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April 2019

The Sun Rises Easterly

The Sun Rises Easterly


He wakes

He gets up

Relief abounds

Outside the fleshy rabbit bounces

The egg, comedic, rolls like stone

Away from an opened tomb

That had been keeping the better things inside


He is awake

Marys there

Ready now to tell a doubting world

That it’s over, now

And everything’s beginning


C L Couch



Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash




(Holy Saturday)


The emptiness of God

There can be such a thing


When God has left

Because we cast God out


What it means to have God slain

All miracles and lessons ended


The company

The miracle of trust


To have the

Lord in body


Hungry, thirst with us

The source of faith in the room


And yet we struggled with

Him in the flesh



Now there’s less than nothing


Fear of arrest, forgotten words

There’s hiding, lack of life


No prophecy unremembered

Is worth all this


C L Couch



Photo by Vincent Erhart on Unsplash

I took that image in a former Romanian salt mine. It was one of the darkest, most surrealistic and impressing place I have ever been. . . . The photo shows the 120 meter high vertical main tunnel.


The Rite of Reconciliation

The Rite of Reconciliation

(Good Friday)


Today is an awful day

Tomorrow will be worse

The certainly of death

And burial inside stone

With a heavy rock in front

To certify the edict

That this one had to perish

Officially executed

The end of a movement, too

And all the trouble pricking

Consciousness he caused

The subcutaneous agenda


The wife of Herod should be pleased

Another body to dissect

For an abomination-treasury


We learn today that life is cheap

That perfect people die

What hope for the rest of us

Whose morality is mingled

With selfish purpose,

Craven understanding


Caiaphas has won

Pilate has been mollified

Lip-service to Rome

The mob will lose its agitation

Everyone will leave

The oppressiveness of daily life return

I guess no one anticipates Masada


Those who should know better still

Will suffer

Grim happiness is undercut

By that which greed denies

There is a lesson here

It will be hardest on believers

Who do not falter

Who must face the scorn of those who

Will not look at them at judge them silently


The faithful hurt in many ways

The killing spirit spread throughout the land

No one in the firing squad knows

Who shot the fatal bullet

Unanimity in anonymity

Everyone’s a killer


The ire today is awful

The void tomorrow will be awfuller

We say now we wouldn’t do it

Look around, we do it every day


C L Couch



Aerial view of Masada (Hebrew מצדה), in the Judaean Desert (Hebrew: מִדְבַּר יְהוּדָה‎, Arabic: صحراء يهودا), with the Dead Sea in the distance.

Andrew Shiva / Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 4.0,





I remember Maundy Thursday

As a loving day

Maybe we knew Good Friday’s coming

It’s a homely name, Maundy

I like it

I liked the quiet, burnished time in church

When had communion after dinner

In my home-like church


That was long ago, and there have been

Hard days since

Even then there were some challenges

I rose and fell

And tried to rise again

Isn’t this the life we have?


Maundy means mandatum

(sorry, teacher talks)

That is command

Because Christ gives to followers

Not a suggestion

A good idea in the feedback box

But a directive

Love one another

And I call you friends


Not bad for a Thursday

Looking toward an empty Saturday

Knowing that hope

And hopelessness must be comingled

For a time


The warmth on one day

The cold of a void the next

There might be triumph

Most would take

Small victory for more days of good life

And peaceful living


And why not

We follow as we will

Into the garden

Up the hill

To split places in the world

Underneath, as if to die

Hoping to awake

In a quiet place again


Leaving something like

A hibernation

Toward a meal with family

And our forever friends




If we must have both

Well, that frightens me

Maybe you are more stalwart

I’d respect that, I’m sure


But for those of us

Even a little part part-rabbit

We treasure stillness

But the moving kind

That assures us there is day

To follow night

And a life in the light that’s good


It will happen

It might be hard at first

Maybe we fight, maybe we endure

But three days follow Thursday

Then we’ll know

We’ll know again

And for the first time


C L Couch



Sergio de Castro, detail of Jonah window for the Collegiate of Romont (Switzerland).

(image) Dominique Souse – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,





Life is important

Though we contract on its importance

With agreements tissue-thin

On paper we’ve polluted

For nation-states that richer folk

Have hollowed out


What is left but

Value that has no protection

Words in a chamber without power

Charged with nothing but

Intention and

Words for marketing


How then are the poor protected

But they’re not

Maybe we live today

Maybe we don’t get the chance


Because the opportunity

Created in creation

Was stolen long ago

And we are left as shells

Abandoned by inhabitants

Left to dry on beaches

Away from water


The poor you will have with you

Is not an excuse for


Lack of action

Real food to go with

Living water


And who is the poor

But all of us connected

To judge by what we take at last

You are impoverished

So am I


Not one escapes

We’re all the same

As we’re all unique


No one person gets it all

That’s delusion

(you know that)

We share what we have

And leave more for the future

That’s a planet

Worthy to explore

Worthy to make contact

With beings, angels, and God

Of the universe


C L Couch



Image by StockSnap from Pixabay




(Notre Dame)


