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Holy, Holy, Holy Days

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Holy, Holy, Holy Days

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Holidays

Are holy days

The changing of the y to i

Means that’s it time

To shop

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There are fantastic Christmas passages

In The Dark Is Rising

And Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

You should read these

And read them

To each other

It could be a new tradition

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While you’re at it,

You could read

On your own

With a ceremony

Number the Stars

And The Giver

With an ending that

My students argued

Without consensus

And so we wrote the writer

Who wrote back

To say

She was impressed

That students cared so much

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That story might end

At Christmas time

Not that the time must be

Sectarian

There is room (Spare Oom) to share

And the world’s time

Is always its own

Happy holidays

Happy holy days

However you work these out

Delight

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C L Couch

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The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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If Not Charity

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If Not Charity

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There should be more:

God, will you have

More?

There is great need

Awful, tearing need

As if a maw

Like all the mouths we fear

Should swallow us

God,

Will you meet us there?

Charity begins

Where charity begins

We don’t interpret well

Who cares

Take up the toys

Gather in the food

Say something special

Better to be doing it

And saying it

What is giving

Don’t wait for philosophy

If you have a dollar

Or a handkerchief

You might be rich

You might be on the sidewalk

Where I called you

Says the Lord

Our God

Who is our God

And preaches mysteries

Though love is clear enough

Share it

Keep it well

Pearls planted well inside

The ocean of our need

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C L Couch

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Photo by Gabrielle Mustapich on Unsplash

Emerald waves from above.

Tofino, BC, Canada

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13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

. . .

(from) Paul’s first letter to believers in Corinth

King James Version (and the tongues of people)

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Brother Cat

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Brother Cat

(about Hannah, rescued on Hanover Street)

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I was the brother cat

Sometimes father

Sometimes mother

We could get confused

You were the sister cat

Doubtlessly

Though you didn’t seem

To mind it

When I used Your Majesty

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Sister queen cat

Cat with an attitude

Little cat

Who acted big

Alpha cat

When there was a beta

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Funny cat

You were so serious

Except when you weren’t

You’d run out the door

And up the tree

High enough for me

To reach you

Bring you down

Hold you ‘til we were both

Inside

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You were the cat

Who gave me cues

For petting

And for making

Entryways for sleeping

Out of blankets, though

Mostly out of me

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I could work

As long as you were

On my lap,

Which was your strategy

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A challenge came

When people came to call

If they wanted you,

You would check out their laps

Sometimes their faces

Generally, be slow and still

More so

Than you were with me

Or if you weren’t sure about

Who was visiting,

You’d jump up, pour into

My lap

And from there

Stare at the suspect

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For nineteen years

You were remarkable cat company

Despite the allergies

I miss you

And would have you back

In fact, occasionally I see you

In a blurred and catly place

Inside the corner of my eye

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C L Couch

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yesterday I read “Sister Cat” by Frances Mayes

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Photo by Sourish Trivedy on Unsplash

A super good-looking lion (like me of course [photographer talking]) enjoying an evening on a cool rock in B&W!

Maasai Mara National Reserve, Ngiro-are Road, Kenya

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A Count of Days

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A Count of Days

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The Sabbath comes

And in ten days

And counting more

Is Hanukkah

Lights and chocolate

Latkes and other gifts

Of earth

And from each other

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Blue and silver

Days and nights

The nights show off the lights

That show the miracle

When we got our temple

Back

To find it desecrated

And no fuel for lamps

We lighted them anyway

And they burned eight days

For us

And for our faith

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We’re not perfect

We need to keep commandments,

After all

That remind us

And our neighbors

And the world

But we own miracles as well

As the menorah

And the gifts

And the food

And the blue nights

Shall show us

As the first time

The grace and love

And strength of God

For us

In faith

And you

In yours

If we may say,

Welcome to our festival

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C L Couch

9th of Kislev (after sundown), 5783

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Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

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Everyday Protagonists

(x = space)

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Everyday Protagonists

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First day

Of the tenth month

To the Romans

A Thursday this time ‘round

Named for Thor

(all the time)

