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in pandemic time

Rain

(x = space)

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Rain

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Heatwave and thunderstorms

That’s all we got

Church is still on-line,

Though I guess it doesn’t have to be

Watching the delta variant

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The sermon’s about encouragement

That’s good

Providing it, however, with

Prudence and with wisdom,

Which is better

To say that everyone’s amazing

Overdoes it

In making, it is true

Each life is extraordinary

But for all the lives unmade,

What shall we say?

That there was less extraordinary?

Maybe it’s the application

Of the Pickering social theory

In that it’s how we treat

Each other

And each one

If you want to value life,

Then offer drink safely to everyone

Feed everyone

Make and offer shelter

To everyone

Peace for security

The chance for learning

The chance for work

That complements

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Sometimes saints are martyred

By pagan foes,

Sometimes by the believing

Church itself

Believing more in institution

And a sanctity in politics

Control and profit

Over faith and vision

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Savor belief instead

Feed the children

And the youth

And the grown-ups

With all things that we need,

And I will hear the nations

And the corporations

Claim

That we care

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C L Couch

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1 Thessalonians 5:11

(Hebrews 10:24)

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Raindrops keep falling on my window pane.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

London, United Kingdom

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Solstice Properties

(x = space)

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Solstice Properties

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Stonehenge is a solstice

Property,

As is Newgrange,

Machu Pichu,

And anywhere there is

A sacred pointer for

The movement

Of the sun

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Earth will now start

To tip the other way,

Technically; we enter

The winter-half

Of the year

While officially (as we are

official to ourselves),

Summertime has only

Begun

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I guess I’ve

Thought about this

Quandary for a while

And wondered about

Other people’s

Calendars—after all,

Shouldn’t this be the

Halfway point of

Summer?  And do we not

In certain ways and places

Call these days

Midsummer?  The mix

Of math and culture in me

Doesn’t understand

x

But it’s official,

And I hope this is a

Pleasant season for you;

We certainly need one

And the next season

Could be pleasant,

Too, for all our weariness,

For those who have

Persevered

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C L Couch

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Photo by Adrien Aletti on Unsplash

Ottawa, ON, Canada

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Favor Hesiod

(x = space)

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Favor Hesiod

(writer of Theogony)

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Remember

Myths aren’t lies

That’s for conversation

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Fables are

For teaching, which means

They are

For learning

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The more fantastic

Stretches

With gods and

Agencies for gods

And such

Are a try

At understanding

Truth to questions

Without

Conversation’s answers

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What is time?

Why are their seasons?

Why is this

A good year?

What about

The next one?

What happens after

Death?  What is our

Purpose while we’re here?

How might we live

With passion?

Why do we have it

In the first place?

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Not lies

But tries at truth

Without the words

Or understanding

Motivations of

Forces outside

Ourselves and

Ourselves

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What happens when

Someone climbs

Parnassus or Olympus

Has a reason, too,

And a story

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For all we’re told

And tell ourselves

Old stories are foolish

If not stupid,

We still ask questions,

Same questions

x

Some answers

Will be chemical

Now,

But elements

Persist above

The table in a

Ring of sky

(or under

Earth)

That we cannot find

For all our wishing

All our striving

All our talking

For a purpose

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So we return to stories

And make new ones

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C L Couch

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Theogony, myths about gods, creation, and more

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A Rendition of Life on Planet Earth

https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6638499

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In Motion and at Rest

(x = space)

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In Motion and at Rest

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I don’t know what to say today

