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September 2019

Jesus Saves—I Saw This on a Rock Near Some Water

Jesus Saves—I Saw This on a Rock Near Some Water


God is love

What does that mean?

The catechist might ask of us

Not to be tricky but because

The Bible assertion’s actual


It means that

Metaphors have power

That words carry meaning,

Even of an overwhelming kind

That God is love

As God is a spirit,

Another claim from

The same source


A claim that God might be corporeal

In Jesus, as Christians say

Also metaphoric

In a human-drawn creed, as

Fully human, full-divine

But God is regardless and always

A spirit

Something that might not need

A body or a well-known shell of divinity

To be present


Do you believe in legends?

I often do

And I think material

The roses in the mantle

Or the cloak,

Red and real


If we had been there

We could have been stung

By thorns

While lost in wondering

Prodding impulsive touches


But the thorn, the flower

They are love, too

As was the Aztec’s faith

That simply took the flowers

In the cloth

To change the bishop’s

Encroaching unbelieving attitude


So faith is love and change for good

And miracle as well

And so God as love might be these, too

While in and with the spirit

We might take part

Right now

Later on

Whenever love might call

Leaving a message

We call back


C L Couch



Image by Светлана Бердник from Pixabay › wiki › Our_Lady_of_Guadalupe › our-lady-of-guadalupe › saints › saint


The Value of a Wall

The Value of a Wall


In the morning, there is quiet

Most of us waking

Few of us on the road

Though that will change


If we had no vehicles,

How insular we would become

And yet we have all these walls

And we need them

Climate, protection, and privacy

Realities and values

Yet we slide against our walls

Inside, on the floor

It could happen outside

Against the street


Knees up

There might not be cries—

They are not civil—

There will be impulsive tears

Falling one way or the other

Depending on

How we’ve been trained


C L Couch



Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash


Proof for Faith, There Isn’t Any

Proof for Faith, There Isn’t Any

(then Quo vadis?)



You want proof

There isn’t any

Maybe in the nautilus

Contemplative-minded people

Seem to like the spiral

Turning and arching toward


Lately, I’ve been looking at

Where the spiral’s going

When the photograph is stairs and not

A shell

Often, there’s a black space on

The image

Mystery, an unknown place of

Arrival, I imagine

Sometimes, the square is light

But also undefined

Then there are creative renderings

Steps made of windows,


Sometimes of stained glass

Where are we going? all the frames

Of any kind seem

To say


Quo vadis?

I suppose there is in indication


We are traveling up

Though shift a little, maybe

Going down

Perhaps there is no depth or height

And we are moving in

Into something

On to something

Maybe something good

We don’t know

The final patch is indeterminate

The question, then, remains

Not of proof

But of starting


C L Couch



Photo by Sven Read on Unsplash

Karlsplatz, München, Germany

This is a staircase in a public building in Munich, Germany. It looks quite amazing from the bottom.


And Welcome to It

And Welcome to It


I wake up half in pain

My neck is sore, my head full

Maybe I simply didn’t sleep


The car is at the shop

I’m nervous about that

It could be totaled, technically

I’d go without until

Something else could be arranged

Besides, I like my car

I have to park it on the street

Where someone else could hit it

And she did

I say she to be accurate

A he could have hit it just as well

And added male ego to it

I have a nice, new rental in an alley

And took collision out for it

I know, it’s money sucked into a vacuum

Of a service that will go unused

A gimmick of the company

But at the moment I’m gun-shy,

Which is why the new car

And it’s new

Will be at rest a ways away

I’ll take a walk to and fro,

Which been my week so far

I hope yours is easier

I do have food and a water filter

Fall is on the way

And it is trite and true

That things are tough all over

My world of one, as

It’s one, is not singly terrible, while

On a world of nine billion

It is worse

And it is glorious



C L Couch



Photo by Louis Reed on Unsplash

Wales, United Kingdom

A 360 panorama stitched and warped to create the tiny planet effect. Image sequence taken by drone above a community field in Wales.


Here, Good Dog—Here, Sport!

Here, Good Dog—Here, Sport!

(the only pet my mother let my father name)


Thank goodness, people keep dogs

We brought them into

Our caves

They are our responsibility

In turn, they are our sentinels

Our friends

It’s said they can turn wild

So can we


If you’re reading this and you have a dog, then

Thank you

If you are reading and you are a dog,

Then I’d so much like to meet you


C L Couch



Image by martaposemuckel from Pixabay


Universal Export

Universal Export

(story to relate to)


I was involved in an accident

I wasn’t there for

The car was parked, and someone

Drove into it

Drove into other cars as well

I heard the crash, went outside

There were people, soon there were

Flashing lights

Both ends of the block were closed

A frightened person driving plus

Her children there

(all physically unhurt, thank


Who wants to press on that,

On them?

