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October 2019

Witchening Hour

Witchening Hour


When it’s the midnight hour

On Hallowe’en

Nothing, it’s simply the start of

Another hour

I want witches to appear

And magic manifest

Strange lights and an open doorway

Never there before

An hour for the ghosts to dance

While all of us in costume now


The thinness torn

Between two worlds

Maybe mortal folk can

Sashay with the eldritch


The thing is that

It might not be terrifying

Simply extraordinary

Occult as in unknown alone

Conjuring an honest gathering

For all of us

To bear an hour


C L Couch



Image by joseph_Berardi from Pixabay


A Small-S Saint to Guide Me

A Small-S Saint to Guide Me

(still on dashboards everywhere)


I’m going on a trip

I’m not sure I know the way

When I arrive, there will be family

To make it all worthwhile


It might rain

There will be mountains and

The valleys in between

I hope there will be a cloudy sky

Not enough to rain,

Rather to keep the bright rays off of me

Or, on another hand, a benevolent

Kind of sun


A little traveling music, please

The car is old

Not connected

No blue teeth

Still smarter than its owner is, I’m sure

And I have CDs

Like records, only small and shinier

Audiobooks, in fact

Thanks to my friend who swears by them

Now I am an acolyte as well


A word before I go

Once done, I’ll have to turn around

To do it all again

Back to small towns and hobbit-holes


And, you know,

Back again


C L Couch



Photo by Tabea Damm on Unsplash

Hvalfjarðarsveit, Iceland

Go on a trip. Make an adventure.


A Call to Worship

A Call to Worship

(could be read antiphonally)


We might not have thanked you

Recently for capillaries,

For all the things we cannot see

That keep us going, anyway:


The roots of trees


The tunnels through which

Things creep, which break

Up the land

To keep it porous


The ozone layer,

Hard to breathe;

The relationship between the

Earth and moon;

The soles of our feet,

When we’re wearing shoes


For what gratitude might look like,

If we could hold it in our hands

Like cupped water from

A faucet;

For the pipes set to reach the source

And for the source


For hydrogen and oxygen

That come together,

Making a miracle

Of molecules


Thank you for the easy and the difficult,

For everything that mixes up

To make our lives

And what we’re gifted with



C L Couch



Photo by Lorenzo Spoleti on Unsplash

Patmos, Greece





Color is falling from the leaves

I hear wet tires pressing on the street outside

I have coffee bubbling in a machine

The toaster’s thinking about making me rye toast

(I have to put the bread in

two times)

It’s early, not so early

I have an artificial breeze, cooling me and

Inciting an illusion of faraway and underneath, say,

An Arabian archway on the clean edge of a


Early in the day

It’s cool there, too


Could I ask for more?

Of course, I could

I’m human

But this is pretty good

And I have the keyboard

With electricity

Senses sharp enough to take in more than one perspective

Pretty well,

All things considered


A song is playing

Turn around, look at me

Can you see me?

Can you hear me?

Touch me, taste me, too?

Sniff out the wet day with me?

Certainly, you can

And as far as will is concerned,

You might join me in the senses, too


I have the coffee, now

First sip (more like a slurp) is promising

Soon, there will be toast

I hear the springs just now

Launching the bread

I will put it in a bowl so I can break

It up and let the crumbs (the

bread ash)


Like the season


I wonder if the bowl was, how it was

Attached to one’s medieval belt

And taken town to town;

Put down money on the bar

To have the bowl filled

With soup or beer

One, then the other

(which first?)

Some work, then on to the next place—a

Forest for the night, maybe near some water

A spire over trees on the next morning’s walking

Signing something built, arising

On the way


One piece of bread was enthused,

Leaping halfway out of the slot

As if to say (Las-Vegas style)

This one’s a winner


So I guess we have computers, now

And carry on with screens

We don’t hand-write our way;

For most of us

Fingertips touching electrons

Cameras that work in that way, too

Numbers so many beyond the f-stop and

The film speed


Well, past time to start my day

I hope you’ll let me think

Of you,

Muse, and all companions

Present and future tense

There you are


C L Couch



Photo by Ahmad Odeh on Unsplash

Dyptik Company – France Dans L’engrenage. Ramallah Contemporary Dance Festival – Sareyyet Ramallah/Palestine.


I’ll Come Back Later for the Rite

I’ll Come Back Later for the Rite

(I know I need it)


I’m sorry I

Did so many things

So many things,


Not perfectly?

Is that what I was thinking?

At the time, I didn’t think

But now I think back

I know, it’s getting foolish

I think that is

What I was thinking

Back of thinking, that

Everything could be done, yes

(I get it

I didn’t get it),

With perfection

If only I applied

Whatever we’re cajoled

Into applying

As in, if you’d only apply yourself


There is much less energy for this, now

Not because of age

But because of sadness

And some depression

(“more” mollified through medication)

Enough defeat, enough disappointment

In quantity and quality

To understand a little more

About humanity

Not to suss out

Philosophies of error

But to say at last, at least I’m one of you

Please don’t bother me anymore

For more


C L Couch



Photo by Grant Whitty on Unsplash


Long Day’s Journey

Long Day’s Journey


It’s late on a long day

I have to go to the bathroom

I learned not to while a teacher

Not that it’s been a bad day

I got my car from the body shop

It had been hit without me in it

Some weeks ago

Now it looks shiny

(‘cause they washed it)

I’ll learn to use the clutch again

Since the rental was an automatic

I’ve been watching horror movies

Because it’s the end

Of October

‘Tis the season, as it were

I’m not a child

I didn’t watch with popcorn

I had some crackers with some Coke,

Which I tell myself

Is good for my stomach against

All the pills I take

At the moment, I feel too tired

To go to bed

Do you know the feeling?

I’m thinking you do

So Good Night, when we get to it

The clock has turned to 1-1-1


C L Couch



Photo by Frankie Lopez on Unsplash

Night in Motion, Downtown Tucson AZ





Pink light

Surrounded by dark branches

Light inside forfends what’s

Left of night

It’s dawn,

The planet over it is

Always dawn

Sunset, too

I won’t have mine

For a while

What kind of light do you have

These moments

Where you are?

Or what kind of night?

The stars await our replies

Not because we’re wise

But because we can look up

A light pitch against



C L Couch



Testa dell’ “Aurora” di Michelangelo (calco in gesso realizzato dalla Gipsoteca Fumagalli & Dossi, Milano).

Giuseppeconforti – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,





I’ve noticed writers

Of mysteries, especially

Make eyes with

Improbable eye colors

The color of steel

Purple, amber

Blue so blue no sky could

Manage it


Thank goodness

We have not assigned a rank

For irises


They are the curtains for the windows,


They are evocative

Entirely from outside

Inside them, I’m not sure

How much we

Care except in mirrors

That take us outside again


Though there’s the liking of,

It’s something,

A gift


C L Couch



Photo by Ian Wetherill on Unsplash

Odenberg, Germany





The markers of the season have


Cold rain, color in the leaves


Paradox in brilliance dying


It’s in our lore;

It’s why we conflagrate the phoenix


C L Couch



Photo by Hamed Daram on Unsplash

Abadan, Iran


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