Diagnosis, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

Diagnosis

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

Gnosis.  A knowing

Of mysteries, wind-whispers,

And scrolls written on bone.

Dia: to be thorough, and yes,

To be thorough twice.

Know yourself Thales

Admonishes.  We are water

And stars.  We are living, breathing

Wind-walkers, and so much

More. Faces tell surface truths.

Eyes tell more.  The timber of the voice still more,

And how one walks and breathes

Betrays it all; every step

And breath unfolds your revelation

Into the world.  Pause

Every now and again,

And again, and look into the water

Reflection of those around you–

What is it about you that makes you

One of a kind, a kind of galaxy of discoveries

And wonder among a sea

Of other galaxies?  What is it you really

Perceive when you pass the mirror,

When you tell someone your name?

Know this: No matter what label you are given,

Or choose to give yourself,

No matter the name of the illness ascribed

To the story of your life, you are

Thoroughly known twice—

Once by your very own dreaming soul,

And once, over and over, unending,

By the one who pours water

Into your cells, and knows the stars

By name, ever blossoming the song of all

Into the wind.

 

 

 


 

 


All donations go to medical expenses and groceries.  Thank you for your loving support.


TransHaiku (Transgender-Inspired Haiku) by Jennifer Angelina Petro

Some TransHaiku

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

 

Look in the mirror,

The self you’ve always wanted,

The rebirth is now.

 

*

 

What is in my pants?

The question so many ask.

Revealing their fear.

 

*

 

As I shave my breasts

Making them smooth as lilies,

I adore myself.

 

*

 

Walking through the spring,

Flowers and buds are in bloom,

This I understand.

 

*

 

Swallowing the pills,

The moonlight of estrogen,

Supporting my truth.

 

*

 

I am the spring,

A revelation of flowers,

A transgender bloom.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


All donations go towards buying groceries and medicine.


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.

 

 

 

 


 





Untelling the Lies, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Untelling the Lies

By

Radiance Angelina Petro

 

 

All poetry

Fesses up

To something.

No matter

If you, the composer,

Sing of witches,

City streets,

Serbian atrocities,

Mountains, or rivers.

You reveal something

Of yourself

That cannot be easily hidden

To the naked eye

And ear.

You can try

To compose

Anonymously,

But that is like

Your breath

Being anonymously breathed

From your own lungs.

I write of aliens, fireflies,

Roots, little epiphanies,

And sometimes

Poems funnel

Through about being

Intersex and trans,

But in each and every word,

Each coma, line-spacing,

And pause, you see

Me, and know a little bit more

About me.

Let go of whether

Or not your songs

Are confessional—merely

Confessional.

You cannot prevent your poems

From showing

Your hand

Any more than you can

Stop pain

From reflecting itself

In your eyes.

So go ahead,

Speak to us.

Admit things

About yourself

That can be cleverly

Couched in syllables

And roots.  Tell us

Who you are—

It is important,

And in doing so

You are helping vulnerability

Become as common place

As shame, and, with any luck,

Even more so.

For in the same way

You cannot conceal

Yourself between the lines

Or the words,

You cannot shirk

From the responsibilities

Writing them brings either.

You see, you and I,

Each has their own sets

Of responsibilities and reasons

As to why and when and how

We write, and, over time,

We must discover what those are

Because no matter what

They are—they are ultimately moral

And in need of fulfilling,

Just as water fulfills the ocean.

Every poem ever written

Fesses up to something.

So proclaim.

Expel demons.

Revolutionize.

Attest to resiliency.

Steel entire nations

Against storms of dryness.

And as you breathe life

Into lines and symbols,

Resuscitating the word–

You

Are shedding

Light,

As a snake sheds skin.

Only the light you shed sonars

Into the atmosphere

Revealing obstacles here

Or there for others to avoid,

Keeping in mind

Some obstacles

Are as necessary

As kisses.

In other words:

People are watching, waiting, listening,

For you to speak—

To speak some truth

They always needed to hear,

But only now, from you, can.

With every poem

You write, you are helping

Each of us unlearn

What we should have

Never learned.

You are helping

Destroy the world

Of a loneliness that is pandemic,

And helping create

Soul-expanding

Congruencies between people

Of all shapes, sizes, genders,

Races, ethnic backgrounds, ages,

Economic statuses, and political leanings.

Look around.

See how much beauty

There is,

How much light

Comes to you

Or that you believe you

Draw down, or through,

Or up-from

Yourself—

It doesn’t matter

What you believe

About the origins of the revelation,

What matters is

You shine yourself to yourself,

And, more importantly,

You shine to others.

That is how we expose the lies

That need untelling.

