I talk you talk we'll talk


November 2018

T Time

T Time


Broken leaves are on the way

To atomized

The shield of fall is broken in with


It’s always a time of change

Don’t we know that?


I like my rituals

And of one kind or another

Know we need them


But retrograde is for the Earth

In winter’s northern


We can’t live angling back

We’ll only know eternity ahead

It’s our way

Don’t like it, take it up with God

If, tremulous, you can ask about the manners

In creation


Motion lives

Rest, that’s important

Forward, then, is not that way

But this


C L Couch



By 松岡明芳 – 松岡明芳, CC BY 3.0,



If only

If only

The stars weren’t so lonely

They wander in grace

And season of space



(for Camden)


We have what’s good

Using it, should

A beach and a wave

And all of it save


Earth-songs we’ll sing

Seasons we’ll bring

We’ll have the nights

Gifts into rights


Peace ends the war

We come so far

Foes into friends

Newly-won ends


Aspects of grace

Seeing God’s face

Hearing the voice

From which we learn choice


Woman, man, child

Glory in wild

When fed the least

When we serve the feast


Finally, yes

Faith our best guess

All of it right

And we’ll have the night


C L Couch









The morning is enlivened

Mister Coffee’s gurgling

Hot water’s running for the dishes

I wouldn’t call this a quickening

But the day feels

More official, now


The typing here is quiet

No touch-typing, certainly no

Banging on a manual

Keyboards are largely quiet

Except when many clack together

The monkeys writing War and Peace

Why is it War and Peace

That’s cited in the hypothetical—

Why not Origin of Species?


Maybe we should write “War and Peace”

A hundred times on a blackboard

To value the former, keep the latter

And then


Write something new

Something with words that

Anyone might apprehend,

Which elevates the need for language


First steps taken by Cyril and Methodius

When evangelizing on the steppes

The factions understood

Not them, not one another

So the mission’s gift of love was

Words to hear

For those who would


But back behind a half a world

I have coffee

And a program loaded

Time to listen to the birds outside

And scratch black tracks of claw marks here

The solution

To an ancient riddle

Letters across the page


Pauses and diacriticals

Maybe to make meaning

Form a message

Then to send it


C L Couch



Public Domain (Pixabay)


Word Up

Word Up


There was no red phone

I learned that recently

Khrushchev and Kennedy used a teletype

To stand up over Cuba, negotiate

Through hardheadedness

A cold war


Now they might text

Or tweet if

Saints won’t abey their thumbs


There’s meeting face to face

And I guess the telephone might do

But we need direct communication

I learned this in school

How about you


Nothing like talking

Or writing with intent and art

Don’t worry

I never perfected either

And tire way too easily these days

From trying

But the message


The message

Still exists in words

That must be shared

From time to time

With care’s articulation


Call it ceremony

Call it ritual

Call it marriage day to day

Or the energy of friendship

Yes at the game, at work,

At home


Keep talking

Use words

In your better way

Sometimes, that’s all we got


C L Couch



By Vmenkov – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

A pair of Laughing Doves sit on the electric (or telephone?) wires in Milyanfan village, in Kyrgyzstan’s Chuy Valley.


New Year

New Year

(first day in Advent)


Lord, I love you

But sometimes

You make things so hard

I’m not saying life can’t have

Its sharpness

We all get cut from time to tome

There are always to stanch the bleeding


It hurts each time

And some hurts, well, keep on hurting

Damaged nerves

Wounded organs

Burdens in the blood

I guess I’m complaining

What could I ask for?

Most anodynes aren’t real

And aren’t cheap

And I am not a boy in a cave

Who found a magic lamp

And you are not a genie


Some help, please—

Are you listening?


I am

You had me at I love you


C L Couch




in case you’re counting, which is a point for seasons, Advent starts Sunday 2 December; for the Christian church, Advent starts the new year


at A Good Morning Café, Los Altos, California (USA)


Hello, It’s Me

Hello, It’s Me


It’s Saturday

An ordinary day

Maybe it’s ordinary time

In the liturgy

Ain’t extraordinary, that’s for sure

It’s dark before dawn

Why was it said the darkest time

The fading has begun


Just before dawn, there’s light

It’s an announcement

I am coming

Get ready for me, day


C L Couch



Photo by Jenna Anderson on Unsplash

Was driving early in the morning to shoot a wedding and saw this to my right. Had to pull over to capture it.


two poems about essence

two poems about essence



The Mouse Informs the Monarch’s Ear

(not by nibbling)