If there was a villain, it was


And it fled sometime ago

Now we wait and talk and wait

And talk some more

Now all the procedural stuff begins

My car is gone, as in towed away

For anxiety, I contacted friends

And took a pill

It’s morning now, time to call around

Sigh, sigh, sigh


C L Couch



Photo by Seth Doyle on Unsplash


Keep It Holy

Keep It Holy


A life set aside

For a spiritual purpose

Wow, that’s enticing

A ritual for morning

For brushing teeth

(I already have one—ritual,

that is)

For going out into the world

Or staying in

Ever mindful of

The senses, the oxygen

It takes to have them remade

By a Spirit

Not unlike the kind invoked

When first people gather

Smoke, bread, shadow

Gray colors, brown

Small brilliances in flowers

All reminders, lessons

Items on a clipboard

Of discipline

A life by candlelight

By words, by work,

By what we do to have enough

For sustenance and charity

But everything

Every breath is holy

Set aside like taxes

Only next to nothing must be

Rendered to Caesar

Life in a cave above the ground

We could have hours of quiet

We could listen

For and as another way

The ordinary molecules



Changes we can’t see, though

Sometimes there is a bell

There are other signals, too

That this is a new dedication

Joy and energy

Sister, brother

Mother, father

And all sorts of strangers


This kind of world has a chance

Without a way to count

Expanding or diminishing returns


Wealth of a new kind

Everything is new

For being ancient

Every second, every nanosecond

Not measured

But go as a new kind of priceless

An order an accountant shouldn’t know

Unless she join the order, too

God speaking, whispering, crying

We have attuned our molecules

To hear

Our books are turned into

Absorption unrelenting


To catch

As if it’s tossed to catch

The borning cry, the adolescent rage

And grown-up sorrows (any age)

Newly tuned like any instrument


We’ll live in an endless sabbath

Abbey, monastery


But really I mean a life

We could really try

(chronos left for kairos)

In which there is no little thing

That goes unnoticed

Every mote transformed

Newly and forever sensed


For the effort and results

This takes

Is why

Prayer has led to bleeding

The world conquered by rebuttal


Because the spiritual life so contrary

A crazy rendering of nuclei

That sometimes

Only makers and comakers



C L Couch



Photo by Evi Radauscher on Unsplash

Oberdorfen, Dorfen, Germany






I didn’t see the micro-moon

Last night

I think it was too small

I think it was bounced around

The points of stars

Like the silver ball

In an arcade machine

A comet might have caught it

With its tail

And shooed it to

Another side of night


Perhaps the Milky Way gave way

To make a berth of its fluidity

For a small moon to rest

Off the path


The moon must rule at night

That is a cosmic dictum

But every now and then

(it takes an apogee)

There is a smaller size

And there is room among the lesser


A greater sky-democracy

That gets everything up there

To partner up to grace

‘Round and as

All the spheres


It was cloudy haze and haze of clouds

But it was fun to think another night


C L Couch



Image by esudroff from Pixabay


Prayer of the Lame

Prayer of the Lame


Dear Lord

I hope I can do this right

What I have left

To live, to give, to try

I doubt I understand humility

But being filled with nothing but myself

Is no fun, either

How many times have saints

Asked to be emptied of themselves

So that they might be filled

With sanctity, with piety

To serve

I’m sure I can’t go that far

Too many times I’ve lost myself

In other ways

And fear to come near the edge

Of that again


I don’t want to make divinity of will

And, you know, I don’t love myself so much

But there is something

(your fault)

In genesis

In being made and trying to figure out

The puzzle, after

The pieces that we have

Without the border, without corners

Believing, though, there is some shape

Some definition

Of both kinds, shape and meaning


Dear Lord

Please let me have this day

And promise of another

I might work nothing out

But maybe heart

And mind and body, as is (as are)

Have meaning in existing

The energy in pushing blood

In cracking synapse in the brain

In what is known

And unknown

Done and not done

Sin and virtue

Understood, worked out

Correctly, with discretion

For a change


Dear Lord

Help us, not

Know it all

Or even much

But to find the joy and peace

That might

You know

Indeed, pass all our understanding

And come back to live with us

Prodigal salvation

Broken heart

Faith in fractures

As I am

As we are

Old song, missing notes

Still sings


C L Couch



Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash


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