It is near noon

There are yellow sunbeams

On the floor

I am thankful

For the light

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I imagine it’s cold outside

It’s cold inside

I don’t use much heat

I ran out of cream

And the wrong thing was provided

Now I have it

For the coffee

That is cooling to the left of me

With toast in a bowl

Close by

While I try to write

Trying not to make it sound

Too diary

Or Prufrockian

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Spell-check likes Prufrockian

So there must be a following

Well and good

Like Babbitt

Or Rabbit

Please Don’t Eat the Daisies

Diary of a Mad Housewife

Or Mad Woman

Erma Bombeck

In the pit

Dave Barry

Any who might live in Winesburg, Ohio

Ingesting Dandelion Wine

From time to time

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Our heroes are

The normal people

Ordinary people

Look to the left and to the right

You most likely won’t see Wonder Woman

Or James Bond

Sometimes we needn’t look

Because the heroes must be ourselves

Called to action

Called to serve

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The firefighters

Front-line anyone

For whom there is no reward

When the cost is life

Or in an easier but a self-determined way

We could say inconvenience

A step out of life

That otherwise is quotidian

The same

To make the call

Offer the handkerchief to blood

Turn to

Large or small,

Help another

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Too obvious?

Maybe

Who are the heroes?

Mostly,

They are us

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C L Couch

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Photo by Andrea Sánchez on Unsplash

Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico

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The God of Sleep

(x = space)

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The God of Sleep

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Morpheus?

No, that’s for dreams

I’ll have to look it up

How about the Sandman

For the present?

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Sandwoman

Sandperson

Spell-check doesn’t like these

But whoever

Might come to call

For some obeisance

And a following

Whatever ritual

(save sacrifice of something

other than me)

To make

To have the next several hours

Gone

To Elysia

Or Parnassus

Where I could learn to draft

With poets

Or anywhere that keeps me quiet

Unaware

In the world

Of you and me

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C L Couch

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Hypnos—I looked it up—is the Greek god of sleep

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Photo by Brina Blum on Unsplash

Sleeping French Bulldog in the Sun

Weisenau, Mainz, Germany

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summation

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summation

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its been a day and i havent told you anything ive been in pain and there has been some amelioration through being still and water food when I was hungry

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ive been praying prayers as time rick goes by for welcome home to those whove died healing for those in hospital or in pain for reasons that take us other places or simply to the heart and mind and spirit of a promise

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now the day is over night has drawn nigh to paraphrase another older song more sleep for you less pain for you more health in the morning or reverse that if you work at night third shifting

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c l couch

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photo by gilberto parada on unsplash

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Frances Perry

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Frances Perry

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Today is my grandmother’s

Birthday

She made it to 92

Not bad in my family

She thought Excedrin for pain

And a banana once a day

Were good for long life,

Otherwise living each day

With whatever

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She had agendas—don’t

We all—but

She might have been

A simple person

Driven by impulse

That life in the Depression drove

Also by other, better life

Secured

After

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She was the one I knew

Her husband was a good man

Who died when I was

A teen

And everyone was gone by then

Now the parents’ generation, too,

For some time now

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My siblings

Have had to forge their anchors

And to cast them on their own

In hopeful waters

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I’d say they’ve done well,

While I record

Some things

About them all

About us all

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Remember to

Set down your stories,

Too

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C L Couch

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“Migrant family from Arkansas playing hill-billy songs. Farm Security Administration emergency migratory camp. Calipatria, California” 1939

By Dorothea Lange – This image is available from the United States Library of Congress, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4450129

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O Sweet, Majestic Lord

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O Sweet, Majestic Lord

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O to invoke you

Oh to complain

Or sigh as if

I could rest

Upon your feet

Or lay my head

On your knee

It’s not worship

I know

But it would be amazing

To rest on God

This way

And feel the cloth

And flesh and bone

Beneath

Because the one of you

Who has these

Could come to me

This way

And I could sigh into my sorrow

And hope to

Sanctify my dreams

While you might

Accept my tears

Not as libation

But as something honest

Offered

Of myself

For a change

And for a change

Reverse the pietà

I want to rest on Jesus

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C L Couch

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Photo by Boudewijn Huysmans on Unsplash

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