Before the Formal Feeling


When there’s pain,

Everything enwrapped that might be good

‘Til sight is pushed down toward the ground

And placing arms around

Takes nothing but

Dust and air


And ashes that rise to sting the face

And render bitter tasting in the mouth

What then is left

That’s hale or promising

The hope of life for

Tomorrow or even in time that remains today


I think I’ll have the drink that bites

And chew on some bread that’s burnt:

Salt and ashes

Herbs that sting,

Spells of ordinary stuff

Quotidian magic


The miracle in the day might be a breeze;

Some of the dust of flesh


Might rise off the nightmare,

Lets gazing up to see some yellow light


Falling on new leaves

Caught in early spring

First breaths upon the earth


C L Couch