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The sky is a



The kind a robin’s egg

Could say

Hey, you

My color came from you

The green is

Startling, too

As if to say


I was here,

All the time


In this humid place

Of climate change

(yes, it’s real

sorry, children

we’re leaving this

for you)

Maybe for

A change,

The rain last night

Cleared out

The steamy parts

For this morning

If so,

Thank you, rain!

When I lived

Higher up,

It used to happen this way

All the time

Clear sky after

Rain that cleans


C L Couch



Photo by Kambani Ramano on Unsplash

Sossusvlei Sand Dunes, Namib Naukluft Park, Namibia

Mother & Daughter


God’s Eyes Were Watching Them

God’s Eyes Were Watching Them


In a good way

God doesn’t care

You did it, so what

You thought this destructive thing

And then another

No big deal

Outside the gate


You did what?

God knows,

Has seen it, will only tally it

If you want it that way

But has other

Things more pressing

And other parts of people

To see without


It’s not carte blanche

For crime

Or open book on wrong

Sin is still sin

And justice hasn’t changed


But there is forgiveness

Repentance—turning ‘round

There is an asking

With a statement of


With or without articulation

Captain Stormfield came to God

Then died

Was drowned right after

The revival

We could meet him there

If he weren’t

A fictional exemplar


The real is the real

And pointers of all kinds

The hurt we cause

Means something

There is a code

With punishment

But leave it to the one

Who does each perfectly

Change the heart

Not like a bed

And enter heaven

Like a morning, after


We might be surprised to find

Blank pages in the book

Not because what matters

Doesn’t matter

But in the times

That eschatology tries


We might be surprised to find

What is remembered,

What is

Just as good as let go


C L Couch



Their Eyes Were Watching God, a novel by Zora Neale Hurston

“Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven,” a short story by Mark Twain


Photo by Wengang Zhai on Unsplash



Something Is Going to Happen

Something Is Going to Happen


Something pleasant

For a change

Something with a little spice

A little love

Things that try to set the tone

Are doing so by doling fear

Anger, hate

Too easy an agenda

Hiding other interests

While we’re distracted


Time for some calm

With which to see the emperor or wizard

I don’t mean CBD

Though that might be interesting

I was thinking maybe


And walks after

Feeding all types of needs

In consideration

And respect

Maybe we’ll find out that we like each other


And if not

We’ll have had the meal and the walk

Food and easy exercise

And did I mention who’s invited?

Everyone on Earth


C L Couch



photo by Arisa Chattasa on Unsplash

rainbow snack on hot pan


Old Poodle Plays Elsewhere

Old Poodle Plays Elsewhere


His breed lives to ten

He made it to seventeen

Not by force of will

But by force of being silly

He didn’t know his job

Was to stay alive

He was simply having fun

Goofing around in mortality

Wanted what he wanted,

Which is what dogs want

Except he never asked

To be taken seriously

Maybe inside, there always was

A puppy brain


At last, the canine version

Of Charon must show up

Taking dog treats for a coin

And he will join Old Dachshund

In the field

That bears no blood

Though there’s hunting

Good sunlight

Where play and sleep have been



Here on Earth, there are empty

Cushions and certain corners

Remembering to take bowls up off

Floor and resist the urge

To fill them

Not to listen for a bark

Or nails upon hard surfaces

Or take all the licks he wasn’t

Supposed to give


Two more dogs for paradise

While we remain in our station

Good-bye, Old Poodle

Say hi to Dachshund for us

Enjoy all the things

You can enjoy again


C L Couch



Image by Katrina_S from Pixabay


New Nicaean Thinking

New Nicaean Thinking


Fully human

Fully divine

That’s what we say

In answer to an old debate

Whose contesters have

Been dust a while

And still we say it

Because there are those who

Who want only flesh

While there are others

Who would only have perfection

Inside a ghostly presence


I don’t mean Hallowe’en

When the veil is thin

But every day, impossibly

God is only flesh

Or a spirit

I didn’t realize

(and don’t)

