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Chess Pieces

Chess Pieces


On the local television news,

A black man and a white man


Share half-jokes with each other,

And they chuckle

It’s good to see the black man and the white man

Having fun

How much of it is scripted? I don’t care

It was real enough

For local news

And my heart, today


The monarch of what I am

And what I want

Thinks and feels protected

And a little rested


C L Couch



Hans / 22248 images



Young Athlete in Pain

Young Athlete in Pain


Lord, I don’t know what to do

The pain is bad

Shall I try hot or cold?

But it’s all kinds of muscles

The ones I think with

Play with

Occasionally make love with

Everything hurts

Everything is bad

That’s pretty simply put

And how I think

And how it feels

I don’t know what to do, Lord

Please help me

I don’t know if it’s an angel

Or a miracle

Or simply something I haven’t thought of

I don’t claim to be smart

Not now

When pain takes over

And my thinking’s overloaded


It’s not going to be a good day, is it?

A good year,

Good life?

How hard have I made it all?

Forgive me, if I’m faithless

Forgive me if I’m rude

It hurts is all

It hurts very much

And I get sidetracked or benched

(or bench myself)

From my better calling,

Please speak to me again

I will try to hear

And if my ears don’t work,

I have other senses


You could even tell me in a dream

Though that’s hard for me

I tend to think that dreams aren’t real

Once I’m awake

Even ones that have me wake up



Hear my voice, O Lord,

Even when I’m not speaking

I’m sorry, I should really believe that

You will reach out to me

It’s not magic or a game


It’s your way of being perfect

I must believe

I must love


It’s just that it’s really hard today

It was hard yesterday

I don’t know about tomorrow



Sometimes I don’t know what else to say




C L Couch



By Carlos Delgado, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Marta López being treated off the pitch at the Spain Handball All Star Game 2013, held in San Sebastián de los Reyes, Madrid, Spain.


Make Like Knights, Just

Make Like Knights, Just


Dames or sirs

Let’s all be one or the other name

Or come up with a new one

For those whose errantry

Takes on charges toward an

Earth of fairness,

and all her people one

I’m not saying blood or rank

Far from it

Though blood might be the cost,


Which is instantly ennobled

On contact with an air, foul or fair

Split from flesh while questing after

Nothing more than

Quotidian liberty,

The balance that we’ve

Sometimes heard

Our prophets talk about


C L Couch




Rosa Parks with King, 1955

National Archives and Records Administration Records of the U.S. Information Agency Record Group



“Turn Back, O Man, Forswear Thy Foolish Ways,” a hymn by Clifford Bax (1886 – 1962)


Flat Earth Society

Flat Earth Society


Who decided that the Earth

Should have four corners?

Mapmakers, I guess

And a poet who could not resist


We make metaphors

So that something new might have

A meaning

Like the first day,

We need to separate night from day

One shape from another

Have touchstones for the texture of the thing


So that when

We hold something we don’t know

And wonder whether to feel squeamish

Or maybe grasp a little harder

As in the embrace of

Someone we haven’t seen for a while


The world is made of figures

(no need to fold it over;

take it as it is)

and the way to comprehend them

Is to line them up

Get to know them into metaphors, the similes

Induction to deduction,

We have

A rosy familiarity at last

We settle into something like a star

A source of light and radiance

Every place that has no pleasure

In the dark


C L Couch



By Konrad Miller – modified version of File:Karte Pomponius Mela.jpg; form Mappae Mundi Bd. Vi. “Rekonstruierte Karten”, Tafel 7., Public Domain,

An 1898 reconstruction of Pomponius Melas view of the World.


