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Take Down the Cosmos from the Shelf

Take Down the Cosmos from the Shelf


It might be morning

Sing us a new day, please, O Lord,

And ministrations of the angels

Slough off dead leaves

From trees

And unliving skin cells from our bodies

Renew everything

And let all organic detritus

Feed what is living now


Maybe it takes more than miracle

To renew the Earth

Let alone start new life on other worlds

We won’t know until we get to these

Or receive their emissaries

Maybe in meteors and microbes

For a start


Is it all expanding,

Then what happens next?

Who’s to say it doesn’t slingshot back

To start it all again?

Or that something won’t be surging

From the center, once there’s


Like black holes we have found

In the middle of known galaxies,

Which might be feeding

Something that will birth among the stars

As stars

For introduction to new layers

And new ages

Bright leaves as pages

For stories we would have never

Otherwise conceived


There is some faith

And magic of belief

In all that’s startling

Ancient tome and

What is behind that

With a virtue and a prayer

We take it

Songs inside muscles

Here is creation


C L Couch



Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash



I Give You This

I Give You This


I give you this

Because I haven’t washed a dish,

A piece of flatware, or a glass

I give you this

Because I will not clean the car

Because cleaning it never, ever comes to mind


I give you this

Because I haven’t ironed shirts

I give you this

Because we should starve, based on

My inefficiency when shopping


I give you this

Because I cannot do much more

And, as I age, that will only increase

I give you this

Because I have a moment, if a moment

To try to get it right


I give you this

Because I love the world

But fear so much that’s in it

I give you this

Because of all the mistakes I haven’t made

And apologizing early doesn’t count


I give you this

Because I do not know you

But I’m sure I love you

And I give you this

Because it might last more than a day

It might be left behind

You might love this

And give it to another


C L Couch



Image by djedj from Pixabay


Prophecy through Senses

Prophecy through Senses


Does God know us

Through our senses,

When we see and hear and touch

And smell and taste each other?

Does God need us for this?

How silly is the sense of smell

But without which

Taste would be disabled?

How does sight deceive?

Who listens as one should?

Who understands the learning that

Comes through touch?

God gave us these

And gave us work and play

There is so much more


But God gave us time as well

Chronos and Kairos,

Maddening how fluid

Or cut off

On the plain

Before we reach the mountainside

That takes us to cool, final places


C L Couch



Photo by Jennifer Latuperisa-Andresen on Unsplash


Happy Thanksgiving, Canada!


Kitchen Sink Ritual

Kitchen Sink Ritual


I turn on the hot water

And am thankful

I leave it on

Then wash some dishes

It gets hot

I leave it there

I hadn’t thought about it

Until a friend came up to dry

And told me how hot I

Let the water run

I trust his opinions

Maybe it’s masochistic

Scalding demons

Cleaning out the sins

Ersatz baptism


C L Couch



Photo by Florencia Potter on Unsplash

Buenos Aires, Argentina


Fun in the Foxhole


Fun in the Foxhole


I can’t imagine the experience

Ever, ever, ever, ever

Being entertaining

There’s death so near

Peril in every intake


While death companions

Other kinds of war

Experiences, too

By a design, it must seem

From nature by a

Predation of the elements


Then on each other when and where

We first throw down peace

Because parochial victory

Is a shinier aim

Fool’s gold can make that

But there might be joy sometime

Whether or not decreed


Decreed it was

The truce that broke out for Christmas

When the trenches could not

Hold hate enough

And must give way to silly, life-

Giving, temporary treasures

Shared in hand-grips (no longer strained

by guns)

And in games

Talk in whatever language

Enmity turned ally for a day


Too easy to

Beweep our outcast state

To isolate ourselves with agony

Truly earned, deserved

Loss that will not have an end

To emptiness until all


Mortal and divine

Is done


Call it or call it after

But might there be some pleasure from

A moment of sensation?

