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Month

December 2020

3 brief poems for the new year

3 brief poems for the new year

(x = space)

x

x

May I Sell You a Machine?

(end of December)

x

According to commercials

At this time of year,

We should be losing weight

x

Grinding on exercise machines,

Finding our food in a box,

Engaging meditation maybe

Thirty seconds, maybe

Less

x

I suppose the box companies

Are doing well

And companies that make

Machines—I wonder

That machines are always doing well

x

We lose weight,

They weigh us down

x

x

Contemporarities

(2021)

x

God, help us in new years

Whenever they begin

In calendars,

In life

x

When someone dies,

When someone comes to life

x

Because she or he is born,

Because there is a return

To life

After pain, as she says

x

When the formal feeling comes

And something after

x

x

Our Sci-Fi Lives

x

Now is the science-fiction time,

Far enough into

The twenty-first century

That we may have some expectations

For reverse magnetism

And anti-gravity

x

For cities in the air and mining solely

By machines, enough that humans

Have jobs again

In new alliances

x

But we know how to fix it, at least

I hope we do,

The Earth that we have harmed;

And when we go, the missions we take

With us will not harm

x

x

C L Couch

x

x

I was a suburban kid but grew up in or near mining and steel-making country.  And our city fell apart when the industries fell apart.  If they could come back in local and safe ways, I should be relieved and very glad.

x

After great pain, a formal feeling comes –

The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs –

The stiff Heart questions ‘was it He, that bore,’

And ‘Yesterday, or Centuries before’?

. . .

Emily Dickinson

x

Photo by Fabrício Severo on Unsplash

Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Bishop Street, The Lough, Cork, Irlanda

x

A Domesday Counting

(x = space)

x

x

A Domesday Counting

x

It’s a count of calendars:

For some, the year

Has started with Advent

Or the solstice

x

There is the Jewish calendar

(look at the cornerstones

of buildings),

The Islamic calendar,

And the Chinese calendar

That will incite fireworks

As well

x

There are those who count

The days by weather

And the local seasons

x

We’ll watch and listen to

The fireworks in Sydney;

We’ll note the islands

Near Fiji where

The dateline says

The new year starts

x

All of our computers will

Tell us that it’s started

Not to mention resolutions

And all the sauerkraut

x

Which is to say

The new year is relative;

It is traditional

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash

Year 2021 Is Coming

x

Domesday Book : Britain’s finest treasure | The National …

www.nationalarchives.gov.uk › domesday

Domesday [The Domesday Book] is Britain’s earliest public record. It contains the results of a huge survey of land and landholding commissioned by William I in 1085.

x

Remembering 28 December

(x = space)

x

x

Remembering 28 December

(in liturgies)

x

Yesterday there was a lesser feast about

The slaughter of the innocents

x

Frankly, I don’t know how to bring

It up, the murder of many children or

The killing of one child

Two years old or younger

x

How does one speak to that?

How does one do it, in the first place?

The answer is, one doesn’t

But tells soldiers and slaves to do it

x

The children are only

Targets, after all, unreal as people

If we never look at them

Or what we commanded

x

Being Idumean,

Herod might even have considered this

An act of war against

An enemy Jewish people

x

But we are right to say

That it was local genocide,

Even of boys the

Killing of a generation

x

Foes from which there would be

No reprisal,

No fighting back would be

Expected

And thus a tactically successful

Maneuver and campaign

Designed by a crazy person who

Had the kind of power

Democracy should slay

x

God would address the Herods

Later on:

You don’t really think

Herod and his would

Get away with murderous

Abrogations?

x

We cannot count the children;

We do not count them now,

Though so many

Live inside danger

x

They are not wood or cardboard—they

Are not shades behind

A chain-link fence or

A craftier, a solid-seeming barrier

x

They starve, they bleed,

They cry as a divine signal

To the rest of us

x

Listen to them, see to them—in this,

The parents are the world—and

Then we can rightly damn

All Herodian kings

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by insung yoon on Unsplash

Saemangeum-ro, Gunsan-si, South Korea

Solar Eclipse

x

Matthew 2:16-18

x

Acts 12:20-23

x

According to documents and legends, Herod the Great and Herod Agrippa (grandson) both died lingering and painful deaths.

x

On a Colorless Land

(x = space)

x

x

On a Colorless Land

x

That’s the problem with winter,

Isn’t it?

Everything is pale, unless

It’s dark with age

Or even death,

Blasted trees and such

x

Snow is romantic

While it’s falling,

But if the temperatures stay low

Then the ground is white snow or,

Well, ground

For a long while

x

There is no solution;

Painting earth won’t help

And what of the limpid winter sky?

