I talk you talk we'll talk


May 2019

Light and More than Lack of Light

Light and More than Lack of Light


I caught the band of early morning

Before sunshine gave way to clouds

A dark day, probably wet


Spring can be this way

And though we’ve had too

Much, some part of the rain is welcome

Especially against the lack thereof


Tensions between light and dark, wind and

Still, practical and useless, beautiful and

Uninspiring, although


Abstract dichotomies don’t apply so well

The light is useful, so was the dark

We need the rain; we need it to be dry

Spring and fall for life


Sometimes division doesn’t work

And the better thing to do

Leave the pairings multiply


C L Couch



Image by kolibri5 from Pixabay


Call Me

Call Me


Anytime, we may

Open our eyes

To see that God is watching us

Not so much to judge us

As to love us

Judgment comes, but love


Grace like that in dancers’



God has seen it all

And despite that

Despite all of that

There is love here

And everywhere

Love that will wait outside

Until invited in


C L Couch



Photo by Flemming Fuchs on Unsplash


Gracious Living

Gracious Living



A pretty word to use

To means that

Everything is covered with


The problem with high ceilings is

That they are out of reach

I don’t turn on the overheads

Because I don’t know how

To change the bulb up there

(how many English majors

does it take)

So I rely on table lamps

And a floor lamp I got for free

Because you get what you pay for

And it stopped working quite a

While ago with the local

Electric shop closing back then, too

(less than one, we’re changing

all the time)


Perceived, synchronous connections

But I moved in when I did

And to this place

With a high ceiling

Where I don’t go to change the light bulb

Incandescent, CFL, LED, or otherwise


The tall space helps with claustrophobia

That I didn’t have back then (one

too many visits to the hospital)

Maybe providence takes over for



The watchmaker’s watch

Still creatively involved

So that moments in time and

In all the choices

Are imbued with grace


C L Couch



Image by Johannes Wünsch from Pixabay


Whence Come Wars

Whence Come Wars


Blood and mucus

Tissue and bone

And fear catching the breath

For infection


War in the desert

Is a war in hell

The Baptist lessons

Roosting home

There are flames

There is perdition

War at the poles would not

Be much better


The uniform, the armor

From the homeland are good

The weapons kill

Split the ground and everything


No judgment but

An order to obey


Sometimes we might ask

Though that is for a sibling soldier

Here the abstract is simplicity

The living is complex

We want to live

We might want them to live as well


But the agenda

For the moment

Has to be a killing item


C L Couch



Image by Angie Johnston from Pixabay


Rising Stars

Rising Stars


It’s a holiday here

The USA acknowledges its fallen

With big sales on line and in

Department stores

Selling cars on lots, too


But many will remember it

For what it allows, time and space

The capacity for

Acknowledgement, remembrance

Some closely

Who fall with a different kind

Of wound

And hopefully rise up


All the fallen may rise at the last

That in belief is a beginning


C L Couch



image from

(no attribution required)





I don’t know what it means

To eat bitter herbs

Ones I wouldn’t like

Salt and bitter herbs

Is what the rite called for


Bread, salt, and bitter herbs

Then to be run out of town

So that for a time

A year, perhaps

There would be virtue

Lack of hellfire, anyway

The cost of sin

The bearing of it

Having been cast out

Too tragic and too easy


C L Couch



KaMan – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Salt Rising Bread


‘Tis a Gift

‘Tis a Gift


In simplicity we are free

That is a claim

And it’s a good one

If bemusing

Because I think we might

Be tempted to take it



That simplicity means less

(and it does)

And having less is freeing


Of counting

Of cleaning

And of time


But I wonder

(still I wonder)

If simplicity means more than less


C L Couch



Simple Gifts

(attributed to the Shakers)


‘Tis a gift to be simple,

‘Tis a gift to be free,

‘Tis a gift to come down where

we ought to be;


And when we find ourselves

In the place just right,

‘Twill be in the valley of love

and delight


When true simplicity is gained

To bow and to bend we shan’t

be ashamed;

To turn, turn will be our delight

‘Til by turning, turning we

end up right


(cited by recollection; I’ve heard “’Tis the gift” sung and “turn ‘twill be our delight”)





Simple, elegant verse about God

Jesus loves me, this I know

For the Bible tells me so

But I want it on my own, from my

Own words and thoughts and sentiments

The strings of my soul

The lines that go from me to you

That must be played

That must be worked

That must be played


C L Couch



sculpture at the EMP Museum in Seattle, Washington

Alex Hendricks – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,





I have words on deck

Nervous words, maybe

Never having been at bat before

It’s a spring day, looks to be warm

And humid

Cloudy for the outfield

We play on grass, of course


But I don’t know

I’d like to ask for something new

That would be a prayer

Not in desperation

Not as in I haven’t got a prayer

(what does that mean, anyway—

who came up with that?)

But a petition with some savor

Since it’s offered on the plate

The paten

Both with words


Might I add something new

To the drafts of yesterday,


What I’m wondering on this hazy

Day is about the gift

Of time, of weather, gravity

The air I breathe, the water I hope

To drink

What food I’ll have

And maybe something valid or

Viable to do

All these things,

A gift for me?


I am no worthier, and I think that’s the point

Pulled out of eternity and time

There are things for me

Because there are things for you

The largesse of the cosmos is

For all of us

It has to be

Not to own but certainly to use

Not to twist and tear into submission

We know that nature will not stand for that

There will be repercussion

That will

Ruin the unrighteous

And take all of us along as well


A gift that is judicious

A gift that is not kept

More gifts will come tomorrow

If we do our part receiving

The universe is ready


C L Couch



NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) –, Public Domain,

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has revisited the famous Pillars of Creation, originally photographed in 1995, revealing a sharper and wider view of the structures in this visible-light image. Astronomers combined several Hubble exposures to assemble the wider view. The towering pillars are about 5 light-years tall.


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