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

The Gift of Seeing Our Breath

The Gift of Seeing Our Breath
By
Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

I.
As a child, as summer slipped into fall,
And the first frost shrouded the grass in little, dissolvable crystals,
I would go outside first thing in the morning
And make my mouth into a wonder-filled O,
And breathe. And when I saw my breath
Spill wispy veils upwards into the air, like so many unfurling ghosts,
I rejoiced and ran in my footy pajamas back to my bed and covers,
To contemplate this most marvelous thing.

 

My friends and I walked to school back then,
And on the first day it was cold enough
To see your breath, every few steps
One of us would say: “Look! I can see my breath!”
And we would stop and we would see and we would say:
“That’s so cool!”

 

This morning I saw a little girl step from her front door,
Make her mouth into a wonder-filled O, and breathe.
I just caught the look of amazement in her eyes as I drove past.

 

 

II.
What a gift this being alive, this being able to see our breath,
This casting of feathery nets that needn’t catch anything into an invisible sea of blue,
This gentle launching of ships of clouds—
What a gift to live in amazement,
What a gift to be able, on the coldest of days,
To be reminded we are alive, we are warm in here,
We are message bearers sharing silken signals,
“This is mine,” we say, “and I share it with you.”
We are makers of clouds and shepherds of little flocks of adventurous sheep,
And not a single one of us breathes alone,
We share the breath of those we fear
And those we love, as summer slips into fall
And the world becomes shrouded in frost,
And coldness touches everything—pause,
Let us make our heart into a wonder-filled O
And breathe, letting our warmth spread defiantly into the cold.

 

And one day when we breathe our last
Our spirits will spill upwards in feathery spirals
And be carried on the shoulders of the breath
Of the living, and we will rise, our souls shaped like
Wonder-filled O’s, and we will slip into the arms of angels
Who will bear us back to a bed of softest down,
Tuck us in to rest, kiss our forehead
And whisper, “Rest now. Tomorrow is a new day and there is much to do,
And many people to fill with amazement. ”

 

 

 


 

 

 





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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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Tradition Three

Tradition Three
By
Joseph Anthony Petro

 

In the space created by gathering together
Tangled bundles of nerves loosen into usable threads of stories
Whose intricate plots become the fabric of hope;
Thunderous pasts and futures soften into the holy silence of here and now;
Knots of shame and sorrow unravel first into heaps of relief
And then are braided by wisdom into lifelines for others to grab hold of;
Springs of tension and rage wind down into shock absorbers
For the carriage of the heart;
Shells of human beings break open into birds of freedom;
Ghosts shimmer back into their bodies and bones reassemble
Taking on the flesh of experience and rise from the dead;
Dissonant chords of not knowing what to do
Resolve into melodies of mistakes and laughter;
The stormy seas of self-condemnation calm into self-acceptance
As we give ourselves over to the hands of another;
And no one has to step out onto the waves to prove anything
To anybody, and everyone in the space created
Stays in the boat and rows, while love dances on the water
Gathering us together in the sun-drenched wings
Of mutual aid.

 

 

 


 





A Living Bridge

A Living Bridge
By
Joseph Anthony

roots of trees 2

A Living Bridge

Right now, this very moment,
Roots spread vast interwoven networks
Of lace and hands held in intimate solidarity,
Fingertips touching in honest exploration,
And filaments gathering nutrients
From underground rivulets and raindrops,
And then, these divinely rooted roots, in their total,
Moist and cold darkness, allow light
To draw the sustenance, lift
The sustenance up through the body
In the slowest possible pulse of sweetness.
This is all happening beneath our feet
And our uncommon awareness. But know it now
And then do the same with your sorrows.
For your life depends on it,
And there are others in darkness,
Doing their best to hold on.
And there’s more:
Tress not only radiate below,
Expanding in darkness,
They radiate above, outstretched and planted
In sky, extracting nourishment from the surrounding sphere
Of influential light, drawing it in
Through their reaching and holy availability,
And then they transform their daily bread of sun
Into air for all living things.
Do the same with your joy.
With fragrant, open hands, share the wild fruits
Of self-awareness, and the colorful leaves
Of letting go into the moment,
And the sheer strength of being there,
Day in day out, steady and true.
Be a living bridge between below and above,
In the clear space of listening and speaking,
In the shared truth of existence sway
In jubilant wonder, dance
In the holy middle of being alive.

tree sycamore


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