Enough of listening for a still, small voice,
Enough of “Be still and know,”
Stir me on the inside with resonance,
Move me on the outside with kisses,
Sing me your guidance, o goddess of wisdom,
Sing it out loud like unmistakable thunder,
Shout your love from the great, strong winds,
Declare your presence as you shake the earth with dancing,
Enter my cave and shed your garments,
Uncover my face, remove my mantle,
Ask me your questions with your breath on my breasts,
Enough of this stillness, enough of gentle whispers,
Let your revelation ravish my soul like a storm.
On Wanting to Give Birth
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.
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.
I am being
Step for step,
Morning by morning,
Evening by evening,
Breath for breath,
Pulse by pulse,
Desire by desire
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,
By wonder, and the same wonder
That assembles me
Dismantles me, levels me,
Adjourns and disrobes me,
That same wonder
I am being fitted for
Is the same wonder
That wants 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.
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.
Where do I begin? The revelation is now.
When will I die? The revelation is now.
How can I trust? The revelation is now.
What will happen next? The revelation is now.
Should I get my things in order? The revelation is now.
Shouldn’t I be worried? The revelation is now.
Isn’t there something else I need to be doing? The revelation is now.
Will there be blinding flashes of light? The revelation is now.
Which way will I go? The revelation is now.
Which direction is true? The revelation is now.
The horizon, will I reach it? The revelation is now.
Will I suffer anymore? The revelation is now.
Will there be healing for these old, open wounds? The revelation is now.
Will you be there waiting? The revelation is now.
Will I feel you holding me? The revelation is now.
So much is falling away,
I don’t know what to hold on to
Or what to let go of. The revelation is now.
Is it really OK to be happy? The revelation is now.
Do you really want me? The revelation is now.
Empty my bags? Anything. The revelation is now.
Scatter my old ideas into the sea? The revelation is now.
Take your hand? The revelation is now.
You need my ‘yes’ before we go any further? The revelation is now.
Yes. I am yours. The revelation is now.
I’m trying not to be afraid. The revelation is now.
Fear is falling away. The revelation is now.
I believe you will never leave me. The revelation is now.
May I have this dance? The revelation is now.
Look! We are dancing on a river of light. The revelation is now.
Will we dance like this forever? The revelation is now.