• Assignment Number Four: Hands

    Date: 2010.12.26 | Category: Assignments, Imagining Love, The Art of Writing | Tags:

    It’s been sometime since I wrote a poem or posted a blog entry.  My mentor gave me an assignment to use the “triggering subject” of hands.  I often wonder where the words come from.  But here they are, straight from my pen to paper to computer-honest to God, I’ve made no revisions.  I can’t touch this poem (sorry mentor, I didn’t write a 2-3 page prose piece this time), not yet, not now (okay, I had problems cutting and pasting so the orignial format is off and I can’t seem to fix it).


    If anyone knows the history of “here is the church here is the steeple”  I would like to know.  I haven’t taken the time to “google” it.*



    Assignment Number Four:  Hands

    Here is the church, here is the steeple, open the door and see all the people.



    Here is the church, here is the steeple, open the door and see all the people.

    1.     Hands that pray, hands that play. Hands in the sand building castles.  Rivers of

    clay. Sand in the shoes in the socks.  Restless hands.


    2.     Mother’s hands.  Sewing. Stirring the empty pot.  Stretching pennies.  Counting

    the children, 1-2-3-4-5.  Hands too tired to pray the day the baby died.


    3.     Hands that touch to be touched.  Hands that flee.  Forgiving hands.  Hands that

    write.  Hands that reach for the sky for the blue for the moon for the body for

    the man for the woman for the child.


    4.     Hands that ache.  That can’t make the next generation of hands not hurt.  Can’t

    wash away history embedded in the hands of children or mothers or fathers.


    5.     Hands that shoot guns, detonate bombs, cinch ropes, bury the dead in the name

    of God, fighting for God against God.  There is only one God.  Hands lost in

    the name of God.  For God’s sake we must take back the hands.


    1. The veins in my hands are rivers of mud.  Stories flowing around the castle of

    hope.  Wrinkles of time gather abundantly covering the innocence of here is

    the church. Yet, I take my grandchild’s hand into my own and show him the door

    and where the people are hidden.



    Sherry Quan Lee

    December 26, 2010


    *Okay, my curiosity got the better of me.  Wouldn’t you know “Google” has all the answers, but I’m glad I didn’t research this rhyme before I wrote the poem, it probably would have been a different poem.