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Month

March 2021

The Bridge to Thursday

(x = space)

x

x

The Bridge to Thursday

(Holy Week)

x

It is the middle of Holy Week

Who’s noticing

Who cares

Those huddled in churches

Mouthing with the pastor

Liturgies and litanies

All the holy words

And since it’s near enough

To Lent, there might be no

Communion,

Even practicing for Easter

x

Some of the fun churches

(there are those)

Will bless baskets on Saturday;

All sorts of folk with

All sorts of baskets

Containing elements for

Sunday dinner

Will be there

x

On the Friday before,

There will veneration

While on Thursday

An official working out

Of some kind

For the Last Supper

And the “maundy” part

Of Maundy Thursday

A command (mandatum)

To love one another,

Good reminder

For starting out the Triduum—

Or the rest

Of one’s

Of a church’s life

x

But today is Wednesday

Nothing to see here

Or hear or taste or touch

No smell of

Incense, either

Wednesday doesn’t rate

Another hump day

In the USA,

Anywhere else that arches

The week that way

x

Calm before the storm?

Hardly

There are storms, here and there

As happen

(one is brewing

outside the window),

There are the hungry

Who need big pieces of baked bread

And safe water

And more-real food

In order to sit up

Straight in church

For the coming days

x

Feed the children

Feed each other

This would make a Wednesday, a

Holy Wednesday in a holy week

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by yvo bergers on Unsplash

Maastricht, Nederland

x

But If the Numbers Lie

(x = space)

x

x

But If the Numbers Lie

(they don’t)

x

We thought we’d wait a year

Though we did it badly

We’d rather believe conspiracies

That allow us to travel

Go to bars

And live virtuously

In neighborhoods

x

We didn’t take the year

In fact

And now numbers are increasing

There should be little wonder

Undeserved curiosity

About the sick and dying

x

So back up now

Go the other way

We know the options for belief

But by now we know the dead

And could take a chance

On caution

And on care

x

C L Couch

x

Are there choices in belief?  Absolutely.  And options for our actions.  And I wonder if we might love our neighbor, then we could side with caution and prevention and, yes, inconvenience.  For now, I think it must be an inconvenient world.

x

x

Photo by Alexander Grigoryev on Unsplash

x

Looks

(x = space)

x

x

Looks

x

Pale sky

As if in compromise

To give late-winter earth

A chance to show itself

Turning slowly

Into spring

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by Biegun Wschodni on Unsplash

Blooming saffrons in the mountains.

x

The Potentate of Time

(x = space)

x

x

The Potentate of Time

(for Palm Sunday)

x

We might sing about

Crowning with many crowns

Jerusalem the holy city

Maybe in England

About dark, Satanic mills

x

It’s a gaudy day

With fronds flapping up and down

Carried by children

Sometimes into service

A favorite exercise of mine

To make crosses out of stems

To lean against windows

Or tuck inside picture frames

For the coming year

x

It’s a good day

When people act as if

They like church

And each other,

And some of that might

Rub off into truth

x

The church’s nemesis

These days being itself

A day of green neutrality

Might do a world of good

Before the world goes dim

And creaks and moans

In bearing all the weight

Of Passion remembrance

x

C L Couch

x

x

“Crown Him with Many Crowns,” Christian hymn written by Matthew Bridges, 1851

x

Photo by Vladimir Proskurovskiy on Unsplash

x

Convictions

(x = space)

x

x

Convictions

(last day of Lent)

x

I look around at everything

Liturgically, it is the day before

A triumph

Such as Roman victors knew

No wonder Herod was frightened

And Pilate tactically

Concerned

None of it was sanctioned

It spoke to rebellion

Though everything was peaceful

In that way

x

I look around

And wonder about everyone

How to celebrate an arrival

And then turn on the one

A few days later

Or however long it took

x

I want to say I’m sorry

I look around at everything

And say I’m sorry

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by MAURICIO EJCHEL on Unsplash

Jerusalém, Israel

Traditional loaf salesman at Old Town in Jerusalem.

x

You before Me

(x = space)

x

x

You before Me

(for everyone)

x

You’re in line

In front of me for friendship

x

We’ve been here

For an age

And hear the hits,

One hit at a time,

Behind us

x

To feel the hit

Anonymous

Then know by instinct

Now

(it’s how the world works)

