I talk you talk we'll talk


January 2020

A Quieted Place

A Quieted Place


A quiet place

A song

A horror story

Someplace where we want to be


A park

The parking lot at the stadium

Night with lights outside

Inside with a candle

Or with nothing

But our senses

As they are


I carry the noise

You might

And so must have another

Point and counterpoint

To make a wash of sound

And give me (us) echoes of the sea

Or some such ambiance

For peace


C L Couch



Photo by Amanda Flavell on Unsplash


Empty Container at Your Door

Empty Container at Your Door


I need something

Maybe you have it

Not a reason

I have reasons

Not a cup of sugar as

A metaphor


How about some spice?

Might you have

Oregano, bay leaf—

Or some mint leaves for

A julep or mojito?


Anything that might

Speak up of interest

Give the day some

Seasoning in either

Experiment or harmony

It’s in the words, I know

The texture on

The tongue and then

The taste


So that there is

An instant call to

Savor everything

Solid or liquid or

Flying through the air

Loose molecules

Like witches’ night

A moon-sailed sky

Fire circle then

Retreat to morning


Or spices like alchemy

Changing the substance of

The world

Adding some wealth

Unto those the

Crusted world deems


The surprise of a reaction

Ruining its surprise

With one of bright living

By those they wish



Some flavoring, please

Please make it real

Even for me

Especially for you


C L Couch



Photo by Cassidy Phillips on Unsplash

My friend is a ceramic artist and made this pitcher, which she is watering her herbs with. It’s beautiful to see art given a purpose.


Praying from Democracyland

Praying from Democracyland


Okay, God

You and me

Don’t you have

The poor end of the stick

I can rely on the other end

That’s you

I treat you as a friend

Sometimes as a phantom

Sometimes wish you down

Upon my enemies

With fire and menace

But then consider

Those for me

And cease

I have to

That is doctrine

Sigh (a real, stage, and

spiritual direction)


You are the source of power

Start of majesty,

I know

I treat you like a pal

I shouldn’t do that

But you are the source of love, more so

And I don’t know how to deal

In that,

Snubbing all formality

In wanting easy terms

For us


As a suggestion, let’s read your gospel

Much of that has clarity, I know

And honestly the fuzzy parts

Are interesting but not compelling

Either way


So I’ll rely on truth as

I can get it from

A reading and a prayer

You’ll be there,

I know

As in everything you started

The skies

The world

And me

Anyone who listens

Or does not listen

Who hears but does not hear

Sometimes like me,

Though now

This is about you


C L Couch



Photo by Cole Keister on Unsplash

Portland, United States

Condensation and fresh raindrops against the window of our car during a trip to get donuts in Portland, Oregon.


Thank You Very Much

Thank You Very Much

(a gratitude of winter)


I don’t have a winter home

No fireplace to sit by and

Wrap up

Wheel a television set close

By (before the wrapping)

To play an old, old movie

Maybe in black and white

(scandalous! I know)

To have a cup of something hot

A book close by for cheer—well,

These things I could arrange

(book and hot drink, even reading


But how to have some company

To share the story of

The story and to

Talk of other things?


For the half I do not have,

I have a half of other things

Some of which might do

The book (and reading glasses)

I can heat up something

And I have the time, I believe,

For now


For what I have and what I don’t

And what you give me to believe,

For with some snow

And not too much (I hope, I ask)

And for all who are with me

Now and again,

I can say, only and best,

Thank you very much


C L Couch


This is inspired by a song in a family-favorite movie, Scrooge.



Photo by Headway on Unsplash

Lake Michigamme, United States

Our nights were filled with conversations by the fire, singing songs, and lots of laughs. It was a great way to unwind and grow together as a crew. See more about our team retreat on our blog.


Testimony of a Winter Day

Testimony of a Winter Day


Snow has fallen

Like frosting on a cake for now

Is that where the baker’s

Term came from?

