Set Upon the Altar




White Heat



The top of the world

In a way the Jimmy Cagney character never knew

Top of the world, Ma

The world’s tallest mountain rises

From the Pacific floor,

So I guess the planet won’t be tilting in

One way to favor height

That is, leaning toward a single spire


In Sri Lanka, many Christians died

In New Zealand, many Muslims died

At the UNC in Charlotte, learners died

By the end of day, many hungry people will

Have died

I’m not sure we have much reason for

Pursuing zeniths

When we leave so much of the world

In the nadir



The News at Noon

(Earth time)


Attempted murder in Boiling Springs last night

We have too many guns

And by the way, we have too many knives

An arsonist in Lancaster is caught

We have too much accelerant

For those who say, without guns we’ll find

Other ways to kill,

I’d say curb those, too

Register our knives

Keep certain chemistry under lock and key

You think I’m kidding?

We should try it

When something that can kill

Becomes so less as to be special

(and registered),

We will be more mindful

We will think twice:

That can kill, you know

Do I really mean to use it?


You see, things will be different



We Can Do It


I make coffee

After sleeping badly

Nothing new

Something has happened to my heart

And I’m still here to

Learn about it

We grow

Is good missioning

I can do this, always

So can you

School does not mean resignation

So says the one who stands upon

The box

It’s only a box

Someone else may have one, too

We can speak, we can listen

We can learn

Judge the world

But don’t condemn

This Property’s Condemned

Cannot work for planet Earth

It’s what we own

Without possessing

And much of it is marvelous



C L Couch