The Return of the Ring

(Easter 2020)




When the ring is cast into

Mount Doom, however

Accidentally, and the designs

Of the Dark Lord are done

(however accidentally),

Then everything on Middle-

Earth is turned over—for the

Better, to be sure


But how many things will

Need to be remade?  Certain

Friends are gone, too many


Heroes will rule now from afar

Those in homes not made

Of stone will have to rebuild

And refugees will need

To find their way


New associations will be needed

New rings of friends, and in

The rings will go perforce new

Ways of thinking that should

Go in more easily, from then on




It’s a day like any other

Above my head the sky is pale,

The sun trying to shine more



We make this day

In remembrance, celebration

Like a birthday

Or the celebration at the end of Ramadan


Is the Earth newly invested?

Is it cleaner, less hollowed-out by

Profiteering?—well, maybe a little or some

Today, when and where it’s been made

A holiday from

Such occupations along with the more

Mundane, acceptable kinds

Also on holiday


There is still blood on the cross,

However; no time or age

Can wash it clean

There is a chamber, carved out for

A tomb and used by someone else,

Which will never be emptier

Than when the stone was rolled

Away, than now


Yes, some things are supernal

Maybe there’s greater quiet on the land

Jews, Hindus, and Muslims might

Enjoy it as provided by their

Christian neighbors, friend or foe




So it is a day forever

And it’s only today

With the merging of the ordinary into

Realities ineffable


The pope will preach at vigil’s end

This year to an empty room

But not an empty planet

There will be an audience

(popes always have audiences),

This one planetary-wide

With who knows listening from another

Cosmic ring


The Baptists will get in on this

Even the chilly Presbyterians, boot-

Strapped by their own order

Methodists will have the


Deserving if for no other reason than

Having saved my mother


After the regulars and the Anabaptists

(who are not normal in pacificity,

n’est-ce pas?),

All the other groups

All groups chime in,

For it is a time of chimes

The way Italians serenade each other

From the open edge of windows

And of balconies

With the signs that DIY-ers have assembled

And displayed in honor of



Ring out Easter day

There is news

That’s always new

There is hope in the world and

All worlds


If you believe—

No pixie dust required—then

Jesus Christ has risen today

For you

For us

For all

Belief is not incumbent on the fact

Of resurrection

In irascible loving, starting somehow

In the garden,

It’s up to each of us

But believe or not, salvation’s

At your home


Regardless (sorry, I won’t be


Here is a day

The one we have

If and as possible,

As decided,

To let pass or

To cry, to laugh, to sing, to mourn

Ordinary living, extraordinarily


C L Couch



Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash