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Liturgies

If Not Charity

(x = space)

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If Not Charity

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There should be more:

God, will you have

More?

There is great need

Awful, tearing need

As if a maw

Like all the mouths we fear

Should swallow us

God,

Will you meet us there?

Charity begins

Where charity begins

We don’t interpret well

Who cares

Take up the toys

Gather in the food

Say something special

Better to be doing it

And saying it

What is giving

Don’t wait for philosophy

If you have a dollar

Or a handkerchief

You might be rich

You might be on the sidewalk

Where I called you

Says the Lord

Our God

Who is our God

And preaches mysteries

Though love is clear enough

Share it

Keep it well

Pearls planted well inside

The ocean of our need

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C L Couch

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Photo by Gabrielle Mustapich on Unsplash

Emerald waves from above.

Tofino, BC, Canada

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13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

. . .

(from) Paul’s first letter to believers in Corinth

King James Version (and the tongues of people)

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Everyday Protagonists

(x = space)

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Everyday Protagonists

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First day

Of the tenth month

To the Romans

A Thursday this time ‘round

Named for Thor

(all the time)

It is near noon

There are yellow sunbeams

On the floor

I am thankful

For the light

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I imagine it’s cold outside

It’s cold inside

I don’t use much heat

I ran out of cream

And the wrong thing was provided

Now I have it

For the coffee

That is cooling to the left of me

With toast in a bowl

Close by

While I try to write

Trying not to make it sound

Too diary

Or Prufrockian

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Spell-check likes Prufrockian

So there must be a following

Well and good

Like Babbitt

Or Rabbit

Please Don’t Eat the Daisies

Diary of a Mad Housewife

Or Mad Woman

Erma Bombeck

In the pit

Dave Barry

Any who might live in Winesburg, Ohio

Ingesting Dandelion Wine

From time to time

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Our heroes are

The normal people

Ordinary people

Look to the left and to the right

You most likely won’t see Wonder Woman

Or James Bond

Sometimes we needn’t look

Because the heroes must be ourselves

Called to action

Called to serve

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The firefighters

Front-line anyone

For whom there is no reward

When the cost is life

Or in an easier but a self-determined way

We could say inconvenience

A step out of life

That otherwise is quotidian

The same

To make the call

Offer the handkerchief to blood

Turn to

Large or small,

Help another

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Too obvious?

Maybe

Who are the heroes?

Mostly,

They are us

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C L Couch

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Photo by Andrea Sánchez on Unsplash

Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico

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Feast

(x = space)

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Feast

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Is there

More to share

It’s Monday

In the week of Thanksgiving

For the USA

Canada has had its day

Already

There are rituals

Old

And newly defined

Played out

We go for turkeys

Franklin’s hopeful emblem

For the nation

I imagine for its sustenance

In the wild

When we were in the wild

We go for other things

Sweet and tangy cranberries

Thank you

And football games

To keep the men away

If so

They should trade places

Every other year

Or everyone should cook and serve

And play

There’s something

To be thankful for

Many will learn to pray again

Then wait for the next

Time

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Eat and drink

Some will serve the needful hungry

First

Or instead

How much is needed

After all

How easy to serve

Yet feasts are important

Here’s a feast

And at the table

There are families

And guests

And a good day

Somehow made by politicians

Owned by us

And how we satisfy

All day

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C L Couch

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Urban Gardening Locavore

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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The Loneliness of God

(x = space)

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The Loneliness of God

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God is not alone

For God is

In three parts

And always

One

And always three

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Jesus in the flesh

Could leave

And left

For hillsides

Other isolated places

Divine agony

And privilege

For sorrow

Things to feel the first time

All alone

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Divine surprise

Pain

And maybe

Astonishment

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C L Couch

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Photo by Alex Blăjan on Unsplash

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Inside Armageddon

(x = space)

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Inside Armageddon

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Forget the prophecy for now:

Sometimes

Most of the time

We have other things to do

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There are the newly or ongoing

Wounded

Disenfranchised

So many who need

Our domestic help

And we can think the larger thoughts

As well

To offer courage

Without indictment

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Things are awful

We need help

That is enough

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C L Couch

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Image by vikucka from Pixabay 

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Our Turn

(x = space)