Should I ever become wealthy,

Which seems less and less likely

I’d hope I wouldn’t forget

The essences in things

The way the coffee burbles when it cooks

The distinctive bounce to hear in the final motion

Of the toaster

The delight in another day beginning

Sometimes the relief


I visited the Biltmore once

An impressive place

With its own winery and dairy

It might have been a microcosm

Of feudal living in the USA

(though everyone was paid, I’m sure)


I got up close to the see the shapes

Of lampshades

And consider how the cords plug into


The height of the walls, too

And all the light that comes through

Windows the height of churches


There is meaning there

It’s in first impressions

And the marvel of the smaller things

That, once the sheen is filtered

Another sense,

Are smaller wonders, teaching more


There is a church in Pittsburgh

That rose like a cathedral in the


A source of jobs for many workers

With great and tiny wonders


There was a belief

Above the crypts, behind enormous


That every church should have a church mouse

(for ecumenicity, I might have argued for

a cat as well)

And in the baseboard along the chancel of

A chapel, a mouse was briefly


A parable in wood that might be too easily



There are, or were, jazz services here

Another essence

Not to be missed


Pray, visit the world

In its smallest wonders

There are children there

And love in all its shapes and forms

The sounds and colors

The plainer truths,

The greater wonders


C L Couch


church mouse 2

Trish Steel

The famous mouse symbol, found on every item crafted by Robert Thompson’s has an uncertain history. The story told by Robert Thompson himself is that one of his craftsmen remarked that they “We all as poor as church mice.” Whereupon Robert carved a mouse on the church screen he was working on. That particular mouse has never been found but it has continued as a trade mark of quality and dedication to craftsman ever since.

(not at the church in Pittsburgh; this mouse is in an English church)





The essences of things

Are they too trite

To talk about?


In the feel of a dog’s fur

The line of well-wrought wood

The heart that beats in love

For the first time

Or for the millionth


The curves that make a flower

The sound when a fish leaps above then back into

Lake water

The horns of trucks and cars, which carry

Up the sides of close-in tall buildings

The sight of stars away from

City lights


A new word

An old one

A new world

An old one


A sleeve pressed

A rug that’s freshly cleaned

The sensation of bare toes upon it


Call on the muses


Remembrance of things past

(Sonnet 30)

And sights set upon the future

(any astronaut

or soldier)


And if there be five senses

Maybe six or seven

Remember time as one as well,

Which bears

All opportunities


Don’t miss it, then

And if you must rise up

Through disastrous need to

Greet a day in peace

Greater wonder then, at last

And first,

For you


And shame upon the rest

Who might

Have done

And must do better

For you


C L Couch


Photo by Alexandru Rotariu on Unsplash

(note by the photographer regarding the “Featured Image”)

I photographed this amazing dog in a small park. He was with his “master”, who was a little kid, not much bigger than his pet. The original photo was VERY unsightly, but I saw something amazing behind this “unsightness”. I took it home, passed it through Photoshop, and the result was a wonderful sight! It’s like I can see this ordinary animal’s personality! (If you want to see a before-and-after, check out at the end of the page) Eventually, I started a photo album named “Animal Close-Up’s”, this photo (Dog (close-up)), being Close-Up no. 1.


Eternal Flame

Eternal Flame

(on 22 November 1963)


JFK died today

It seems we murder him

Once a year

Not out of disrespect

(not at first, not now)

But because our curiosity

Cannot be assuaged


We want to know

We have to

Was it a coup d’état?

So many now are gone

Though not everyone

Maybe it’s easier to inquire


And with the passing of more time


I don’t understand how

The killing of Archduke Ferdinand

Incited a great war

So much outrage

In civility,


But it was counted on in 1963

To change then calcify

The time

To change out daylight evidence

And what happens in



No wonder our youth went crazy then

Protesting betrayal from

Our parents’ generation


Where are we now?

We’re here;

We want to know


The truth is poignant

It slices to the heart

Small cuts or one large


We live while

Everything is opened

Survival says we’ll manage

Once we know


C L Couch



By Eddie Maloney from North Las Vegas, USA – DSC_1812, CC BY-SA 2.0,




(the caravan in Tijuana)


Pilgrims all

Seeking a thanksgiving

For food

For safety for the family

A chance to work

(work hard)

A chance not to hurt, sicken, and die

So easily

At home


Pilgrims for


Imagine that


They have come so far

Probably, we won’t respect that

What they went through to

Be so near


Will we let them in


From a land of light

Waiting in the dark

From a land in darkness

Waiting for the light


Will we let them in

Will we let us in


C L Couch



By from Tiverton, UK – Door to private chapel, Vicars Close, Wells, CC BY-SA 2.0,


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