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Missioning

(x = space)

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Missioning

(for Mandy Shunnarah)

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It’s Wednesday

And a hump day

Too many cases breaking out

Al-Qaeda talking up Afghanistan

Fires in California

New Apple phones

Unveiled there

I need shoes

More importantly a place to live

Local friends are helping

And good thoughts

Come from everywhere

Faroff family stands by

I’m eaten up with nerves

They eat me

Consume the calm

Like the noise above

That means I’m leaving

After many years

Too many jobs

That took up all

My energy allotment

Concentration

And my attempts to rest

And now

Semi-retired

Accosted with all that

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My heart needs fixing up

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This should not

Be all for me

Too many people

Have revocable need

I pray

Others help

With worldly substance

So much more than I have

But this should not be for me

In what I cannot do

It’s to put out fires

Help first-responders

Let go those

Who have no perspective

Build up health

Yes

It’s true

And I must ask

For all of us

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C L Couch

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Mandy Shunnarah has been writing about skateboarding and skateboarding—forthcoming book, Midwest Shreds: Skaters and Skateparks of Middle America from Belt Publishing (fall 2022).  Hers is a positive, inclusive, encouraging voice.

https://mandyshunnarah.com/

https://www.offthebeatenshelf.com/blog

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Skateboard on Dry Lakebed

Photo by Kelsey Dody on Unsplash

Alvord Desert, Oregon, USA

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Restocking

(x = space)

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Restocking

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Mid-afternoon is a good time

For grocery shopping

The pharmacists are more relaxed

More people say hello,

Sweetly apologize for guiding

Carts congenially in

Each other’s way

There’s someone close by

With whom to grieve

Products that are missing

And gripe with cordiality

To wonder what is next

For reduction if not elimination

Now, many of the shoppers have white hair

So might be moving slowly, anyway

But are the elderly polite?

Do they have to be,

Is there a law?

Rather it’s relief, I think

Knowing that the bellicose

Have already been or

Will go on later

But we can trust in these

Then there’s the way

The elderly feel deeply

That comes with age

To buffer and affirm

With civility

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In the parking lot,

Someone going in

Asked me if I were well

I said Good and you?

He said good,

Which sounds about right

To add some good to goods

Going out, the errantry

Going in

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C L Couch

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Fruit Display in Supermarket

Photo by gemma on Unsplash

Stillwater, OK, USA

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A Village Takes It

(x = space)

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A Village Takes It

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Schools in session

Offices are open

Stores

Factories are functioning

All in the time of cholera

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We have solutions

We blame the leadership,

So-called,

Whose message has been

Me first

Never you

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We can only hope

Diffusion brings

Immunity

Enough to keep a planet

Going

As after any plague

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And by the way

This is not

A Republican thing

Or a Democrat thing

Or any party

In the Italian assembly

And despots

Will be despots

Since it means

Healthcare for

Supposed elites

Never mind

The rest of us

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For the rest of us

There are risks

There were risks

When we swallowed

The polio vaccine

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In fact,

There are risks all

Around

More so for the rest of us

Who are the billions

Who inhabit Earth

And should inherit

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It’s a human thing,

You know,

Starting out microbial

Affecting animals

And now us (more)

There will be a cure

Enough

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Requiring

Behavior, practice

And that thing

You know,

Community

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C L Couch

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A woman sits with her pet in a village in Madhya Pradesh, India .

Photo by Srimathi Jayaprakash on Unsplash

Ranipur, Madhya Pradesh, India

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Monarch

(x = space)

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Monarch

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King Jesus is all

My all in all

I know he’ll answer

Me when I call

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In a final chapter of

The Last Battle,

A non-Narnian who was

An anti-Narnian for

A time,

Has met Aslan, the

Metaphor of

Christ and God

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And this young man

Is abashed

To know he has

Been serving faith

In another god

And way

And now must own

His condemnation

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And Aslan

(and Lewis)

Judges remarkably,

As only God-as-love

Can

To pronounce that

Service done well

In his life

Is counted as

Service unto him

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(sorry,

as a character

Aslan is male,

though we know

don’t we

that God is female

and male,

Jew and Greek

and more than

these)

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Scandalous doctrine?