Cathedrals built to music over time

So relate certain Victorians

Now music while the cathedral’s coming down


Challenging the fire


A story goes that Camelot arose

To Merlin’s music

There’s Aslan singing so that

Narnia can come to life

And did not the utterance of Christ

Make all worlds


They watch and listen to

The fire

There is heat to feel

Ash to smell

And the taste of ruination


There is more as music

Cups the feeling of the tears

And gives, unbidden, thought to soul

Vive la France

Vive l’homme


C L Couch



(c.f. first part of Hebrews 3, Christian New Testament)


After Words

After Words

(Lent 41)


There must still be words

We’re stuck with them, I guess

Or at least I am


We could end here

Or yesterday

But we won’t,

Which is not a matter of words

As it is of life


Yet we should be ready


To pause when needed

Maybe turn the pause to play

Whatever is called for


It’s called for often

Snow day

Day in the sun

Comp time (whoever has this)

Playing hooky

(you can look it up)


Work will resume

With its kind of

Awareness, learning, deciding

Not in cryptic ways

Or inaccessible

Though recall that there’s a mystery

In pretty much everything


The kind that moves a martyr’s heart

And for other reasons, too, can thrill the heart

Of each of us

Of the sort like

Joan, Priscilla, Rachel, Esther

Judith, Hrosvitha, and Hildegard

Who found their way with God

While in the world


And for the Joans, Priscillas, Rachels, Esthers

Judiths, though I don’t suppose we’ll be

Naming anyone Hildegard or

Hrosvitha for a while

We may

We will


I don’t know, I think we’ll find

What we need

As long as we don’t keep the process to ourselves

Or the results



I thought I should say something once it’s all over,

Our Lenten experience

We’re comingling times and traditions

Of the end of Lent (for those still counting),

The Passion, the Triduum, then

Easter and the Easter season


I pray

Together and apart

These are all good for you

The way spring days, clean from rain,

Can be


C L Couch


note for the blog

Counting forty days from Ash Wednesday takes Lent through Palm Sunday, which might seem odd given the reflective nature of the season maybe abandoned in triumphant celebration.  But the count of days in Lent can take out the Sundays and Holy (Maundy) Thursday (when the celebration of the Eucharist occurs) and add in Good Friday and Holy Saturday to make up a count and observation of forty days.  Timing of events for the Passion and the Triduum might overlap this way of counting, and it’s also true that some have it (more or less officially, according to one’s tradition) that the length of Lent (even the sense of forty days) be taken metaphorically.

I guess I’m counting forty days from Ash Wednesday and let the paradox of Palm Sunday prevail.



Photo Credit: Wikimedia User John Morgan CC-BY-2.0

Lent 40

Lent 40



Try again

Sometimes it’s hard

Though not harder and less rewarding than

A life inside a cage

Kept without a lock


Some count the season from day one

As I have counted

Some take out Sundays, a timeslip in

The forward flow of days

Any days that might allow for

Contrary feasting

Some leave the season longer

And forty is a metaphor

For wilderness experience


If we count forty from first Wednesday

We are here today

Triumphal entry, as it’s said

As songs are sung

As palms are waved in happiness

And salutation

For the one who’s here


While our invested time is closing

A passion time begins

When blood with flow with water

In a garden, on the streets, and

Later on a cross


What have we done?

What do we do?

How many who are cheering now

Will spit the words out later

Broken of humor into mocking?

How many will be caught

And tried by Caiaphas

With a nod to Pilate?

How many, at least, will try war

The worldliest of ways

In bids for freedom

With endings still debated in

The courts of heaven?


Well, we have something

We have had our season

And know without expectation

Any more than making

That another season follows

It’s today

The end and the beginning


But keep the palm fronds close

Maybe contrive a reminder

For the window sill

Over which we view into

The next spate of days

And on into forever


Take us with you

Some things we do alone

So many more need not

Go that way

We may go another


C L Couch



Photo by Peter Fogden on Unsplash


Lent 39

Lent 39



you must take time

to breathe

finish the song that’s been

going through your head

figure out what you were looking for

when you came into the room

(then find it)


pay attention to

what matters

which is not a scolding

but a happy watchword

paying attention’s fun

because you can (too) take the time

to gather in what’s pleasant

along the way


the thing is that the rest of the world

won’t stop with us, won’t take the time

except maybe to take it

and not give it back


choose something like a star

and Frost is right

we can select

from our own, something fantastic

that we’ll never keep

someone else could pick it, too

(we don’t have to tell

or make a fuss)

after all, what’s our own

but what is also shared

heart and soul

in an entire cosmos


the season ends tomorrow

with an entry into

everything that’s next

in practice and remembrance

we’ll have our parts

attendance won’t be checked

in any way that matters

(delight in grace)

but presence, well, let’s have it

as self-mandatory



and arrival

passion follows


C L Couch



Image by Mohit Mourya from Pixabay


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