baited, yet unabated

she rises to speak.

they continue with
faded phrases,
regurgitated rhetoric,
inflexible ideology,

every utterance
evidence of inner turmoil–
residue accumulated from sojourn on
a groaning planet.

neither demeanor nor language
suggests credence given
to speaker’s artistry,
journey, wound.

the root of bravado lies 
carefully hidden, cloaked with
rehashed words that flow
unreflected, unhindered.

we bristle as unruly interruption
increases, silently wary that we, too,
carry disquieting entrenchment in our own
self-declared righteous cause.

nothing will change
until we become convinced that we
who share our sacred
earth, all members of
one human race,

cannot continue to
classify each other as “them,”
distinct from “us,” labeled as
“antagonist” instead of “ally,”

for truly all of us are “we.”


Reflecting on a rally calling for thoughtful voter participation which was marked by significant heckler activity. Inspired by the rendition of poet and activist @GenesisBe, I choose a healing stance.

© Julia Penner-Zook, 2018
Photo Credit: Simon Buchou via
follow me on Twitter: @J_Pennz
follow me on Instagram: @j_jpenner_zook


5 thoughts on “baited, yet unabated

  1. I just wanted to say That you are a kind, compassionate and caring woman. You show concern for All Human beings No matter race, ethnic Group or religion. So many People choose to Live in a bubble indifferent to the suffering of others. Your writing has touched my life.

    Obviously we can’t dwell on sadness and despair but on the other hand we can not look away. Little things like volunteering to help those in homeless shelters, animal shelters, Veterans homes or residences for the disabled do make a difference. Even small donations to qualified nonprofits help.

    I wish that more People would be empathetic to fellow humans. Reach out and get to know People from other cultures. You’re a Wonderful Woman.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. DeBorah what a wonderful response! Thank you for taking time to share. I’m so gratified to hear from you. We truly are more blessed to be connectors than dividers, acknowledging grief and pain, but always with the goal of finding hope. I wish you a beautiful holiday season, however you choose to and can celebrate. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks. The greatest gift for my brother Stephen who has Autism is for the two of us to be together for Christmas.

        We’re both in our late fifties, in fact I will be 60 in February but time is most important for us. Stephen is very humble. He almost never asks for stuff. Many times he will just sit close to me even putting his head on my shoulder. Our sibling bond is strong.

        Liked by 1 person

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