I talk you talk we'll talk


May 2016

Ask Any Soldier

Ask Any Soldier


“When your friend

Gets killed, part of you

Gets killed”


A testimony and

Remembrance for

USA Memorial Day


Which I can only

Guess is right since

I have friends gone

In other ways, and

They and those parts

Of me yet feel lost


To lose through war

When targets seem

A random strategy:


Colors, shapes, tribes

On a map or guessed

At over a hill


Loss of life or partial

Life must feel


The height of

Unselected cruelty

On a pillar of



If a citizen salute

Might count, then

Listen to one


Expressing in

Tribute to

Patriot sacrifice

And personal

Complexity in



Thanks is not enough,

So memory is offered


And legacy of

Better nations


C L Couch


(quotation from the AHC channel)

Neighbor House Afire

Neighbor House Afire


I saw the newspaper article:

It looked like someone else’s



But it happened to them


Before newspaper-reading,

I received the message;

Something caught fire in

Their garage then, needing

Room, the fire flexed


Garage gone now—the car,

Too, the house and who

Knows what else damaged


Fire out, three days now


Insurance is good, my friends

Tell me


All are well; the cats were

Rescued first by the one

Human who was home


Now in alternative shelter,

Plans by all in unison are

Made (except the cats who

Make their own), even while

Breathing takes over again


Pray for my friends—they’re

Raw in crisis


And I won’t presume to know

All that they need

Psalm 45, singing this song for you

Psalm 45

singing this song for you


I don’t mean to sing about the

Other, compelling as that value is


I don’t mean a covered-over me,

Secret subject I would rather

Talk about


I mean you, first—my friend,

Lover, maker, and my better


Half (so to say) except that you

Are all


Now, secondly, to you, who you

Are extended from the words


Were it not for you, there would

Be none of this


For all you are and what you are



The rest is not silence (should

Shakespeare wonder), not if

There’s Interacting


We are at this moment closer to

The one who, all-relating, started


The first process, requiring more

Than one

Red Sky at Morning

Red Sky at Morning


The Coast Guard claims

dangerous waters off the

coastlands of Northern



The Guard is right, of

course—and will that alter

our decisions for safety



Well, I can hope so


But it seems to me that

warnings of danger mean

a challenge, a contest

to some,


even an extraordinary

holiday from which some

shall not return after


A last holiday—for some,

not me, too appealing

Fatima, Medjugorje

Fatima, Medjugorje


When Mary appears,

The sky dances


Circles of light and faith

Are made


First for children


There are those who

Doubt, which doesn’t

Matter (though the

Doubters matter)


God loves them, and

Maybe God’s mother will

Visit them sometime


And if you don’t believe

I love you, still


Maybe we’ll all gather

At Guadalupe where

Grown-ups can see

Her, if innocent enough


Though I’m never sure

If that means me


Better Kilig

Better Kilig

for Rosema


my friends in Tagalog

tell me that kilig means

tingling anticipation

right before sensation


and then the sensation,



a good word revealing

prospects of all kinds

of pleasure


God invented this, you

know—and if thinking

about God and pleasure

seems out of sorts to



then let’s re-think




Rosema is A Reading Writer,

Art in Anxious Time

Art in Anxious Time


I’m anxious and it’s

hard to write


art expressed in pain:

I don’t know how

those artists do it


maybe it’s big fear

and nihilistic agony

that keeps them

going, that prompts

expression that might

change the world

and everything



the gardeners at

Hiroshima and

Nagasaki must

accomplish this


I have small pains

and many things that

trouble me—yes,

sometimes they are

bad as in raw—

unformed, unfixed,


though I think the

only one that might

be changed through

treating these in art

is me


still, through all

the small-town

clay-house conflicts

I might strive to

express something



something that might

relate to you




(the teacher and good

sport in me should tell

you that clay house

is a Puritan metaphor)

Psalm 44, a sleep-song

Psalm 44

a sleep-song


I nap and still am tired

Good, maybe I’ll sleep

Through the night

Napping was necessary

I was too sore and too


I could have stayed awake,

I guess,

Except I couldn’t


Will you still love me when

I’m gone away?

I mean, eventually I’ll

Be closer to you than

I was ever before,

Than I am now:


I like you and respect you

I seek to be near you

Is this ever enough to

Bring a dream of you

Or, dreamless, a

Long time of sleep

Because I’m loved


Throughout this night

That you have made?


I can hope so

Not because I’m smart

But because I’m yours

Psalm 43, miracle-song

Psalm 43



a miracle of unexpected grace


I paraphrase while reading a

line of text, which in fact ends



but maybe that is what miracle

is, unexpected science and

grace, an unplanned gift from



which we need so badly (or so



no judgment in receiving, who

is worthy (who is not), no more

than in evaluating the giver


something is saved, and that’s

what matters:


material of miracles making up

the rest

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