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Petition under Glass

(x = space)

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Petition under Glass

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Liturgy is fine

Laid there year by year

Sunday by Sunday

Or Saturday, if chosen

Sometimes daily

Or whenever

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We pick the pages up

And they have meaning

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We follow nothing

When we sit

Or lie or stand

And weep the words

That matter more

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For being nothing set

In stone,

A book resting upon wood

All consecrated,

But what pouring from

The heart

Like rain or wine

Mattering more,

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The living need

The urgent cry

To God

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C L Couch

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Photo by Bianca Berg on Unsplash

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God Inside

(x = space)

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God Inside

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God inside

Next to the spark

Gently suppling air

Ready for cupping

Should there be

A blast

Working through

The arteries

From outside

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C L Couch

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Heart model to explain how the heart works to patients.

Photo by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash

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Ultra People

(x = space)

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Ultra People

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I’m not an action figure

Never was

Don’t need the cape

Like Superman

Or the long coat

Of Doctor Who

Don’t need a phonebooth

To the stars

Unless I really, simply want

To explore

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Don’t have powers

Death rays from the eyes

And such

Don’t need to fly

Without an airplane

Or balloon

(though I really, really wish I could)

Don’t need to have

My brain increased

Extra organs

Added

Preternatural strength for

Fighting vampires or

Solving the universe

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I am me

You are you

Without the uniforms

Or leagues

We’re still okay

Viable for God

And planet Earth

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C L Couch

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Puerta de Alcalá by Night

Photo by Jose Antonio Gallego Vázquez on Unsplash

Madrid, Spain

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Gambia

(x = space)

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Gambia

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Most of the victims

Came from Gambia,

Which is in

Africa

So if you’re not in the Bronx

Or hip to Africa

Or a citizen of the world,

You might think

Nothing to do with me

(with you)

But like the car tracks

In a race,

The threads around a badge,

The scuffs on any old thing

That’s round,

Well,

There is connection

The relationships go on

The consequences

Shared

The human race enlivened

Or withered

By what we do

What we think

You and me

Right now

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Let’s look up Gambia

And follow news about

The fire in the Bronx

That killed

So many

New Yorkers

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God take them home

While we mourn and

Work it out here

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C L Couch

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New York Bronx fire a ‘shock in our country’ Gambia ambassador says

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Fire on the river coast, Autumn

Photo by Egor Vikhrev on Unsplash

Ivanovo, Россия

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Diocletian Martyr

(x = space)

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Diocletian Martyr

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In my cell I see a bird

I think the bird is

The spirit of God

I don’t know for sure

Until the bird speaks,

Speaks to me

Without words

This is a real cell

A cell from which I will be taken

To die

At the hands of one

Who can command it

Though cannot command anything

About my soul

God has come to comfort me

To tell me I belong to God

And will be meeting

With God, soon

In a closer way

I could not know on Earth

The pain might be quick

It might be long

The bird does not tell me,

Imperial will having its own way

Despotic yet

Graced with freedom

As is mine*

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I could have been quiet

I needn’t have said anything

When questioned

Or at the corner

Where I told the story

Of God’s goodness,

Standing on the edge

Of all I knew

And soon would lose

I don’t know what happens next

In terms of what I gain

Maybe a mansion

Maybe nothing

I don’t permit myself an expectation

But relationship

Knowing my loved ones

Once here,

Beholding curing

Of my enemies

And me of them

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Great harmony

Before the Lord

And the Lord

Who might dance with me

While the angels sing

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C L Couch

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*(in freedom

   maybe grace

   we are all despots)

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Looking Up

Photo by Prince David on Unsplash

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Puritan Winter

(x = space)

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Puritan Winter

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Snow covers

Rain reveals

Ice seals it all in

Now comes the

Revealing time,

The winter

Against all our

Boasted showings

The green is gone

The brown and black reveal

Who we are

What we have

How plain it can become

Without verdant protection

Without the sheen

Of summer

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But this is good

We have the chance

To be ourselves,

To rely ourselves

On heat

And goodness from above

Below

The goodness of our neighbors

And the sovereignty

Of God above

Below

Wherever is

Creating

And the mortal need

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C L Couch

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Migrating birds over the misty forests of Norway.

Photo by Fredrik Solli Wandem on Unsplash

Heggenes, Norge

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Anchorite Devotion

(x = space)

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Anchorite Devotion

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I cherish

Quiet in a cup

To drink

When I need some

Peace on a plate

When a bite is needed

Some silence in the air

But not so much

We cannot hear

The songs

Of earth and sky

The thrumming from beneath

To feel

The sighing from so high

We dare not

On an ordinary day

To try

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A homespun layer

Maybe two layers

For the day

And through the night

A few words of friendship

And a few more

Then intimate,

Unspoken words

With God

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There is a book

Of hours and another

Sometimes wisdom’s

In the page

In the part between

The letters

As well the illustrations

The space in which

We first learn

That blank space is the quiet

We may go there

Then to learn

About the mystery

The text

And images support

But can’t fill yet

As if to know the words

To speak with angels

And with animals

And with the air

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All things the creator makes

To set in humming motion

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C L Couch

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Statue of Julian of Norwich by David Holgate, west front, Norwich Cathedral.

By Poliphilo – Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19972764

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God of Storms

(x = space)

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God of Storms

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The sky let go last night

I drove through

Snow on snow

With an audiobook

For company

My guardian angel up above

The car

Inside the storm,

Laughing at

What God hath wrought

Inside the night

White under black

Squeegee of tires

Up to traffic lights

Hoping that each car

Would stay where it belonged

As my tires

Turned the wrong way

Tried to do

A contest with

The storm of Ba’al on

The altar of the Lord

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C L Couch

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snowfall in december

Photo by Jessica Fadel on Unsplash

Thornton, United States

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Back from There Again

(x = space)

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Back from There Again

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Took a drive around and over

Through the mountains

Through tunnels

Up angles, down

The rounded Appalachians

Blue Ridge, Alleghenies

No rain or snow this time

There was wind

To blow my little car around

Clouds and sunshine vied

I got back

Hobbiton looks the same

Regarding what I left

Today,

I can only hope the cancer treatments

Work for him

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C L Couch

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Photo by Sean Foster on Unsplash

Appalachians at midday.

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