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Liturgies

August on Deck

(x = space)

x

x

August on Deck

(easy greetings)

x

It’s Friday

Anticipate a weekend

Late summer

Final trip before the school year

Work at home

Clean at home

Leave the home

For the park

For stores

For church

Find company

Leave company

Hours on one’s own

The quiet might invite

x

Or out into the world

A different way

A drive, a walk

To nowhere in particular

A new nowhere

Untried

Something heard of

Or an inviting opening

A path into

Some inviting part of the world

Keep safe

Why not

x

After the anthem,

Play ball

x

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by Maksym Tymchyk 🇺🇦 on Unsplash

Ukraine

I look at this

I can smell the stalks, the petals

Memory, I suppose

x

Tune in Tomorrow

(x = space)

x

x

Tune in Tomorrow

x

I’m not smart;

I don’t have a smart phone

Or a smart house

Or a smart life

x

I use the ticking of a clock,

Not an association,

Other wind-up ways

And, yes, electron ways

To note

Time passing

As it does

In society

x

My books do not have faces

(not meaning the clock)

Though they do have bindings

For clarity

In anticipation

x

They have tropes and memes,

I’m sure

x

This will be changing

Naturally,

Technologically, enough

x

My cars have had computers

For a while

And I still like the lure

Of robots’ walking service

And companionship,

Of a jetpack set upon my back

So I may fly over

Land and water

And through clouds

Of other worlds

x

Childhood’s end,

Mister Clarke,

And childhood’s dreaming

With all the songs

I used to listen to

That would resonate

With or without volume

Later on

x

Things change

x

Some things fall apart,

Sometimes the center:

The poem and

The novel know this,

Through our

Participation

x

Some remains

(some remains)

On the edge

Like samples in a centrifuge

Or in the washer after

Machinic wringing

As a body might wring something

Autonomically

(or for the therapist to say)

x

Memories,

Some items

Metaphors

And totems

x

Worn wires

And connectors

Old, most likely small

Machines

x

Storied threads

Kept in shadowed places

Until the knob is turned,

The door opened

x

The wires, threads, and all

Intertwine

In our own alchemy

Into today

With new things,

Many things

Applied

x

All mix

Then when done

Can sough and sigh

Into the future

x

Terms and

Formal understandings

Are better for tomorrow;

Today is for the

Result of threading

Into compromise,

Often astounding,

Of things good,

Some bad

Things tested,

Some waiting to be tried in

The world

Or safe at home

x

I’ll tell you things

And will you tell me, please?

That will be star-stuff

Mister Sagan,

Ms Druyan

x

On Earth

More locally for now

A charm, token, song today, tomorrow–

Story-stuff

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by Alberto Bobbera on Unsplash

x

Narrative Liturgy

(x = space)

x

x

Narrative Liturgy

x

My eyes and stress

Aren’t doing so well

The limitations come up shorter

Than they used to

It doesn’t take as long to

Make the fence

The metal one

The metal fence with metal signs

About trespassing

Access or the lack thereof

x

On the other side

Is twenty-twenty

And easier living

The kind that happens in

A Gershwin summer

Though maybe

That’s not so easy, after all

Prejudices

Production values and the process,

Overall

Whatever money and material

Involved

x

My dad has a barn

My mom can make costumes

Come on, gang,

Let’s have a show

Easy times

And black and white

Because so much youth was involved

Thank you, Rooney

Thank you, Garland

x

Thank you for who made the barn

And wrote the music

We’ll find the instruments

Keep practicing

I hear the backer might

Show up anytime now

For a matinee

Or evening show,

x

Which is good

Because the talent

And the crews

And the producers might be

Getting tired

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by Rob Laughter on Unsplash

x

Declared

(x = space)

x

x

Declared

x

Here,

There’s food for energy

And water

I know, for many

An easy trip to the store

x

War ruins this,

Of course,

There and by extension

My shopping receipts attest

All our bills

x

There has been the war of greed

There and here

x

Though

Away from war

Except for greed

I don’t have to fear for bullets

Or wait for other missiles small and large

Cry the air,

Find my flesh

Find yours

x

The planet will reclaim

The Earth to wait

And us to judge

Well or poorly

The killing of each other

Loss

Hardship

And disease

x

Our tries everywhere

To build

To know each other

Energize the world

Food

Water

Safety

A just ambition

Peace

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by Антон Дмитриев on Unsplash

Sunset in the exclusion zone.

x

Eligibility Requirements

(x = space)

x

x

Eligibility Requirements

James 1:22-27

x

What does the Lord

Ask of us?

Many things, I think

That Noah build an ark

That Abraham sacrifice

His son upon an altar

Made for animals

x

That Rahab should save

The spies of Israel

In Canaan

That Mary should conceive

Without her affianced

And then give birth

x

That Cain should confess

That sinners should confess

That we should be

Doers and not hearers only

Of the word

x

That we should seek justice

And do justice

That we should love God

And each other

Be generous with enemies

With material and with prayer

x

I’d like to say it’s easy

As salvation is

Through grace

And belief

But frankly it’s the start

Of a grown-up life of faith

In which there should be joy

And humor, too,

And if there isn’t

Then we have been told

In someone’s catechism

Something wrong

x

C L Couch

x

x

James is a brief, epistolary work in the Christian New Testament.

x

Photo by Taras Chernus on Unsplash

“I am from Ukraine, there is a war going on in my country now. Your help is more important than ever.”

x

Shadowlands

(x = space)

x

x

Shadowlands

x

Plato

C. S. Lewis

My hand by

The computer light

Shadows with shadows,

I suppose

With something firmer

On the other side

That could be relied on

For an eternity

Something waiting

Something inspiring

An ideal

A world of ideals

That’s what we learned

In school

So what have we here?

