International Journal of Appreciative Inquiry


On Fear

by Robert Neimeyer

In fear’s noose
we stiffen, freeze,
build walls between
self and other

We place ourselves
under a protective order,
lock down,
shelter in place

We sense threat,
pull back, cut off,
safeguard a self under siege

Fear is about
hardening the body,
focusing on the threat,
harboring the hurt,
running from imagined loss

It is about
fencing … distancing … censoring
saying goodbye

It is a world of
limits … orders … alerts … masks

In its grip
we strangle the life
struggling to be born

Acknowledge fear


On Faith

by Neena Verma

the quiet call of soul
an invocation for life
in grief and growth

We hold ourselves gentle
In our own embrace
snug and soft,
safe and strong

We sense life
and feel light
and sing in silence

Faith is about
being in surrender
to not-knowing,
and staying awake
to what wants to happen

It is about
sitting in awe and avowing

It is a call for
letting-go and letting-come

In the darkest despair
hope illuminates
and life calls

Invoke faith


On Loss

by Neena Verma

In loss’s clutch
we writhe, wrench,
slide with despair
in cracks and crevices

We drown ourselves
in the ocean of despair,
lose breathe,
cry, search and yearn

We feel numb,
frail, fragile, frightened
longing for affirmation

stifles all senses,
blinds vision,
invades with pain
intrudes with grief

It is about
knocking on door
that wouldn’t open
about clutching-on

It is a cave
dark … dingy
fear… anger … sadness

In its grip
life gets smothered
yet wants to resurrect

Accept loss


On Love

by Robert Neimeyer

In love’s embrace
we soften, flow,
bridge gaps of
self and other

We usher ourselves
into broader fields,
open up,
invite others over for tea

We sense possibility,
step up, reach out,
affirm our common bond

Love is about
releasing the body,
broadening our vision,
remembering the joy,
sensing possible growth

It is about
meeting … sharing
saying hello again

It is a world of
play … touch
iguanas … elephants

In its caress
we nurture the life
yearning to be born

Choose love

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