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March 2020

Consider Morning

Consider Morning


Through closed eyes

There is a day unfolding

The sky is gray, turning pale blue

Maybe the misty parts will

Burn off

The street is dry


Opening the eyes

Brings out

A different contemplation

Now objects are seen

In pale light and shadow

Lights left on, under shades

Burnish everything

That is illuminated


There is burping from

The coffeemaker, while bread sits out

For the toaster

In the world that strangely has no time

For now, whenever these are served

As much as anything

More than clocks

Begins the day


It’s real, it’s not

It’s what there is

Uncertain muscles stretch

Brain cells don’t know yet

Which way to go

Feeling this in modern times when

The world has gone to war

The anxiety is different now

Because the enemy is inside

Not in conspiracy but

Atomic fact

With atoms making molecules and cells

With certain ones, too many, at

War with each other


These are the trenches

And the foxholes, now


There are those, bravely

On the front line of defense

First responding, second following through

With finding beds and

Other care

Third, treating symptoms where there is

No cure but creative treatment

With logistics

The next line, also at risk,

Who must be brave

Are those who fight the war at home, who

Hold together, maybe where there

Is no thread beyond connection


There is a layer in-between

Call it the community

That tries to stem the hoarding,

Who in company

And companies

Makes supplies to go up those lines,

Like rolling bandages

In past time

Maybe rolling them, too, just now


Then there are those who bunker-hide,

Meaning beyond reason, who

Make statements from the back

As if

It were the front

Who’ve never read “The Masque”

Or, reading it, forget

The lesson that, like fog inside a city,

Anyone or everyone might

Be touched by this,

Which means all are connected


Mere bellicosity never having won

A day much less the cause


Love will win with reason,

As it always does

Every time


C L Couch



Rathmannsdorf, Saxony, Germany

spruce trees in heavy fog


Benevolence in Apocalypse

Benevolence in Apocalypse

(4 parts)





I wish you’d take us out of this

The way you took us out of Eden

Bring us back

But all of us, please

No one on the world’s side of the gate

Except maybe so many angels

Restoring everything

To where it was

No, where it will be




Maybe it happens every age

A garden and a promise of plenty

And forever,

Then we ruin it

Because will is more important than

Whole people

Eden is closed off again

The angel with the flaming sword returns

While we are exiled

On the other side

‘Til in the next era, Eden is offered yet again

While human discretion

With all good and bad proclivities

Cannot work it out

Especially in numbers

We are cast out again




Comes an age, there must

When human will

Becomes a complement, at last

We understand we have a place

It is not owning everything,

Which is too jarring on creation

And creation will,

As it does,

Push back

But we knew we are a part,

It is sufficient, and there’s always room

To have what we should have

And to grow

Throughout the age so that

There is no need for the next one

All will not burn in fire

Or die upon the ice

We will have instead

The drama of a fitting universe

With enough unknown to hold us

Wrapped-up wondering inside




And should there still be

Curiosities, even evil, out there

Should we be surprised?

There was a war in heaven, after all

Maybe it will not have been worked out

Everywhere we go

Meaning pre-heaven we will have

Important things to do

Discoveries to make

Victims to rescue

Cosmos, maybe cosmoses, to save


C L Couch



Photo by JR Korpa on Unsplash

scratching the sky





There is a virus in the world that’s

Killing people

(there are other things that kill us, too)


Some people, many, most in fact

Have responded well

Quietly, not so quietly

Watching after

Each other

Enduring hoarding that is

The villain’s privilege


Governments have

Responded, some much

Later than the others

Some are doing well, though the more

Fractious institutions

(not so much the scientific ones,

we hope)

The more the stumping

As if this were a matter more

For Indifferent reelection

Than the health

Of nations, cities, villages, and

Outlying—families, one

Person by one


So more will die

And the privileged

Will not take credit for this


In the scientific places,

Teams are working hard, to say the least,

The right kind of aggression

Understanding that

There are no politics in molecules,

That a virus doesn’t care

Who gets elected

Who stamps harder in

The podium floor

Like Rumpelstiltskin, until disappearing


Molecules don’t care

The molecules of viruses simply

Want to thrive


C L Couch



Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Kras-Driven Lung Cancer. Created by Eric Snyder, 2015.