That, perhaps attaining

Certain saving ranks,

God could be rendered

I suppose beneath the mitre

Or in a meeting room


Though God might be outside

In holy, wild majesty

Waiting for the conference to end

To show debate instead

In hurricanes

Or life inside the vacuum

Of space, waiting for visitation


There’s flesh

There’s spirit

They stand and move apart

Or somehow they’re conjoined,

Which would be awe


Try to understand a black hole

Or transcendent Pi

Find life inside CERN

Or the baby,

Once conceived


Maybe we’ll find that we can

Create amazement, too

(I think we’ve done it)

Maybe we’ll be inventing God

As Voltaire did or did not mean

To advise,


Or we’ll say it is a better machine

Matching the workings of

A molecule or cell


Realizing dispensation

Plenary indulging


C L Couch



Photo by Don Shin on Unsplash

Stanford Dish





Food brings us together

I hear someone talking about

This on TV

I’m sure it’s true

Though I have experienced very little

Of it

There’s always tension at the table,

Over the food, convicted in

The conversation

Maybe less in a restaurant, which

Might be the answer

Or to be Italian

Or Mexican

I’ve had great meals with both groups

As families

Welcomed as a demonym

And if there wasn’t joie de vivre

(maybe I should be French)

Then what were we doing here?

We could take pills

And concentrate on something else

Life on Mars

Eating alone,

Each in a room


C L Couch



Photo by Piseth Yun on Unsplash


This Is Not a Test

This Is Not a Test

(Psalm 121:1-2)


It isn’t that the help

Comes from the hills

But that it comes

From God

It might come from the

Hills, or it might come

From the valley

Or the desert or the

Outskirts of the city or

Fallow farmland


It might come from Rahab

Or from Zipporah

Or from Ruth

It might come from

All expected places

Or from surprises,


Balaam’s donkey


Don’t box in the help

From God

There’s no container,


Let it flow like Micah

And all salient prophecy


Trust, now that’s the

Hard part

When there is no formula

Beyond a prayer

Or looking up in hope


C L Couch



Photo by David Monje on Unsplash

Girona, Spain


haiku appearing


a haiku I submitted to Freya Pickard at Pure Haiku



to learn about Freya Pickard and Pure Haiku



Freya is a devotee and artist of haiku.  I am thankful to have had my work selected by her.

C L Couch



image by Britta Gade from Pixabay


Small Matters

Small Matters



Small dog

Small death

Dogs grow old and die

Better we outlive the ones

We care for

We are small, too

Not in worth

But then, neither was he

Buddy, Bud, Boo

I don’t know how old he was

He was my neighbor

Now he’s gone

I’m sorry

He was soft

He was funny

I took a nip or two from him

(you know the kind I mean)

I don’t care

I’ve known dogs

I knew this one well enough


To me, it came on fast

What do I know

His mouth, by the way,

Was small

(maybe that’s why I didn’t

worry about the bites)

He could manage the small

Tennis-ball type things

I gave him some


Well, he’s gone from here

Dog-heaven is a destination

In a country song

And where he is for real

I’ll miss him

Not as much as she will

Her dog

His human

It’s a new connection, now


C L Couch


Thank you praying and thinking about Buddy.  (Goodness, officious announcing has rendered thoughts and prayers into specious-sounding things, though they’re not when real.)  Buddy died, quickly it seems.  If there’s power in prayer—and there is—then your prayers helped get him to his next home smoothly and painlessly.

Another pet friend of mine died recently.  Like Buddy, this one had a wonderful life, especially as irascible as he was.  This was Old Poodle about whom I’ve written with Old Dachshund (who died a while ago).  About these dogs, my sister often said “It’s a good thing they’re cute.”  I often sat for them and typically found their behaviors more amusing than annoying.  But then I could leave.

I’m sorry for Denise who took care of Buddy and my sister’s family who cared for Wiener and Schnitzel (my brother-in-law, the chef, provided the names).  And I’m thankful for humans who give good lives to pets.



Photo by Kenny Luo on Unsplash





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