I talk you talk we'll talk


July 2019




I heard from my friends about

Their trip to Europe

My cat friends listened with


We enjoyed the stories

Though they’d rather have their bowls

And I was a soft touch for them

While Mom and Dad

Had been away


But life returns to older ways

And all are here

I’ll see the images, go home

I’ll think about my parents

For some reason

How it was not



And, if vicarious,

The family I attend to


Only tussles over

Unimportant things

So that negotiations never last

Because remembrance is


All the needful things we keep


C L Couch



Photo by sarandy westfall on Unsplash


Too Technical for Numbers

Too Technical for Numbers


The people of the nanosecond

That might be the Japanese and us

The Russians and the Chinese

German timing

Somewhere there might be

Understanding of a season

When were you born?

There was great rain

It was a miracle


The Druids were aware of something

Witches, too

They mark the seasons, still

Despite our tendency to burn

Churches change with colors

But maybe not their stripes

I don’t mean to condemn

The vestige of Christ on Earth

But maybe take away

The matches


And return the decision made

Long ago at Whitby

Let the Celts ally with nature

In the faith

So that creation’s flow of time

A day that is an age

Shall inherit blessings now

Of peace and mourning

Birth and, so to say

All of life


C L Couch



Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

“Eventually everything hits the bottom, and all you have to do is wait until someone comes along, and turns it back again.”


Cats and Dogs LLC

Cats and Dogs LLC


Taking care of cats is done

Human mom and dad are home

Now I’ve been asked about

A dog

It’s a cottage industry

Without the cottage

Next time I want a cottage

Maybe a retreat house

Maybe a place for

Pet contemplatives

We could invite patrons to workshops:

Julian for cats

Roch for dogs

Francis for the birds that visit

Via rafters


Can you imagine compline

Vigil and matins?

Cats gathered not as

Clowders but choristers

Dogs serving as lectors

Reading from

What else

You know it’s coming

Saint Bernard


C L Couch



Church ruins and a stray dog in Karpaz, Northern Cyprus.

Michal Klajban – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,



A Prequel to Aeneid

A Prequel to Aeneid


I imagine I’m

On the porch of

An ancient Greek house

There are pillars all around

It’s a warm, airless day


And me, I’m doing this

I’m writing

Maybe I’m leaving something for

Posterity, because

By government or commerce

Speechifying’s more important


It could be a will

A source for disagreement

When I’m gone

Or mischief in an epic

Something afterward to leave around


For the future, maybe for a conqueror


In which I take the loser’s side

And change the tone of



C L Couch



Photo by Aubrey Rose Odom on Unsplash


Life in Fiction

Life in Fiction


I can’t recommend it

Though I’ve tried it

There are dangers

You can enumerate as well

As I

But we can incorporate

We like our heroes, after all

And want to have them with us

Better yet, inside us

Or the ingenue

The clever mentor

Master-mistress of arms

Or the crafty villain

Who may or may not repent


There are heroes in reality

To emulate

Such as the Ganders in Newfoundland

On 9/11

But sometimes exaggeration helps,

Which is what we get in stories

Sometimes in poems

Certainly in sagas


C L Couch



Gregory Peck publicity photo for the film To Kill a Mockingbird, 1962

Universal Pictures – eBay, Public Domain,


The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede


Prescribe Contemplation

Prescribe Contemplation


Forgive me

For a fat mind

And soul leaden

With lethargy

Crowding out the angels

Pressing leaves of better notions

From a wisdom tree

I’d do so much better

Reading these even if I can’t

Hear heaven’s language

While living low to


Unearned wings

Plus siren’s wax all

Impeding taller clarity


C L Couch



Photo by veeterzy on Unsplash


Feeding Friends’ Cats

Feeding Friends’ Cats

(or Feeding Cat Friends)


One cat makes

Little cat-sounds while eating

I don’t mean slurps and burps

I mean sighs and mews

As if to say,

This is good

This is thoughtful work

Leave me alone


The other cat’s a vacuum

And has become dog-sized

Going after food that cats typically

Eschew (not chew)

He does this because

Like the tall mountain,

The food is there


I like them both

Each a version of cat-crazy

And me for volunteering

Their human parents get a trip to


I stay here and stoke my allergens

I’ll recover later


Maybe they’ll offer me

A cushion in cat-heaven

Probably not


C L Couch



Photo by Harshil Gudka on Unsplash



All Things Bright

All Things Bright


To be prosaic about it, today is

the definition of a summer


It’s hot (eighties), and it’s


The sky is pale blue, and scattered clouds

(cumulo-cirrus?) are flying high;

there is a faint breeze.


Just right for children

to be outside


Riding bikes, hanging out with friends

at the Soldiers and Sailors


Walking to the community pool

with sponsors,

swimming in the pool,

taking a breath

between adventures.


C L Couch



George Hodan


No Sin Required to Have Grace Abound

No Sin Required to Have Grace Abound

(Romans 6:1 and 2, that funny, funny Paul)



I want to write about it

Maybe because I need it

I don’t know how the mealtime

Prayer became “grace”

Because grace is momentary?

We ask for your blessing now, because

We’ll only need it

‘Til the food is gone


Grace is a surprise

And, as I’ve said, like a bird

It flies, it alights, it sings

It takes off again

Grace goes where it is needed

Costs nothing, and it saves

Sometimes we do get

What we didn’t pay for


Grace cuts through works

Though doesn’t undervalue them

(show me faith without works)

Like Jesus, grace provides means

And a way to God

Though discipleship is not required


When you receive grace,

Nothing is required

But a hope (a hope) for better living

And sometime or no time

To respond to

What goes quietly below

A plea for faith

An argument to hear


If not, then not

Grace will help us, anyway

That is its nature

And its calling

You can hear in every bird

Even the ostrich through the sand

(I don’t think ostriches really do that

I can look that up

I did: they don’t)


C L Couch



Donarreiskoffer – Own work, CC BY 3.0,

clear and helpful article about ostriches and sand


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