For Those Dying Last Night



I can wonder

How many died overnight

And I do:

From fires, murder—way too many guns out there

To make it easy

Earthquake without preparation

Before catastrophe is imminent

Volcanic flooding and

The killing funnel winds and so much more


Death from lack of funding

Lack of food

Water without sickness caused in

Drinking as we have to do

Death from addiction

Let’s pass fault like drawing fault lines

All around


It’s the death unnecessary

That is maddening

As in angering

And thinking that our planet’s people

We are insane

For valuing a life over the next

For execution

Or reward

And a temporal plutarchy

(as in for the moment)

Abrogates decisions from the rest

From the most

The vast most

Of us


Blame nature, if you will

It is so strong

But at worst indifferent

With signs drawn almost in miracle

That it would just as soon

Lavish Earth with green and blue

Morning mist of romance

Evenings of wind-song

If only we’d stop destroying all the sense

All the delight

Even the magic in

Everything we should know

Do better


No, frog—isn’t easy being green

When your world wants to wither you

In fact, find new places to do so

And turn a profit in the air

Made black before nightfall

And there’s a prophecy


We keep living to hate nature

It will find a way to act and show

It hates us back





Was it taming nature?

Or negotiating,

Beseeching it not to break

Our dams or roads

Or anything for which

We lay foundation?

Did we not ask for mercy

When we lay the track

And dredge the harbor

Back from where

It had newly settled from

Whose effort, I wonder?

Do we not beg the

Earth as we split it with our

Dredges, channeled water

Wide, fractured slate

Not to hate us but

To give us our reward?

Have we ever sought to understand

Balance, agree with

How it sets and how it turns

And how we might live well

With it?

If so, then

That’s the song to sing



C L Couch




Photo by Marc Szeglat on Unsplash

Hawaii, United States

Lava from Kilauea on Hawaii flows into the ocean. I shot this picture in October 2017. More on my website