“Justice and Mercy” and other poems by R. Diaz

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Ryan Diaz is a writer and theologian from Queens, NY. He holds a BA in History from St. John’s University and is completing a MA in Biblical Studies. Ryan’s work has been featured in Tempered Rune Press and The Washington Institute. He lives in Long Island with his wife Janiece.

Dedicated to Breonna Taylor; on the day she was denied Justice.

The gavel bangs. The sound rings
hollow and empty, robbed of its weight
Justice sounds superfluous,
it’s power for the few, for power
remains with the few and so justice rings
hollow for the many.
And those who hallow its name
in fact profane and curse
their very object of worship.
For the god that they worship
is no god at all.
It bears the trappings of God,
it sounds like God,
but it is not God;
for God’s name is Justice
and Justice has been denied,
spat on and shattered,
demonized, vilified,
God is unrecognized. Nor is his cry,
They reply,
“LAW and ORDER!”
They deny,
they distract,
they dismiss
the God who cries with those who cry,
The Father cries,
The Son cries,
The Spirit cries,
The Faithful cry,
When will THEY give HER
Justice and Mercy?


Dark and cloudy was that fateful Saturday;
Heavy were her eyes, filled to brim with dismay,
Cold was the chill that ran along her spine,
Bloody were her knees as she kneeled to pray-

And shut was the maw of that white washed tomb,
Polished marble shining in the dim light’s gloom.
There she sounded prayers, silent and raging,
Seeds watered with tears, desperate to bloom.

Her hair was damp, rain nestled on her crown,
Brighter than all the earthen jewels in-ground.
The heavens adorned her in radiant light,
Creation groaned, joining her in breathless sound.

Grief laid her to rest on a bed of dew
And as she slept she dreamt that her seeds grew;
Flowers growing up from that white washed tomb,
Arraying its walls with splendorous hues.

She awoke to the sun sneaking over the hill;
Juvenile beams of light asserting their will,
Warming her face, she felt the touch of a hand,
And together they danced in the daffodils.


“I look to the hills, for whence comes my help,”
He muttered beneath the silent pass,
Gazing upon a moonless heaven,
Contorting his hands as if at a mass.
Frayed knees met the wet and hallowed ground
As his dirty hands reached out for the host,
hanging, waiting, suspended in air,
For a sign, a touch from the Holy ghost.


I gaze upon the Black Christ, darkened by the-
Soot of petitions, the incense of-
Bodies and souls and soiled robes. Prayers that-
Have stained Christ’s face over the years. Prayers-
Whispered and woven with gallons of tears,
Confessions, regrets, laments and silence,
Bathing him, a holy baptism,
Blackening his marble effigy.
I gaze upon the Black Christ, darkened by the-
Sins committed against black bodies and
The violence that tears families a-
Part of me wonders if he hears the sound-
Or in solidarity does he bare-
For all to see the sign of his person,
Blackened and battered, whipped and beat and mocked,
Evidence of his divinity and
The realization that blackened bodies-
Bear the Imago Dei, his dignity.

From the Editor:

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