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in pandemic time

Friendly Persuasion

(x = space)

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Friendly Persuasion

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May I ask you to stay in today?

To leave to do your work

Or run errands

With a mask on?

In this moment, we are the worst

On Earth for responding to the disease

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Thank goodness we have

All the measures that we have

In place, facilities and people

Exhausted now, even the facilities

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We don’t want to pay attention, I suppose

As a teacher, I can understand

I don’t always like

Paying attention, either

But, come on,

We pride ourselves at being good

At things—where is that now?

Are we all about impeachment?

I’m not

I’m trying to live on

Very small steps, just now

Many taken in adaptation

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Well, it will be a day

That is beginning

And you will have a day that starts

Maybe there will be some magic

Maybe grace

We can hope for both

While chores and greater challenges

Take our time

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And, by the way, the people in Flint, Michigan

Need safe water

In the USA

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C L Couch

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the title is swiped—I mean, uh, an homage—to a story about a Quaker family and the Civil War

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CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1226563

filed under “peaceable kingdom” at Wikipedia (really)

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Shipwreck of State

(x = space)

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Shipwreck of State

(in pandemic time)

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By the way, the highest number

Of cases was reported

Yesterday

But this mass lack of perspective

Child’s bid for attention

Ersatz use of masks

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We don’t want to care, anymore

We have sick to care for

Too many dead to bury

In decency,

Though we’ll try

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It isn’t that important,

The thing inside white buildings

In the capitol,

State houses similarly infected

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There is disease,

And there is disease

Politics aside—and that’s it, isn’t it?

Putting aside what is

Supposed to serve us

With our money

With our votes

With belief

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We have lives to deal with

And lack of life to mourn,

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Which is the real nation

That like church

Means all the people

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C L Couch

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Photo by NOAA on Unsplash

Bow of the TITANIC

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The Magician’s Children

(x = space)

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The Magician’s Children

(Christmas 2020)

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It’s a magic time

The animals will talk at midnight

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Light of many colors

Will shine inside and outside

Of hours

And tall buildings in the city

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People who don’t believe

Will be quiet for a while

Almost in honor of the child

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Christmas might be

A chore for them,

But they take the quiet anyway,

Until the noises of the morning

In the household begin

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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

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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

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Others will be so busy

But the lonely could do this

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Create a spirit-band across the world

Through many places,

Many nations,

Many destinations

That can’t be reached yet

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Someday, perhaps

When we have enough health,

Enough determination,

Enough interest in the risk

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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

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C L Couch

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Photo by Daniil Silantev on Unsplash

Ozero Turgoyak, Челябинская область, Россия

Ice on the Lake Turgoyak

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Hard-Going

(x = space)

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Hard-Going

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The metaphors

Should be everywhere

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The land should be

Replete with them,

North and south

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Here is the quiet earth,

There the earth is passionate

With green,

The seasons are alive

Either with slumber or with

Breaking through

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Both are organic states,

Necessary,

And beautiful

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In the human world,

There should be holidays

And there are:

Hanukkah enjoys a full menorah,

Christmas is but days away

So all is anticipation,

And the colors of

Kwanzaa adorn

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Not to mention, anciently,

The solstice is tilting toward us

More and more;

There will be festivals

Set on stone

Or rather around them

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The planet

With or without our help

In counting

Shall split into seasons

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What is compelling?

I don’t know

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The virus,

The ugliness of politics

In the USA,

Danger in so many other

Places

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There’s room for verse,

The call is clarion

But heavy goes the craft:

Can you feel it?

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Questions deserve answers,

Most of them;

Brittle is the monolith

The keeps on moving

To allow a phallic message

To be realized

x

Brittle yet taking

Many hits until it has a

Home or many homes,

Leaving scooped-out earth

So that the

Female has a say

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Though one has to ask

Why the say is always second,

And there are more options

In the day

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It is difficult;

Next time might be typical,

Greeting cards make

Silly sense again;

And the metaphors that

Make the text

And move the world be

Open from the cupboard

Of the Lord

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C L Couch

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Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

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Snow Living

(x = space)

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Snow Living

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The snow fell several times

in the night.

Now the sun is out on

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ground that is too white,

under blue that is

relief

for clouds innocuous.

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Trucks with blades

but already parts of roads

are closed

because of accidents,

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no doubt caused

by those who think

the weather makes no

difference.