To strike the person

Back of the head in front

Anonymous (we’ll

get away with it)

And then receive

The things,

What people say

We’re due

x

In a line of greed

Even for an age,

Someone must turn first

To receive the slap

Looking into the face

x

Then the forward movement

Stops and painless

Possibilities considered

x

It’s risky

Being hit so hard

(regulations say each

must hit hard),

But all good things are chances;

x

Life might end for me

Or in part,

Begin for you

And everyone

Ahead of you

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by Srivatsa Sreenivasarao on Unsplash

Four Birds and Reflections

x

Me before You

(x = space)

x

x

Me before You

(for youth)

x

Peace in our time,

Which implied more strongly

Than the message

That there would be no peace

In their time,

The coming generation’s

x

We bargain with our children’s

Lives and should

Know better,

Abrogating wisdom

And the sacrifice of us

So that they have a world

Better than we found it

x

There used to be a message,

Parents investing

So that children should have

Better lives than theirs,

A message that had stopped

Variably in the seventies

And eighties,

Not to mention attitudes

Toward annihilation

From the war that was so cold

x

Sorry about all that,

All this

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by Hasan Almasi on Unsplash

Freedom

x

Degrees of Incarceration

(x = space)

x

x

Degrees of Incarceration

x

I don’t know what to say today

To students, peers, siblings, or anyone

I keep thinking about

The Pennsylvania woman on spring break

In Florida, who was raped and left

For dead

And who died

Whose credit cards were stolen,

The proceeds to sponsoring more partying

By her rapists, now incarcerated

x

I keep thinking about the images

I’ve seen of spring-break partyers in Florida

At night and looking young and fit,

Drinking from cups on lawns and in driveways,

No doubt parking lots as well

And in many, many rooms

And there is not a mask in sight

And there is no safe distance in between

For any reason

x

I keep thinking about the places where

People are fighting, virus (also) notwithstanding

Syria and Yemen

Myanmar

Hong Kong where leaders and speakers

Are arrested

And all the acts of violence in my land

The land about which Woody Guthrie wrote

And sang

Irving Berlin and Kate Smith, too (respectively)

x

There is too much to think about

But no sedative or anesthetic for me,

Please

I have to deal with side effects from

What I take each day

x

I ramble but around a theme

And I’m revising, too:

What do we think about what threatens to

Close us off from normalcies

And niceties?

It’s all right, you know

(I know)

There is no Sunday best required

For thinking spiritual thoughts

Or wondering how the Spirit as we know

That Spirit might be enlisted

Might be involved, anyway

x

If not our neighbors or our friends

Though maybe our neighbors and our friends

And family people

Encouraging our say

As we encourage saying

For all the times I want

To shut up, and that is right

For all the times there is something pressing

And I

And we

Should release it

x

And, yes, I wonder if poems

Should have messages and morals, but then I think

I’d have to say that poems aren’t for less

x

Maybe poems are

Things we have to say

That can’t be said better in

Any other way

x

C L Couch

x

x

https://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/ny-spring-break-victim-identified-24-year-old-philadelphia-woman-20210323-quet7ixvhbcodaxhi7h3n5tmj4-story.html

https://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/ny-spring-break-woman-rape-drugs-dead-20210323-qljdbntr3vd43bbvfaxj5aclaa-story.html

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Photo by Rajesh Rajput on Unsplash

Love

x

During Great Pain

(x = space)

x

x

During Great Pain

(preempting Ms. Dickinson)

x

In the ‘midst of pain

There is no formal feeling

It hurts is not a great pronouncement

One could, when it’s bad,

Wish to call up the carriage

That Death provides,

Though that arrival should be way,

Way off

And when it’s time

Will call up itself

x

No, this is pain

That ends with mortal life ahead

But now the middle time’s invested

Having begun some time ago

Has an ending to which to look forward

And now

Is now

The beginning and the ending

That don’t matter

As this moment

When we wish it  had

Never happened

If there’s awareness

x

Or we simply want it

To go away

x

C L Couch

x

x

Sobieszewo, Gdańsk, Polska

Remaining.

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