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Month

January 2022

Boiling Springs Fire

(x = space)

x

x

Boiling Springs Fire

x

I caught some

Of the story

x

A fire burned

Inside

Above

(fourth floor)

Smoke and water through

All the floors

Of the apartment building

A converted mill

In the town of Boiling Springs

One town away

x

I hear details of the fire

Nothing yet about the people

I’m sure I missed

That part

x

I used to drive by the building

Hoped about living there,

Each time

Now it’s gone

Or at least

Forever changed

Now sorrow for

All displaced

x

The town is small

An unincorporated village

It will be affected

Me, too

And you, too,

As you know about

Such things

x

(after reading)

Everyone got out

One cat

The headlines say

Eleven displaced,

Which includes ten people

And the cat

The Red Cross has been

At the scene

x

There was a fire

In the village

Two years ago

One person was killed

Welcome that person

To another home

x

God bless the town

And all the towns

That gather loss

x

C L Couch

x

x

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/11-displaced-by-cumberland-county-fire/ar-AATiBcL?ocid=uxbndlbing

x

Photo by Daniel Tausis on Unsplash

“Fighting Fire”

Sundsvall, Sweden

not the Boiling Springs fire (the photos of that fire are copyrighted, sigh) but a fire

x

Mud-Healing

(x = space)

x

x

Mud-Healing

x

Jesus didn’t need

Things

He didn’t need mud

To heal,

To draw in the dirt

To make a point

He didn’t need a drove

Of pigs

(poor pigs)

He didn’t need a feast

He didn’t need

The perfumed oil,

Though he adored

The one who gave it

I am sure

x

He didn’t need Martha’s

Food

He didn’t need Mary

At his feet to learn

Though I imagine

He was happy for

Her devotion

x

Jesus didn’t need

The Earth

Though he came

To save it

And to give

Too much

x

This was

And is

A God of love

x

When we love,

So many things

Don’t matter,

Anymore

And what does

We’re willing

If not ready

To give up the world for

x

Sacrifice

For service

For devotion

Life for another life,

To dive or run into

Dangerous waters

For rescue

x

C L Couch

x

x

(the sermon started in John 9, mud-healing)

x

Photo by Piotr Hamryszczak on Unsplash

x

Below the Salt

(x = space)

x

x

Below the Salt

x

I imagine in the Northeast

There is pounding

We are on the western edge

And so did all right

Is there a cyclone bomb

And what is that?

How many are hurt

Because of nature?

How many are hurt

Because of us?

Nature adds and takes away

So do we

We could provide for everyone

All the time

We have the means

Materials

Gathered in by many

Gathered by a few

It’s simply allowance,

A pyramid, a tomb of resources

For the populace

If we drew a line above sufficiency

Safe water, food, good places to live,

The chance to learn,

Security

(none of this is new)

Then profiting above the line

Wouldn’t that make societies

And nations?

Keep reading

And keep living

Keep trying

The pyramid of plenty

Is ready

For you

x

C L Couch

x

x

Below the Salt is the title of a novel by Thomas B. Costain.  The title is a reference to social ranking and allowance.

x

Photo by Simon Berger on Unsplash

x

Challenger Remembrance

(x = space)

x

x

Challenger Remembrance

(28 January 1986)

x

Today the Challenger

Exploded and took lives

Away

A dedicated crew was on board

One member was

Christa McAuliffe

And we remember her

Her lively presence

In the classroom

And elsewhere

Is missed

No one replaces her

No one replaces any of them

x

No one replaces

Those lost in the fire

Of Apollo 1

Chaffee, Grissom, White

Those removed

From the living list

When Columbia crashed

Or cosmonauts elsewhere

(elsewhen)

Were killed

x

Technology is risky

Advancement is risky

Discovery is risky

There might be

Something wrong with us

Or exploration is

The right thing to do

And we are right to do so

To explore

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by eberhard 🖐 grossgasteiger on Unsplash

x

Metaphors for Divinity

(x = space)

x

x

Metaphors for Divinity

x

God is love

God is a spirit

God is a lion

God is a rock

The rock of our salvation

And the Bible tells us so

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by John-Mark Smith on Unsplash

x

Easy Errantry

(x = space)

x

x

Easy Errantry

x

God grant

Peace for friends

And good days

Well-deserved

Because they are

x

No pre-requirements

Beyond existing

Now

On Earth

Today, hopefully

Into tomorrow

All right, so an anti-disposition

Toward causing pain

In others

Wouldn’t hurt

x

But beyond that

Simply be today

And have good days

Without because

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by Alberto Zanetti on Unsplash

Krafla, Islanda

when I first saw the image, I thought it was upside-down; on second glance, I thought it was a painting

x

Pollock Shock

(x = space)

x

x

Pollock Shock

x

What is honest,

Anymore?

(people might ask

they might)

Is it when we cry in pain

From suffering?

Is suffering so honest?

No great art

Without suffering

Speaking to the vision,

I suppose

Michelangelo before

The chapel ceiling

Pollock

Before the floor

Art that changes everyone

Born from the pain of one

Or more

And what about beholders?

Do I understand,

Bring it close to heart/

To home

Because I hurt before

I see above/

Below,

Hear the music,

Touch the statue,

Walk the garden,

Smell the cooking?

A world of pain, they say

No other way to

Know magnificence

But through agony

Small pain

Great pain

Small art

Great art

I want to fight the premises

Argue them for

Ordinary time

Sigh

Maybe we have to hurt

Before even plain beauty’s

(leaf’s magnificence,

soup in the pot)

Understood

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by Jené Stephaniuk on Unsplash

Part of the painting “Day Trip” from Jene Gallery.

Austin, TX, USA

x

Dona Nobis

(x = space)

x

x

Dona Nobis

x

I believe

And so should appeal to God

And feel peace

Though maybe the situation is

I have peace

And sometimes do not feel it

To have it

x

C L Couch

x

By ZSM – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4239269

The tallest (16.5 m (54 ft)) peace pole in the world on the campus of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana. It is made of a 105 years old Sapele tree. 5 languages (Twi—a local language in Ghana, Hindi, Chinese, Swahili, and Arabic) have been used to express the peace prayer on the pole: “May Peace Be on Earth”.

Not Unusual Sunday

(x = space)

x

x

Not Unusual Sunday

(which is to say, ordinary time)

x

Lord, help me

To be ordinary today

To be faithful

In the usual way

To go to church

Think churchy thoughts after

For a while

To play a little

Finish my homework

Get ready for tomorrow

Monday,

You know

x

C L Couch

x

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Photo by Osman Rana on Unsplash

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