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Lent

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

Slowdown Season

(x = space)

x

x

Slowdown Season

x

Lent could mean

Anticipation,

If we would allow for that

In the midst of conversations

About sacrifice

x

Having given up

On chocolate, we need

Something to talk about

How about why?

x

Sacrifice for its own sake

Being good,

Don’t get me wrong

Though we can

Say more

About the season

About church

About reading

About us

x

Lent means getting ready

Or it might

Lest we forget

Why we gave up the chocolate

Or the coffee

Or, I don’t know,

What do people give up

Nowadays?

(maybe screen time)

x

It seems we give up

Something somewhat bad

Somewhat good

Maybe it’s the excess

We surrender,

Which a good ancient Greek

Will say

Is always good

A lifestyle to adopt

x

Well, we’re not here

To parse

We’re here, in fact, because

We’re unified

We want one thing

Even if delivery

Is holiday disarray

x

We want a happy Easter

With rabbits

And eggs

(rabbits who lay eggs)

And back to chocolate

Like a former friend

Now reconciled

x

There is more

But it’s not mine to say

You must, must not

It is yours to say

To own a resurrection

Shown in nature

Told as story

A question and an answer

Of belief

It’s yours to say

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

Walk the Line

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Counting on God

(x = space)

x

x

Counting on God

x

We are in Lent

That like “lente” should mean

Go slowly

(Holy Week might be

“adagio,” I think)

x

Lent is a Christian thing

And goes along with

Our preoccupation

For things forty:

Forty years our parents

In the wilderness,

Forty days’ temptation

Between Jesus and the devil,

Angels standing (flying)

By,

Forty days for seasons

There are more

x

Four gospel writers

Three angels meet with Sarah

(meet with Abraham)

She laughs with them

Isaac, Rebekah

With two sons

The sons are parted

As father was separated

From brother,

Two traditions started

Eve and Adam

Had two sons as well

One of whom

Need be remembered

On account of murdering,

First murder

x

I’m making up the factor

And where is ten?

Ten tribes to the north,

Two to south

x

Numbers must be important

There’s a whole book for them

In our traditions

But I stop

Just this side of numerology

Yet remembering, just now

That Arabs gave us numerals;

Before then,

Letters had numeric value

Cf. X, V, I, L, C, and M in Roman

Usage

x

Letters as numbers

I think that hurts my brain

What is the number in the name of God,

In the quotient

Or should one multiply?

x

We say three in,

But sometimes I must wonder

How many God might be

How many parts and particles

Go into one

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by Makarios Tang on Unsplash

x

After Words

After Words

(Lent 41)

x

There must still be words

We’re stuck with them, I guess

Or at least I am

x

We could end here

Or yesterday

But we won’t,

Which is not a matter of words

As it is of life

x

Yet we should be ready

Now,

To pause when needed

Maybe turn the pause to play

Whatever is called for

x

It’s called for often

Snow day

Day in the sun

Comp time (whoever has this)

Playing hooky

(you can look it up)

x

Work will resume

With its kind of

Awareness, learning, deciding

Not in cryptic ways

Or inaccessible

Though recall that there’s a mystery

In pretty much everything

x

The kind that moves a martyr’s heart

And for other reasons, too, can thrill the heart

Of each of us

Of the sort like

Joan, Priscilla, Rachel, Esther

Judith, Hrosvitha, and Hildegard

Who found their way with God

While in the world

x

And for the Joans, Priscillas, Rachels, Esthers

Judiths, though I don’t suppose we’ll be

Naming anyone Hildegard or

Hrosvitha for a while

We may

We will

x

I don’t know, I think we’ll find

What we need

As long as we don’t keep the process to ourselves

Or the results

x

Anyway,

I thought I should say something once it’s all over,

Our Lenten experience

We’re comingling times and traditions

Of the end of Lent (for those still counting),

The Passion, the Triduum, then

Easter and the Easter season

x

I pray

Together and apart

These are all good for you

The way spring days, clean from rain,

Can be

x

C L Couch

x

note for the blog

Counting forty days from Ash Wednesday takes Lent through Palm Sunday, which might seem odd given the reflective nature of the season maybe abandoned in triumphant celebration.  But the count of days in Lent can take out the Sundays and Holy (Maundy) Thursday (when the celebration of the Eucharist occurs) and add in Good Friday and Holy Saturday to make up a count and observation of forty days.  Timing of events for the Passion and the Triduum might overlap this way of counting, and it’s also true that some have it (more or less officially, according to one’s tradition) that the length of Lent (even the sense of forty days) be taken metaphorically.

I guess I’m counting forty days from Ash Wednesday and let the paradox of Palm Sunday prevail.

