I talk you talk we'll talk


October 2016

Teal Pumpkin Project (haiku)

Teal Pumpkin Project

Leave un-allergenic treats

On Hallowe’en porch


Services with Variants

Services with Variants

(from Appalachia)


I wonder as I wander

Out under the sky

Why Jesus, my Jesus,

Did come down to die


For poor on’ry people

Like you and like I

I wonder as I wander

Out under the sky


And then the story can begin in

Earnest—the grammar’s bad:

What does that really matter,


When the bias is for long and

Almost painful, loving notes

Wrought in the words to send


Them over; all the o sounds and

The is like convict souls, once

Held then let go like winged


Enchantment, soar above the

Planet in the room, to wave

Like smoke around the beams


Above the Sunday evening

Gathering, like convicts bound

Whose chains are broken with


No expectation, words and

Notes released like birds once

Wrapped by keepers’ hands—


In flight now to know no other

Mission than the erring sky

And song of wonder-wandering



“I Wonder as I Wander” (Appalachia)

Words and Music collected by John Jacob Niles

Collected by John Jacob Niles in Murphy, [North Carolina,] in July 1933 from a young traveling evangelist Annie Morgan.  According to Niles, he asked her to sing the song repeatedly until he had memorized it. It was published in his 1934 Songs of the Hill-Folk.


and “on’ry” is ornery, which is a good word

Red Crescent

Red Crescent



What’s left behind

In towns, on plains of blood


And everywhere

In the west

Of Asia


They look for

Our families taken


The rents of war


They offer drink

Give food

And in the desert night

Leave warmth

Around the victims


Soft-bright shields

Drawn with symbols


Did you not know?

Red Crescent complements

The awful need


Quranic teaching

And impulse

To save the unknown





I don’t know much about the world

It seems

I wish it were better


I’m offended

And I’m angry

Who really wants to care?


We have other things to do, less

Pandering to moods

Chosen when something more promising

Could be selected


Another code pressed on the emotion

Vending machine

I wonder maybe we have a number of tokens

And then the rest are gone

For deciding badly


For too-small convictions

When being noble in an un-ranked way

Would make the difference


Would light the factories

Would illuminate

Pockets and portals of prosperity

Nether (never) world

Intentions hide


Give it a chance

A two-step beneath the table

Smiling for no reason


The joy in dawn-split morning

Or romantic night

The splendid times when

In spite of rusted gags and


Joy breaks free

Five Minutes Monday Morning

Five Minutes Monday Morning


Eleven fifty-five,

What’s left?

Coffee made, suburban meaning

More?  Well, make a list,

Check—check the list


How much of it’s repeated?

Breathe in, breathe out

Better now the weather’s changed

Autumn’s here at last, I think

Cooler, clearer air


Or I can pretend

How much of the difference is inside?


But there’s anxiety in the pit

Well, it’s Monday morning


I used to read five-minute mysteries;

Five-minute words—I

Believe it could be worse





There is a square

Upon the


That has no sides


There were

Three walls more

Like pillars, a

Doorway, and more


There was life, and

I could name each

Part: mother,


Neighbor child,



Spry forms that

I could see

And touch; now




I’ve come back to

The place


I heard it had

A name;

I no longer care




What the frog enjoys

Each day nascent on the pond

When we wake stories




Your word for today


Pronunciation: /ˈjoipad/ Definition: an input device for a computer games console which uses buttons to control the motion of an image on the screen


The Unforgiven

The Unforgiven

(over three hundred now)


Matthew kills

Two hundred eighty

In the place that Papa

Doc abused

Where the recent

Legacy of earthquake

Leaves homes

Waiting to rise

For five years’ passing


On toward Florida,

This is not

The succession of an

Apostle but the

Random naming of

A storm

That, anonymous,

Would rise and fall,

Slam and flood, beat and

And take the

Breathing from too

Many enfleshed

Fragile souls

Blue Ice (photo by James Barkman)

Blue Ice



Two words I’ve wanted

To put together,


Never thought I



With real substance

In back of

The metaphor (though

Metaphor, I know, is

Power enough


Then I see the


The image

Of it resting on

The water


In a frozen

Clime where all my warm

Impressions of Earth

Are turned over,



There lies blue ice


Finally, something imagined

In my shuttered


Of the solar garden

Has been released


A gift of surprise

And gratitude

For Edenic wonders


C L Couch



Last post from Iceland.

Glacial ice floating in the Jökulsárlón Lagoon. Showing up at this zone with nobody around and watching the 4 hr sunrise was definitely one of the highlights. No matter how blown up these spots are, photos will never do them justice.

Shot on Portra160NC. Always so fascinating to see how different film stocks capture different colors


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