Some

Might think so,

Saving

Saving welcome for

Those outside

The fold

As Aslan

(in Lewis)

Says is so

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God bless the ecumenical

Those who serve

That all might know

The glory

Living in

The realm of God

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C L Couch

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The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis

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“King Jesus Is All,” a traditional gospel song

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Galatians 3:26-29

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Matthew 6:29

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As Pretty As It Is

Photo by Calvin Mano on Unsplash

Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

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The Dead and the Quick

(x = space)

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The Dead and the Quick

(9/11)

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It is a day we lived

Through,

Those who lived

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Like D-Day

Like Hastings

For the English

Or the entry of the Nazis

Into Paris

For the French

Like the storms in Indonesia

That killed thousands

In 2004

Like the killing

Of a good man

In Haiti

Recently

Wrecking the nation

For a time

Upon hurricane

And earthquake

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They are history

Beyond the idiom

And by those now gone

We rebuild and build

And sometimes pledge

Anew or new

We will take greater care

Cosmic care

Next time

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We might learn

If we should learn something

From allegories that were

Flesh and bone

And blood

Except that being found

Is good

Being remembered

Parochially,

Sometimes globally

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Forever with a double

Meaning,

9-1-1

How peaceful to be by

The memorials

A quiet place to count

And then to cry the names

Peacefully

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This place

These places

Are all over

Hopes we might be united

Everywhere

For once

An hour and a day

And then for keeps

For keeping

All the Earth

And us

For longer

So much longer than

The bugled ceremony’s

Time

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C L Couch

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(9/11/21, 11/9/21)

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9/11 photographs exhibition at photography festival Rencontres Arles 2019

Photo by Fred Moon on Unsplash

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Pagan Petition

(x = space)

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Pagan Petition

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Freya of the

Earth,

On your day

I ask for

Such a small part

Of the world

To borrow

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Where I stand

Where I sit

Where I might lie down

For a while

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Yes, I mean

What metaphors might mean

Yes, I need a place

As trolls need caves

Only with a door

And a wide window

And some plumbing

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It would be home

Until it’s a time again

For wandering

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Please

And thank you,

Lord and lady of

Earth and earthiness

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C L Couch

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Reliefbüste “FREYJA”, Amalienstraße 51, Fürth

Wofro – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21650063

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Hurt Locking

(x = space)

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Hurt Locking

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Sometimes sadness

Has a weight

If I knew, I had forgotten

It bears down on the face

Justifying frowns

It pushes on the inside, too

(and mainly)

Pushing things together,

Causing pain

Along with weight,

There is the freezing

An effect that has no

Temperature

What to do next in the world?

How to get there

Through the challenges

Of sadness

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And it simply hurts, you know?

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C L Couch

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Photo by Ricardo Arce on Unsplash

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Eeyore

(x = space)

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Eeyore

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Mopey

To say the least

But if all I had was

A lean-to of sticks,

I might be

Sullen, too

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Then there’s

The tack-on tail:

I used to wonder

If it hurt

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C L Couch

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Photo by George Lemon on Unsplash

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On the First Day of the Week

(x = space)

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On the First Day of the Week

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God,

A petition for this morning

While the sky is gray

And the sun

Is in the offing

Waiting to push through

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Follow us

To catch us when we fall

Or to pick us up

Dust us off, after

Or simply be around

Because the negative is not

Enough

And if we rise with you,

A certain kind of sufficiency

Of economy

The science of

A real enough and more

May follow

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Really,

We don’t need so much

Less than we think we do

Then out of

Small largesse,

When that’s all we have,

We may help

The other

Not a sly metaphor

But a person

Real people

Real needs

Not holiday

But quotidian

Every day,

You know

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All this is real

And thankful

To be prayed

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C L Couch

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Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

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