silence, for the pausing
To stand together, breathe
Together, do nothing with our phones together,
Remember people
We did not know together,
Let us rise up together
And share a moment
Of weeping, a moment
Of rage, a moment of falling
Into each other’s arms,
A moment of shouting,
A moment of wailing and tearing
Our shirts, a moment
Of witnessing each other’s pain
Together, a moment of-
We-must-stop-this-from-ever-
Happening-again-together,
A moment of complicity,
A moment of shame as a nation,
A moment of guilt at doing nothing except
Stay silent, a moment of knowing
We must change, put an end
To any hatred within ourselves alone
In our moment of silence, alone
In our moment of grieving, alone,
In our moment of righteous indignation–
We must change–together alone, for one
Everlasting moment, for one eternity
Of silence, for one generation of silence,
Lifetime of silence, gone forever silence.
Let us be silent no more.
Let our voices be heard, our tears
Be seen, our changed minds
Be demonstrated by actions changed
And full of common sense, any
Sense, any enlightened, civilized
Semblance of sense, let us be silent
No more, let us be still no more,
Let us be revolutionary together alone now—
For the moment has passed, is
Passing—the moment is
No more.

 

 

 

 


 


Moon Psalm, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

Moon Psalm
By
Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

You pull the tides in with silver reigns
And flood the shores of my already loosening faith,
You bring dark water to the roots of my self-loathing
And sprout entire orchards of menacing trees,
You coax little rivulets to migrate to hidden gardens of shame
That grow in the corners of my mind, helping them thrive
And spread like vines of poison ivy,
You throw down rain and muddy the earth of my hope,
You trouble the lakes and ponds of my dreams, creating resonances
That only go so far—far enough to seep over the roads
Of where I think I should be going, far enough to soak the fields of wonder
I used to love; far enough to lap at the horizon that for some reason
Still wants me–Moon, you draw forth tears from the well of my soul
And turn the waterwheel that powers the millstones
That grind the flour of my sorrow into the bitter bread of not caring anymore—
Moon, you know I need you—you know you are the most high—
Go ahead drown me–carry me home in the folds of your silver river
And lay me on the shores of your breathing
Where I can become one with the sky.

 

moon


That Same Wonder

That Same Wonder
By
Joseph Anthony Petro

 

blossoms

 
I am being
Step for step,
Morning by morning,
Evening by evening,
Breath for breath,
Pulse by pulse,
Desire by desire
Written, drawn,
Painted, sculpted,
Composed, arranged,
Sung, and spoken.
I am an expression
Of something, someone
So living, so vitalizing,
That it spills into my steps,
Pours from my words,
Weeps from my heart
In such a way as to both hide itself
And reveal itself at the same time.
It should come as no surprise
That wonder drips, no matter how
Sad I get, from every cell
Of my body.
I am being made, created,
Dreamed, formed
By wonder, and the same wonder
That assembles me
Dismantles me, levels me,
Emptiness me,
Adjourns and disrobes me,
That same wonder
I am being fitted for
Doctored by,
Dissolved by
Is the same wonder
That wants me,
Requests me,
Stomachs me,
Explores me,
That same wonder
That is my every breath and my last breath,
That same wonder that will lay me down
In the soft earth and raise me up
When I am ready to awaken,
That same wonder that will keep me
Dancing, learning, being born, full of grace,
Full of insight, full of cherry blossom petals
And moonlight, full of ponds
And stars—that same wonder, when I am ready
To be myself in full bloom
Will be there, here
Ready to catch me
When I fall.

 

 


 

 

 





It Is Over, This Beginning

It Is Over, This Beginning
By
Joseph Anthony Petro

 

storm clouds

 

It is over, this beginning,
This blossoming into the past;
It is over for the future
Is the spring in bloom now;
Believe it, for within the clouds
Storms are building to break open
The sky with thunder and you
Cannot do anything about it
Except stand tall letting the roar
Wave through you turning you
Into an echo of divinity;
Let the rain scour you clean
And draw you down into the earth
With holy heaviness.
It is over, this dying,
This unending end of not knowing
Your own worth, dignity, gold.
It is over, this lie
That you are not allowed to be happy,
That you are a victim,
That you have no alternative
Except to crumble slowly into dust.
Stand tall in power and bless your life
With your life without the need to ever
Again hold your breath or disappear
Into the ceiling. The ceiling is gone.
The hating yourself is gone.
The bed and floor you were pinned against
Are gone. You are limitless thunder
Plumed with possibility. Go and end
The ending, begin the continuation
Of your becoming you becoming you
Becoming an echo of divinity unfolding
Through the mountains and valleys
Of a life lived alive.

 

 


 

 

 





Growing Down

Growing Down
By
Joseph Anthony Petro

 
Weep tender heart, weep.
Every tear you cry lifts the crushing weight
From your chest and drops away
Chains from your hands and feet
And heart.
You
Did
Nothing
Wrong.
Weep, tender heart, weep.
Hold my hand and dive into the folds
Of the dark waters of your pain.
You will not drown in sorrow;
You will not drown at all.
You will blossom in the depths, like
A manta ray, like a rose of white light, like
A lotus of moonlight with roots of life-giving blood.
Weep, tender heart, weep.
Let your tears become one with the darkness,
Let your tears shed the layers of hatred
For your body, for your existence,
For the false reasons you came to believe you were born.
Release them. Release them and weep,
Weep, tender heart, weep. Know there are many
Weeping with you; there are many blossoming
With you; there are many loving you
Until you can love yourself; so weep
Fierce heart, weep.
And when you surface from the shadows,
Bursting forth with hope, and the earth-given-
Heaven-blessed-moon-drenched desire
For unity, wholeness, and the arms
Of your Beloved, your tears will be tears
Of joy. For you will be free,
And you will be alive, and you will be a child
With the heart of a man.

 

 


 

 

 

 





It All Starts With a Question

It All Starts With a Question
By
Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

 

 

It all starts with a question.

Somehow, someway it gets spoken

Or simply lifts into your life, like

Morning.  Either way

It appears and your life changes.

Perhaps it sings into your life, like

Morning birds that say:

“Flock! Tree!  Let’s Go!

Stay! Sun! Fly! Wings!”

Maybe it gets puzzled up in chatter.

Perhaps it crashes into your life, like

A tree branch through your roof.

Perhaps it stands unspoken for years

In a corner of the room, like

A lamp without a lightbulb.

Perhaps it drifts into your awareness, like

The fragrance of morning coffee,

Old books, or the air just before rain,

No matter how or when it arrives,

The thing to do is to remember:

There is a quest in every question.

And sometimes questions

Need to be followed casually, like

A child on a walk in the woods,

And sometimes questions need to be pursued, like

A lost child in a carnival.

And sometimes questions simply need

To be acknowledged, and the answers

Pale in comparison to the fact

That you were finally able to ask whatever it was

You so desperately needed to ask.

And sometimes the answer is so utterly everyday

You miss it, like a stop sign or a dandelion—

At least I do–

And sometimes the question and the answer

Arise together, like

The butterfly in the cocoon,

Or the bird in the egg,

Or acceptance in the sorrow,

And sometimes…sometimes,

It all ends with a question,

And when it does,

The thing to do is to remember:

There is a quest in every question,

And no quest is ever deemed unworthy

Simply because the end winds up being

Another beginning, or the “X marks the spot”

Ends up being the very place

Where your knees touch the ground

Or your eyes search the sky,

And no quest, no matter what

Any staunch individualist says

Is ever meant to be traveled alone.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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