Untitled by Jennifer Angelina Petro

I do not see the light.

I do not feel the warmth of love.

The emptiness that I am deafens my days.

Silence turns into auditory hallucinations.

I stand motionless

For long moments, every day, unable to move,

Think, or breathe.  Impossible

As I have made my life

I am here existing in the nothingness

Still hoping—still hoping for light.

 

 

 

 

 


Any help for me to buy food or pay for medical expenses is deeply needed and appreciated.


Some Thoughts on Seeing, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

Some Thoughts on Seeing

by

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

Vision depends on the amount of light the eye bends to its uses. The retina sees things upside down and needs the brain to flip the images right side up. As evening comes, the eyes tire and rebel against the light, and sleep passes over, closing them for the night.  And we dream, creating light inside ourselves, until dawn comes, awakening light within light, and we are flooded with things to touch and see, taste and smell, in short, to celebrate with our whole being.

Today, as the amount of light coming in from the world appears to be thinning, lessoning, I will make it my work to seek out more light and keep the aperture of the soul open. I will make it my work to create more light with sparks of humor or song, kindnesses and attention, calm words and softness of speech. And if I begin seeing things upside down, I will depend on the ideas of others to correct the image.

And if a time comes when the soul constricts–from fear or pain, closing off the light, then I will make it my work to seek out ways to ease the soul into opening, to coax it to look for, and to see, oceans of light in the hearts and minds of everyday people on everyday streets in everyday homes and towns across America.

Of course, sometimes the soul requires sleep and a time to dream its own dreams, some of which we never see.  And in those times of holy darkness, when I must become the moon to my soul, then I will sing in whispers and move quietly about the house so that my soul may rest.  And I will do the same for yours.  If your soul wearies and needs time to replenish its rivers and suns, then I will sing softly to you until you sleep without fear.

I am awake, and it is not too late.  In the soul’s time it is early, always early, and I open the pupils of my mind to new opportunities for vision and possibilities for drawing in more light through service and singing.  I allow the world to see the iris of my heart, risking everything to stand on the solid ground of peace—eyes wide open, looking for you.

 

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Our Only Hope, A Solution No One Wants to Hear, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

Our Only Hope

A Solution No one Wants to Hear

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

Have you ever been so afraid that you went against your core values and morals?  Have you ever been so scared you stopped thinking clearly, gave into fear, and just reacted?  Let’s take a very minor scenario:  Have you ever been late to something—your kid’s soccer game or work, and you drove recklessly, disobeying speed signs, traffic signals, and disregarded your own safety and the safety of those around you, and so on?

When we are desperately afraid of losing something or someone we hold dear we can become frantic, mean, thoughtless, and so rigidly determined to do everything we can not to lose what we love that we stop listening to our hearts or consciences.

What would make a thoughtful, intelligent, perhaps even religiously minded person, vote for Donald Trump?

Fear.  And nearly half the country voted for him.

Not every Trump supporter is a racist.  Many however come from rural America where a kind of poverty exists that is rarely talked about.  Jobs are hard to find in the city.  Jobs are hard to find around farmlands and old coalmining towns.

Imagine along comes a wretched human being who claims to have a solution, who feeds your fears to such a degree that you look past his immorality so desperate you are to save your family, your town, your farm, your family business, your values.

Imagine fear seeping into your heart so much that it effects your reasoning.  You might become afraid of everything that moves, everything that’s different from what you have always known.  And as more fear is poured into you the more desperate you become for some thread of security even if it is presented in ways that make little sense or by someone abhorrent.

Are the poor living in rural areas victims?  Are the poor living in the inner cities victims?  People do desperate things in the inner city for money.  People do desperate things in the country for money.  And not just for money, but for opportunities they feel aren’t there for them—opportunities for jobs, college, healthcare.  The overriding issue of desperation is the same.

