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other occasions

Ramadan

(x = space)

x

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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

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Photo by Benjamin Voros on Unsplash

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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

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Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash

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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

Who Wins

(x = space)

x

x

Who Wins

x

An empty room

Where there might have been a meal

Smell the hope and then the fear

And here’s a garden

Pretty

There was violence here

Now the plot is done,

Everything realized

x

Another foe

Who sought to shift the blame

From Rome to us

Our need to have an enemy

To stoke our places

In tradition

x

The others should be caught

The followers

No hurry

The serpent is now headless

Only nerves remain

x

The world has won

And we are glad

Our own strategy to overthrow

Goes back into a box

In which there is less silver

To count

x

An easy price

To pay

For indolence

Now back to lethargy

We have time

And everything is scheduled quiet

Scheduled noise

Again

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by Daniel Katz on Unsplash

Masada

Lookout through ancient Masada building.

x

Good for Someone

(x = space)

x

x

Good for Someone

x

He cried out,

Then death was quiet

Silencing everything

At last

x

And was there keening,

I think so

For a time

Then silence imposed

By Jerusalem,

By Rome

x

The Earth exhausted,

Unknowing  silence

That was a matter of salvation:

Now we say not dead

But sleeping

x

Sin is quiet

For a time

(for three days)

Waiting

Wondering about

What will happen next,

What it should

Do

x

Sin awaits

A guideline

Now that

God is dead

x

Should there be smirking

Or a party by

The gates of hell

While Earth

And all humanity must wait,

Though we must think it’s over

Why might we think

Something new

Should happen now?

x

We forget our stories

Let go all prophecy

We had our

King for a day

The welcome of a hero

Who has died with open wounds

Somehow bleeding

For the rest of us

New ritual

Or sacrifice of old

x

A burial is proper,

If hurried

To be done by sunset,

Sunset all;

Wounded and sleeping

Earth is covered over

With a stone,

Setting a guard to

Keep it all that way

x

Cruelty is tired

Everything must sleep

For a while, now

x

C L Couch

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Photo by kyle larivee on Unsplash

New England, USA

it seemed like mother nature wanted to spotlight this fellow

x

In Antioch

(x = space)

x

x

In Antioch

x

I walked by the campus

A few times

While visiting

In Yellow Springs

x

I didn’t belong there

Though I wish I could:

A progressive place,

Sometimes angry

Famously

But with tradition

And understanding

Of good doctrine

x

I’d like the hope

Of being there

In this week my sect

Calls holy

On a dark day

‘Cause the sun has gone away

x

In Antioch,

They were first called Christians

Rather than followers

Of the Way

x

The Way might have been

Better,

Less restrictive,

More inviting

x

Not a club but a direction,

Not a t-shirt

But sandals and a walking stick

For all the deserts

Whose borders

We might come upon

x

C L Couch

x

x

Actions of the Apostles 11:26 (Christian New Testament)

x

Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio (USA)

x

By Bernard Gagnon – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12045971

Ancient Roman road located in Syria which connected Antioch and Chalcis.

x

The Bridge to Thursday

(x = space)

x

x

The Bridge to Thursday

(Holy Week)

x

It is the middle of Holy Week

Who’s noticing

Who cares

Those huddled in churches

Mouthing with the pastor

Liturgies and litanies

All the holy words

And since it’s near enough

To Lent, there might be no

Communion,

Even practicing for Easter

x

Some of the fun churches

(there are those)

Will bless baskets on Saturday;

All sorts of folk with

All sorts of baskets

Containing elements for

Sunday dinner

Will be there

x

On the Friday before,

There will veneration

While on Thursday

An official working out

Of some kind

For the Last Supper

And the “maundy” part

Of Maundy Thursday

A command (mandatum)

To love one another,

Good reminder

For starting out the Triduum—

Or the rest

Of one’s

Of a church’s life

x

But today is Wednesday

Nothing to see here

Or hear or taste or touch

No smell of

Incense, either

Wednesday doesn’t rate

Another hump day

In the USA,

Anywhere else that arches

The week that way

x

Calm before the storm?

Hardly

There are storms, here and there

As happen

(one is brewing

outside the window),

There are the hungry

Who need big pieces of baked bread

And safe water

And more-real food

In order to sit up

Straight in church

For the coming days

x

Feed the children

Feed each other

This would make a Wednesday, a

Holy Wednesday in a holy week

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by yvo bergers on Unsplash

Maastricht, Nederland

x

The Potentate of Time

(x = space)

x

x

The Potentate of Time

(for Palm Sunday)

x

We might sing about

Crowning with many crowns

Jerusalem the holy city

Maybe in England

About dark, Satanic mills

x

It’s a gaudy day

With fronds flapping up and down

Carried by children

Sometimes into service

A favorite exercise of mine

To make crosses out of stems

To lean against windows

Or tuck inside picture frames

For the coming year

x

It’s a good day

When people act as if

They like church

And each other,

And some of that might

Rub off into truth

x

The church’s nemesis

These days being itself

A day of green neutrality

Might do a world of good

Before the world goes dim

And creaks and moans

In bearing all the weight

Of Passion remembrance

x

C L Couch

x

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“Crown Him with Many Crowns,” Christian hymn written by Matthew Bridges, 1851

x

Photo by Vladimir Proskurovskiy on Unsplash

x

The Listing House

(x = space)

x

x

The Listing House

(have fun—it’s Friday)

x

They’re everywhere

I cannot tell

The open places anymore

For anytime I open something

Door or drawer

I encounter lists

And that’s all

Whenever I come across

The refrigerator handle

(now and then)

I pull and find inside

Only reminders on paper of

What I meant to buy

At the store

There is no desk

Or dresser drawer that’s safe

And sometime the house

Will lean over

Or sink in the center

To greet the ground more closely

Maybe to find what is

Beneath

I know, we have machines

But it’s been so much easier

To find a scrap and use the pen

I carry in my pocket

But here’s the thing:

I make the list

Then leave it behind

Think I will change,

I create then leave another

Now there is no space

For what I’d find

Should I consult the paper,

After all

x

I think it all will

Weigh out in the middle

The house will fall like Usher’s

Into the tarn of Main Street

And hell for me

Will be an inferno

Constantly

Ignited from

The lists I made in life

x

C L Couch

x

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Photo by Eniko Polgar on Unsplash

Bodie, United States

Desert Ghost Town

x

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