That is how we exercise shame

Into its rightful place

Of gone.

That is how we become

Who we always secretly wanted

To be.

 

 

 


 

 


Thank you for supporting my continued transition.  Yours, Radiance <3

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


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.


Allow Me

Allow Me
By
Joseph Anthony Petro

 
At some point
Fireflies
Fade into autumn,
Their blooms
Of light
Extinguish
Into darkness;
Flowers
Drip their silken petals
One by one,
And draw
Their leaves
Inwards against
Thieving November winds;
Frogs
With their golden eyes
Vanish
From the pond’s murky edge;
Deer step through
Mist-skirted trees,
And with a flick
Of their white tails
Disappear.

 
Right now, here,
Today, your life
And mine
Are dissolving
Into light,
And at some point
We will lift
From the pages
Of our lives
And simply
Be gone—written
In the stars.

 
Thing is,
Life is long, like
A lazy, sun-drunken
Summer afternoon,
And it’s short,
Like the afore mentioned
Wink of the firefly.
Either way
You and I
Are being called

 
And we are also the ones
Doing the calling.

 
Beauty needs us,
Faith requires of us,
Love invites us
To participate
In the hum
And wonder
Of our interwoven lives;

 
And we call out—
We bring to ourselves
Open roads
And closed doors,
Everything
We want and need—
Everything
We are meant and ache
To be. And of course,

 
By the time
You read this
I might already
Be gone; I might
Be hovering
Right now
Over your shoulder
And nudging you
To smile and get out there
And amaze the world,
Amaze yourself.

 
And whether or not
I am still alive
When you read this,
You and I
Have been
Drawn together
In this moment,
At this point
In time–
And we have a job to do,
A job that isn’t
So much a job
As it is a story
That only you and I
Can tell.

 
So, here’s the thing:
I want to show the world
Who I really am.
Will you help me
Tell this part
Of the story?
And what about you?

 
What is it you
Want to do and say?
Whatever it is,
Allow me
To be with you
Either
From my place
Of light beyond light,
Or from here,
In these words–
Allow me,
At this moment in time
To be here
For you.

 

 

 


 


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Dear Dark-Hearted-Star

Dear Dark-Hearted-Star
By
Joseph Anthony Petro

 
Dear Dark-hearted star–
Shine your mystery
Into the daytime sky,
Shine your holy darkness
Onto the tongues of butterflies,
Shine your shadowed path
Into the eager eyes of bees,
And bloom a radiant midnight
Into my shrouded, keening heart,
And allow me, just once,
To travel your billowy, silken halls
And find myself in your light,
To reveal myself in your presence,
To partake of your nectar of astonishment
So that I may awaken to the bravery
To shine as freely as you.

 

dark hearted star

 

 


 

 

 





Listen

Listen
By
Joseph Anthony

 

 
Silence
We all know
You will be the last one standing.

After all the fires and floods
You will step out from the ruins
And take your rightful place
At the center of all things.

How can we redeem ourselves now
So that you will not swallow us up into your endless belly?
Is there a way you can unfold yourself now
So that when the time comes for our souls
To thaw and to lift, we won’t be so afraid when you call our names?
Is there a way of touching you now
So that when you drape us in your arms
Your embrace won’t feel so cold and foreign?
Is there a way, Silence, of getting to know you now
So that when the softening comes,
And the rendering, we won’t be so afraid
That we beg to be born again?

With all of our distractions and means
Of avoiding you we know we fear the thing
We want the most.

So please
Speak through us now so that we may learn
Your language, sing through us now
So that we may learn your melody,
Move through us now so that when our steps distill into dancing
We will fall joyfully into the feathers
Of your waiting and terrible wings.

 

 


 





Gliding

Gliding
By
Joseph Anthony Petro

 

 

The longer I live, the more I realize flamboyant pink flamingoes
Splash in the shallow, blue water of my being.
The more I move the more I sense my bones house a marrow of light.
Somewhere in my cells and those elegant strands of DNA,
The sun, the moon, and all the stars in between weave
Into one rippling tapestry of aliveness.
The more I breathe with my whole body the more I wash my hands
Of the tiresome dualities and ever-expanding binaries.
The more I take mischievous delight in skirting the margins and bathing
In a spectrum of sensual possibilities, the more I dance with recherché impulses
And experience in between spaces opening like songs on which I can ride, like
Magic carpets, and be lifted to liberated places.
The more I participate in the unclouded awareness of sheer potential,
Where authenticity breeds and freedom spirals in satins and silks,
The more I dream of angels who embrace me and whisper in my ear:
“It’s not too late. Come. There are many of us.
Glide while walking home.”