Leaf Plea


A leaf speaks: my trunk,
you know I nourish you
high on you or fallen

Juana Rosa Pita

As leaf upon a stem, I fed my tree
with sunlight I converted into food
of sugars it could use for energy,
to help in reaching higher altitude.
And when my stem-grip loosened and I fell,
I still could feed my tree from on the ground,
and do this differently, but just as well,
by turning into food when greens had browned.
But modern men, obsessed with tidiness,
wanting mown lawns, uniform and neat,
consider fallen leaves to be a mess
and rarely leave us for our trees to eat.
O leave me where I am, for my tree’s sake!
Let it consume me! Banish now your rake!

DSC_0421 2

Mario A. Pita

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Solar Orison

You teach me, Sun, it’s wonderful to shine,
though human beings shine differently than you.
I know your light’s more luminous than mine,
but I hope that it shines through things I do.
You also show me that it’s good to warm,
for life could not exist without your heat,
and though my heat is of a human form,
I hope that it may warm the ones I meet.
You keep me humble, as the things I’ve done,
and all I’ll do, burn like a fleeting match,
compared to you, dear life-sustaining sun,
of light and warmth I can’t begin to match.
I know I’ll never match your light but pray
that I may shed some light as though a ray.

House of Parliament Sun, Claude Monet, 1903

Mario A. Pita

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On edge, we live our lives as on a cliff,
aware our time will come to fall or leap,
a time when supple bodies will turn stiff,
and we may go to everlasting sleep.
And differing advisors say we must
believe exactly what they say we should,
so when our bodies are reduced to dust
our souls won’t burn but go to somewhere good.
They add to life’s afflictions with their threats,
instead of lessening with love its grief,
reminding us we’re intertwined like threads,
relaying beauty to a time that’s brief.
We’re at the precipice where death will shove.
Please catch us as we fall—O God—O Love.


Mario A. Pita

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Chromosomal Bibles

The chromosomal language for the book
that told a cell how to assemble you,
as if a chef with a recipe to cook,
has billions of words, so it knew what to do,
and as you formed, each cell received a copy
for it to know its function and its place
in your construction site that wasn’t sloppy,
so you developed at a timely pace.
To me, that volume is a holy text
that varies for each one of us on Earth,
instructing fetal builders on what’s next
so that construction culminates in birth.
I feel our planet’s holiest of tomes
are scriptures written using chromosomes.

Chromosomal Playground

Mario A. Pita

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Cosmos Scripture

Some think You spoke two thousand years ago
and haven’t spoken that much ever since,
and think a book tells all we need to know.
This bookish way of thinking makes me wince,
for You’re the author of the universe,
not only of an ancient scripture’s text,
so I’m surrounded by Your holy verse
and always wonder what You will say next.
But sometimes life appears to make no sense,
unlike a written book that I can read,
a mix of present, past, and future tense,
and not confined to any human creed.
Outwitting rabid dogmas that have bitten,
I strive to read the universe You’ve written.

Swan Constellation 2

Mario A. Pita

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Like butterflies we capture in a net,
we tried to capture You within a creed
and felt we were the only ones to get
the truth for everyone on Earth to read.
Like lightning bugs sequestered in a jar,
we kept You as a creed we could recite,
where You can’t shine as flying, living star,
and everyone is wrong, yet we are right.
But I feel creedal jars can’t hold You in
as You’re beyond what people can define,
and all we say can only just begin
to brush, but never capture, what’s divine.
O, Love, we’ve tried to trap You in a creed,
but I feel You’re beyond what we can read.

Boston Suspension

Mario A. Pita

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The narrow way is where I meant to tread,
and badly failed, yet in the world that’s wide,
I don’t believe You’d have me live in dread
for my shortcomings and not being wise.
My path was like a branch that has been sawed,
so I have fallen from my former trail,
yet in this flesh with which my soul is shod,
I feel that You won’t fault my being frail.
But just as lengthy rivers reach the sea,
meandering through channels, wide and narrow,
I hope that this applies as well to me,
on circuitous trails, unlike an arrow.
Though my way isn’t straight and narrow, God,
may I reach You, like rivers, curved and broad.


Mario A. Pita

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