Whew.

x

Photo Credit: Wikimedia User John Morgan CC-BY-2.0

Lent 40

Lent 40

(hopscotch-counting)

 

Try again

Sometimes it’s hard

Though not harder and less rewarding than

A life inside a cage

Kept without a lock

 

Some count the season from day one

As I have counted

Some take out Sundays, a timeslip in

The forward flow of days

Any days that might allow for

Contrary feasting

Some leave the season longer

And forty is a metaphor

For wilderness experience

 

If we count forty from first Wednesday

We are here today

Triumphal entry, as it’s said

As songs are sung

As palms are waved in happiness

And salutation

For the one who’s here

 

While our invested time is closing

A passion time begins

When blood with flow with water

In a garden, on the streets, and

Later on a cross

 

What have we done?

What do we do?

How many who are cheering now

Will spit the words out later

Broken of humor into mocking?

How many will be caught

And tried by Caiaphas

With a nod to Pilate?

How many, at least, will try war

The worldliest of ways

In bids for freedom

With endings still debated in

The courts of heaven?

 

Well, we have something

We have had our season

And know without expectation

Any more than making

That another season follows

It’s today

The end and the beginning

Celebrate

But keep the palm fronds close

Maybe contrive a reminder

For the window sill

Over which we view into

The next spate of days

And on into forever

 

Take us with you

Some things we do alone

So many more need not

Go that way

We may go another

 

C L Couch

 

 

Photo by Peter Fogden on Unsplash

 

Lent 38

Lent 38

 

Today must be the day

After a season of surrender

Otherwise, loss becomes a vacuum

Other things that we don’t need

Will come to live

Because nature will otherwise abhor

We cleared out distractions

Others are in line

 

But what do we want inside?

A virtue of busyness awaits

Preoccupations that are less than healthy

Frankly old sins, patterns of

Destruction that laugh like imps

Want to be reinvested there

 

We turned out the fat and sugar

Turn out some devils, too

Let them abscond with what they have

Escape into the darkness

Where exorcism

Or psychology might reach them

 

Some battles are beyond us

Some are right at home

The war at home

 

C L Couch

 

 

the chariot driven by Norse deity Freyja for whom Friday is named (in consideration with Frigg—yes, the chariot is drawn by cats)

(Detail) from the Fresco Cycle “Aus dem Sagenkreis der Edda” in the Neues Museum, Berlin. The fresco was damaged in WWII and abandoned until the unification of Germany.

(fresco by) Robert Müller, 1850

http://www.germanicmythology.com/works/FREYJACATCARART.html

 

Lent 37

Lent 37

 

After rain,

Sometimes the closeness of humidity remains

And sometimes the world feels washed

For a while

It’s a good feeling

In autumn we might call it crisp

Though that is more for morning air

Cold from night, first breathed

The seasons turn, we know this

The watery rush of spring

Becomes the lush, rising life of summer

Before the time for

Earth to prepare to rest again

I know I say this for the northern part

In the southern, it’s reversed

 

But we share the notion that

All things are passing

Everything moves or is moved

And it is not in the nature of molecules

Or constituent atoms

To cease in function

Stop, whenever

 

Do you have a craft?

I think you do

Something you make or on your own

Pursue to make the time

Your own

Don’t be discouraged if the only thing you see

Is need

It is sadly that way for too many

And where does need allow for contemplation,

For an unhurried gaze into the world

On all sides?

 

Whether it’s need or want of need,

We are made for giving and receiving

And while so much is in motion

Newtonian claims notwithstanding

A part of us must stop

From time to time

To orient the brain and other organs

Where we are,

In what direction we might be going

 

Have a care for all seasons

Try them out

Let’s try ourselves

In patience and in

Openness for recollection

In spirit, an attitude for gathering anew

All the better parts

Gifts to receive

So many gifts to bestow

 

C L Couch

 

 

Image by illustrated Cottage from Pixabay

 

Lent 36

Lent 36

(for storytellers)

 

Do you have a storyteller?

I mean a good one,

One who dives into the past and

Brings it to the surface as a treasure

I hope you do

I’ve only met one from time to time

 

Her name is Esthelle

I shouldn’t wonder there is

A star in her name

She is a teacher

More, an educator

Learning- and learner-committed

And when it was time,

The story changed to song in medium

And temperament

She’d pass out the books

To have us sing along

 

We have good stories

God bless the tellers

So that words might live in mortal ways

To make us good

 

C L Couch

 

 

David Bradley, White Earth Ojibwe Storyteller, 1980s ink on paper New Mexico; United States Gift of James and Margie Krebs Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts

Peabody Essex Museum – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32540349

 

Lent 35

Lent 35

(a reverie for stories)

 

It’s Tuesday, day of Tiu

A Nordic personality

Part of a family that respected

Power and defeat

And waiting after for

The judgment of all nations

Beautiful and terrible,

The people and persons of

The Norse

The stories cut into the center

Of all mortal talent and ambition

 

There, in all, is a lesson

One no single person’s written

It shared by people first and

Then in song, finally in letters rendered

We have these gifts now

 

The gift of story

Testimony, opera

Thanksgiving in the moments of the telling

God sends us song

And frames all telling inside nature

Praise God today

Thank God for all gospels

Good news that grows us into

Better people

Workers, players, servants of the day

 

C L Couch

 

 

name of Týr in its rune form [in English, Tiu]

Moshroum – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1393824

 

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