Turning In, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

Turning In

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

 

 

At night, when our bodies

Begin to slow down, and our eyelids

Become heavy, we turn in,

And our attention

Recedes from the senses,

And we move into ourselves and dream.

And we all know dreaming

Is just the soul saying what it wanted

During the day but couldn’t,

And as we are drawn inwards,

And our breathing drifts like it was meant to,

And we rescind control over our bodies,

And our lips part and our palms open,

And our arms go this way and that,

We begin catching z’s—the buzz

Of fluorescent lights becomes the buzz of bees

Making honey out of our disappointments,

The hum of the fan of our laptops

Becomes the hush of owl’s wings,

And we yield like this every day–

Every day we relinquish the tenuous hold

We have on our lives and surrender

To the darkness living within us—

The selfsame darkness that holds the voice of desire–

Speaking like a lighthouse to approaching ships,

Speaking like the hummingbird daring us

To try and follow where it goes,

Speaking like moonlight on the river,

Speaking like our soul bowing down before us

Aching for us to listen.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 




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Be Still No More, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

Be Still No More
By
Jennifer Angelina Petro

 
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.

 

storm clouds

 


 

 

 


All donations go to supporting the cost of my transition.

Thank you for helping me be on the outside what I am on the inside.


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

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

 

 


 

 

 

 





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.

 

 


 

 

 





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.

 

 


 

 

 

 





The Revelation is Now

The Revelation is Now
By
Joseph Anthony Petro

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.


 




Foundations

Foundations
By
Joseph Anthony Petro

 

Listen, O ears of my soul–
Hear past sounds and any meaning
The mind gives those sounds,
Listen through the chatter
And traffic, and everyday sonancy
To the Foundation Song
Exhaling steadily through all creation.

Look, O eyes of my soul,
See past appearances and any judgments
The mind assigns the images,
See through replicas and glitter,
And shifting shadows
To the Foundation Light
Shining steadily through all creation.

Taste, O tongue of my soul,
Discern past flavors and any cravings
The mind makes you think
You must obey.
Savor through the empty calories,
The sweetness and bitterness,
And everyday seasonings
To the Foundation Bread
Nourishing steadily all creation.

Feel, O body of my soul–
Breathe past fear and any memories
That say you shouldn’t experience bliss,
Rise past shame and the torturous ideas
That pleasure is somehow wrong
To the Foundation Joy
Cresting steadily through all creation—
Spilling you, emptying you, filling you,
Lifting you to sink into heaven’s bed
Where you are allowed to desire desire,
Where you are allowed to be ravished
And to ravish, where it is safe to lose yourself
And find yourself in the rapturously
Catching breath of the Beloved.

 

 

 

 


 





Insight

Insight
By
Joseph Anthony Petro

 

Today as I prayed, I imagined standing
Near a sandy beach, and as I did, fear vanished
And so did anger, resentment, jealousy, and shame.
All that was left was an ocean
Of sorrow, and an ocean of joy,
And I am convinced in this moment that the soul
Knows only these two emotions: joy and sorrow.
The rest of them belong to the mind.
And the body has the blessing (or curse,
As the case may be) of feeling them all.
Of course fear will crop up
Any minute now, or some ancient shame
Will appear out of nowhere
And turn my gaze once again to the ground.
That said, I hold to the idea
The beach inspired: the soul only knows two emotions.
A boat cannot sail across an ocean of anger.
Only over heaves of sorrow or
Buoyant ripples of joy can a vessel
As fragile as ours get anywhere.
And all the other emotions pass.
Only joy and sorrow remain—
Waves of sorrow, like wind
Through reeds, currents of joy,
Like fingers through harp strings,
Sorrow that wanders abandoned houses,
Joy that claps its hands with praise,
Sorrow, limitless, and dark as night,
Joy, shimmering, like a sea of gold.
The eternal dance of union and longing–
The substance and form of all we ever wanted
And all that we are, or ever shall be,
Is made up of the rhythms of joy and sorrow.
So I will hold still and I will sing,
For today I know the soul’s journey
Is sure, the soul’s journey is born
On waves of sorrow and currents of joy,
And ends on the shore where the Beloved waits,
In perfect peace, to welcome us home.


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Limitless Possibilities

Limitless Possibilities
By
Joseph Anthony

Limitless Possibilities

Every seed is hand-crafted
and placed lovingly in a world
of sweetness and protection.
Every seed contains the hope of sky,
and the memory of a passageway,
and the deepest ache and longing for light.
And inside every seed burns a steady darkness.
Not the kind where you can just make out the shapes of things,
but the kind where nothing is visible,
and this is good, holy, necessary.
And every seed holds a question
Whose answer opens into vast,
Cathedrals of light. And then,
life surges further upwards, blazing slowly
through blindness, past hard places,
past bones and ancient relics of past generations,
through the sweet, congratulating earth,
through darkness, and out–
out into the golden warmth
of limitless possibilities.

light through the trees


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