I talk you talk we'll talk


December 2019

Life Out There

Life Out There


We can only imagine ourselves in space

Place ourselves there

Somehow the blackness would be air to breathe

The planets reading lights

With far-flung stars become the neighborhood

With home a house made out of gravity

Some kind of place we might deserve

Among the stars


Planetoids might greet us, once again

(Pluto’s back)

Asteroids carry our messages

Faster words in comet-tails’


For something faster, send a meteor

But I think, when balanced right,

Dark matter will tell us all

We need to know, between each other


C L Couch



Photo by Arnold Zhou on Unsplash


Uneven Day


Uneven Day

(winter solstice)


What did Merton say?

I don’t know where I’m going

I don’t know what I’m doing

And Frodo something like

I will take the ring to Mordor

Though I do not know the way

Indecision is a funny thing

Because it doesn’t have to stop us

We can pray

We can wear the ring

As a blessing or an onus (as in probandi)

We can go to Gethsemani


Then on to Mordor


Tomorrow the day and night are split

Their most unevenly

It won’t be a celebration, then, of symmetry

Rather infinity, for we’ll be wanting



We’ll want longer days

The chance for life in light

Maybe a bargain,

If we do our part

We’ll say

And many of us mean it


How do we move from darkness into light?

Shouldn’t that happen, anyway?

What if we stand still?

Sit in a quiet place

Where we won’t be noticed

Won’t be bothered, either


Well, we don’t where we’re going

And we might stay in place

Though ongoing inaction doesn’t plumb

Right in the sounding of our nature

I don’t mean not rest

By all means, rest

But take care for the new year

That for many starts tomorrow

When division is uneven

When balance won’t accomplish much

For months to come


C L Couch



Photo by Kamesh Vedula on Unsplash

Cupertino, United States


Regarding the Earthlings’ Case

Regarding the Earthlings’ Case


Winter is a freezing time

Up north

Down south, when it’s time

Though there seem to be extremes

Among, inside

The peaks of the Andes

The ice-steppes under which

Somewhere is land

This is Antarctica

Wide colonies of wildlife

I’m not saying we don’t have these

In the north,

But often they are left alone down there,

And a meaning to keep it that way


I don’t know,

Eventually the Andes will wear down,

Which is natural

But the shelves around the South Pole

That slip away in parts

The breakage in icebergs

Bigger and bigger

And ill-timed

Don’t you think there might be

An irregular reason for these?

That we, in fact, precipitate all the early

Slides affecting

Millions of square meters?


I ask to be polite,

Though there is no courtesy in wreckage

On the Earth

By our fair hands

Become dirt-ridden

(the dishonest kind of dirt)

And plastic

The profit of pollution

While we’ve stopped talking about ozone

And the protections

We are ruining

Until they go elsewhere

Care for another place

While well-received


Soon we will need rescue from ourselves

By whom, I also do not know

If there’s a Martian league

Or on blue Venus

Might come over to assist

Then exact a price, because

There must be justice in

The Solar System


C L Couch



Photo by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash



The Tell

The Tell


In the future, should we have it

We might gather into upper rooms

Keepers of technology

With those of bread

To tell a story of

What was lost, was kept

Not forgetting that we write

New chapters in

Our saga


Rising, falling passages like

Exploration of an ocean

Something like discovery

Reconquest when we call for it

Removing home


There is a center with

A monument to keeping

We gave away so much

Forsaking clarity

We held too closely, crushed it

Everything that was a gift

Finding we had no real talent in

Adding to creation

When there could have been alliances


Finally, nothing’s lost

If it must change again

And we with it

We’ll have what we have

In keeping up with prophecy

Fields we didn’t have to fight. for

Nature in benevolence to share


Partnership with

The ground at last,

The sea and all its colonies

We have a place, if regulated

By our betters whom we knew

And would not recognize

And the better us

In time for staying

And for leaving


C L Couch



Photo by Touann Gatouillat Vergos on Unsplash

Lake Louise, AB, Canada

On the ice. Instagram :


Breathe Through It

Breathe Through It


What is it but

The wind,

Ruach, pneuma

What is it but breathing

In and out, back in

And back out again

Autonomically, thank goodness

I’d hate to have to think about it

Or blinking

Or a heartbeat

Sometimes we need a push

And then there’s oxygen

In a canister

If it doesn’t seem to work, that can

Be frightening

After a heart attack, when the EMTs

Arrive or at the hospital,

First thing it seems there’s oxygen

Pressed into the nostrils

Good thing, I’m thinking

And typically there’s nitroglycerine

(now there’s an irony in invention)