Play Day Stood in a Hundred-Acre Wood

Play Day Stood in a Hundred-Acre Wood


It’s a dark and rainy day

But Christopher Robin wants to play


If Pooh and Piglet can find a brolly

Then all will have fun, and all will be jolly


They shall have tea and toast and honey

Much more fun than pots of money


Then they’ll go home by Mister Sanders

Having good times from all their wanders


And England shall have a sunny day

When Christopher Robin will want to play


C L Couch

Christopher (Robin) Couch



Photo by Mary Sill on Unsplash






I want a quiet gentle day

I will not have it

Neither will the soldier on the frontline

Nor the persons alleviating pain

While diagnosing

All our ills in hospitals and other,

Medical places


Nor those whose designs

For profit

That is profiteering as another verb

Distract away all better drives

And who know peace only

As a cardboard place

Propped up for a time through addictions of

One kind or another


Nor will the parents who have

Noisy houses,

Who wouldn’t have it any other way

(nor I)


Nor those for whom conflict

Tears apart the skin of life

With open wounds that may

Or may not heal


We won’t have a gentle day

Or peaceful

Maybe tomorrow

So much depending on

Convictions that we know

Close as intimacy,

Surprises that we don’t

With what it takes

In between and all together to

Cleanse and keep the wounds

That can get better

Though, mortally speaking,

Will not completely heal


We can have peace

The kind that rests

Just fine on scars


C L Couch



I think Want stands next to Ignorance in A Christmas Carol.  Ignorance that is not intelligence, though some would say it must have intelligence, we must have, in order to be un-ignorant.  I disagree.  We see the world, we read a book, we listen to the conversation we are having.  Then we learn.  We grow.  Our ignorance is challenged.

We are trained for a job.  We save.  We grow.  And ignorance again is challenged.  The world becomes more knowing, more prosperous, and peaceful.

Want is challenged this way, too.



Photo by Carl Cheng on Unsplash

Hong Kong

My dad just finished his eye surgery.


We Can Play

We Can Play


A squirrel and a bird play

In the tree

At least that’s how it looks

And sounds

The bird flies up; the squirrel follows

The sounds of chirping and chittering

Sound friendly,

As if I’d know

Though I know the difference between

A purr and a hiss

Ears up or ears laid back

The growl that leads to the bark

So I’m going to call it


There is no better way to spend

An early morning

If you’re a squirrel or a bird

So let’s pretend

We are squirrels or birds


C L Couch



Photo by Rowan Heuvel on Unsplash

Unawatuna, Sri Lanka


Mortals Thinking

Mortals Thinking


There’s such pain in my shoulders

I guess I slept too hard

And too briefly

There are noises in the house

Some of which I’m tired of

But in the be-thankful-for-small-favors


It could be worse—

Does that cancel out philosophies?


We should be stuck here in

Willing confinement

‘Til the onslaught of disease has passed

If it’s a wave that only washes once

If it spirals ‘round, what then?

Patchworks of isolation

Until a cure is found

Then distributed with some sense of

Democracy (in oligarchies,

call it equanimity)


At least, there’s air

No one is trying to sell

And water from the tap or

Through a filter, while we have one

There’s food, a median between

Hoarding and scarcity

For the moment, shelter is broadening

In possibilities for some places

Hitherto homeless folk entering

Abandoned, government houses

If they’re abandoned, let them stay

Useful government

As a change


I don’t know about our attitudes

They’re everywhere, I’d say

The gross rich who are on TV

To say that everything’s fine

Trust us

We don’t

The angry and the righteous

More so (and everyone), there’s


Of illness and mortality

Reasonable terrors

For the unfaithful

And for those who believe still living inside

Human husks

I know I don’t want to be shed of my shell

Just yet

Today, tomorrow, far into the future

I don’t have

This side of the dark glass


C L Couch



Photo by Grant Durr on Unsplash



Both Our Houses

Both Our Houses

(in a time of, well, you know what time it is)


A plague on both your houses

I’m sure someone has thought of this

By now

My house and yours

Might be infected

Remain in isolation, though there are

Phone calls and the Internet

Our neighborhood of houses

And the nations

It might be nothing, might be

The thing that’s going ‘round

I could use some lamb’s blood for the lintel

No small thing,

Because my faith is shaken


The thing is vague except that it’s


The Montagues and Capulets

Cannot join hands

Just yet

But let the lovers have their way

They cannot touch for now,

Which is plague enough


C L Couch

March 2020



Photo by I.am_nah on Unsplash


Embracing Your New Normal – Daily Quote

a realistic and encouraging take on our current clime

Jo Hawk


Today is Monday. The start of another crazy, precarious week. While you might not be heading into the office, your stress level has, most likely, not abated. Yesterday’s position is not the same situation greeting you today. Many confront the challenges of working from home, furloughs, layoffs, and uncertainty of what tomorrow brings. We have granted kids their wish for a never-ending spring break while insisting they adapt to at home eLearning options. Social expectations have changed overnight, and your daily routines are in a state of flux.

Doubts and insecurities rule the day and cause sleepless nights. You can deny the changes, bury your head deep in the sand, and refuse to deal with reality. Or you can acknowledge facts, accept an altered life, and create an alternate plan. Dare to assess your starting point. Dream and dream big. Then plot your next steps.  Be proactive. Change is transformation, and to move…

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