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Stay inside if you can—

advice cast

through

the air and over wires. Yet

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we know how to

live inside,

thanks to

our mutual situation.

x

Turn away, perhaps,

from uncurtained

windows.  At least wait

‘til dusk.

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Look inside (instead) to

think about

holidays, vaccines.

x

C L Couch

x

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Photo by Bogdan Cheșa on Unsplash

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2 poems about the snow

2 poems about the snow that’s on its way

(and now is falling)

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Happy Weather People

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The sky is full

Nothing surprising there

It should be snowing soon

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I don’t like where

The car is parked,

Though I suppose anywhere

Along the street

It’s going to be plowed against

When the trucks with the

Big blades go by

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Records will be broken,

So they say;

The forecasters actually are

Excited on the TV screen

With big maps projected behind

Them—well, sure things

Probably don’t

Come their way so often,

Lucky them

For now

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New Testament

(December, MidAtlantic USA)

x

Yes, it’s cold

For now, I’m not worried

Should I lose the electricity,

I might die

But I’m inside

Not everyone gets to be

And some are inside hospitals

Too many, in fact

Because the disease

Is moving toward a spike, again

x

There is a better message

Still to be sworn in

And better methods in the offing

We’ll all get our shots,

Eventually

And deal with side effects

The chart will have point

And then slide down

The other side

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At least, that’s the plan

Many people

Even when silenced

Or at least shouted down

Have worked on this

And we need

To trust their skill,

Attested by the numbers

Going down

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And we can say

This was

Our generation’s 1918 influenza

To count

To bury

And to weep

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C L Couch

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Photo by Andrew Ridley on Unsplash

Cairngorms National Park, Ballater, United Kingdom

National Park, Ballater, United Kingdom

Pile of Leaves

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Fear of Visigoths

(x = space)

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Fear of Visigoths

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Now is the penultimate:

The warning

On a moving map,

Digitized attesting to

The storm that’s on its way.

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There is an open sun

Just now

Belying all aggression in

A strategy of sky—thank goodness

That we know

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We have a day

To run through all

Remaining shelves

That might have inventory.

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Barbarian invasions

Of the nervous system—what

The virus doesn’t take,

White digits

Of snow warning will.

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C L Couch

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Photo by Scott Walsh on Unsplash

Toronto, Canada

Night Job

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Introductions

(x = space)

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Introductions

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Snow on my small town in

The MidAtlantic of

The USA,

Nothing dramatic—

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It falls and stays

On quiet places

Such as grass

And parked cars,

While on the things that

Sponsor movement

There is only wetness,

Dark and clean:

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On streets and sidewalks,

Moving cars,

And such

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From the waist up,

It seems November

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Today we’re met

With winter

(here and now)

Not in discontent,

A week before it’s due by

The saint’s calendar

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We should take it

A decency

In an indecent year

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C L Couch

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Photo by Aditya Vyas on Unsplash

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Fate Unravels

Fate Unravels

(for Rosema in pandemic time)

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I don’t know what to say

Today, it’s Friday

Hanukkah

Christmastime

Specifically, the Advent

Season

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Who is coming to my house?

No one, for above the

First floor, we are not friends

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We’re good as strangers

And a little worse

It’s so pretty outside

In a pastel way

It’s not as cold

As December should be

Around here

But it’s within the comfort zone

Generally,

Forties to seventies,

And I should not complain

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A murder mystery

And if there’s no one to admire

Or a hero garnering

My admiration,

Then I’m not sure how much

I’ll care,

Since it isn’t real death, after all

x

So I’ll close the book and choose another

I’ll choose another day

Simply by waiting,

Persisting through this one

Not that it’s bad

But it’s the same

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Under the aegis of pandemic

An aegis that’s a weight

Upon the mind, the heart, the soul

That we’re supposed to love God with,

All three

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As for festivities,

It’s all right to have them quietly

Under a cellular radar

And should,

Like Penelope or fate,

We have to unloom the loom

Each night,

We’ll have another day

To reweave

With what we have

To raise our masks

Like players on an ancient

Stage,

To love close up

And as current love requires

From far away

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CLC

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https://areadingwritr.wordpress.com/

read her great and open work

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Photo by Josh Redd on Unsplash

Kansas, USA

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