Besides, there’s learning here

Via looking out,

Remembering that colors all are

Grand and

We should cherish them and use them

x

I know, pretty straightforward

For a poem;

But I was thinking about

Recessive traits:

I have freckles on pale skin,

Blue eyes,

Left-handedness,

All sorts of other things, I’m sure

x

For these, I don’t think

I’m worthless

Or you for your recessives

Or you for your dominants

x

We can (all) have bold things,

Brings the colors in—

Keep them inside in other ways

Along with textures and

Unearthly sounds

And bell-like laughter

x

The senses are bright

And always so

As we might manage them

x

Taste and see,

Hear and touch,

Smell—and time be released

For these

(from time to time)

x

I don’t know about a wonderful life,

But it can be

And more so

A sensate life

In any season

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

Mixed media painting inspired by Stonehenge.

x

Midnight Sun

(x = space)

x

x

Midnight Sun

x

I can’t help but imagine

A quiet and dark place

x

Maybe a church

Maybe a campsite

Maybe in the desert

Maybe a quiet place at home

x

It is late

There is candlelight

And whoever’s there

And there are people there

Is praying

x

They are praying for the world

As if it were outside

And in greater peril

Than experience has known

In ages

x

Great hunger lurks

And plans

x

But here there is silent love

Propelling urgent works

x

Peace

And intercession

Then knowing what to do

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by Emily Hon on Unsplash

Yellowknife, Canada

Aurora shine the whole night.

x

Tactics

(x = space)

x

x

Tactics

x

It’s not as if we haven’t

Heard of war before

x

It’s all around us, if we look

Around as a world

x

There are civil wars in Yemen

And in Syria;

We have sent weapons to these

For the profit

And the power

x

They fight each other in Lebanon,

In South Sudan

x

Soldiers and often terrorists

In their own uniforms

Barely removed from uniformity

x

And there the war

Of oppression,

Fought inside nations such

As those in Asia

And in the USA—

Call it something better,

If you wish,

If you must

x

It’s not a peaceful world

But know peace:

We’ve heard of it,

We learn it,

And we teach it

x

We negotiate

As if we deal with children

And sometimes with children

x

There is an age

We have an age

When will the prophecy

Be Monday

x

C L Couch

(from the USA)

x

x

Photo by Foad Roshan on Unsplash

x

The Magician’s Children

(x = space)

x

x

The Magician’s Children

(Christmas 2020)

x

It’s a magic time

The animals will talk at midnight

x

Light of many colors

Will shine inside and outside

Of hours

And tall buildings in the city

x

People who don’t believe

Will be quiet for a while

Almost in honor of the child

x

Christmas might be

A chore for them,

But they take the quiet anyway,

Until the noises of the morning

In the household begin

x

And there are those who will be quiet

Because they are the only ones,

Each one in a home of sorts

To bring in the day

On one’s own

x

Each one has a job

To send out the peace

Just beyond, until the next one

Take it,

Send it out in thought or feeling

Or a prayer

x

Others will be so busy

But the lonely could do this

x

Create a spirit-band across the world

Through many places,

Many nations,

Many destinations

That can’t be reached yet

x

Someday, perhaps

When we have enough health,

Enough determination,

Enough interest in the risk

x

Merry Christmas to each one

And from each to everyone

Live in peace for a day

And remember that a day

Can be an age

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by Daniil Silantev on Unsplash

Ozero Turgoyak, Челябинская область, Россия

Ice on the Lake Turgoyak

x

A Night to Remember

(x = space)

x

x

A Night to Remember

(Christmas Eve)

x

So there’s this sleigh

A regrettable homonym;

It might be as big as a spaceship

In a science-fiction series,

One that might carry generations

To the next set

Of sun and planets

x

The sleigh could have a crew,

Though

We know of only one,

The captain and the power

That comes from reindeer

x

There are deliveries to make,

Though what might be most important

Is the trip around the world

In certitude

We have a world to play with

And work on

For keeping homes

With some promise of a future

Under brick and wood and canvas,

Stone and shale

x

Will it be a merry Christmas

For those who don’t believe?

Well, why not

x

No punishment is promised inside

Skepticism;

One might simply enjoy

The colors, the materials, the brilliant

Detritus, after

All the domestic parties

‘Round a tree or in another

Fine arrangement

Or in a place that looks the same

As it did the day before—

Thank goodness, there are no requirements

x

It’s a day,

A unique day we’ve held

In the offing

In anticipation

For a while

x

C L Couch

x

x

A Night to Remember is the name of an old, bittersweet movie.

x

By Sierra Nevada Space Systems – Sierra Nevada Space Systems, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25460329

Artist’s conception of the Dream Chaser commercial human space transportation vehicle docked to the International Space Station.

x

silent flesh

(x = space)

x

x

silent flesh

x

god made into flesh

while divinity wasn’t noticing

x

how else could perfection

give up eternal everything,

knowledge and power

and everything we want

and some of us think we should have

right now

x

jesus, god and human

how hard must that be

and who among of us would do it

knowing invincibility would be

a memory, only

x

as mortal, god would know us

as god might know a deer

or a rainbow

or unrequited love

x

that is, from the inside out

from the other side of creation

x

god will know us

as we live

give up a cure for every illness

prevention in perfection

x

excruciating

loving

all love because

there is no other reason

x

c l couch

x

x

notes

x

reading a prayer that mentions (I think) God made flesh (or maybe it was human) in a baby

x

thinking of an old hymn whose lyrics I find haunting (with a haunting melody):

Let all mortal flesh keep silent

And in fear and trembling stand;

Ponder nothing earthly minded;

For with bless in his hand,

Christ our God to Earth descended,

Our full homage to demand

x

Wellcome Collection, London, United Kingdom

The Body

x

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