If you have never allowed your morals and values to be set aside for even something seemingly minor, then you are a better person than me.  Thing is, if Trump gets impeached or assassinated (and Pence chokes to death on a piece of beef) we would still have half the country that believed their wretched ideology.  To me, voting for Trump was a horribly desperate call for help and change.  And maybe an inner change so fundamental that some people don’t even realize how unconsciously they acted.

If you ask Trump supporters why they voted for him they might say something like this:

“We want change.  We are tired of the average politician.  We are afraid of this group or that group.  We are afraid of terrorists.  We are afraid we will lose our farms, our businesses, we are afraid of not having work—jobs, opportunities, access to healthcare and education—we live in rural areas where the poverty we experience often goes unnoticed.  We are afraid our values are being taken from us. And some of us are scared enough to overlook our candidate’s racism, bullying, and misogyny because we believe he offers the best chance of getting us out of this mess. Anything but politics as usual.  That scares me.”

If you ask someone who voted for Hillary they might say something like this:

“We want change (i.e. a woman president).  We are tired of the average politician.  We are afraid of this group or that group.  We are afraid of domestic terrorists.  We are afraid we will lose our homes, our businesses, we are afraid of not having work—jobs, opportunities, access to healthcare and education—we live in urban areas where the poverty we experience gets noticed but little done to solve it.  We are afraid our values are being taken from us. And some of us are scared enough to overlook our candidate’s record on war and big business, and cronyism, because we believe she offers the best chance of getting us out of this mess, and besides, she isn’t him.  He scares me.”

Both sides are based in fear.  And the more the fear grows the more frightening our actions become.  We might sacrifice our family time because we have to pay the bills.  We might sacrifice family traditions for the same reason.  We might sacrifice our values and morals for the same reasons also.  We might manifest a call-out culture to distract ourselves from ourselves and the perhaps directionless state our lives may be in.  We might manifest hideous ideas about Muslims and people of the LGBTQIA spectrum.  We might become willing to fight for beliefs that stem from fear and a gut-wrenching desperation.

And there is little hope.  It feels as if the nation is on the brink of civil war or, at very least, massive civil unrest, and both sides operating from fear, and both sides believing they are in the right.  And like every good kindergarten brawl, both sides will wreck everything in their path to get what they want.

We must find a way to bring together—at risk of over simplifying the image–the country mouse and the city mouse.  We must find a way to ease one another’s fears.  Somehow, someway conversations need to happen between the alt-right and the alt-left.  Somehow dialogs must begin so we can personalize and humanize one another instead of viewing one another through the narrow lenses of stereotypes.  Both sides stereotype, that cannot be denied.

How to get these conversations started is another story.  We need brave, strong moderators.  We need people who can listen and set aside their own fears and prejudices long enough to hear someone out (or in).  Both sides must look past the deeds and ideologies of one another and see the fear in each other’s eyes and the soul of light wanting to be safe.

These conversations need to happen on all levels, but first and foremost Hillary (or Bernie) supporters must reach out to Trump supporters and vice-a-versa.  Difficult conversations need to happen around dinner tables or in living rooms.  These need to then spread to places of worship, and then perhaps schools and town halls, but it starts with us trying to make bridges with one another instead of unfriending and cutting each other out of our lives.

“I hate you!” the kindergartener shouts when scared and angry that they don’t get what they want.

And then the building blocks get thrown.  And people get hurt.

We must be better than this.  And it starts with difficult conversations.

And let’s be clear, the conversations wouldn’t be about trying to convince one another about who is right or wrong.  The conversations should focus around certain fundamental questions such as:

 

1). What is your biggest fear?

2). Do you have enough money to eat?

3). What are you afraid of losing?

4). Do you need anything by way of healthcare or visits to a doctor?

5). How can I help?

6). Does anyone in your family need a tutor or a babysitter?

7). What do you value most in this world?

8). What are your spiritual beliefs?  Tell me about them.  Let’s find common ground.

9). What causes you the most pain—emotionally, physically, spiritually?

