I talk you talk we'll talk


December 2017




It’s the day before the night

The day

We accrue and also let go


We work then must retire so that

In new time, it all might give


It’s not a game, though everyone

Can win

Each one chooses

Each one gets involved

A family, however it’s

Constructed (one, two, how many)


A job

Bringing together love and money

Not mistaking either for the

The other


A home, which might have a roof of slate

Or wood or stone or maybe only



We live and move and have our being

We give

We get

We give

One cycle that is good and bears repeating

Risking boredom in redundancy,

Which will not happen



A quiet night

Somehow without the noise of war

Lights in the snow

Subdued contributions from a hopeful

Color wheel


And a notion free from one sect

For a time

Believe or not



Receive more simply

Peace on Earth

Merry Christmas


C L Couch


(image from AccuWeather, 2009)

Good Will

Good Will


The world is crazy now

Because it’s captured Christmas

But in quiet streets from houses simply lit

Against all garishness and harshness,

It is released again

And is


More so

The ransom of the wise

Of love,

Having been paid

By those who pray and help so much


Illuminating life


In secret


C L Couch


Hear My Cry

Hear My Cry


A featureless sky that nonetheless tries to speak of snow

An unremarkable day in which the world

Might be saved through

A sky-sound,

A child’s word, or an animal’s cry

Something to break the kind of silence strangled

From an utterance of need and hope


C L Couch





I was waiting

Under the roof of our bus stop,

A structure built of brick

And heavily painted many times

A weekday afternoon, after school

The PAT bus arrived and I got


The bus moved on the winding

Way that was Mount Royal Boulevard

Downhill through Etna

Onto the Ohio River road

Crossing the Allegheny on

The George Washington Bridge

Downtown in Pittsburgh

I left the bus through folding

Doors near

Mellon Center

Walked to the Alcoa Building then inside

To find my father in

His office on an upper floor


We had dinner somewhere in

The city

Then walked to the Stanley Theatre


A showing of Kubrick’s 2001

Seventy m-m on a screen

That was maybe silver


I was thirteen; it was my birthday

The movie plot was long

And deliberately enigmatic

I liked the

Sci-fi scenes

And then it was all over

All of it

There would never be another day like that


I suppose

Suburban adventures

Don’t happen

Like this anymore

Too far, too dangerous

Too much for one child to negotiate

But on that day

Nothing bad took place

And my year turned

Just the same


C L Couch


Destination (and a note)

I’m facing another surgery for my heart.  I can’t say I’ve been feeling well, because I haven’t.  I’m sorry for not being more interactive.  I do enjoy reading your works.





God’s plan

We don’t know it

Shouldn’t try

We have a code for life

It’s about sheep and goats

And a golden mean

Commandments and a wheel

And the


This is enough

Certainly, our records show

We’re hardly successful

In these

Our actions tell too much

Failure by choice (so)

Dare we know

All the plan

When we reveal such small willingness


The instructions


C L Couch


All Fall Down

All Fall Down


Horses caught

In California wildfires

I want to care about

The rest

Humans hurt and houses lost

Land that will not recover

Easily if at all

But I wonder if they were freed

Or caught on the wrong

Sides of fences

Were they kept in barns or stables

Or were they let free

Could they run from




It’s in their veins, the capillaries, the

Marrow of their bones and nuclei


Their extraordinary muscles

Gifted by Apollo to

Own the sky


Then what is left

When hair and flesh

Are burned, and bone at last

Fails and falls into ash

Will all unbound furies merge

As all mortalities


Risie into heaven where

Animal innocence cleanses all,

Teaching human souls

To gallop, how to dance

In resurrection


C L Couch





Brother wolf,

Please do not kill our livestock

And we will feed you

From our doorsteps

The wolf complied

And was, in fact, much loved

Before he died

When he was mourned and remembered,

Bits of glory

And this story


C L Couch



Gubbio Little Flowers

From “The Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi,” 1476


The Parable of Nathan

The Parable of Nathan

(2 Samuel 12)


David was the king


Nathan in the court

Prophet, one of what had once been

The ruling group


Nathan told David about

Someone rich with money, lands,

And livestock

Who stole the one sheep of

His neighborhood to have

A feast of mutton


Who is this thief and murderer of

Law and goodness,

The monarch demanded


Nathan taught

He prophesied a lesson

Timeless truth to borrowed power

(Which is all the power there



This thief of God’s provision

Nathan said to David,

It is you


C L Couch


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