What Happened to Wonder Bread

What Happened to Wonder Bread


To my shame, I used to ask for it

As if the store-brand bread were not enough

Admittedly, this other kind was softer

I enjoyed biting it

Sometimes making little doughballs out

Of a slice


I think that it became a racial epithet

In color, it was truly white

Too bad, though I think the product still is made

And epithets, they change

The spite remains the same

Regarding colors of all kind

Too bad

We really are more interesting than

Spat-out words

I don’t blame anyone

I blame everyone

Except maybe the hungry child

Who was entering the world


C L Couch



By uploaded by Koman90 at en.wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by SreeBot., Public Domain,

Wonder Bread company logo (part)


One Thing I Forgot to Mention

One Thing I Forgot to Mention


I pray for the victims

Every one I hear of

On the news or on-line

On the page or when someone

In the room tells me

I pray for them to come home


And if I learn

I’d rather not have prayed for one

Too bad for me

The soul is not my bailiwick,

Thank goodness

Spirits are not on my plate

In my scale pan

Or wherever

That is someone else’s charge

The one who does it perfectly


So I pray

Briefly, mostly in a straightforward way

Depending on concentric circles

From my heart


I’m only human

I have favorites

But then I also need to keep in mind

The universe is biased toward gravity

God is biased toward love

Perfection mollified

For me

For you

For all of us who need the chance

Of human fallibility

To make it home despite the storm or any conflagration,



C L Couch



Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic (Syriac)





A hospital on fire in Gettysburg

A fatal crash on I-83, a driver in a Jetta

Having collided with a tractor-trailer

A woman indicted for drowning her child

In a toilet


Thirty students fight at John Harris High School

A school assembly tries to respond

A driver of an ambulance sentenced

For speeding then running down two people

(no sirens at the time)


How to save money running prisons

In our state

The incarceration rate in Pennsylvania

Exceeds that of Russia or Turkey,

So says the auditor

Jail fewer people, he asserts


The national shutdown is into day 27

Eight hundred thousand people are not paid

Many reaching out for public services

And “hardship withdrawals”


A story is upcoming about adopting pets

Then a commercial break,

During which I think


I see too few now

Hannah was presented me by a friend

When I was interacting with more people

All over town


But this is what’s important, as reported

Snow falling later on today


C L Couch



Dawkins, Henry, -1786? – Library of Congress Catalog: Image download: Original url:




(stand alone or maybe work together)


Today is what I

Have.  Tomorrow is far off.

The wind will take me.


I’d rather have the

Cool breeze and warm air to take

Me to tomorrow


Will you join me in

Tomorrow?  We’ll need each other’s

Company today.


C L Couch



Dirk Ingo Franke – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.0 de,

Buller, Erin (11 July 2008). “Capturing the Wind”. Uinta County Herald. Archived from the original on 31 July 2008. Retrieved 4 December 2008. “The animals don’t care at all. We find cows and antelope napping in the shade of the turbines.” – Mike Cadieux, site manager, Wyoming Wind Farm


Small Reveries for a Tuesday Afternoon

Small Reveries for a Tuesday Afternoon


The coffee pours like witches brew

Twirling steam as in a cauldron

Or frozen nitrogen,


For a movie or a manufactured haunted house

How can I help but think of magic

And then

A million years ago


I don’t know what was happening

No one does except

The players and, well, you know

If one can speak playful of one’s



There was no time

No word, machine, or measure

There was no language but

What was spoken in the trees

Or as the water met the oxygen above

A dance of air


Creatures spoke

We know, we study their voice boxes

And the whole thing about the trees falling

In forests without our presence

Yes, they make noise

As nearly all things do


Our attendance is not required

Our participation does not make belief

We may try to lock up faith

But like ancient sounds

That happened without us (I’m saying)

Faith has a purpose for all senses

We can shut it out

Its existence remains unaffected

And all songs, all expressions of it



Yesterday, today, this moment and—

Until apocalypses—

The next one


The final time will measure

All things unmeasurable

And render choice a quiet science

All pointing and all chances done

Because what has been signaled

Will arrive


Though grace will last, I think

Up until the consequences

And a little after

In the denouement of


We may choose

Once more for forever


C L Couch



This picture shows a fossilized dinosaur egg. Just below the dinosaur egg is a ruler to help get an idea of its size. Dinosaur eggs have been found at over 200 different sites around the world. For more interesting information on dinosaur eggs check out our dinosaur fossil facts page.


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