10). Are you willing to pray with me?  Share a meal with me?  Be seen in public with me?

11). Who is your favorite music star?  Play me something by them.  Tell me why you like them.

12).  What are your favorite family traditions?

13).  What is one of your most cherished memories?

14). What were your dreams growing up?  What are your dreams now?

15). Where did your ancestors come from?

16). What talents do you have?  Hobbies?  Interests?  Weird habits?

17). What things do we have in common?

18). What is your favorite joke?

 

And, of course, the list could go on, or be simplified.  The point is to ask questions that help draw us together, that help us see the soul in one another, the spirit, the basic humanity, the pain, the joy.

As I see it these conversations are our only hope.  The alternative to coming together is living in a consciously divided country that may or may not end well, and, we all know, likely not well–is, well, the more likely scenario (how’s that for a sentence?).

It’ll never happen! I hear you cry!  As a transperson I am never sitting with an alt-right “Christian.”  As an alt-right Christian I am never sitting with a Muslim!”

Yes, these conversations would be risky and painful, and both sides might sit before one another feeling unsafe or even threatened.  But does either side feel safe now sitting in front of their computers posting angry, fear-based things to rationalize and justify more fear and separation?  Does either side feel safe on the streets?  After all, terrorists of one kind or another are everywhere, guns drawn, bombs at the ready, aren’t they?  I believe we are greater than this—greater than our fears and differences—real or imagined.

I also believe the more we say these conversations will never help or never happen the more we expose ourselves to be just as stridently rigid as those we fear.

I also believe it must be the young people of this country to first take up the challenge of bringing one another together in conversation.  The less hardened, the less frightened, perhaps.  The less indoctrinated.  Then, once young people get the ball rolling, I believe the rest of us can follow their lead.  And speaking of leading:

Some may say we need strong leadership to make these conversations happen, but I disagree.  The people must lead in this instance.  The top is not to be trusted.  It needs to begin with the people. We must take charge of bringing each other together, of trying to heal the painful divisions that exist between us, of trying to see one another as human beings—frightened, desperate human beings frantic to not lose what they so hold dear, even if what they hold dear seems foreign to us, or threatening, or even repugnant.  We must learn to listen in such a way as to allow ourselves to be vulnerable enough to recognize ourselves in the eyes of another.

Maybe it’s too late for hope, or for peace.  Maybe both sides are so deeply and fundamentally afraid that they are creating the very world they fear.  Maybe we all have a deep-seeded death-wish based on massive hopelessness and fear.  Maybe we don’t want a solution.  Maybe we believe it all needs to get torn down in order to get rebuilt the way we like it.  Maybe we all want out because we see no way out and are tired and afraid, and war seems, at least unconsciously, the best alternative.

I am trying hard not to think that way.  I believe in America.  I believe we are a great nation with people full of passion, ideas, creativity, boundless generosity, humor, warmth, kindness.  We must begin believing in one another and to do so we must see each other’s humanity.  We can do this.  We have done hard things before.  I believe in us.  I believe in you.

May our nation be blessed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Prophetess of Heaven-Fire, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

There are so many dire predictions after this election, and perhaps rightfully so. Many people feel everything is lost and that there is no hope–so many feel their oppression will only worsen, and that everything we have fought so hard for is gone. I get it. I am an unemployed transwoman who struggles with mental illness, and I am terrified, and god-fucking dammit, I am not giving in to the fear.

 

The fear is real, and so is love.

 

Everyone is making their predictions. I join them here. Here I turn into a prophetess of fire:

 

On this day, November 9th, 2016, love will rise up and fight for all we have accomplished so that nothing is taken away. Love will rise up to meet the hatred with all the angels of heaven and transform it back into love. Love will rise up and take to the streets and outshine the sun with its power. Love will rise up and protect the minorities, the people of color and other religions, the LGBTQIA people–teens, children—-Love will surround them and make a safe space for them. Love will do these things. YOU will do these things. How? We will be love. We will be the love. We ARE the love. Together. You and I with hearts full of love burning like a holy fire–we will rise up and meet any hate that comes our way, any violence, any oppression, and we will stand together, fight together, love together, live together.

