Raised Hands – by Rob Love

robWritten in protest of police brutality and in remembrance of the
brothers and sisters murdered through excessive police force.

It’s gotten cold again.
That familiar frigid feeling where lifelessness grows thick in the air.
Spare us the talk of seasons, this seems year round.
The sound of rapid heartbeats slowing meets with earth
shattering silence to make the soundtrack of our sorrow.
The last waves of heat waft upward.
The light, salvation appearing unreachable.

We raise our hands.

Maybe we can catch just a bit of it in our palms.
Maybe we just have questions that need answering and
our conditioning tells us our hands must go up first.
Maybe with lies no longer supporting our world we are trying to catch falling sky
in a moment of survival inspired instinct thinking we can bear the weight.

Don’t shoot!
Why are you shooting?!
I’m just taking the shape of shooting star aimed downward.

Trying to infuse something human into this unrecognizable mess we call…
Yes, I called the police. I was scared, but I didn’t think they would kill him.
Yes, I discharged my weapon.  I feared no longer being feared.

Why did he run?
Was he running?

It looked like he was doing an unusual dance to a strange beat.
Like he was using his feet to clear a path to something different.
But any possibility of change must be dispatched without regard and
a hardened soul starts to pull triggers they lose count of how many shots were fired.

How many bullets needed to penetrate flesh like seed in ground?
What urges inanimate forms to animation?
The rhythm of truth is constant.
Still there are masses frozen in fear.
It’s cold out here.

Love is an action.
A step,
a leap,
a shift,
a motion.

Rising like the elevated notion of creation.
Our bodies are celebration personified!
Our raised hands are not a submission.
They are a sign of divine ambition, of indestructible will.
To keep reaching for something appearing to beautiful to be real.

Warmth is descending again.


~ Rob Love

Poet Rob Love is a Kansas City, Missouri native and has been writing poetry since 2007. He has self-published one collection, Ready to Rise.  His pieces have been featured through Black Art in America and Cowbird.com and in collaborations with the Center for Digital Storytelling and UMKC Conservatory of Dance for Salon~360 and a performance at The Folly Theater.  As a mentor, public speaker and poet he aims to reach youth and adults alike in order to cure the voicelessness that grips our communities. For him, poetry isn’t just a passion, but a purpose to be fulfilled.  The goal will always be to elevate, enlighten and inspire the whole of the human family.

Guest Editor Z. Hall is a poet whose work features ekphrasis, and explores race, gender, and culture. She is an essayist and has served as a PEN Prison Writing Mentor. She is currently a writer-in-residence at the Charlotte Street Foundation. As an art writer and scholar, her peer-reviewed publications include works on Beyoncé and Jay Z’s ‘Drunk in Love,’ the field recordings of Stephen Wade’s “The Beautiful Music All Around Us,” emergence of the Christian film industry in Lindvall and Quicke’s “Celluloid Sermons,” and the political cartoons of the 2005 Muhammad Cartoon Controversy as rhetorical art, among other works. Hall is the Executive Director and Producer of Salon~360, a monthly, Kansas City regional event that brings together artists whose work focuses on challenging societal issues, for which she was awarded an ArtsKC Inspiration Grant.

3 thoughts on “Raised Hands – by Rob Love

  1. The whole poem is a powerful testament of life. I had to reread some of the lines to let them flow over me with their truth. “Our bodies are celebration personified….” My favorite.

  2. Rob, I found your poem very moving and thought provoking. (I think there may be a typo in the last line, “too” rather that ‘to.’) A beautifully written poem.

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