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other occasions

Sunday Best

(x = space)

x

x

Sunday Best

(for Juneteenth)

x

I celebrate from a distance,

Thinking of church

As an invitation

I received

Several years ago

In a Black church in Louisville,

Kentucky

x

I was there for meetings

And on

Sunday morning

We went to a church

Some of us

Had known about

x

Arms rose into the air

For hours, and the choir

Never seemed

To stop

x

And, I’m sorry,

I don’t remember the

Preaching

But remember the music

And the dancing in the air

Of arms and words

Carried up

By song

x

And if the Spirit could be

Smoke, we

We wouldn’t breathe

But as it’s air

We breathed in life

And exhaled

New visions

x

And we were welcomed,

Such was love

In the airy cloud

That prismed every color

With invitation

Courtesy

And movement

For outsiders

x

We were there for hours

Without knowing

This was Sunday best

At its best

I’ll be a part of it again

Someday

x

For there

There was freedom in the

Spirit

As there should be a day for it

Then every day

Every day a work

And play

For freedom

Numinous

And real

x

C L Couch

x

x

Spirituality

Photo by Thiago Barletta on Unsplash

x

Toward the Ending of a Great War

(x = space)

x

x

Toward the Ending of a Great War

(for 6 June 1944)

x

Today, many soldiers died

On all sides

x

Many civilians as well

In their towns

And on their fields,

Whole families

And many animals

x

For children

And for parents

We can’t imagine worse

Except for plague and

Drought, which are

Other kinds

Of war

x

The despot didn’t die

And would lead its people

Through

Ongoing and great suffering

x

Awful suffering,

Horrible—blooded,

Vivisected,

Tactical annihilation

By its hand

x

Today, many soldiers died

And civilians;

Many soldiers and civilians live

Then and now

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by Shalev Cohen on Unsplash

Pointe du Hoc, צרפת

x

Memorial Day in the USA

(x = space)

x

x

Memorial Day in the USA

(2021)

x

It is a holiday in the USA

I suppose the sales are good

And there will be

Shiny fireworks

Reminding us the day means,

Well, something

x

There are days like this

Around the world,

As there should be:

Remembrances of those

Who fought and

Died in war

x

The wisdom of strategy

And final choices

Is not on the program;

Like the Light Brigade,

There are those

Who served

Because they served

x

Remember them,

Because their loss

Is the foundation

For unfought

Wars over silent

Battlefields

That were and are

And will be,

Someday

x

C L Couch

x

x

Golden Stars

Photo by Dan Dennis on Unsplash

World War II Memorial, Independence Avenue Southwest, Washington, DC, USA

x

Peace Polar

(x = space)

x

x

Peace Polar

x

At any moment now

It is time for the Eid,

One the absence of a moon

Is sighted—you know what I mean,

The new moon

Signing the end of Ramadan

And the start of Eid Al-Fitr

A celebration

x

Israeli forces and Hamas

Have been exchanging

Rockets, missiles

Rocks and curses, too

Many have died

And, you know, there is a

Pandemic on

So the celebration must

Be marked by two plagues,

War and the disease

x

Holidays and wartime

Go together

In the world

As “I’ll be home for Christmas”

Will tell you

I don’t know the technicalities

Diplomacies

Or lack thereof;

I don’t know if there’s a war

Declared—

It’s happening, anyway

Pray for our western Asian siblings

And send good thoughts

Their way,

And that will not nearly

Be enough

Though they should happen,

Anyway

But something else

Something more

Must transpire

Write about it, tell the stories

Act for peace

Keep planting the poles

Live peaceably

Not with weakness

But with strength

Peace, like love, takes

Muscles of all kinds

And actions

Action-heroes, even

Remembering

The brain, the will

Have muscles, too

The strongest, in fact

x

Run the race for peace

And be kind for races, too

These are

The greater challenges

Beside these,

War is easy

(the picking-up is hard)

So, yes, pray for peace

Then act for peace

In the gentlest, strongest way

That you know how

Concretize the steps you take

The talk, the meals, loving

Your neighbors

So that what works

Might be taken again

In hope

Even (especially) when it’s hard

There will be fruition,

Promise

x

C L Couch

x

x

Shigar Valley, Skardu, Pakistan

Photo by Ijaz Rafi on Unsplash

[nearly new moon]

x

Earth Day

(x = space)

x

x

Earth Day

(2021)

x

And

With Earthlings there

Is a relationship

Dysfunctional and thus

Destructive,

So say

All the tops of trees

Burned

By acid rain

x

Earth survives

As it may

And sometimes must

Fight back

x

We’re only guessing

But with all the metal satellites

Surrounding,

You’d think we’d know

Earth better than

To ruin it

x

Yet we must ask

Victims of hurricanes:

The storm,

The flood that

Take one’s own

x

Earth was no friend,

And who is with them

Now?