The sky is featureless

Any sunlight is diffuse

It’s Saturday

So in the USA timing is not an issue

For the weekend-minded

And privileged

It’s a setting for a winter’s day

Appropriate for the Mid-Atlantic

If there’s a storm somewhere

Beaches will be closed for walking

Ships will hopefully take caution

As an exigent criterion


At present, I live in a small town

And testify only to a noisy neighbor

I would rather live without

Maybe he will leave

But not today

Today is a day for inside

For those who have fireplaces

To light a fire in them

Read by another light

Next to the firelight

Wrap up in something

Liquid hot or cold close by

Or if there’s someone else, have

A conversation


About nothing in particular

Or what’s been keeping in the rush

Of sunlit, navigable days


C L Couch



Photo by invisiblepower on Unsplash


The Early Morning


Inventing Peace

Inventing Peace

(in three small acts)



Peace comes from within

And also without

It’s an invention, a discovery

A state of mind

It’s an accomplishment

Takes years

Something always just ahead

Out of reach

Of mortal hands



But we make it happen, yes?

It starts and ends with me

All right, maybe another

A small circle

Dedicated to agreement

But that’s it

We get a place of comfort

And we decide

We have it



And then the big barns of the wealthy

Look useless for God calling up

The builder before

Any more was put inside

Oh, so someone must be involved

That person

I should pray

And go to church, now and then

And give something to the poor

That taken care,

I’ll have earned



Well, no

In this dialogue with me

Since you’ve gotten me involved

Through invocation

I must tell you

Peace is not for you

It never was




Peace is for the poor

Don’t worry, the poor can own many things

But they can’t be you

You disqualified yourself

Almost at birth

That can’s be

You’re not fair!


Not all the time, no

But I’m just

You’re human

You, your people, asked to have it so

And so it’s been

You live in will

That means you live with sin

Beneath the skin

Your parents might have done it for you

But you owned it, soon as possible



Okay, I see

What do you want?


But that’s another conversation

Call it prayer, call it confession

I’ll call it pardon

Repentance and then reconciliation

Look there, I’ve given it all away

You want peace?

Do that


C L Couch



Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash

Sparrows on the Snow – pictures edited with my presets that you can find on my website in BIO


Patmos Day 10001

Patmos Day 10001

(Revelation 21 1)


I am here alone

Surrounded by the world

Or so it seems


The world tan and blue

The building bleached

In which I rest

Waiting for another vision



That will not come

I fear

After all

I all learned about

The end of things


But there was so little said about

The new

Too brief

The new heaven and new


How they might be conveyed

For life in the eternal

I want to know

Not as if apocalypse were not enough

It burns the parts of me that

Sight things



So I scratch on paper

When I can

A finger in the sand

When there is that

I wait

For them to come

The agents of the Savior

Telling me


In perfect love and fear

What to record

That might slip through the web

For all of you to hear



C L Couch



photo by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash

night sky over the church


See and Taste

See and Taste

(Psalm 34:8)


When there was communion,

Four times a year,

Small cups

Were distributed,

Clear and plastic

Warm to touch


I would take my cup,

Tilt its smallness just a little in my favor

To see four lights reflected

Four yellow dots floating

In and as

Four corners

A square inside a circle


One dot for God

One for Jesus, for the Holy Spirit,

And for me

And when I’d turn the plastic cup

Those little lights would merge

To make an errant twirl,

An artwork of gold


A swirl on top

A small pool of grape juice

At room temperature,

As if to say


Even to the child,

We’re all in this together

You’ve eaten, now drink

And with us

Seal the season

Outside, inside


C L Couch



Photo by Erica Viana on Unsplash

São Paulo, SP, Brasil


A Game

A Game


There is a game

To play now and then

It’s called the future

Something blank is all that’s needed

Not even paper

An open book

Or tabletop will do

But keep it empty

Then place a thought inside

And then another

You will lose your way, and that’s all right

You’ve won by then!

Maybe play again

Or realize



C L Couch



Photo by Wolfgang Rottmann on Unsplash


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