 

I predict these next four years will be hard. And, I predict more love and more power and more strength and more solidarity and more wisdom and more courage will come because of it—-Love will come like a mighty song and fill the nations with wonder, scattering the hate into oblivion.

 

Hold your fear. Share it. Express it. Write, talk, sing, dance, draw, sculpt—it is real….I feel it…my stomach is churning, my heart is aching, and dammit to hell I am taking that fear and forging it into a shield of compassion.

 

Hold your rage. Share it. Express it. Write, talk, sing, dance, draw, sculpt—it is real….I feel it…my stomach is churning, my heart is aching, and dammit to hell I am taking that rage and forging it into a sword of truth.

 

I predict the world will end. Everything does. But not now. Not today. Not tomorrow. It will end when it is time, and that time will be far, far into the future, and when it does it will end a world full of love warriors and peacemakers, freedom fighters and freedom winners.

 

Be ye transformed o nation of disillusionment and fear, be ye transformed into courage and strength—and a vision to see things as they are————ready for love-action, love-dancing, love-creating, love-protecting, love-warriors—love-bearers one and all.

 

I see a future of more freedom than ever before because the evils are now openly exposed and the world will see them for what they are—wrong—sick–and the world will stand with us as we fight on the side of love. Let love lance the wounds of hate and let love heal and give us strength.

 

Love will rise up stronger than ever. We will rise up stronger than ever. We will make our own prophecies. Make prophecies of love and let love rise up making those prophecies true by our own hands.

 

I call upon the Source of all love to rise up within us so that we may never give up.

 

May it be done. Blessed be. We are one.

 


 

 

 


So Inclined, by Jennifer Angelina Pedro

graceful-autumn-tree

 

 

So Inclined

by

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

Standing by the gold-flecked stream

watching leaves plucked from the trees

in droves by the wind, one cannot help,

if one is so inclined as to reflect on these things,

but notice how much like death

autumn must be.

 

Perhaps, when the time is ripe,

and the soul is heavy with longing,

and the great wind comes,

it will pluck my soul and spirit

right from the branches of my body

and cast them into the gold-dappled stream

flowing towards the sea.

 

It’s strange, isn’t it, that during autumn

the air is crisp, fresh, clarifying;

and the light slants in such a way

as to ignite the trees with joy even

as the trees relinquish themselves

to the letting go.

 

Harvest me autumn,

for the chlorophyl of hope has drained

from my face and limbs,

and seeped into the ground

to nourish the roots and bones

of those who already gave their all,

collect me in your harvest-hands

and turn my despair into gold.

 

 


 

 

 





There Are No Wrong Turns, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

No Wrong Turns

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

There are no wrong turns.

Each and every time you have been lost

You have eventually found your way out;

It is the same with journeying inside.

Walls appear when moments before

There were none,

Dead ends rise up like tombstones when you

Least expect them to,

Passageways narrow suddenly, and fall off

Into deep ravines,

But here you are, reading this—and this

Is hope on a string of words;

Take them or leave them, the fact remains

You are reading them, hearing them

Now

Here

Now

Safe

Now

Without guardrails

And you are still not falling.

I get it, don’t worry.  I am lost

Much of the time myself, I hardly ever know

Where the road is going—if it indeed goes anywhere.

Somedays I look down the road

And only mist, or mist-infused darkness loom;

Somedays the road ahead looks more like a movie screen

Of the past than a road, and somedays,

I even begin walking or exploring the edges

Only to pull myself upright at the slightest sound

And go back to where I was, and sometimes,

Even that place—the back where I was place—

Is gone; and sometimes, and, oh, I feel terrible

For saying this—but sometimes the road

Is so utterly lonely, even though it is inhabited

By many fine souls—living, dead, in between—

And there are fireflies, and stars, rivers, and buttercups,

And there is singing and crickets, and always, the moon;

Let’s face it though—the road can be hard,

And gravel gets in your shoes,

And the desire arises more often than you would like to admit

To simply roll up into a ball and dissolve into even more nothing

Than you sometimes already feel—

And yet, it is the only road you need,

And no matter where you let it take you, or how far you go,

Or how slowly you go, there are still no wrong turns.

