unlikely embrace


 icy air knocks
breath from
unsuspecting lungs
lethargy into
mental lucidity –
or quite possibly, simply
questions of the heart.


unlikely embrace

the muddled
mind struggles to
grasp the hidden
mystery of
light and dark
tangible and spiritual
love and hate
plenty and want
pain and comfort
torture and healing

no matter the effort
there is no escaping
the confusing
collision of
treachery and peace
fear and trust
consumption and contentment
pursuit and retreat
slander and blessing
judgment and grace

quite impossible
to reconcile
the jarring
dichotomy of
alienation and belonging
weeping and laughter
violence and nurture
superiority and subservience
disillusionment and contentment
hope and despair

it’s easier,
to have one
or the other
– give me right or wrong
black or white
up or down
hot or cold
great or small
important or insignificant

just never
allow one to
dwell alongside
the other
in peace – they say –
for that will
most assuredly result in a
that cannot be
……….predicted or

despite unrelenting
grating contrariness,
a gasp is heard,
how long?
for what reason?
will it end?
does it matter?

to question
is to hope,
to believe,
to be human,
to aspire to more
than tired
self-serving platitudes
blustery attitudes of
certainty and self-professed

one voice –
at first faintly audible –
emerges, becoming
a chorus
of unlikely
swelling from
bitter lament
rising to declare
all is not lost!

in mystery
the breadth of
human experience
is embraced,
inviting paradox
along with conviction,
reverencing grandeur
not above humility
honoring every person – every experience –
as valuable, beautiful, lovely.

© Julia Penner-Zook, 2015
Photo Credit: Stanley Tay – Pinterest


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