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June 2020

Same Noises at the Window

Same Noises at the Window


Might the birds

Be back again?

Another nest to go?

I shouldn’t think so

Born in spring,

Training over summer

Wild living in the fall

(cool the blood)

Sleep in winter


Well, maybe they’re

No more systemic

Than we are

We think we know September

But birth happens


Not to mention sex

That typically goes first

(though there are

other ways of having babies)


They are with the bees

That have their seasons, too

Their own calculations

Maybe they follow



So there are cycles,

And there is each day

Today I think maybe

The birds want to try again

And why not

Living, we may understand,

Is secure in birthing


C L Couch



Photo by Robert Thiemann on Unsplash





It’s a beautiful day

Sometimes, I guess, that’s it


Everything allies to make it


Bright blue sky, punctuated with

Big balls of cloud

Yellow light is playing on

Green branches

The brown trunks look gussied up

For square dancing

With their partners

Once the night has fallen

And there are no humans watching


James Weldon Johnson might approve

It’s a day for Aesop

Or for Tolkien

Mary Oliver

Or Gerald May

Or anyone who has a porch

With chairs and a pitcher

Of the family favorite

(we won’t judge)

At night in June

There should be fireflies


And we’re allowed to watch them dance

While other things are secret

(see above)


C L Couch



Photo by Wolfgang Hasselmann on Unsplash

Adelhausen, Rheinfelden (Baden), Germany





When everything is done

With all the apples and the oranges

The sixes and the sevens

All the things that didn’t merit

Placing on a scale

Of our making


You and I will look out over

A silver sea

Hoping to see a fin or tail

The nose of something

Welcoming that says,

There’s still living here


We’ll hope for the best

Skip fearing for the worst

There will be life or won’t be

Maybe we’ll have

A part in it

In spite of all our peers have done


We can live along the edge

Recalling everything behind


All memory has changed

Opposites are lived out

As they should be



C L Couch



Photo by Thomas Lipke on Unsplash

Sailcone’s Grizzly Bear Lodge, Mount Waddington A, Britisch-Kolumbien, Kanada Columbia Canada

Pacific white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens)


Fahrenheit 151

Fahrenheit 151


It’s over a hundred degrees

In the Arctic

Down south, that gets a lethal warning

Don’t go out in this, especially if

One is old or young or has something of

A medical condition


This is the Arctic where

Santa dwells

With elves, all making toys

Inside a house and workshop underneath

The snow,

Where mastodon bones are found

Maybe with flesh and DNA once

Inside the permafrost

Science is excited, and

Science is concerned

About microbes

That were frozen

Newly released by melted ice


I know Siberia can be

Occasionally temperate

But now it’s over a hundred degrees

In towns

And I imagine the investment in

Air-conditioning has been sparse, over

The years

I hope they are okay


After the Antarctic


(guess what—its sheets of ice

are already breaking, sliding into

the ocean in ways

they’re not supposed to)

Maybe some more will say,

Hey, there might be a problem


While the seas are rising

Democracy is drowned

And we are facing

Final, savage years


C L Couch



What a 100-degree day in Siberia really means

The record-setting high is much more than a quick spike for the Russian Arctic, where months of extreme heat may have dangerous consequences.


Photo by Wolfgang Hasselmann on Unsplash


The Monster Speaks

The Monster Speaks


One thing the movies miss

Nearly all the time

Is to let the monsters speak

I’m hearing gargoyles talking

They make scary sense

They’re vicious and

Want to be left alone


If you want to see Frankenstein

Then read it

It’s not long

The most humane speeches

Are from the creature

Made by Victor

Who abhorred his work and then

Abandoned it

An ugly, powered creature

Left to roam the Earth

A child in a Golem’s body

With no control

Or advice to live


But when it speaks

The words are articulate

And passionate

Having been made by a human

Why can’t there be something of

The humans’ own?

