Finding the Field, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

Finding the Field

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

 

It’s there.

Inside.  And that

Is so easy

For me to say.

And for that, I am

Ever grateful.  For you,

It may not be.

The furthest thing

May be a field

Inside you.

It might be so far

Away it may as well

Not even be there.

You might be

Full of vast ink-

Oceans and fog

That moves as if

It was alive—the darkness

Might be so all

Encompassing you

Can’t imagine

Anything else in there.

Try this though—

Close your eyes, and take

As slow, deep a breath

To the count of four as you can,

Hold it gently to

The count of four,

Then exhale slowly

To the count of four,

Do this sequence three times

And then low

A field appears

In front of you, watch—

It might be golden wheat,

It might be soft green

And full of flowers,

It might be a field

Of sunflowers stretching as far

As the eye can see.

See the golden field

Sway as the wind touches

Each strand with so much

Tenderness, see how the field

Ripples with a river of joy from the touch,

See it—the sun—raying exquisitely

Humming light—honeyed

And warm; and see

Blue sky arching over

A perfectly color-

Coordinated relationship

With the field.

Notice you are

Standing just outside

The field. Realize

The wheat, the grass, the wild flowers

Nearly all come up

To your waist–

Except the sunflowers—

See them bowing their heads

To smile upon you—

And there you are just

On the edge of the field.

You reach out your hand,

And brush the top of the grass.

Now, you can either step into the field

Or you can turn around

Back to whatever it is

That’s behind you.  There

You have a choice:

Brilliant, luminous light-touched

Field, darkness that isn’t

The nourishing kind, but draining.

Whatever it is you choose,

Know this:  you now have

A field inside you,

And it will always be there,

It always has been there

Swaying beneath the breath

Of the one who loves you.

The next step is not just

Up to you.  I mean, it is, and also

There are forces–

Currents and hands

Pushing and pulling, guiding,

Persuading, nudging, influencing

The way.  And there are the ones

Who, for whatever the reasons

Cannot choose—illnesses of many kinds

Perhaps inhibit the ability to freely choose—

Those will all be born along

And cared for as they bloom

Into full health and radiance.

For those who can, and I believe

You are one of them—you

Are blessed to be able to choose. Finally, there

Appears a thousand fireflies

Floating and bobbing,

Right there, in the daylight,

Illuminating light upon light,

And whatever you do

When the time comes to decide,

Remember this: there is field inside you,

Swaying beneath the breath of the one

Who loves you.

 

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A Sunflower Asked Me to Write This Poem

A Sunflower Asked Me to Write This Poem
By Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

sunflower seed photo

 

 

Sun-kissed,
Sky-shawled,
Sunflowers
Look very different
From the way
They start out–
Little seeds tucked in hypnotic
Spirals, and yet sunflowers
Do not need to prove they exist,
They simply open
Their palms to the light
And say: “Here I am,”
And everyone sees them
And everyone understands
Seed and blossom are not
Two opposite ends
Of a spectrum,
Neither seed nor flower choose
To be what they are,
They simply exist,
And everyone smiles
And says: “Beautiful.”

 

 

You see
The other morning
I stopped to marvel
At a sunflower,
And as I stood admiring
The strength to stand
So tall, the dignity
To shine so much light
From such a round, lantern face
I heard it speak:
“I know you see me,
I know you see beauty
When you see me–
Go ahead embrace me.”
And so I did.
We swayed a moment
Slow dancing to the music
Of the early morning sun,
And as we did I heard it speak again:
“I have moved on
From husk and shell,
I have moved on
From living hiding
In the blind ground.
I am here now,
And you see me,
But did you know
There are those
Who do not believe
I exist? They ask me
To prove I belong,
They ask me to justify
My being a sunflower
Because they only knew me
As a seed.
I know you understand,
I know you live as one of us.
Help them to see.”
And so I promised
The sunflower
I would write this poem.
Sunflower seeds
May or may not know
They are sunflowers
Waiting in the wings
To bloom, in the same way
A sunflower can look back
And see it once was a seed.
For all we know sunflower seeds
Might think they are, and will never
Be, something other
Than how they presently present, and if pressed
With questions might ask one of their own:
What is a sunflower?

 

 

When is their moment
Of awakening, when they realize
They have a deep, undeniable,
Longing for light?
Is it when they finally crack
Under the pressure of trying
To remain as they have always
Appeared yet for some
Unfathomable reason know
They are something other?
Is it when their seams burst
Unable to withstand the pull
Of warmth and daylight?
Do you think it is possible
They are frightened
When they finally lose themselves
And understand they really are
Someone they never knew they were?
Do you think it is hard for them
To dig through darkness,
To push past rocks, to believe
Another life awaits, where light
Will caress their hands and face?
Or do you think they believe
That there is no possible way
A flower lives inside them?
That they are still themselves
As they weave through the dark earth?

 
The sunflower asked me
To write this poem to reassure you:
The essence of the seed is shadowed
In their faces and more importantly, it remains is visible
In their spirits, in the beauty
They express to the world.

 
The next time you see a sunflower
Embrace it gently through your misgivings,
Know nothing is ever lost—
The shape changes, the beauty remains
Only now it is held in the arms
Of the open, unconditional sky.

 

 

sunflowers tall

 


 

 

 

 





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