Stop for a Moment

Stop for a Moment
By
Joseph Anthony Petro

 

 

Listen:
You never were
Anything less
Than you are now, and yet,
One day, one day sooner
Than you think,
You will be so much more.
It isn’t simply a matter of perspective.
It is more akin
To falling in love with yourself.
How can this be, and what
Does loving yourself
Have to do with anything?
Close your eyes.
Please.
Breathe in the image
Of a seed sleeping in the earth,
Hold it there a moment—
Now breathe out the image
Of a tree crowned with the sky.
Wonderful.
Now breathe in the image
Of a bird’s egg,
Hold it there a moment—
Then breathe out the image
Of a bird, in this case an owl
Gliding with a mantle of stars
Over a moonlit marsh.
Tell me:
How is a tree—sturdy
Yet swaying, rooted yet reaching,
Not an image of the earth
Loving itself into the sky?
How is an owl, a heart with wings,
Not an image of the night
Turning its head around
To look at itself in pure astonishment
And admiration?
You were once a zygote
And now you are reading this
Blossoming into your life;
You are what loving your neighbor
As yourself is all about.
You are a seed-spark growing,
Reaching, branching out as a body of light—
God’s own flame
Dancing in a hearth of flesh and bone,
And one day, one day sooner than you think,
The flame will leap from the room
Of your life and become an owl of astonishment
Perched in a tree crowned with the sky
And sleep all day in a mantle of clouds,
Waiting for the night to fall in love
With itself again, so you can drop
And express yourself in silent flight
Swathed in moonlight and a hunger
That is both holy and full of becoming more
Than you are now.

 

 


 

 

 





Any donations go to me, trying to write for a living and pay the bills. 

Along the Way

Along the Way
By
Joseph Anthony Petro

 

Along the Way

 

I will fumble for the right words,
Old ideas I’ve built around how I think
Everything should go will crumble,
And there will be no doubt that again
And again I will stumble and fall.
I will bumble a big deal.
I will mumble telling the truth.
I will grumble when following
Someone else’s directions.
My thoughts will become entangled
In a jumble of feelings.
And through it all, the stomach of my soul
Will rumble with hunger for You, and You alone.
Along the way, which is of course, here and now,
The earth will be calling my name,
And as I draw closer to You, You will somehow
Tie heaven and earth together as I kneel
And allow my self to be lifted and placed
Securely in the lap of the way it is,
Where all of the fumbling and crumbling,
Stumbling and bumbling, mumbling
And grumbling, jumbling and rumbling
Will settle where it needs to be,
Which is in the sacrament
Of the present moment and me being
Humble.

 


 

 

 





Runner

Runner
By
Joseph Anthony Petro
I am a runner. I have spent my whole life
Up to this point running from things.
Pain, for example. I run from pain,
And the past, the future, and the truth
Of myself. Sometimes I run long distances
Before even realizing I’m running; but there I am
Running—things flying by in my wake and there’s no time
To lose. Sometimes the road gives way
And a ledge or a wall suddenly appear
And I find myself collapsing out of nowhere
Into a ball of exhaustion and shame.
Sometimes I run headlong into the very things
I am trying to avoid since they feel
So strangely familiar. And sometimes
Time does the running for me, like
On the days I lose myself staring at the ceiling
As the summer afternoon runs by my window, like
A ribbon of light filled with the sounds
Of children playing and lawn mowers
And passing airplanes.
Lately, another more tragic truth has revealed itself:
I also run from things no one should ever
Feel compelled to run from. Things like
Joy—pure, unadulterated joy. Joy that encompasses
Pleasure both earthly and heavenly—joy
That doesn’t know the difference between the two;
Joy that includes perfection and imperfection,
Fullness and emptiness and once again,
Could care less which is which. Joy that’s comprised
Of puddles, whimsy, praise, and just the right amount
Of mischief. And most of all a joy constituted
With divinity—the steady, ringing divinity
That shimmers just below the surface of all things.
Sometimes I run from that very joy.
Today I see and accept that I am a runner,
And in this moment—this one, this one right here
I choose to pause, collect myself, breathe and focus
And hone in on joy. I see it up ahead,
It looks like a field of darkness illuminated by a carnival of fireflies,
It looks like a horizon blooming with light and song.
I see it. I breathe it. I taste it. It’s there.
So here I go, I’m running again,
Only this time I am going to run straight towards joy,
And I am going to keep on running
No matter what anyone says or does not say,
No matter what anyone does or does not do,
No matter what happens or does not happen,
No matter what appears to be or actually is—
I am going to keep on running until the running
Becomes dancing and then I’m going to run some more
Towards what I was and what I am created for.
I am a runner and I am going to run towards joy.

 

 


 


Thank you for supporting the Wonder Child Blog


Allowing Birdsong

Allowing Birdsong
By
Joseph Anthony Petro

There is a softness
In the pain
Just big enough
To crawl through
And cry, like
A baby.
There is a softness
In the pain
That opens
Just wide enough
To allow birdsong
To filter in.
There is a softness
In the pain
That you can
Sink down into
Without any thought
Or care of what anyone
Thinks or says or does,
Where you can surrender
Deeply into the coldness
That is a broken heart,
Knowing it will end,
It has to end. The pain
Cannot last forever.
And the softness–
The softness will gradually
Begin to radiate out
Encompassing things, like
Love, mercy, self-acceptance,
Determination, other people,
And the growing ability
To allow yourself
To be happy.

 



Thank you for your support

 


 



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


Thank you for your kind donations to help keep the Wonder Child Blog up and running.

Subscribe today


 



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


Thank you for your kind donations to the Wonder Child Blog

 

Subscribe today.  🙂