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Our Turn

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What does God say

But something that

Could be without words,

Could be in a breath

Of moving air,

Could be something

In the quiet

Or in cacophony

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Order speaks,

Chaos works its way,

There’s miracle in timing

Though the measure isn’t ours

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Someone else is keeping time

For music we can’t hear

But moves us

Like vibration through the floor

When a band we know

Is playing

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The universe is a song

Whose senses are involved,

All of them

Measured out

To everyone

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With a constant invitation

To the dance

Whose steps we know

For having once been made

And being made again

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Yes, and fallenness

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Get up,

Step away

Into the dance

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C L Couch

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Photo by tabitha turner on Unsplash

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Machine Libation

(x = space)

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Machine Libation

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All the things released

On the page,

Admittedly a page of electrons

And in this

There is a soupcon of fright

Over outages

And lack of a printer

And greater thankfulness

Over an awful

Writer’s cramp

That only bends (now)

The typing hand

Now and then

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There are notebooks, too,

When away

Maybe simply outside

Sometimes they are remembered

With the pens

And releases in our minds

To work another way

While in the nothingness

Of expectation

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Keep writing, children

(painting

or reworking

the clay of Earth

or off our feet

or work in something else),

We hear her say

And all the sibling muses

With the gods of creativity

From other places

Other realms

Inside the moving circles

When they meet

And maybe grind

Like rims of

Metal upon metal

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These vie

For inspiration

When we are worth it

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Thank goodness,

We are worth it

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And for the media

The usefulness of anything

The service of technology

And pens and pencils

(paints, clay

things we find)

Crayons, when we have them,

With some paper

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What we keep

What we discard

Ashes in safety

Or simply as a metaphor

For muses

Or spirits from

Other places

Or, say,

Only the mind

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Thanks, any part

Or anyone

And everyone

Everything

Anything

That serves

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C L Couch

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Photo by Jahz Gonzalez on Unsplash

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courage

(x = space)

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courage

(compash)

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the brave leaves

are in fact

leaving;

the wind has done its work

there is inescapability

in the season passing

if I wrote useless things

upon electronic leaves

perhaps my season

will be passing, too

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it is a pledge, I guess

the old word tontine

a formal offering

to work

to put down

to express

to depict

to make my painting here,

unfit for a museum

maybe for local work

the verses in the subway

a slogan on a placard

should I reach

and arrive so far

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like glory in the sky

parochial sky

parochial of one

should I hear myself

out there

constructively

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c l couch

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photo by jeremy bishop on unsplash

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The Storyist

(x = space)

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The Storyist

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Today is

After Hallowe’en

Liturgically, it’s All Saints’

And we sang a song

About the saints

At church,

Which is pretty much

What I knew

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Tomorrow is the liturgy

For those who died

To this life

And that is what I know

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But that for the intimately acquainted

There will be

Costumes and posadas

Special food

Meals in families

At gravesides,

The beauty of illumination

In the formal way we say it

An idiom

Half-euphemistic

The quick and the dead

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No, the dead

Are not so fast

And so we have to go to them

Except when they’re supernal—then

They’re the fastest

They might not heed

Friction,

They’re so fast

Faster than Earth turning

(a thousand miles an hour)

Or the thrumming of moth wings

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Who knows?

Maybe light speed

So fast, then,

As candlelight

And, too,

So easy

As wings

To those having wings

Now fast and easy

Visit us,

Love us

In older

And in newer ways

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The living and the dead

All mooshed together

In new minutes

In new ministries

Of grace and understanding

Could be without the understanding

For those who simply love

Who illuminate

The graveside

From all sides

With love

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And in the families

Of two or three or many more

Quick and dead

In all conditions

Hear and tell

Old and new stories

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C L Couch

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I came across a novel called The Last Cuentista.  It was only the cover—I don’t yet have the book.  And so I don’t know its own story (yet) but thought about an Anglo word in translation (for this Anglo) that might be Storyist.  Don’t worry, spell-check doesn’t like it.  (Or Cuentista.)

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The Last Cuentista by Donna  Barba Higuera, published by Piccadilly Press

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Photo by Camellia Yang on Unsplash

Edinburgh, 英国

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with apologies for what I do not understand but write about, anyway

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