Earth and Earthers,

I can only hope

x

Source of pleasure

Source of pain

(source of profit)

It is our world,

Though we eye another

It is our microcosm

And an old,

Old story

x

Moon who watches,

Heaven beyond,

Hell below,

Ten circles in the center

x

Everything we know

In the

Cosmic narrative

x

Maybe it’s time

To release Cartesian

Orientation,

Since lines really

Do not hold down anything

And are twisted when

New encounters

Overthrow

The old

(which is

discovery)

x

Time

To like the Earth

Again and like it better

We should know how

By now

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by SpaceX on Unsplash

Satellite over the coast.

x

Brothers

(x = space)

x

x

Brothers

(on a birthday)

x

I have three

Today is the birthday

Of one of them

Paul is a year and a half younger

Meaning I get confused

Trying to track the number

Most years

In the USA

(not this year)

It is just after tax day

So that there are two reasons

For celebration

x

This is the brother

Who knows celebrities

And has worked closely with

Dolly Parton

At the park

On TV

And most recently on stage

He is a producer

Though he also knows the talent

From the inside out

Singing

Playing a dozen instruments

x

His wife is better than he is

But what else could be expected

They are creative

Talent

x

Years and years to come

And let the moments you have now

Be gold

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash

Kalispell, United States

x

Ramadan

(x = space)

x

x

Ramadan

(2021)

x

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

x

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

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by Benjamin Voros on Unsplash

x

Easter Saturday

(x = space)

x

x

Easter Saturday

x

I think it might be

Easter Saturday

On someone’s calendar,

The week having begun,

You know,

With Easter Sunday

x

But now the bunnies

That lay eggs

Must return to their

Warrens of marvels

While the quotidian battle over

How much chocolate

Resumes

x

Many-colored eggshells

Will be swept away

With plastic grass

Found throughout the house

‘Til Christmas

x

As for Easter in our hearts

I’m not sure what

To say:

I hope we have it

As a feeling and an impulse

That doesn’t have to be

The Christian way

But simply good

Like contentment sighs

At the end of day

x

Before then,

Worn out from trafficking

In virtue—

Yes, I said it

x

It exists

In certain texts of the past,

I know

x

Better still, inside-outside

Now,

Which works out because

Now is what we have

And all we have

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash

x

Saga

(x = space)

x

x

Saga

x

How could one approach the tomb

The great stone pushed aside,

The guards dispersed

And not think

Something awful

Maybe tactical

Has happened?

x

To carry spices for another chance

To see the body that

Once housed the spirit

Loved in life

To hope the guards would help

Them get inside

x

Stories vary

As they do,

But what is known by all

Is that he was not there

And did an angel

Or himself

Appear to tell

The first page

Of another story,

A new following

An invitation

To believe

To love, again

Once and forever?

x

Angel or gardener

Or Christ himself appeared

The first day of a new week

After the Jewish sabbath

Followed by the faithful

x

And what should happen next

But ages of crimes

For the new religion

Egos and errors

Chastising opinions,

Doctrinal matters?

x

The movement thankfully

Still moves

With time to get it right

No universal way

Except for universal fondness

Of each other

And the stranger

x

Still pondering

With too much inaction

Over the debate

Who is my neighbor?

x

Good Christians, all, rejoice

Love this day

And each other

And the stranger

Love because

God tells us to

And in God’s perfection

Translated to mortality

For a while,

Our hope is in an Easter morning

Quiet, dark, bearing

An opportunity for faith

x

Rejoicing, cries

Reasons to have faith

And celebrate

An Easter morning, day,

And night when it will once again

Be quiet

For our souls

And into Monday morning

When

Secular time takes over

And we live in faith

Inside a spirit

All our spirits

Breathing in the air

Of thanksgiving and

Holy opportunity

x

A life of faith

And love

In all imperfect, broken

Forms and functions,

A life in which to say

Thank you

I love you

To God and then each other,

Easter morning inspired

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by Oumaima Ben Chebtit on Unsplash

Chefchaouen The Blue Pearl شفشاون الجوهرة الزرقاء, Chefchaouen, Morocco

old door

x

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