 

 

 

 


 





You and I Have Beauty to Share, A Poem in Words and Pictures, by Radiance Angelina Petro

You and I Have Beauty to Share

A Poem in Words and Pictures

By

Radiance Angelina Petro

 

 

poem image 1

 

Come.

Come take me

One little piece of pollen at a time.

Come.  I want you to.

***

poem image 2

 

Once I hid as a star,

Guarded by wisdom.

***

poem image 3

 

When I was ready

I unfolded wisdom’s spiral.

***

poem image 4

 

And allowed life’s dream

To draw me into the world.

***

poem image 5

 

For some, their wisdom will be fancy—

For there is such a thing as fancy wisdom.

***

poem image 6

 

Others bear wisdom that tightly guards–

Wanting to be absolutely sure before giving the word.

***

 

poem image 7

 

Regardless, when you are ready,

No matter where anyone else is in their stages of development

 

***

poem image 8

 

You

Will

Open.

Just like I did.

 

***

poem image 9

 

And you will say, come.

Come take me, one little grain of pollen at a time,

And you will share your gold

With the hive of the heart of another.

***

poem image 10

 

For that is why we have been planted here,

In the dark soil of the earth.

***

 

poem image 11

 

You and me–

We are meant to share the fragrance of the light we bring.

***

 

poem image 12

 

Until wisdom says, enough, go back

To being a star.

 

***

poetic image 13

 

For now, go ahead, shout your trumpets of joy,

Spread your granules of sweetness—

You and I have beauty to share.

 

 

 

 


 

 


Please help support my continued transition.  Thank you.  Radiance


The Moment, a Short Story Told in Poetry and Prose, by Radiance Angelina Petro

The Moment

A Short Story Told in Poetry and Prose

By

Radiance Angelina Petro

 

 

I.

Yesterday a moment passed me by at the flea market.

She moved through the bangles, baubles, silks, bric-a-brac, knives, and rings.

I saw her and she me.  In fact she turned to look at me full in the face,

And I know she was just about to tell me that every wonderful thing

Anyone has ever said about me is true—that I am a powerful force for good in this world.

We looked at each other as people passed by eating funnel cakes, ignoring us.

And just as I moved towards to her to ask her for a single, simple embrace,

She suddenly began to pull away—as if reeled backwards by some cruel fisherman,

And as she vanished, and as I began to push through people to chase after her,

She called out–I swear I heard her call out over the sounds of the many angry voices:

“Remember,” she called, “remember just how important you are.  It’s all true.”

And at the last second, as I nearly caught her to pull her off whatever terrible hook that was in her,

She stretched out her hand, and I fell forwards trying to grasp it, missing it by inches.

Then she was gone–swallowed up into nothing, never to be seen again.

 

II.

As I sat down right there, with people having to suddenly navigate a person sitting in the middle of the floor, I began to weep.  After a few minutes, out of nowhere, a little girl, holding her mother’s hand, stopped and said to her mother, “Mommy look, someone is sitting on the floor crying.”

“Ignore her,” her mother said trying to pull her along, but the girl stood stock still, forcing her mother to stop.  And then, the little girl let go of her mother’s hand, and leaned in close to me and said, “Lady, what’s the matter?  Why are you crying?”

I looked up at her. Her face was full and wise, and powdered with sugar from eating some treat—probably a funnel cake, I thought.  And then I said: “Sweet one, I almost touched a moment I’ve always wanted to touch—or that I’ve always wanted to have touch me.  She was just here, little girl, and we got close—so close, but then she got dragged away and disappeared, and I am afraid I will never find her ever again, nor she me. That, little sweet one, is why I am sitting here in the middle of the floor crying, like a baby.”

