I talk you talk we'll talk


February 2020

Love Story

Love Story


I should be writing about

Love, as

I was challenged years ago

By someone who no longer stays in touch

(no response, and that was that

a mystery)

To consider love in all I do

I fail, naturally enough

But the challenge is still good,

Still salient, still on

How may I love you today?

I’ll share a few words and offer a prayer

When you’re not looking

And if all this sounds way too platitudinous,

Well, remember the word

Silver has an origin in there

Something precious without money

Without recompense

Except its own

Is this family?

I don’t know, how is your family?

But, yes, I think so as the family goes beyond

Blood and legal bond

And even then


And we are the bond of Earth

With other obligations,

Though starting with a love of planet

Ain’t so bad

I love you

And the you is you

And all the yous


C L Couch



Photo by Renee Fisher on Unsplash

Manhattan, New York, United States

#LoveWall in Manhattan, NY


When It Hurts to Live

When It Hurts to Live


Well, I’ve been smacked down

By those who say, I do not care

I will not get involved

Happened again, just now

There’s money on the line and

The having of it

Me more than you

Is what matters,

The currency in hell

It doesn’t have to be

It can simply be a resource

But you’ve heard of moneychangers

I must go

Where it will always matter

Where there will be a wilderness

Atop the one that values Earth

And first-making


I don’t know how to make my way

I’m with the eccentric saint (and

aren’t all the saints?) who says

I have no idea where I am going


But if you will, dear one, if only at a distance,

I’ll come with


C L Couch



Photo by Karim MANJRA on Unsplash





It means slowly, I believe

In music

Not with the grace of adagio

Certainly, not as picaresque as



A good descriptor for these days

The lento season of

Forty, measured days


C L Couch



Golestan Shopping Center, Tehran, Iran

steady motions


Ash Wednesday and the Season

Ash Wednesday and the Season


Day of ashes

Reminding us who we are

We are ashes animated,

Which means there’s more:

Bone, sinew, organs

Inside (protected)

Blood coursing through all

An ocean’s molecules

Navigating life

Between the shoals


Ashes and water


The additives made holy substances

As well

We come to wine

The liquid and the metaphor

We still must commune

Even in a season of reflection

Many gaze upon the surface

No one throws a stone

Our sacraments are quieter for a time

We sleep

We wake into a cloudless day

With shadows only of our making

A cross, an x

A smudge

You’re got dirt on your forehead

Yes, and underneath

It is adama

For each one of us

There is no Jew or Greek

Some welcome the silence

Some will fidget

Most of us stand in between

Time to think on it and feel it through

The water of the heart

We should sheath our weapons for a time

Let them rust a bit

Every one on all sides of

The many-hedroned Earth


Let us call a truce for forty days

There is a promise that God’s rain will not

Destroy all people

There might be treachery,

I know

But what is better than to trust a little

In a season’s time for knowing

Everything anew

In an unshadowed light

Perfect gray

For seeing enough detail

Withholding judgment for not knowing

The rest


A time of trying in all ways

Our gray season has begun

Drink in and taste it differently

Our servers are mortality


C L Couch



Image by Andreas Lischka from Pixabay


Crowning Virus

Crowning Virus



The liar says it’s under control

The doctors and the sick know better

A victim is the one who

First called out


It won’t go without a cure

There isn’t one

If something supernal is revenging

Us, I do not know

Nor can it matter now

We don’t know how to sacrifice

Upon an altar made of stone and wood

It’s just as well

Eventually, we’d think of blood


As a scientific matter,

It could work out

But only if we keep the heart of it

We suffer and we die

On every side


If monolithic fiends could put aside

Gilt agendas

In favor of a geode, crystalline in all



The Earth still shines

We are smart and still have

The better things inside

There is danger like the predator’s

How we respond will make us,

Keep us who we are


C L Couch



Photo by JR Korpa on Unsplash


Fat Chances

Fat Chances


You know, I think it might be

Mardi Gras

Crept up on me this year

Probably last year, too


Fat Tuesday

Fastnacht in these parts

Shrove Tuesday

Shrove another word for

Get the fat out of the house

Ascetic Lent is coming

Tonight we consume or share

Tomorrow we wear ashes


I know our cultures

Make much in making merry

Merry’s fine

Merry’s good

Maybe we’ll smile the smile of knowing

During Lent


C L Couch



Photo by Amy Syiek on Unsplash

Boston, United States

An early morning stroll through Somerville I could smell the donuts … amazing!

(fastnacht in German Pennsylvania is also a food, not unlike a doughnut)




(for normal people)


The old King James word

For love

It can permeate

In the old-fashioned way

A cloud of knowing

For a change

When giving has a cost

It isn’t easy

Whether it’s largesse

Or widows’ mites


Giving ‘til it hurts

I question if there is

Meaning in that

But giving as a passion

New kind of love

Not ‘til there’s nothing

There will come new rounds

But with awareness

There is feeling

There is healing

Florence Nightingale

Who sang not her praises

But encouragement

While wandering the battlefield

Clara Barton in the USA

Doing the same

Could you give that away?

I couldn’t

But I have a mite, maybe two mites

Someone may have one

It wouldn’t hurt

(so much)

Especially if I knew the story


I know, there is belief

Cynics are smart

And should have their way

While everything is suspect now

So it might turn from mindful giving

Into something mindless




Give anyway?

There might be something

In surprises


C L Couch



Photo by Maheima Kapur on Unsplash

and is that the world turning in the center





There’s something more

It’s here

Inside the pale blue

Between the yellow light

And the branch’s skin

There is green, too,

Dark in the shadow


We can make it human

I suppose we always do

But there is another planet here,

A world whose talk

Is in the leaves

Whose senses know the light

And every color

Every texture,

Each thing that moves so that

Another thing might live—

It’s all cooperation


Learn from this

Don’t make it human yet;

It’s intimate already

It’s conscious because energy

Has wisdom

And gravity a story


The tree is a tale that moves

And also waits

So much to tell

More so than mute artifice

We should know this

And as we don’t


So wait!

All things are here

Enough for life, because it’s life

A history if

We could pull the sunbeams from the

Earth to read

We can’t for now


So listen, please

With all concrete senses

Best that we can do—

Please, listen

To the story that could save us

Every day,

If we don’t destroy

The binding and

The pages

Let ink run as blood from entropy,

Our self-made ruin

Of whole things,

Run into empty land

And lifeless water


Reclaimed by

An angry universe

Having expected

So much more

With all that had been given

Every word in nature


No wonder why

The angel kept, outside

Of paradise,

A flaming sword

Pressed by what’s inside

Ignited by protection of what’s true,

True stories, more

Than what we wrote

And what we wrote that we forget


Still having a last chance to hear

To receive

If only by the gateway,

A last chance to learn


C L Couch



Photo by Erico Marcelino on Unsplash

The Wanaka Tree, New Zealand





High notes are too much

Piano, then the strings

Of violin, viola, and the cello

Maybe someone adds

Spanish guitar

Too much, even one

To make them


No wonder the heart is said

To have and have not

Its strings

To resonate

And somehow in between them all

Outside, inside

There’s weeping


C L Couch



Photo by Belen Garrido on Unsplash

Villafranca del Castillo, Spain


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