It’s Thursday

Day before Friday

Even though the work week

Has been twisted

Like an anxious piece of paper,

It still imposes

Five days, maybe more

With a weekend in between

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Our attitudes remain,

Which is important since the work week

And the weekend are not ageless

Inventions but rather modern

And unless we go to four

As in certain nations,

We need to keep the patterns

As decided

By campaigns

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I guess to say the least

We’ve had time

And we can make it, still

To think about what we’re doing

And shall we continue doing it

Or is it time for change

Because things had changed, anyway

And in the danger

And the dying

And the mourning after

Maybe mortal occurrences

Shall catalyze

x

We might change everything

As we’ve had to change everything

Who are we, what is our

Direction,

What might listening

Teach us about momentum

And arrival

Who shall we be and what shall we do

When we are on the move, again

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coda

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It is ideal

Life is not

The world is not

Each one is an organism

With applications, interviews,

Keeping a home

All parts of a cell

We are important

And we are a microcosm

All our organic parts and movements

Make a body,

An inhabited Earth

Moving inside

And as part

Of a community of cosmos

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C L Couch

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Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

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The Lathe of Earth

(x = space)

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The Lathe of Earth

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We will get used

To being back,

Back from the edge

Of the disease

And into something new,

A new shape to life

Because there is no back

To normal, though

Touchstones of our lives

Might be used again

x

No back to the basics

Only forward to the basics

Forward to new normal,

As is said already

x

We’ll closet all our plague

Paraphernalia,

The way the Swiss

Keep their arms in closets

After military service

Though I think they prefer

Chocolate and negotiation

And so should we

Until and when

The next, dire thing

Should happen

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coda

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We’ll bury our dead

As after war

We could deal kindly

With each other,

Though the tone set

In the nation

Went against that

And we have found

That we have

Way too many guns

And, unlike the Swiss,

Don’t know how to use them

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C L Couch

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The Lathe of Heaven is a novel by Ursula K. Le Guin.

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Photo by Rosie Steggles on Unsplash

Death Valley National Park, United States

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Signs of Protest

(x = space)

x

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Signs of Protest

(civilly offered)

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I do not understand

The people who have died

From shooting,

From hunger

Or lack of safe water,

From COVID

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You know what I mean,

I don’t understand

The situation

That allows for these

x

Too many guns,

Not enough

Food and water,

Too much disease

x

The solution seems mathematic

Fewer guns,

More food and water,

Less disease

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I don’t care about the politics

We’ve made death too easy

And where politics might be concerned,

We’ve rendered people into blots:

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We take off our glasses

And look at the blots from a distance

x

We have the right

To kill

Except we don’t have it

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Made-up spies, perhaps

Soldiers who follow orders,

Though there’s too much a burden

For them,

The soldiers and the orders

x

Stay strong

Broker peace

Don’t outlaw emotions

But outlaw hate

x

Maybe slowly we’re getting there

I don’t know

Maybe you do

I hope so

Because I have to count on you

And you and you

Not as blots

But with the most urgent

Kind of clarity

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C L Couch

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International Women’s Day in Barcelona, Spain (2009). The motto, written in Catalan, says: “Total crisis in the patriarchal system”.

By Mutari – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6151838

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finding an image to represent protest was harder than I thought it would be; I chose this photograph because I agree that the patriarchal system is in crisis: in fact, IS a crisis

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Ramadan

(x = space)

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Ramadan

(2021)

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Ninth month in the lunar calendar,

A time for fasting and reflecting

On one’s faith and submission

To God’s will

x

At night, we eat

Though I think we might save it up

For the three days’ celebration

At the end, Eid al-Fitr

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Many, so many, would try to go

To Mecca or Jerusalem;

Though as with everything else,

This time must be different:

It’s not safe to travel

For ourselves and for our neighbors,

So community will have to mean

Home stays

x

But the meaning is unchanged,

And I wish for my neighbors

Days of prayer and meaning

And a season of

So many blessings

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C L Couch

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Photo by Benjamin Voros on Unsplash

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But If the Numbers Lie

(x = space)

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But If the Numbers Lie

(they don’t)

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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

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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.

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Photo by Alexander Grigoryev on Unsplash

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Degrees of Incarceration

(x = space)

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Degrees of Incarceration

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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

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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)

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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

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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

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Maybe poems are

Things we have to say

That can’t be said better in

Any other way

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C L Couch

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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

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