Something to say

Yes, that was funny

Yes, I’d like to share a cup of tea

And maybe eat something

Yes, there’s a holiday

We can have it

Or avoid it

Then make our own

A mischief tyranny of joy


I’m not sure what I’m proposing

Cheer, giving over something

Sliding the weight along to let it out

Maybe no one has to know

Only the few who understand


Maybe a public moment,


To say, we grieve

We must

But there’s a turning

Pushed in Ecclesiastes as

The time to dance

And while in ancient times there

Could be dance for death,

Our dances go more joyfully,

I think,

Which is a good modern choice


C L Couch



DeFacto – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Football Remembers memorial, designed by Spencer Turner, at the National Memorial Arboretum


Not a Judgment Call

Not a Judgment Call


I think you should have

A wonderful day

You deserve it

You’ve been working hard

And if you haven’t,

Well, that takes some skill

In a world where

Busyness has become the virtue

This is not about perfection

No one can have that

This side of things

It’s about a treasure you

Don’t have to dig for

A reward for living through

What has gone before

What is happening now

It’s a reward for living

Believe me, have earned it


This is not a moral judgment

Not my purview,

Thank goodness

Not today

Not now


If you’re good, then that is

A treasure, too

If you’re so-so, then there’s a long

Bench for all of us to sit on

Join us

If you’re bad

I mean as a quality

(you’re that committed)

Then something will find you

I won’t have to

And you can have this day as well

No charge


No charge?

Well, that’s not right

It’s the cost of what went on


And a little something to leave

For the living, after

Even for tomorrow, while

We’re all here

And while you’re here

I think you should have

A wonderful day


C L Couch



Photo by Artem Kniaz on Unsplash

Kopernyka Street, L’viv, Ukraine

I took this photo on Lviv street (Ukraine) last summer. Such scene appears in this city every year above road, that is why it was a little bit hard to take this photo, cause I must lay down on road, but it was busy by cars, so I waited until street will be free.


Lifting Things Now Matters More

Lifting Things Now Matters More


I’m rocking out

My lower back

How things rock out these days

I must look a fool

I do not care

I might be doing something therapeutic

Might not

Might be doing nothing but

Expending energy

Don’t care

Either way, I have something to do

I’ve had to learn to say ouch

I’m not so good at it

Not out of heroics

Partly out of curiosity

That overwhelms when

Something new has happened

Partly because

I was told about

Silence and virtue

Long ago

By a teacher who was tired, I think

Stuck on a bus of us

On the return field trip from

Young people’s symphony

William Steinberg, conducting

What adult would

Want to hear the calls of children


So when she said

Good children are quiet

Well, I heard that

And never was the same,

Which is all right

There were enough at home

That less noise from one

Would go

Like good spelling

Totally unappreciated

So, yeah, there’s that

I rock


C L Couch



Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash

Gambaru CrossFit, Brazil




(keep trying)


I’m sorry for the fire

Sorrier for all the hungry people

Were the lady to advise us

Though worship is important

Starving is not conducive


There is no medieval lumber

Tall enough to do the job

Of the first beams

That is fine, we can go with something

Like aluminum

That will not rust or

Easily catch fire (again)

But organic need cries out

Toward another kind

Of construction

Empty people

Feed us


What shall we say,

There are too many now

And now there will be many more?

Maybe we need to reach up

Further than vaulting

Ingenious plans

Already on the table

We have the means for everything

Tall churches, too

Because we won’t have Paris

Not all of us


What shall we have?

I think you know by now

Ages of temperament

And we are less impaired

Have garnered so much more

The answer in the


When we ask


You know it starts with will

You know everything worthwhile

Begins and ends with shall

Then will


C L Couch



Photo by TAN Erica on Unsplash


Clean Your Room

Clean Your Room


I don’t know what was the timing,

But every now and then it was

Time to clean our rooms

My mother said

I don’t recall how long it took

Things looked impressive, after

I never could keep

The look

I’m sure I wondered why

But now it’s people

(imminence and remembrance)

I have to sort

Place on a shelf or in a box

I’m not good at closing things

Walking away without

Leaving open cupboard doors

And drawers

(lids of boxes)

Leaving depths



C L Couch



Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash


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