I talk you talk we'll talk


January 2019

Early-Morning Nightmare

Early-Morning Nightmare

(journal, 31 January 2019)


I had a dream this morning that was difficult.

I was at a school I’ve been before.

There were people there,

but the overall feeling was impersonal and unfriendly.

I had finished with my errand there, and was looking for the car.


I was in an open staircase next,

up several stories and not enjoying the height.

Nearly down, I came upon a starving child.


The child was is real,

there were yellow sores,

the child looked at me.  I had nothing,

I walked by.

Then there were more children to see, near me and off toward the building.

All were seated cross-legged,

dark, small, open mouths, eyes—irises—covered over in viscera.

Gaping need.

Too weak for crying or much movement at all.

The children

sat and, as I neared,

looked at me.

I guess it was a nightmare.  Except

that there is such need in the world.

I am having breakfast now, continental-style.

Croissants and coffee.

How guilty should I feel?

I need to eat.  I need to drink and

for now can afford to have and make coffee.  Maybe

the children would like me to be starving, too, for company.

But I think the focus is on getting fed.


(now, drafting)

Their focus, tragically hard to say because they could not see, is on getting fed.


C L Couch



Photo: FMSC, Creative Commons BY 2.0


Taking Hunger Out of the Poverty Equation


Rachel Ahrens


Space Station

Space Station


It isn’t 2001

I wonder if music is played


There is no gravity

I keep forgetting

Doubtless, they don’t

The denizens in their seasons

We might say, they are the ones

Closest to God

They’ve nearly slipped those surly bonds

This presumes that height

Is the criterion

And that Aldrin, Armstrong, and Collins

Were even closer for a time

I would not fault them for nearness

Or for an early audience

I can only contemplate privation

In their metal skins

And everything that must move

In everything


It is no loss to the rest of us

Should God say

In the way that God has spoken

I’m happy you came by

The nearest of creation to date

To seek my face


C L Couch



NASA – STS-135 Shuttle Mission Imagery direct link, Public Domain,

modular International Space Station, the largest human-made body in Earth orbit


“High Flight” by John Gillespie Magee, Junior


Frank Families

Frank Families



They tried daylight ways

We wouldn’t let them go; we

Made them hide ’til found


C L Couch



image in the public domain


news story,


I’m Not Disappointed

I’m Not Disappointed


Maybe I have no nuance

No subtlety of heart

I can feel the savage things

Scraped-off emotions

Obvious insights


Maybe I am forgiving

In my nature, now

Lord knows I’ve tried to forget

Some things

And now I wander through a land

With fewer fires, less of the blasted heath

Maybe with a sprout here and there

It’s not amazing


It’s a way to survive

Let go, here and there

Wrap myself in something like


Over which a layer, woven and patched

Of the grácia

The mariachis sing about


C L Couch



Carol M. Highsmith – Library of Congress Catalog: Image download: Original url:


Macbeth, Act 1,Scene 3



Ages Past

Ages Past


What do we remember of

The ancient past,

Time of kings

(male and female)

Who had all sorts of power

Given them atop a chain

With an allowance for divine authority


We have some now,

The kind by claim of blood

And those self-styled

I’m hoping we outgrow them all

Christians have one king

(female, male)

All of us enjoy the rank of steward

While failing by degrees in our obligations

Other traditions (or none) might have

Everything together with some leadership

With some success,

I’m not sure


We can look for leaders

Pass by those who want the job

Look for those who can


Ignore legacy crafted

By humans,

Ignoring other claims as well

Consider today

Choose now

The adherence of the house

And running it

By those who can


Who might help us

Not by surrogacy

But by reminding us in action

How each of us is called


C L Couch





Blue is a magic number

I know, Schoolhouse Rock fans

It should be three

And it is

But sometimes associations need

To take a second seat

In favor of new leanings

Today is Saturday

It’s orange


C L Couch



Petr Kratochvil (Website)





God be with you ‘til we meet again

Kind of a Mizpah blessing,

Which I learned about in Sunday School

Was a mixed bag of salutations

The Lord watch between me and thee

While we are absent,

One from the other

I used to hear that at the end of church

It sounded nice

But it seems that Abraham and Lot

Were suspicious of each other


So while each is away

The pledge is that their God

The one who called their family

Into a nation

Would keep the rivalries apart

Vouchsafed in

Something holy gelatinous

A barrier of angel-power with holdings

Kept on either side

Safe from interference


Abraham had struck quite the deal with

His nephew,

Giving Lot the choice

Of land and all assets available

But it could not work out

Maybe the legacy

That began when one brother killed another

Coursed into the current generation

The best becomes the worst


As it turns out,

Lot will run from fire

From the most prosperous of cities

Once his own

There will be salt


The child of Isaac

Will cheat a sibling out of inheritance

Drastic foibling

Deep crimes of humanity

Shall not escape,

When the better angels are released

From withholding

Someday break through,

Let loose in judgment


Until then, we shake hands

To show we hold no weapons

Forestalling sin that rushes through

Reduced into a spillway

For a time

For a day

For an hour

Quiet hour


C L Couch



By Marsyas, 07.04.2007, CC BY-SA 2.5,

Hera and Athena handshaking, late 5th century BC, Acropolis Museum, Athens


Genesis 31






We make words that work

The Anglo-Saxon hoard

That was the dictionary

And all the other contributions from

All languages

Language cannot be its own end, I guess

Yet there are beautiful words

That are lost each day

Because the group has gone

Or, sad to say, been subsumed

Our words don’t come with protections

We could use all kinds

If it were a law to think before they’re uttered

Beyond the autonomic

Well, there’s not

We are not oppressors

Not all of us

Not yet

We can’t have a rule that says

Everything must be approved

We only have the inner voice

That speaks to fast for words

Because that’s how ir works

On the inside


So that with which to regulate is

Strapped with nervous speed

Adrenaline is good

And it’s hard

Speaking well is good,

Which is not about articulation

It’s about discretion

The better part

Of something


Unironically, if we could only pause

But I cannot make that happen

Nor would I want to

Yes, I would

But it would be so easy to hamfist it

To make a break with tension

A legality

Then we’d need freedom fighters for

Release from word-overlords



Let’s simply take advice

Don’t kill the voice with alcohol

I know that doesn’t work

But listen for that voice that goes by too fast

Pull some seconds out

Stop in order to choose something better

Something good

Maybe wise

To say


C L Couch



By Man vyi – <span class=”int-own-work”>Self-photographed</span>, Public Domain, <a href=”″>Link</a&gt;

Hauteville House – Victor Hugo’s copy of George Métivier’s Dictionnaire Franco-Normand


Chess Pieces

Chess Pieces


On the local television news,

A black man and a white man


Share half-jokes with each other,

And they chuckle

It’s good to see the black man and the white man

Having fun

How much of it is scripted? I don’t care

It was real enough

For local news

And my heart, today


The monarch of what I am

And what I want

Thinks and feels protected

And a little rested


C L Couch



Hans / 22248 images


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