That eases the chest

And tries to split the head

Into pieces


Imitations of the spirit

All to keep us breathing

I’m thankful

Honestly, for both

The breath that keeps me going,

That takes me home


C L Couch



Photo by Alain Wong on Unsplash

Saint-Adolphe-d’Howard, Canada


Friday and Saturday Children

Friday and Saturday Children


Writing in a cube


Whose walls are


I can make out movement

Maybe I make a noise

You can see enough

To know someone is in here


We’re claustrophobic, so

We can’t stay at this long

How about

We take down the walls

No one sees through, really

Works through, anyway


Maybe we could re-make them into floors

Or doors, the kind that come in

Halves so that there’s a shelf

To lean on

While we converse about

The new day


Invitations follow


C L Couch



Image by Wolfgang Eckert from Pixabay


Overlooking Darkness

Overlooking Darkness


There is a tradition

That was never mine

That everything be done on Christmas Eve

Tree, decorating (house and tree),

Dealing with presents,

Maybe making special food

All be done that night

Whew, how can that be

Without the help of elves who

Have switched folkloric chores from

Cobbling shoes?


I think maybe it was the way of immigrants

Brought over like so many things we do


In timelines we can’t count

With working families

Whose jobs were not done ‘til then,

Stores would have to have stayed open

Christmas tree lots

Maybe hot-chocolate vendors

With those bags of chestnuts

All to relieve all of the rest, once a year

A whole day off

Maybe the day after



I do remember Jews and Muslims

Seventh-Day Adventists

Atheists, agnostics

Filling in for services

Firetrucks, utilities, hospital needs

So Christians had time off

I remember, looking another way

For wanting all this time

The special lights

To stay

Inside a mind of memory

A human heart of longing


Too sweet to go for, now? in the world

We have,

We might add a little

It could be a gift


C L Couch



Image by Kohji Asakawa from Pixabay


It Can Be Christmas Now

It Can Be Christmas Now

(for those who might be on to something not to want to wait)


It’s Christmas now

Might as well be

The markets are done

Some are marching on

Like soft-tin soldiers in a toyland

Hoping to go home

For a holiday



The discounts are deepening

But the first great breaths have breathed

And it’s a few to go

Up to the finish line

(God bless them)


It’s Christmas now

It might as well be

The season has a different name

Until the day christens itself a new time

For twelve days

A catechetical song

Says so


It might as well be Christmas

We could breathe into it

How many movies, songs,

And consecrations do we need?


We can have it Christmas

Regardless (and because) of our creed

Right now


C L Couch



Photo by Anton Scherbakov on Unsplash

GUM, Moskva, Russia

I was walking in the center of Moscow through the crowded fair and realized that some decorations look like small beautiful stars in the sky. Don’t you think so? 🙂


two poems about associating

two poems about associating



(drafted today)

Loony Like a Tune


I don’t know much

But I know this

Carson City is the capital of Nevada

Bugs Bunny told me so

I think he was being pressed

By Yosemite Sam


I don’t mean to push a copyright

This was the stuff of childhood

I remember things


My older brother and I once

Ran around the basement,

Making woop-woop sounds because the

Three Stooges were on TV


And because I read about the Hardy boys

I found something good in reading

Read other things

And became the English teacher


Who owns these associations?

I have to wonder

We own our minds

In spite of agendas toward dystopia

And sometimes cultic ravings


I think I still need my

Cartoons and my easygoing stories

Found in books with little weight

We never know when a bad,

Mechanistic idea might

Come along

One response

To act like a fourth

Stooge rather than a minion


That last stanza looks like Minnesota

I wonder what cartoons

They need up there



(drafted yesterday, I realize)


(an argument I’m never going to have)


You think I do this because

I don’t know enough words


It has meaning

You know this when you use it

Home of the brave

The seventh-inning stretch

Lady Macbeth

She doth protest too much

(who is not that lady)

The referencing ties us all

In ties that bind

Silken cords, I imagine

(and I borrow)

And we refer to Genesis or anything

To say like Whos to Horton,

We are here



C L Couch



Photo by Mark Olsen on Unsplash

Panther Pond, ME

Mother Loon Shakes Off



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