“Oh,” said the girl.

“Come ON,” said the mother, reaching down trying to grab her by the arm.

“In a minute,” she said, shrugging her mother away.

“It’s OK,” I said to her, you can go with your mother.  I’ll be alright.”

“What did she look like?” she asked.

“Oh,” I said, “she was beautiful.  More beautiful than anyone or anything I have ever seen.”

“What was she wearing?”

“Oh,” I said, “she was wearing this flowing shift of white light that made her look like she was wearing heaven.”

“I see,” she said, and then stood up, for she had sat down across from me on the floor to conduct her little interview, much to her mother’s displeasure.

“Well,” she said, reaching up for her mother’s hand, “I hope you find her again.”

“Thank you,” I laughed, “you’re very kind.”

“Let’s go,” said her mother, and then to me, “Get up lady.  Look around you.  Do you see anyone else sitting around crying in the middle of the floor because they missed their moment?  Get up. You’re in the way.”

And as they walked into the crowd, I looked after them and, to my amazement they were both wearing flowing shifts of white light that made them look like they were wearing heaven.  How had I not noticed that before? I wondered.  And as I stood, I staggered, and saw everyone was wearing flowing shifts of white light, and as I braced myself against my fears, I righted my back, stood tall, and began walking again full of wonder, my own shift of white light trailing behind me, like the train of a bridal gown.  It was everything I could do to refrain my hands from touching every face I saw.  It was everything I could to not ask each and every person if I could hug them.  It was everything I could do not to sing. And then, as I continued moving through the sea of white light, there, right next to me, holding my hand, was my moment.  She was laughing, beckoning me to look around us, and as I did, I laughed too, and knew in my heart that everything wonderful anyone ever said about me was true.

 

 


 

 

Please help support my continuing transition.  All my love. Radiance. <3

Witness, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

I wrote this poem two years ago today.  I had forgotten about it.  I am glad I found it though.  I want to live like this again.–Jennifer

 

 

 

Witness

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

When you stop
And think about it,
The idea is absurd:

Beetles that light up.
Bioluminescence
They call it.

I call it utterly and phantasmagorically
Miraculous.

Along the river banks
Of the jungles of Malaysia,
Fireflies synchronize
Their flashing lights;
In the town of Donsol
In the Philippines,
Fireflies stay around
All year, coexisting
With the locals, like
Eccentric sentinels;
In the Great Smoky Mountains
Of Tennessee,
Fireflies have been seen blinking in unison.

If you are a believer
In doubt and darkness,
If you partake of the white bread
Of theorized negativity,
If you harbor any spiritual misgivings
Then stop and think about this
Outlandish phenomenon
Occurring in backyards and fields
Around the world, better yet
Stop and see it for yourself.
And once you do, ask yourself:

Can I really keep up this charade?
Can I really keep myself
From swooning with devotion and wonder?

Why not allow these little,
Avant-garde angels lift you,
Illuminate you, and save you
From the cold, dry emptiness
Of faith in things untrue?

Try.

Try for your own sake
And for the sake of the future:

Stand on the edge
Of a cornfield at night
In deep July, or find a field, backyard, or woods
Humming with mystery, and simply be
A witness to the dazzling carnival
Happening in the tree tops,
Skimming the dark grass, bobbing
Up and down in the cool, moist air, like
Strings of moving green Christmas lights.
See these little beetles with their lovely
Blinking bellies, and allow yourself
To blossom, like
A night gladiolus, sending the fragrance
Of your newly found faith
Into the world;

Let your life shine
So that others may stand in awe
Of the delicate, extravagant work
Of the Divine.

Go ahead.

Be amazed,

And watch everything

Around you,
And within you,

Break open
Into light.

 

 

 


 

 


Please help support my GRS.  Thank you.


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