I talk you talk we'll talk


September 2019



(images on TV)


What do I know,

If you are one of these


If you are one of these,

I guess

You’ll have a uniform

You won’t worry over clothing

You’ll have a gun, no



No doubt, it’s heavy

You’ll have ammunition

In bags with clips

Hanging from your belt

You’ll sink into the Earth, some


You’ll walk a great deal

Then stand still

There will be drink, eventually

And food

Technically, you won’t have

Worries over these as well

Pay, maybe

That could go to your family, maybe


You won’t have worries

You’ll have purpose

You can reclaim your ego

You can keep it in your pocket


Keep it in your pocket

No one will care

It is a matter of indifference

Should you make it through the day

Unless your leaders are unusual



Strategically (either way),

It might be helpful if

(fewer supplies to use)

Some of you should die

More people seeking meaning

On the way

They might bring their own

(they won’t

they don’t have it)


Not much for recruitment (then)

Clothing, food, and drink

A purpose without will

No worry

No one should wonder why


No one should wonder why

The unformed ranks might

Grow, inflating individuals to

Little more than


Waging, becoming small wars


How quickly it must feel

The first part so far

A way of life, so far


C L Couch



Photo by Bash Fish on Unsplash





Out goes the bad air

In goes the good

That was from a cartoon, I think

Someone pushing water out

And hoping oxygen got in

In an animated way

And in an animated way


That’s all I remember

Maybe a vague image in black and white

But everything was black and white

We didn’t have a color set

As for a time, no one did

In what was technology but

Shooting rockets into space

Removing oxygen in liquid style

One-way breathing

For a planet


Awaiting returns for investment

Time and space, material and energy

Before we got the set

And got Apollo

Earthy breath

That is imagination


C L Couch



Photo by Bill Jelen on Unsplash

The June 29, 2018 launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station was scheduled for 5:42:42 AM in order to rendezvous with the International Space Station. Every rocket has a plume of exhaust, but only the rockets launching just before sunrise will show up like this one.


All Dogs Come from Heaven

All Dogs Come from Heaven


There is a puppy in the building

I like her

She likes everyone

She is rather all legs and nose

Just now

And a tongue and rounded teeth

That want to nip and sandpaper everything


We know how unconditional

The regard of dogs can be

They want to love us

Forgive and forget

All the rest

All human caprices

Go, dog, go


C L Couch



Go, Dog. Go! is a story about (fast) dogs by P. D. Eastman.


Photo by J-S Romeo on Unsplash

Tleta-El Henchane, Morocco




(starting, starting over)


A basement

Pylons for tall buildings

Makeup for the face

Exposition and a theme

For the story

(how we begin

why we are here)


Because our gravity is positive,

We start construction

At the bottom,

Working up to heights

Adding touches for

A final presentation

(for the face at a party

or simply for a day)


The Christian Bible speaks to

A foundation of rock

A metaphoric house, maybe a

Bishop in Rome


Older types in mind sing

How firm a foundation


Foundations need not be

Beautiful, I guess

But they are the start

Green flags

Signs that things are coming

Strong things, we hope


The revelation of a purpose on its way

How much more, we will not know

‘Til we are done


Whatever the iteration

Or evangelism

Foundations themselves

Have a single purpose

A basement

Or a note to tune

Letters on paper

Brush to cheek


You know, I think in department

Stores, when messages were rung

Foundation stood, so to say

For underwear


It might be hiding soon

(might be)

But it has enabled

Everything to start

To see, to touch

To use

On the way and especially

After dedication


The pre-beginning, as it were

Carrying the vision

Everything added


Something starts from something

The physics of construction

(any kind)

Something more or less



Immortal, invisible

Nothing else can rise

Without this first work


Unlike promises of songs that

Are of God

And God,

What is built will not last

All resolved into

The base of Ozymandias

Should Liberty fail

Due to the hate and anger

Ego of this age

I wonder if someone will write

Across her broken toes

I am Ozymandias


Look on my works, ye mighty


We could build on humility, after all

Courteous discretion

Let love be our guide

On all the buildings

All the faces

You might say ridiculous

While I must say essential


Build up in every way,

My friends

(yes, in that way, too)

Add on, though I must also say

Build with simplicity

The beauty of what leaves room

For admiration



And wonderment


End of lessoning

Start of day

Built on everything before

To supplement

To correct

In all things

To create

Co-create, that is




I’m not sure my younger brother

Would forgive me, if

I did not cite the series by Isaac


Eponymous (with the poem, not

Asimov, and with his work),

Adding cosmic learning

And significance

In case divinity

In art or rhetoric

Might not be agnostically



C L Couch



Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash

During our trip through New Zealand we found this sweet spot. All the bras are from visitors. This is a social campaign from the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation near Queenstown. They collect some money with a little box for donations. Greet opportunity to finance a little bit for the research to fight against breast cancer.





