a place to talk so talk I'll talk we'll talk




What if the world gathered

In small circles

As it gathers now

But the smaller circles valued

The way they’re not

Not now, given the searches for


For trending items that for now

Must matter more


What if we enjoy the ones

We really know

And see home places that are

Modest but loved as



Not exhaling compromise

But sing a celebration


Of what we have,

We are,

We are


Change to make it better

To hear a crying need

To know who’s next door because

That’s virtue and delight

In community

For all the ones who struggle

To have any


I don’t mean Americana

I mean Earth

All Americas

And every continent


As it were

As we are

At home


C L Couch








I want soft things

To be protected

May we do that


Give puppies homes

And kittens

Take care of children

Until they care for their own

And, who knows, maybe

Us older ones


This leads to causes, I know:

Feeding the hungry

Safe water for all

Shelter especially for the frightened

Though everyone needs a home

Sue for peace

When we don’t have to

Rather than rattling for war


And learning

So that all might know how to have

A world

As well as how to hold a job




Don’t forget clothing

It doesn’t make a man

A woman or a child

But it makes our bearing in

The world

Wearing a relationship

With custom


Work, play, gratitude, reflection of the



And might we support the artisans

Those who make not only

What we need but

Enliven wisdom, reflection, celebration

Of the materials

We find above or under


Inside water or through the air


I mean manufacturing, you know

Not simply things for beauty

Though why we cannot have both, I





If you think this is


If you think I am

Maybe you’re right

Curing disease was


We simply had to wait for God

Before we knew that God

Was waiting for us


C L Couch



Mystic Island Vol Fire Co Sta 72


The Secret

The Secret



I’m hunting wabbits

Quiet in the library, please

I’m on the phone

I’m trying to watch this

Did you hear that?


It’s a secret

You can’t tell

I’ll let you in

Don’t talk about it


To anyone


Does this sound good

Our own form of gnostic living

Here’s something for a few, well,

Pay your dues

We’ll let you in


We’ll let you in on it

And then you’ll know

You’ll know

Our secret



Words to say

Our relics to behold

And then


And then

Well, that’s it—what more

Do you want

You wanted in

You’re in


There’s got to be more

Well, yeah

We’ll keep in touch

And through our symbols

We’ll know one another and

Owe each other favors



Well, because now we know

What it means to carry on

In secret


C L Couch


The Formal Feeling

The Formal Feeling

(title from Emily Dickinson)


Catharsis after tragedy

The sad rush we feel, knowing

The experience is over, that we got it


That it will not happen to us

And by the way

The community depicted now is stronger

It’s after the terrible and blessed

Have both transpired

And watchers leave the scene

(we leave the theatre)

To go home, chastened and relieved

It wasn’t us

They got their due

Their nation will be better

Let’s go home


It’s not closure

(what is)

For a future ticket will bring it all to

Action, opportunity, and desire

For mortal flaws to seed

And then to flourish

And are these analogues for

Life outside

Well, for those who must

Who will not learn

By mastery of organs or

Of language

Who will not hear

And will not heed delaying paradise

So not to have it at all


C L Couch



image from a production of Hamlet, 1899


Flesh and Blood

Flesh and Blood


I tried to tally death a couple

Of weeks ago

Starting with two explosions in Kabul

The second device murdering those who

Had responded, rushing, to the first

Since then, schools have been the setting of

Murders, too

Workplaces, neighborhoods

Nature has taken part in many

Though we kill well enough on our own


The count of death is maybe not so

Useful beyond actuarial

The flesh becomes abstract

The quality in tears evaporates

The blood is in another room, not

The one in which we’re arguing

Funding and our rights to shoot each other

When and where we like


Control and majesty of black metal move

Us more than someone else’s

Daughter or son


This is not about an issue

It’s about a loss that’s real

Stolen like bounty in the night

Hell’s gone a-hunting

So ephemeral a trophy,

The soul


If this is an issue for you

Then vote for something

And in the mean time wait

Until changed forever

And on occasion wonder why

Steel propulsions have to mean

So much


C L Couch



Index of /teaching/g/circles




(starting with Psalm 96)


Sing to the Lord a new song,

Which means we should be writing all the time

Crafting notes to go with words

Consider instruments

Tempo, attitude, occasion

We have the reason

There’s no reason

A new song because creation’s always new

It crests upon us with the dawn

That is seen aboard spaceships

Over the arc of the deep-blue sea

That comes inside my house

And yours


Why do we sing so many old songs again

And one more time

Nothing wrong with that

We apply new energy each time


But we are also called to create

Beyond new versions

Why, because creation itself

Teaches of itself

Every time it rings anew


Does the dragon sing inside its keep

Does gold sing underneath the earth

In there melody inside the mitochondria

Where gene pairs harmonize




Measures without measure

Blank pages, open minds await

Hearts ready to practice

To perform all nerves aglow,

Wary of the audience

Wondering approval

If delight

Will we beat a dance that

No one’s ever stepped?

Will we step a dance

That no one’s ever stopped?






Then return to make again


With the composer of the universe

Who asks of us again

To find within ourselves

Something new


C L Couch



Vintage tambourine musical instrument 1960s | Musical instruments …

My Timbrel In the Sun

Hayley Brodrick saved





All the things I should have said

All the times I should have said

Thank you

I love you

I’m sorry

Let me help

Yes, it’s me

Yes, it’s maudlin

Though it might be useful

I might be

Maybe I should wear motley like a fool

A reminder to step out of the folds

Of an otherwise fixed and unkind people

To say instead

I’m fragile

And I make mistakes

But I’m not done

To say instead

To act instead

Let me try


C L Couch



Wikimedia Commons





It’s a day, a process

As long as many are involved

It stands a chance

But that’s the deal: we must

Come together to make it


And afterward we have a barn

And each other

All in company


Maybe the U.N. should go into this

Raising barns in needful places

And then making delegates

Raise barns in troubled places

No doubt some of the work would be bombed

And other work burned down

We have to allow

For that without ever



C L Couch



Catskill Animal Sanctuary Needs Your Help to Complete New Barn …


The Circle Will

The Circle Will


Jesus loves me, this I know

For the Bible tells me so

All of Christian theology in a

Capsule, so I’m told

And I can believe it


Little ones to him belong

Who said he will not suffer fools

It was not Jesus

He welcomed the small, the foolish,

And the outcast

I take great comfort from his


And so might you


They are weak, but he is strong

Is there strength in doubt

In cynical insight—if

So, then I might qualify for

Divine companionship

To marvel in the one who

Walks beside me


Yes, Jesus loves me

Yes, Jesus loves me

One more time, and the spell is cast

It becomes official

He has pledged some kind of

Fidelity to me

Because an invocation counts

So much so we give it once a week

That, like the bath on Saturday,

We take it, needing one or not


Yes, Jesus loves me

The Bible tells me so

Ancient lore

Interpretation of the text

Desert mothers and our fathers

Keepers of oldest insight

Dry seeds in small packages

Waiting for young water


What will be our next song, children

Maybe about fittin’ Jericho

Or whether or not we know we


Songs go back to truth,

Which is why it’s clever when

We can sing all the verses


Time for reading now

And later there’ll be play

It’s a good day in God’s land

However many rainy days

Or rungs to climb

It takes to get there


C L Couch




The original uploader was Merphant at English Wikipedia


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