Which world shimmers

For the other

Though we presume

The other world’s better?

What do we sense here?

What do we make?

What lasts?

We have our treasures

And we try to keep them

We use guards

We have alarms

Things might fade anyway

Or break

And we keep making

Stockpiling art

With care

In both kinds of caves

Like those who aren’t so well-

Obsessed with money

Or better

With a hope for all

The way we might stockpile food

And why not

Against the day

Except for exigent hunger

(there should be enough

for both)

x

Yet if they’re right

We’ll have it all again

Art and food

Anything of profit

By virtue,

Perfect there

And permanent

And with ourselves, perhaps,

Polished and redeemed

As on this side

We sometimes polish

Precious metal with

Satisfaction after

That self-effacing

Might be and become

A shimmering

Evangelism:

Grand art, you see,

And easy,

Arduous science

For both

x

C L Couch

x

x

the verse alludes to Plato’s allegory of the cave

x

the title is a term that is a metaphor for mortal life

x

Photo by Jed Owen on Unsplash

x

Humility Blues

(x = space)

x

x

Humility Blues

x

(verse)

Virtue’s gone away

Vanity is here to stay

x

(chorus)

O, Christians, I got the

Humility blues

x

(verse)

Cool cats keep it humble

Don’t want to rumble, stumble

x

(chorus)

O, Christians, I got the

Humility blues

x

(bridge)

Vanity’s a bummer

Winter, fall, or summer

Wake up into spring

Humility’s the thing

x

(one more time)

Cool cats keep it humble

Don’t want to rumble, stumble

x

(bring it home)

O, people,

We got the humility blues

x

C L Couch

x

x

(I misread the title to something as “Humility Blues”—what the title was supposed to be I can’t recall)

x

Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

x

And, But, Or, Nor, For, Yet, So

(x = space)

x

x

And, But, Or, Nor, For, Yet, So

x

What do I do

When God is gone?

A question I don’t have to ask

Because it doesn’t happen

God doesn’t go away

I do

I go away when I want

To think of someone else

Of something that I want

That I shouldn’t have

When I need

Or presume to need

Enough to bump out God

From my awareness,

Which qualifies the need

As something else

x

This is straightforward:

I choose to have God in my life

Closer to me, anyway

Since God is there

Creating

Maintaining

Weeping or laughing at

What we do

Preparing for Parousia

Yet

Cherishing each moment

The now we have

We linear beings

Meaning for us

It’s a saving moment

To a saving moment

x

God is close

God is inherent

In electrons

And cellular nuclei

God will become more obvious

As we wish

As we choose

As we ask it so

(the asking’s prayer)

The devil has many ways

To snare us away

It is agenda

Of the kind that pushes will

And understanding

Inside a frame that illustrate

An attitude

Against people and the

Environment

The Earth we stand or glide

Or rest upon

All of which, the devil says,

Is unimportant

When favoring

Profit

Unhuman strategies

(inhumane)

That only matter as

Winning so that the rest

Are losers

x

Who is lost?

The burden’s hard

The burden’s easy

It’s paradox

Of faith

Of belief in God who’s only known

Through evidence unseen

Who wins a case through this?

x

Such contradictions

Such opposites

The world we love must be eschewed

If we would live, there is first

The inevitability of dying

Sheesh

No thank you

Or thank you

Our will to embrace

To choose

To live in love

With the good in everything

With faith

And hard belief that has gentle edges

In what we show each other

(as in manifest)

In what we sense

And how we deal

With everyone

With everything

By which and in which

A spirit accompanies

For good

For upbuilding

For faith

And, yes, for love

x

We live in hope

That God is there

That God is there when we return

Or when we turn around

In attitude

Repentance

Sorry and a new embrace

Of faith

Gove love this Earth

And the extraordinary creatures

That you’ve made

That is each of us

Not that we are perfect

Or perfectly anything

But in everyone

And everything

The three remain close by

The three remain close by

x

C L Couch

x

x

By Finoskov – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=109525350

x

Please Pass the Pray

(x = space)

x

x

Please Pass the Pray

x

Welcome home the victims

Heal the victims here

x

Quick prayer for those who died

And those who are wounded

And still here

x

Something in the house

Or in the car

Aloud or silently

It counts

The most basic ask of intercession

x

Like asking God

Be with whoever’s involved

In that emergency

Who are these people?

Someone knows

x

What is needed by way of comfort

Or of sutures

Or of passage?

Someone knows

We don’t know

Maybe we don’t have to

x

Prayer is involvement

Even anonymous

That works

We may not know the outcomes

That is faith

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by Mikhail Volkov on Unsplash

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Photo by YANGHONG YU on Unsplash

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