God, I relent

I love you

And I need you

Need your peace

I don’t know how to earn it

My ego efforts garnered

Wrath instead

But simply, keenly through me

I am exhausted

Sin and ranting about sin

Dreams of persecution

Ides of March

The statue of Pompey waits

For blood to paint the base


For all the darkness

Turn to judgment day

Wake me, Lord

Rather to a better day

A day with light that’s blue and real

Showing me another way

An approved sun

Love increased by

The breastplate that’s

Around, above, below, behind

Love can do that


Invade like an unrelenting force

Or withstand a worldly storm

It can come unbidden, unrelenting

But I’m asking


C L Couch



Photo by Jansen Yang on Unsplash

Saint Patrick’s Breastplate, a Prayer of Protection, also known as The Deer’s Cry, The Lorica of Saint Patrick or Saint Patrick’s Hymn, is a lorica whose original Old Irish lyrics were traditionally attributed to Saint Patrick during his Irish ministry in the 5th century. In 1889 it was adapted into the hymn I Bind Unto Myself Today. A number of other adaptions have been made.





There are many thoughts

In the in-between

Waking, prior to rising

But now there’s light and rising

Ablutions, coffee-making

And they’re mostly gone


There were some good things



Now I have to work it

Strive to half-express

Not give everything away

Not only because I do not know

But also so that, you know,

There is something

For you


It’s all for you at last

I will be absent

This is what you will have

Copyright and other

Social niceties aside

This it’s yours

As anyone who sets these down

Might say

It’s all for you


So what do we have?

We are in a circle

(please sit down)

Taking part in great

Ordinary meaning

These circles happening anywhere

Or so they should

To share responses

And like Pietists

To temper revelation

Our event horizon, so to say,

Is now and what’s next

A crisis, maybe

Always an opportunity

Remember to be civil

Give everyone a turn

Don’t let one thing take over

Though everything is bias


That’s okay

It has to be

It’s natural


It’s how we were made

And if you don’t go for making

It’s practical, alone


Our circle might contract

Better to expand

To divide when a certain number’s reached

Nothing wrong with chapters

We can communicate

We’ll need an index


But this will be

Good turning and good living


C L Couch



Photo by Sebastian Schuppik on Unsplash

Berlinka, gallery café & bistro, Slovakia




(learning for children)


My sister has an allergy

She didn’t have when we were growing up

I have one, too

An allergy

I did not have before

If we return to anything like childhood

I’d rather it were in another way

But nowadays

Now that we’re older, anyway

And just because

She will have to eschew strawberries

As I have to avoid bell peppers


Then invent it on our own

An aspect of joy and unquantified


That without even a nod

Such as children have


C L Couch



Image by Merio from Pixabay





After coffee

From a broken mug

(I broke the handle yesterday)

After texts

With my sister

(if the car is totaled, remove

the EZ Pass transponder, please)

After sleep

Broken like the mug

After anthropomorphizing

The computer

(the broken cup)

And everything


I have this

A modicum of time

To choose an ignorance of

A pressing world

Freedom that’s a cheat

A conceit

Is this the will that’s free?


I think it should be better,

More aware

Not through lidded eyes

Or lidded heart

Or half-closed anything


A mind in fact that tries to trap—

I can say wall—

Unpleasant things away



Might be valor on an open field

Before a battle

Honor, claims Falstaff

Is a body slain



Fair fat fool

(how I can relate)

What help providence?


A friend in inner mischief

Pushing distractions off

The field or a working table,

Even real and less-real things


So that we might go through it



After polishing the lenses

Until clarity

Becomes our friend again


A presence

Help us look not needing eyes

For everything inside,

Once ready


For everything inside,

We take chances


C L Couch



Image by Republica from Pixabay



The Word I Mostly Let Go By

The Word I Mostly Let Go By


In Glenshaw,

Pennsylvania (USA)

Where Glenshaw Glass now

Hosts the making of the world’s

Finest vodka

(you can look it up)

Where archaeologists one day will

Dig up the roots of Scotty’s Diner

On Route 8,

There is, or was, a rock

Tall and gray and black near

Some water like a pond,

Dug out by someone

Maybe some Baptists claimed

The place

For the words “Jesus Saves” painted



What it was to me:

A left turn from the highway,

Taking us uphill toward the ridge

And on the other side where lay our red-

Brick house in our red-brick neighborhood


We went to church (farther down,

the Presbyterians)

And I had come to know

Something about Jesus

Through a storybook that was the Bible

That our Church School teachers

Read to us


I guess I tacitly agreed

With the rock’s big white words

But mostly

I didn’t think about it

It was at our left turn, taking us uphill

Over the ridge

Toward places we knew better

Than the corner

Hosting more

Impromptu, if not wild, faith


C L Couch



Image by Aaron G from Pixabay


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