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

To Parkland Youth

To Parkland Youth

(Florida, USA)


I’ve worked with teenagers forever

So it seems

And I’m glad


I like precocity


The plain way teens tend to speak

Reminding me of why I like to walk

The streets of Pittsburgh, for

Pittsburgh people speak their minds with

Measures of respect with

Arrowed expression


And when I’m with youth, to say

Don’t forget to be fifteen,

Sensing some relief

All around


Being teen is good, and acting real is


There are things you don’t have to

Own because you’re not there,

And this is good


Which is not to put you down but to raise up

All the growth that


In delight, frustration, error, joy


You should be free to

Know what to leave and what

To take with you


Should not be a thing for you

That we can’t let you finish adolescence

And so enter

The rest of the world


You have to step in now

And you shouldn’t have to


You have to act as two generations

And there it is

And for all I like you

And because,

This is not right


C L Couch



First-Class Delivery

First-Class Delivery


A teacher in Ghana

Writes a computer on the board

Components rendered in

Chalk because the real

Things are nowhere near, and

There’s a national test about

Computers that the

Students must pass so they

Can go on to high school


So he makes a semblance of

Machine parts and program functions

And maybe his learners

Will have a


Microsoft sees this and makes a promise


We can speak of dedication and be right

I think he’d rather have all the real

Things in three dimensions that

He needs so he can offer


Learning and for life


C L Couch


Ghana teacher chalk computer

The story behind the viral photo of a teacher in Ghana showing students Windows on a blackboard





The glow from civilized light

In a fireplace

The touch of living yellow

On everything that’s in

The room

And the writer sits at table

Beneath another light

Scratching on paper, leaving


It is a scene, a tableaux vivant

It brings to us a reason why

Home is so important

It cradles inspiration

Reminds why we co-create with God


C L Couch


A Saint Patrick’s Day of blessings to you.




By Halves

By Halves


When we are revealed

In diaspora

When we are outcast

Of Earth


When all we have is gone

Used up to stay alive


When there is nothing more than

Scant hope, threadbare-blown


Then we might turn to each other

In remembrance

Of promises we never


Wishing we could know each

Other now


C L Couch




File:Wstega macha.png – Wikimedia Commons


Tell Me a Story

Tell Me a Story


Blue lights

And silver magic

Castle ruins inhabited

By cursed creatures

The hero comes to help

Can she or he save the day

Or better

Save the night


This is what I want

And where I want to be

Will you take me there

To leave me for

A while

Read to me, and let me dream

The pages into life


C L Couch


If We Dance

If We Dance



a circle and a cross

the symbol for Earth has the cross inside

but this is close enough

to know

the movement is planet-wide

there are things that

don’t need new reason

for dealing with the ancient one


there is gender

women number more

the feminine make up half at least

of who we are

one by one

and altogether

who are we without

we are not whole

we countermand creation


what other gaps cannot be filled

with sex, yes, and



we are strong

and strength will out

muscle and what’s beneath

indifference energized

to charge the fight

for what should be evidential reason


someday a woman will preside

over the table

as a woman did, once

and long ago

inviting her will be


by then

let women rule

no let about it

women can and will


seek the alliance now

call it marriage


partnering or

of a presidency

in place and time


call it quits on

masculine oppression

give up the gate

that she has managed age

by age

the less-than-half survive

through what she does

the rest, the most

already know


let her in

before she keeps the rest away

celebrate the whole one

we can be


C L Couch



iwd 4






While I slept, I slept

It’s not so easy anymore

Being tired isn’t enough

I need to know something was


While I was awake

Nothing monumental

Something small will do

Something small I might have done

For you


C L Couch




(note—yes, I saw the movie recently)


Nature and human come

Together for a sabbath day

A wilderness of possibilities set

Apart for eternity

The beauty in Amherst might



(she’d say it better)

Today I might be walking—

Will you walk with me, too?

Only if the crowd—will

Not be walking with you


A host of dashes hers to call

She commands them

Connections between words and a

Cosmos of actions

Options that will satisfy

Her divinities


We try to be friends—Emily,

The Lord, and I

But there is majesty in others and

Other entities to which

We must relent,

After the final time


C L Couch


beauty in Amherst

Terence Davies on the Hugeness of a Confined Life in His Emily Dickinson Biopic, ‘A Quiet Passion’



Tomorrow Look for Litany

Tomorrow Look for Litany


Quiet nature

And it’s not

It’s noisy—screeching, scratching,

Tearing, flapping, crying out

In pain or loss or delight


It’s an uneven, all-textured

Unbalanced affair

Not all spheres are smooth in space,

Not every nest has beauty


There are scars and broken limbs

That bespeak mortality

But could we have it any other way


There is math in the nautilus

And harmony when mourning doves

Begin the day in need

Conversing with each other:


Come, join me

In this tree, set with me


C L Couch


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