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Dog Days Days of Dogs

(x = space)

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Dog Days Days of Dogs

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I imagine dog days

In August,

But it’s been so hazy

And it’s been hot

I think of dogs

Such as bloodhound

Dogs (whatever looming,

drooping species)

Owning dropped places on

Front porches,

The kind of porch that drapes

From end to end

Or side to side

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And the dogs, they are

Listless shapes of

Tired, teaching something

To the rest of us

About not being

In the way

When the way is not

A deal

And we do better

Owning places

Away from doors

And under windows

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Like the dogs of summer

Something for

The cats of winter, too

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C L Couch

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Photo by Francesca Albert on Unsplash

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5 July

(x = space)

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5 July

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Post-parade

As we must be

After battle

We have to count the wounded

On the field

The dying

And the dead

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In Chicago

And across New York

Wherever we commit

And find,

To make the discovery

Again

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That we are bestial

Worse than,

Since we weaponize

Our extensions

Limb

Tooth and claw

For killing

Over distances

And up close

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Conviction is an odd word

That cuts at us two ways

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C L Couch

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Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash

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Birth of a Nation

(x = space)

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Birth of a Nation

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It’s the Fourth of July

In the USA

It’s hard to miss

What with all the sales

In the computer

x

And all the local booms

That will happen

Between buildings

In the neighborhood

This evening

Upsetting dogs

x

The bell did not crack then

And the document

For the assembly

And the criers

Wasn’t ready then

More like the sixth

And no one need worry

x

A day was selected

For the start of freedom

And a nation

Approving thirteen groups

That did not want to fight

But would fight

A famous army

With a storied king

From faraway

Now home

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Home needing freedom

From political

And corporate interests

That took more and more away

Until at home we said,

Enough

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And war is war

It would not be kind

Or clean

Though ranks set on the field

Were tried

And when to start the battle

x

Really

How farmers

Children died

Holding guns

Or something enough like

To draw fire from the foe

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There were strategies

And spies

And those with local knowledge

Of terrain

And somehow

Against the European mind

For monarchs

The war was won

By merchants and farmers

Fugitives and foreigners

Identified

Foregoing slaves

To free

Only to count

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With vision to admire

Yet with fractures

Like the bell that was fractured at

Other times

Now we had to form a nation

With all the blunders

And the cheating

All the buildings

And the farmland

All the expanding

All the settling to come

With treaties

Skirmishes

And battles

We borrowed names

America

The United States of America

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We asked for God

Too often after everything arranged

Maybe we could do better at that

Now

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God is known in many ways

Inside this land

The values of the heart

And mind

And neighborhood

Remain the same

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Reasons abound

For trying God first

Each day

In every time

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In a nation born

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C L Couch

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United States flag painted on the side of a Saturn V rocket.

Photo by Brian McGowan on Unsplash

Kennedy Space Center, Merritt Island, United States

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two poems for July

(x = space)

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two poems for July

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Watch Your Dogs

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Dogs don’t like fireworks

Many veterans don’t

All kinds of people

Be with them

Sit with them

Support K-9 programs

Support people

Not everyone likes fireworks

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Photo by Yuki Dog on Unsplash

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Hello, July

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Hello, July

It’s hot and humid here

Not much more to say

But, well

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There’s a lot of green

And other colors, too

Not like fall

But everything that lives

Does fly and otherwise

Visit us a season

As if

Forever’s come to call on

Bees and butterflies

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The fireflies

Still have a season

Though, like strawberries,

They flourish in June

Around here

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Storms appear and fall

Blow things around

Hot and wet fronts bumping

Around

Generally, we say

We need the water

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Flavor of Hibiscus

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Flavor of Hibiscus

Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

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C L Couch

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End of June

(x = space)

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End of June

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Six-thirty on six-thirty

June is ending

In the north it’s bright

There might be

Evening cool

And somewhere nightingales

Calling to the larks of dawn

July rising

Count the days

June hath thirty

The next month one day more

The summer count of days

(south it’s winter)

Continues

So green in places

Not yet time to think

Of turning into autumn

A peak of season’s glory

In our minds,

Trying to soften

Angles and edges

Of a hardened world

While green means life

And some might say retreat

Shade is good

And breezes, too

Moments for gratitude

And summer supplication

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C L Couch

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Photo by Karl Hedin on Unsplash

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3 poems for summer solstice

(x = space)

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3 poems for summer solstice

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Merry July

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Solstice

It’s summer now

Summer weather smacks us

Here

Temps aiming for 90

I guess in Australia

New Zealand

New Guinea

Little America

Winter is begun

Throw logs on the fire

Sing winter carols

Withholding Christmas and

The other holidays

‘Til the start of summer

In December

Christmas in July

A custom mostly mercantile

In the north

Could be the real thing

With trees and

Were it high enough

Some snow

Ornaments and lights

Certainly

Merry Christmas in

Alice Springs

Wellington

Tierre del Fuego

On the Falklands

At the southern pole

Santa’s summer home

Like winter

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Intentions

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God, what shall I

Say to you?

