I talk you talk we'll talk


October 2016

Mid-Atlantic States’ Autumn Afternoon

Mid-Atlantic States’ Autumn Afternoon


Soon it’s three o’clock:


My favorite hour at this time

of year,


when daylight starts further

to fall, because it’s set to do so


When stark-yellow transports

will go by


smooth and grumbly under


billow-clouds with cotton faces



They say, laughing while we

run for porches that have



Enjoy this grey day


Its lack of definition presses

romance through everything



an amber sun

Bread Alone

Bread Alone


A crumb set on a windowsill by a wayward mouse

Seen through the dust, returning to grab up

The part of grain


Clever mouse

Hungry mouse

Field mouse—headed back where it belongs


Leave it alone

It’s an old house

We might need an ally

You want to be in the right place, too


C L Couch

Next Thursday

Next Thursday

(for my friend)


How are you?  What’s

up?  I have an operation

to excise a tumor:

is that normal

talk in our coffee shop?


Do you mind?  I can’t

feel it, but it bothers me

a lot—I think I can


manage until then, though

it gets hard, you know?

You don’t?


You’ve never had this

in the flesh?  You’ve never

Felt the fear?  I could

Wish I were you!


Have to go?  I understand:

no, I’ll stay here for

a while, have

another cuppa.


I like today’s blend;

it smells, well, it smells

like oily health.


Yum.  See you.  See

You tonight?  Well,

if you can make

it.  If not, well, I guess

I’ll understand.


C L Couch

Today’s Pain

Today’s Pain


My eyes hurt.  Parts

are swimming.

Parts are dry.  Maybe

with more sleep.



C L Couch

Morning Dark

Morning Dark


morning dark

it’s longer now

and night arrives


longer time for

black sky to have

its way


and in equinox-

thinking, this is



for we should not

fear the dark,

since there is

dreaming there


C L Couch



(for an October prompt)


Tolkien liked trees

Robin Hood, too;

Tinkerbell and Tiger Lily,

I imagine,

Providing shelter

And playing fields

For lost boys


I like trees


Two of these peaked

High like towers from

The wide suburban plain

Of the backyard,


Splindly reaching toward

A clouded sky on

A Pittsburgh summer day


There was wind

At night, and upon the

Morning in the yard

One tree had fallen


Large across the lawn,

Tall on the ground

Sibling standing over

As if to demonstrate their


Weeping willow


For many days

I had climbed into the

Guard now dying,

Onto a lumbered platform

That my father built


That lay square among

Round branches

Inside uprooted, plodding


Of grass


First time for me

With something monstrous

So close, so wrong


C L Couch

Psalm 51 (one more song)

Psalm 51

(one more song)


Create in me

A clean heart,

O God


And renew

A right spirit

Within me


Cast me not

Away from thy



And take not

Thy holy spirit

From me



And some remembrance


My favorite part

Of psalms

We number at

One hundred fifty,

Paradox in fame

And intimacy


This are teaching,

Which means



We need God

For new creation

To point to


That in practice

Becomes science



I need God for more

And cannot

Question merit;

Good work matters

But grace invites



The chamber

Of my soul

Has many parts

Open for



I don’t know how

Spirit of God


And infiltrates


But my soul will take


When a spark of you

Is born in me


C L Couch




Shapes that never flew,


clean lines that don’t



eccentric shapes of fifty,

sixty years ago,


of older sci-fi movies,


of Méliès and Lang;


I put my spirit-child trust in


far-off, far-out



through times and places

that I ken

at night when

looking out to dream an

open sky;




mind stowed above shined

shelves of

unknowing, rhythmic,

turned controls that

take me


nowhere, really;


back of the senses, though,

that day by day must


and engage—

there’s unerring flying


as is said,


believe you me;


rocket to a set piece,

yes, I know; and

I’ll keep


dreaming of silver-streaming



that might bear

you and me

away into otherwise


impossible flight-filled night


C L Couch

Homely Patterns

Homely Patterns



The textures look good,

Fetching shadows made by

Leaves that brush

Morning panes;


Utensils drying in the

Countertop basket, like

Bright soldiers

At ease

Anticipating dress parade;



Things lined up above

The sink, ordinary

Items as



Symbols mean the whole;

Here hopes rest

In half-light perceptions


First-morning moments

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