Sounding the Fist: A painting and poem while sorting through the rubble


Sounding the Fist

A silent bell rang out this week in Mexico

Summoning the attention of exhausted emergency teams.

Brown, bloody fists steady in the air shouted out quiet

On behalf of a child’s whisper or a tapping on a desktop

Where the young students were buried alive.


The dirty, callused fist rising in the air

Captured attention of loved ones faster than the seismograph.

Parents held the familiar voices of their children silently

Praying that the uneven plates in their hearts might be healed from the shifting

When the earthquake piled up rubble around the children.


No matter our skin color or what buries our voices

The raising up of our fists challenges, inspires and evokes change.

We open up our memories when civil rights were young

When black fists lifted up uneducated people in poverty

Aching for a better life from under the debris of racism and rubble of hate.

We all grieve the voices silenced by lynching and gunfire in schools.


We are reminded this week of tender fists that rose up

Women who searched for equal pay and rightful voice and a chance to vote.

The fist in the air draws us toward silence where fear speaks so loudly.

The human fist also a megaphone of hope when words get caught in our throats

Freeing voices squelched by racism and misogyny and sheer hatred.


The manicured fist rising in rainbow colors from Stonewall

To the historic flooding from Katrina where black fists carried white flags

Where the pain of acceptance and human dignity

Washed up against blindness and apathy.

Courageous voices speak up when fists challenge injustice and bloodshed.


Silence was the loudest word cracking open darkness this week

On behalf of children’s whispers that rose to the surface to loving ears

Or tapping from students buried sitting in desks

Learning of the colorful fear of racism, violence and hope

Just waiting to lift up their fists in class because they already knew the answers.



3 thoughts on “Sounding the Fist: A painting and poem while sorting through the rubble

  1. OMG, Ron—yes–Sheri told me of the impact your homily on Sat. eve. made–with the raised fist
    metaphor to be able to hear the voice of God [Himself and through others] A

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