I worship you

In contemporary ways

I’m sorry for sins

You have seen in me

And known for centuries

I thank you for your presence

Having made all good things

And the ways to deal

With the bad

I ask of you

To welcome home

Those who die

And heal those who live

Cure cancer

End war

Well, I can ask

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Siblinghood

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It’s like science fiction

Slipping out of time

Our of normalcy

Eating meals on time

Cleaning on a schedule

Ingrained expectations

Instinctive, conditioned

Responses

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To fall outside of these

To live with fewer clothes

To hope for decent meals

In penury,

To dream of trips

But only travel like Thoreau

Walking to and from

The town

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Everything else happens

On the inside

How sad this is

At least how strange

But there’s a purpose

Those who fall outside

Will look back

And when not wistful

Will prophecy

In art

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C L Couch

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Saint John’s (Midsummer) Fire at Dragør Beach (Denmark)

XSimon, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53634435

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So Much on One Day

(x = space)

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So Much on One Day

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Yesterday was

Father’s Day

Juneteenth

Corpus Christi

My

The body of Christ

Evidenced

Manifest

In Eucharist

This is important

This is my body

Christ said to disciples

This is my blood

Do this in remembrance of me

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A priest once explained to me

That the change is not molecular

That substance

To the medieval minds

To the makers of the doctrine

Did not mean flesh

As in meat

But substance as in essence

As in presence

Belief and purpose

Inside, all around

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These were believers

And philosophers

Not alchemists

(so much)

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The reason for the bread and wine

Is changed

Our reason to be there in the moment

With a bell

Is changed from bread and wine

To faith

And even penitence

The salvation of the world

At hand

And hand outside as well

As inside we take and ingest

And move with nourishment

Into the world,

After

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A professor told us

Once in class

Of her being in line

At a holy place in western Asia

Then in

Chatting about faith

With a stranger there—she

Was asked

(if not told)

Are not you Christians cannibals?

You believe in consuming

Flesh and blood

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And my prof remembered

As I remember

With remembrance

The details and essence of

Her story

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And is there physicality?

Yes, I think so

Bread, wine

And there is more

And the bell changes things

Things are changed in substance

For the better

Christ isn’t changed

Bread, wine

We are

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C L Couch

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Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash

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Father

(x = space)

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Father

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As in the fathers who are there

Who show up

Who have been there from the beginning

And those who are not there

Who left

Who might return

Might be changed

Might stay

And that be good

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God is father

God is mother

Jesus is the child

Fully grown and forever

The Spirit is inside

As well as moving

Through the world

Through the cosmos

A crazy family

Three in one

And one

But in each

And altogether

We have our learning

Our understanding

And our living

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Reasons and purposes

Wills and resolves

Choices

Actions

Parents are good at actions

Fathers are adept

At doing something

When they would do something

And they do something

Often

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They act

They build

They love

The best ones listen

The best ones speak

Knowing with whom they speak

Skills vary

Loving intent doesn’t have to

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A father is remarkable

A mother is remarkable

A family

Is remarkable

Even though

There are so many

Constructed, reconstructed

Precious not for diamond absence

But for the abundance of love

We reach in

We reach out

We share

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Fathers do this

In the USA, this is their day

God bless fathers

Fathers turn to God

They may turn to each other

Turn more so to their partners

To their charges

And their charge

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Amen

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C L Couch

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Photo by Federico Di Dio photography on Unsplash

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Thoughts on Solstices

(x = space)

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Thoughts on Solstices

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I don’t know why the dying year

Is appealing

Maybe because we know

That dying isn’t death

And we contemplate the process

And be glad when the reversal

Starts

Like knowing that our skin cells die

Then are replaced

It is a cycle we can contemplate

As well

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The Earth will start to turn

To favor night,

Which will take six months or so

The zenith with the sun

In the north

Is June

The nadir in December

If we have fires now

(because it’s June),

They will be for celebration

The fires in December

Are made with archetypal fear

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The easy fires will be back

We’ll cook on them

Not worry what they’re

Driving away

(the winter subjects)

And what they attract

Except for insects

That, though they are numerous,

Have cycles so much shorter than

The ones we own

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C L Couch

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Photo by Kenrick Mills on Unsplash

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