I talk you talk we'll talk


December 2016

Negotiating the Spoon

Negotiating the Spoon


Have you ever worked

A spoon inside a jar of jam?

(The spoon is inside)

Certainly, you have

It’s the cozy way


The curve slides under the

Oranged part, and

There you have a treasure

Slip it out and pour it

On the toast (I favor rye)


Save for the skinny parts

Sticking to the utensil

You must negotiate

The goop on the back

And in the bowl

So the spoon is gently

Struck onto the bread; some

Comes off, and


The rest is prized out with

A finger

A suckling part

Of anticipation of the rest

Taste of solution-solving



What a treat


To wash off

A moment’s

Work at the sink


Time and use of smarter efficiency

And these have value


So do the slow and cumbered ways

That force the option upon us

The pleasure in what we are doing

The charity


C L Couch


The Russia Plane

The Russia Plane


I’m so sorry

And in this I do not care about

Antipathy between governments

And generations’ leaders


Loss of life from Russia

The choir, the humanitarian

Anyone from any place of any kind

Or backing

Agenda no longer counts save

Mother Russia weeping


Fill the holes in churches and

In agnostic circles

With salt water from our tears

And Black Sea depths


C L Couch





Christ is born everywhere

I mean no disrespect


But Christ is born in igloos

And in houses split by war

Among refugees

And in soldier camps


Christ is born in Istanbul

Where meet all kinds of Christianity

He is born in mosques

And in Jewish temples


Christ is born in Norway,

When the days are dark

Christ is born in Fiji

Under lights of humid stars


Christ is born in Outback

And on New Zealand slopes

Within the folds of sheeping beings

And urban Christchurch, too


Christ is born in small America

And in the larger parts

Among the mean and angry

Those whose eyes and ears are full


Christ is born in Bethlehem,

Pennsylvania, and nearby Nazareth

In Resurrection, New Mexico,

And Devil’s Foot, Montana


Christ is born in France

In Germany and Belgium

Between tectonic places in Italy

And on the sweeps of Spain’s La Mancha


Inside the skins of churches

And other noble halls

Once bright and now sleeping

In states of ruin


Eurasian steppes and valleys

In places to the east and north and south

The crossing points of human worlds

And outplaces far removed


Christ is born where plots are made

In despot places

And Christ is born where hopes are low

And dreams are only quiet things


Christ is born for you

And me

Alongside faithful Hindus

And Buddhists on the way


Christ will walk beside all pilgrims

Those who hear a call

And those who know not

Where they go


Christ is born in Africa

In rutted villages and paved cities

Where voices rise in song,

While others silenced knowingly


Christ is born in Andes places

Those fed by weeping Amazon

With those who live in shadows

Where end all lands

And continents might cry


Christ is on the ice

And born into the air

Underneath the earth where

Minerals move

And where things are still


Christ is born near enemies or friends

No feeling is required

Christ is born in word

And light where

Faith is exposed as well as misdirection


Christ is born, and it is good

Christ is born and virtue opens

And evil is shuttered

Christ saves all who wish

And those who don’t know how


Christ is born for us

All worlds allow

Heir of Earth

All oxygen and ocean

Hale or foul,

And we should turn to please

And with shouts or

In silence bow


C L Couch


Approach on Christmas Eve

Approach on Christmas Eve


Dark quiet night



Then a golden light

As a small bulb, bold


Against the darkness


Now a red gleam, same kind

Shines close by


And between the two,

Ridge lines of rounded bush

Are inferred to our sight


A porch lamp farther on,

And now we see the sidewalk


A platform sided by

Small walls,

Homely columns rising,

Leads to the door


The night has borders now

We feel invited

The world has definition,

And our way in

Is right


C L Couch


Good Christmas Friday

Good Christmas Friday


Christmas day on Sunday

And in my reformed way,

I feel a new triduum


But what to mourn tomorrow?

All the peace that has not


In the world

Peace on Earth

Worthy of a Tolkien epic

Or a Lewis telling


Inklings remembered, a new

Generation nonetheless

Is calling:


Severing war ties in the cosmos

Sewing threads

Into the weave of conflict


To wear retaining

Wisdom, the innocence in

Relented cynicism


The hopes of open-tomb-like


Embraces resurrected

Sibling salvation


Let us share—let us keep—an

Earthbound feast



Holy days reconciled

In time


C L Couch

Christmas greetings spiced

Christmas greetings spiced with an apology.  Or an apology spiced with Christmas greetings.

I continue to be ill in a way that takes away focus and concentration.  I post now and then, because sometimes the words manifest, anyway.  But I’ve done little else.  Hardly any interaction, which I would maintain is half the life of blogging.  Will I get better?  Goodness, I hope so.  How much of the miasma is due to complications from heart disease?  How much from simply hammering my foot into something so hard (the hammering and the something) that wrapping it does little good to help staunch simply the pain?

You see, it’s the ridiculous without so much sublime.

Whether you celebrate the birth of Christ, Messiah or prophet, or the miracles of light or the African family in communion.  Or you’re fond of the solstice.  Or you simply like this time of year and cherish all the muffled pace much of the world chooses to take.  My wish and hope and prayer for you are for peace in the homeliest of ways.


Christmas time, Charlie

We learn it’s more than pink trees

Save stars on dogwoods


Make it pax,




(image from

Still Christmas in Berlin

Still Christmas in Berlin


No romance for the moment

Christ child forgotten

In the press of madness and of stirring


To complement the cowardice in Nice

Undeclared, ununiformed men

Who know no better

Than to render a cause stupid

And larcenous

Stealing life from love

The gospel of the season

That will outlast you


C L Couch

The End of the Story

The End of the Story


My Pittsburgh neighborhood of Aleppo

Is dying

The last reports are terrors

Military action lost strategically

To killing

Civilians who lived there only

Or came to help the ones already wounded


Final words are spoken through

Electrons, visiting upon the world

The revulsion of the void

Of life, which is all that is

Increasing here


Wait, my mistake, it’s Aleppo

In Syria

The first city

Still dying, still dead

Still a message to those of us

Who read and pray

And politic and must go on


The last Marx brother

In a raucous comedy turned horror story


Convicted, we establish

A new front for life

In places we might own for

A while longer


Otherwise, there might be nothing

All around


C L Couch


A.D. 623

A.D. 623

(I was looking up the area code)


a princess died

which sounds saddest of all

though loss through war should matter


but there’s a story here

to push my human heart

to wonder


and to wander through

the leaves to find the source

and grow a memory

for you


C L Couch


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