The parent’s own and

Something of companionship

The words show us who

The monsters are

We slip into barbarity of action

While the best words remain

The creature’s own


No mistaking, the creature-made

Commits atrocities

There is a tragedy in the making

In having been made

In human vanity to make

But forestalling

Or destroying

Might have happened early on

As it is, the monster (so we way)

Is left alive

I know, for sequels

While the human maker


Pursues his own destruction,

Which is no kind of justice

She knew what she was doing


C L Couch



Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Peloton Cellars, Front Street, Avila Beach, CA, USA


Mystery Unsolved

Mystery Unsolved


I don’t know what

I can come up with


I’ve been looking for

A day off

And haven’t quite

Managed it

But we’ll see

I’m watching a mystery

Now, a good one

From a series that I


British, not that the

British do the best,

Though they’re awfully



Typically, the

Mystery is a murder,

Which is sad

Typically, the person killed

Is introduced

Villainous enough that

We don’t mind,

Though we might then be

Disposed toward

Sympathy for

The killer, which is

Something writers

I imagine

Keep in mind

While working all things


I don’t know

I’ve written a couple

Of mysteries of

The two-minute kind


Mystery certainly is

A spiritual word

The foundation of

Our faith in a


Since faith is something

Clear in its conviction

But not so much

In content

It is the evidence

Of things unseen,

Which would go terribly

In court

Yet must be followed

For belief

And in that regard

Faith is gossamer

Not concrete


C L Couch



Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash


Whose Calling

Whose Calling


I haven’t spoken to my soul today

Or maybe that’s all I do

Some would say the dialogue is prayer

Maybe so

Maybe the angel is

Listening in,

Which is fine with me

How else will it advise itself

Or send for orders?

Then sometimes I’m only speaking with

My duller, outside self

Closer to the surface, anyway

And this is how time passes, while

I’m trying to keep up

With other things

While part of me in silence, too,

Is waiting for the angel to return

With suggestions


Being suggestions I imagine that

Angels cannot understand, since will

By them has been

Perfectly surrendered,

Somehow a war in heaven



C L Couch



Photo by Jason marquis on Unsplash

Belleville, Illinois, USA


Fox and Grapes

Fox and Grapes

(the nature of a scorpion)


There are so many stories

Out there,

Which is grand

Here’s one story you know


The tortoise and the hare

The hare should have won

It stopped to take a nap

It should have finished the race


Then had all sorts of time

Appointment-free for napping

But there was vanity


(I’m going to say he)

Could not resist

And there are morals


If you’re a tortoise

Find and maintain your pace,

For that’s your job

If you’re a hare,

Remember modesty

In a wider world

And turn your energy


You could have helped the tortoise,

After all


C L Couch



Scott Rheam, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Black-Tailed Jackrabbit (lepus californicus). Image from public-domain images website.

(, Wikimedia)


When Day and Night Knew Each Other Well

When Day and Night Knew Each Other Well


We had a solstice over the weekend

And a new moon


It was easier

To live in the dark

A hundred years ago

And a hundred more

Maybe a hundred more

Not to equate darkness with ignorance,

Not at all


Imagine how the stars must

Have been,

For certainly they’ve changed

How secret was a secret

When extinguishing a candle

Could blow out the gathering

Make unreadable

An agenda

To send us home, instead


The greater darkness

Wasn’t bad or good

It was

It was the setting

And the means

Maybe we paid more attention then

Our night-vision was better

When ambience was lightless

In the distance

Or up front


It might have been generally possible

Not to see the hand before the face

And not to be afraid of that

Maybe darkness

Was a friend

To the criminal

And carpenter, alike

The darkness said

Slow down

Don’t move without

Knowing where you’re going


It was a signal

For the rest

For rest

(yes, maybe in a forest)

Maybe for rehabilitation:

Come the new day

You will be needed with

New muscles

And a readiness

In attitude

To contribute to

An ever-new, new world


C L Couch



Photo by Gabriel on Unsplash


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