I talk you talk we'll talk


March 2018

The Day After

The Day After

(Holy Saturday 2018)


The Saturday before

And nothing’s going on


Is there a signal yet

A code for believers

Not the fish, even though

Remembrance of the feast

Upon the hillside

Could be recalled


But the last letters of acrostic

Faithlessly, have not been found


In disillusion

Fear of capture

Greater fear of nothingness


All that’s left is, what,

Eat something, find a place to


As darkness of the human heart



And doubt in anything that’s good

Or lasts

Washes like acid

Over once-fast believing


C L Couch





The sky cries into

Chiseled ground

Wedged open by sin

Up on the hill

The day is night

And love is hate

All things turned over

As a shovel upends soil

To dig a grave


C L Couch



crosses Montana

Jill Lesoing saved to Meet Me In Montana…


The Message

The Message


Strong in words

Is that enough

Strong, if that, but why

There should be virtue

Antique word for an

Old-fashioned notion

Authenticity, what

Young people often

Teach us

A reason would be good

Thought sometimes celebration

Is enough

Sometimes I reach out to

Animals, even though,

You know, allergic

If they like me it must be

Without words

The word is in the touch

The hand that follows contours

And constitutes a message

The quiet voice

And listening, always listening

And so we might get along

The word is in reality

A different language


We have words

And always should be

Better with them


Returning what we’ve heard

Offering something new

Or firming up the

Better part of what

Know is old

And good because it lasted

There is love in


There is strength

In the word


C L Couch


Older Love

Older Love


It is in the first Christian hymn

Love begotten

As in created

Dropped like ritual paint upon

An unmarked, earthy plank

Moved around in riotous,

Primal aesthetic

Made for pleasure in the universe

Because God knows

It’s not enough minimally

To exist


In the pushing of all things

There must be meaning

Not in gnostic sentences

Trying to spell secrets in the skies

But something all of us can have

Without exotic training

Or supernal



Pointers at best

But knowing there’s a reason

Without the heart

Without first favor

Placed over everything that’s made

Or co-made

Well, that pointing will not

Get us there for being

Easily if not covetously

Sideswiped on the way by

Desires and the vicissitudes of

Living without spirit

Rising from the dwelling of the soul in

Each one


We were built, singly and together

One by one and all

We can perceive a universe

And with earnestness take hold

Who we are

Of anything that’s good and sound and loving

You and me embrace

All things ordinarily divine


C L Couch



big world small sketch





On a Sunday night,

we walked some streets in Cambridge.

It was fall.  The streets were wet; the

air was chilled.

We actually found a small place

that served chowder.  It was cheap,

and it was good.  And I

imagined a hundred places like it in

the town.  I think I

was right.

That was my first and so far last trip there,

though she came once to me.  But

at the time, we were set at odds against

each other; there was no way

we could get it right.


C L Couch



cambridge mass

Bicycles in the Rain

Mark Hornbuckle


Really Far Away

Really Far Away


Brown leaves follow green

Then into the ground they go

It’s a happy process, really

And it should be

I know we razor the land

And let our refuse burn into the air

Or breathe it into land and sea

We’re ruining things, really

Have you been to the plastic island

In the Pacific

It’s really gross and really there

It’s not made up

China builds islands in the sea

And claims the territory and

The ocean ‘round

We all built the isle of trash

And no one claims anything about it

Really far away

Unless you’re there

Wait, there’s one in the Atlantic, now



C L Couch


garbage island



To Parkland Youth

To Parkland Youth

(Florida, USA)


I’ve worked with teenagers forever

So it seems

And I’m glad


I like precocity


The plain way teens tend to speak

Reminding me of why I like to walk

The streets of Pittsburgh, for

Pittsburgh people speak their minds with

Measures of respect with

Arrowed expression


And when I’m with youth, to say

Don’t forget to be fifteen,

Sensing some relief

All around


Being teen is good, and acting real is


There are things you don’t have to

Own because you’re not there,

And this is good


Which is not to put you down but to raise up

All the growth that


In delight, frustration, error, joy


You should be free to

Know what to leave and what

To take with you


Should not be a thing for you

That we can’t let you finish adolescence

And so enter

The rest of the world


You have to step in now

And you shouldn’t have to


You have to act as two generations

And there it is

And for all I like you

And because,

This is not right


C L Couch


First-Class Delivery

First-Class Delivery


A teacher in Ghana

Writes a computer on the board

Components rendered in

Chalk because the real

Things are nowhere near, and

There’s a national test about

Computers that the

Students must pass so they

Can go on to high school


So he makes a semblance of

Machine parts and program functions

And maybe his learners

Will have a


Microsoft sees this and makes a promise


We can speak of dedication and be right

I think he’d rather have all the real

Things in three dimensions that

He needs so he can offer


Learning and for life


C L Couch


Ghana teacher chalk computer

The story behind the viral photo of a teacher in Ghana showing students Windows on a blackboard





The glow from civilized light

In a fireplace

The touch of living yellow

On everything that’s in

The room

And the writer sits at table

Beneath another light

Scratching on paper, leaving


It is a scene, a tableaux vivant

It brings to us a reason why

Home is so important

It cradles inspiration

Reminds why we co-create with God


C L Couch


A Saint Patrick’s Day of blessings to you.




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