safe

eyes closed and unafraid
unperturbed at last
protected, secured
soaking in serenity flowing from enveloping
sanctuary, her sandy skin shielded
her spent soul covered

scrutiny nearby breathes horror
into the crevices of the night
surveillance imposes suspicion upon hapless
sojourners in the name of protection
defending what is not threatened
securing what is not at risk

in the stillness of her nocturnal refuge, she
distinguishes between safety and surveillance
one fabricates a suspect – imprisons,
the other emboldens a mortal spirit –sets it
free to soar, to claim equal place
upon terra firma – our mutual home.

***

some of the words we hear have become so familiar, they are almost like a pair of worn out shoes. have these words been used and misused to the point of expressing realities that are entirely different from what once was described?
words.
matter.
the more we hear words misused, twisted, misrepresented, the more dissonance it creates within our souls and within society.

here’s another poem in the series of lost words. this time – safe – the fourth.

follow me on Instagram: @julia_penner_zook
© Julia Penner-Zook, 2017
Photo Credit: Caique Silva via unsplash.com

 

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peace

peace.
do we really want it,
or is it a silken
syllable that slips from the
tongue in a time
when we find no other

in a time when we wish
not to appear inappropriate
in our hate
bitter in our loss
panicked in our horror
– like a place holder of sorts –

until we do our research
to strike a blow with precision
accumulate armaments
to bolster our position
gain a secure footing
from which to launch venomous attack?

peace.
is it desirable
or does its calm
soothing presence
agitate us with its
stodgy serenity

a boring kind of
companion, not as raucous
or flashy
or edgy as its absolute
antonym – the nefarious duo
hatred and violence

which can always be
counted on to cause
devastation when given free reign
to drive up markets and
to spur the sales of countless
seductive security imposters?

peace.
its not the milquetoast
mindset of the emotionally weak
or the economically disadvantaged
or those intellectually incapable
of bold intention

rather,
its defiance despite fear
comes only through the strength
of self sacrifice,
courage on a collision course with prevailing culture
and willful resistance against rage.

peace alone
fosters life in our communities
peace, not war, ensures
your freedom and mine
peace, not my right over yours
allows us all space to breathe.

***

i take a slightly different approach with the third piece in the series entitled lost words.
some words are overused; others have fallen into disrepute, as if we had become embarrassed either by their longevity or by our willful inability to actually live them correctly.
peace is that word for today, this third in the series of lost words.

follow me on Instagram: @julia_penner_zook
© Julia Penner-Zook, 2017
Photo Credit: Joseph Gonzalez via unsplash.com

protection

protection –
profound defender offering
shelter
safety
sanctuary

allowing all to breathe
rest
find refuge
regroup

protections insulating some
while endangering others,
become privilege

protections advancing a few,
decimating the rest
morph into entitlement

protections elevating the prosperity of opportunists
to the detriment of the ordinary
are nothing short of inequity

***

second in the series entitled lost words.
words we hear may sound familiar, but the meaning attributed to them has become foreign, creating a dis-ease within us the hearers.
you may think words don’t carry that much weight but
words.
matter.
the more we hear words misused, twisted, misrepresented, the more dissonance it creates within our souls and within society.
protection is the word for this second in the series of lost words.

follow me on Instagram: @julia_penner_zook
© Julia Penner-Zook, 2017
Photo Credit: Craig Whitehead via unsplash.com

compassion

at times i’m considered
the strong one
sacrificing
fulfilling sacred mission
needing neither justification nor commentary
i’m whole – embracing the shunned
welcoming the stranger
mending the shattered
my currency is mercy and grace

there are some who delight
in devious
misrepresentation
using my name while describing my nemesis –
depicting my character as weak
lawless
catering to the unfortunate
scorned for unwillingness to aid
the proud in pursuits of cowardice

come close
sense my passion
absorb the essence of my soul
wrap the mantle of my purpose
around you
uphold virtue, refusing to
revere law above love
prying loose the grip of oppression
masquerading as order

***

welcome to a new series entitled lost words.
words we hear may sound familiar, but the meaning attributed to them has become foreign, creating a dis-ease within us the hearers.
you may think words don’t carry that much weight but
words.
matter.
the more we hear words misused, twisted, misrepresented, the more dissonance it creates within our souls and within society.
compassion is the first word in this series of lost words.

follow me on Instagram: @julia_penner_zook
© Julia Penner-Zook, 2017
Photo Credit: Patrick Pierre via unsplash.com

unknowing

serenity or storm
comfort or calamity
lee or loss
hanging in the balance
of unknowing

winds shift
decisions unresolved
vulnerable condemned to
helpless places
in the grip of unknowing

until sweeping current’s flow
carves its passage, we’re
caught in the liminal space
seeking an anchor
in the agony of unknowing

daring to dream
harboring hope
aching for rest with what is
and what may be

finding peace in unknowing

seventh in a series of poems reflecting the liminal space.

follow me on Instagram: @julia_penner_zook
© Julia Penner-Zook, 2017
Photo Credit: Forrest Cavale via unsplash.com

belonging

sixth in the liminal series.

it’s possible for someone to feel caught in between – not because of something within, but because of those who stand outside of one’s experience, assessing, defining and marginalizing.
i wrote this poem to align with my lgbtq friends and members of our one diverse human family.
you are invited;
you are equal;
you are valued.

follow me on Instagram: @julia_penner_zook
© Julia Penner-Zook, 2017